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Full text of "Mississippi; a guide to the Magnolia State"

MISSISSIPPI 

A Guide to the Magnolia State 



MISSISSIPPI 



A GUIDE TO THE MAGNOLIA STATE 



Compiled and Written by the Federal Writers' Project 
of the Works Progress Administration 



AMERICAN GUIDE SERIES 
ILLUSTRATED 




Sponsored by the Mississippi Advertising Commission 
THE VIKING PRESS NEW YORK 

MCMXXXVIII 



FIRST PUBLISHED IN MAY 1938 



COPYRIGHT 1938 BY MISSISSIPPI ADVERTISING COMMISSION 
PRINTED IN U.S.A. BY THE STRATFORD PRESS 

55 



All rights are reserved, including the rights to reproduce this book 
or parts thereof in any form. ' 



Foreword 



HERE is a book which takes us vividly into the South in the first period 
of its greatness and brings us by natural steps up to the contemporary scene 
where a new South is in the making. To the visitor Mississippi offers mod- 
ern methods of agriculture in the northern Delta region, a playground on 
the Gulf Coast, and some of the finest examples of old plantation archi- 
tecture in Natchez and its other historic towns. This Guide, with its charm, 
its occasional irony, and its comprehensiveness, could have been written 
only from self-knowledge and from a knowledge of modern America. It 
is the modest yet proud statement of their accomplishments by the people 
of this Gulf State. 

This volume is one of the American Guide Series, which, when com- 
plete, will cover the forty-eight States and several hundred communities, as 
well as Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Hav-aii. With each new volume that 
leaves the press a new trait is added to the portrait of America today. 




Administrator 



<<<<<<< <#> >>>>> 

Preface 

MISSISSIPPI: A Guide to the Magnolia State, goes beyond the limits of 
a conventional guidebook, first, in its attempt to picture and explain con- 
temporary Mississippi by presenting its people, culture, physiography, 
politics, folkways, economics, and industry in relation to the historical 
past ; and, second, in its narrative detailed description of points of interest. 
The extensive research involved in preparing the present volume brought 
out the fact that Mississippi's development holds incidents, hitherto un- 
told, as dramatic and colorful as those of many an imaginative story. 
Though primarily a guidebook, it will serve also as a springboard from 
which those interested in research may plunge into the almost undisturbed 
waters of Mississippiana. 

Main emphasis has been placed upon the typical and average people of 
the State, rather than the exceptional elements. Thus, the two essays on 
folkways deal almost wholly with the Mississippi farmer the whites of 
the Central and Tennessee Hills, the Negroes of the Delta. It is this great 
agricultural majority, comprising more than four-fifths of the State's popu- 
lation, that has had no place in portrayals of Mississippi life by William 
Faulkner at one extreme and by Stark Young at the other. 

Difficulties encountered were many; first-hand information, often by 
word of mouth, required checking, and source material was not always 
reliable. Preparation of tours, at a time when the State is engaged in an 
extensive road-building program, necessitated frequent alterations. Occa- 
sional inaccuracies, it is hoped, will be reported and corrected in subse- 
quent editions. 

For valuable assistance in preparing the book, grateful acknowledgment 
is due a number of persons and organizations. Particularly helpful have 
been the officials of the State governmental departments, city chambers of 
commerce, the State University and State College, Mississippi State Col- 
lege for Women, and members of the American Institute of Architects. 
Among the individuals whose aid should receive appreciative mention are 
Miss Bessie Cary Lemly, Harris Dickson, Dr. William Clifford Morse, 
Moreau B. Chambers, and Beverly Martin. A special word of thanks is 
due Thomas Garner James, who gave valuable information and advice in 
connection with the section whose title is The State in the Making. 

ERI DOUGLASS, State Director 
GENE HOLCOMB, State Editor 



WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION 

HARRY L. HOPKINS, Administrator 

ELLEN S. WOODWARD, Assistant Administrator 

HENRY G. ALSBERG, Director of Federal Writers' Project 



Contents 

FOREWORD, By Harry L. Hopkins, Administrator 

PREFACE, By the State Director and State Editor v 

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xi 

LIST OF MAPS xv 

NOTATIONS ON THE USE OF THE BOOK xvii 

GENERAL INFORMATION xix 

CALENDAR OF EVENTS xxiii 

/. Mississippi: The General Background 

MISSISSIPPI PAST AND PRESENT 

What Is Mississippi? 3 

White Folkways 8 

Negro Folkways 22 

BEFORE THE WHITE MAN CAME 

Natural Setting 31 

Archeology and Indians 45 

THE STATE IN THE MAKING 

An Outline of Four Centuries 60 

Transportation 79 

Agriculture 92 

Industry and Commerce 106 

Religion 112 

Education 118 

The Press 128 

THE CREATIVE EFFORT 

Arts and Letters 134 

Architecture 142 

Music 157 



Vlll CONTENTS 

//. Main Street and Courthouse Square 

(CITY AND TOWN DESCRIPTIONS AND CITY TOURS) 

Biloxi 165 

Columbus 179 

Greenwood 189 

Gulf port 194 

Holly Springs 200 

Jackson 208 

Laurel 222 

Meridian 227 

Natchez 233 

Oxford 254 

Tupelo 261 

Vicksburg 266 

///. Tours 

TOUR 1 (Mobile, Ala.)-Biloxi-Gulfport- 

(New Orleans, La.), [u.s. 90] 285 

IA Gulfport to Ship Island 303 

2 (Livingston, Ala.)-Meridian-Jackson- 

Vicksburg- (Monroe, La.), [u.s. 80] 304 

3 (Memphis, Tenn.)-Clarksdale-Vicksburg- 

Natchez-( Baton Rouge, La.), [u.s. 61] 

Section a. Tennessee Line to Vicksburg 315 

Section b. Vicksburg to Louisiana Line 324 

3 A Clarksdale-Greenville-Rolling Fork. [STATE i] 346 

3B Woodville-Fort Adams, Fort Adams Road 358 

4 (Jackson, Tenn.)-Corinth-Tupelo-Columbus- 

Meridian-Waynesboro-( Mobile, Ala.), [u.s. 45] 361 

4A Shannon-West Point-Macon. [STATE 23, STATE 25] 373 

4B Shuqualak-Meridian. [STATE 39] 377 



CONTENTS IX 

5 (Memphis, Tenn.)-Grenada-Jackson-Brookhaven 

McComb-(New Orleans, La.), [u.s. 51] 

Section a. Tennessee Line to Jackson 380 

Section b. Jackson to Louisiana Line 391 

6 (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)-Columbus-Winona-Greenwood- 

Greenville-(Lake Village, Ark.), [u.s. 82] 397 

7 Clarksdale Indianola-Yazoo City Jackson- 

Hattiesburg-Gulfport. [U.S. 49, U.S. 49W] 

Section a. Clarksdale to Jackson 406 

Section b. Jackson to Gulfport 414 

JA Tutwiler-Greenwood-Lexington- 

Pickens. [u.s. 49E, STATE 12] 420 

8 (Livingston, Ala.)-Meridian-Laurel-Hattiesburg- 

Picayune-Santa Rosa- (New Orleans, La.), [u.s. n] 423 

9 (Hamilton, Ala.) -Tupelo-New Albany- 

Holly Springs- (Memphis, Tenn.). [u.s. 78] 434 

10 (Florence, Ala.)-Iuka-Corinth-Walnut- 

Slay den- (Memphis, Tenn.). [u.s. 72} 441 

1 1 Waynesboro-Laurel-Brookhaven- 

Washington-(Ferraday, La.). [U.S. 84] 447 

12 (Bolivar, Tenn.)-Pontotoc-Bay Springs-Laurel- 

Lucedale- (Mobile, Ala.). [STATE 15] 456 

12A Springville-Calhoun City-Ackerman. [STATE 9] 471 

13 Junction with STATE 63-Hattiesburg-Columbia- 

McComb-Woodville. [STATE 24] 475 

14 (Winfield, Ala.)-Amory-Tupelo-Oxford- 

Clarksdale. [STATE 6] 484 

1 5 Waynesboro-Leakesville-Lucedale- 

Moss Point. [STATE 63] 490 

1 6 Vaiden-Kosciusko-Carthage-Raleigh- 

Junction with u.s. 84. [STATE 35] 493 

17 (Pickwick, Tenn.)-Iuka-Fulton-Amory- 

Junction with u.s. 45. [STATE 25] 500 

CHRONOLOGY 509 

BIBLIOGRAPHY 523 

INDEX 531 



Illustrations 



MISSISSIPPI RIVER FROM NATCHEZ BLUFFS PAGE 4-5 

Photograph by Earl M. Norman 

GATHERING FOR A POLITICAL RALLY 9 

Photograph by Eudora Welty 

A COUNTRY CHURCH 12 

Photograph by W. Lincoln Highton 

SHANTYBOAT LIFE 16 

Photograph by Eudora Welty 

MAMMY GLASPER 23 

Photograph by Willa Johnson 

HOLT COLLIER 25 

Photograph by Willa Johnson 

MAGNOLIA GRANDIFLORA: THE STATE FLOWER 32 

Photograph by E. E. Johnson 

YUCCA PLANT, OR "SPANISH BAYONET" 41 

Photograph by W. Lincoln Highton 

PORTER'S FLEET PASSING THE CONFEDERATE BATTERIES AT 

VICKSBURG 72 

Photograph from Brady Print Collection, Library of Congress 

TOWBOAT ON THE MISSISSIPPI 80 

Photograph by Colquitt Clark 

IN THE 1830'$ 86 

Photograph from Illinois Central Railroad 

IN THE 1930'$ 87 

Photograph from Gulf, Mobile, and Northern Railroad 

COTTON BOLL 93 

Photograph by Willa Johnson 

EN ROUTE TO COTTON HOUSE 102 

Photograph from Mississippi Agricultural Extension Service 

LYCEUM BUILDING, "OLE Miss," UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI, 

OXFORD 126 

Photograph by J. R. Cofield 

A "DOG-TROT" CABIN 143 

Photograph by Gene Holcomb 

MCGAHEY HOUSE, A BLACK PRAIRIE HOME, COLUMBUS 145 

Photograph by E. E. Johnson 

DUNLEITH, NATCHEZ 147 

Photograph by Mary Ethel Dismukes 

THE BRIARS, NATCHEZ 148 

Photograph by Earl M. Norman 



xii ILLUSTRATIONS 

MELROSE, NEAR NATCHEZ 150 

Photograph by R. I. Bostivick 

STAIRWAY AT COTTAGE GARDEN, NATCHEZ 154 

Photograph by Earl M. Norman 

OYSTER FLEET, BILOXI 167 

Photograph by Anthony V. Ragusin 

BENACHI AVENUE, BILOXI 171 

Photograph by W. A. Russell 

LIGHTHOUSE, BILOXI 174 

Photograph by Gene Holcomb 

A SOUTHERN PLANTER HOME, BILOXI 177 

Photograph from Pictorial Archives of Early American Architecture 
Library of Congress 

CLOCK TOWER, MISSISSIPPI STATE COLLEGE FOR WOMEN, 

COLUMBUS 183 

Photograph by O. N. Pruitt 

WOODWARD HOUSE, COLUMBUS 188 

Photograph by O. N. Pruitt 

LOADING BALES OF COTTON, GULFPORT 195 

Photograph by Ed Lipscomb 

MUNICIPAL GARDEN AND Civic CENTER, JACKSON 210 

Photograph by H. R. Hiatt 

NEW CAPITOL, JACKSON 212 

Photograph by H. R. Hiatt 

OLD CAPITOL, JACKSON 215 

Photograph by H. R. Hiatt 

MANSHIP HOME, JACKSON 219 

Photograph by Gene Holcomb 

GOVERNOR'S MANSION, JACKSON 221 

Photograph by H. R. Hiatt 

PULPWOOD READY FOR PROCESSING, LAUREL 224 

Photograph by W. Lincoln Highton 

ART MUSEUM AND LIBRARY, LAUREL 226 

Photograph by W. Lincoln Highton 

TEXTILE MILL, MERIDIAN 229 

Photograph by James A. Butters 

CONTI HOUSE, NATCHEZ 242 

Photograph by Mary Ethel Dismukes . 

CONNELLY'S TAVERN, NATCHEZ 245 

Photograph by Earl M. Norman 

ARLINGTON, NATCHEZ 251 

Photograph by Earl M. Norman 



ILLUSTRATIONS xiii 

HOME OF WILLIAM FAULKNER, OXFORD 257 

Photograph by Willa Johnson 

MISSISSIPPI MONUMENT, VICKSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK 270 

Photograph from National Park Service 

WARREN COUNTY COURTHOUSE, VICKSBURG 274 

Photograph by James A. Butters 

McNuTT HOME, VICKSBURG 278 

Photograph by James A. Butters 

BOAT BUILDING, PASCAGOULA 288 

Photograph by Anthony V. Ragusin 

OLD SPANISH FORT, PASCAGOULA 289 

Photograph from Mississippi Advertising Commission 

BEAUVOIR, HOME OF JEFFERSON DAVIS, NEAR BILOXI 293 

Photograph by W. Lincoln Highton 

PIRATE'S HOUSE, WAVELAND 301 

Photograph from Pictorial Archives of Early American Architecture 
Library of Congress 

HIGHWAY THROUGH LOESS BLUFFS TO VICKSBURG 314 

Photograph by W. A. Russell 

RUINS OF WINDSOR, NEAR PORT GIBSON 329 

Photograph by Earl M. Norman 

THE BURR OAKS, JEFFERSON COLLEGE CAMPUS, WASHINGTON 334 

Photograph by Earl M. Norman 

D'EVEREUX, NEAR NATCHEZ 337 

Photograph by Earl M. Norman 

LINDEN, NEAR NATCHEZ 339 

Photograph by Earl M. Norman 

TAKING COTTON TO THE GIN 347 

Photograph from Rose Seed Company, Clarksdale 

MOONLIGHT ON LAKE WASHINGTON, ELKLAND 355 

Photograph by Willa Johnson 

TAKING THE QUEEN BEE 376 

Photograph by Ed Lipscomb 

THE COUNTY AGENT VISITS 387 

Photograph from U. S. Department of Agriculture 

TOMBIGBEE RIVER BRIDGE, COLUMBUS 398 

Photograph by O.N. Pruitt 

TWIN TOWERS, MISSISSIPPI STATE COLLEGE, STARKVILLE 399 

Photograph by /. M. Pruitt 

MALMAISON, NORTH CARROLLTON 404 

Photograph from National Park Service 



Xiv ILLUSTRATIONS 

CULTIVATING A FIELD OF YOUNG COTTON 411 

Photograph from Case Tractor Company 

LONGLEAF PINES 415 

Photograph by W. Lincoln Highton 

SECOND-GROWTH PINES 424 

Photograph by W. Lincoln Highton 

GATHERING PECANS 430 

Photograph by Gene Holcomb 

A CABIN IN THE COTTON 445 

Photograph by W. Lincoln Highton 

A ONE-MULE-POWER CANE PRESS 449 

Photograph by Eudora Welty 

COVERED GRAVES IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD 451 

Photograph by W. Lincoln Highton 

A HARDWOOD SAWMILL 457 

Photograph by W. Lincoln Highton 

CHOCTAW HANDICRAFT, INDIAN AGENCY, PHILADELPHIA 465 

Photograph by Willa Johnson 

"MISSISSIPPI CHOCTAW" 466 

Photograph by A. C. Hector 

A YOUNG CHOCTAW 467 

Photograph by A. C. Hector 

BUILDING A TERRACE TO CONTROL EROSION 489 

Photograph from U. S. Department of Agriculture 

LONGLEAF PINE TAPPED FOR TURPENTINE 491 

Photograph by W. Lincoln Highton 

THE CARDER 501 

Photograph by Mary Ethel Dismukes 

BOY, BROOM, AND BUTTERBEANS 504 

Photograph by W. Lincoln Highton 



Maps 



MISSISSIPPI (Large Map of State) Back Pocket 

KEY TO MISSISSIPPI TOURS Front End Page 

GEOLOGICAL FORMATIONS, MINERAL DEPOSITS, AND 

TIMBER RESOURCES Page 36 

RECREATION AREAS 44 

THE INDIANS IN MISSISSIPPI 48 

TERRITORIAL ACQUISITIONS: 1801-1832 62 

MISSISSIPPI IN 1817 68 
COUNTIES OF MISSISSIPPI 

TRANSPORTATION 83 

AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES 97 

BILOXI Reverse Side, State Map 

COLUMBUS Page 180-1 

HOLLY SPRINGS 202 

JACKSON Reverse Side, State Map 

NATCHEZ Page 234-5 

VlCKSBURG 268 

THE VICKSBURG CAMPAIGN 273 

VICKSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK 276 



Notations on the Use of the Book 



General Information contains practical information on the State as a 
whole. Specific information is given at the beginning of each city and tour 
description. 

The Essay Section is designed to give a reasonably comprehensive sur- 
vey of the State in its various aspects. Limitations of space forbid detailed 
treatments, but many persons, places, and events mentioned in the essays 
are discussed at some length in the city and tour descriptions. A classified 
bibliography is included in the book. 

Cities and Towns. Twelve cities are given separate treatment in the sec- 
tion Main Street and Courthouse Square. Each of these cities represents 
some phase of the cultural, economic, historical, or political life of the 
State, or some one of its geographic divisions. At the end of each descrip- 
tion is a list of the important nearby points of interest with cross-references 
to the tours on which these places are described. 

Maps are provided for six of the cities. Points of interest are numbered 
in the descriptions to correspond with numbers on the maps. Conditions 
of admission vary from time to time ; those given in this book are for Feb- 
ruary 1938. "(Open)" means "open at all reasonable hours, free of 
charge." 

Tours. Each tour is a description of towns and points of interest along 
a highway bearing a single Federal or State number. Cross-references are 
given for descriptions of cities in Main Street and Courthouse Square. For 
convenience in identifying inter-State routes, the names of the nearest out- 
of-State cities of importance are placed within parentheses in the tour 
headings. 

Included in the main route description are the descriptions of minor 
routes branching from the main route; these are printed in smaller type. 

All main route descriptions are written North to South and East to 
West but can be followed quite as easily in the reverse directions. The 
names of railroads paralleling highways are noted in the tour headings; 
thus railroad travelers can use the route descriptions quite as easily as can 
motorists. 

Mileages are cumulative, beginning at the northernmost or easternmost 
points on the main highways. Where long routes have been divided into 



xviii NOTATIONS ON THE USE OF THE BOOK 

sections, mileages have been started afresh at the beginning of each sec- 
tion. Mileages on side routes are counted from the junctions with the 
main routes. All mileages are necessarily relative; minor reroutings of 
roads and individual driving habits such as manner of rounding curves 
and of passing other cars will produce variations between the listed mile- 
ages and those shown on speedometers. 

Mississippi is engaged (1938) in an extensive program of highway de- 
velopment, which involves some highway rerouting in order to eliminate 
curves and to take advantage of better subsoil for roadbeds. For this rea- 
son some of the tour routings and mileages of February 1938 will be inac- 
curate within a year; if difficulty is experienced in finding points of 
interest, travelers should make inquiries locally. 

Those who have already selected the routes they wish to follow should 
consult the tour key-map and the tour table of contents to find the descrip- 
tions they want; those who want to find the descriptions of, or routes 
leading to, specific towns and points of interest should consult the index. 



General Information 



Railroads: Illinois Central System (Illinois Central, Gulf & Ship Island, 
Yazoo & Mississippi Valley) ; Southern Railway System (New Orleans & 
Northeastern, Southern, Alabama & Great Southern); Mobile & Ohio; 
Gulf, Mobile & Northern; St. Louis-San Francisco (Frisco); Mississippi 
Central; Columbus & Greenville. Lines of the 1C System run N. and S., 
E. and W. The GM&N and the M&O run N. and S. The Southern System 
runs diagonally across the State from Alabama to Louisiana. Other lines 
form connections with the trunk lines. 

Highways: Network of paved roads and many roads in process of paving. 
No border inspection. 

Bus Lines: Tri-State Transit; Teche-Greyhound and affiliated lines; Mag- 
nolia; Dixie Coaches; Oliver Coach Lines; Delta Transportation Co.; 
Varnado; White Eagle; Bracy; Dunlap; Dixie Greyhound; Gulf Trans- 
port Co. 

Waterways: Inland Waterways Corporation; Mississippi Valley Barge 
Lines; New Orleans & Vicksburg Packet Co.; Valley Line. Steam ferry 
service at Dundee, Friar Point, Greenville, Vicksburg, and Natchez. Port 
of Gulfport on the Gulf of Mexico. 

Airlines: Chicago & Southern (New Orleans to Chicago) stops at Jackson. 
Delta Line (Charleston to Dallas) stops at Jackson and Meridian. 

Traffic Regulations: No parking on bridges or roadways; speed limit on 
highways 50 m.p.h., 10 m.p.h. when passing schools and churches, in 
cities 20-30 m.p.h. No racing or shooting on highways, .no sirens, cutouts 
must be muffled within certain limits. School busses not to be passed when 
halted. 

Accommodations: In cities most hostelries built or renovated since 1928, 
ample facilities. Jackson crowded during conventions and State Fair Week 
in October, Natchez during spring Pilgrimage, and Gulf Coast during 
winter and summer seasons. In the rural sections tourist camps, new for 
the most part since new concrete highways have been constructed, are at 
strategic points near towns. Camping facilities in national forests and 
State parks. 



XX GENERAL INFORMATION 

Climate and Equipment: In summer, which comes early and lingers late, 
light clothing is necessary, though nights in Delta and Coastal Plain will 
be cool in early summer and latter part of August. Topcoat usually suffi- 
cient in winter, with coatless Christmas not uncommon. For the hiker, 
hunter, swimmer, or picknicker, equipment may be obtained near most 
recreational centers. 

Fish and Game Laws: Game fish, bass, trout, crappie, pike, and sunfish 
may be taken at any season. Limit of 25 of any species per day; bass not 
under 10 in. ; sunfish not under 5 in. Illegal to sell game fish or to take by 
explosives, chemicals, or to handgrab. Non-resident annual license, $5.25; 
jo-day license, $1.50; 3-day license, $1.25; obtained at sheriff's office or 
from State game wardens. 

Hunting Regulations: Open season for squirrels, Oct. i to Dec. 31; opos- 
sum, Oct. i to Jan. 31; rabbits (gun) Nov. 20 to Jan. 31, without gun, 
all year; fox, open year round, may be taken with hounds only. Deer, 
closed in most counties, limited in others (obtain bulletin from State com- 
mission) ; bear, closed; quail, Dec. 10 to Feb. 22; turkey, April i to 
April 20, closed in northern Supreme Court district; ducks, geese, and 
brant, Nov. 27 to Dec. 26; rails (except coot), Sept. i to Nov. 30; wood- 
cock, Dec. i to Dec. 31 ; coot and snipe, Nov. 27 to Dec. 26; doves, Sept. 
15 to Oct. i and Nov. 20 to Jan. 15. No open season on wood-duck, buf- 
flehead duck, ruddy duck, snow geese, and swan. Licenses: Non-resident 
$25.25 (State), $10.25 (county). Federal "duck stamp" for taking migra- 
tory waterfowl, $i. License issued by county wardens and sheriffs. Duck 
stamps at post office. Limits: Bag limit: Quail, 12; ducks, 10 in aggregate 
of all kinds; geese and brant, 5 in aggregate; rails, 15 in aggregate; 
woodcock, 4; coot, 25; snipe, 15; doves, 15; squirrels, 8; rabbits, 10. 
One deer (buck) and one turkey (gobbler) per season. General Laws: 
Unlawful to procure license under assumed name, false address, or to 
lend, transfer, or borrow and use license. Tags and badges must be dis- 
played conspicuously on clothkig. 

Recreational Areas: Leaf River Forest, off US 49 near Brooklyn; Biloxi 
Forest, SE. of Saucier on US 49 ; Chickasawhay Forest, local road between 
Richton and Waynesboro ; Homochitto Forest, off US 84 on Forest Service 
road near Meadville; Bienville Forest, 18 m. SW. of the town of Forest, 
State 35; Holly Springs Forest; Delta Purchase Unit, between Rolling 
Fork and Yazoo City. 

State Parks: LeRoy Percy State Park, 4 m. W. of Hollandale, US 61; 
Tombigbee Park, 71/2 m. E. of Tupelo, US 78 ; Clarkco Park, near Quit- 



GENERAL INFORMATION xxi 

man in Clarke County ; Legion State Park, l/ 2 m - E. of Louisville, State 1 5 ; 
Tishomingo Park, 3 m. SE. of Tishomingo, 2 m. off State 25 on local 
road; Holmes County Park, 3 m. S. of Durant, US 51 ; Spring Lake Park, 
7 m. S. of Holly Springs, State 7 ; Roosevelt Park, 3 m. SW. of Morton, 
US 80; Percy Quin Park, near McComb. State parks cover a total of 
8,565 acres. 

Precautions for Tourist: Avoid unmarked springs. Mosquitoes in Coastal 
Meadow and in Delta regions, except in municipalities; campers should 
take netting. Poisonous Plants, Reptiles, Dangerous Animals, Insects: Rat- 
tlesnakes, moccasins, coral snakes. Poisonous plants include the ivies and 
other vines. Berries should not be eaten unless true identity is known. 
Mosquitoes, black widow spiders generally distributed. Few bear, wildcats, 
bobcats in dense canebrakes in south and west Mississippi. Alligators in 
few Delta lakes and in swamplands of south Mississippi. 

General Tourist Service: Traffic regulations bulletin from State highway 
department information service; general laws from Secretary of State, in- 
formation service; fish and game laws from game and fish commission; 
chambers of commerce and hotels furnish general information ; Mississippi 
Advertising Commission, Jackson. 



Calendar of Events 

("nfd" means no fixed date) 



Jan. nfd 
nfd 



Gulf Coast Opening of winter tourist season 
Statewide Field trials 



Feb. 2nd wk. prior Lent Biloxi Mardi Gras 

nfd Biloxi Golf Tournaments 

nfd Gulfport Annual Fox Hunters' Meet 

nfd Holly Springs U. S. Field Trials 

Golf tournaments 
Southern intercollegiate basket- 
ball tournaments 
S. Miss. Gun & Dog Club field 

trials 

Azalea Trail and Spring Festival 
Historical Tours 
Garden Pilgrimage 
Pilgrimage to old estates 

Pilgrimage to old estates 
Garden Club Festival 

Tung tree trail tours 
Memorial Services (Confederate) 

Emancipation Day (Negro) 
Sacred Harp Singing 
Foot Washing Services 

S. Miss. Singing Convention 
Miss. Championship Tennis 

tourney 
Opening of summer tourist 

season 

Bridge Tournament 

Pickle Festival 

Southern Marble Tournament 



Summer Sports Carnival 

Regatta 

Gulfport Yacht Club Regatta 



March 


nfd 


Biloxi 




nfd 


Jackson 




nfd 


Brooklyn 




nfd 


Gulf Coast 




nfd 
nfd 
nfd 


Vicksburg 
Holly Springs 
Natchez 


April 


ist wk. 
nfd 


Natchez 
Laurel 




nfd 


Pearl River 






Co. 




26 


Statewide 


May 


8 
ist Sat. & Sun. 
2nd & 3rd Suns. 


Statewide 
Eggville 
Dennis 


June 


ist wk. 
2nd wk. 


Hattiesburg 
Jackson 




nfd 


Gulf Coast 




nfd 


Allison's 






Wells 




nfd 
nfd 


Wiggins 
Gulfport 


July 


10 days preceding 
the 4th 

nfd 


Biloxi 
Biloxi 
Gulfport 



XXIV 



Aug. 



nfd 
nfd 
nfd 
nfd 
nfd 



CALENDAR OF EVENTS 

Gulfport Mackerel Rodeo 
Lake Patrons' Union 

Philadelphia Neshoba County Fair 
Pass Christian Tarpon Rodeo 
Mound Bayou Founders' Day 



Sun. preceding the 

1 5th Biloxi 

Last Sun. Gulfside 

nfd Jackson 

nfd 



Sept. nfd 
nfd 



Oct. 2nd wk. 
nfd 
nfd 

ist wk. 
14-15 
nfd 

Nov. nfd 

Dec. wk. preceding 
Christmas 



Water Valley 

Clarksdale 
Utica Insti- 
tute 

Jackson 

Tupelo 

Jackson 

Meridian 

Meridian 

Rosedale 



Blessing of Shrimp Fleet 
Negro Song Fest 
Water Pageant 
Watermelon Festival 

Delta Staple Cotton Festival 

Negro Farmers' Conference 

Miss. State Fair 

Northeast Miss.-Ala. Fair 

Horse Show 

Miss. Fair and Dairy Show 

Pilgrimage to Sam Dale's Grave 

Rose Show 



Statewide Fall flower shows 



Hattiesburg Handel's "Messiah" (oratorio) 



There are numerous local events that will be found under individual city treat- 
ments. 



<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<&>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 

I " PART I 

The General Background 



<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< <&> > > > > > 



Mississippi Past and Present 



What Is Mississippi? 



WERE a person to ask, "What is Mississippi?" he undoubtedly 
would be told, "It is a farming State where nearly everyone 
who may vote votes the Democratic ticket," or "It is a place where half 
the population is Negro and the remainder is Anglo-Saxon," or, more 
vaguely, "That is where everybody grows cotton on land which only a 
few of them own." And these answers, in themselves, would be correct, 
though their connotations would be wrong. For while the white people 
of Mississippi are mostly Democrats, Anglo-Saxons, and farmers, they 
are not one big family of Democratic and Anglo-Saxon farmers. Rather, 
Mississippi is a large community of people whose culture is made different 
by the very land that affords them a common bond. The people of the 
Black Prairie Belt, for instance, are as different culturally from the people 
of the Piney Woods as are the Deltans from the people of the Tennessee 
River Hills. Yet for the most part they all farm for a living, vote the 
Democratic ticket, and trace their ancestry back to the British Isles. 

For this reason, to see Mississippi as it really is, one must understand 
it as composed of eight distinct geographical units, each with its own 
sectional background, and each but a part of the whole. To do this gives a 
perspective which resolves the seeming paradox presented by the writings 
of Mississippi's two best known interpreters, Stark Young and William 
Faulkner. Each author simply pictures the section that has conditioned him, 
and nothing more. 

The most clearly defined of the eight sections are the Delta and the 
Coast. David Cohn has said that the Delta "begins in the lobby of the 
Peabody Hotel at Memphis and ends on Catfish Row in Vicksburg," and 
this is possibly more exact than to say that it is a leaf-shaped plain 
lying in the northwestern part of the State, with its greatest length 200 
miles and its greatest width 85 miles. For the native Mississippian 
long has accepted as fact that the Delta is more than a distinct geograph- 
ical unit it is also a way of life. The word "Delta" connotes for him 
persons charmingly lacking in provincialism, rather than wide flat fields 




MISSISSIPPI RIVER 



steaming with fertility and squat plantation towns that are all alike. 
Settled on land as unstable as it is productive, and eternally concerned 
with two variables and one constant, the planter here has evolved an 
active yet irresponsible way of life. The variable factors are high water 
and the price of cotton; the constant is the Negro. In character with all 
people who are possessed of broad acres and easy labor, the Delta is 
politically conservative and economically diverse. 

Antithetic to the Delta's hectic activity and periodic tension is the lazy 
halcyon atmosphere of the Coast. Here, where the soil is too sandy to 
lend itself to intensive agriculture, worry and tautness are vanquished 



& 



m 



FROM NATCHEZ BLUFFS 



by a conspiracy of summer breezes, winter greenery, blue waters, and for- 
eign gayety. Since the War between the States, the ingenious natives 
have lent their talents to the conspiracy, and today the Coast is recognized 
first and last as a pleasure resort. 

Between the Delta and the Coast are three other sections. The loamy 
brown hills that stretch southward from Vicksburg through Natchez to 
Woodville are, next to the Coast, the oldest settled portion of the State. 
Here, in the "Natchez District," rich bluffs and bottomlands once pro- 
duced crops of virgin luxuriance; and these crops, product of slave and 
earth, once enabled men and women to build a civilization that could not 



6 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

be disregarded. It is this former plantation civilization, with its ease 
and plenty, its white-columned mansions, formal manners, and gracious 
kindly people, that Stark Young has depicted. And it is here that the 
somewhat faded tapestry of landed culture, classic manors, bric-a-brac, 
and leisured ladies and gentlemen remains to charm and fascinate, like 
pages in a storybook. 

Not so sharply denned topographically, but easily distinguishable as 
an economic unit, is the trucking, fruit growing, and nut growing area 
lying east of the bluffs, where the tomato and cabbage industries at 
Crystal Springs and Hazelhurst are tangible proofs of -this section's 
use of soil too thin for cotton. This section is each year" the scene of a 
dramatic battle with the elements, a race for the profits to be gained 
from reaching eastern markets ahead of the Texas truck farmers. In years 
when the prize is won, this trucking section is the wealthiest in the State. 
Yet, in contrast to most Mississippians, the people here have excellent 
memories ; they remember the years when the prize was lost, and are care- 
ful in their economy. 

Again not so sharply denned geographically, and gradually becoming 
less denned economically, are the Piney Woods, lying east of the truck- 
ing section and north of the Coast. This is a rather haphazard and ir- 
regular triangle, whose scenery of stumps, "ghost" lumber towns, and 
hastily reforested areas tells its saga. Strong men and women have been 
reared here, but the earth has been neither fecund enough to facilitate 
their getting away from it nor sterile enough to drive them away. Until 
lumbering built a few fair-sized towns out of the wilderness, it was a 
pioneer country; and now that the forests have been ravished, and the 
cheaply built mill houses are rotting, as the unused mill machinery rusts 
about them, it is pioneer country once more. Like all pioneers, the Piney 
Woods people are economically poor, politically unpredictable, and in a 
constant state of economic transition. Evidences of recent change are the 
new textile mills at Hattiesburg, Laurel, and Picayune, the new tung tree 
orchards to the south, and the De Soto National Forest in the center of 
the area. 

The five sections so far described compose the southern and western 
portions of the State. In the extreme northeastern corner, between the 
Tombigbee and Tennessee Rivers, is the wedge-shaped group of uplands 
known locally as the Tennessee Hills. Here, living in as "old English" 
a style as their upland cousins of the Georgia and Carolina Piedmont, 
is a group of hill-born and hill-bred farmers who are fiercely independ- 
ent, and who insistently retain the early Anglo-Saxon and Scotch-Irish 



WHAT IS MISSISSIPPI? 7 

characteristics that their great-grandparents brought to the section. 
Housed in compact "dog- trot" homes perched on steep hillsides, these 
people, like those of the Piney Woods, have always been the yeomen 
the non-slave owners of the State, possessed of an inherited distrust of 
the planter and of the aristocratic system that great plantations breed. 
This attitude is important because these hillfolk, when joined with those 
of the Piney Woods, determine the political fortunes of the State. 

Just west of the Tennessee Hills is the Black Prairie, a comparatively 
treeless and rolling plateau that was once a small replica of the Natchez 
District and is now spotted with silos and cheese factories, cotton mills, 
dairy barns, and condenseries. The Prairie has never had to bother with 
the Piney Woods' problem of clearing timber and stumps from the fields ; 
neither has it had to contend with the hill country's nemesis of erosion 
nor the Delta's problem of drainage. Because of these natural advantages, 
it not only won cultural distinction before the War between the States, 
but since the war it has kept approximately a generation ahead of the 
rest of the State. The Prairie farmer, like all good farmers, loves his land, 
but he is not afraid of the machine. Meat packing plants, garment fac- 
tories, dairy products enterprises, and the Tennessee Valley Authority 
came first to the Prairie. 

