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The Natchez Trace was still active and Mississippi had just become a state when the Elizabeth Female Academy opened its doors in November of 1818. Much can be learned about the culture of early Mississippi here in the community of Washington. As the young state's first capital it boasted churches, advanced learning societies, and two institutions of higher education, Jefferson College (1811) and the Elizabeth Female Academy. Progressive thinking for the day, it was the first institution of higher learning for women chartered by the state of Mississippi. After the capital and population shifted to Jackson, the Academy struggled and finally closed in 1845. Follow the path to your right to see what is left of the Academy and learn more about the people who once made Washington the cultural center of Mississippi.

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