THE NORTHEAST CORNER 397 smart money had passed over for 25 cents an acre. In 1854, the worst of the land went for 4 to 5 cents an acre. Most of the landless left for Texas and other more inviting frontiers. Many emigrants with little money but other assets did well in the new frontier. For instance, Jacob Thompson, whose Presbyterian father kept him poor and tried to force him into the ministry, arrived in Mississippi with his University of North Carolina degree and a law license. Headed for the fabled wealth of Natchez to make his fortune, he heard about the excitement in Pontotoc where land sales and disputed titles offered a lawyer paradise. Riding the circuit of newly established courts in north Mississippi, Thompson flourished in the rough and tumble venues where lawyers often came to blows and judges sometimes descended from the bench to join in. The new courthouses filled with young men on the make, many of whom were heavily armed and seeking credit to buy land and slaves. They took offense when anyone doubted their credit worthiness and resorted to violence against anyone who insulted them. These men admired Thompson’s skill in the courts and his run for state attorney general made him so widely known that the new district nominated him for the House of Representatives in 1839. Leaving Pontotoc for Oxford, Thompson married a teenaged daughter of one of the city’s founders and shipped her to France for an education. He acquired plantations, PHOTO BY GREG CAMPBELL BIRTHPLACE OF THE KING Elvis Presley was born in 1935 in this shotgun house in Tupelo. Elvis grew up strongly influenced by the Gospel, R&B, and country music that surrounded him in his formative years in Tupelo and later in Memphis, Tennessee. His parents encouraged his taste for music, buying him his first guitar when he was eleven years old.