West of the Prairie and east of the Delta is the low-hill, small-farming 
section known as the Central Hills, the largest section of the State. This 
broken series of clay hills evidences more clearly than any other region the 
misfortunes that descended on Mississippi after the War between the States. 
When the war completely upset the economy upon which ante-bellum 
prosperity had been based, it not only destroyed surplus capital but also 
fixed on the State the share-cropping and credit system the enemy of 
diversification and the chain that binds the tenant to the merchant-banker 
and to poverty. The merchant-banker has continuously demanded that 
cotton, and cotton alone, be grown to repay his financial advances. Yet, re- 
peated sowing of this basic crop on clay hillsides caused sheet erosion. 
Great red gullies have consumed the fertility of the land, until today 
an occasional ante-bellum mansion teetering crazily on the edge of a 
5O-foot precipice offers mute evidence of the decay Faulkner has seen fit to 
depict in his novels. Lacking the virility of new blood and the impetus of 
new industry, portions of the Central Hills have degenerated. Cotton here 
no longer has the kingly power to pull white-columned mansions out of 
the earth, for the earth has too often felt the plow. 

These eight family-like sections grouped together form the great neigh- 
borhood called Mississippi, a neighborhood where the birthright of know- 



8 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

ing the drive of the plow in a puissant earth binds the sections more closely 
than geographical boundaries, a neighborhood of earth-rooted individuals 
who know and understand one another, and who collectively face an in- 
dustrial revolution with hoes grasped tightly in their clay-stained hands. 



White Folkways 



A farmer people with a mental background of furrowed hot fields and 
a hope for rain, we Mississippi white folk are both dependent on and 
modified by the sporadic blessings of forces that we cannot control. Like 
the well water we drink, we are bosomed by the earth that conditions us. 
We think as our land thinks, and those who understand our simple psy- 
chology and accept our way as being complete rather than clever find us 
tolerant but not susceptible, easy to amuse but hard to convince. Our faith 
is in God, next year's crop, and the Democratic Party. 

This leads, not to gaunt hookworm-infested character, but to independ- 
ence and paradox. Dependent on the land, we have a basic quality of mind 
that is as obstinate as the mules we plow, yet our notions take tall erratic 
flights and are as unpredictable as the ways of a spring-born calf. Born 
with an inherent regard for the Constitution, we prefer our own interpre- 
tations to those of others. Fervent prohibitionists, our preference is for 
"ho' -made corn." We read the cotton quotations as a daily ritual, but the 
small cryptic figures we read have little to do with when we sell. That, 
like the choice of candidate for our vote, depends on the notions we take. 
One year in five is for us a "good year," but our business is done and our 
households are run on the simple acceptance that next year will be "good." 
This adjective is not a judgment by moral scales, but by cotton scales, and 
it does not imply we merely have raised a lot of cotton, but that while 
doing so, Texas cotton either has been rained-under or burnt-out, thus 
making prices high. If we should swap a good library for a second-rate 
stump speech and not ask for boot, it would be thoroughly in tune with 
our hearts. For deep within each of us lies politics. It is our football, base- 
ball, and tennis rolled into one. We enjoy it; we will hitch up and drive 



GATHERING FOR A POLITICAL RALLY 



for miles in order to hear and applaud the vitriolic phrases of a candidate 
we have already reckoned we'll vote against. Popular belief to the con- 
trary, our greatest fear is not the boll weevil but Republican tariffs. Our 
greatest worry is the weather. To paraphrase as the weather goes, so goes 
Mississippi's year. 

For us calendars are bits of advertisements that the storekeeper mails 
out about the time taxes are due. They are usually of oblong dimensions, 
with brightly colored Biblical pictures at the top and small neat pads of 
black numerals at the bottom. They are pretty and tasteful and fit to tack 
up in our bedrooms; but, beyond that and the fact that our very hopeful 
imaginations may see in the receipt of one an indication of extended 
credit, they have little to do with our year. For, eating hog jowls and 
black-eyed peas on New Year's Day notwithstanding, our year neither 
begins with the first day of January nor ends with the last night of De- 
cember. Our year begins with planting-time and ends with the gathering- 
in. Between these two extremes comes the hoeing-and-chopping season and 
a spell of laying-by. In all, this covers a period of about seven months 
from March, when the snowy white blooms of the cottonwood tree tell us 



10 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

not only to put our cottonseed in the ground, but, more happily, to resume 
our charging at the store, until sometime in September, when we pick, gin, 
and bale the soft white bolls we have raised, and are told in a way less 
subtle than by the receipt of a calendar to stop our charging at the store. 
Yet it is enough. It is a "year," and for us complete. Come the tenth of 
the month following, and we will have weighed it, tagged it, and laid it 
quietly aside as having been simply "good" or "bad." 

The remaining months, those falling in autumn and winter, have for us 
a peculiar nature. Like "Dog Days" and "Indian Summer," they are in- 
tangible spells, the lapse between an ending and beginning. We think of 
them as a stretch of daylights and darks, marred perhaps by the hibernat- 
ing habit of- our credit, but otherwise nice. We ingeniously while them 
away by selling our cotton, paying a small amount on our charge account, 
a smaller one on our mortgage; by attending barbecues, neighborhood 
parties, protracted meetings, and county fairs. If we are young but of 
likely age, we ignore the charge account and forget the mortgage in order 
to build a house and get married. 

Should our convictions prove false, however, and the year isn't one 
which warrants the epitaph "good," then these months aren't even a nice 
run of daylights and darks. They are a complete lapse of time. We hunt 
and fish and, sometimes, chop the wood while our wives milk the cows 
and gather eggs. But mostly, we just piddle about, studying the wind and 
sky and earth watching for signs that bewilder our agricultural colleges 
but prove the grace which nourishes our faith in next year's crop. 

These signs are physical but not scientific. They have to do with the 
soil and the elements, and they tell us not only when to plant, but also 
how our planting will probably turn out. Most of them are superstitions, 
but they work. 

The first and basic sign is the "twelve-day idea." This, in reality, is a 
series of signs, a sort of preview of the coming year, and is based on the 
idea that each of the first 12 days of January represents and holds the 
chief characteristic of the correspondingly numbered month. Carried to its 
logical conclusion, it becomes rather complicated, something one should 
grow up with to understand fully. For instance: If the second day of Janu- 
ary is cloudless but cold, we note the fact, and, turning to the second 
month, February, we mark it "Dry and Cold." Then, by some strange, 
hybrid faculty born of experience and deduction, we know a late spring 
will follow so we curb our spirits and refuse early planting. In like man- 
ner, if the fifth day of January is rainy, we expect a rainy May, and visions 
of more grass than corn in June sets us to sharpening our hoes. Other and 



WHITE FOLKWAYS II 

more simple signs of what we are about to receive are: Moonlight during 
Christmas means light crops; darkness, heavy crops. If the wind is from 
the south on the 22nd day of March, the year will be dry. Each day it 
thunders in February should be carefully marked on the calendar so that 
the garden may be covered up on the corresponding days in April, for it 
will surely frost those days. If there are three frosts, rain will follow. But, 
happily, winter is over when the fig tree leafs ; we may get ourselves ready 
to plant. 

Early vegetables cabbage plants, greens, spinach, and onion sets go 
into the ground during the freak spell called "January Thaw." This is a 
short stretch of mild, warm days when ant larvae move up near the soil's 
surface to tell us the earth is good and just moist enough. For the next 
planting Saint Valentine's Day is preferred, but, since it is potatoes, a root 
vegetable, we are to plant, we who are wise will wait until the moon is 
right leaf vegetables do better when planted in the light of the moon, 
root vegetables when planted in the dark phase. Good Friday is a holy day 
and will bring good fortune to beans and early vegetables if they are 
planted before the night sets in. For the planting of our staple crop there 
is but one sign we can trust, "Plant cotton when the cottonwood blooms." 

Such signs, plus the nationally known Ground-hog Day, pertain to the 
seasons, to planting, and to the months in general. They tell us, for in- 
stance, that May will be a rainy month, but not the days it will rain. Yet, 
once the newly planted seeds have transformed themselves into young and 
tender shoots, it is imperative that we know the specific days. We cannot 
stop the rain, prevent the frost, or end the too-dry spell, but, once fore- 
warned of their immediate approach, we can prepare to a degree our fields, 
our gardens, our piles of fertilizer, our stacks of hay, and thus be able to 
drop the self-explanatory phrase "bad year" into our creditor's lap with- 
out a quirk of conscience. So we need and have a few very specific signs 
quick, flashing bits of handwriting on the earth and in the sky: 

If the sun sets behind a bank of clouds on Sunday, it will rain before 
Wednesday; if it sets in the same obscurity on Wednesday, rain will fall 
before Sunday. In either case, one does well to have his fertilizer stacked 
before quitting for the night. A red sunset, like a rainbow in the morning, 
brings wind rather than rain, while a rainbow in the late afternoon or a 
streaked sunset brings fair and dry weather respectively. When smoke 
hangs flat and the swallows fly low, it is about to cloud up; so just before 
rainfall we stop off our plowing and leave the field. This is not to escape 
getting wet, but to lessen the danger of being struck by the lightning that 
will be drawn by the eyes of our horse or mule. If smoke and birds fly high, 




A COUNTRY CHURCH 



however, or if the lightning shifts to the south, we may go ahead with our 
plowing; fair weather is in the offing. A halo around the sun brings an 
immediate change of weather, and one should remember that a morning 
shower, like an old person's dance, never lasts long. Three months after 
the first strident laugh of the katydid, frost will fall, and we may call our 
hogs in to fatten. Winter isn't yet at hand a long spell of lazy warm 
weather called Indian Summer will follow the frost but a cold snap is in 



WHITE FOLKWAYS 13 

the making, and that will bring hog-killing time. Curing hams, making 
sausages, grinding hogshead cheese; eating backbone and spare-ribs and 
chit' lings! 

Hogs we can raise ourselves, so hog meat, in one form or another, is 
our staple dish. We eat it fresh in winter, cured in spring, and salted in 
summer ; we use the fat as a base for cooking vegetables. These vegetables 
are chiefly turnip greens, collards, cabbages, beans, and peas. In the fall 
and winter the weekday meal is cooked on a large, black, wood-burning 
kitchen stove and served hot twice a day. In farming time, when everyone 
is either too hurried or too tired to have a conscious sense of taste, it is 
cooked in the gray obscurity of early morning and placed in deep, wide 
"warmers" attached to the stove. At dinner (noon) and supper it is served 
and eaten cold. 

On Sunday, however, or when company comes, the meal becomes a 
feast. The housewife, forewarned of approaching company by the crow- 
ing of a rooster in the yard, makes lavish preparation she "puts the big 
pot in the little pot and fries the skillet." In addition to baked ham and 
fried ham, there is chicken with the meaty joints fried and the lean joints 
made palatable by thick strips of juicy white dumplings, three or four 
kinds of vegetables, biscuits, corn bread, several varieties of cake, and a 
pie or two. These are all placed on the table at one time, with the meat 
dishes at the end. The housewife "won't sit just yet," but the family and 
company will. They sit down together, eagerly, expectantly awaiting the 
saying of the blessing. While the dishes are passed from one person to 
another, with each helping himself, the housewife hovers near, watching, 
ready to replenish a platter by a hurried trip to the kitchen. If one should 
be accidentally slighted, it is said that his nose has been bridged. The per- 
son taking the last biscuit is obligated to kiss the cook. If the hostess is the 
sort to insist on one's eating heartily, she will make a good stepmother. 

The house may be a two-room frame cabin, but most probably an in- 
crease in family size will have caused it to be expanded into a four- or five- 
room construction with a porch across front and rear, a chimney on each 
side, and the dog-trot enclosed. It sits facing the road from the edge of a 
field that stretches and rolls until the lineated shade of a dark, warm forest 
joins it abruptly to the sky. To the rear and to one side is the garden. If 
the children are home, the front yard, creeping unsodded from beneath 
the porch, is naked and clean. If the children are grown and have moved 
to places of their own, verbena, old maids, phlox, and four-o'clocks, crowd 
each other for space. This is due more to a taste for cleanliness than for 
beauty. Our housewives haven't the time to be always sweeping the yard, 



14 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

so they just plant flowers and "let 'em have it." If the house is in the 
Delta, and is not the house of a planter, it will not have a yard at all; 
cotton will grow to within a few feet of porch and eaves. 

The wife is the key to the house. Her domestic life gravitates between 
the bedroom, the kitchen, the chicken-yard, and sometimes the field. She 
bears the children with the aid of a midwife and nurses them herself. She 
readies-up the house, cooks the family meals, and gathers the eggs. In ad- 
dition she knows and administers the folksy remedies that have been in 
the family for generations. 

Some of the remedies were taken originally from the Indian, some were 
contributed by the Negro, but the majority of them have the earthy taste 
of old England, Ireland, and Scotland. For instance: 

A ball of camphor gum tied about the neck and resting on the chest will 
cure neuralgia. To ease a sick head, drink a cup of hot catnip tea ; to check 
nausea or constant vomiting, beat peach-tree leaves, cover with water, then 
drink slowly. A piece of horse-radish well chewed is good for hoarseness ; 
and a small bag of tea placed on the eye will cure a cold. To stop the flow 
of blood, saturate the wound with turpentine and castor oil. When cows 
feed on fresh grass in May, their butter is good for chapped hands. Since 
rheumatism includes every misery from a crick in the neck to a strained 
knee, a preventive is better than a cure ; so carry an Irish potato in a pocket 
or a buckeye near the chest and never be troubled with it in any form. 

The housewife is not too busy, however, to accompany the family to 
town on Saturday, and there walk about, looking at the show windows and 
greeting friends ; or to prepare a shoe box of food to be auctioned to the 
highest bidder at the box supper given at the church to raise money for a 
new piano ; or to run up to a neighbor's house, where a group of women- 
folks are "quilting a piece for Sara Adams," who is to be married just as 
soon as crops are gathered and John has the time to 'tend to such a thing. 
She does all of these things, then joins the family in its simple but in- 
tensely homey socials. And, come a Saturday, she will prepare and give a 
"to-do" of her own one at the house and for all the family together. 

The "to-do" will probably be a neighborhood party an ingathering of 
families from down the road, from over the bottom, from just across the 
field a piece. It is purely social, with no labor, no "pounding presents" 
attached. Death and distance are the party's only limitations. At dark the 
families, from Grandpa down, begin to arrive on trucks, in wagons, in 
cars, horseback, and on foot. Two hours after dark, 50 or more men, 
women, young folks, and children are mingling in and about the house. 
Warm cordiality and equal acceptance set the tone. The old folks gravitate 



WHITE FOLKWAYS 15 

to the porch and to the yard, talking crops and politics, or snitching a wink 
or two of sleep. The children play in the hallway, or if they are "poor- 
mouthers," worry their mothers until sleep gets the best of them. Then 
they are deposited on pallets strewn over the floor of a reserved back 
room. 

The young folks move restlessly in and out of the "front room," which 
contains a piano or a foot-pumped organ, the storekeeper's calendar, and 
the biggest feather bed and prettiest hand-tufted bedspread in the house. 
Here we are direct and natural in our association, with none of the legen- 
dary timidity in our manner. We sit on the bed, on the cane-bottom chairs, 
in the windows. One or two of the boys will have had a snort or two of 
corn, and our antics increase with the stuffiness of the room. Courting cou- 
ples wander outside under the trees, up and down the road, or just sit 
alone somewhere, content to be together and to listen to dismembered 
phrases that escape from mingled conversation and drift independently 
out to them: "I'm not even about to do it ... ," ". . . he plenty lit a 
shuck . . . ," "out yonder, I'd say ... ," ". . . it's the pure D truth . . . ," 
"... I ain't studyin' you ...,"'... slow poke . . ." distinctly folksy 
phrases that are never burdened with the letter "r." 

Music is continual. A third of the persons present are natural musicians 
and have brought their instruments: French harp, Jew's harp, fiddle, saxo- 
phone, guitar, accordion. Many of the girls have had piano at the consoli- 
dated school. They play popular pieces and well-loved hymns and folk 
ballads which tell a legend and end with a moral "The Blue Eyed Boy" 
"who has broken every vow"; "That Waxford Girl," who was "an expert 
girl with dark and rolling eyes"; "Kinnie Wagner," who shot the sheriff, 
kissed the prettiest girl in town, and left "to live a life of sin." Those who 
do not play either sing or don't sing as the notion strikes them. 

The water bucket, sitting on a back-porch shelf with its bright metal 
dipper beside it, is popular and the boys take turns at the nearby well 
bringing up bucketfuls fresh from the earth. Fried chicken, boiled ham, 
banana cake, and "ho'-made" pickles are waiting in the kitchen. Shortly 
after midnight the guests begin to leave, going by families according to 
the distance they have to travel and their mode of getting there. By three 
o'clock they are gone. 

There was a time in the past when our social life was tied up with 
work, such as house-raising, logrolling, and hog-killing. But today we 
have more time and economy, and our socials move on larger planes. We 
hold county fairs and attend barbecues, all-day singings, and religious 
services. These are, in turn, manifestations of the soil, of politics, of re- 







SHANTYBOAT LIFE 



ligion; and, being for us dramatically personal, each one is knit closely 
with the other. 

Many of our counties own commodious, centrally located, fenced-in 
spaces called fair grounds where yearly exhibitions are held. These grounds 
are lined with exhibition booths, livestock barns, a grandstand, a race 
track with an athletic field in the center, and a roomy administration 
building. The annual exhibition is, ostensibly, a competition for prizes in 
turnips, pumpkins, heifers, cakes, hogs, and other rural pulchritude, but, 
actually, it is our Victorian excuse for importing a street carnival. The 
carnival, loudly ballyhooed with bright but startling pictures, offers a mid- 
way with rides as ingeniously contrived as they are various in form: free 
vaudeville acts, side shows, fireworks, and other pulse-throbbing activities 
that cause a momentary forgetfulness of furrowed hot fields. Other coun- 
ties extend the scope beyond their geographical boundaries and hold 
straight-out carnivals, with the section's money-crop cotton, watermelons, 
strawberries reigning as king. Yet the motive is always the same ; a crop 
has been made, and in one grand outburst our pent-up emotions splash 
the countryside. 



WHITE FOLKWAYS 17 

Such self-expression sometimes takes unique form. In Neshoba County, 
the custom of permitting anyone who has a predilection for hearing the 
sound of his own voice to attend the fair and make a speech has metamor- 
phosed the fair into a political jamboree. Here our candidates for political 
office toss their hats into the ring. From especially built platforms they 
loudly point with pride and view with alarm. They are for the land, the 
farmer, and lower taxes. Emphatically, they are against whoever is in office. 
Crowded below them, we listen and heckle and cheer and drink soda pop. 
The candidate tells us we are the "backbone of the State," and we know 
that it is true, not because we are possessed of certain endowed virtues, 
but because we are a majority and have the vote. 

But politics is too dear to the hearts of all of us to be localized. Once a 
campaign for election is launched, it becomes the recreation of all the 
counties, towns, communities, clubs, and individuals within the State. It is 
a summer pageant of speakings in a setting of open-air barbecues. A bar- 
becue with speaking will be announced to take place at a certain locality, 
on a certain day; and though scarcely 20 families comprise the neighbor- 
hood, when the time arrives, hundreds, even thousands will be gathered 
for the occasion. The speaking continues through the day, the principal or 
"main speaker" alone talking four hours or more. Because we stand on 
our land and will brook no foolishness concerning it, his speech will have 
to do with personalities, not platforms ; and we will score him, not on his 
intelligence, but on his ability to string invective adjectives without a 
break. A candidate once called his opponent "a willful, obstinate, unsav- 
ory, obnoxious, pusillanimous, pestilential, pernicious, and perversable 
liar" without pausing for breath, and even his enemies removed their hats. 

As we listen to a speaker, we crowd about a narrow table of incredible 
length and select a piece of brown, damp meat. The meat is juicy, with a 
pungent, peppery odor, and eats well with a slice of thick white bread. 
With these clutched, one in one hand and one in the other, we join a 
group of friends to munch, talk, and listen. Nearby, more barbecue is 
being prepared in ancient style. A trench, two, four, or six feet in length, 
has been dug and a slow-burning oak or hickory fire started on its bottom. 
Suspended over but held close to the smoldering flame on slender saplings 
are carcasses of lamb and goat. About these stand a few women and an 
old man, the women to look and give advice, the man to baste with rich 
red seasoning by means of swabs attached to long, lean sticks. The odor 
from the peppery, hot sauce, and the woody smoke from charred coals per- 
meate the grounds and whet our appetites. Leaving our friends and mo- 
mentarily forgetting the speaker, we ease back to the table for more. 



!8 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

These barbecues with speakings make the line between our social activi- 
ties and our politics a thin one, but even it is more discernible than the 
one separating our social from our religious activities. For, with us, these 
last two blend at the edges, with one passing smoothly, almost unnotice- 
ably, into the other. It is transition through a common denominator, and 
the common denominator is song. 

Through the long Central Hills, in the black northeast Prairie, in the 
Piney Woods, the Tennessee Hills, and, lately, in the newly developed 
"white spots" of the Delta, we sing not as individuals but as communi- 
ties, counties, and districts. And we do not sing a mere song or two; we 
bring our lunch and pallets for our babies and sing all day. 

The feat is not a simple one. The Sacred Harp's 500 pages contain no 
newfangled song with a harmony that can be faked. It holds to the ancient 
"shape-notes," the "fa, sol, la" songs brought down from Elizabethan 
England and written in four parts, on separate staffs, with each part carry- 
ing to a degree a melodic pattern of its own. This is complex ; it calls for 
technique and a training for tone. As any "leader" worth his salt will de- 
clare, a tone-ignorant person can ruin a singing any day. 

To avoid such a calamity, each county has its "school." The school is a 
"leader," or singing master who goes from community to community, like 
an old-time Methodist circuit-rider, teaching the youngsters to "pitch," to 
know "tone lengths" and "tone shapes" the circle, triangle, square, etc. 
During the process, he also teaches the songs adapted to each "occasion": 
"Invitation," ("Ye Who Are Weary"); "Glorification," ("Glory for 
Me!" or "We Praise Thee O God!"); and "Funerals," ("Just Beyond 
the River"). 

When a novice has learned such fundamentals, he is eligible for mem- 
bership in the County Singing Convention and permitted to join in the 
"singings" with all the vibrant volume his lungs can muster. Perhaps he 
later will prove worthy of becoming a "leader" himself or, less important, 
a duly elected officer of the District (sectional) Singing Association, of 
which his county convention is a member. One never can be certain about 
a singer not beyond the fact that he will be at the singing, singing lustily 
and religiously, like the rest of us. 

The singing is at the "church-house," a small, white "shotgun" structure 
placed just off the road in the sun-speckled shade of a grove. It is sched- 
uled to begin at nine sharp in the morning, but time is a negligible quantity 
to people who put seeds into the ground and wait for them to grow; at 
ten o'clock we are still arriving, in cars, in school busses, in wagons, and 
a few in "Hoover carts" an ingeniously contrived two-wheel, automobile- 



WHITE FOLKWAYS 19 

tired lolly brought into prominence by the depression. We have on our 
Sunday clothes, with here and there an unobtrusive patch, but only the 
district's politician will wear a coat. 

Inside the church, the leader faces us from the pulpit. He is a lean, 
Cassius-like fellow with the voice of an angel. With ancient ritual he di- 
rects us through eighteenth century singing- school procedure; he speaks 
of "lesson" and "class," not of song and choir. 

"The lesson," he announces, "will commence on Number six-three." 

We watch him peer closely at his book, and listen breathlessly as he 
softly sets the pitch. Then his hand sweeps to right, to center, to left, and 
we proclaim the tune he has pitched. We go through the tune together 
soprano, alto, tenor, and bass singing the syllables, "fa, sol, la . . . ," call- 
ing to life notes that told the stem but virginal Elizabeth how the tune 
should go. With the tune pitched at last, the leader adjusts his glasses and 
looks about. "The words," he demands; and we sing the words: 

"Brethren, we have met to worship and to adore the Lord, our 
God " 

As the singing continues, leader after leader is called upon. Each is a 
good leader and will tolerate no dragging, yet a point of courtesy and 
common-sense democracy demands that when his turn is finished he must 
give way to another. All who can lead must have a chance to lead. A cas- 
ual coming and going among the class (congregation) is evident. But it, 
too, is informal and does not affect the charged feeling in the little church- 
house. The songs are burning and familiar. They are the life we live. As 
the hands of our leaders wave us through the deep rhythm of the spirit- 
uals, we feel our emotions in songs. We sing to please ourselves, and the 
deep organic surge keeps our voices together. 

At noon, however, the Sacred Harp is laid momentarily aside, and we 
go outside for dinner on the grounds. Mules, tied nearby and sensing neg- 
lect, bray long and deep. Dust, kicked up by thudding heels, rises to make 
breathing difficult and to intensify the heat. Yet no one notices, for baskets 
of food have been brought forth and their contents spread in long, shady 
rows beneath the trees. A stout, middle-aged lady with a hand for such 
things faces the milling, conversing crowd, gathers up the folds of her 
apron and carefully wipes her hands. 

"You folks can come on now," she says. "You men folks take some of 
everything and eat all you want." 

After a time, a leader gathers a group about him within the church. He 
pitches a tune and asks for the words; and "Come Ye Faithful ..." rolls 
beckoning out into the grove, fetching us in. A new song is selected. 



20 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

"I don't like it drug out," the leader cautions. "I like it pert, like you 
did before you ate." 

His arm sweeps down, sweeps us back into the archaic splendor of 
choral music. The songs move from lesson to lesson ; the leadership swings 
from the seasoned old fellows to the young and obviously frightened tyro. 
But the tune never wavers, the rhythm does not drag. All that remains is 
movement and sound, with the latter still unabatedly prominent. We have 
found a grace of heart and, for the moment, a joyous way of living. 

Yet it must end. As the sun drops blood-red behind the grove, the old- 
est leader comes forward and pitches a tune. "The words," he demands, 
and in the waning light we give him the words: 

"God be with you till we meet again. ..." 

This expression of emotion in song is a fitting prelude to our religion, 
which possesses an ethical foundation revealed in everyday living, and an 
emotional background brought forward at yearly "meetings." In other 
places these meetings are called "revivals," but we are more realistic. If we 
are Methodist, we refer to our meeting as the "camp-meeting," a term de- 
rived from the fact that in days not long ago the people literally camped 
about the meeting ground. Today this custom is rare, yet at McHenry in 
Stone County it survives in a camp that was constructed sometime in the 
early iSoo's. If we are Baptist, we say "protracted meeting." In either 
case, we mean what the name implies, a series of religious services for a 
number of days. The number usually extends through ten or fourteen, 
with a preaching in the afternoon, supper on the ground, and another 
preaching at night. Each service begins with lukewarm singing, rises on 
the rhetorical prowess of the preacher, and ends with a zealousness that 
borders on the "shout." The meeting is more a dramatic display of move- 
ment and sound than a solemn, sublimated worship. 

The preacher, whether our pastor or an itinerant evangelist, understands 
our preference for feeling rather than for knowing, and he builds his 
sermons on the fact. He does not preach against sin. He preaches against 
sins, and he names them: drinking, gambling, fornication, card-playing, 
dancing, and stealing. One by one he holds them up for our inspection. 
With charged words he sweeps us into homes these sins have visited and 
shows us the wreckage they have wrought. The scene fascinates with its 
horror; we sit tense and expectant, as if awaiting the onrush of doom. A 
little girl, immunized by innocence of the outside world, gets to her feet 
and strolls along the grassy aisle. A baby, lying on a pallet at its mother's 
feet, begins to fret. But we are spellbound and do not notice. Without 



WHITE FOLKWAYS 21 

sympathy or attention the mother takes her child into her lap and soothes 
it with milk from a well-filled breast. 

The preacher talks on, giving us unstintingly of his best. Then, sud- 
denly, he changes his approach. Tangibles are exchanged for things less 
tangible, yet, for us, more obvious. The Lord and Salvation replace hell's- 
fire-and-damnation. Condemnation is forsaken for hope. His voice is soft 
and consoling; his roots seem in the earth rather than in Heaven. He 
speaks of things which we who are dependent on sources beyond our con- 
trol can understand. He speaks of hope and faith and things to come. The 
earth is not ours, and if we should doubt, we need only to look to the 
clean, unsodded plot flanking the church-house. Here sunlight by day and 
moonlight by night glide down cold white marble headstones and are ab- 
sorbed in dark, oval-shaped mounds; and here we gather once a year to 
hold Memorial Services for our fathers, who came from over the moun- 
tains and down into the wilderness with just such a zealous preacher lead- 
ing them. We came out of the land and we will return to the land, and, 
the preacher's voice drones on, we will be contented there. The landlord 
will furnish as liberally as we want, and the crops will be always good. 
It is a promise, as cool as rain after a long dry spell; and somehow we 
know that it is true. Someone, usually a man, assures us that it is true: 
"Amen. Amen," he says. Sometimes a woman cries out, then gets to her 
feet and cries out again. But before our emotions reach the breaking 
point, the preacher more often breaks off, disconnects the current. He an- 
nounces a hymn, which we sing with more bewilderment than enthusiasm ; 
then with a prayer he dismisses us. 

It is a nerve-wracking interlude, an electrical charge in an even flow of 
life. But it purges our soul and refreshes our song. Somehow it gives us 
the thing we need. For soon taxes will be due, the landlord will have to 
be seen, and furnishing for another "year" will have to be arranged. In no 
time at all, we will be noting the first 12 days in January, marking the sort 
of weather the new year will bring. We will be readying ourselves for 
planting ; and when the cycle of the crops swings in again, our simple way 
of living will follow closely in the rhythm of its wake. 



Negro Folkways 



Different from the Louisiana folk Negro in speech and from the east 
coast Negro in heritage, the Mississippi folk Negro stands alone, a pris- 
matic personality. Those who know him well enough to understand some- 
thing of his psychology, his character, and his needs, and like him well 
enough to accept his deficiencies, find him to be wise but credulous a 
superstitious paradox. He seems to see all things, hear all things, believe 
all things. But ask him a question and he will have neither seen, heard, 
nor believed. He counsels with himself and walks his way alone. 

When he does talk, however, the Negro achieves a natural vigor of 
speech that few writers obtain. With a severely limited vocabulary and 
an innocence of grammatical niceties, he resourcefully gathers all the 
color of a scene and in simple words drives home his meaning with 
sledge-hammer force. This was illustrated when a Governor visited the 
State Penitentiary at Parchman and interviewed some of the long-term 
convicts. His conversation with one of them, a Negro, as reported by the 
newspapers, ran as follows: 

Governor: "What are you here for, boy?" 

Prisoner: "I was shootin craps, cap'n, an' killed a nigger." 

Governor: "Why did you kill him?" 

Prisoner: "I made my point, suh, and he wouldn't recognize it." 

The Mississippi folk Negro neither lays up monetary treasures nor in- 
vests in things of tangible value. He spends money for medical and legal 
advice, a virtue that undoubtedly would bring him praise but for the fact 
that he has never been known to take anyone's advice about anything. 
The remaining portion of his crop money goes to the dentist, the burial 
association, and to places of entertainment. In the distant future he hopes 
to be buried in style ; for the present he may be satisfied with a gold tooth 
one on a plate and in front, that he can take out, look at, then put back 
for others to see. 

Yet, his greatest joys, getting religion and being baptized, are free. For 
him religion is something more than a code of conduct with doctrinal 
points on righteous living. Like his song, it is the released stream of his 




MAMMY GLASPER 



pent-up emotions, the channel through which he floats to higher ground. 
Also, like his song, it is unconcious art, primarily sensuous and shot 
through with voodooism. For weeks prior to the annual "protracted meet- 



24 V\ MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

ing," he fasts and prays and works himself into a state of feeling that will 
make the church services highly exhilarating and weirdly African. For 
this reason his religious leader is more an emotional expert than a prac- 
tical theologian. He moans, groans, and injects various other psychological 
stimuli which he does not understand himself. His manner is always un- 
hurried and unctuously subtle, and his power among his people is absolute. 

Such a leader was Cindy Mitchell, an old woman of Leflore County. So 
great was her hold on her followers that they said she was "sanctified" 
and they called her the Good Shepherd. Cindy always closed her services 
with a dance, during which she would sit in a corner and sing, "It ain't 
no sin t' dance so long as yu don't cross yo' feet!" They say, she once an- 
nounced that on a certain day she would walk on the waters of the Yalo- 
busha River. She secretly laid some planks on uprights, just below the 
muddy surface of the stream. But on the appointed day, her slowly moving 
feet discovered that the planks had been removed. Horrified at the 
thought of drowning, but confident of her power, she turned slowly to 
face the crowd. "I ain't goin' to walk," she declared. 'Th' Lawd Himsef 
done said, 'Don't do it, Cindy, not befo' folks that ain't got th' faith of a 
mustard seed.' " The charge filled the throng with religious 2eal, and 
several of the doubtful brothers themselves became "sanctified" in the 
services that followed. 

The protracted meeting has its "mo'nahs bench," "fasting and praying," 
"comin' through" experiences, meeting of "candidates," the "right of 
fellowship," and, as the climax, "baptizing." In the preliminary service, 
before the preacher takes charge, there is singing, tapping of feet, and 
swaying of bodies until the congregation gets happy. Then the preacher 
rises, slowly comes forward to the pulpit, and begins his sermon. The 
opened Book lies before him, but he scarcely notices it. His message comes 
from the soil and from the racial peculiarities of his people. When his 
throat becomes dry and tired from his exhortations, he sits down to rest. 
The singing is started again. 

Since the preacher has worked his best, the singing at this time is done 
in earnest. The best men singers gather in a corner and the leader intones 
a phrase of some song. The phrase is repeated over and over with other 
men singers joining in. The song rises slowly and steadily, increasing in 
volume and tempo, until the urge of its weird harmony and spiritual up- 
lift forces hands to clap rhythmically with the steady cadence of a drum. 

Soon a woman leaps out into the aisle. She is "moved by the spirit" 
she cries, and slowly, rigidly, she begins "the shout," or if it is a Holiness 
meeting, the "Holy Dance." It is shuffling, intricate; her heels thud on 




1 




HOLT COLLIER 



the floor. Other women become moved. With arms held stiff and bent at 
the elbow and hands hanging limp from the wrist, they slowly, jerkily, 
circle the church, forming a tight chain with their bodies. 



26 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

"Shout the praise o' God!" someone demands, and even the sinners 
join in the singing. They sing lustily, with all reason subordinated to 
sound. The ring of shouters moves faster and faster, yet the feet keep the 
step; the rhythm is not broken. When the strain reaches the breaking 
point the leader raises his hand. The song is hushed. The circling chain 
halts, breaks apart. The shouters go back to their seats. They are breathing 
hard and are wet with sweat. 

In the pause that follows, the preacher comes forward and begins to 
talk. Perhaps it is a continuation of his sermon; perhaps it is something 
entirely new. No one knows and no one cares. His voice has taken on the 
strange hollow quality of the hand-clapping and seems to float above his 
listeners. No matter what he says, someone sitting in the Amen Corner 
nods his head and shouts, "Amen !" This response is not a privilege, but a 
duty. Now and then someone jumps to his feet and "professes." He has 
seen the light, he shouts, and is now "turned." To distinguish him when 
the time comes for "experiences," a member places a piece of white cloth 
on his sleeve. 

Near the end of the meeting the "candidates" must face the officers and 
members and relate their "experiences." The experience is the visionary 
journey he had made while on the road to salvation and must resemble 
the experiences of a professed member, else the candidate will not be 
acceptable to full membership. As these spiritual journeys are recounted, 
in the rich metaphor and Biblical phraseology of the "saved," the re- 
sponses of the audience rise to the pitch of religious ecstasy. 

The meeting ends in a great baptizing usually held early in the morn- 
ing or on Sunday afternoon. Dressed in white gowns and caps, the candi- 
dates who have been accepted into membership are led out by two deacons 
into the water of some creek or pond, the preacher preceding them. The 
congregation gathers on the bank and sings, "Let's Go Down to the 
Jordan." The minister puts his hand on a candidate's head and says, "I 
baptize thee." As the new member goes quickly under the water and rises 
hysterically happy, everyone breaks into a shout "Praise th' Lord! Praise 
God!" Another sinner has been washed of his sins. 

