For all you new Oxonians or natives who are a little rusty on your local history, HottyToddy.com’s resident folk historian John Cofield has the facts on why so many things around here are named Lamar.
According to Cofield, John Kennedy, in his famous book Profiles In Courage, further immortalized only eight leaders.
Among his eight, one finds eager Ole Miss professor, L. Q. C. Lamar. When the students heard the call to arms in 1861, young Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus left with them. He penned his and Mississippi’s farewell, and rode off to command troops in battle.
Cited three times for bravery under fire, Lamar lived to see the Lyceum again. But, left both his brothers and both his law partners, in the field.
Later, as the first Confederate Officer accepted back in Congress; when called upon to eulogize his one-time political enemy, fiery Massachusetts abolitionist Charles Sumner, a packed U.S. House of Representatives was stunned as Lamar, in the name of the departed Sumner, spoke about the need for unity between North and South.
The Mississippi statesman’s words reduced grown men to tears. He closed his speech with this sentence: “My countrymen! Know one another, and you will love one another.” Oxford renamed the town’s main street for Lamar and his likeness stands twice, first at his Oxford home, and again at Statuary Hall in Washington.
Courtesy of John Cofield. Cofield is a hottytoddy.com writer and one of Oxford’s leading folk historians. He is the son of renowned university photographer Jack Cofield. His grandfather, Col. J.R Cofield, was William Faulkner’s personal photographer and for decades was Ole Miss yearbook photographer. Cofield attended Ole Miss as well.Contact John at Johnbcofield@gmail.com
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