F. G. Hopkins
Combining leadership and classroom skills, F.G. Hopkins made history as the first teacher or principal at Hampstead Academy, the original name of Mississippi College. In recent years, historians say they really know little about Hampstead’s initial administrator and instructor. Mr. Hopkins was deemed a capable administrator and teacher as Hampstead Academy was birthed on a five-acre-acre plot near the Mt. Salus community (now Clinton). The school welcomed its first group of students in January 1827. The pupils advanced their literary skills and were instructed about morals in small classrooms one year after the school’s charter was granted in 1826. What does Charles Martin’s “Mississippi College With Pride” say about Mr. Hopkins? Mr. Hopkins, the book says, taught classes in the Mt. Salus area’s neighborhood school the previous academic year before coming to Hampstead Academy. His brief tenure was marked by one significant change. By February 1827, Hampstead Academy was renamed Mississippi Academy. The first public announcement about the school appeared in April 1827. It spoke in glowing terms about F.G. Hopkins. The Mississippian is praised as a “young gentleman of moral, genteel deportment, who is well-qualified as a teacher.” Richard McLemore’s book “The History of Mississippi College” notes that this MC pioneer focused on the morals and manners of the 30 male and female students.