In many small Delta towns on Saturday white folks make it a habit 
to attend to business early and get off the streets. For "Saddy" is the 
Negro's day. He arrives in wagons, in trucks, in automobiles, and on foot. 
By noon he literally overruns the town. If he is a day laborer, he has 
his pay day cash to spend. If he is a farmer, he has his rations to draw. 
In either case, he has news to exchange and the hand of every other Negro 
in town to shake. He is a busy man, and one not of his race is apt to be 



NEGRO FOLKWAYS 2J 

stepped on, sat on, or have his passage along the walk blocked for hours. 
The Negro does not do these things intentionally, he simply cannot see 
a white person on Saturday unless that person owes him something. 

In preparation for his day in town, his mode of dress, like a majority 
of his ways, is governed by the psychology of the occasion. If he is a town 
Negro, the thought of impressing the many country girls with his position 
is overwhelming, and he dons the best his wardrobe has to offer. If he is 
a country Negro he thinks of the talk he is to have with his furnisher and, 
wisely saving his best or Sunday-suit for the day its name implies, wears 
overalls or some other work garment. The women make efforts to improve 
their appearance. Some wear neat gingham or calico dresses. Others, par- 
ticularly those who are unmarried, imitate the latest styles. This practice 
often leads to the rather ludicrous spectacle of a young and highly rouged 
Negro woman struggling through the crowd with the pale blue train of 
an evening gown trailing behind her. 

The standard rations the furnishing men allow the tenant Negro are a 
peck of corn meal, three pounds of salt meat, two pounds of sugar, one 
pound of coffee, one gallon of black molasses, and one plug of either 
"Red Coon," "Brown Mule," "Dixie Land," or "Wild Goose" chewing 
tobacco. This collection is supposed to last him one week, but unless an 
eye is kept on him, he will eat it all before Saturday. 

"Ole Mosser give me a pound o' meat. 
I et it all on Monday; 
Den I et 'is 'lasses all de week, 
An' buttermilk for Sunday." 

On the other hand, if he is working for wages and "eating himself," he 
can live a surprisingly long time on three soda crackers, a can of sardines, 
and a nickel's worth of cheese. 

When ill, the rural Negro has his peculiar methods. He discards all the 
stored-up information he has gathered by frequent trips to the doctor. The 
remedies he wants come from custom, not from science. At these times he 
calls a powerful root doctor or hoodoo woman to diagnose his case for 
him. If the trouble be insanity, boils, or constipation, the verdict invariably 
is that a secret enemy has "fixed" him and nothing in the world but a 
powerful "toby" or "jack" (charm) can dispel this conjuration. The old 
woman provides the "toby" for a price. The materials she uses in it and 
the way she puts it together do not follow any ancient formula, but de- 
pend almost entirely upon some momentary whim. The lining of a chick- 
en's gizzard, powdered blue glass, pine resin, a rooster's spur, ashes, rusty 



28 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

nails tied in a bracelet around the foot, asafetida and alum are considered 
good, but the victim's own hair baked in a cake and fed to him is best. 
Perhaps the "papa toby" of them all, one which is sure to possess the vir- 
tue or vice necessary to drive away the hoodoo, is the ever useful piece of 
red flannel thrust inside of a hollowed-out pecan hull. 

Should the diagnosis show that the illness is not due to the conjuring 
power of an enemy, other remedies are available. Some of these nostrums 
came originally from the Indian, some from the folk medicine of England, 
and many can be traced through voodooism to Africa. For toothache, 
smoke and buttermilk, or a red pepper mixed with biscuit dough, are good 
remedies. For sore throat, a piece of string is tied about the topmost lock 
of the sufferer's hair. For getting rid of a sty, the patient should stand at 
some cross-road and recite, "Sty, Sty, come off my eye; light on the next 
one passing by." 

Cough syrup made of mullein leaves, sugar, and vinegar is perhaps a bit 
more reasonable. Another cough medicine is tar and honey. Red clay, 
softened with vinegar, is bound over bruises to remove soreness. Poultices 
of elm bark are used to reduce inflammation. Sulphur and molasses and 
sassafras tea are standard remedies for improving and thinning the blood 
in the early spring. 

When gelatin capsules cannot be had, "slippery elm" is used. The inner 
bark of the elm tree is cut into strips and soaked in water until it becomes 
a slippery substance. The medicine quinine or calomel or some mixture 
in a "dough pill" is rolled up in this mass and given to the patient on 
the theory that the medicine will not taste bad and will go down "slick." 
One of the oldest treatments in the Delta country for chills and fever is 
the administering of water in which the bark of the red oak tree has been 
soaked. Mutton suet and beef tallow are used for rubbing the chest and 
throat in case of a cold. Another treatment for colds is soaking a stocking 
in kerosene and sleeping with it tied around the throat. 

After receiving such treatments, if the patient is sufficiently resistive, he 
survives. If not, he dies. Among the Negroes in Mississippi, death is gen- 
erally conceded to be the work of nature, not voodooism. The figure of 
Death occurs frequently in their songs: 

"Oh Death he is a little man, 
And he goes from do' to do' "... 

Should a man die suddenly, and die "hard," that is, with attendant de- 
lirium, death will be attributed to the hostility of a spirit, which may have 
taken him for violating any one of several taboos. An axe or a hoe may 



NEGRO FOLKWAYS 29 

have been brought into the house and then carried out again through some 
door other than the one by which it entered. His clock, which has not run 
for some time, may have struck unexpectedly. Perhaps a rat nibbled the 
household linen or someone's clothes, or a star fell suddenly. It may have 
been that he had unwittingly cut a window in his house after it had been 
finished and he had lived in it, or that his rooster crowed soon after sun- 
down. Whatever the cause, death sometimes brings a slight compensation. 
If someone else in the house is sick at the time, that person's health imme 
diately improves. 

The moment death comes, the mirrors and pictures in the room are care- 
fully turned to the wall, else they will tarnish and hold a lasting picture 
of the corpse. The news then goes forth, "Old Tom is dead," and from 
miles around Negroes who never before have heard of Old Tom come to- 
gether in his cabin. Old Tom is up on his dues to the lodge and to the 
burial association, so his funeral is a great occasion. In death Old Tom 
realizes his most ardent desire, that of being buried "in style" and the 
survivors have a social gathering. 

None of his kinsmen dares assist in the preparation of his body for bur- 
ial, but it is washed and the grave clothes are put on. A coin is put on 
each eye and a dish of salt is placed on his chest. The salt, it is said, keeps 
him from "purging" (swelling), while the money closes his eyes. 

Then his hair is combed out (a woman's hair is never plaited, for the 
devil will send his blackbirds to unplait it and they will be heard at work 
inside the coffin even after it has been placed in the ground), and with his 
feet shoeless, he lies ready for the wake. During the wake his body is 
never left alone, nor is the floor swept. "Neighbors," who may live miles 
away and have never seen him before, sit with him, and food is served and 
songs are sung. 

If he was an unimportant Negro, the wake lasts only three days ; but if 
he was important, as was the Reverend Frank Cook, it goes on and on. 
Cook, a Baptist minister, was the popular pastor of four churches: Pleas- 
ant Green Church in Natchez, St. Stephen's in Vidalia, Louisiana, a church 
in New Orleans, and a church in Ohio. He died in Natchez, October 22, 
1922. The wake began that night and lasted until Wednesday, the 25th, 
when his body was taken to New Orleans where another wake was held, 
lasting until Saturday the 29th. On Sunday his body, having been brought 
to Natchez, was carried to Vidalia and placed in Young's Chapel, his 
mother's church, where the parson preached over him night and day until 
Tuesday the 3ist. Nine days after his death, his family was compelled by 
law to bury him. 



30 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

At the cemetery, the Negro in Mississippi observes various omens. If a 
horse neighs or lies down during the service, or if the casket slips while it 
is being lowered into the grave, it is a sure sign that someone present soon 
will follow. To leave the grave before it is filled, or to be the first to go 
away from the graveyard is another pointed invitation to death. At the 
close of the service everyone throws a handful of dirt upon the box as a 
tribute of respect to the dead. A person never points at the grave, for fear 
his finger will rot off or his mother's teeth will drop out. 

In some sections of Mississippi after a funeral, all cups, pans, and buck- 
ets are emptied, food being thrown out to the west, because the spirit will 
remain on the premises if encouraged by free access to food and water. It 
is bad luck to call a coffin pretty, and if a pregnant woman looks into a 
grave she will never feel the baby. The dead person can rest assured that 
his clothes and cup and saucer will never be used by anyone else. The cups 
and saucers are broken and the pieces are placed on his grave together with 
bottles of medicine used in his last sickness, while his garments hang un- 
used, since no one wishes to feel the ghost of the owner tugging at them. 

The Mississippi folk Negro today is a genial mass of remarkable quali- 
ties. He seems carefree and shrewd and does not bother himself with the 
problems the white man has to solve. The tariff and currency do not inter- 
est him in the least. He has his standard, silver, and he wants no other 
kind. As for the so-called Negro Question that, too, is just another prob- 
lem he has left for the white man to cope with. Seated in the white man's 
wagon, and subtly letting the white man worry with the reins, the Negro 
assures himself a share of all things good. Once a landlord was asked if 
the Negro really had a soul. "If he hasn't," the landlord replied, "it's the 
first thing that a white man ever had that a Negro didn't share if he stayed 
with him long enough." 



Before tke White Man Came 

Natural Setting 
Geography and Topography 

Taking its name from the majestic river that forms the greater portion 
of its western boundary, Mississippi is bounded on the north by Tennessee, 
on the east by Alabama, and at the northeast corner by the Tennessee 
River. To outline a part of the southern boundary, Louisiana extends east- 
ward like the toe of a boot as far as the Pearl River, which flows south- 
ward to form the southern portion of the western boundary. The remain- 
der of the southern boundary is the Mississippi Sound, a shallow body of 
water lying north of a chain of low, sandy keys that act as a buffer against 
the deeper waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The coast line, including the 
irregularities and the islands, is 202 miles long, but the distance between 
its extremities, as the crow flies, is only 88 miles. 

The area between these boundaries covers 46,865 square miles, of which 
503 are water surface. The extreme width is 180 miles; the extreme length 
is 330 miles. The State is thirty-first in size among the forty-eight, and 
ranks twenty-third in population. In 1930 the population was 2,009,821 
of which 50.2 percent was Negro. Of the white population, 99.3 percent 
was native born. The Negro population is concentrated largely in cotton- 
growing sections the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta and the Black Prairie. 

Contrary to popular impressions about the topographical character of 
Mississippi, the only portions of a flat swampy nature are the Yazoo- 
Mississippi Delta and the river bottoms. The surface in general is hilly, 
reaching a maximum elevation of 780 feet in the northeast corner and 
slowly descending to form a panorama of rolling hills, which merge into 
the tidal meadows of the Gulf Coast. From a physiographic point of view, 
this surface is broken into ten regions that conform quite closely to the 
geological structure of the State. 

The alluvial plain a basin lying between the Mississippi River and the 
Yazoo River in the northwestern part of the State and colloquially called 
the Delta is the most pronounced surface feature. Stretching north for 




MAGNOLIA GRANDIFLORA: THE STATE FLOWER 



NATURAL SETTING 33 

approximately 200 miles from the juncture of the two rivers, and averag- 
ing about 65 miles in width, this immense area contains some of the rich- 
est land in the world. Nearly all of it is bottomland, produced and fed 
through countless eons by the inundations of the Mississippi River and re- 
claimed for usage by a system of powerful levees that hold the floods in 
check. The alluvial deposits have been found to be 35 feet deep in many 
places. Dark, mellow, sandy loam occurs near the streams, while a black 
sticky clay called "buckshot" obtains in the lower parts away from the 
drainage courses. Versatility of this "Delta" soil makes the area one of the 
most productive on earth. 

Skirting the eastern margin of the Delta is a range of rugged precipitous 
hills known as the Bluff Hills, or, scientifically, the Loess Hills. All 
streams flow through these hills in narrow gorges whose sides in many 
places are vertical walls. This region of hills varies in width from five to 
fifteen miles and follows the eastward curve of the border of the Delta 
from above the Tennessee State Line southward, hugging the east bank of 
the Mississippi River from Vicksburg as far as the Louisiana Line. The 
soil of this district is brown loam underlain by a yellowish calcareous silt. 
This loess, peculiarly formed by mechanical action rather than by chemical 
disintegration, is in reality rock dust blown here after one great glacier, 
then another, had overridden the country north of the Ohio and Missouri 
Rivers. For this reason the Bluff Hills contain little or no rock, a fact which 
greatly amazed the early New England settlers upon their arrival in the 
region. The loess, varying in thickness from thirty to ninety feet, is ex- 
ceedingly rich in plant food, and yet is cut so deeply by stream erosion that 
it is almost impossible of cultivation. 

The rugged Tennessee River Hills in the northeastern part of the State 
have an average altitude of some 650 feet, rising to 780 feet at their high- 
est point. The streams flow through narrow deep ravines in short swift 
courses to the Tennessee and Tombigbee Rivers. The hills are of pebbly, 
red, sandy loam, while the loam of the river bottoms is rich, black, and 
sandy. Toward the south and west the slopes are less precipitous and the 
creeks flow more slowly toward the various streams. Geologically, the an- 
cient Paleozoic era is represented in these hills by both the Pennsylvanian 
and Devonian systems, and it is here that the oldest geological formations 
in the State are found. 

Sweeping in a crescent around the western border of the Tennessee 
River Hills from Corinth through Macon is a low-lying belt of prairie land 
that is different in almost every respect from the hill country. Its surface 
consists of smooth, rolling, almost treeless earth covered with grass the 



34 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

greater part of the year. The soil is black, calcareous, clay loam, furnish- 
ing an exceedingly fertile farming district. The Black Prairie lies at a con- 
siderably lower level than do the eastern hills; the greatest altitude in the 
northern part is about 400 feet, and the surface slopes southward to a 
level of approximately 179 feet. 

The wedge-shaped Pontotoc Ridge extends for about 150 miles along 
the western border of the Black Prairie. These hills enter the State in the 
northeast corner and move southward to form a point just north of Acker- 
man. The soil is rich sandy loam which, before erosion set in, grew a 
diversity of crops. 

The Flatwoods, a narrow band of flat, poorly- drained land, sweeps in an 
open crescent around the western and southern margin of the Black Prai- 
rie and Pontotoc Ridge. The soil is uniformly gray sticky clay that retains 
water tenaciously. It is difficult to cultivate and generally unproductive. 

The North Central Hills embrace all that portion of north central Mis- 
sissippi lying between the Flatwoods on the east and the Bluffs overlooking 
the Delta on the west. The characteristic soil of this area is a fertile yel- 
lowish-brown loam containing much silt and clay. It varies in thickness 
from two to fifteen feet, is fertile and adapted to raising various crops. 

Directly south of the North Central Hills is the Jackson Prairie Belt, a 
district of rolling land interspersed with numerous small prairies. It reaches 
across the State from the bluffs of the Mississippi to the Alabama State 
line, a narrow strip with an extreme width of 40 miles. Its black calcare- 
ous soil forms another expanse of fine fertile farmlands. 

The entire southern half of Mississippi, south of the Jackson Prairie to 
within a few miles of the coast, is known as the longleaf pine belt or, 
more simply, the Piney Woods. The soil here is a red and yellow sandy 
loam that is fairly productive. The area at one time was covered with long- 
leaf yellow pine, large tracts of which remain in spite of ruthless cutting. 

Between the longleaf pine hills and the Gulf of Mexico is a low lying 
region from five to fifteen miles in width called the Coastal Plain Mead- 
ows. The surface is level and gently rolling but broken in spots by depres- 
sions. Because of the generally low altitude of this region the streams flow 
toward the Gulf with only moderate force and become sluggish toward the 
coast. The soil is gray and sandy in the higher portions, but in the low 
swampy meadows where water usually stands, it becomes black and peat- 
like. 

Mississippi is drained by a multitude of rivers, picturesque in name and 
setting. The Pontotoc Ridge forms a divide separating the Mississippi 
river system from the Alabama river system to the east. The Tallahatchie, 



NATURAL SETTING 35 

Yalobusha, Yocona, Coldwater, Big Flower, Little Flower, and Skuna carry 
the waters of the western slope through the Yazoo into the Mississippi at 
Vicksburg. The Tennessee and Tombigbee drain the northeastern portion of 
the State, the latter through Alabama into Mobile Bay, and the former by 
curving northward into the Ohio. In the southeast the Leaf and Chickasa- 
whay form the Pascagoula that empties into Pascagoula Bay, while the 
Escatawpa flows into the bay from the east. In the southwest, the Big 
Black and the Homochitto run into the Mississippi. In the south and cen- 
tral part, the Pearl, with its tributaries the Yokahockany, the Strong, and 
the Bogue Chitto, empties into the Gulf. 

Climate 

Mississippi enjoys a relatively agreeable climate. The average mean tem- 
perature over a 48-year period has been 64.6 degrees. This varies in sum- 
mer and winter respectively between 81 and 48 degrees. The average frost- 
free season is approximately 250 days in southern Mississippi, over 200 
days in central Mississippi, and drops below 200 days only in the extreme 
northern part of the State. The first frost usually occurs in November, 
with the last occurring near the middle of March. The annual rainfall 
ranges between 60 inches on the Coast to 49 inches in the north, with the 
average annual precipitation approximately 54 inches. This rainfall is 
evenly distributed throughout the State and is generally lightest during the 
months of September, October, and November. This almost sub-tropical 
climate not only makes for pleasant living, but assures approximately a 
nine-month growing season. 

Geologic History 

The oldest rocks, those represented by the Canadian Shield about Hud- 
son Bay, the Piedmont district in the East, and the Rocky Mountain district 
in the West, have no surface representation in Mississippi whatsoever. 
Much of Mississippi's ancient geologic history lies beneath younger beds 
of the Coastal Plain deposits, which begin with the Cretaceous of the 
Mesozoic, or third, geologic era. Surface rocks in the northeastern part of 
the State, however, do go back to the Devonian and Pennsylvanian periods 
of the Paleozoic, or second, geologic era, which ended nearly two hundred 
million years ago. 

These Paleozoic sedimentary beds accumulated in the old Appalachian 
trough, mostly from fragmental material derived from Appalachian land, 



3 6 



MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 



GEOLOGICAL FORMATIONS 

MINERAL DEPOSITS AND 

TIMBER RESOURCES 



X fAUOZOIC FORMATION 
Contains deposits 
chert, tripoli (scouring silica) . as- 
pholtic limestone and sandstone. 
building sandstone, ochre, ond pot- 
tery cloy. 

i TUSCALOOSA FORMATION 

Contain, deposits of 9 roel. sand. 
and pottery cloy 

C IUTAW FORMATION 

Contains deposits of bentonite. sand. 

ond glouconitic fertilizer. 

ft SCLMA FORMATION 

Contains deposits of chalk for agri- 
cultural time and cement. 



F CLAYTON FORMATION 



H ACKHMAN FORMATION t 

Contain, deposit, of bnd. day. ISJ- w 

mte. bauxite, ond iron ore. 



Contain, deposits of glaucanitic 



I TALLAHATTA FORMATION 
Contoins deposits of cloyitoi 
quortilte. 



O VICKSIUR6 

FORMATION 
Contains deposits of 
bentonite, limestone, 
mar! fertilizer^ and 



f CATAHOUIA 

FORMATION 
Contain, deposit. 




I TYft DIVISION LINK 



the region where the Piedmont Plateau and Atlantic Coastal Plains now 
are. Some of the deposits were derived from the limy shells and tests of 
marine plants and animals. 



NATURAL SETTING 37 

During the first two epochs of the Devonian period practically no sedi- 
ments were swept into the Mississippi part of this ancient interior sea, so 
that fairly pure limy material from the shells of marine animals was 
ground up and cemented in the form of New Scotland and Island Hill 
limestones. Later, the sea became muddy and sufficiently shallow to permit 
vegetable matter to grow and accumulate, along with the fine sediments, 
to form the black carbonaceous shales of the Whetstone Branch formations. 

During the earliest part of the Mississippian epoch (first in the Penn- 
sylvanian period) the condition of the sea was again such that the limy 
tests, or shells, of marine animals accumulated along with some fine clays 
to form the impure clayey Carmack and luka limestones. Some of the ma- 
terial deposited at this time became, on alteration, the flints and cherts 
of these limestones. Untold ages later the limy material of the surface 
limestones was dissolved and carried away by ground waters, thus setting 
free the chert detritus which forms such a conspicuous surface material 
today. 

In the late Mississippian, the sea again transgressed the land of this 
region, reached its maximum extension, and then retreated. The sea 
worked over the weathered surface rock and deposited residual material 
in the form of sand and mud, which on consolidation became sandstone 
and shale. During the maximum extension the sea received little sediment, 
so that the limy tests of its dead animals were ground up by the waves and 
cemented into limestone. On retreating, the sea again worked over the sur- 
face materials and deposited them to form later sandstone and shales. 

Although represented only beneath the surface in Mississippi, Pennsyl- 
vanian (epoch following the Mississippian) beds farther to the north, 
show that the Paleozoic sea withdrew from the Appalachian trough, except 
for brief invasions when a few thin layers of limestone accumulated. 
Rather, this part of the continent stood about at sea level so that swamps 
spread far and wide over the area. In and about these swamps vegetation 
grew luxuriantly and accumulated in these waters where it was compacted 
and preserved in the form of coal, forming the great Appalachian coal 
fields. Some of these plants were trees that grew to be several feet in diam- 
eter and more than 100 feet in height, but that have since declined until 
today they are represented by the prostrate and weakly club mosses and 
ground pines. 

Throughout most of the Permian, latest period of the Paleozoic era, 
the newly accumulated sediments that had been collecting for millions 
of years were subjected to a side thrust from the southeast Atlantic 
side which slowly forced them into an enormous series of upfolds, the 



38 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

Appalachian mountains stretching from Canada into Georgia, Alabama, 
and Mississippi. 

Throughout the first of the next geologic era, the Mesozoic, no known 
sediments were accumulating in Mississippi. For more than a million years, 
it is estimated, the newly formed high Appalachian Mountains of Missis- 
sippi, as well as farther north, were being worn down by stream erosion 
until, in the Cretaceous period (latest of the Mesozoic era), they had been 
reduced to a plain upon which the earliest Cretaceous sediments were de- 
posited. Consequently much of Mississippi's Appalachian history, like 
most of its Paleozoic beds, lies buried beneath Coastal Plain deposits. And 
consequently, too, these old rocks lie at the surface only along the valley 
of the Tennessee River and along the lower stretches of the tributary val- 
leys of this river. 

As the Cretaceous sea of the Mesozoic era was advancing on this old 
planed surface, the Tuscaloosa sands, gravels, and clays were being laid 
down upon it as fluvial deposits. When eventually the sea did reach Mis- 
sissippi, sand, gravel, and clay deposition gave way to a calcareous sand 
deposition that formed the green sand marls of the Tombigbee member 
of the Eutaw series, as it is called in Mississippi and Alabama. Huge oyster, 
clam, and cephalopod shells in these sands show how thrivingly the shell 
fish forms grew in this sea. 

Eventually the Eutaw sea became clearer and passed quietly into the 
Selma sea, which, besides some mud and a little sand, received the great 
deposits of limy material that form the Selma chalk. Like its predecessor, 
the Selma sea teemed with large cephalopod and oyster life. Most famous 
of all, perhaps, were the giant sea-lizards (Mosossaurs) that swam these 
waters, parts of whose skeletons are found in many Selma chalk exposures 
in the famous Black Prairie belt. 

The alternately clear and muddy Selma sea gave way at length to the more 
turbulent Ripley sea in which clay and sand were deposited as well as limy 
sand or marl. The Ripley sea withdrew near the close of the Mesozoic era. 

When the sea did come back in the Cenozoic, or most recent, geologic 
era, it was filled with modern life. In the northern part of the State the 
Clayton sea teemed with a large gastropod (Turritella mortoni) whose 
shell bore a spire three or four inches in height. The limy material of these 
and other shells accumulated by itself or mixed with sand and clay to form 
either limestone or marl. Later, here and farther south, nearly pure clay 
accumulated, probably under deltaic conditions, to form the Porters Creek 
clay (Grim). 

Near the beginning of Cenozoic times, the marine waters of the Gulf, it 



NATURAL SETTING 39 

seems, extended northward. Deposits indicate a series of oscillations 
between marine and swampy conditions. Where Jackson now is, this 
early sea was rich with shell fish life, for sandy material within the present 
city limits is filled with fossil forms of shells. Somewhat later the huge 
whale-like Zeuglodons, 70 to 80 feet in length, swam the borders of the 
waters then stretching far to the east from the site of the present bluffs of 
the Mississippi River. Vertebrae in the clays of this sea measure 8 to 10 
inches in diameter and 14 to 16 inches in length. In the region around 
Vicksburg the formations are abundantly filled with marine shells. 

During the Pliocene epoch (immediately preceding the Pleistocene, or 
glacial epoch) beds, mostly of sand and gravel, were deposited under such 
different environmental conditions that their origin is the subject of con- 
troversy. Gulfward, these sediments seem to have been deposited in shal- 
low marine waters ; landward, in estuaries ; and still farther inland, along 
stream courses. Accordingly, they lap over a series of older and older beds 
away from the Gulf. 

During Pleistocene times, when one great glacier after another overrode 
much of the North American Continent north of the Ohio and Missouri 
Rivers, very different conditions obtained in Mississippi. Along the broad 
flat terrace plains of the Gulf border, loam, sand, and clay were being de- 
posited; along the successively lower and lower terraces of the stream 
courses, loam, clay, sand, and gravel were deposited as flood plain mate- 
rial while each of these terraces in turn served as the stream's flood plain. 
Still farther north along the east bluff of the Mississippi River, in fact 
forming the bluff itself, an intermediate material was being deposited by 
the wind. This material, picked up from the flood plain of the river, had 
been deposited by the flood waters issuing from the glacier itself far to 
the north. 

In recent times, deposition within the borders of the State is confined 
largely to flood plains of the streams, especially that of the Mississippi 
River. This is the material of the so-called Mississippi Delta, which is not 
deltaic material at all, but rather flood plain deposits. 

Except for the partly cemented limy deposits that form the Selma chalk 
and for the cementation of a few minor beds, practically the whole Coastal 
Plain beds still remain in the unconsolidated state of deposition. 

Mineral Resources 

The Paleozoic rocks of Tishomingo County contain sandstone suitable 
for building purposes ; pure silica suitable for scouring material ; and frag- 



40 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

mental material that can be used as coarse aggregate in concrete. They also 
contain limestones useful, when crushed, for agricultural purposes. Near 
the State line and in Alabama they contain considerable quantities of as- 
phaltic material. 

The Mesozoic beds contain an abundance of sand and gravel suitable 
for concrete and for road material; high grade clays for pottery ware; 
green sands that are valuable as plant food; chalk that may be ground 
for agricultural lime and for cement purposes; and marl that forms rich 
soils. More recently discovered deposits are the bentonite beds a form of 
volcanic dust that is valuable as a bleaching clay and for the treating of 
which a $350,000 plant has been erected at Jackson. 

The Cenozoic (or Recent) group contains clays that will make brick 
for building purposes; beds of lignite that will serve as fuel when higher 
grade coals are exhausted, or that experimentation may show to be valu- 
able for other purposes; beds of bauxite that will be valuable when the 
higher grade aluminum ores are exhausted; and beds of carbonate iron 
ores that are being mined for paint pigment ; but above all a lens of clay 
in the Holly Springs sand that is utilized in excellent pottery ware. 

In addition are green sands, limy marls, and limestones that make rich 
soils on weathering; limestones that may be used for cement purposes 
where the overburden is not prohibitive; and bentonitic bleaching clays 
that rank first in the United States; gravels that make excellent gravel 
roads and coarse aggregate for concrete ; loess that yields an extremely rich 
soil; and flood plain deposits of the so-called Mississippi River Delta that 
constitute the rich alluvial empire of Mississippi and other States. 

One of the last and one of the most important thus far of Mississippi's 
mineral resources is the gas produced in the Jackson Gas Field (not to 
mention the well-nigh exhausted Amory Gas Field) which, in 1932, 1933, 
and 1934, produced more than nine billion cubic feet each year; in 1935 
to the value of $2,171,000. 

Plant and Animal Life 

In the period between March and November Mississippi's countryside 
is bright with flowers. Green Virginia creeper, white and yellow dwarf 
dandelions, black-eyed-susans with dark brown centers and dull gold pet- 
als, purple wood violets and wisteria, papaw, buckeye, cinnamon fern, and 
tiny pink and white Cherokee roses catch the sun from open fields or 
gleam in the shade of heavy forest. In fall, the dying foliage of deciduous 
trees on the northern hills presents what is perhaps Mississippi's most 








YUCCA PLANT, OR "SPANISH BAYONET" 



42 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

spectacular natural scene. In winter the brown sedge grass along the Coast 
and the brown cotton stalks in the Delta appear first gold then purple in 
the setting sun. 

On the uplands, along stream bottoms and on moist slopes, heavy for- 
ests of post and white oak, hickory, honey locust, poplar, maple, sycamore, 
and magnolia tower above huckleberry, hazelnut, and mountain laurel. In 
the lowlands of the Delta, stream banks are heavy with willow, bald cy- 
press, tupelo, black gum, and sweet gum. The Piney Woods of southern 
Mississippi stay green the year around with tall, long-leafed pine, while 
giant live oaks and gray Spanish moss keep the Gulf Coast area in almost 
perpetual shade. 

Animals were abundant in Mississippi when white men first began to 
settle here. The bison, bear, wildcat, wolf, and cougar were roaming in the 
wilderness. Muskrat and beaver lodges were common and mink and otter 
were plentiful. The bison and the bear were the first to go ; then the indis- 
criminate slaughtering of beaver and otter by trappers annihilated these 
fur-bearing animals. The modern hunter occasionally kills a deer or trails 
a fox, but even these are scarce except in some portions of the State. 
However, the threatened shortage of these and other animals is being 
remedied through the work of the Fish and Game Commission. The 
cotton-tail rabbit, fox and gray squirrel, raccoon and opossum are the 
modern sportsman's chief game. 

Approximately all kinds of fresh-water fish are found in Mississippi's 
lakes and streams. The most important of these from the sportsman's point 
of view are the black bass, the speckled trout, the buffalo, carp, shovel-bill 
cat, channel cat and mud cat, bream, and perch. In the Gulf Coast area, 
where the fisherman can cast his line in a different stream each day in the 
year, there are in addition to the ones named the red fish, sheepshead, mul- 
let, croaker, and drum. 

It is also on the coast that birds gather in greatest number throughout 
the year. As far as is known no large nesting colonies of gulls, terns, or 
brown pelicans exist here, but these birds do rear their young close by in 
Louisiana and Alabama and feed commonly in the Mississippi Sound. Al- 
though more numerous during the winter, such species as the brown peli- 
can, the black skimmer (locally known as the shearwater), the royal tern, 
and Caspian tern, and the laughing gull, occur in varying numbers 
throughout the spring and summer. The least tern, the smallest of this 
group, nests in small colonies on stretches of sandy beach, but departs for 
its winter home in Central and South America in late September, not to be 
seen again until the following April. The more northern gulls the her- 



NATURAL SETTING 43 

ring gull, the ring- billed gull, and Bonaparte's gull occur in flocks of 
varying size during the winter months. Shore birds, represented by approx- 
imately 35 species of sandpiper and plover, are a characteristic feature of 
the open beaches. One of the most interesting of this group is the Cuban 
snowy plover, limited in its distribution to the Gulf Coast from Florida to 
Texas. This plover is found only on the open beaches. Its light plumage 
blends so perfectly with the sand that it can easily be overlooked. 

Sea birds often are of more interest on the coast than the smaller land 
birds, but the spring and fall migrations of the latter are fascinating. Ap- 
parently little effort is involved in making the flight across the Gulf of 
Mexico. Such small migrants as warblers, sparrows, and thrushes go inland 
many miles during good weather, before taking shelter in suitable stretches 
of wood or underbrush. Because of this habit, many species that commonly 
nest farther north are almost unknown on the coast, and there are days 
when only the characteristic breeding birds are observed. There are inter- 
vals, however, when inclement weather makes a long flight hazardous and 
uncertain, and at such times stretches of woods bordering the water will 
teem with small birds awaiting a favorable chance to continue their jour- 
ney. Observation has shown that migration in the spring is materially re- 
tarded by northwest winds, and in the fall by storms from the southeast. 

In the salt marshes are found the Louisiana clapper rail and Howell's 
seaside sparrow (both limited in their range to a narrow stretch of the 
coast), the least bittern, and many species of heron. Among the latter 
group is the stately egret, a bird once almost exterminated by plume hunt- 
ers but now regaining its former numbers through adequate protection. 

The State's chief game birds, the partridge and the migratory duck, are 
also being restored through the protection of adequate game laws. Until 
recently the partridge was plentiful in the open fields in all sections of 
Mississippi, but the hunters have driven them to the protection of woods 
and thickets. 

Much of the State, especially the southern half, is covered by pine tim- 
ber, and here can be found such representative birds of the open woods as 
pine warbler, the brown-headed nuthatch, Bachman's sparrow, considered 
by many the finest songster in the South, and the red-cockaded wood- 
pecker. The last is unique among the woodpeckers in that it smears the 
opening to its nest cavity with pitch dug from the solid wood of a living 
pine, frequently making the nest conspicuous for some distance. 

The bottom lands and hillsides of northern and central Mississippi, 
where undergrowth is thick, support a distinctly larger population of birds, 
and without exception they are species rarely if ever found in the pine 



44 



MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 




NATURAL SETTING 45 

woods. Here throughout the summer are some of the most vividly plu- 
maged of the State's smaller birds the prothonotary and hooded warblers, 
and the indigo bunting, as well as the drab-colored and little known 
Swainson's warbler. In the larger stretches of timbered swamp, wild tur- 
keys survive in fair numbers, and rumor suggests the presence of the 
ivory-billed woodpecker, a bird considered almost extinct and, if present, 
the rarest species in the State. The slightly smaller but almost as impres- 
sive pileated woodpecker is fairly plentiful, and while wary and difficult 
to approach is not an uncommon sight in the hardwood timber forests. 

In the Delta, the dickcissel, the painted bunting, the bronzed grackle 
and, rarely, the cowbird build their nests. The painted bunting, a surpris- 
ing yet harmonious combination of green, blue, yellow, and red, fortu- 
nately can be seen without undue difficulty throughout the summer. 



-0- 



Archeology and Indians 

Archeology 



Though lack of evidence has made it impossible to establish a basis for 
a chronology of prehistoric sites, and there is no evidence that any of the 
Folsom people lived in Mississippi, the State is rich in aboriginal remains 
in the form of mounds and village sites. The mounds a part of the 
mound builder complex that extended up the entire Mississippi Valley and 
eastward along the Ohio are composed of earth and vary in size from 
scarcely perceptible swellings of the ground to great hillocks 50 to 60 feet 
high with crowns one-fifth of an acre in extent. Nanih Waiya, the sacred 
mound of the Choctaw, has a base 218 feet by 140 feet and is 22 feet in 
height (see Tour 12). The giant, only partly artificial, Selsertown Mound 
is a rectangular pyramid about 600 feet long and 400 feet broad, covering 
nearly 6 acres of ground (see Tour 3, Sec. b). 

