TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - The Mississippi state flag and the Confederate cemetery at the University of Mississippi in Oxford became hot topics on social media and in the news.
Community leaders around the country are looking at the future of monuments and statues related to the Confederacy or people with ties to slavery, fighting civil rights or working to preserve integration.
Some of the cities and counties bear the names of people mentioned for supporting the Confederacy.
University buildings also bear the names of people whose history has shown stood for those same principals.
Ashland – Named for home of Henry Clay of Kentucky. A slave owner, Clay also helped compose the Missouri Compromise in 1820. The measure allowed Missouri to enter as a slave state and Maine to enter as a free state. The compromise also set a boundary in the Louisiana territory where slavery was prohibited.
Calhoun City - Named for John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. He was a staunch supporter of states rights and slavery.
Carrollton, Alabama – Named for Charles Carroll. The only Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence, he also owned nearly 1/3 of the Catholic-owned slaves in the United States. He was opposed to the idea of slavery, but never freed those he owned.
Columbus – Named for Christopher Columbus, whose treatment of Native Americans has come under fire.
Falkner – Named for William Clark Falkner, a Confederate colonel and commander of the 2nd Mississippi Infantry and the 1st Mississippi Partisans during the war. After the war, he was instrumental in rebuilding in the area, including the construction of the railroad from Houston to Falkner. The Tanglefoot Trail between New Albany and Houston is built on the railroad bed.
Coffeeville – Named for John Coffee. He negotiated treaties on Native American removal of the Choctaw (1830 Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek) and Chickasaw Indians. He died before the Chickasaw treaty was finalized.
Hamilton, Alabama – Named for Capt. A.J. Hamilton. He was a Confederate soldier and a lawmaker after the Civil War.
Jumpertown – Named for the Jumper family. After the Civil War, many freed slaves took the Jumper name as their own.
Macon – Named for Congressman Nathaniel Macon of North Carolina. He was a staunch supporter of slavery.
Paden – Named for Thomas Paden. He owned a large plantation named Castle Garden. The home was burned by Union soldiers in 1862.
Vardaman – Named for former Mississippi Gov. James Kimble Vardaman. He was a known backer of white supremacy who supported lynching if it was necessary to maintain white supremacy.
Walthall – Named for former Confederate Gen. Edward Cary Walthall.
Weir – Named for Confederate Col. John Weir.
Alcorn County - Named for James Lusk Alcorn. He was the brigadier general of Mississippi state troops in Confederate service when the Civil War started. After the war, he was elected governor of Mississippi and believed in education for all and was instrumental in the creation of what is now Alcorn State University.
Benton County - Named for Gen. Samuel Benton of the 34th Mississippi Infantry. The regiment was formed in the area where the county was named in 1870. Some say it was named after U.S. Sen. Thomas Hart Benton as a way to trick the Reconstruction government over who it was named for. Samuel was Thomas' nephew.
Lee County - Named for Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee
Lamar County, Alabama - Named for Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar of Oxford, Mississippi. Lamar helped draft the Mississippi Ordinance of Secession and raised the 19th Mississippi Infantry Regiment. He served as a judge advocate and aide to Gen. James Longstreet, his wife's cousin. He also served as the Confederate minister to Russia and a special envoy to England and France. In 1873, he was the first Democrat elected to the U.S. House after the Civil War and was elected to U.S. Senate from 1877-1885. He opposed Reconstruction and voting rights for African-Americans.
Lowndes County - Named for William Lowndes. A South Carolina lawmaker, he owned several plantations using slave labor. He was a major player in the Missouri Compromise, allowing Maine to enter as a free state and Missouri to enter as a slave state. The measure set a boundary allowing slavery to the South for new states entering the Union.
Monroe County - Named for U.S. President James Monroe. He was a slave owner and used slaves at the White House because there was no domestic staff provided for the president at the time. He was also part of the efforts to send thousands of former slaves back to the African colony of Liberia.
Calhoun County - Named for John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. He was a staunch supporter of states rights and slavery.
Clay County - Named for Henry Clay of Kentucky, a slave owner who also helped compose the Missouri Compromise.
Webster County - Named for Daniel Webster of New Hampshire. Webster was a supporter of the Compromise of 1850, including the Fugitive Slave Act ordering the arrests of escaped slaves found in northern states and to return them to their "owners." He was closely involved in enforcing the act.
Mississippi State University
Lee Hall – Named for former Confederate Gen. Stephen D. Lee. He was also the first president of the university.
Montgomery Hall – Named for Col. W.B. Montgomery. During the Civil War, he operated the Confederate ammunition factory in Montgomery, Alabama. He was one of the people instrumental in getting MSU built in Starkville.
George Hall – Named for J.Z. George. He was a Confederate colonel and later campaigned during the Mississippi constitutional convention for the state to find ways to disenfranchise African-American voters.
John C. Stennis Center – Named for U.S. Sen. John C. Stennis. He spoke out against civil rights and was an opponent of the integration of schools in the early 1970s.
University of Mississippi
James Ventress Hall – Named for James Alexander Ventress, a Mississippi lawmaker who wrote the bill to create the university in 1844. He was also a slave owner. The building was built in 1889. It also is home to a stained glass window depicting the University Grays. It honors Ole Miss students killed at the Battle of Gettysburg during Pickett’s Charge.
George Hall – Named for J.Z. George. He was a Confederate colonel and later he campaigned during the 1890 Mississippi constitutional convention for the state to find ways to disenfranchise African-American voters.
