By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – The heroism of a Hungarian freedom fighter led to the Alcorn County town’s name, and on Tuesday Kossuth High School was presented a letter from the 1860s written by Louis Kossuth’s own hand.
“Somebody I work with came across the letter on eBay and showed it to me,” said Wendell Dixon.
Dixon’s immediate response was that he wanted to acquire the letter to honor the memory of the man who gave his town its name. He then asked two friends – Circuit Clerk Joe Caldwell and Fourth District Supervisor Jimmy Tate Waldon – to help him with the purchase. He declined to disclose the cost.
“When you read his history you see that he was a remarkable person,” Dixon said. “He had a lot of accomplishments, and came through the United States making speeches.”
Kossuth was exiled after leading the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, Caldwell said.
“He was like a hero when he came here,” he continued.
Kossuth Principal Matt Smith and Counselor Kim Lyles received it on behalf of the school.
“We’ve got historical items on display,” Smith said. “We’ve cleared out a space and have a nail already there to hang it.”
The letter came from the seller with a photograph and a brief biographical sketch of the former president of Hungary and “father of Hungarian democracy.”
Dixon had the handwritten letter and biographical sketch professionally framed with a different – he said better – photograph of the town’s namesake.
“We’ve all learned something about him since this started,” Waldon said. “It’s amazing how you can know a lot about other places but not know about something right in your own town.”
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.