The triple demands of custom, occasion, and need dictated the Indian's 
purpose in building these mounds. Those situated along the Mississippi 
River (erected on hills and bluffs) were used for signal towers and dwell- 



46 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

ing sites. There is a theory also that the tallest of these were artificial 
islands upon which the Indians climbed for refuge when the Mississippi 
and its lower tributaries overflowed. In this same section, at Phillip in Le- 
flore County, long irregular embankments parallel the Tallahatchie River 
with the ends abutting on the banks of small bayous. These earth walls, ac- 
cording to Dr. Calvin S. Brown (archeologist of the Mississippi State 
Geological Survey), probably were used for fortifications. Farther south, 
one-half mile from the union of Lake George and Sunflower River, in the 
historic country of the Yazoo, lies a great fortified village site. Surrounded 
by an earth wall, 25 mounds here cluster about the central or main mound, 
which rises 55 or 60 feet to command a view of the whole fortification. 
The main mound is approximately square, with a base covering one and 
three-fourths acres and a summit area of one-fifth of an acre. This impres- 
sive group, known as Mound Place, is a work of such magnificence that 
archeologists maintain it should be surveyed, mapped, and preserved for 
future generations. 

(The above-mentioned mounds are only several of the outstanding ; for 
additional data and locations, see Tour 3, Tour 4, Tour 12, and Side 
Tour 3A.) 

Within recent years, Dr. Brown and Moreau Chambers (curator of State 
archives and State field archeologist) have done much to bring the life of 
the primitive Indian to light. Many implements and objects of polished 
stone and chipped flint have been found. Of these implements the grooved 
ones are called axes, and the smooth or ungrooved ones, celts. Stone hoes, 
spades, mortars, pestles, bowls, cups, plates, nails, troughs, and other agri- 
cultural and domestic utensils are additional evidence of the aborigines' 
progress. The best collections are the exhibits in the New Capitol, Jackson ; 
the Butler collection of Yazoo County ; the Chapman collection, Columbus ; 
the Ticer and the Brown collections, Oxford ; and the Barringer collection, 
Monroe, Louisiana. 

The term discoidal stone is applied to a large variety of circular stones. 
Some of them are concave on both faces, some are convex, some are flat on 
one side, and others are variously modified. They are popularly called 
chunkey, or chunky, stones because of the game in which they were used 
by the Indians. Other artifacts of this class are canoe-shaped boatstones, 
spuds, heads, banner stones, and animal representations with faces and fig- 
ures. These are found in the museums and private collections previously 
named and in the Clark collection at Clarksdale. 

The pipe or calumet was of great ceremonial importance to the Indian. 
It was smoked at the ratification of treaties, at marriages, at declarations of 



ARCHEOLOGY AND INDIANS 47 

war, and at other important social and political events. These pipes varied 
in size, shape, and workmanship, and were made of fragile clay unadorned, 
of pottery, of sandstone, limestone, and other stone. Among the most elab- 
orate pipes found in Mississippi is one unearthed in Jefferson County, the 
bowl of which is decorated with a seated human figure 5.4 inches high. 
The figure is holding a pipe in his hands, his chin resting upon the bowl 
just below the rim. A stone pipe, remarkable in design and carving, found 
in Yazoo County, shows a naked savage seated with hands resting on 
knees and legs folded under the body. Two steatite pipes with figures 
carved on the stems, one from Natchez and one from Jefferson County, 
are now in the University of Pennsylvania collection. In the Millsaps Col- 
lege collection at Jackson is a more recent pipe made in the form of a tom- 
ahawk. 

An abundance of shells, both marine and fresh-water, were available to 
the Indian of Mississippi. Along the coast and the large rivers, shell 
mounds or refuse heaps accumulated. Shell was a favorite material for the 
manufacture of beads. In the early Colonial days shell money was used in 
trade with the Indians; the beads were both circular and fist shaped. The 
circular type can be seen in the Butler collection, now in the museum at the 
New Capitol. In the Clark collection at Clarksdale are many of the flat 
type that were uncovered in a mound in Coahoma County. 

The Indians used bone, tooth, stag horn, tortoise shell, and other hard 
animal parts in manufacturing implements and ornaments. Projectile points 
and piercing implements were often made of bone and stag horn and many 
of these have been preserved, a number of them in the collection at the 
Capitol. 

With the possible exception of the pipes, the pottery shows the art of 
the Mississippi Indians at its best. The Davies collection and the State col- 
lection display the finest examples. 

Indians 

In 1699, when D'Iberville planted his colony on the Gulf coast and be- 
gan to push slowly up the winding rivers, the territory now Mississippi 
was the center of an Indian population conservatively estimated at 25,000 
to 30,000. Of these the three largest groups were the Chickasaw, the 
Natchez, and the Choctaw tribes, each a member of the great Muskhogean 
linguistic family, yet characteristically different. The Chickasaw, who pre- 
ferred war to farming and whose territory extended northward through 
western Tennessee and into Kentucky, had their principal villages along 



4 8 



MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 



HOUMA %f Chataw,- 




THE INDIANS 
IN MISSISSIPPI 

Federal Writers' Project 1937 
LEGEND 

X Battles Earthworks 

Mounds Treaties 

i Schools Q Colonies 

i Churches Monuments 

ED Hospitals -****Nat-chez Trace 

A Stone Heaps Boundaries 



ARCHEOLOGY AND INDIANS 49 

the Pontotoc Ridge in what are now Pontotoc, Chickasaw, and Lee Coun- 
ties. The Natchez lived on the lower Mississippi in what is now Adams 
County, and the Choctaw, largest of all Mississippi tribes, occupied the 
southern half of the State, plus an adjacent part of Alabama (see Indian 
Map). Dr. John R. Swanton, foremost authority on the southwestern In- 
dians, says that the Choctaw seem to have enjoyed an enviable position. 
They loved war less than truth and truth less than oratory, and were slow 
in all things save horticulture and diplomacy. Like the meek, they were 
slowly inheriting the earth because their neighbors could not compete with 
them economically. 

Three smaller and less important members of the Muskhogean family, 
the Chakchiuma, the Ibitoupa, and the Taposa, dwelt on the upper Yazoo 
River, unhappily between the Chickasaw and Choctaw, two traditional ene- 
mies ; while the Pascagoula and the Acolopissa, both of whom are believed 
to have been closely related to the Choctaw, lived on the Pascagoula and 
Pearl Rivers respectively. On the lower Yazoo, in the west central part of 
the State, were the Tunica, Yazoo, Koroa, Tiou, and Grigra tribes, for- 
merly considered a separate stock but now united by ethnologists with the 
Chitimacha of Grand Lake and Bayou Teche, Louisiana, and the Atakapa 
between Vermillion Bayou and Galveston, Texas. The great Siouan or 
Dakotan family, later to play an important part in the winning of the 
West, was represented in Mississippi by the Biloxi, a small tribe dwelling 
on the Gulf coast, and the Ofo, called Ofogoula or Dog People by the 
French, who lived to the north on the Yazoo. In 1699 the Biloxi, who 
called themselves Teneka Haya or First People, met Iberville and helped 
him establish the earliest permanent settlement of the colony of Louisiana 
near the city that now bears their name. 

These tribes seem to have belonged to a broad-headed people of a light 
mahogany complexion and with black hair and eyes. The men, with per- 
haps the Choctaw excepted, were remarkable examples of physical perfec- 
tion. Claiborne, early Mississippi historian, says of them, "They were tall, 
well developed, active, with classic features and intellectual expressions; 
they were grave, haughty, deliberate and always self-possessed." The 
Natchez, according to Charlevoix and Dumont, stood six feet or more in 
height, and Gayarre adds, "There was not a man among them who was 
either overloaded with flesh, or almost completely deprived of this neces- 
sary appendage to the body." The average height among the Choctaw was 
about five feet six inches. But, undoubtedly, the Choctaw custom of flatten- 
ing their heads by securing bags of sand to the soft skulls of infant male 
children partly accounts for this disparity in height. 



50 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

Neither the ethnologists nor the early chroniclers agree concerning the 
women. But considering the state of degradation in which they were kept 
and the hard labor to which they were subjected, it is not surprising that 
the Indian maidens, however small and beautifully formed, with sparkling 
eyes and long black hair, lost their charm while young and were deteri- 
orated utterly by middle age. 

From an economic point of view all the tribes were basically the same. 
All of them had once been forced by economic necessity to live along the 
Gulf coast, but an acquired knowledge of planting enabled many to move 
inland. Here they established settlements behind earth-wall fortifications 
or, in the bayou-ribbed western section of the State, near tall artificial 
mounds. In the winter they hunted; in spring and summer they planted 
their fields and fished. After winter hunting trips, which sometimes carried 
them to Ohio and the Carolinas, they returned to their settlements in the 
spring to plant their fields. Fish, small game animals, roots, berries, and 
the like served for food until the early corn was ripe; then the early corn 
carried them until July or August when late or flour corn was ready to 
eat. From then until autumn the products of the field, supplemented by 
small game and fish, rendered life comparatively easy. This was a season 
of relaxation and plenty during which most of the ceremonies took place, 
particularly those of a social nature, and much of the manufacturing was 
done; baskets, textiles, wooden and horn objects, pipes, and other articles 
were produced both for home consumption and trade. In late November 
the Indians once more scattered to hunt until planting time. On the coast 
the Pascagoula and Biloxi, who benefited by the spring run of fish, 
stopped their hunting early to establish themselves near fish weirs until 
planting time. 

The Natchez and other tribes built compact, fort-like villages, with the 
huts facing a central square. In the squares of the Chakchiuma stood tall 
poles on which they hung scalps, beads, bones, and other articles, some of 
which made a queer whistling sound in the wind. This sound, their proph- 
ets said, was a voice telling them a Choctaw or Chickasaw was killing a 
Chakchiuma so a party would go on the warpath, kill the first Choctaw 
or Chickasaw they met, and hang his scalp on the pole. They then waited 
for another passage of the wind. 

The Chickasaw built long one-street towns that were in reality a series 
of distinct villages. One of these, Long Town, was composed of seven vil- 
lages strung along a ridge. Red Grass was fortified with pickets, and was 
the scene of young D'Artaguiette's defeat when he came down from Can- 
ada to join Bienville in 1736 (see Tour 12). It was also the impregnability 



ARCHEOLOGY AND INDIANS 51 

of these unfriendly Chickasaw towns that stood between the French of 
Louisiana and the French of the Ohio and prevented them from uniting in 
a solid front against the westward-moving English settlers. 

The Choctaw built their barrier towns compact like those of the lesser 
tribes. But their inland settlements, where they carried on their farming, 
resembled extensive plantations with the cabins a gunshot distance from 
each other. 

Indian cabins were made of rough-hewn posts chinked with mud, bark, 
and, in the lowlands, Spanish moss. The roofs were of cypress or pine 
bark, or of intermingled grass and reeds. These roofs were so skilfully 
woven they lasted 20 years without leaking. A hole usually was left in the 
top of the cabin to let out the smoke (fires being built in the center of the 
cabins), but there were no windows and only one door, an opening about 
three or four feet high and two feet wide. Inside the cabins the walls were 
lined with cane beds that were covered with bison skins and used during 
the day as tables and chairs. 

Land was cleared for planting by burning the underbrush and smaller 
growth, while the trees were girdled and left to die. For implements the 
Indians used a stone, a crude hoe made of a large shell or the shoulder 
blade of a bison, and a stick to make holes for planting the seed. The 
Choctaw, who took their farming seriously and who often had to supply 
their enemy, the Chickasaw, with corn, erected small booths near their 
farms and stationed young people in them to drive away the crows. But 
even the Choctaw were forced to labor by hand, for the Indians had no 
domesticated animals to toil for them. 

The staple crop was corn, with beans, pumpkins, melons, and, some- 
times, sunflowers planted with it. Tobacco was raised as a luxury for the 
men only. Tom-ful-la (tajula) or "big hominy" was the standard dish. 
Another dish, bota kapusi or "cold meal," was a favorite because of its 
sustaining qualities in times of war and famine. This parched corn flour 
would keep without spoiling as long as it was dry, and a man could travel 
a week on a quart of it. For smoking, the men mixed their tobacco weed 
with the dried leaf of either the aromatic sumac or the sweetgum, thus giv- 
ing it a mellow, and, some chroniclers say, delightful flavor. 

In prehistoric times the most important game animal was the deer, but 
later the bison attained greater importance. (The bison is supposed to have 
been driven out of Mississippi by a great drought in the early lyoo's, but 
the Biloxi, more given to romance, declared that it was not a drought but 
the Most Ancient of Rabbits, who drove them angrily out of his realm.) 
The Choctaw considered the ribs and liver of a bear a luxury, but among 



52 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

the tribes in general this animal was hunted more for the seasoning qual- 
ity of its fat than for its flesh. Venison and turkey meat were stewed with 
bear oil and served with corn cakes and a beverage of acidulate honey and 
water ; or a slice of venison, a slice of turkey, and a slice of bear meat were 
placed on a stick and barbecued in a position which forced the bear fat to 
drip over the turkey and venison, giving them a high seasoning. Gayarre, 
a French historian, rapt in his appreciation of culinary art, muses over the 
fact that the Natchez "never could be persuaded to eat of the skilfully 
made dishes of the French because they were afraid of the ingredients 
which entered into their composition. They never ate salads or anything 
raw or uncooked except ripe fruits, and they never could relish wine." 
Their relish for brandy, however, was keen and they looked down on the 
French for mixing it with water. Herring and sturgeon (both now extinct 
on the coast), alligators, crawfish, and shellfish also were eaten. 

Unindustrialized and left free to eat according to the promptings of 
their stomachs, the Indians had no fixed hours for meals. They ate when 
they pleased and never together. The only exception to this was when a 
feast was given. The men then ate by messes, out of a bowl set in the cen- 
ter of the group and with a wooden or horn spoon passed from one to the 
other. The women and children, sitting apart, followed the same pro- 
cedure. 

Deer were stalked by single hunters, and bears were sought out in their 
dens, driven to the open by means of fire, and killed as they tried to es- 
cape. (Aware of the need of conservation, long before the white men 
came the Indians established areas in which the bears were allowed to 
breed unmolested.) Characteristically, the Chickasaw left the small game 
to the boys, and even the boys would not hunt the beaver. Animals so 
easily killed were not worthy of a warrior, they said. Fish were caught by 
hooks, shot with arrows, or speared (often at night with the help of fire). 
In dry seasons pools left by thin, vapid streams were dragged for fish with 
nets, or else the fish were stupefied by means of buck-eye, devil's shoe- 
string, or other poisonous plants. 

Clothing was made principally of deer and porcupine skins and con- 
sisted of a breechcloth for the man and a short skirt for the woman. When 
traveling they wore moccasins and leggings for protection against briars 
and bushes. Skins, particularly those of the porcupine, were embroidered 
with considerable art, the drawings being somewhat Gothic in character, 
and dyed solid colors "of which they liked best the white, the yellow, the 
red, and the black; their taste being to use them in alternate strips." 
(Gayarre. ) Cloaks were made of wild-goose or other bird feathers woven 



ARCHEOLOGY AND INDIANS 53 

into patterns, or, for women particularly, of mulberry bark woven in a 
down-weaving loom. During very severe weather the tribes in the north- 
ern part of the State wore robes of bear or bison skins; but in summer 
they, like the men and women of the more southerly tribes, went half- 
naked and barefooted. Except when in mourning, the women quite uni- 
formly wore their hair long, sometimes plaited but more often loose. 
Men's styles differed with the tribes. The Natchez, for instance, shaved 
their heads, friar-like, leaving a long, twisted tuft of hair to dangle from 
the crown down over their left shoulder. To this small feathers were at- 
tached. Ornaments were worn in profusion by both sexes and paint was a 
necessity. Garters, belts, and head bands were woven of bison or opossum 
hair and ornamented with beads. Shell, bone, and copper beads were used 
as ear and nose ornaments. From earliest times the Choctaw and Chickasaw 
made annual raids west of the Mississippi and brought back bars of silver 
and copper, which they fashioned into ornaments. 

The Indian woman about to become a mother retired into the woods 
alone and in a few hours returned with her child and resumed her work. 
Immediately after birth the child was carried to a stream and washed, then 
taken to the hut and placed in a cradle. This cradle was usually two and 
one-half feet long, eight or nine inches wide, and six inches high. Unlike 
the modern cradle, its rocking motion was forward and backward like our 
rocking chairs. Being light, the cradle was placed on the mother's bed at 
night. If the child were a Choctaw boy, Adair tells us, ". . . part of the 
cradle where the head reposes was fashioned like a brick-mould." This was 
to help flatten the child's head. But whatever the tribe or sex Indian chil- 
dren received constant attention, being allowed to suckle as often and as 
long as they pleased, and having their bodies rubbed with oil each day. 
The oil rendered the limbs more flexible and prevented the bites of flies 
and mosquitoes. 

With the exception of the Choctaw who feared water, the children of 
both sexes when three years old were taken each morning, summer and 
winter, to a nearby stream to bathe. At this time of life they were im- 
pressed with the inviolable rule that quarrels and fights would not be tol- 
erated the penalty for transgression being the shame of having to live 
for a certain time in utter seclusion. As no Indian, young or old, could 
endure humiliation, the fear of such disgrace made them so cautious of 
trespassing on another's rights that the few "penal laws" existing within 
the tribes seldom had to be enforced. 

Male children were taught to hunt and to fight, female children to pre- 
pare the food, make the clothing, weave the baskets, mold the pottery, and 



54 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

tend the fields. The boys on reaching their twelfth year were committed 
to the charge of the oldest men or the Ancients of their respective families, 
the eldest brother of the mother being preferable among the Choctaw. 
Under the Ancient's tuition they learned the moral precepts that were to 
regulate their lives. They also learned to run, jump, wrestle, and practice 
with the bow. For target practice a bunch of grass about the size of the 
fist was attached to a stick and shot at, or small animals, such as squirrels 
and rabbits, were hunted. The boy who proved the most skilful marksman 
received the preeminent distinction of being styled "Young Warrior." The 
one next in skill was called "Apprentice Warrior." (It is interesting to 
note that, similar to a theory growing among educators today, whippings 
or blows of any kind never were given the Indian boy as corrective meas- 
ures. Appeals to his pride or shame were resorted to.) The Ancients, 
whose decisions were supreme, received implicit obedience, and because of 
this influence the elderly male members of every family were paid the 
most profound respect. 

This marked respect did not extend, however, to the women. "In all 
assemblies, either public or private, even in the privacy of the family cir- 
cle, the youngest boy had precedence over the oldest woman" a circum- 
stance that seems to have produced a docile and timid temperament in the 
woman. A quarrel between husband and wife would have been regarded 
as scandalous. 

Yet, according to our standards of morality, the unmarried women were 
extremely profligate. With the Choctaw again excepted, there was a loose- 
ness of relations between sexes before marriage that struck the early chron- 
iclers as especially interesting. When a scarcity of food made it necessary 
for the officers and soldiers of Fort Maurepas to find quarters with the 
Biloxi and Pascagoula tribes, Penicaut naively remarked that it was "an 
arrangement which Indian maidens and French soldiers enjoyed alike." 
In the estimation of the Natchez this profligacy was a merit. ". . . all their 
women," Gayarre quotes from an unnamed source, "while single, were 
allowed to sell their favors ; and she who acquired the wealthiest marriage 
portion by this traffic, was looked upon as having the most attraction, and 
as being far superior to all the females of her tribe." Marriage, however, 
transformed these professed courtesans into so many Lucretias, both hus- 
band and wife becoming patterns of fidelity. 

As suggested, the standard was reversed by the Choctaw. Among Clai- 
borne's notes is this observation: Marriage took place early; seduction be- 
fore marriage rare ; adultery more common ; divorce frequent. 

Marriages were never contracted without the consent of the older mem- 



ARCHEOLOGY AND INDIANS 55 

bers of both families nor were the young people forced into alliances 
against their will. (Elopement is found in legend only and always with a 
tragic ending. ) But there was an inviolable rule that no man could marry 
into his own ikas or clan. When these clans were established is not known, 
but every tribe in Mississippi was divided into from three to ten of them 
with regulations for their perpetuation. "The regulations by which the 
clans were perpetuated amongst the nations were, first, that no man could 
marry into his own clan; second, that every child belongs to his or her 
mother's clan. Among the Choctaw there are two great divisions, each of 
which is subdivided into four clans; and no man can marry into any of 
the four clans belonging to his division." (Gallatin: 1830.) The restric- 
tion among the other tribes, however, did not extend beyond the clan to 
which the man belonged. 

A Choctaw warrior applied to the maternal uncle of the girl, and they 
agreed on the price which also was paid to the uncle. Then, on an ap- 
pointed day, the groom appeared at a designated place to loiter until noon. 
At that time the bride left the lodge of her parents and, eluding her gath- 
ered friends, ran into the adjacent woods. The female friends of the 
groom immediately gave chase and, if she were anxious for the match, 
caught her easily and brought her back among the groom's friends. But 
the groom then would have disappeared. The bride sat down and the 
friends of both sides threw little presents into her lap, while female relatives 
tied beads in her hair. When this ceremony was over she was conducted to 
a hut adjoining that of her parents and here the groom sought her that 
night. At sunrise they were man and wife. 

The Chickasaw warrior who had been accepted painted his face and 
went to the house of the bride's parents, where she met him at the door. 
Inside, among parents and relatives, the youth presented her with a piece 
of venison and she gave him an ear of corn. Then he repaired to her bed 
for the night. But the Natchez, in their Athenian- like way, had a more 
formal ceremony. When a marriage was to take place among them the two 
families met at the house of the groom and the young couple stood before 
the oldest man to hear the duties they were about to assume. After the 
vows strangely like Christian promises were taken, the husband es- 
corted his wife to his bed, saying, "Here is our bed; keep it undefiled." 

Polygamy was tolerated by the Choctaw and the Natchez. In each tribe, 
however, a marriage endured only according to the inclination of the par- 
ties concerned. Either could dissolve it at pleasure. When this occurred, 
as it often did, the children went with the mother, and the father no 
longer had control over them. 



56 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

Curiously, the most powerful and populous tribe, the Choctaw, was also 
the most peaceful and democratic. Their chiefs attained their position 
through merit alone and then were hardly more than counselors. The war- 
like Chickasaw, who never numbered more than 5,000 warriors, were con- 
trolled by a form of military aristocracy, while the power of the Biloxi 
and Ofo chiefs varied, some being very feeble. The Natchez, perhaps at 
once the most civilized and the most barbaric tribe in the South, set up an 
absolute monarchy, their chief claiming descent on the female side from 
the sun. 

The Great Sun of the Natchez, whose person was sacred and mandates 
absolute, lived a retired life in the "great village" on St. Catherine's Creek 
(Adams County). His house, the dimensions of which were all about 30 
feet, stood on a mound fronting the village square. The door faced the 
east, so that the Great Sun might greet the first morning beams of his ce- 
lestial brother with a prolonged howl and three puffs of his calumet, then 
wave his hand from east to west, to show the sun its daily path. The mother 
of the Great Sun bore the title of Woman Chief, and though she did not 
meddle in the government she held the power of life and death and was 
paid great honor. The royal family and members of the nobility were for- 
bidden to marry among their equals, a prohibition that proved revolting 
to the pride of many. It was the offensiveness of this law that led a female 
Sun (Princess) to propose marriage through her mother to Du Pratz, a 
nobleman, hoping to bring about a revolution in the social system of her 
nation. Another female Sun was called the Proud because, rebelling 
against this law, she refused to sell her favors to any save the nobility. 

Like the Peruvians the Natchez had two languages, one reserved for the 
"stinkards," or lower classes, the other for the nobles and the women. 
Both languages were very rich yet there was no similarity between them. 
The women spoke the language of the nobles with an affected pronuncia- 
tion totally different from that of the men. The French, who seem to have 
associated more with the women than with the men, took the women's 
pronunciation thus provoking the rebuke to one of them from a Sun: 
"Since thou hast the pretension to be a man, why dost thou lisp like a 
woman?" 

A majority of the tribes believed in a Supreme Being or Great Spirit of 
the Universe but they had no particular notion of his character and, with 
the exception of the Natchez, no set form of worship. The Natchez, dif- 
ferent in religion as in everything else, worshipped the sun. The sun, they 
believed, was a male spirit who had molded the first man. Their ideas of 
woman's creation were indefinite. One legend is that a short time after the 



ARCHEOLOGY AND INDIANS 57 

first man was made, he was taken with a violent fit of sneezing and some- 
thing in the shape of a woman, as big as his thumb, bolted from his nose. 
On falling to the ground it began to dance around and around, growing 
larger and larger until at last it grew into the actual size and shape of a 
woman. That evil spirits abounded, they were well aware. They tried to 
placate them by fasting and praying. When the Natchez wanted rain or 
fair weather, they fasted. But in either case the Great Sun abstained for 
nine days from meat and fish, living on nothing but a little boiled corn. 
During this time he also took particular care not to communicate in any 
way with his wives. 

The temple of the great village, where the Great Sun resided, was near 
St. Catherine's Creek on a mound said to be eight feet high. The door of 
the temple, like the door of the chief's house, faced the east. In the largest 
room was an altar six feet long, two feet wide, and four feet high, and on 
it a reed basket containing the bones of the preceding Great Sun. It was 
here before the sacred fire that the Great Sun, who was also high priest by 
virtue of his kinship to the sun, officiated. Only those of royal blood, or 
such visitors as the Sun considered sufficiently distinguished, could enter 
this room. The stinkards were not permitted to enter any part of the tem- 
ple. In the smaller room were sundry small objects which the Indians seem 
never to have explained to the white men. On the roof of the temple sat 
three wooden birds twice the size of a goose, with their feathers painted 
white and sprinkled with red. These birds faced east toward the rising sun. 

Like all people who place credence in spirits the Indians were super- 
stitious. They believed in witches and ghosts and were afraid to travel 
alone at night. So, quite naturally, they had, as a privileged caste, the rain 
maker and the medicine man. The medicine man interpreted dreams, 
charmed away spells, and healed the sick; the rain maker in periods of 
protracted drought saved the crops and the water supply by bringing rain. 
The method of the medicine man in curing a patient was to roll him in a 
blanket and, bending over him, suck the painful spot. If sucking, knead- 
ing, pounding, and growling did no good and the patient grew worse and 
died, the doctor declared that some malicious witch had interfered to de- 
feat his purpose. The relatives of the dead man then would formally 
demand the witch be pointed out, and after several days of apparent 
thought the doctor would indicate some old, decrepit woman who, with- 
out formality, would be put to death. 

The rainmaker enjoyed the privilege of being paid in advance. He al- 
ways gave the Indians to understand that spirits did no business on credit, 
and, as he was never called on until the crops were burning and the supply 



58 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

of water was exhausted, the Indians were rarely in a position to haggle 
over terms. Yet if he failed and he sometimes did he did not attribute 
his failure to witchcraft as did the doctor, but said that he himself was to 
blame. He was na-koo-a (angry), he explained, and the credulous Indians 
then desperate, would beg to know what could be done to restore his good 
humor. But he, still posing as too angry to talk, would seclude himself and 
wait until the signs of a change in weather appeared. When the signs ap- 
peared he suddenly would come out into the village square and tell the 
Indians that if they doubled his fee the rain would come. They, glad to 
propitiate his anger, brought even more than he demanded, and soon the 
rain came as he had promised. 

The Choctaw separated the flesh from the bones of their deceased and 
preserved them, at first in a mortuary, then in a mound constructed for 
this purpose. The Chickasaw buried their dead in the earth, often under 
the flooring of the lodge itself. The body of a Biloxi or Pascagoula was 
placed in a coffin made of reeds and left until nothing but dried bones 
remained; these then were transferred to a wicker coffer and put away in 
small temples. When a Natchez chieftain died hundreds of people were 
sacrificed to pay him honor, these being considered meat and victuals for 
the deceased. 

Pitched battles between tribes were seldom fought. Warfare with them 
consisted mostly in ambuscades and surprises. But even so prudent a type 
of battle failed to ward off devastating defeats. A well-aimed blow cun- 
ningly delivered often all but annihilated a nation, at which time the na- 
tion applied through ambassadors to a neutral nation for protection. If the 
protection were granted, they abandoned their own territory and merged 
with the nation that had become a sort of foster parent to them. And this 
was the fate of all the Mississippi tribes but two, the Choctaw and the 
Chickasaw. 

The most progressive of the tribes was the first to go. The French cov- 
eted Natchez lands and demanded from them the site of their principal 
village, White Apple. For this reason the tribe agreed upon a general mas- 
sacre of the French. The butchery began in November 1729, and 250 vic- 
tims fell the first day. French forces under Le Seur soon retaliated, how- 
ever, and in January 1730, surprised the Natchez village, liberated the 
captives, losing but two of their own men. This was followed by another 
victory in February that scattered the Natchez tribe. Some fled westward 
and some were sold as slaves, the Great Sun among them, and the Natchez 
tribe no longer existed. 

The Tunicas were defeated in 1763, and in 1817 the entire tribe emi- 



ARCHEOLOGY AND INDIANS 59 

grated to Louisiana where they intermarried with both the French and the 
Negro. The Yazoo, like the Natchez, were practically annihilated by the 
French, following an Indian massacre in 1729. The Biloxi, Pascagoula, 
and some of the Six Town Choctaw, who had a strong attachment for the 
French, followed them into Louisiana about 1764. The Chakchiuma were 
practically exterminated by the combined forces of Choctaw and Chicka- 
saw tribes, who had grown weary of the former tribe's continued thieving. 
The few Chakchiuma who remained merged with the Chickasaw Nation in 
1836. 

From 1776, when English rule was challenged by the North American 
Colonies, the history of the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes is one of stead- 
ily giving way before advancing white settlement and steadily increasing 
friction. The end was the removal of the Indians to the West between 
1832 and 1834. 

In 1 80 1 treaties between the United States and the Chickasaw Nation 
gave the Government the right-of-way on the Natchez Trace, and in 1805 
the Choctaw surrendered their south Mississippi lands. This act was the 
beginning of the end. A little more than a quarter of a century later 
neither the Chickasaw nor the Choctaw held any possessions east of the 
Mississippi River. The year 1820 saw the Treaty of Doak's Stand; the 
Treaty of Washington came in 1826; and in 1830 the Choctaw chieftains 
signed the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek. This treaty removed all but a 
small portion of this nation to what is now Oklahoma. On October 20, 
1832, the Treaty of Pontotoc was signed between the Chickasaw Nation 
and the United States. By this treaty the Chickasaw ceded all their pos- 
sessions in Mississippi and east of the Mississippi River and allowed 
themselves to be moved to Oklahoma. It is to be noted, however, that in 
Oklahoma the Chickasaw and the Choctaw formed well-defined and stable 
governments. The descendants of the 3,000 Choctaw of pure blood who 
refused to leave Mississippi still till the soil of their ancestors (see 
Tour 12). 



-ft >>>>>>>> 



Tke State in the Makim 

( 

An Outline of Four Centuries 



Nearly a century before the Mayflower anchored at Plymouth Rock in 
1620, Mississippi's history began. Spanish treasure ships linking the 
western hemisphere to the dynastic empire of Charles V made the Carib- 
bean and the Gulf of Mexico a Spanish Main. 

In 1528 Panfilo de Narvaez, armed with a grant from Charles V, landed 
in Florida. Before the year was out the leader of the expedition his ships 
scattered and his following reduced vanished into a Gulf storm; there 
were few survivors. The expedition of Nunez Beltran Guzman two years 
later fared little better. Guzman failed to discover the fabulous "seven cit- 
ies of Cibola," said to lie far north of Mexico City. But rumors of vast 
treasures and wonderful people tempted the monk, Marcos de Niza, in 
1539; and Estevan, his Negro scout, actually sighted a formidable pueblo 
of the Zuni. 

In the next year, Mendoza, Viceroy of Mexico, sent Francisco Vasquez 
de Coronado, with a strong force of soldiers and friendly Indians, to take 
possession of the northern land, and, more particularly, of its portable 
riches. Coronado found little he could carry away, and spent himself in 
searching farther to the north, or northeast even to the valley of the 
Platte River for Quivera, where he hoped to find a rich city. He found 
merely a pastoral Indian village. Bitterly disappointed, Coronado, in 1541, 
turned southward, apparently by the route that was to become the Santa Fe 
Trail. 

Roaming in the interior at the same time, in a vain search for gold, was 
another Spanish expedition, headed by De Soto. In the summer of 1541 
the Coronado and De Soto parties seemed to be within a few days' march 
of each other ; and Coronado, suspecting this, sent a messenger to find De 
Soto. But he was unsuccessful. 

De Soto comes more directly into Mississippi history. Of all the ex- 
plorers of that period, he, probably, was the only one to enter the region 
now within the State. 



AN OUTLINE OF FOUR CENTURIES 6l 

Hernando (Fernando) de Soto, of gentle birth but needy, had accom- 
panied Pizarro to Peru in 1531. Together, they had plundered the rich 
empire of the Incas. A few years later, De Soto, now a gentleman of re- 
nown and possessed of vast wealth, appeared at the Spanish court "with 
the retinue of a nobleman." When he asked for permission to undertake 
the conquest of Florida at his own expense, King Charles V readily acqui- 
esced, commissioning him also as Governor of Cuba, and captain-general 
of any provinces he might conquer. 

After wandering through the wilds of what are now the States of Flor- 
ida, Georgia, and Alabama, he entered Mississippi in 1540. Somewhere 
below the site of Memphis, Tennessee, he discovered the Mississippi River 
in May 1541. After veering westward, De Soto, dejected and near death, 
returned to the river; and upon its banks he died, May 21, 1542. His body 
was buried in the waters that were to give him immortality, close to the 
present site of Natchez. 

After De Soto, the primeval country was not disturbed until the iyth 
century. In 1673, Father Marquette and the trader Joliet, inspired by the 
ambition of Louis XIV, descended the Mississippi River from the mouth 
of the Wisconsin River to a point below the mouth of the Arkansas River 
"from the latitude of 42 to 34" as Marquette's own narrative has it. 
Their voyage prepared the way for Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, who 
in 1682 followed the course of the Mississippi to its mouth and, in a 
sweeping gesture, claimed the whole valley for France. In rapid succes- 
sion, Hennepin, Cadillac, and Tonti, among others, made further explora- 
tions on the river. 

It was Pierre le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville, however, who founded the 
first permanent white colony in the lower Mississippi Valley. Iberville, 
having urged upon the French court the importance of taking possession 
of La Salle's "Louisiana" and of finding an entrance to the Mississippi 
from the sea, left Brest on October 24, 1698, with a commission from 
Louis XIV to occupy Louisiana. Accompanying him were nearly 200 colo- 
nists, with whose aid in 1699 he established Fort de Maurepas at what is 
now Ocean Springs. This settlement (see Tour 1) was the seat of govern- 
ment for a territory that extended eastward to present-day Pittsburg and 
westward to the present Yellowstone National Park. 

Before La Salle's explorations had established France's claims to the 
Mississippi Valley, however, this region had been included in the so-called 
Carolina Grant made in 1629-30 to Sir Robert Heath by King Charles I 
of England. In 1633 it was included in the Charles II grant to Clarendon, 
Carteret, and others. Eventually a London physician, Coxe, put forth pre- 



62 



MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 



CEDfD 0Y C~MC/fASAW3 

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TERRITORIAL ACQUISITIONS 

1801-1832 
Federal Writers' Project 



AN OUTLINE OF FOUR CENTURIES 63 

tensions to the mouth of the Mississippi, which two English vessels were 
sent to explore. But in September 1699, Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de 
Bienville, brother of Sieur d'Iberville, encountered one of these English 
ships about fifty miles from the mouth of the Mississippi. Assured that 
this was not the Mississippi but a dependency of Canada belonging to the 
French, the English commander left the river and the early colonization 
of the region to the French. The point where this encounter occurred has 
since been known as English Turn. 

In 1702, England having declared war on France, the French King gave 
orders to Iberville to build a fort on the Mobile River and to remove the 
Fort Maurepas colony thence. Thus, in case of trouble with the English 
who were moving westward from the Carolinas, the French settlers would 
be near their Spanish friends at Fort Pensacola. The seat of government 
was removed eighteen leagues up the river to the new fort, named Louis de 
la Mobile, and the first white family arrived there in May 1702. In 1711 
the settlement of Mobile was inundated, causing the removal of colonists 
to the present Mobile. 

