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Lafayette County is a county located in the state of Mississippi. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 47,351. Its county seat is
Oxford. The local pronunciation of the name is "la-FAY-et". The county is named to honor Marquis de Lafayette, a French military hero and
American general who fought during the American Revolutionary War.
The Oxford, MS Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Lafayette County.
Lafayette is named for French military officer Marquis de la Fayette. Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, (formerly Marquis de) Lafayette (or la Fayette) (6 September 1757 - 20 May 1834) was a French military officer born in the Haute-Loire. Lafayette was a general in the American Revolutionary War and a leader of the Garde Nationale during the French Revolution.
County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts
Lafayette County was established February 9, 1836, and was named in honor of a distinguished soldier of France and friend of the American Republic, the Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834), a French military officer who gave important aid to the American Revolution and who was instrumental in the defeat of Cornwallis in 1781. Fayette, the seat of Jefferson County, had been named for him ten years earlier. Oxford is the County Seat. Lafayette is one of the dozen counties drawn from the Chickasaw Indian lands in northern Mississippi during that year, after the Chickasaws, in 1832, had surrendered all their remaining lands by the Treaty of Pontotoc. The original act defines its boundaries as follows:
"Beginning at the point where the line between townships 11 and 12 intersects the basis meridian, to the center of township 6; thence west, through the center of township 6, according to the sectional lines, to the center of range 5 west; thence south, through the center of range 5 west, according to the sectional lines, to the northern boundary line of Yalobusha County, to the point where the line between townships 11 and 12 intersects the eastern boundary line of Yalobusha County, and thence east with the said township line to the beginning."
Two of the earliest settlements in the county were at Eaton and Wyatt- both of which are now extinct. Eaton was about fifteen miles west of the present town of Oxford, on the Tallahatchie River, where there was a ferry enabling the settlers of parts of Panola and Lafayette counties to cross the river, on their way to and from Oxford. The panic of 1837 destroyed the incipient town. Dr. Corbin was a prominent planter of the neighborhood in the early '30s. Wyatt was located about 13 miles from Oxford, on the supposed head of navigation of the Tallahatchie River. It was first settled about the time of the Chickasaw cession, and was once the shipping point for a large section of country, and boats plied between it and New Orleans. The Brooks gin, manufactured here, was widely used in northern Mississippi. The town decayed rapidly after the panic of 1887.
As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 679 square miles (1,759 km2), of which, 631 square miles (1,635 km2) of it is land and 48 square miles (125 km2) of it (7.09%) is water.
Bordering counties are as follows: