Madison


Blasts Rock Negro Church Home in Canton

(1965) “Explosions rocked a Negro church and a Negro home early Friday in this central Mississippi town which has been the target of increased civil rights activity in recent months. There were no injuries. Windows were shattered in both Pleasant Green Church of Christ, used by civil rights workers for rallies, and the nearby home […]

Bowman, Sister Thea

Sister Thea Bowman (1937-1990) was born in Canton. She was a nationally and internationally known evangelist, teacher, gospel singer, writer, lecturer and advocate for justice and peace. She was the first African American woman to receive a Doctorate in Theology from Boston College. Sister Thea, a Francisan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, was the daughter of […]

CORE of Madison Co.

Canton organized office for Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in 1963. Sources: Brown-Wright, Flonzie. Looking Back to Move Ahead Germantown, OH: FBW, 1994. Cheeks-Collins, Jennifer E. Black America Series: Madison County, Mississippi Charleston: Arcadia, 2002. Townsend Davis, Weary Feet, Rested Souls: A Guided History of the Civil Rights Movement New York: W.W. Norton, 1998. Dittmer, […]

Canton Multicultural Center and Museum

The Canton Multicultural Center & Museum is a celebration of the diverse cultures and contributions of the citizens of Canton and Madison County to the history of the city, state, and nation. The permanent exhibit focuses on the history, family life, business and community life of African Americans and recounts their struggle for civil rights. […]

Canton Ordered to Allow Negroes Use or Park

(1960s) “A federal judge Monday ordered officials at Canton, Miss. to permit Negroes the same use of a city park as that extended to white residents of the area. U.S. District Judge Harold Cox granted a temporary injunction sought by a group of civil rights workers. The order enjoined officials from arresting or otherwise seeking […]

Canton’s First Freedom Day

(Feb. 28, 1963) More than 350 African-American residents arrived at the Madison County Courthouse demanding their voting rights. Sources: Brown-Wright, Flonzie. Looking Back to Move Ahead Germantown, OH: FBW, 1994. Cheeks-Collins, Jennifer E. Black America Series: Madison County, Mississippi Charleston: Arcadia, 2002. Townsend Davis, Weary Feet, Rested Souls: A Guided History of the Civil Rights […]

Carmichael, Dr. George

Dr. Carmichael was a native of Canton. He practiced medicine in Canton for 50 years. Upon graduating from Meharry Medical School in Nashville, Carmichael returned to Canton to practice in 1934. If he had to hospitalize his patients, he had to send them to Yazoo City to a black hospital. Dr. Carmichael continuously applied to […]

Chinn, C.O.

Chinn was born September 18, 1919 in Madison County. He is said to be “the last of the great frontiersmen”for his work and dedication to civil rights. Chinn is thought of as the “father”of the civil rights in Madison County. He was one of the organizers for the Madison County CORE chapter, and headed many […]

Coney, Clarice Dillon

The wife of Eddie Coney, Clarice Coney is a retired educator. Mrs. Coney was a civil rights activist in Madison County where she assisted in voter education and registration. She was a member of CORE, COFO, and the NAACP. Sources: Brown-Wright, Flonzie. Looking Back to Move Ahead Germantown, OH: FBW, 1994. Cheeks-Collins, Jennifer E. Black […]

Coney, Eddie E.

Coney was born January 8, 1923 in Magnolia, MS, and was a civil and human rights activist. After completing his education at Alcorn State University, he and his wife Clarece Dillon Coney managed the Flora Parish State 4-H Club Camp from 1952 to 1965. They then moved to Canton. During the 1966 Freedom Summer tear […]

Desegregation of Canton City Park

(1960’s) “Civil Rights workers and local Negroes desegregated the city park here Tuesday without incident except for a few jeers from whites. A Federal judge had directed city officials not to arrest or otherwise interfere with Negroes using the park earlier this week. Negroes claimed a group of whites trued to run over them with […]

Devine, Annie

Annie Devine was one of Madison County’s leading women in civil rights. She and other civil rights leaders organized the Canton office for CORE in 1963. In 1964, Devine and other civil rights workers organized Canton’s first Freedom Day on February 28. Through arrests, fire hoses, attack dogs, and tear gas, Devine and the movement […]

Fire Destroys Freedom School

(9/17/1964) “A Negro church used recently as a voter registration school was destroyed by fire early today. Authorities confirmed that the St. John’s Baptist church near the rural community of Valley View went up in flames shortly after midnight. The FBI in Jackson said it was investigating. Negro leaders said two white men were seen […]

First Case Tried in Madison Co. Court

(June 1832) The rights of slaves in early Madison County were stringently limited by law. A slave named Pegg was the central figure in the first case tried in Madison County court. Pegg was charged with assault and battery with intent to kill Phillip Jackson Briscoe, a white man. Pegg was sentenced to hang on […]

Freedom House of Madison

The Freedom House was used during the Civil Rights era to house Civil Rights workers who came to Madison County. Located on Lutz Street (now George Washington) in Canton, the house was donated to the freedom riders and other Civil Rights organizations by Mr. George Washington. The Freedom House was the target of bombings, vandalism, […]

Freedom Summer and the Meredith March in Madison Co.