Biloxi, however, was not abandoned. From this settlement Iberville 
and Bienville penetrated the surrounding country, establishing trading 
posts and forts, among which was Fort Rosalie founded on the bluffs 
of Natchez in 1716. In 1704 twenty or more young women destined for 
marriage with the colonists landed at Mobile and Ship Island Fort 
Maurepas' port and outer bulwark. This was the first of several shipments 
of "Casket Girls," French orphans and peasants who came voluntarily 
to the New World as prospective wives for the settlers. Each girl brought 
with her a small "dot" and a chest containing a trousseau provided by 
the government. 

On September 14, 1712, Louisiana was temporarily assigned by Louis 
XIV to a great French merchant and financier, Anthony Crozat, Marquis 
de Chatel. It has been said that "Never in the history of the world was 
such a magnificent domain, even temporarily, placed in the sole keeping 
of one man." For a term of 15 years Crozat was granted a monopoly of 
the trade of Louisiana. To assist and abet his agents, the troops in the 
colony were placed at his disposal. All the shipping in the colony was 
his, on condition that it be replaced at the end of his term. Yet "Crozat 
never came to Louisiana" ; and it must not be thought that Louisiana was 
a populous territory when turned over to Crozat. There were a few 
settlements on the Kaskaskia, Wabash, and Illinois Rivers, but the total 
number of Europeans in the whole territory was only 380. 

Though Crozat was in commercial control, Bienville was Acting Gov- 



64 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

ernor until March 1717. Approving the site of the New Orleans as the 
most favorable location for a great commercial center, he agitated for 
the removal of the capital to that point, though other influences favored 
Fort Rosalie. The opinion of Bienville prevailed; the village of New 
Orleans was laid out in 1717 or 1718, and in 1723 the seat of govern- 
ment was moved to the new location. 

Despairing of making his Louisiana monopoly profitable, Crozat relin- 
quished his charter to the King in August 1717. In that same year John 
Law, Scotch adventurer and financier living in France, originated his 
famous "Mississippi Scheme" to resuscitate French finances, then at low 
ebb because of the wars of Louis XIV. Louisiana was believed to abound 
in precious metals, and Law held that by developing the province money 
would flow into France. In 1717 the Compagnie des Indes Occidentals, 
commonly known as the Mississippi Company, with Law as its director, 
was chartered and its shares were eagerly bought by the public. For the 
exclusive privilege of developing Louisiana, the company was obligated 
to introduce within 25 years 6,000 white colonists and 3,000 Negro 
slaves. As a result, in 1718 grants for settlement were made on the Yazoo 
River, on Bay St Louis, Pascagoula Bay, and at Natchez. In 1720 three 
hundred colonists settled at Natchez; and in the following year the same 
number, destined for the lands of Mme. de Chaumont, a court favorite, 
arrived at Pascagoula. In 1722 a company of Germans, settlers on John 
Law's grant on the Arkansas River, descended the river to a point near 
New Orleans, where they made a settlement. 

In 1718 Law persuaded the Duke of Orleans, regent of France, to 
charter a national bank, which became the Banque Royale, with Law as 
director-general. When in 1719 the Compagnie des Indes absorbed the 
French East India Company, it marketed a large issue of shares which 
sold at enormous premiums. The Banque Royale, the National Bank, 
to keep pace with the astounding inflation of the company's stock, flooded 
the country with paper money. As the stock rose, paper currency to the 
face value of 2,700,000,000 livres went into circulation. But the expected 
flow of wealth from Louisiana into France did not materialize. 

The French Government became more and more involved in the diffi- 
culties of the trading company, while Law gained increasing power over 
State finances. He controlled the mint, and his companies became the 
receivers-general of France. In March 1720 the Compagnie des Indes 
was merged with the national bank. A month later John Law, as its 
head, became comptroller-general of finances. Public confidence began to 
waver; shrewd financiers began to send their gold to Brussels and 



AN OUTLINE OF FOUR CENTURIES 65 

London. A run on the bank caused the government to issue an edict 
deflating both bank and company stock. Law sought to stave off disaster 
by forbidding the export of gold and silver, and by making the hoarding 
of metallic currency a crime. But in July 1720, his great financial empire 
crumbled. The bank was compelled to stop payment, and Law fled from 
France. He died in Vienna in 1729. 

With the collapse of the "Mississippi Bubble," followed by a devastat- 
ing storm in the summer of 1723, began a series of troubles that eventu- 
ally retarded the Louisiana colony. In 1726, Bienville was recalled to 
France and Perier, a harsh uncompromising character who lacked Bien- 
ville's tact in dealing with the Indians, became commander-general of 
Louisiana. The pressure of the colonists on the Natchez Indians led to 
the massacre of the French garrison at Fort Rosalie on November 29, 
1729. In retaliation, Perier virtually exterminated the Natchez tribe. In 
1732, King George II of England extended British claims westward from 
the Carolina Colonies to the Mississippi River, including a part of Missis- 
sippi in the proprietary charter of Georgia. With British support, the 
warlike Chickasaw tribe blocked French expansion into northern Missis- 
sippi; and in a series of wars against the French under the reinstated 
Bienville, this tribe successfully checked the rising fortunes of the colony. 
The repulse of the French at Ackia in 1736 was the turning point. 

The intrigue of the British with the Chickasaw against the French 
was but one phase of the contest between France and Great Britain for 
sovereignty over the far-flung territory from the mouth of the St. Law- 
rence to the Gulf of Mexico. In 1762, foreseeing defeat in her struggle 
with England, France ceded to Spain, New Orleans and all of the Lou- 
isiana territory west of the Mississippi ; and the following year the Treaty 
of Paris awarded to England all of France's territory east of the Mississippi 
and north of a little above Baton Rouge, Louisiana. George III thereupon 
supplanted Louis XV as the ruler of the valley. 

The English genius for colonization, which had marked the develop- 
ment of the Atlantic seaboard, was demonstrated also in the settlement 
of the rich agricultural lands around Natchez. Fort Rosalie under Gov- 
ernor George Johnstone was rebuilt and renamed Panmure. Land grants 
to retired English army and navy officers, such as the Amos Ogden 
Mandamus on the Homochitto River (see Tour 3, Sec. b), were the spur 
to a migration of Protestants, land-loving settlers who contrasted greatly 
with the Catholic remnants of the French period. When the Thirteen 
Colonies revolted on the seaboard in 1776, British West Florida (includ- 
ing the Natchez District) remained loyal to the Crown. Its remoteness 



66 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

from the center of action made it a haven for fleeing Royalists; but 
anxious not to be involved in the conflict, the Natchez District gave a 
promise of neutrality to James Willing, the representative sent by the 
American Continental Congress. Willing, however, quickly lost the col- 
onists' respect by stealing sections of their lands and a shipment of 
supplies. 

Spain, taking advantage of British preoccupation with the revolution, 
re-established its authority in the Gulf country in 1779. Moving up the 
river, Spanish troops took over Natchez in 1781. But Spanish rule in the 
Natchez country defeated its own end. Purposely mild to attract emi- 
grants from the new Republic of the United States, it eventually was 
overthrown by the increasing pro-American sentiment. Protestantism, 
served by such zealous preachers as Richard Curtis, Samuel Swayze, and 
Adam Cloud, gained on Catholicism despite the rigid Spanish laws re- 
garding religion. 

Although British West Florida had extended north to 32 28', by 
the second Treaty of Paris in 1783, England recognized United States' 
claims south to the 3ist parallel. This Spain refused to do. For a period 
of years, therefore, sovereignty to the land between 31 and 32 28' 
was under dispute, Spain claiming it by right of conquest and the United 
States by right of treaty. To complicate matters further, the State of 
Georgia also claimed the region by her charter of 1732, even going so 
far as to organize it into the County of Bourbon in 1785 and to sell it 
in the notorious "Yazoo Fraud" of 1795. By the treaty of Madrid in 
1795 the dispute between the United States and Spain was theoretically 
settled in favor of the former. But the Spanish took their time in evacu- 
ating Natchez; Andrew Ellicott, a Quaker surveyor appointed to run 
the line of demarcation, was kept waiting a year on this account. When 
American troops arrived in 1798, the Spanish at last evacuated their posts, 
and the American flag was officially raised. By act of Congress on April 
7, 1798, the Mississippi Territory was created, and the century of Old 
World dominance had ended. Natchez became the first Territorial capital ; 
but on February i, 1802, the seat of government was removed six miles 
east to the town of Washington. 

But though the shackles of Europe had fallen from the Territory, it 
had still to consolidate its position. The labyrinthian complications of 
disputed sovereignties to the region had been but a surface sign of deeper 
conflicts which lay inherent in the people who composed its population. 
On the Gulf Coast were descendants of French settlers; around Natchez 
was a small but influential group of Englishmen whose allegiance to 



AN OUTLINE OF FOUR CENTURIES 67 

the Republic was grudging; new settlers, with antecedents in the older 
Colonies, were independence incarnate. These people, not yet knit into 
the fabric of American life and economically remote from the seaboard, 
were divided by old allegiances and easily swayed by the power of a 
personality. Their only bond was a common hatred of Spain, a hatred 
intensified when that country, in July 1802, forbade any land grants to 
American citizens, and in October of the same year closed the port of 
New Orleans to American goods. Neither the opening of the port in 
March 1803 nor the Louisiana Purchase a month later, diminished the 
settlers' common opposition to Spain. When crises arose, the unity of 
the Territory was maintained not by allegiance to the United States but 
by an intense distrust of foreigners that acted as a nucleus for policy 
formation. 

Following consummation of the Louisiana Purchase in April 1803, 
the opening of the Mississippi River, and the cession of western lands by 
the State of Georgia, a land boom swept Mississippi. On March 3, 1803, 
Congress passed a measure providing for a survey of the Territory; the 
surveyor-general's office was established at Washington, Mississippi, with 
Isaac Briggs as the first incumbent ; and, following the traditional national 
urge for land, people began to pour into Mississippi from the eastern areas, 
including New England. 

An example of anti-Spanish sentiment was the response to Aaron Burr's 
expedition in 1806. Presented to the residents as a scheme to occupy Span- 
ish territory and perhaps create a new state in the Southwest, Burr's plans 
were blocked only by the duplicity of James Wilkinson and an alignment 
of national politics that found President Jefferson taking the role of Burr's 
chief accuser. However, when Burr surrendered to Mississippi authorities 
in January 1807, and was awaiting trial at Washington, the Territorial cap- 
ital, leaders of the community vied with one another for the honor of en- 
tertaining him as their guest. 

Following the cession of Louisiana in 1803, Spain held the Baton Rouge 
and Manchac districts, lying between New Orleans and the Natchez dis- 
trict, and also the coast region, formerly under the government of Mobile. 
All this territory was formerly French Louisiana, and the American Gov- 
ernment was making claims to it as a part of the French concession. The 
Kemper brothers, who then were living near Pinckneyville, initiated 
the first open and organized rebellion against Spanish authority. The 
Kemper movement, the plot to capture Mobile, and the operations of 
Aaron Burr were all connected, and all hastened the actual annexation of 
the territory to the United States. The Kempers raised the flag of revolu- 



68 



MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 



MISSISSIPPI IN 1817 

The Year of Statehood 
Federal Writers' Project 




AN OUTLINE OF FOUR CENTURIES 69 

tion in the Baton Rouge district. The United States claimed that under the 
French title the Sabine River was the western boundary of its territory, 
and that beyond this stream began the Spanish province of Texas. The 
Spanish claimed a line east of the Sabine, at the Arroyo Hondo, halfway 
between Natchitoches and Adeas. In October 1805 small detachments of 
Spanish troops crossed the Sabine and occupied the Arroyo Hondo line. 
Under orders from Washington, American troops advanced, and the Span- 
ish retired beyond the Sabine. But late in the summer of 1806, Spanish 
troops again advanced east of the Sabine. In October General Wilkinson 
effected a truce, and the Spanish retired beyond the Sabine "pending the 
negotiations between the United States and Spain." But some time passed 
and there was still no agreement. The continued occupation of the Baton 
Rouge district by Spanish authorities was becoming more and more un- 
bearable to the American settler. Throughout much of 1809, border war- 
fare was waged. In the summer of 1810, settlers' meetings at Baton Rouge 
proposed the adoption of a constitutional government. The Spanish gover- 
nor sent to Pensacola for reinforcements. The American party gathered its 
forces and on September 23, 1810, attacked and captured the Spanish fort 
at St. Francisville. The town of Baton Rouge surrendered, the Spanish 
troops and civil authorities being allowed to retire to Pensacola. 

An American convention immediately assembled, and proclaimed "the 
Territory of West Florida a free and independent State." A constitution 
was adopted and a government organized under the name of "the Free 
State of Florida." On October u, 1810, the convention applied to the 
United States for admission as a State into the Union. On October 27, 
President Madison issued a proclamation empowering Governor Claiborne 
of the "Territory of New Orleans" to take possession of West Florida. 
The territory south of Mississippi Territory eastward to Perdido River had 
been conveyed to the United States as a part of the Louisiana Purchase. 
Governor Claiborne was instructed that if military forces were needed to 
establish his jurisdiction in that area they would be supplied. Accompanied 
by military, the Governor went to Baton Rouge, and by proclamation de- 
clared West Florida the "Territory of Orleans." Mobile, not included in 
this territory, was held by the Spanish until the War of 1812. During that 
war British alliance with northern Indian tribes under Tecumseh was out- 
maneuvered by the friendly Choctaw chieftain, Pushmataha. The Creek up- 
risings brought active service for the Mississippi Militia over a considerable 
period. The first engagement was the battle at Burnt Corn (then in Missis- 
sippi, now in Alabama) on July 17, 1813; and on August 30 a massacre 
at Fort Mimms shocked the country. Immediately Andrew Jackson organ- 



70 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

ized a company of Tennessee volunteers to avenge the outrage and wage a 
campaign against the Creek Nation. Fighting with Jackson against the 
Creeks was the youthful Sam Houston. In 1814 a British fleet overwhelmed 
a small American force off Bay St. Louis in the last naval engagement of 
the war; but this defeat was avenged by the victory of New Orleans, in 
which Mississippi troops played a prominent part. 

The same spirit of independence that had shaken off European claims 
to the territory was manifested in the quarrel between the people and their 
appointed Territorial governors, the conflict being especially pronounced 
during the Sargent administration. By 1810 the Territory was clamoring 
for statehood; and in 1817 the western portion was admitted to the Union 
by act of Congress on December 10, as the State of Mississippi. 

During the Territorial period, when political unity was being achieved, a 
cotton boom had given the people a basis for economic unity. The high 
price of cotton and the low price of land drew from the older South (the 
Piedmont principally) the "Great Migration" that was to complete the set- 
tlement of Mississippi and annex it to the cotton kingdom. 

The changes wrought by this influx of new people between 1817 and 
1832 are politically enshrined in the State constitutions of these years. The 
first constitution was written by George Poindexter, an exceptionally bril- 
liant lawyer who represented the Whigs of the State, and was a reflection 
of the conservative if not actually aristocratic character of the Natchez dis- 
trict planters. The convention adopting this constitution assembled July 7, 
1817, at the Methodist meeting house in Washington (see Tour 3, Sec. b). 
Cowles Mead, a Virginian who had migrated from Georgia, proposed that 
the new State be called Washington. His proposal received 17 votes, as 
against 23 for the name of Mississippi. By 1832 the State contained many 
small farmers, Jacksonian Democrats steeped in Jacksonian principles ; and 
the constitution adopted in that year was in many respects the most demo- 
cratic State constitution of the time. It even provided for an elective 
judiciary. 

The feverish pressure of the immigrants who followed the westward 
moving cotton boom drove the Indians out of Mississippi. The treaty of 
Doak's Stand in 1820 opened 5,500,000 acres of Choctaw land to white 
settlement, and resulted in an immediate influx of population. By 1829, 
however, only about one-third of the tract had been sold to settlers or spec- 
ulators; it was claimed that the Indians possessed the "fat of the land." As 
only about half the land of the State was open to white settlers, many de- 
manded that the Indians yield all their territory and move westward. By 
the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830, the Choctaw Nation ceded to 



AN OUTLINE OF FOUR CENTURIES JI 

the United States "the entire country they own and possess east of the Mis- 
sissippi River; and they agree to move beyond the Mississippi River as 
early as practicable." In 1832 the Chickasaw ceded their lands in northern 
Mississippi. These accessions not only rounded out the State geograph- 
ically, but were evidences of the peculiar nature of the early cotton 
economy, which made free and easily cultivated land a prerequisite to 
wealth. One tangible evidence of this wealth was the opening of the 
State University at Oxford in 1848. Significantly, Oxford was one of the 
towns that sprang into being almost in the center of the newly acquired 
lands. 

Loyal to King Cotton, Mississippians justified their expansionist senti- 
ments by chivalric military and oratorical exploits in the struggle for 
Texas independence and admission to the Union. This struggle was cli- 
maxed by the War with Mexico in 1846. Robert J. Walker and Henry S. 
Foote, orators, John A. Quitman and Jefferson Davis, soldiers, were the 
leading expansionists of the period. These men more than any others kept 
the slave States on an equality with the North in the race for possession of 
a continent. 

When the election of 1860 forced the issue between union and seces- 
sion, economic interests molded the political alignments in Mississippi. 
The older and wealthy families, loath to trust their fortunes to an untried 
government, were for the Union, and so were the poorer people or yeo- 
manry. The great middle class, however, was for secession. By their num- 
bers, ability, and reckless courage, they swept the Whigs and yeomen with 
them into withdrawal from the Union. On January 9, 1861, they made 
Mississippi the second State of the Confederacy. 

The fact that Jefferson Davis, a resident of Mississippi, was President 
of the Confederacy drew the State particularly close to the new govern- 
ment. Lingering doubts as to the righteousness of the southern cause were 
lost in the roar of cannon that followed the capture of Fort Sumter. The 
State threw its resources into the war magnificently ; at Manassas five regi- 
ments of Mississipians participated as units of the Army of Virginia. 

During the first year of war, activity in Mississippi was chiefly of a 
preparatory sort. But the year 1862 brought the war closer home. Union 
forces concentrated on two primary objectives in the State: Vicksburg and 
with it, control of the Mississippi River, and the isolation of Mississippi 
troops from arms and supplies. In April the first military invasion of the 
State began. After the Federal victory at Shiloh, General Halleck led 100,- 
ooo troops against Corinth, and made northeastern Mississippi a battle- 
ground for the remainder of the year. Hard fighting took place at Corinth, 



!*~- 



PORTER'S FLEET PASSING THE CONFEDERATE BATTERIES AT VICKSBURG 



luka, and Holly Springs, with General Grant moving stubbornly south- 
ward toward Vicksburg. This prolonged campaign against Vicksburg and 
the dogged defense of the city were the most important military maneu- 
vers in the State (see Vicksburg, Holly Springs, Tours 2, 3, 4, and 17). 
After the fall of the city on July 4, 1863, the greater part of the Con- 
federate field forces were transferred to other States, with only cavalry 
under Generals Stephen D. Lee and Nathan B. Forrest remaining to pro- 
tect the people from raids and to hamper General Sherman in his march 
across the State. The devastation brought by this march was summed up by 
Sherman himself: "The wholesale destruction is terrible to contemplate." 

The disruption of normal habits of life caused by the armies in Missis- 
sippi is reflected in the hurried and frequent changes of capitals during the 
war from Jackson to Enterprise to Meridian, back to Jackson, back to 
Meridian, thence to Columbus, to Macon, and finally back again to Jack- 
son. 

In the four years of war, Mississippi contributed approximately 80,000 
men to the Confederate armies, including 5 major generals and 29 briga- 
dier generals. Of the 80,000, fewer than 20,000 were "present or accounted 
for" on April 2, 1865. The supplies of food and arms provided by the 
State cannot be estimated. It is significant that the 80,000 Mississippi en- 
listments were greater than the State's total number of white males be- 



AN OUTLINE OF FOUR CENTURIES 73 

tween the ages of 18 and 45 cited in the 1860 census. Such an amazing 
contribution of a State's man-power to war has had few equals in modern 
times. When hostilities ceased, Mississippi was a ruin. 

After the fall of the Confederacy, Governor Charles Clark called a spe- 
cial session of the legislature to meet in Jackson on May 18, 1865. But the 
legislature had no more than assembled when word came that General Os- 
band, commander of a brigade of Negro troops, had received orders for 
the members' arrest. The legislature hastily adjourned. General Osband's 
arrest of Governor Clark on a charge of high treason ushered in the dis- 
order of the Reconstruction Period. This period was so shameful and con- 
fused that, for Mississippians, the term "ante bellum" assumed by contrast 
a halcyon significance that not even the war had given it, and one that 
clung to it long after the term had lost meaning for the North. 

Judge William L. Sharkey, an old-line Whig appointed Provisional 
Governor by President Johnson, called an election for a constitutional con- 
vention, the first to meet in the South under the President's reconstruction 
policy. The convention, meeting in August, 1865, was composed of 70 
Whigs and 18 Democrats, as compared with the 84 Democrats and 25 
Whigs of the Secession Convention. The Constitution of Mississippi was 
amended to abolish slavery. At the general election called by the conven- 
tion, General Benjamin G. Humphreys, a Whig and Union man who had 
served in the Army of Virginia, was selected as Governor. He was in- 
augurated in October 1865. 

A special session of the legislature held in 1866-67 refused to ratify the 
1 3th and i4th Amendments to the United States Constitution. The Na- 
tional Congress retaliated in March 1867 by placing Mississippi in the 
Fourth Military District, under the command of Major General E. O. C. 
Ord, whose use of Negro troops was especially repugnant to Mississip- 
pians. In 1868, General Alva C. Gillem, commander of the military sub- 
district of Mississippi, called a constitutional convention. At that time, 60,- 
167 Negro and 46,636 white males were registered as voters. This "Black 
and Tan" convention submitted a constitution to the people in June, but it 
was defeated and General Humphreys was returned to the Governor's 
chair. General Irwin McDowell (who had replaced Ord) issued a military 
order for the removal of Humphreys from the executive offices and man- 
sion, and began a regime in which all civil government was ended. In 
1869 all persons who had been associated with the Confederacy were dis- 
qualified as officeholders and their places filled with Negroes, "carpetbag- 
gers," and "scalawags." 

When President Grant ordered the constitution, with certain objection- 



74 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

able features omitted, to be resubmitted to the people in November 1869, 
the faction of the Republican Party headed by James L. Alcorn, a former 
Whig and the faction's candidate for Governor, rode into power with the 
ratification of the constitution. In February 1870, Mississippi was readmit- 
ted to the Union as a State. 

Governor Alcorn' s troubles with a legislature containing 35 Negroes 
were emphasized when the panic of 1873 caused further distress in the 
State. In the gubernatorial campaign of that year, Adelbert V. Ames, with 
solid Negro support, defeated Alcorn in an election that marked the cli- 
max of Negro rule. Out of 152 seats in the legislature, 64 were held by 
Negroes and 24 by "carpetbaggers"; the Lieutenant Governor, the Secre- 
taries of State, Immigration, and Agriculture, and the Superintendent of 
Education as well as nearly all local officeholders, were Negroes. In char- 
acter with any political movement that suddenly raises a submerged class to 
power, the Ames administration was marked by extravagance and corrup- 
tion. It intensified the post-war hardships of Mississippi to an almost 
unbearable degree. 

In the exceptionally bitter campaign of 1875, one in which acts of ter- 
rorism were committed by both parties, a coalition party of Democrats and 
Whigs under the leadership of L. Q. C. Lamar (then a Congressman, later 
a member of the Cabinet, and eventually a Justice of the United States Su- 
preme Court), James Z. George (later Chief Justice of Mississippi and 
United States Senator), Edward C. Walthall (who succeeded Lamar as 
United States Senator, and was in turn succeeded by William V. Sullivan) 
and John M. Stone (later Governor), aided by Alcorn's white Republicans, 
defeated the Ames administration in 62 out of 74 counties. The first act of 
the new legislature was to investigate the State officials. The impeached 
Negro Superintendent of Education was first to resign. The Negro Lieuten- 
ant Governor was convicted on an impeachment charge in March 1876 and 
removed from office. Under fire of impeachment charges, Governor Ames 
resigned March 29, and was succeeded in office by the President of the 
Senate, John M. Stone. 

The Constitution of 1890 gave white supremacy the force of legal sanc- 
tion by restricting Negro suffrage under a system of apportionment of rep- 
resentatives in counties heavily populated by whites, and by an educational 
clause later used as a model in other southern States. Since 1875 only 
the Democratic Party has held political power in Mississippi. 

For many years poignant memories of the war and Reconstruction 
Period influenced the political thoughts of Mississippi voters. Until 1890 
they held loyally to their former Confederate leaders as post-war political 



AN OUTLINE OF FOUR CENTURIES 75 

captains. But with white supremacy safely entrenched by the constitution 
of 1890, political alignments reflected the diverse interests and sympathies 
of Mississippi classes. Within the party a split developed between the 
older, once-great leaders and the younger, newly empowered masses a 
split that echoed the early nineteenth century break between Whigs and 
Democrats. This schism also reflected the changed economic position of 
the once wealthy planters. Deprived of their mainstay of Negro labor, 
with capital gone, and unused to farm work, many of them moved from 
their plantations into the county seats, where they lived precariously from 
rents and sales of their land. 

The smaller farmer, a man schooled in hatred both of the class above 
him and of the Negro who threatened competition with him, took over 
piecemeal the former plantations. Aided by the new tool of a political 
election primary, the members of this group broke up the closed circle of 
planter leadership by elevating their "Great White Chief," James K. 
Vardaman, to the governorship in 1904. Since that time the small farmer 
class has constituted the politically potent majority of the electorate. 

The legislature of 1900 provided appropriations for the building of a 
new State capitol. This structure was completed in 1903 at a cost of more 
than a million dollars, and here inaugural ceremonies for Governor Varda- 
man were held. 

With Vardaman the old order changed. Legislation of the period of 
1904-25 is indicative of a growing social consciousness. Bills were passed 
providing for the establishment of county agricultural high schools for 
whites (1908) and a State normal college (1910) ; for regulation of 
child labor (1912); for the consolidation of rural schools (1916); for 
the establishment of an illiteracy commission (1916), a State commission 
of education (1924), and a State library commission (1926). Though 
broadening its concepts of the highest good of the people as a whole, 
Mississippi remained rooted in conservatism. In 1904 the "Jim Crow" 
Law was passed; in 1908 the importation and sale of intoxicating liquor 
were prohibited; and in 1926 the teaching of evolution in State schools 
was forbidden. 

President Wilson's declaration of war upon Germany was ratified by the 
State on April 6, 1917. At Payne Field, Clay County, in May 1918, one 
of the earliest aviation schools of the war was established, and here ap- 
proximately 1,500 men received instruction during the course of the war. 
To Camp Shelby, established in 1917 in Forrest County, came recruits 
from every part of the United States ; one of the chief mobilization cen- 
ters for all branches of the Army, Camp Shelby at its peak of activity 



76 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

had 60,000 soldiers in training. At the close of the war, the records 
showed that Mississippi had provided approximately 66,000 men to the 
United States Army and Navy, and had contributed nearly $80,000,000 
in Liberty Loans. 

The most disastrous flood recorded in the history of the Mississippi 
River swept the Delta in April 1927, taking a heavy toll in lives and 
property. For years, since the ante-bellum settlements of the Lake Wash- 
ington region and the post-war opening of the land north of this area, 
flood control had been first in charge of individuals, then under authority 
of county and district levee boards. After the 1927 flood, the National Con- 
gress accepted the problem as a matter of national concern; and on May 
5, 1928, the Flood Control Act, launched in the lower house of Congress 
by William Whittington of Washington County, Mississippi, was passed. 
This act removed the burden of flood control from the people and placed 
it under the direction of the Corps of Engineers of the United States 
Army, appropriating $325,000,000 to be expended in the work. The 
Army engineers established a laboratory for scientific study of the Missis- 
sippi River and its currents (see Tour 2), then began to heighten and 
strengthen levees, dig cut-offs, and build reservoirs. In 1936 an additional 
$272,000,000 was added to the sum remaining under the 1928 act. The 
success of the control measures was proved in 1937 when the great crest 
sent down the Mississippi by the Ohio River's history-making flood was 
held in bounds, leaving the Delta unharmed. 

Though Mississippi is still one of the most predominantly agricultural 
States in the Union, there are indications that its one-sided preoccupa- 
tions with cotton farming is changing. Some of the evidences of change 
are more than a century old; others are so recent that they have not yet 
been assayed. The first major break was the development of a large-scale 
lumber and timber-product industry in southern Mississippi's Piney Woods. 
Coming with the building of railroads through the forests (a project for 
which Captain William Hardy was largely responsible) at the turn of the 
century, this industry set a new pattern of livelihood. The small stock- 
raisers and one-horse cotton farmers became sawmill hands, and the largest 
yeomanry section of the State was raised to a position of economic power. 
But with the exhaustion of its virgin timber reserves, the Piney Woods 
region is faced with the problem of returning either to small-crop cotton 
farming or to such things as cattle and fruit raising, and the making of 
pulpwood products (see INDUSTRY and COMMERCE). 

Another break in the habitual "one-crop" way of life came with the 
march of the boll weevil across the State in 1909. The dismay caused by 



AN OUTLINE OF FOUR CENTURIES 77 

this pest prompted a movement for agricultural diversification, which was 
accelerated in 1931 by the crisis in cotton prices. This diversification 
brought the tomato and cabbage raising industry to the trucking section, 
and the dairying plants to the Black Prairie. Greatly reenforced by the 
campaign of soil conservation, this movement has resulted in many other 
agricultural activities to supplement cotton growing (see AGRICUL- 
TURE). 

After the World War, falling land values, due to low cotton prices and 
exhaustion of the Piney Woods timber, had a disastrous effect upon the 
revenues of the State. In the late 1920'$ and early 1930'$, the budget could 
not be balanced. Governor Theodore G. Bilbo made several attempts to 
provide additional tax revenues, but a hostile legislature blocked each 
measure. When, in January 1932, Sennett M. Conner took office as Gov- 
ernor, pledged to the passage of a sales tax, the deficit amounted to 
$13,486,760. On May i, the sales tax bill, providing a two percent tax 
on all purchases, became a law; and before the end of 1935 the deficit 
had been wiped out, with the State's treasury showing a cash balance of 
more than $1,200,000. During the first two years of operation, the tax cost 
the average citizen approximately ten cents a month, though it increased 
the State's income approximately 25 percent. 

The legislature of 1932 also provided for the reduction of the property 
tax levy by empowering the Governor, upon recommendations of the State 
auditor, State treasurer, and chairman of the tax commission, to cut the 
levy as much as 50 percent whenever the State's financial condition justi- 
fied such action. Continuing its policy of lifting the tax burden from home 
owners, the legislature of 1934 exempted from State taxes homesteads 
valued up to $1,000, and provided for personal property exemptions. In 
1935 the homestead exemption was raised to $2,500. Approximately 90 
percent of the State's home owners are exempt from State property taxes 
(1938). At the head of the State Tax Commission is Alfred H. Stone, 
president of the National Association of Tax Administrators. 

During the last decade Mississippi has witnessed a development that 
may prove more potent than either lumber or the boll weevil in shifting 
the State's economic interests to activities other than cotton. The Ten- 
nessee Valley Authority, established by Congress in 1934, supplemented 
the earlier electric transmission systems in the State. These lines and 
the opening of a natural gas field at Jackson in 1930 provide two of 
the links that had been missing in the chain of industrial development. In 
a State that heretofore has failed to process its raw materials, the coming 
of low-cost power and fuel may well initiate an industrial revolution. 



MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 



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COUNTIES OF MISSISSIPPI 

Federal Writers' Project 




TRANSPORTATION 79 

In 1936 Hugh L. White was elected Governor on a pledge "to balance 
agriculture with industry." Under his leadership, the legislature of that 
year authorized municipalities to issue bonds for the purpose of erecting 
plant buildings for industrial enterprises, and to exempt from ad valorem 
taxation for five years certain classes of industrial enterprise. Under this 
program, Mississippi is undergoing an industrial development that, meas- 
ured by statistics, is remarkable. If these signs can be taken as auguries of 
the future, Mississippi's agrarian way of life may soon be fundamentally 
altered. 



Transportation 



The story of Mississippi's social and economic development can be out- 
lined in its history of transportation. 

Except for the marches of Hernando De Soto in 1540-41, travel in the 
exploration period was by water. Along the Coast, in the sixteenth century, 
conquistadores sailed in search of gold. In the seventeenth century, after 
France had won the Great Lakes and Quebec was built, French priests and 
voyageurs paddled their canoes in a great arc around the English seaboard 
colonies and pushed toward the center of the continent. La Salle, Tonti, 
and Fathers Davion and Montigny descended the Mississippi to its mouth. 
In 1699 D'Iberville and Bienville planted the first permanent colony at 
old Biloxi. 

In like manner, the early settlements either hugged the coast line Pas- 
cagoula, Pass Christian, and Bay St. Louis or, gravitated upstream to 
the better land, the river banks. Natchez developed on the Mississippi 
River upstream from New Orleans. On the Pearl, Simon Favre made his 
settlement well up the river and, later, John Ford (see Tour 13) settled 
upstream from him. On the Pascagoula, the voyageurs who intended to 
farm left the lower harbor to hunters and fishermen and moved above the 
marsh. Of the river settlements, however, those on the Mississippi were 
more numerous, more important, and wealthier. 

Although they were overshadowed by the Mississippi, the State's other 




TOWBOAT ON THE MISSISSIPPI 



streams experienced a like development. An 1825 map revealing the 
Natchez district well established, with an organized county government, 
also indicates settlements on the Pearl and the Pascagoula. From Ford's 
on the Pearl, the settlements moved up the valley to Columbia (second 
capital of the State), then to Monticello (home of two governors in the 
1830'$), and at last to Jackson, the State capital. Pearlington, built on 
hummocks of solid land where the Pearl meets the Gulf, was the trading 
post for cotton and lumber shipped down by flatboat. On the fan-shaped 
section drained by the Pascagoula tributaries were Augusta and Win- 
chester. 

The map of 1825 shows settlements along the Tombigbee River, en- 
tirely separate and over 200 miles from Natchez. The Tombigbee rises in 
north Mississippi, one fork in the foothills of the Tennessee and the other 
on the slopes east of Pontotoc Ridge. From the junction of the forks, 
near Amory, the river was formerly navigable to Mobile. Thus Cotton Gin 
Port, Plymouth, West Port, Columbus, and Aberdeen developed much as 
the Mississippi River settlements. 

Roughly, from the lySo's to 1900, life on the Mississippi was a suc- 
cession of growth, decline, and renewed growth. First was the transition 
from canoes to clumsy, raft-like cargo boats, overbalancing traffic upstream 
from New Orleans with that coming down from the Ohio. The river 
routes to Natchez from the eastern States were the Ohio and the Ten- 



TRANSPORTATION 8l 

nessee joined to the Mississippi. From Pittsburg on the Ohio and Fort 
Chissel at the headwaters of the Tennessee, the pioneers floated down- 
stream toward New Orleans. After 1781, when the Spanish took over 
Natchez, its interests for a decade were associated with New Orleans; 
during the 1790'$, however, the upper country became more important to 
its development. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 started the great mi- 
gration; and as the lands along the Ohio filled with settlers, more of 
them came down the Mississippi. The flatboats they used were heavy forts 
set on barges which carried them with their provisions and livestock. 

In 1798 the force of American penetration into the Natchez district 
was sufficient to drive out the Spaniards. At approximately the same time, 
the planters shifted from tobacco to cotton. The resulting pressure of im- 
migration and traffic was increased greatly; cotton demanded an outlet 
to a world market, and the Mississippi served as the connecting link from 
Natchez, just as it became the trade route between that city and the upper 
valley. The combined pressure of people and goods required the opening 
of the port of New Orleans, and influenced the purchase of the Louisiana 
Territory from France in 1803 (see OUTLINE OF FOUR CENTURIES). 

