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Lexington, Mississippi is the county seat of Holmes County, which was organized in 1833 while the city was incorporated in 1836. Lexington was founded by European-Americans after the Choctaw people were forced to cede their land to the United States. The first settlers established cotton plantations along the Yazoo River and Black River, highly dependent upon slave labor, who soon made up the majority of the county’s population. Following the American Civil War, freed slaves joined the Republican Party and elected several blacks to local offices, sought educational opportunities, and became landowners. Then, in 1890, they were deprived of the right to vote by the Mississippi legislature, after which the area’s black population was reduced to being sharecroppers and tenant farmers on land owned by whites. In the early 1900s, mechanism of the cotton and agricultural industries led to a decline in the city’s population, as many of its black residents moved north, both for work and to escape persecution, although the population of Lexington remains largely African-American. Edmond Favor Noel, the 37th governor of Mississippi, was born near Lexington, and he died there. The musician, B.B. King, lived in Lexington for a time, and Charles Harrison Mason founded the Church of God in Christ in Lexington, where it is still headquartered. Nearby communities include Bowling Green, Brozville, Jones Crossing, and Owens Wells. Jackson, Mississippi is about sixty-two miles south of Lexington.

 

 

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