(6/23/1966) Freedom marchers tried to pitch tents to lodge women and children on the grounds of McNeal Elementary School during James Meredith’s March Against Fear. The marchers were not permitted to pitch the tents on the grounds, but they proceeded to do so anyway. State troopers fired tear gas from the roof of the school […]

Freedom Vote-Madison Co.

(1963) The Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) organized mock elections in 1963. The unofficial elections helped determine voting strength and showed that blacks would vote if given the opportunity. The mock election, called the “Freedom Vote”, was an overwhelming success. Canton’s candidates were Aaron Henry, candidate for Governor and the State President of the NAACP, […]

Holbert, Joe

Holbert was the first African American to deliver mail in rural Madison County. Holbert normally delivered mail twice a week on horseback. The photo was taken in the late 1880s. Sources: Brown-Wright, Flonzie. Looking Back to Move Ahead Germantown, OH: FBW, 1994. Cheeks-Collins, Jennifer E. Black America Series: Madison County, Mississippi Charleston: Arcadia, 2002. Townsend […]

House of Sister Thea Bowman

This traditional shotgun bungalow was home of Sister Thea Bowman, well-known author, evangelist, teacher and lecturer. It was built around 1900. The house is located at 136 Hill Street in Canton, MS. Sources: Brown-Wright, Flonzie. Looking Back to Move Ahead Germantown, OH: FBW, 1994. Cheeks-Collins, Jennifer E. Black America Series: Madison County, Mississippi Charleston: Arcadia, […]

Howcott Monument

This monument was created for slaves that went off to the Civil War with the Harvey Scouts from Madison. These slaves fought on the side of the Confederacy alongside their slave masters. They also served as servants on the battlefield. One loyal slave was individually recognized for his valor. The inscription on the monument reads, […]

Lindsey, Solomon

Solomon was born on September 1, 1878 in Canton. He received vocational training at Tuskegee, Alabama, and Piney Woods Country Life School. Solomon eventually became the owner of a 700-acre farm. Sixteen families- comprised of 120 men, women, and children- lived on his farm. In 1924, Solomon founded the Madison County Training School and served […]

Lynchings of Madison County

(1886-1965) There were seven reported lynchings in Madison County, over the span of 1886-1965. This list was comprised from A Partial List of Mississippi Lynchings compiled by the Tuskegee Institute. The list appears in Susan Orr- Klopfer’s Where Rebels Roost. Name, Town, Date, Alleged Crime Ben Chambers, Madison, May 7, 1886, Attempted Rape Spencer Costello, […]

Magee, Sylvester

Sylvester MageeĀ (May 29, 1941 – October 15, 1971)

Rimmer, U.S.

U.S. Rimmer was the first Black elected to a judgeship in Beat 5, Madison County. Sources: Brown-Wright, Flonzie. Looking Back to Move Ahead Germantown, OH: FBW, 1994. Cheeks-Collins, Jennifer E. Black America Series: Madison County, Mississippi Charleston: Arcadia, 2002. Townsend Davis, Weary Feet, Rested Souls: A Guided History of the Civil Rights Movement New York: […]

Rosa Scott School

This school was named after Rosa Allie Scott, who was an advocate for civil and human rights. She is buried on the school grounds. The school is located on Crawford Street in Madison. Sources: Brown-Wright, Flonzie. Looking Back to Move Ahead Germantown, OH: FBW, 1994. Cheeks-Collins, Jennifer E. Black America Series: Madison County, Mississippi Charleston: […]

Scott, Rosa Allie Lee

Rosa Scott was born in 1874. She was one of very few African Americans who obtained higher education, attending Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. Rosa Scott taught in several county schools, then became the principal of Madison Grade School. In 1917, she raised the funds to match a Rosenwald grant for the construction of a […]

Slave Insurrection of Madison

(1835) Rumors of a slave insurrection led to the lynching of numerous slaves. “Investigations”revealed that the plan was to rob and kill all whites at their homes. A “Committee of Safety”, which was comprised of thirteen men, was organized to protect the people by punishing those guilty of aiding and inciting the slaves to insurrection. […]

The Klan of Madison Co.

During Reconstruction, President Andrew Johnson sent a militia of approximately 100 blacks with a white captain to Canton. While the soldiers were there, the city marshal found it necessary to jail several of the men for drunkenness. When the other black soldiers heard of it, they demanded the release of their comrades. The jailer refused […]

Voter Education Project in Madison

(1969) “Workshop Disruption in Madison Is Charged” “The Voter Education Project Thursday charged that a voter workshop in Canton, Miss. was disrupted by a Madison County, Miss. deputy sheriff. The Atlanta-based organization, which said the incidence occurred Wednesday, called on the U.S. Justice Department to launch an investigation and “put an immediate end to voting […]

Williams, Richard

Williams was born March 22, 1886, the grandson of a freed Virginia slave. He grew up on the Jim Smith farm between Canton and Flora. When he was sixteen years old, he used $18 he received from a county farmers association to attend school at Alcorn University. This valuable award inspired Williams to set up […]