Until 1811 keelboats and broadhorns brought the produce downstream. 
Then a new phase of traffic began, when the New Orleans, built by Fulton, 
became the first steamboat to navigate the river. The New Orleans made 
the trip despite the earthquakes which in places reversed the current of 
the Mississippi. The Comet and the Vesuvius followed, and steam domina- 
tion became an actuality when Henry Shreve's Washington, in 1817, made 
the trip from New Orleans to Louisville in 25 days. The lines of the 
Washington foretold the familiar Mississippi River type of boat double 
decks, with high-pressure engines raised to allow a shallow broad hull. 

The introduction of steam brought to a close the career of the profes- 
sional flatboatman, whose responsibility it was to get the pioneer and his 
family past shoal water and snags, Indians and outlaws. The dangers and 
the rough work of manning the sweeps demanded a rough man, one who 
could in a moment become "a combination of rubber ball, wildcat, and a 
shrieking maniac." He was a "ring- tailed roarer"; like his legendary hero, 
Mike Fink, he could "outrun, outhop, out jump, throw down, drag out, 
and lick any man in the country" (see VICKSBURG). 

As the splendid, embellished steamer overshadowed the rough flatboat, 
so the gambler with ruffled shirt, gaudy vest, Paris boots, and easy man- 
ner overshadowed the flatboatman. The gamblers, unlike the pilots (who 
were a race apart), were part and tradition of a steamer's life. Captains 
were superstitious about leaving a wharf without one of them on board. 



82 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

In their heyday, from 1835 to the War between the States, nearly 1,000 
gamblers worked the big boats between St. Louis and New Orleans. 

The commerce that made the gambler possible hints at the luxury the 
steamers afforded. The cotton planter, with his agent or factor in New 
Orleans and almost unlimited credit, had money or credit for gambling, 
and the steamers catered to his taste. On his frequent trips down the river 
to New Orleans, he was offered the best of food, a library, a bar, a news- 
paper printed on board, and a gaming room. 

As the speed and service of the steamers improved, the river grew in 
importance. Grand Gulf at the mouth of the Big Black tributary, Vicks- 
burg at the mouth of the Yazoo, and the inland shipping points, on the 
sluggish streams that cut the Delta's swamps and backed into the hills, 
were growing towns. Leota Landing brought the boats close to beautiful 
Lake Washington (see Side Tour 3A), and from Greenville to the lake 
there stand ante-bellum homes marking the settlement of the oldest sec- 
tion of the Delta. Yazoo City and Greenwood (originally Williams' Land- 
ing) on the Yazoo, Grenada on the Yalobusha, and old Wyatt at the head 
of navigation on the Tallahatchie, were the far inland towns serviced by 
boats from the Mississippi. Across the swampy and thickly forested Delta, 
steamboats could at high water leave the Mississippi at Yazoo Pass and 
float across the submerged bottoms to the Coldwater. There they could 
swing down the Tallahatchie to its confluence with the Yalobusha. From 
that point they would follow the Yazoo past Greenwood and Yazoo City, 
meeting the Mississippi again at Vicksburg. 

Coasting trade was a characteristic of river transportation just before 
the war. The fast, errand- running steamer, which could stop anywhere 
along the bank at any time to deliver a fan, a doll, a bottle of New 
Orleans bourbon, or a keg of nails, supplanted the slow "storeboat" of 
flatboat days, and aided greatly in making New Orleans the shopping 
center of the lower valley. A less obvious result of the errand-running 
steamer was the stifling of local trade. Only Natchez and Vicksburg were 
able to rise permanently above the village status, because they were con- 
venient way stations. The other towns along the river either caved into the 
stream, like one-half of Grand Gulf, or were pushed inland by a changing 
whim of the current, like the other half of Grand Gulf; they were de- 
serted, to rot in the sun. Riverbank dwellers who were neither planters 
nor customers became woodcutters to feed the smoke-belching steamers. 

The rivers were the first travel routes because they were the easier paths 
to follow. Only a few Indian paths and buffalo trails, seldom more than 
a foot or two wide, were cut through the wilderness ; and these had to fol- 



TRANSPORTATION 




TRANSPORTATION 

Federal Writers' Project 1937 



84 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

Jow the ridges almost slavishly to escape the water-choked bogs in the 
stream bottoms. 

At the time of the great migration of flatboats on the Mississippi, 
and until the use of steam, roughly the period 1800-20, the State's roads 
suddenly became important and were rapidly developed. Their importance 
lay in furnishing the only route for boatmen to return to the Ohio and 
Tennessee. The flatboats never came back ; they could not, with their bulk, 
be poled against the current; and once downstream they usually were 
scrapped and sold as lumber. This created a demand for a road over which 
the boatmen could return from New Orleans to the Tennessee River. The 
first and most famous of these roads was the Natchez Trace, developed 
from an Indian trail which followed the watershed from Natchez north- 
eastward between the Big Black and the Pearl to the foothills of the 
Pontotoc Ridge. There it left the divide and struck more eastwardly across 
the Tombigbee, meeting the Tennessee near Muscle Shoals. 

The Trace ran through the wilderness and the country of the Choctaw 
and Chickasaw, two powerful Indian tribes. In 1801 Gen. James Wilkin- 
son, commander at Fort Adams (see Side Tour 3B), made treaties with 
these tribes. They granted the United States the right to lay out a wagon 
road "between the settlements of Mero district in ... Tennessee, and those 
of Natchez in the Mississippi Territory." The work of widening the trail 
was done by United States soldiers. The treaties, however, permitted the 
Indians to retain the inns and "necessary ferries over the watercourses 
crossed by the said road." Described as a post road, it was placed under 
the direction of the Post Office Department and given an appropriation for 
improvement in 1806. It was to be the making of the Southwest. Mail 
carriers, traders, boatmen, and supercargoes from New Orleans followed it 
north ; an increasing stream of settlers afoot and on horseback traveled on 
it south to the new Eldorado of the lower Mississippi Valley. 

Truth and imagination are inextricably interwoven in the story of the 
Trace. It was for 300 miles a wilderness road, yet all who passed that way- 
carried with them much or all of their fortune. Approaching, the horse- 
men bore the "stake" to set them up in the new Territory; returning, they 
carried the proceeds of cotton and other sales. To fasten on this stream 
of wealth came the outlaws who formerly infested the river: the Harpes, 
Mason, Hare, and the Murrell gang. Together they branded the early 
nineteenth century as the "outlaw years," and until 1835 they made the 
Trace as dark and bloody as Daniel Boone and his followers had found 
Kentucky. 

The Harpes were the first. Shunned as abnormal by other outlaws, they 



TRANSPORTATION 85 

became the scourge of the frontier from the Cumberland to the Missis- 
sippi. The head of "Big" Harpe, severed from his body by vigilantes, left 
his name upon the spot where it was fastened in a tree near the junction 
of the Cumberland and the Ohio. 

Mason, a supercriminal, physically brave but morally weak, was the 
soldier turned outlaw. His robbery of Colonel Baker in 1801, his first on 
the Trace, gave the victim's name to Baker's Creek west of Jackson (see 
Tour 2). Two years later Mason was tomahawked by two of his former 
followers, and his head, "rolled in blue clay to prevent putrefaction," was 
carried to Natchez for the reward. But even in death he was to end the 
career of "Little" Harpe, one of the two who had tomahawked him. 
Harpe, long in hiding after his brother's death, was recognized as he 
tried to claim the reward. He escaped with his companion, but was re- 
captured at old Greenville, on the Trace 20 miles north of Natchez, and 
there hanged (see Tour 3, Sec. b). 

Joseph Thompson Hare, the hoodlum, was among the first who shrewdly 
saw the possibilities of banditry on the Trace. The Trace made him 
rich, but moody. In its wilderness he went to pieces, saw visions, was 
captured, and hanged. 

Murrell was the last. In him the passion of the others rose high enough 
to envisage empire. He was a student of crime, not a bandit. But the 
Trace no longer crossed a wilderness when he was caught and convicted of 
the crime of stealing Negroes. With him the dread of wilderness and its 
major outlaws ended. 

But there were other roads. From Natchez they spread like rays from 
the sun. South to New Orleans the Trace travelers could follow two paths, 
besides El Camino Real (Sp., King's Highway), to Fort Adams: one 
through Woodville, the other cutting across country southeast through 
Liberty. Eastward from Natchez the Three-Chopped Way, so called be- 
cause it was blazed with three notches cut in the trail-marking trees, ran 
to Fort St. Stephens on the lower Tombigbee and to Fort Stoddert in 
Georgia. It was the first road to bridge the eastern and western parts of 
the Mississippi Territory, and one of the earliest roads in the Southwest, 
having been opened prior to 1807. Cutting across a myriad of streams, it 
broke the rule of roads "riding the ridges" by having "causeways across all 
boggy guts and branches." From Natchez it passed through Monticello 
and Winchester. Later, along its side or nearby, grew Meadville, Mount 
Carmel, and Ellisville. 

From the Natchez Trace, branch trails led to the river towns of Bruins- 
burg, Warrenton, and Walnut Hills (later Vicksburg). From the region 




IN THE 1830'S 



of what is now Pontotoc, an old Indian path led southeast past Lochinvar 
(see Tour 12) and along the divide west of Cotton Gin Port to Waver ly 
on the Tombigbee (see Tour 4). It was probably along this path that De 
Soto marched across the prairie. 

In 1810 the United States opened a road from Cotton Gin Port to Col- 
bert's Ferry on the Tennessee just below Muscle Shoals. This road, named 
Games' Trace for the surveyor who negotiated for it with the Indians, 
rivals the Natchez Trace for historical interest. From Fort St. Stephens, 
the Federal Government engaged in a bitter struggle for Indian trade 
against the Spanish posts at Mobile and Pensacola, but it was harassed by 
the duties and delayed shipments of supplies for which the Spanish 
revenue authorities at Mobile were responsible. To offset these handicaps 
supplies were shipped from Pittsburg down the Ohio and up the Ten- 
nessee to the shoals, across the divide to Cotton Gin Port on the Tom- 
bigbee, and down to Fort St. Stephens. The wagon road from Colbert's 
Ferry to Cotton Gin Port thus became an important artery of travel and 
trade. 

Another road of importance was the old Jackson Military Road, au- 



IN THE 1930'S 



thorized by Congress in 1816, and completed in 1820. Andrew Jackson's 
troubles in his Creek campaign with the canebrakes and marshes of south 
Mississippi, and his fight with the British at New Orleans in 1815, were 
probably the compelling forces behind the road's construction. Built from 
Muscle Shoals for military purposes, it ran through Columbus southwest, 
penetrated the uninhabited Piney Woods, passed close to Columbia, and 
ended at Lake Pontchartrain. The road permitted a shorter route between 
Nashville and New Orleans than the Natchez Trace. The first telegraph 
line and the first stage line between these cities came into operation along 
this road. 

Between the Natchez Trace and the Jackson Military Road about 1820 
grew a well-traveled trail known as the Robinson Road, crossing the Tom- 
bigbee at Columbus, and running through Indian country past what is 
now Louisville to Doak's Stand, joining the Natchez Trace near the Choctaw 
Agency. As early as 1823 the Federal Government appropriated consider- 
able sums to improve it, as did the Mississippi Legislature in 1824. Al- 
though its terminus was some ten miles north of the capital at Jackson, 
the Robinson Road was for a number of years the only direct route from 
Jackson to the populous settlements along the Tombigbee. 

From the same Tombigbee settlements other roads were to develop. As 






88 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

Memphis grew in importance, the old trail joining Cotton Gin Port to 
Pontotoc was made to connect with it through Lafayette Springs, across the 
Tallahatchie near the head of navigation, and on through Holly Springs. 
A trail led west from Pontotoc (probably along the divide between the 
Yocona and the Yalobusha) to the Delta, near what is now Charleston, 
and through the Delta's swamps and lakes by a marvelously circuitous 
route to the Mississippi in what has become Bolivar County. It was known 
as Indian Charlie's Trace. 

These roads began as feeders to the river settlements and, in the early 
period of the nineteenth century, were subsidiary to river transportation. But 
their gradual extension was evidence of a growth away from the streams. 
With the first mail carried over the Natchez Trace (about 1796), the inte- 
rior began to assume importance ; and with the successive Indian cessions of 
1820, 1830, and 1832 (themselves evidences of pressure of white popula- 
tion in the interior), the State was rounded out. No longer were the set- 
tlements strung solely along the streams. 

The story of the railroads is similar. Constructed as feeders to the 
river, by the 1830'$ they experienced a vigorous extensive growth. Like 
the roads, they made possible the development of the great stretches of 
territory between and apart from the watercourses. 

Of the plantation settlements in southwestern Mississippi in the 1 830*5, 
only Woodville lacked a creek on which cotton could be floated to 
the river. In 1831 the Mississippi Legislature chartered a company to 
build a railroad from Woodville south to the Mississippi River at St. 
Francisville, Louisiana. The company thus formed was the first in the 
State, the second in the Mississippi Valley, and the fifth in the United 
States (see Tour 3, Sec. b). Beginning with this railroad, Mississippi 
became a testing ground for early American railroad experiments. The 
first major proposal was the "Mississippi Railroad," discussed at a meet- 
ing in Natchez in 1834. It was designed to connect Natchez with Jack- 
son, and, eventually, to extend to the Tennessee. At approximately the 
same time the Vicksburg Commercial R.R. and Banking Company received 
a charter to build from Vicksburg to Jackson, and in 1836 the Mississippi 
and Alabama Company was permitted to build from Jackson east through 
Brandon to the Tombigbee in Alabama. 

In 1837 a survey would have shown work actually under way on the 
Woodville and St. Francisville, Natchez-Jackson, Grand Gulf and Port 
Gibson, and Vicksburg and Jackson lines. Proposals were made for lines 
connecting New Orleans and Liberty, Grand Gulf and Jackson, Pontotoc 
and Aberdeen (in the Tombigbee area), Jackson and Mobile, and New 



TRANSPORTATION 89 

Orleans and Nashville. Only the last one of these proposed lines would 
have threatened competition with the river, and that, significantly, was 
the only one to meet serious opposition. 

But though the proposed lines were, with the one exception, no more 
than adjuncts to transportation on the Mississippi, the State by 1837 was 
changing. Mississippi's first constitution that could be called "democratic" 
had been adopted in 1832. The internal improvement act of 1839 P ro ~ 
vided for a loan of $5,000,000 for a port on the Mississippi Sound and a 
railroad connecting it with Jackson. Natchez, in short, was having to fight 
for its position of importance. 

In breaking away from the river, however, the interior settlers over- 
reached themselves. The early 1830*5 were flush times coming just as 
the Indian cessions opened up a vast new territory. Most of the proposed 
railroads, with the help of a sympathetic State administration, established 
their own banks. From 1836 to 1838 the number of the State's banks 
increased from five to 24, and the nominal capital from $12,000,000 to 
$62,000,000. Of the increased capitalization, however, only $19,000,000 
represented tangible value. All the banks issued paper money in pro- 
fusion, using the notes to finance the railroads. When Jackson's specie 
circular precipitated the crash in 1837, the collapse of the banks meant 
the end of railroad building. 

The 1840'$ saw a continued aftermath of the speculation. In the 
scandal of the wrecked Union and Planters Banks, with everyone owing 
everyone else and no prospect of the debts being paid, and with slave 
owners fleeing to Texas from the debtors' law, construction work was 
impossible. The golden age of the steamboat, too, then in full sway 
on the river, was no encouragement to competitive builders. 

Nevertheless, by 1850, the railroads had made the final break with the 
river; for that year saw the completion of the New Orleans, Jackson & 
Great Northern, a railroad between New Orleans and Canton which 
equaled that of any in the United States. This line was joined at Canton 
by the Mississippi Central to give a through route to Jackson, Tennessee. 
From Grenada another line, the Mississippi & Tennessee, extended to 
Memphis. A through railroad east and west, the Southern, connected 
Vicksburg, Jackson, and Meridian. The Mobile & Ohio, running from 
Mobile through Meridian and up the Black Prairie belt to Corinth, was 
completed in 1861. Through Corinth east and west ran the Memphis & 
Charleston. The only other railroads were the early river feeders which 
had survived the 1837 crash: the Woodville & St. Francisville (then 
known as the West Feliciana), and the Grand Gulf & Port Gibson. All 



90 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

these roads, except the two last named, had been aided in their con- 
struction by loans from the State and by land grants from the Federal 
Government, in return for which they contracted to carry Government 
mails and freight at reduced rates. 

When Union armies came to Mississippi in 1862, the railroad prop- 
erties were the first to be wrecked. Major battles were fought around 
the junctions of Corinth, Meridian, Jackson, and Vicksburg. The line 
from Grenada to Memphis did not carry a through train from 1862 
to 1866. The Mississippi Central was torn apart and its southern partner, 
the New Orleans, Jackson & Great Northern, badly damaged. The Mobile 
& Ohio was wrecked near Meridian and almost destroyed north of 
Okolona as far as Corinth. None of these roads, however, was as abused 
as the Southern, from Vicksburg to Meridian, which bore the brunt 
of the campaigns against Vicksburg, and later was almost wholly de- 
stroyed by General Sherman. 

Surviving the havoc that struck the railroads, the river steamboats 
enjoyed their final prosperity. When the Robert E. Lee raced the Natchez, 
with a deckhand sitting on the safety valve, it set a record that has 
yet to be equaled by a river boat. But coasting trade found no basis in 
post-war civilization, and the long-distance cargoes came to an end with 
the revival of railroad building in the i88o's. The showboats held on 
for a while, but they depended on the isolation, rather than the activity 
of the old river towns. 

When the Reconstruction period came to an end, the railroad builders 
(among them many northerners) recovered their enthusiasm. Mileage 
increased from 1,127 in 1880 to 2,366 in 1889. In 1869 the Mobile 
& New Orleans (now the Louisville & Nashville) was laid along the 
coast where boat travel had been undisputed since 1699, and in 1883 
one of the early river-feeder railroads, the Grand Gulf & Port Gibson, 
was torn up and abandoned. Also in 1883, R. T. Wilson was building 
a railroad from New Orleans to Memphis which paralleled the Mississippi. 

Other important roads built in the i88o's were to connect Yazoo City 
with Jackson, Meridian with New Orleans (cutting across the Piney 
Woods), and Natchez with Jackson. Since 1885 the only major roads 
which have not been extensions of the lines already named, have been 
the Gulf & Ship Island from Jackson to Gulfport, and the Gulf, Mobile 
& Northern from Mobile to Laurel and up the west center of the State 
through Pontotoc both of them giving outlets for the Piney Woods. 
The total trackage of 24 lines in the State today is 4,142 miles. 

The effect of railroad building in Mississippi, as in other States, was 



TRANSPORTATION 91 

a redistribution of population. The list of river and other settlements 
which missed the rights of way is a directory of ghost towns. 

The development of highways in Mississippi is the story of the transi- 
tion from the winding trails of the first quarter of the nineteenth century 
to the thoroughfares of today. The twisting wagon and ox-cart paths 
along the ridges were to continue in use until the coming of the auto- 
mobile required new roads. The change has been made largely since 1910. 

The first law authorizing the issuance of bonds for highway con- 
struction was passed in 1912, an act setting up special road districts with 
local service primarily in mind. The bonds were voted by local tax- 
payers, as liens on local property, and the road locations were selected 
largely to serve those who paid for them. The result was not to straighten 
the old roads, but in many cases to make the route even longer. 

It was not until 1916 that the thoughts of the more progressive inter- 
ests crystallized in the passage of the Federal Aid Road Act. In the 
same year the legislature formed the Mississippi Highway Department 
(appropriating $6,500 for maintenance for a two-year period) the chief 
duty of which was distribution of Federal Aid funds and supervision of 
the work done. In 1918 the legislature continued its appropriation and 
recognized the abolition of county lines in developing a State highway 
system. In 1919 the first set of standard bridges was worked out by 
the department with the aid of the Federal Bureau of Public Roads. 

Although the legislature in 1920 appropriated $100,000 for the high- 
way department and changed it from a three-member appointive board 
to an eight-member elective commission and in 1922 levied the first gaso- 
line tax, no system of highways was indicated until the passage of the 
Stansel Act in 1930, which specified 6,000 miles of roads without, how- 
ever, providing State funds for construction. Federal Aid funds, Emergency 
and National Recovery grants allotted to the State under the Roosevelt 
Administration were the only moneys available for paving. 

Up to February 29, 1936, however, relief funds amounting to $6,000,000 
have been put under contract for grading, draining, bridge building and 
grade-crossing elimination. In addition, nearly, 300 miles of roads have 
been relocated. In this four-year period a daily average of 4,894 people 
have been employed on the State's highways. 

Mississippi's first planned program for highway building was drawn 
in January 1936, with provision for the expenditure of $42,500,000, 
of which $23,000,000 represented notes issued by the State, and the 
remainder Federal allocations. The sum was marked for a system of 
primary and secondary roads to touch each of the State's 82 counties. 







92 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

Given priority in paving are three east-west, and three north- south routes. 

The transportation picture today includes water, rail, highway, and 
air. The World War's congestion of freight and passenger trains compelled 
the return to river traffic. In 1917 the Inland Waterways Corporation was 
formed by the Federal Government, to operate (with a subsidy) the 
Federal Barge Lines. Flatboats and palatial stern wheelers on the Missis- 
sippi have given way to slow but powerful oil-burning towboats push- 
ing half -mile-long strings of barges around the river bends, a single tow 
holding as much freight as several trainloads. With the Government 
maintaining the channel, private barge lines have followed. 

The subsidies and channel upkeep provided by the Federal Govern- 
ment is matching the earlier grants made to the railroads. Terminal docks 
are located at Natchez, Vicksburg, and Greenville; the last-named is one 
of the largest and most modern in the South. Steam ferry service is avail- 
able at Friar Point, Dundee, Greenville, Vicksburg, and Natchez. Ocean 
steamers dock in the deep-water harbors at Gulfport and Pascagoula. 

Busses operate daily on more than 3,000 miles of road within the 
State, and with the completion of the new paving program further devel- 
opment of passenger and freight lines can be expected. Regular service 
is maintained by 57 motortrucking companies. 

The State is now served by two air lines, one operating daily between 
Chicago and New Orleans, the other between Charleston, South Carolina, 
and Dallas, Texas. Both lines stop regularly at Jackson, and at other cities 
by appointment. Mississippi has 25 landing fields, 13 of them equipped 
for night flying. 



Agriculture 



Agriculture in Mississippi began to develop with the period of British 
rule. Previously, the French, with several large grants of land near Natchez 
and on the Yazoo River, had made several attempts to raise tobacco and 
indigo. But there is no indication that anything was exported except articles 
procured through trade with Indians. The landholders were, for the most 










COTTON BOLL 



94 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

part, men of rank in France who contented themselves with sending 
slaves and destitute peasants to improve their American estates. Without 
pride of ownership or the continued interest of their supporters to spur 
them, the immigrants were unable to develop the land. 

The English colonists, however, settled along the rich virgin bluffs 
around Natchez and engaged in subsistence farming. They grew Indian 
corn, wheat, oats, rice, potatoes, cotton, flax, tobacco, and indigo. To- 
bacco and indigo were their export crops. For their own needs they also 
raised stock and tended orchards. They grew their own herb medicines; 
tanned their own leather and worked it into saddles and shoes ; grew flax 
for thread and wove it into linen. Rice was their most important article of 
diet. Their cotton, the black, or naked-seed, variety, though unprolific and 
susceptible to rot, was distinguished by its fine soft staple. They picked 
the lint from the seed by hand or with small roller gins, and spun and 
wove it at home, using indigo and wild plants for dyes. 

With the beginning of Spanish rule in West Florida, in 1781, tobacco 
became the staple export crop of the Natchez District. Some tobacco was 
under cultivation, but with the Spanish offer to buy all that could be 
grown (to encourage colonization) the plantings were greatly increased. 
The leaves were packed in hogsheads by the larger planters and in "car- 
rets" by the smaller growers; the "carret" took shape from a pile of 
leaves compressed and dried under a tightly wrapped cloth, then wrapped 
with rope made of the inner bark of the basswood or linden tree. The 
barrels often were hauled to Natchez by shafts attached directly to the 
heads, thus functioning as both carriers and wheels. To convey the to- 
bacco to the King's warehouses in New Orleans, several planters would 
unite and build a flatboat, which one of the number would accompany to 
deliver the tobacco and if it passed inspection to receive the proceeds. 
He returned home by land, generally on foot. The payment was made in 
written acknowledgment, or bon, which the governor or commandant at 
Natchez redeemed with cash. This procedure obviated the labor and risk 
of packing specie several hundred miles. 

The certainty of this tobacco trade encouraged the planters to make 
large investments in slaves, but the entrance of the Kentucky product 
into the market, and the forced indifference of the Spanish Government 
as its imperial ambitions were stifled in Europe, ended the enterprise and 
consequently bankrupted many planters. 

Until the failure of the tobacco industry, indigo had been of slight im- 
portance. Then for a brief interlude between the end of tobacco culture 
and the rise of cotton culture, the making of indigo dye became the colo- 



AGRICULTURE 95 

nists' most profitable pursuit. The plant, called Indigofera tinctoria, is said 
to have been introduced from India. It flourished luxuriantly, and, except 
for the tender care required by young plants, was cultivated with great 
ease. 

At maturity indigo stood about three feet in height. Before going to 
seed, it was cut with a reap hook, tied in bundles, and thrown into steep- 
ing vats built of heavy planks above the ground. The steeping vats drained 
into other vats, called beaters, in which the liquid was churned. The sun 
supplied the heat to hasten the fermentation and decay. When the grain 
or coloring matter separated and settled to the bottom, it was shoveled 
with wooden scoops into draining boxes lined with canvas, dried in molds, 
cut into cubes, seasoned, and packed for shipping. The deeply colored 
product was the most valued, though a light blue shade called "floton" 
was produced in large quantities. The price for indigo in the latter part 
of the eighteenth century ranged from $1.50 to $2.00 a pound and the 
production per man amounted to about 150 pounds. The whole task 
of raising and processing it, however, was arduous and unpleasant work. 
The plant when growing was infested by swarms of grasshoppers, which 
sometimes killed the whole crop, and the odor arising from the putrid 
weed thrown from the vats was almost unbearable. The drainings into 
nearby streams from these refuse accumulations killed the fish, and the 
entire process of cultivation and manufacturing produced myriads of flies. 
By 1797 Whitney's gin had given new life to the cotton industry, and the 
enthusiasm for indigo disappeared. 

All that happened in Mississippi's agricultural history before 1800, 
however, was but a prelude to the history of the cotton kingdom. From 
1800 until well into the twentieth century, the story of Mississippi's 
agriculture has been the story of cotton. 

Cotton culture was fixed in Mississippi as the result of three technolog- 
ical developments : the perfection of spinning machines in the last half of 
the eighteenth century; the perfection of a cotton gin which made easier 
the arduous process of separating cotton lint from the seed; and the im- 
provement of species through selection and standardization. 

The first recorded improvement in species was the introduction of 
Mexican seed cotton in 1806. One version of the story concerns a Mexican 
trader who was in the habit of stopping at a plantation near the town of 
Rodney (then called Petit Gulf). On one of his visits he brought with 
him a small package of cottonseed. Amazing results followed the planting 
of this seed, totally unlike the black type then grown in Mississippi. The 
yield was extraordinarily large and the bolls did not rot. The fame of the 



96 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

new variety, called Petit Gulf for the plantation on which it was first grown, 
spread immediately. 

A more colorful version of the introduction is that Walter Burling of 
Natchez, envoy to Mexico, was secretly presented the seed stuffed into 
dolls by the Mexican viceroy, as it was then against Spanish law for the 
seed to be exported. 

With the introduction of the Petit Gulf variety the "great cotton era" 
began. An indication of the way men were absorbed with the culture of 
this one plant is given in the fact that between 1794 (the year Whitney 
patented his gin) and 1804, the value of the United States cotton crop 
jumped from $150,000 to $8,000,000. This tremendous boom in cotton 
lifted Mississippians from the frontiersmen class almost overnight. Possi- 
bly never since has such a transition occurred so rapidly. 

Land was plentiful, so no attempt was made at intensive culture through 
fertilization. Nor was the land even cleared, except for the underbrush; 
trees were girdled and left to rot and fall. But iron was dear, dearer than 
either land or slave, so plows and cultivating instruments were of the 
crudest types. Between 1806 and the coming of the boll weevil almost 
100 years later, careful cultivation was unnecessary. Cotton grew easily and 
profits mounted. The high price of the staple (except for the panic years, 
1837 and in the 1890*5), the cheapness of land and labor, the extreme 
hardiness of the plant, and the ease with which it could be cultivated, all 
combined to establish cotton on the throne which survived even the War 
between the States. 

The spinning mills of England not only set the market prices for cotton 
but also largely influenced the variety grown. Because longer fibers made 
possible a finer thread and cloth, a premium was placed on long staple. 
This caused a constant, if haphazard, experimentation to breed varieties 
that would combine high yields with long staple, yet be adaptable to local 
climate and soil. The Mexican type introduced in 1806 subsequently be- 
came the parent stock for numberless varieties and the source of much im- 
provement through cross-breeding with the older black-seed species. 

Ranking of the varieties of cotton developed before 1860 would be im- 
possible without qualifying their merits according to local climatic and 
soil demands, but it is true that many, if not the majority, of the most 
famous varieties were bred first in Mississippi. Belle Creole, Jethro, 
Parker, and Petit Gulf, all Mississippi-bred stock, were as well known in 
the lower Mississippi Valley as the points of favorite race horses or 
steamboats. 

The business of cotton involved many factors peculiar to itself and 



AGRICULTURE 



AGRICULTURAL 
RESOURCES 

Mississippi 
Advertising 
Commission 
1937 




ASTATi AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS 
V FEDERAL - " " t 

*MILKCONDENSERIES 
CHEESE PLANTS 
~1 VEGETABLE PACK ING -CAN NINO 
" ' ^" SHOW CIRCUIT 



98 MISSISSIPPI! THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

wholly unlike other agricultural or mercantile enterprises. The peculiar re- 
lations between land, labor, plant investment, and financial backing, as 
they applied to the cotton industry, established a separate economy that has 
yet to be integrated properly with the general economic system. The terms 
of this problem are now understood though its solution rests with the future. 

Good cotton land in Mississippi was, except for brief intervals, rela- 
tively cheap and plentiful. Plant investment was almost unnecessary, since 
the cultivation of cotton required no machinery. But financial backing was 
necessary because the planter usually began as a debtor. The transfer of 
cotton from planter to mill owner was complicated by the peculiarities 
of foreign exchange, sometimes delaying receipt of the proceeds of the 
sale as long as a year after the crop had been put in the ground. Rising 
with the steady hum of English mill machinery, however, the cotton market 
was so certain and so good before 1860 that the usual relation of planter 
and money lender was reversed. It was not a case of the planter pleading 
for money, but the lender begging that the planter accept his loans. With 
the exception of the panic year of 1837, it is doubtful whether a single 
planter between Memphis and New Orleans ever had to submit to credit 
restrictions. 

This made labor the only factor that was at a premium in the cultivation 
of cotton. It was the relative pressure of labor costs that determined the 
current attitude toward slavery. Sentiment for slavery rose with the acces- 
sion of new groups of planters to the land and fell as the new landowners 
improved their economic status. In the i82o's, when the cotton land 
around Natchez was well taken up and the planter had accumulated means 
to hire labor, there began a strong movement to return the slaves to Africa. 
But in 1830 and 1832, when new cotton lands were opened and people 
moved in with the debts of their first few years of operation impending, 
the feeling for African colonization died. 

The War between the States, followed by ten years of miserable con- 
fusion, left an indelible mark upon the social and economic life of Missis- 
sippi. The work of two generations in building a civilization on cotton was 
destroyed. In 1875 Mississippi once more started from scratch, but this 
time on a different footing. Here was the landowner, with all his capital, 
equipment, and resources exhausted, sunk under a burden of debt; the 
fertile cotton land alone was his, but he had no money to pay for labor to 
produce the crops. No longer was the money-lender importuning him to 
accept loans. And here was labor, the Negro: free under the law, but un- 
employed and unorganized to produce on his own; destitute, and often 
starving. One thing the landowner former master and the jobless ex- 



AGRICULTURE 99 

slave held in common; that was the knowledge of how to cultivate and 
handle cotton. And the world price of cotton was high. 

All these circumstances led naturally to an arrangement whereby the 
labor undertook to work the land for the privilege of living on it and 
sharing in its product, while the landowner supervised the labor and 
marketed the cotton. This marked the beginning of a modern form of 
economic slavery, the tenant-credit system. 

With the planter and the laborer under the yoke of the tenant-credit sys- 
tem, the merchant entered the cotton business in the guise of banker, and 
his store replaced the plantation as the center of post-war economy. He 
advanced credit on future cotton the only asset of either landlord or 
tenant; lending on risky security, his interest rate was high. Unlike the 
ante-bellum money-lender, the merchant was in a position to dictate to 
the planter. His dictation, naturally, was to grow cotton. So, with post-war 
cotton prices and the demands of the merchant-creditor looming before 
him, the dazed and penniless planter abandoned diversification for the 
one-crop system. Hastened destruction of his land, through soil erosion, 
was a natural consequence (see Tour 5, Sec. a). 

The geography of cotton culture before the war saw first southwestern 
Mississippi marked off and tilled, then the Pearl and the Tombigbee River 
Valleys. As long as farming was confined to the fairly level second bottom 
lands of these valleys, erosion was not a serious problem. However, after 
the land boom of the 1830'$, and with railroads to help solve the problem 
of transportation, new cotton farmers moved into the hills and basins of 
northern and central Mississippi, and erosion was aggravated to an extent 
which few economic historians have realized (see HOLLY SPRINGS). 
Thus the first State geologist, Eugene Hilgard, writing of the country 
around Oxford in the 1850*5, noticed that: "Even the present generation 
is rife with complaints about the exhaustion of the soils in a region 
which, thirty years ago, had but just received the first scratch of the 
plowshare. In some parts of the State, the deserted homesteads and fields 
of broomsedge, lone groves of peach and China trees by the roadside, amid 
a young growth of forest trees, might well remind the traveller of the 
descriptions given of the aspect of Europe after the Thirty Years' War." 
Another 75 years saw the full extent of this soil tragedy. 

Later, hill-country plantations washed into gullies and forced the opening 
of the last section in the State to cotton. This was the swampy flood plain, 
colloquially called the Delta, which, except for the Lake Washington dis- 
trict, had not been settled because of its almost annual submersion and the 
constant menace of malaria. But despite yellow fever, malaria, high water, 



100 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

lack of capital, and the inertia bred by the hot Mississippi sun, post-war 
planters contrived to move from the eroded hills to the steaming, rich 
bottom lands. 

In the Delta, a land as fertile as the valley of the Nile, two problems 
had to be solved: first, the clearing and draining of the land; and second, 
the protection of the plantation against overflows. Indeed, had it not been 
for the heavy burdens of flood control and drainage, Delta planters of the 
1890*5 might again have reached the heights attained by the ante-bellum 
Natchez planters. Clearing the land was a Herculean task lightened some- 
what by the building of railroads in the middle of the i88o's. 

With the land cleared, the cotton planters' fight was not against over- 
flow alone. The need of improvement in variety was still insistent. Cotton 
breeding toward long-staple varieties continued after the war, with John 
Griffin, of Greenville, a half-century ahead of geneticists in proving the 
soundness of the back-cross method. The Griffin variety, the result of se- 
lective breeding from 1857 until the end of the century, combined the 
hardiness of the green-seed upland plant with the long staple of sea-island 
cotton. 

But, unhappily, the long staple was a late-maturing variety. The length 
of the staple required a proportionately long maturation period, and this 
meant a correspondingly long period for the ravages of the boll weevil. 
When the insect entered Mississippi, disaster resulted to the varieties of 
cotton which had been developed by 1909. 

