208 A BICENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI Area. Baptists, Presbyterians, and Methodists all established such institutions across the Capital Area. Centenary, a four-year Methodist college, operated in Rankin County from 1841 to 1845. In 1849, the Brandon Male and Female Academy was reorganized as Brandon College. In Jackson, the Union School met in the basement of a Baptist church. In the city of Clinton, in Hinds County, Hampstead Academy was founded in 1826. In 1827, the academy was renamed Mississippi Academy and opened its doors to men and women in the state. The school was renamed Mississippi College in 1830 and was authorized “to confer...such degrees in the arts, sciences and languages as are usually conferred in the most respectable colleges in the United States.” In 1842, the Presbyterian Church assumed leadership of the college, and in 1850, the Mississippi Baptist Convention took leadership of the school. Today, Mississippi College remains a private, coeducational institution and the oldest institution of higher education in Mississippi. There was also a proliferation of religious fervor in the region, mostly the “plain folk” religions that predominated in the aftermath of the Second Great Awakening revival movement. In these churches, there was an emphasis on proper gender roles and modest conduct. Women could not be ordained in any of these denominations. Ministers and teachers alike emphasized the proper submissive role of women within the household. Drinking and dancing were strictly prohibited and violators punished. The proliferation of these churches happened alongside an expansion of wealth created by the plantation system, and this led to tensions between the more sophisticated wealthy class and the modest lifestyles that were embraced and encouraged by the evangelicals. For slaves in the Capital Area, as in other slaveholding areas of the state, worship practices varied. African American churches were not uncommon nor were segregated congregations. In Madison County, for example, a number of enslaved men and women appeared on the membership roll of Old Madison Presbyterian Church. African American participation in evangelical religion seemed paradoxical given the religious defense of slaveholding as divine intention that was espoused by most fundamentalist congregations. An Antebellum Legend Undoubtedly the institution of slavery in the Capital Area enabled economic growth. In some instances, planter families gained immense wealth under the system. One such family was the Johnstones of Madison County. Their story is memorialized today by an Episcopal chapel they built in south Madison County that is still in use today. Situated in what is now known as Mannsdale, the Chapel of the Cross has a rich, yet sorrowful history. John Johnstone, patriarch of the Johnstone family, bought 3,500 acres where the chapel of the Cross currently stands. In the 1840s, Johnstone remodeled an existing log cabin on his newly acquired land, named it Annandale, and moved his wife and daughter into it. Unfortunately, John did not live to see the completion of the chapel due to his premature death in 1848. Johnstone’s widow, Margaret Thompson Johnstone, began construction on the chapel in 1848. The chapel’s architecture design was heavily influenced by Frank Willis of Virginia. The bricks that entomb the wooden frame were baked in ovens monitored by slaves. The entire chapel took three years to build, and a consecration service held upon its completion in 1852. Once completed, John Johnstone’s body was exhumed from the cabin and buried behind the chapel. His grave, though solemn, would come to be the YAZOO COUNTY COURTHOUSE Originally built in 1848 when the county was formed, the Yazoo County courthouse was burned by Union troops during the Civil War in 1863. The current courthouse was rebuilt in 1872 and renovated to add space in 1974. The three story Beaux Arts-style building with an octagonal cupola and hipped roof survived the devastating Yazoo City fire in 1904. PHOTO COURTESY OF MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY