The county seat of Yoknapatawpha County, situated in almost the exact geographic center of the county. It is seventy-five miles southeast of Memphis and forty miles from Oxford, Mississippi. It originated around 1800 as a Chicksaw Agency trading post. A Doctor Samuel Habersham was the agent, and the place was originally called Habersham's or simply Habersham. After the doctor and the two others who had come with him died, the leaders of the community became Jason Lycurgus Compson, the post trader Ratcliffe, and Doctor Peabody. They were instrumental in getting the courthouse built. In 1833 the settlement was named Jefferson, after the mail rider Thomas Jefferson Pettigrew, to appease him for the so-called theft of a lock removed from the mailpouch to put on the jail door. Most of the early history of Jefferson is found in Requiem for a Nun.