The crisis brought by the weevil made marked changes in the farming 
of certain Mississippi areas. The narrow section that extends south 
of Jackson, between the Piney Woods and Natchez Bluffs, abandoned 
cotton as a major crop and turned to truck farming. The more pro- 
gressive of the farmers in 1876 had realized the suitability of this section's 
thin topsoil for raising vegetables, and in that year shipped a carload of 
tomatoes to the northern market. Thus the disaster that struck a majority 
of Mississipi's farms caused one small section to break from the non-rotat- 
ing, cash-crop system and turn to diversification. Today, the vegetables 
beans, tomatoes and cabbage especially from this section compete suc- 
cessfully with those from the trucking area of Texas, and when the market 
is favorable the farmers of this section are the most prosperous in the 
State. 

The Prairie section of the State was too fertile to abandon cotton but 
efforts were made to supplement it with legumes and other cover crops. 
Planting in summer and winter, the farmers here annually harvest four 
cuttings of alfalfa hay of one ton each per acre. As a result, the dairy 



AGRICULTURE IOI 

produce industry has increased until the Prairie is the State's leading sec- 
tion in condenseries, creameries, and cheese plants. These plants give the 
farmer a biweekly cash market for his farm byproducts, but they have 
not weaned him from his first love, cotton. 

The truck-farming and the Prairie sections include only 12 or so of 
Mississippi's 82 counties. The remainder of the State stuck to cotton and 
prepared to fight the boll weevil. The campaign against the weevil meant 
the end of unscientific, slipshod cotton farming. The objective of breeders 
was to combine an early-maturing plant with a long staple, and the task 
called for expert breeding knowledge. It is a tribute to Mississippians that 
they have developed several acceptable varieties, including the Delfos, 
Missdel, Stoneville, and Delta and Pine Land. 

In the cotton crisis since the World War the weevil has been only one 
of the disturbing factors. The social and economic plight of the increasing 
number of tenant farmers and the aggravated problem of soil erosion have 
assumed proportions that engage the attention and resources of the Na- 
tional Government. 

By converting the fever-infested swamps of the Delta into productive 
fertile fields, a few of the planters escaped the curse of erosion. But 
neither they nor the majority who remained to farm the eroding hillsides 
could free themselves from the tenant-credit system, with its imposition of 
the one-crop method of farming. As a result of this system approximately 
five-sixths of the State's agricultural lands are reclassed as "doubtful," and 
a steadily increasing number of its people are hopelessly sinking into debt. 
According to the 1930 census 47 out of every 100 persons in Mississippi 
were tenants. This proportion exceeded by 25 percent that of any other 
State and amounted to five times that of the average for the United States. 
Only Texas, in the total number of its tenant population, exceeded Missis- 
sippi. Significantly, Texas is also the only State that produces more cotton. 

In 1880, only five years after the Reconstruction period had ended, the 
ratio of owners to tenants on Mississippi farms was approximately six to 
four. By 1920 the ratio had shifted to something like three to seven. In 
1930 the census recorded 312,663 farms in the State, and of these 225,617, 
or more than seven in ten, were operated by tenants. In ten of the most 
densely populated cotton counties, about 94 percent of the farm population 
were tenants. 

Bad crop years and low prices, a combination that few individual land- 
owners can master, concentrated, through the channels of unpaid mortgages 
and loans, great tracts of land under the control of corporations banks, 
insurance companies, and mercantile houses. In other instances, individual 




EN ROUTE TO COTTON HOUSE 



owners sought additional capital by forming companies and selling stock 
to urban capitalists. This brought to the plantations involved the absentee 
landlord system. Many of the absentee landlords live within the State, but 
a majority of the corporations are either out-of -State or foreign concerns. 



AGRICULTURE 103 

To operate their holdings these absentee landlords employ managers, often 
the former owner of the property. The managers, to encourage high pro- 
duction yields at low production costs, receive part of their pay in bonuses 
or commissions on profits made. Like the tenant, they share with the 
owners a part of the risk of each crop. 

Panther Burn, a 12,411 -acre plantation in Sharkey County owned by 
McGee & Co., Leland, is typical of the plantations owned by Mississippi 
companies. On the plantation approximately 2,000 Negro tenants live in 
tree-shaded, four-room, frame houses. For their use there are a brick 
church, a school, and two stores. The houses, scattered over the plantation, 
are not provided with modern conveniences or sanitation (see Tour 3, 
Sec. a). 

The Delta and Pine Land Co. plantation near Scott is owned by a syn- 
dicate of British mill owners and has total assets of approximately 
$5,000,000. Embracing 38,000 acres, the plantation is divided into n 
units, each under a unit manager and the whole under a general manager. 
The labor is performed by about 3,300 Negro sharecroppers, representing 
1,000 families. In 1936 approximately 11,700 acres were planted in cot- 
ton; on these were averaged 638 pounds of premium grade lint cotton per 
acre 15,000 bales in all for which was received a maximum price of 
13.25 cents per pound. (The average United States cotton farmer raised 
187 pounds per acre and received an average of about 11.9 cents per 
pound.) These croppers also raised 950 pounds of cottonseed per acre, 
getting $40 a ton for it against a United States average of 600 pounds per 
acre at $32 per ton. The plantation's gross earnings, exclusive of the share- 
croppers' share, were $879,000. After deducting gross expenses, taxes, 
bond interests, and bonuses, the net earnings were $153,000. Under the 
Agricultural Adjustment Administration the plantation received $68,000 
from the Government; the plantation paid the Government $105,000 
income taxes. For their share the tenant families received an average of 
$525 ($205 in credit during season and $320 in cash at end of season). 
When neither production nor price is as good as that of 1936 and the 
tenant is left with a deficit, the Delta and Pine Land management, like 
a majority of Mississippi plantation managements, writes it off and clears 
the debt (see Tour 3, Sec. a). 

The problem of tenancy is neither confined to the Delta nor is it re- 
stricted to the Negro. The number of white families who were unable to 
find a secure place in the expanding culture and were consequently forced 
to accept the system has increased steadily. In 1900 only 21.9 percent of 
the tenant farms were operated by white men, whereas by 1930 this figure 



104 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

had risen to 29 percent. In this same generation in which the number of 
white tenant farmers increased, the number of Negro tenant farmers de- 
creased by 5.6 percent. During the five depression years after 1930, the 
number of Negro tenants decreased so greatly that it more than offset the 
increase among white tenants, allowing for the first time a decrease in 
tenancy as a whole. Thus, with the trend of tenancy increasing among 
white people and decreasing among the Negroes, the problems of agricul- 
tural Mississippi are found to be fundamentally economic, without respect 
to race. 

These 225,617 Mississippi tenant families, both white and Negro, 
are divided into three classes: first, Renters, who hire land for a fixed 
amount to be paid either in crop values or in cash; second, Share- 
tenants, who furnish their own equipment and work animals, and agree 
to pay a fixed percent of the cash crop (cotton) as rental; and, third, 
Sharecroppers, who pay a larger percent of the crop, and in turn are fur- 
nished the land, implements, animals, fertilizer, house, fuel, and food. 
The first group, few in number, are removed from the cast of subservient 
tenancy by their relative independence. The second and third groups are 
the dependent workers. The share-tenants, supplying much of their equip- 
ment, pay the landowner one-fourth or one-third of the crop. The share- 
croppers, supplying almost nothing but their labor, usually pay one-half of 
the crop. Both groups, however, must pay out of their own share for all 
that is supplied them in the way of seed, fertilizer, and food. Of these two 
groups, approximately 60 percent were croppers, or specifically, 135,293 
of the 225,617 tenant families, in 1930, were in the lowest category of 
dependence. 

From the beginning of the development of cotton, labor costs have been 
more subject to control than the costs of land, equipment, seed, taxes, and 
interest. That this traditional cheap labor is now provided by the tenants 
is proved by their standards of living. Submerged by practically every 
other force in the economy of cotton, they are reduced to the level of bare 
existence. The size of the tenant family bears no relevancy to the shelter 
provided; it is up to them to crowd somehow into the traditional three- 
or four-room house on the tenancy. And though land is both productive 
and abundant, their diet is probably the meagerest and least balanced 
among any large group in America. Food crops mature during the same 
season as cotton, making it virtually impossible under the one cash-crop 
system to raise subsistence crops. Indeed, the growing of household prod- 
uce is not encouraged by landlords, whose viewpoint must reflect the 
wishes of financial backers. The final decision in the matter, as on the 



AGRICULTURE 105 

question of acreage to be planted or the amount of fertilizer to be used 
(theoretically the prerogative of the landowner), also rests with the men 
who advance money for the crop. Obviously, the diet of the tenants is 
largely limited to dried and canned goods from commissaries and local 
stores. This food and other necessities, obtained on credit during the crop 
season, is called "furnishings." It must be paid for out of the tenant's 
share of the crop at harvest time. 

From this interdependence of tenant and landowner, our stock of folk- 
lore has been enriched by tales of unreliability and shiftlessness on the part 
of the tenants, and of fancy prices at the commissary, exorbitant interest, 
and careless accounts on the part of the landlords. But the case against the 
tenant-credit system cannot be rested on the improvidence of the tenants 
any more than it can be vindicated by the personal indictment of landlords. 
Under the drive of the merchant-bankers, the landlords could hardly act 
otherwise. The tenants are under a similar compulsion. That bad economic 
and social habits have developed on the part of both is evidence of a 
pernicious system. 

These social and economic problems of the submerged portion of our 
agricultural population accompany another major factor. That is the de- 
pletion of soil fertility. For 1 39 years, from the time Whitney invented his 
gin until the establishment of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration 
in 1933, cotton held a monopoly on the land. Mississippi has never pro- 
duced a surplus of human and livestock food, and it rarely produced even 
a sufficiency. This continual planting of one land-deteriorating crop lasted 
until the eroded and exhausted lands became barren or were washed from 
under the plow. To meet the situation, the Federal Government provided 
a system of bounties for sustaining the farmer if he should abandon his 
single cash-crop plan and try to restore the fertility of his land with 
legumes and cover crops that would bring no immediate cash. Conserva- 
tion units, with headquarters at Meridian, were established to check 
erosion in the various soil areas of the State. These units have demon- 
strated erosion control and the refertilization of the land by cropping 
systems, terracing, proper land usage, and reforestation. 

The work of soil conservation is still in the experimental stage, and the 
Agricultural Adjustment Administration is no more. But the Agricultural 
Census of 1935 shows results (see Agricultural Map). From being just 
a cotton grower the average Mississippi farmer has added to his skills the 
practices of animal husbandry, food and feed production, home gardening, 
horticulture, and silviculture. He increased his food and feed crop acreage 
in corn and hay particularly by 63 percent, pasture acreage 27 per- 



106 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

cent, number of cattle 66 percent, and number of swine 26 percent. He 
decreased his cotton acreage by 36 percent. In 1936, on the reduced 
acreage, he produced 1,910,661 bales of cotton the third largest crop 
in Mississippi's history. In addition he received more than $10,600,000 
from the Government for his efforts. 

These three years, which have seen the one-crop method of farming 
uprooted, have given to Mississippi agriculture added wealth and security 
in the form of cash, improved land, and better diets. But whether or not 
the farmer has been sufficiently braced to resist the traditional "cash crop" 
after governmental bounties are withdrawn is problematical. He will still 
have to finance his operations, and his only source for doing this is still 
the familiar product of war and reconstruction. The merchant-banker 
remains. 



Industry and Commerce 



Until 1920 Mississippi's industrial development was due more to sporadic 
reactions of an agricultural people against low-price years than to any sys- 
tematic foresight. When the price of cotton was low the Mississippian 
talked and dreamed of basing his livelihood on something less erratic ; but, 
when prices rose, if there had been any industrial beginning made it was 
forgotten in the rush to market. The result was continued dependence on 
cotton, only slightly relieved by the income from the State's sole industry 
lumber. In the 1920*5, however, a few public leaders took cognizance of 
this precarious position. After making an inventory of the State's re- 
sources and potentialities and considering trends outside Mississippi, they 
evolved a plan for industrial advancement. And, in 1936, an industrial act 
passed by the Mississippi legislature more or less officially opened for de- 
velopment one of industry's last frontiers. 

The State's editors and writers referred to this act as a declaration of 
independence, since it was Mississippi's first determined break from re- 
liance on cotton. To the average citizen it meant the end of blind loyalty 
and destruction of the illusion that cotton still possessed royal power. In 



INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE IOy 

reality, the act was a recognition of the fact that soil erosion, timber ex- 
ploitation, and continued loss of world markets had almost entirely re- 
moved the traditional sources of income cotton and lumber and that, 
without stabilized industries to counterbalance the losses, Mississippi's 
economic system had broken down. 

Mississippi had reached the peak of the ante-bellum speculative era in 
1840. Then the Natchez district was enjoying the cultural advantages of a 
second generation of wealth ; the Piney Woods had been settled since the 
i82o's; and the Central Hills were being developed by men made reckless 
by the fact that they had much to gain and little to lose. A State bank at 
Jackson, the capital, was helping to finance planters by means of a 
$5,250,000 bond issue, raised in the interests of cotton but not in- 
cident to industrial development. There were few industries ; such as there 
were fell into the category either of "home manufactories" tanneries, 
charcoal kilns, grist mills (or cotton processing plants), gins and cotton- 
seed mills. These latter, few in number, were mostly in the Natchez district 
and had been established by planters for the purpose of facilitating the 
handling of cotton rather than as an approach to industrial development. 

The charcoal kilns were operated by men of the non-slaveholding class 
who lived among the pines of south Mississippi. Small individual operators 
were scattered throughout the Piney Woods section. They used the crudest 
and cheapest methods and, as little capital was involved, the individual 
output was small. Conical mounds covered with pine needles and earth 
and left open at the top were used as kilns. Each kiln could contain enough 
pine slabs or blocks to make several hundred pounds of charcoal. New 
Orleans was the chief market for the product; though Mobile and the 
towns along the Coast used it for cooking and heating purposes, and here 
also the masters of sailing vessels purchased a supply. * 

A Mississippian, John Ross, in 1801 made the first written suggestion 
that valuable oil could be pressed from the cottonseed, but it was not until 
1834, at Natchez, that the first mill was erected. Just north of Natchez at 
Washington, Eleazer Carver had begun in 1807 the manufacture of cotton 
gins. Still, when Mississippi reached its first "industrial peak" in 1840, 
the number of persons engaged in manufacture was only 5,060. Two years 
later the State repudiated its banking bonds and, by 1850, the number of 
industrial employees had slumped to 3,154. Before there could be any re- 
covery, the War between the States began, and for the following four 
years even cotton was forgotten. 

The war and resulting industrial stagnation affected Mississippi griev- 
ously. So great was the depression in all industry that Governor Alcorn 



108 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

estimated a 62 percent loss in home manufactures between 1860 and 
1870. To encourage development, money invested in manufactures was 
exempted from taxation. Probably as a result of this exemption the Missis- 
sippi Cotton Mills, the largest textile mill in the State, was established at 
Wesson in 1871, and soon had 30,000 spindles in operation, consuming 
10,000 bales of cotton annually. 

The depressed price of cotton in the late 1870'$ brought to the people 
generally their first realization that agriculture in the State should be sup- 
plemented by industry. When, in the i88o's, the price continued to hover 
around seven and eight cents a pound, the State adopted a definite pro- 
gram for industrial development. In 1882 Governor Robert Lowry told 
the legislature that "the president or manager of a successful factory 
among us, ought to be more highly appreciated and honored by us than 
any public functionary in the land. Whatever legislation can be accom- 
plished in his behalf shall have my cordial approval and support." As a 
result the legislature passed "an act to encourage the establishment of fac- 
tories in this State and to exempt them from taxation." The period of 
exemption was to extend ten years beyond the time the factory was com- 
pleted and in operation. To help carry out the purposes of the act a Com- 
mission of Immigration was appointed, and a Handbook of Facts for 
Immigrants was prepared for distribution in Northern and Eastern manu- 
facturing centers. 

The handbook, timed to take advantage of the southward trend of tex- 
tile industries, stated that Mississippi offered abundant water power, cheap 
fuel, arid inexpensive labor. Mills operating at Columbus, Wesson, Enter- 
prise, Natchez, Corinth, "and other points" were listed as having operated 
at a profit. Unfortunately, however, the statement concerning water power 
and cheap fuel was erroneous; Mississippi had no coal supplies or fall 
lines, and no power lines had yet been strung. Hence, during the period 
from 1880-1890 the State's population increased many times faster than 
the number of manufacturing plants. 

But, though the attempt to establish manufacturing plants failed be- 
cause of the lack of natural and artificial power, industry in another form 
began. The lumber industry, developed in southern Mississippi, was des- 
tined to become for a generation the only rival of cotton in the State's eco- 
nomic system. 

With the exhaustion of the timber supply in Michigan and the Great 
Lakes region the lumber industry, seeking new forests to conquer, moved 
southward. Prior to this, Mississippi's lumber industry had been confined 
to a few small units that operated along the banks of the Pearl and Pas- 



INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE 109 

cagoula Rivers. But these operations, like those of the charcoal industry, 
had no great amount of capital behind them. The output scarcely did more 
than suggest to out-of-State capitalists the potential wealth of Mississippi's 
pine forests. 

The rise of the lumber industry began in earnest along the Illinois Cen- 
tral R.R., which cut through the southwestern section of the pine zone. 
Here, west of the Pearl River, the Enochs Lumber Company purchased at 
a small price great tracts of virgin timber and built a mill at Fernwood, 
near McComb. From the mill, log roads penetrated the forest for miles in 
each direction. The White Lumber Company, another pioneer concern, 
established a mill at Columbia, and, operating westward toward Liberty, 
built the Liberty- White R.R. as a branch from the Illinois Central line. 
But even these first large mills did little more than scratch the surface; 
the greater forests lay east of Pearl River. 

In 1 88 1 the Southern R.R. pushed northeastward from New Orleans 
into Mississippi, across Pearl River and through the Piney Woods, 
penetrating the heart of almost untouched forests. With the laying of this 
trackage, large lumbering interests gradually acquired extensive holdings 
east of the Pearl River. Mills sprang up all along the line; Hattiesburg, 
Laurel, and other towns were founded. Then, in 1902, the Gulf & Ship 
Island R.R. was built, cutting from the north downward through the heart 
of the forests and ending at Gulfport, the new deep water port. With the 
harbor as an outlet and the two trunk lines connected with small log roads, 
the Piney Woods entered a period of lumbering that is equalled in Missis- 
sippi history only by the early flush times of cotton speculation. In 1900 
this industry had 844 establishments employing 9,676 persons; in 1925 
it reached the maximum production of 3,127,678,000 feet, with an em- 
ployment by 917 establishments of 39,075 persons. This number repre- 
sented more than two-thirds of all labor employed in industry. 

In the late 1920*5, however, the lumber industry began to decline. The 
larger mills, having cut practically all accessible timber, began to move 
their machinery from the State, leaving the clean-up operations to small 
concerns. In 1931 there were only 468 establishments left, with a decline 
in employment to 12,388 persons. In 1933 only 792,031,000 feet were 
cut. The Piney Woods inhabitant whose grandfather was a small cattle 
raiser, and whose father had been a small time sheepman, was no longer 
a sawmill hand. 

Paralleling the decline of the lumber industry, other factors were at 
work forcing a change in the State's economy. Soil erosion had eaten the 
vitality from great tracts of land, making it impossible to raise more than 



IIO MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

a mere subsistence on the cotton farms. Foreign competition had gradually 
narrowed the cotton market until either the price of cotton had to be 
"pegged" by the Government or the farmer took a loss on what he had 
raised. With enforced control of acreage and the increasing use of farm 
machinery had come a large displacement of former cotton hands and 
tenants. The number of unemployed cotton workers and unemployed saw- 
mill laborers forced recognition of the fact that, with lumbering as the 
sole industry and cotton as the one cash crop, Mississippi could no longer 
maintain a standard of living anywhere nearly commensurate with its pos- 
sibilities. The State had to reorganize its economic system or else remain, 
paradoxically, well-endowed as compared with the other States with the 
prerequisites for a high standard of living, but ranking near the bottom 
in actual wealth and income. 

Much was done during the 1930*5 to close this gap between potential- 
ities and accomplishments, but agricultural diversification, reforestation, 
and the establishment of new industries take time and effort. The dairy 
cattle industry is directly dependent on the development of creameries, 
cheese plants, and condenseries which, in turn, require capital and experi- 
ence in the dairy products business if they are to compete in national 
markets. Profits from poultry and swine are conditional upon the improve- 
ment of flocks and herds, possible only with capital and expert animal 
husbandry. Production crops, other than cotton, are hampered by lack of 
marketing facilities, but the building of cold storage plants, the develop- 
ment of effective marketing associations, the employment of skilled tech- 
nique in growing perishable and specialty crops all these take capital. 
Unfortunately, the State's wealth had eroded with its lands. 

While Mississippians were posing this problem of need for but dearth 
of capital, industry in the Nation as a whole had been on the move. The 
cost factors of production and distribution that formerly had kept industry 
tied to certain key sections were being altered by the extension of power 
transmission systems and natural gas lines. The tendency was toward de- 
centralization with an increasing emphasis on regional marketing. Consid- 
ering the possibilities of high speed, low cost transportation in relation to 
the increasingly larger share played by taxation and labor in manufactur- 
ing, industrialists in the North and in the East glanced southward for an 
answer to their growing restlessness. 

Certain technological advance also warranted major shifts in particular 
types of industry. New processes in the manufacture of paper make slash 
pine available as raw material for Kraft and even newsprint papers. Pro- 
cessing plants can be brought directly to the farm, where modern diver- 



INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE III 

sified agriculture provides various raw materials, some of them new to 
industry: the soybean, the sweet potato, wood pulp, and tung oil for use 
respectively in the making of plastics, starch, synthetic fibres, and paint 
and varnish. 

The 1925-30 crisis in Mississippi's economic life coincided with this in- 
creasing change in the distribution of the Nation's industries. Linking the 
two in a new State economy was accomplished by the opening of natural 
gas fields near Jackson and the development of high transmission electric 
power systems. Rates were offered through two privately owned companies 
and the Tennessee Valley Authority that were as low as, if not lower than, 
those in any other part of the country. These new sources of fuel and 
power, and the unusually even distribution of the population, made Missis- 
sippi attractive to industries seeking decentralization. 

From 1931 to 1936 new incorporated capital in the State averaged over 
$400,000,000 a year, approximately 27 times greater than the annual 
average for the five-year period 19211926. Between the Federal business 
census of 1933 and that of 1935, the number of industrial establishments 
increased by 390. In the average percentage of increases in these same 
years (figured by the number of manufacturing establishments, number of 
wage earners, amount of wages paid, and value of manufactured products ) 
Mississippi was second in the United States. The value of manufactured 
products in Mississippi was 67.6% higher in 1935 than in 1933 ; the num- 
ber of industrial workers increased 32.8% ; the amount of wages 46.6% ; 
and the volume of retail sales 27%. 

During 1936 heavy construction in Mississippi increased 333% as 
compared with the national average increase of 71%; commercial car 
sales increased 69% while the national average was 25%; and farm in- 
come 24% as compared with the national average of 13%. 

At Laurel a company manufacturing synthetic wall board realized 
the possibility of developing timber products plants other than sawmills. 
The first paper mill in the South to make bleached Kraft paper from pine 
was built on the Coast ; and to demonstrate proper methods in raising pine 
trees, a slash pine nursery was established at Brooklyn. A new processing 
plant at Jackson to develop the bentonite deposits of Smith County is per- 
haps a beginning in exploiting the State's virtually untapped mineral 
supply. 

With the virgin pines lost to southern Mississippi, the lower section of 
the Piney Woods has turned to raising tung nuts; and here one of the 
largest tung-nut crushing mills has been established (see Tour 8). 
This industry, as well as the long established turpentine and resin indus- 



112 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

try in this section, finds an excellent market among paint and varnish 
manufacturers. 

In the Prairie and Central Hills, more than 300 milk-utilizing plants 
and the mid-South' s largest poultry packing plant have been built to offer 
a home market for the farmer's products. Over the State a score or more 
new garment factories have been opened, mostly branch plants of national 
concerns, planned to use the surplus rural labor made available by de- 
creased farm operations (see TUPELO, MERIDIAN; Tours 4, 5 and 12). 

As an added incentive to out-of-State capital and experienced manage- 
ment, the legislature passed the Industrial Act in 1936. This act, aimed to 
help "balance agriculture with industry," recognized the State's limited 
capital and authorized the municipalities to issue bonds for the purpose of 
erecting plants for industrial enterprises, and exempted from ad valorem 
taxation for five years certain classes of industries. An Industrial Commis- 
sion was formed, charged with the responsibility of examining both the 
industries and the communities that expected to take advantage of the new 
act. An advertising fund was granted and an advertising commission 
created. 

Thus Mississippi, for the first time in its history, has a planned pro- 
gram for industrial development. Under the "balance agriculture with 
industry" plan, Mississippi communities can offer land and factory build- 
ings, together with tax exemption for a period of five years, in return for 
the ability and business experience of the incoming industrialists. 



Religion 



Unlike the older Atlantic States, Mississippi was not opened to settle- 
ment by Europeans seeking economic and religious freedom. It was opened 
by agents of his Christian Majesty, the King of France, seeking new 
sources of revenue and by Roman Catholic priests seeking converts. The 
Cross traveled with the Fleur de Lis; and when La Salle came down the 
Mississippi to plant the King's banner in the Lower Valley, Father Zeno- 
bius Membre was with him to officiate at the celebration of mass. This 



RELIGION 113 

first mass was said near Fort Adams in 1682. In the 17 years that fol- 
lowed, the religious order tightened its hold. St. Valier, Roman Catholic 
Bishop of Quebec, acting on orders from Rome, sent Fathers Montigny, 
St. Cosme, and Davion into the territory to establish missions. Fathers 
Montigny and St. Cosme settled among the Natchez tribe, while Father 
Davion established himself on the lower Yazoo River among the Tunica. 
When d'Iberville's colony pushed in from Ship Island to the mainland 
in 1699 and established Fort Maurepas, the first permanent white settle- 
ment in the Mississippi Valley, Father Davion was able to leave his work 
in charge of Indian converts and pay the settlement a visit. This first col- 
ony was the nucleus for other settlements in the region ; and each band of 
explorers, soldiers, and settlers that went out from it was accompanied by 
a priest. Father Richard celebrated mass at the establishing of Krebs Fort 
(see Tour 1), and Father Senat was burned by the Chickasaw after D'Ar- 
taguiette's defeat south of Pontotoc (see Tour 12). 

For nearly a century the territory remained almost entirely Catholic. But 
as a result of intrigue and of the Seven Year's War, ending in 1763, France 
lost her New World possessions, and Mississippi, as a British possession, 
came to be dominated by Anglo-Saxons. These new settlers from the east- 
ern States were of Tory caste, accustomed to a certain amount of ease, cul- 
ture, and gracious living; and though they were politically conservative, 
they believed emphatically in the separation of Church and State. With the 
same determination that left their mark on the State's agriculture, they 
drove the wedge of Protestantism into the almost solidly Catholic society. 

In 1779, however, British rule gave way to Spanish rule, and once more 
Roman Catholicism became the official religion of the territory. Spain had 
two objectives in the lower Mississippi Valley: to develop the territory 
and to keep it Roman Catholic. By lenient civil laws the first was magni- 
ficently accomplished. But, ironically, the means to this accomplishment 
defeated the second purpose. For the lenient laws that aided so greatly in 
the development of the territory also drew more and more Anglo-Saxon 
Protestants from the older States ; and these Protestants, finding a common 
cause in their opposition to Spain's rigid religious laws, united in a con- 
spiracy of sorts against the government. Prohibited from organizing 
churches of their own, they held secret meetings in their homes and in the 
sylvan gloom of moss-draped forests. Under such militant preachers as 
Richard Curtis, Tobias Gibson, and Adam Cloud (Baptist, Methodist, and 
Episcopalian, respectively) Mississippi once more made the transition from 
Roman Catholicism to Protestantism. The first Baptist church in Missis- 
sippi was organized in 1791 ; and when the territory was annexed to the 



114 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

United States in 1798, not only had this church superseded the authority 
of the Roman Catholic Church, but the framework of other sects had been 
laid. The first Methodist church was organized in the town of Washing- 
ton in 1799. The first Presbyterian church, after some previous preaching 
in Jefferson County, was organized in 1804. In 1798 Samuel Swayze, a 
Congregationalist minister from New Jersey, built the first Protestant 
Church edifice in the State (see Tour 3, Sec. b). 

The admission of Mississippi into the Union in 1817 was the beginning 
of the so-called "great migration" from the older States. Second sons of 
aristocratic Tidewater families, coolly determined Scotch- Irish farmers, 
restless adventurers, and dissatisfied backwoodsmen poured down from the 
mountains into the newly acquired lands. And with this sweep of settlers 
into the State, religious doctrines, like political philosophies and styles of 
architecture, were transplanted from one section of the country to the 
other. The Episcopal Church flourished first along the Mississippi River, 
where rich bottomlands drew wealthy planters and slave owners. Later this 
sect, which generally identified itself with the settlers who held to the Tory 
ideology in the civilization they were shaping, moved northward into the 
upper river country and into the Lake Washington and Lake Lee regions 
of the Delta. In the Lake Washington area, Bishop Otey built St. John's 
Episcopal Church near Glen Allan in 1844 (see Side Tour 3 A), and with 
this as a focal point the doctrine of Episcopal faith spread throughout the 
lower portion of the Delta. 

After organizing their first church in 1804, the Presbyterians in Missis- 
sippi were reenforced by Scotch- Irish families who migrated from the 
Carolinas to settle in the Natchez district. So quickly did they grow in num- 
bers that the Mississippi Presbytery, under the jurisdiction of the Presby- 
tery of Kentucky, was formed in 1816. Thirteen years later this sect 
founded Oakland College (see Tour 3, Sec. b), thus leading the other de- 
nominations in inaugurating religious education in Mississippi. Growing 
out of its efforts to Christianize the Chickasaw Indians, the Cumberland 
Presbyterian Church of Tennessee gained a foothold in northern Missis- 
sippi as early as 1820. When the Chickasaw ceded their lands to the United 
States in 1832, the Scotch Covenanters were among the first to settle here. 

The Missionary Baptist Church, so called to distinguish it from the 
Primitive Baptist, had a particularly strong appeal among the independent 
farmers who settled in the Piney Woods of southern Mississippi. They 
also established missions among the Indians of northern Mississippi, and, 
like the Presbyterians, after the cession of Indian lands to the Government, 
they had a foothold in this section. The Primitive Baptist churches were 



RELIGION 115 

established by settlers who kept close to the elemental in their way of life. 
This denomination was strongest along the Tennessee River. 

In number of members, the Methodist Church came next to the Baptist. 
Spreading from their first church organization at Washington in 1799, 
and given great impetus by the eccentric evangelist, Lorenzo Dow, who es- 
tablished a church at Kingston in 1803 ( see Tour 3, Sec. b) and then con- 
ducted a series of "camp meetings" in the territory, the Methodists distrib- 
uted their churches throughout the State. 

In the years between the end of Spanish rule and 1837, tne Roman Cath- 
olics in Mississippi had become almost destitute of spiritual attention. The 
number of priests had slowly decreased until in 1837 there were only two. 
In that year, however, Pope Gregory XVI established a new diocese to 
embrace the entire State, and made Natchez its cathedral city. New priests 
were sent from Europe to administer to the Irish Catholics at Paulding 
and Bassfield, and to Catholic families along the Coast. On the Coast, the 
work of this denomination among the Negroes has been outstanding; 
at Bay St. Louis is the first seminary in America to train Negro boys for 
the priesthood. Other schools for Negroes were established at Biloxi and 
Jackson. The Natchez Diocese, since erection, has founded 24 schools and 
two orphanages. 

The first Christian (sometimes called Campbellite) church was estab- 
lished in 1838 near Jackson. Several years later this denomination founded 
Newton College, near Woodville, an institution that had a large enroll- 
ment until the outbreak of the War between the States. The last denomi- 
nation to organize a church in Mississippi's ante-bellum period was the 
Lutheran. This sect was introduced into the State by settlers from South 
Carolina, who settled near Sallis in 1840 and, in 1846, established here the 
New Hope Congregation Church. 

These early churches fitted neatly into the early Mississippian's way of 
life. Not only did they give him an opportunity for formal worship but 
they offered him a means for emotional expression. The evangelistic spirit 
of these churches was a part of the so-called "southern temperament." 
They were also a part of the frontiersman's life, and as such were admin- 
istered by men who were themselves pioneers. These divines, circuit riders, 
missionaries, itinerant evangelists, and camp-meeting crusaders understood 
the art of living life "in the raw." As A. P. Hudson points out in his 
Humor of the Old Deep South, they also were men with a considerable na- 
tive sense of humor, otherwise they would have gone the way of Mr. Da- 
vidson in Rain. The famous Lorenzo Dow, who sat on the steps of his 
cabin in a canebrake watching his "star set in the west," and who once 



Il6 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

thought "it was a gone case" with him when Indians grabbed his bridle 
reins somewhere on the old Natchez Trace, is typical. Dow, a New Eng- 
lander by birth, ranged up and down the Atlantic seaboard in a determined 
effort to convert to Protestantism all the inhabitants of that vast region. 
His activity in Mississippi centered about the Natchez country, where, un- 
daunted by rebuffs, he made up in zeal and resourcefulness what he lacked 
in education. Speaking on the subject "Judgment Day" at one of his "re- 
vivals," and wishing to give effectiveness to the sermon, he arranged with 
a little Negro boy to climb to the top of a tall pine tree and at a specified 
point in the sermon to blow vociferously on a horn. His plans went off 
without a hitch and the audience was frightened even beyond his expecta- 
tions. But, recovering and seeing through his hoax, the audience became 
indignant and prepared to break up the meeting. Dow, however, was ready 
for them. Impressively continuing his sermon, he said, "And now, Breth- 
ren, if a little Negro boy blowing on a tin horn in the top of a pine tree 
can make you feel so, how will you feel when the last day really comes?" 
And there was the Reverend Mr. Foster, who once hid in the mud of a 
bog, "playing mud turtle so well that [he] even fooled the Indians." 

When slavery became a national issue, Mississippi Protestant churches, 
like those of other southern States, endeavored to reconcile slavery with 
Christianity. Both Methodist and Baptist denominations split with their 
national organizations in the 1840*5, and formed organizations of their 
own. But notwithstanding this split, by 1860 these two denominations 
were the acknowledged religious leaders in the State. Unlike their closest 
rival, the Presbyterian, they appealed not to the Tory element but to the 
large class of small independent farmers. 

After the War between the States, Mississippi's religious life was af- 
fected by three distinct influences : the organization of Negro churches, the 
spread of church-supported schools and colleges, and the rise of towns in 
social and economic importance. These influences were direct results of the 
breakdown of the plantation system. Previously, Negroes had been forbid- 
den by law to organize churches of their own; instead, they had wor- 
shipped from especially constructed balconies in the churches of their mas- 
ters or (presumably) they had not worshipped at all. With freedom, how- 
ever, they were permitted to worship when and how they pleased. One of 
their first acts was to organize churches of their own. These churches were 
at first under the supervision of white churches, but later they were organ- 
ized into independent units, such as the African Methodist Episcopal Con- 
ference and the Colored Baptist Association. In the Negro as in the white 
churches, the Methodist and Baptist denominations attracted the greatest 



RELIGION Iiy 

number of members. Similar in dogma and concept to white religious or- 
ganizations, the Negro sects have retained an emotional quality in their 
services peculiarly their own. 

