proclaiming that the freeing of 4 million slaves opened a wide field for mission and education work. The Northern ministers and teachers who came south during Reconstruction believed passionately that it was their Christian duty to raise up the former slaves from the degradation of slavery, teaching both Christian morality and the responsibilities of citizenship. Rust argued that “religion and education alone can make freedom a blessing to them… they claim this culture as immortal beings, at our hands. Without it their true position as members of society can never be obtained.” The future of the race depended on the training of both the children and the ministers who were arising among them and who would carry forth “the Christianizing and education of the race.” Rust College originated with a school for former slaves in the basement of Asbury Methodist Church, the first independent African American church in Holly Springs. During slavery, African Americans and whites, free and slave, worshipped together in the same congregations. After the war, African Americans typically left the white-led churches. They desired to form their own congregations where they could have their own ministers, run their own affairs, and worship as they pleased free from white supervision. Under the leadership of former slave Reverend Moses Adams, Asbury Church joined the Northern denomination. African American churches often functioned as the first schools for ex-slaves. The Northern Methodists sent south the Reverend Albert C. McDonald, an Illinois circuit rider. The M.E.C. appointed McDonald the presiding elder in North Mississippi responsible for planting new churches throughout the region. McDonald helped establish Asbury Methodist Church and taught some of the first classes. He later served as pastor of Trinity Methodist Church in Holly Springs and founded the Rust College in partnership with Reverend Adams. The Freedmen’s Aid Society in 1868 purchased a site for the college with aid from the Freedmen’s Bureau, which contributed $5,000, and local African Americans, who “take a lively interest in the Institution, and have subscribed two thousand dollars towards its erection.” The first building, McDonald Hall, named after the missionary, was built in 1869. Ironically, it was located on the site of the old slave auction grounds and the campground of Grant’s army. Rust College would produce generations of African American leaders, politicians, and educators. The most famous attendee, although she did not graduate, was Ida B. Wells-Barnett, the pioneering newspaperwoman and activist who exposed the horrors of Southern lynching. Ida’s father, a skilled carpenter, was a trustee of the new institution. Ida attended courses as a young teenager alongside her mother. After her parent’s tragic deaths during the 1878 yellow fever LUCIUS QUINTUS CINCINNATUS LAMAR From Civil War veteran, to well-respected Congressman, to Supreme Court justice (appointed by President Grover Cleveland), the Honorable Lucius Quinitus Cincinnatus Lamar led the way in trying to reconcile the North and South in post-Civil War America. Lamar lived and practiced law in Oxford before the war, and was the author of the official Mississippi Ordinance of Secession. He waited for a few years after the war before running for Congress again. In 1872, Congress passed an exception to the law preventing former Confederate officers from holding federal office that allowed Lamar to once more represent Mississippi in the House of Representatives. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, BRADY-HANDY COLLECTION epidemic, Ida supported her siblings by teaching in rural, one room schools in both Marshall and Tate counties. While teaching, Ida continued her education, reading at night before a blazing fire because there was no oil for lamps and no money for candles. She would return to Holly Springs on the weekends “on the back of a big mule.” In 1881, she left for Memphis to become the first female owner of an African American newspaper and to legally challenge Jim Crow segregation on the Chesapeake, Ohio and Southwestern Railroad, which were only the start of her groundbreaking career. NORTH MISSISSIPPI 451