Labauve Hall – Named for Felix Labauve. He was a volunteer soldier with the 17th Mississippi Infantry during the Civil War and was a member of the staffs of some Confederate generals. A special trusteeship on the Mississippi College Board was named for him and only voted on matters pertaining to Ole Miss. The trusteeship was done away with in 1987.
Paul B. Johnson Hall – Named for Paul B. Johnson. In 1962, Lt. Gov. Johnson blocked U.S. Marshals to prevent the entrance of James Meredith, the first African-American student at the university. In 1963, he was elected governor after linking his opponent to President John F. Kennedy and Civil Rights legislation. He asked voters to stand with him to protect Mississippi's "way of life."
Vardaman Hall – Named for Former Mississippi Gov. James K. Vardaman. He once said the use of lynching might be necessary to maintain white supremacy. The university said in 2017 it would remove the name from the building, but it has not been done.
Howry Hall – Named for Charles Howry. He served in the Confederate army, rising to the rank of lieutenant general. He was also an active member of the Democratic Party after the war and was a member of the United Confederate Veterans.
Leavell Hall – Named for Richard Marion Leavell. He fought with the 2nd Mississippi Infantry and was captured during the Battle of Gettysburg. He later was a professor at Ole Miss.
Garland Hall – Named for Landon Cabell Garland. He was a slave owner, some given to him were wedding gifts and some he purchased as families to keep them together. He rented them out as house servants and claimed he owned their labor, but not the slaves themselves. He did believe African-Americans could be taught to read and write and could be good workers. After the Civil War, he became an outspoken opponent to ownership slavery through his Methodist Church channels of communications, including many documented sermons on the evils of ownership slavery.
Mayes Hall – Named for former Chancellor Edward L. Mayes. He served in the Confederate army in the Civil War.
Elma Meek Hall – Named for Elma Meek, the woman credited with coming up with the name “Ole Miss” in the later 1800s. She was quoted in a 1939 article in the school newspaper saying she got the name because black sharecroppers referred to the landowner’s wife as the Ole Misses. Some say the term was actually used by slaves to refer to the lady of the plantation. Others say it was attributed to the Ole Miss, a train running from Memphis to New Orleans and the subject of W.C. Handy's "Ole Miss Blues."
Faser Hall – Named for Henry Minor Faser. The former dean of the University School of Pharmacy, he was a member of the State’s Rights Democratic Party or the Dixiecrats. They supported preserving racial segregation when President Harry Truman announced he would integrate the military in 1948.
Lamar Hall – Named for Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar. He helped draft the Mississippi Ordinance of Secession and raised the 19th Mississippi Infantry Regiment. He served as a judge advocate and aide to Gen. James Longstreet, his wife's cousin. He also served as the Confederate minister to Russia and a special envoy to England and France. In 1873, he was first Democrat elected to the U.S. House after the Civil War and was elected to U.S. Senate from 1877-1885. He opposed Reconstruction and voting rights for African-Americans.
Jamie L. Whitten National Center For Physical Acoustics – Named for former Congressman Jamie Whitten. Whitten was a segregationist and signed the Southern Manifesto condemning the U.S. Supreme Court's decision desegregating schools, Brown v. Board of Education. He voted against the Civil Rights Act on five different occasions. Whitten later apologized for these votes, calling them a "mistake" caused by severe misjudgment. He voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1991.
University Of Southern Mississippi
Forrest Hall – Named for Forrest County, which is named after Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Johnson Science Tower - Named for Paul B. Johnson. Johnson tried to prevent the entrance of James Meredith, the first African-American student at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.
Delta State University
Hugh L. White Hall – Named for former Gov. Hugh L. White. He was a Dixiecrat and opposed segregating schools. He did push to equally fund teacher salaries and buildings for African-American schools in an attempt to keep them segregated.
Mississippi University For Women
The school's original name was Industrial Institute and College for the Education of White Girls. It was changed in 1920 to the Mississippi State College for Women.
Reneau Hall – Named for Sallie Reneau, one of the three women who pushed lawmakers to open a college for women. She organized the Mississippi Nightingales, a group of nurses to serve during the Civil War. She asked the Mississippi governor to provide uniforms for the women and requested equal pay as soldiers for their service. She died while helping treat patients during the yellow fever epidemic in 1878. She had lobbied lawmakers multiple times to open a college for the education of women. She died before the college opened in 1885 at the site of Columbus Female Institute. (The schools have operated continuously since 1847 making them the longest operating college in Mississippi.) Reneau’s name was chosen by school alumni and leaders when a push was made several years ago to remove "Women" from the title. There was some controversy over whether or not her family owned slaves. One historian says research showed they did not. They are not listed on the slave registry for Panola County, Mississippi, in 1850. Her father and brothers did fight for the Confederacy. A privateer ship named for her father also supported the Confederate navy. The university's name was never changed.
Peyton Hall – Named for Annie Coleman Peyton, one of the women who pushed for the creation of the school. Her husband fought for the Confederacy but was an opponent of succession. She was 9 when the war broke out and the couple didn't marry until 1874.
Hastings-Simmons Hall – One namesake is Olivia Valentine Hastings, the second wife of Confederate Col. John G. Hastings of Claiborne County. The couple married in 1877. She was one of three women who pushed lawmakers to create the college for women and the bill may have been written in her home.