Reconstruction transferred social and economic power from the farms 
to the towns. The store usurped the prestige of the plantation; and with 
the growth of towns in population and importance, membership in urban 
churches increased. After the iSyo's the church treasuries began to fill 
so rapidly that the denominations were able to execute many of the social 
reforms they had advocated. Missionaries, of the type once sent by the 
older States to establish and maintain churches in Mississippi, now were 
sent by Mississippi churches to perform a similar heroic task in foreign 
lands. Before 1865 an occasional church-supported school had been 
founded in Mississippi, but most of these were in fact preparatory acad- 
emies; Mississippians to be educated in the professions went out of the 
State to school. After 1865, however, when few of the "upper class" had 
the means to send their children East and when the "common man" had 
risen to a status of comparative economic security, the church stepped into 
the field of education. Between 1865 and 1891, the State's religious de- 
nominations founded 123 educational institutions. Though some of these 
institutions held college rating, the majority were planned simply to fill 
the need of a public school system. When such a system was inaugurated 
by the State, a majority of the denominational schools disappeared. 

One other effect of the rise of towns on religion in Mississippi was the 
comparatively large influx of Jewish people. Woodville, Meridian, Green- 
ville, Vicksburg, Jackson, and Natchez acquired well-defined Jewish pop- 
ulations. The State's first synagogue was founded at Woodville in 1866. 

Today, the Protestant church is perhaps the greatest social force in 
Mississippi life. Public spirited, though deep rooted in conservatism, the 
minister is often a greater force in molding public opinion in a community 
than is the editor of the local newspaper. Controversial subjects such as 
political philosophies, prohibition, child labor, wage-labor laws, and the 
Ku Klux Klan often are aired in the pulpits. Like his predecessors, the 
circuit rider and the itinerant evangelist of frontier days, the minister is 
versatile ; he can enliven any occasion with an exhortation or an anecdote, 
and he is at home on public platforms and at barbecues. The congrega- 
tions as a whole share his orthodoxy. They support his suggested enter- 
prises, share his conservative social theories, and enjoy the zest of de- 
nominational competition. Occasionally, church bodies meet in assembly 
to draft resolutions on matters of general moral concern. Occasionally, 
they focus their denunciations upon local evils of social, economic, and 



Il8 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

industrial life. It is significant, however, that such resolutions have lost 
much of the force that they once exerted. 

Individualism in urban churches has been somewhat sacrificed to or- 
ganization. Taking their cue from the efficiency of modern business con- 
cerns, the churches maintain building committees, finance committees, and 
recreational committees. Church buildings, equipped with recreation 
rooms, dining rooms, and kitchens are indicative of their efforts to regain 
the place in the community's social life that they unwittingly let slip to the 
schools. 

Rural churches, though greatly drained by the urban churches' absorp- 
tion of their vitality in the form of members, wealth, and ministerial 
material, have retained much of their warmth and simplicity. Throughout 
rural Mississippi many sects still hold all-day singings, box suppers, and 
"protracted meetings." They also continue to practice "churching," or 
striking the name of an erring member from the rolls. Here the church is 
still the center of community life. And here, too, modern skepticism is 
lacking. Belief in God is accepted with the same unquestioning faith as 
are the revolutions of the sun and the cycle of the crops. 



Education 



The first attempts to establish schools before Territorial days were made 
shortly after 1772 by the English Protestant settlers the Congregational - 
ists and Baptists near Natchez and the Methodists of Vicksburg and 
vicinity. These attempts were crushed temporarily by the authorities of the 
second Spanish period (1779-98). Of necessity and desire the planters 
hired private tutors for their children or sent them to Eastern or European 
colleges. 

The first act of incorporation for any purpose passed by the Territorial 
legislature was that of May 13, 1802, establishing Jefferson College. 
This college, still in operation as Jefferson Military Academy, at Wash- 
ington six miles from Natchez, began active work in 1811. Supported 
at first by private donations, the proceeds of a lottery, and student fees, 



EDUCATION 119 

it later received land-grant assistance. One year before the incorporation 
of Jefferson College, the Reverend David Ker, a Scotchman, opened at 
Natchez the first public school for girls. Eight academies were incor- 
porated in the Mississippi Territory, six of which were within the present 
limits of the State of Mississippi. 

Of the pioneer academies established in the new State the earliest of 
note was the Elizabeth Female Academy near Washington (see Tour 3, 
Sec. b). The school opened in November 1818, was granted its charter 
February 1819, and operated under the auspices of the Methodist Church 
until it finally closed about 1843. Edward Mayes, in History of Education 
in Mississippi, says it achieved "the dignity of a college in fact, although 
not in name." If this statement is true, it was the first chartered college 
in the United States to confer degrees upon women. 

Hampstead Academy (shown in some records Hamstead), incorporated 
in 1826 after the middle section of Choctaw lands had been opened to 
settlement, was established at Mount Salus, now Clinton. Begun as a 
private venture and for a while under the control of the Clinton Pres- 
bytery, in 1850 it was taken over by the Baptist Church under the name 
of Mississippi College. It is now (1937) one of Mississippi's leading 
liberal arts colleges. 

A third pioneer school of note was Oakland College near Rodney 
Landing, begun in 1830 as a Presbyterian institution to educate a native min- 
istry in the Southwest. In 1871 it was purchased by the State and dedicated 
to the higher education of Negro men. In 1878 it was reorganized as the 
Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College, the only State-owned insti- 
tution of higher education for Negroes in Mississippi. The Agricultural 
Land Scrip Fund, established by an act of Congress in 1862, made 
possible this reorganization. In 1902 the college was made coeducational 
(1936-37 enrollment, 434). 

Many of the best schools and colleges in the State either were estab- 
lished under the direction of the Protestant churches or have received 
aid from them. Prior to the War between the States, 158 special charters 
were granted by the legislature to institutions of learning, and during the 
period from the close of the war until 1891 there were 123 more. Fourteen 
of these were organized by the Baptist Church within a period of ten years. 
These numbers do not include the institutions under the general laws of the 
State, nor those content to operate without charters. They were called 
by all names academies, high schools, colleges, universities; but nearly 
all claimed to give sound instruction in the classics, higher mathematics, 
philosophy, the natural sciences, and modern languages. 



120 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

Although many of these schools were really of little better than high 
school standing and lasted only a short time, they served well a State 
with a small and greatly scattered population. Especially popular were 
the female colleges where, in the absence of public schools in their 
communities, the daughters of the planters could board. From the early 
Protestant church schools have developed many of the leading present- 
day schools and colleges. The first Roman Catholic schools were in con- 
nection with the Indian missions. There are now (1937) parochial schools 
and private academies in many of the cities, ten of approved high school 
rank. 

Acts of Congress of 1803 and 1805 reserved for school purposes the 
sixteenth section of each township in Mississippi. Under these acts there 
should be now a vast amount of income available for educational pur- 
poses, but by mismanagement, sale, leasing for 99 years at small rates, 
or out-and-out loss, the greater part of the fund has been dissipated, 
and most of the sixteenth section schools remain a myth. One notable 
exception is Franklin Academy, established at Columbus in 1821, which, 
although a part of the city school system, still benefits from its sixteenth 
section income. It has been in operation continuously since its beginning, 
and was by 24 years the first free school established in the State. 

Although since 1803 schools in the State were established or aided by 
sixteenth sections donated by Congress, and, since 1821, to a small extent 
by the Literary Fund established in that year by the legislature, no serious 
consideration seems to have been given to a general system of common 
schools until 1843. In that year it was made a campaign issue by A. G. 
Brown, candidate for the office of Governor. In 1846 Brown, as Governor, 
succeeded in securing the passage of an act to establish a general system 
of schools. But the schools that grew out of this act had no uniformity 
since they differed as the counties differed in wealth and efficiency of 
management. Not until 1870 was a uniform system of public education 
organized in Mississippi. Each county in the State and each city of 5,000 
population (later including those of 1,000) was made a district in which 
free public schools were to be maintained for at least four months of 
the year under the supervision of a board of school directors. Under 
this system there existed in each county many one- or two-teacher schools. 

Before the War between the States there were no public schools for 
Negroes. According to Garner in his Reconstruction in 



With the occupation of the state by the Federal Armies, the work of teaching 
the Negroes began. The first schools established for this purpose were at 
Corinth shortly after the occupation of that territory by the Union troops in 
1862. The American Missionary Association, the Freedman's Aid Society, and 



EDUCATION 121 

the Society of Friends had established schools about Vicksburg before the close 
of the war. Upon the organization of the Freedman's Bureau, a more sys- 
tematized and comprehensive plan of Negro education was undertaken. Joseph 
Warren, chaplain of a Negro regiment, was appointed superintendent of freed- 
men's schools for the state at large. These schools were under military super- 
vision, and benevolent associations supplied them with books and, in many cases, 
furnished clothing to the students. 

In 1865 there were 30 Negro schools; by 1869 there were 81 with 
105 teachers, 40 of whom were Negroes. 

During the period of reconstruction an elaborate and expensive system 
of education, to include both white and Negro children, was formu- 
lated after the plans of the eastern States. State normal schools for 
Negroes were established at Holly Springs and at Tougaloo, near Jack- 
son, and were liberally supported by the legislature. (These have been 
discontinued since 1903, leaving no State-owned schools for the train- 
ing of Negro teachers. ) To the impoverished taxpayers, this reconstruction 
legislation was a great burden. Yet, as Garner continues, "when the 
reconstructionists surrendered the government to the democracy, in 1876, 
the public school system which they had fathered had become firmly 
established, its efficiency increased, and its administration made somewhat 
less expensive than at first." The Democrats made provisions for con- 
tinuing the system and guaranteed an annual five-month term instead 
of the former one of four months. 

Until 1885 all the public schools manifested a low degree of vitality. 
Free education for white and Negro alike was openly combated because 
of the excessive taxation imposed upon the war-impoverished people, 
but the retrenchments made by the legislature of 1886 made the issue 
a little more popular. The 15 years preceding 1900 brought a gradual 
growth and improvement in the State school system. 

The period from 1900 to 1930 was one of decided progress. A bill 
passed in 1910, providing for the consolidation of rural schools with 
transportation at public expense, brought about a vast improvement in 
educational advantages for the children scattered on farms and in small 
villages. Before that date the cities and towns had the only public high 
schools in the State. In that year began the development of county agri- 
cultural high schools. In the following decade 50 such schools were 
organized, so distributed as to cover almost the entire State. In the rural 
areas they brought a deeper interest in education and a demand that 
high school facilities be within the reach of every girl and boy in Missis- 
sippi. The outcome has been that many of the consolidated schools have 
become of accredited high school standing, and the majority of the rural 
children can live at home and yet have facilities equal to those offered 



122 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

the children in the State's most progressive cities and towns. With the 
accrediting of these consolidated schools many of the agricultural high 
schools have been absorbed into the county program of education. 

The report of August 1937 shows a total of 20 agricultural high 
schools for white children, all approved by the State Accrediting Com- 
mission and 7 of the group accredited by the Southern Association of 
Colleges and Secondary Schools. Ten of these are separate schools while 
10 are connected with State-supported junior colleges. There are three 
agricultural high schools for Negroes, one approved and two on pro- 
bation. The number of consolidated schools of high school rank for 
white children is approximately 850, all with free transportation; for 
Negro children there are 40, half of which have free transportation. 
Of the 510 approved four-year high schools for white children, 77 are 
accredited by the Southern Association. There are 54 approved high 
schools for Negroes, two of which are accredited by the Southern Asso- 
ciation: the high school departments of Southern Christian Institute and 
Tougaloo College. 

Since the passage, in 1917, of the Federal Vocational Education Act, 
commonly referred to as the Smith-Hughes Act after its co-authors, 593 
departments of vocational training have been established in Mississippi 
schools. Under this act funds are available to any public school approved 
by the State Board of Education and willing to match Smith-Hughes 
funds. During the term 1936-37 the following number of high schools 
received vocational aid: agricultural, 172 white, 87 Negro; home eco- 
nomics, 197 white, 37 Negro; industrial and trade, 85 white, 15 Negro. 

In response to the need for an extended secondary school program, 
the present n State-supported junior colleges were established between 
the years 1922 and 1929. Their 1936-37 enrollment was 3,243. They 
are fairly evenly distributed over the State, are coeducational, have 
nominal fees, and all but one have agricultural high school departments. 
There are eight other white junior colleges in the State, five of which 
are church-supported schools for girls. Hillman College in Clinton, 
Mississippi Synodical College in Holly Springs, and All Saints College 
in Vicksburg are under the respective jurisdiction of the Baptist, Pres- 
byterian, and Episcopal Churches. Whitworth College, Brookhaven, and 
Grenada College, Grenada, are Methodist schools. The combined en- 
rollment of these church schools for 1936-37 was 571. There are three 
privately controlled white schools of junior college rank. Clark Memorial 
College, Newton, and Wood Junior College, Mathiston, are coeduca- 
tional, with respective enrollments of 81 and 125. Gulf Park College, 



EDUCATION 123 

Gulfport, is a private school for girls, with an enrollment of 254 (1937). 
There are three accredited Negro schools of junior college rank: Mary 
Holmes Seminary, West Point, Okolona Industrial School, Okolona, and 
Southern Christian Institute, Edwards. These are under the respective 
jurisdictions of the Northern Presbyterian, Episcopal, and Christian 
Churches. 

Special schools have been provided for special groups. In 1847, the 
Institute for the Blind and, in 1854, the Institute for the Deaf and Dumb 
were established at Jackson. The Industrial and Training School, for 
"the care and training of children under 18 years of age, found to be 
destitute, abandoned, or delinquent," was established in 1916 at Colum- 
bia. This was followed in 1920 by the School for the Feeble Minded, at 
Ellisville. Negroes are admitted to the Institute for the Deaf and Dumb 
and the School for the Feeble Minded. These four schools are State- 
supported. 

The first attempts to educate the Indians were made by missionaries, 
incidental to their efforts to Christianize them. The Elliot Mission, 
established in 1818 in what is now Grenada County, and the Mayhew 
Mission, an outgrowth of this some 70 miles east, continued until the 
Indian removal (1830), at which time many of the teachers and priests 
followed their charges to their new homes in the West. Prior to the 
War between the States and through the Reconstruction Period no effort 
was made toward the education or training of those Indians who re- 
mained in Mississippi. An act was passed in 1882 that provided schools 
for the Indian children in the eastern part of the State where the number 
warranted a school. Indian education was taken over from the State by 
the U. S. Government in 1918 through its Indian agency at Philadelphia, 
Mississippi. Of the seven day-schools under Government sponsorship, 
the one at Tucker is typical (see Tour 12). 

There are about 150 full-blooded Chinese children of school age in 
the Delta, where live most of the Chinese in the State. Since these 
children are prohibited by law from attending the white public schools, 
they, for the most part, are taught privately in small groups, each family 
paying a part of the cost, or are sent out of the State, even to China, 
for their education. In a few of the towns where there are only one or 
two children they are given special permission to attend the local schools ; 
in many places they attend the Negro schools. All children of mixed 
Chinese and Negro blood must attend the Negro schools. The only public 
school for the Chinese is at Greenville, a one-room frame structure where 
about 25 children are taught by an American teacher who belongs to 



124 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

the regular city school faculty. The work in this school extends through 
the eighth grade. In 1937 the Chinese Mission school, with an enroll- 
ment of about 35, was opened at Cleveland under the sponsorship of 
the Baptist Church. Full-blooded Chinese from all parts of the Delta 
attend. There are boarding facilities for those from a distance. The cur- 
riculum is that of other public schools supplemented by courses in 
Chinese language and literature. 

The educational advantages of the Negroes have not kept pace with 
those of the white children. Of the 3,753 public Negro schools, only 
2,313 are in publicly owned buildings. While many of these are modern 
and adequately equipped, the 1,440 other Negro schools in the State 
are in churches, lodge buildings, garages, tenant houses, old stores, and 
similar buildings. The greatest stimulus toward the betterment of this 
condition has been the Julius Rosenwald Fund, of which, since 1919, 
half a million dollars have been spent in building and equipping Negro 
schoolhouses in Mississippi. Since 1932 funds have not been available 
for building purposes but may be secured by school libraries for the 
purchase of books. Many of the Negro schools in the rural sections 
are still one- and two-teacher schools, often poorly equipped. The school 
term for rural schools for Negroes averages five months; that in the 
city schools for Negroes varies from eight to nine months. The salaries 
for teachers in the Negro rural schools vary from $18.00 to $50.00 per 
month, with an average of $25.00. In the Negro city schools the average 
salary is about $35.00. 

Each county Negro school has its separate Negro board of directors. 
In each city school system there is one board, composed of white men 
and women, over all schools for both white and Negro alike. The city 
superintendent of schools, in every case a white man, is also super- 
intendent of the city Negro schools. In many of these schools work 
of a relatively high standard is done, especially in the vocational courses. 

Since 60 percent of all Negroes in public schools are in the first three 
grades and only about five percent of the public high school enrollment 
are Negroes, many schools of high school rank or above have been or- 
ganized under private management or under the jurisdiction of some 
church. Besides the church schools already named, there are four others 
which are supported by Negro churches: Mississippi Industrial College, 
Holly Springs, Natchez College, Natchez, Saints Industrial Institute, 
Lexington, and Campbell College, Jackson. These are under the respec- 
tive jurisdictions of the Methodist, Baptist, Sanctified, and African 
Methodist Churches. 



EDUCATION 125 

The three independently controlled Negro schools Utica Institute, 
Prentiss Normal and Industrial Institute, and Piney Woods School, 
founded in 1903, 1907 and 1910 respectively are supported by volun- 
tary contributions and money earned by their traveling groups of singers. 
All three are boarding schools of accredited high school rank. The Piney 
Woods School, with the best industrial plant, not only has more singers 
on tour than any other Negro school as many as 14 quartets have been 
on tour at one time but is the only school with a department for the 
blind. Prentiss Industrial Institute is the only Negro school in the State 
founded and headed by native Mississippi Negroes. Utica Institute is out- 
standing for its singing of Negro spirituals, and its quintet has the dis- 
tinction of having sung in Europe. Perhaps the school's most interesting 
accomplishment is its promulgation of the annual Negro Farmers' Con- 
ference, the object of which is to encourage Negro farmers to become land- 
owners. 

There are three senior colleges for Negroes in addition to the State- 
owned Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College. Tougaloo College, 
at Tougaloo, seven miles north of Jackson, was founded in 1869 by the 
American Missionary Association of the Congregational Church. It is the 
only senior college for Negroes in Mississippi approved by the Southern 
Association. Its students have contributed to an anthology called The 
Brown Thrush, the first intercollegiate anthology compiled by Negro stu- 
dents. Among these contributors is Jonathan Brooks, whose poetry has ap- 
peared in national periodicals. In its music department more attention is 
paid to the classics than to spirituals. It is one of the few colleges in the 
State offering pipe organ instruction. Rust College, Holly Springs, organ- 
ized in 1870 and supported by the Northern Methodist Church, is noted 
for its music, especially its traveling groups of singers who supplement the 
school funds by their concerts. Jackson College, organized at Natchez in 
1877 under the auspices of the Baptist Church, was moved to Jackson in 
1884. Besides courses in the liberal arts it offers teacher training and 
music. As in all the Negro colleges of the State, singing plays a large part 
in its activities. 

Five of the ten senior colleges for white students in Mississippi are 
State-supported ; five are church schools. The oldest of the former group 
is the University of Mississippi, Oxford (1936-37 enrollment, 1,361). 
Edward Mayes, in History of Education in Mississippi, says: 

The university . . . was, in fact, founded by the Congress of the United States, 
by the acts of March 3, 1815, and February 20, 1819. The former act, that 
which provided for the survey of the boundary line fixed by the treaty with the 
Creek Indians, donated 36 sections of the public lands for the use of a seminary 




LYCEUM BUILDING, "OLE MISS," STATE UNIVERSITY, OXFORD 



of learning in the (then) Mississippi Territory. When the State was organized 
in 1817, all of the Creek lands were left within the Alabama Territory, and the 
fact led to the act of 1819. By this act a similar quantity of land in lieu of the 
Creek lands was granted and the title vested in the State, in trust, for the support 
of a seminary of learning therein. 

A vast amount of these lands was sold or leased and the money invested 
in stock of the Planters Bank. Since 1880 the State has paid to the univer- 
sity, biennially, a sum approximating $65,000, which represents interest 



EDUCATION 127 

at six percent on this money lost in the failure of the bank in 1840. The 
same year (1840) the legislature voted to use the remaining income from 
seminary lands for the establishment of the university. Its charter was 
granted in 1844; in 1846, William Nicholl, an Englishman, was elected 
supervising architect for the proposed buildings, the first of which was 
the Lyceum, now used for administrative purposes and classrooms; the 
university was opened in the fall of 1848. Exercises were suspended from 
1 86 1 until late 1865 because of the War between the States. The property, 
though occupied sometimes by the Confederates, sometimes by the Fed- 
erals, was preserved intact. Begun as a liberal arts college, with a law de- 
partment added in 1885, it now offers the usual university courses. 

Mississippi State College, Starkville (193637 enrollment, 1,933), 
owes its origin to the Agricultural Land Scrip Fund established by an act 
of Congress in 1862. It was chartered as Mississippi Agricultural and 
Mechanical College in 1878 and shared this fund equally with Alcorn 
Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes. Begun purely as an 
agricultural and mechanical college in response to the request of the farm- 
ers of the State for scientific training for their sons, the college expanded 
later. Courses in the liberal arts, schools of science, education, business, 
aviation, and pre-medicine, a graduate school, and an agricultural exten- 
sion department were added. In 1930 the institution was made coeduca- 
tional; in 1932 its name was changed. 

Mississippi State College for Women, Columbus (1936-37 enrollment, 
952), opened in 1885 as the Mississippi Industrial Institute and College, 
the first State-supported institution for the higher education of women in 
the United States. Incorporated in 1884, it was the successor to the Colum- 
bus Female Institute begun in 1848. Although emphasis was placed on 
the industrial courses, music and fine arts were included in its first curric- 
ulum. It offers courses in the liberal arts, secretarial training, library 
science, dramatics, music and art, and has unusually good departments of 
physical education and teacher training. 

Mississippi State Teachers College, Hattiesburg (1936-37 enrollment, 
859), was incorporated as the Mississippi Normal College by legislative 
act of 1910, and opened two years later. In 1922 the legislature authorized 
the granting of the degree of Bachelor of Science, and in 1934, the degree 
of Bachelor of Music. The name was changed in 1924. Delta State Teach- 
ers College, Cleveland (1936-37 enrollment, 367), was established by 
legislative act of 1924, and opened the following year. It now confers the 
degree of Bachelor of Science in Education, and has added courses in 
music and art. Its choral work is not surpassed in the State. 



128 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

Of the church-supported senior colleges, the oldest is Mississippi Col- 
lege (1936-37 enrollment, 395), a liberal arts college for men. Women 
are admitted to the junior and senior classes by special arrangement. (This 
college was among the pioneer academies.) Millsaps College, Jackson 
(1936-37 enrollment, 415), established in 1892 under the auspices of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, is a coeducational liberal arts col- 
lege with emphasis upon training for the Methodist ministry. An endow- 
ment of $50,000 was donated by Major R. W. Millsaps with the provision 
that the Church raise an equal sum. 

Blue Mountain College, Blue Mountain (1936-37 enrollment, 301), 
established in 1873 by General M. P. Lowrey as a private school for girls, 
is the oldest senior college for women in the State. In 1920 the Mississippi 
Baptist Convention assumed control of the school. Especial emphasis is 
placed on the departments of speech arts, fine arts, and music. Belhaven Col- 
lege, Jackson (1936-37 enrollment, 257), established as a private school for 
girls in 1894, came under the control of the Mississippi Presbytery in 
1911. Its art and music departments are outstanding. Mississippi Woman's 
College, Hattiesburg (1936-37 enrollment, 176), under the management 
of the Baptist Church, was established in 1911 on a site presented to the 
Baptist Convention by W.S.F. Tatum. Since 1926 it has been an accred- 
ited senior college with an excellent music department. 



The Press 



In the late summer of 1798, Winthrop Sargent arrived in the 82-year- 
old town of Natchez to assume the duties of Governor of the newly 
created Mississippi Territory. A few days later he summed up one of the 
Territory's greatest difficulties in a letter to the Secretary of State. "We 
have no printing offices in this country [and} we are remote from all 
others," he wrote. "A small traveling press, sufficient for half a sheet of 
post paper, which would give four pages, would be a blessing to the peo- 
ple of the territory, and I would myself contrive to manage it." The reason 
for this lack of printing facilities, the Governor might have added, was 



THE PRESS 129 

that this eastern portion of the lower Mississippi Valley had been under 
Spanish rule for the previous 20 years, and only one printing press had 
been allowed in all the valley. That one was at New Orleans and was for 
government use only. Not even handbills could be posted in the Natchez 
District without official permission. 

In compliance with the Governor's request, Lieutenant Andrew Mars- 
chalk was ordered to pack the little hand-press with which he had been 
experimenting while on duty at Walnut Hills (Vicksburg), and to proceed 
to Natchez. There Marschalk set up his press, put aside the poems he had 
been printing, and began the more practical work of publishing the 
laws of the Mississippi Territory. This piece of work gave him consider- 
able prestige. Apparently it also injected printer's ink into his blood, for 
in 1802 he resigned from the Army, founded a newspaper, and began 
what was to become the more exciting career of journalism. Before he died 
in 1837 he had fought several duels, been fined for contempt of court 
(which he "fully intended to contempt"), and served as Mississippi's first 
public printer. He is remembered as "the father of journalism in 
Mississippi." 

The paternity of Mississippi's press, however, falls to Marschalk be- 
cause of the importance of his paper rather than for its priority. Before 
the first issue of his Mississippi Herald, on July 26, 1802, two other pub- 
lications, the Mississippi Gazette in August 1800, and the Intelligencer in 
1 80 1, had appeared. Moreover, the Gazette, published by Benjamin Stokes 
on the little press bought from Marschalk, was a success. But the Herald 
soon eclipsed these two papers both in power and in circulation. By its edi- 
torial policy it struck the tone of Mississippi journalism for three-quarters 
of the century to come. Marschalk subordinated news stories to editorials, 
then highly seasoned his editorials with personal abuse. His paper became 
a rabid political sheet; and this was the character of the newspapers that 
followed. 

In 1808 Mississippi had four newspapers, all in Natchez. But soon 
thereafter Marschalk moved to the town of Washington to establish the 
Washington Republican, and in 1812 the Woodville Republican was 
founded. This latter paper is the oldest in the State among those still pub- 
lished. In its files are details of the Napoleonic Wars, national political 
campaigns, and slavery laws. Except for the year 1831, however, the files 
offer little local news. In that year an anonymous citizen wrote to the 
paper, pointing out the advantages offered the country by the new means 
of transportation "called railroads." The letter, signed "Publius," was 
printed by the Republican, and followed by an editorial. The results were 



130 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

a meeting of Woodville citizens, the appointment of a committee, and 
the construction of a railroad. This railroad was the Woodville & West 
Feliciana, fifth railroad to be chartered in the United States (see Tour 
3, Sec. b). 

With Natchez, Woodville, and Washington editors paving the way, and 
with a great influx of people into the State from the Carolinas, Virginia, 
Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, other newspapers were born. Like the 
seat of government, they began gradually to shift from the river country 
towards the interior. When the government at last found a permanent 
location and Jackson became the political storm center of the State, two 
new but important papers were founded here. These were the Pearl River 
Gazette and the State Register, both established in 1823. 

These early Mississippi newspapers vied with one another for the 
lucrative printing contracts awarded by the State, as almost the only means 
of financial survival. In January 1820, Richard C. Langdon, of the Missis- 
sippi Republican, was given the contract, with Marschalk's old title of 
public printer. But in February he was called before the State House of 
Representatives, charged with contempt in publishing "two pieces highly 
inflammatory on the members thereof, and calculated to disturb the cool- 
ness and deliberation of this body." Langdon was defended by Jefferson 
Davis' brother, Joseph, but he was dismissed from his office by a vote of 
17 to 10. 

Advertising agencies were unknown in these early days ; if an editor de- 
sired out-of-town advertisements, he had to secure the business himself. 
Advertising space, commonly used to promote snuff, beverages, tobacco, 
and patent medicines, was generally sold at a price of $30 a year for a 
"square." At the end of the first year the advertiser often forgot to pay 
for the renewal of his announcement ; yet, like his free subscription to the 
paper, it would continue indefinitely. As the number of squares sold by 
the paper increased, the size of the paper became larger. A few journals 
grew so large and bulky that their square-filled sheets could hardly be 
handled conveniently. These papers were referred to by their less fortunate 
rivals as "our bed quilt contemporaries." 

Mississippians have ever been fond of politics, and in the fever of the 
so-called "flush times" of the 1830*5 their appetite for it seemed insatiable. 
Every citizen carried a political theory in his pocket, exhibiting it on every 
occasion. The professions of law and politics were one, not two. This fitted 
neatly into the individualistic policies of opinionated editors. Almost every 
paper, with the exception of the well-edited literary weekly, Ariel, was a 
political organ. One-third of each issue was devoted to the virtues of its 



THE PRESS 131 

editor's political views; much of the remaining two-thirds consisted of 
invective against the vices of the opposition. 

The Natchez, edited by James H. Cook, was a power in the Whig Party. 
Opposing it was the Statesman, vociferously pro-Democratic and edited by 
such men as J. F. H. Claiborne and Robert J. Walker. The Polk-Clay 
Presidential campaign of 1844 brought forth almost as large a crop of 
newspapers as had the campaign of Andrew Jackson. Typical of these was 
Harry of the West, established in Grenada by J. J. Choate in 1844, but 
sold in 1846 and renamed after its title no longer represented the upper- 
most question of the day. During this period Alexander McClung, "the 
Black Knight of the South," established the True Issue, one of the most 
ably edited newspapers in the Southwest. McClung's editorials on the 
National Bank issue and the tariff were justly famous; Seargent S. Prentiss 
is said to have used numerous extracts from them in his political cam- 
paigns. But by December 17, 1844, the Mississippi Democrat of Carrollton 
(see Tour 6) was speaking of the "carriage already built and sent to bring 
the Whig president-elect to Washington." With Polk elected, a great 
many of the papers, exhausted by their prodigious efforts, collapsed. 

The trenchant editorials plus the keen rivalry natural to extremely 
partisan papers made it necessary for the editors to be expert pugilists and 
duelists as well as journalists. An editor made no assertion that he could 
not defend with fists or firearms. In Vicksburg the Whig, a daily paper 
published from 1840 to 1860, and the Tri-Weekly Sentinel, owned by 
W. W. Green and James Hagen, had a particularly bloody history. On one 
occasion Hagen engaged McCardle, then editor of the Whig, in a duel. 
McCardle was wounded, but recovered and lived to see Hagen shot down 
in a street fight by Daniel Adams, a Jackson citizen whom Hagen had 
offended in an editorial. The four editors who succeeded Hagen on the 
Sentinel also met violent deaths. The paper discontinued publication in 
1857. 

The sentiment for secession united the newspapers of the State in 
common denunciation of the Unionists. But the war that shortly followed 
dealt them a staggering blow. Machinery and paper were almost impos- 
sible to obtain, and the able-bodied printers left their presses to shoulder 
rifles. The calamity was climaxed when Federal troops, marching through 
the State, destroyed both presses and type. Sometimes the type was dumped 
into a river or a well; in the case of the Jackson Mississippian it was 
strewn through the streets. But a few papers still managed to survive. The 
Evening Citizen, the first afternoon paper to be published in Vicksburg, 
continued operation not only through the first years of war but throughout 



132 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

the siege. Its final edition, issued July 4, 1863, was printed on wallpaper 
because the supply of news-print was entirely exhausted. As this last issue 
went to press, the victorious Federal Army marched into the city, and one 
blue-clad trooper entered the plant and added the item: "Vicksburg has 
this day surrendered to General Grant." 

With the coming of peace, many new papers were founded and a few 
of the old revived. In the latter group was the Eastern Clarion, established 
at Paulding in the 1830'$, then moved to Meridian, and again at the close 
of the war to Jackson. Here it became the Clarion and later the Daily 
Clarion-Ledger, one of Mississippi's largest present-day newspapers. These 
older papers, of which the Clarion was typical, were defiant of the recon- 
struction policy and suffered tremendously because of their views. The new 
papers, usually managed by northerners recently moved into the State, 
supported the Government's policy and grew rich from State printing 
contracts. Practically all national advertising went to the Republican press. 
The Pilot, published by Kimball, Raymond & Company of Jackson, was 
perhaps the most powerful in the newer group. On one occasion an irate 
Democrat, A. J. Frantz, went to Jackson intending to avenge his party by 
killing the paper's editor. The editor, however, discreetly hid himself, and 
the spectators who had gathered to see the fight were disappointed. They 
branded the Republican editor as a coward, and hoisting Frantz to their 
shoulders they proclaimed him the "first man to win a victory over the 
Yankees since the war." The bloodless outcome of this event, however, 
was not typical, and a score or more of editors were killed in Vicksburg 
during the Reconstruction Period. 

In 1866 the older newspaper publishers organized a press association 
as a retaliative measure. Republicans were barred from it, and until 
the withdrawal of Federal troops it remained the "Democratic Press Asso- 
ciation of Mississippi." After the troops withdrew, Republican papers dis- 
appeared entirely, and the Democratic papers turned their editorials from 
abuse of northerners to work for State reform. Public opinion shaped 
by the papers caused a committee to be appointed in 1881 to investigate 
charges of brutality to convicts leased by the State as laborers to private 
enterprises. This investigation led to changes in the penal system adopted 
by the Constitutional Convention of 1890. Other causes espoused by the 
newspapers of the post-Reconstruction Period were the fight against mob 
legislation and the advocacy of local option in liquor traffic. 

At the turn of the century, the weekly papers reigned supreme. There was 
at least one to every county, and they were judged entirely by the quality 
of their editorials. At the end of 1910, however, the dailies began to enjoy 



THE PRESS 133 

the advantages of national press services and by enlarged circulation to 
encroach upon the weeklies. Mississippi journalism subsequently under- 
went a change. For the first time in the State's newspaper history, opinion 
began to be subordinated to news. 

If Marschalk, "the father of Mississippi journalism," were able to 
enumerate his posterity today he would find himself blessed with 130 
publications, 20 of which are dailies and the remainder weeklies. The 
dailies, he would discover, have exchanged vitriolic editorials and front- 
page advertisements of "Pure Old Brandy" for "spot news" dispatches 
and syndicated columns of contemporary eastern papers. The dailies have 
replaced their outmoded machinery with linotypes and rotary presses, and 
have become members of one or more of the large press services. The 
weeklies have been arbitrarily assigned the task of printing local news and 
guiding the people in trade and politics. In a way, they have become 
virtual chambers of commerce for the smaller towns. They help to develop 
local industry by publicity and stock-selling campaigns, and to promote 
community spirit. Yet their intimate contact with the town's life and their 
provincial enthusiasm have retained for them an importance that cannot 
be over-emphasized. Organs of the village citizens and county farmers, the 
weeklies represent the bulk of Mississippi's population. They fight their 
subscribers' political battles, mold opinions into well-defined issues, and 
at the same time keep alive an interest in the social doings of Mr. and Mrs. 
Jones. 



Arts and Letters 



Since a people's artistic expression, and what they choose from the art 
of others, is determined largely by their way of life, it is best for under- 
standing to look first at the Mississippian, then at his creative efforts. A 
brief survey of his traditions and environment will reveal the Missis- 
sippian's capacity for enjoyment, his humors, and his philosophy; and it is 
these, going beyond externals, that strike the notes of his character as it 
is revealed in the records he has left. 

Of the two million individuals who are now Mississippians, slightly 
more than half are Negroes. The remainder, to an extent greater than in 
any other State, are native-born descendants of English, Scotch, and Irish 
stock. The minority peoples French, Spanish, and Indian did not in- 
fuse their blood in any appreciable quantity, neither did they leave any 
indelible impression on Mississippi tradition, custom, or temperament. 
With the possible exception of southwest Mississippi's architectural tradi- 
tion, established by the Spanish from the West Indies, there is little 
Indian, French, or Spanish art influence evident in the present culture. 
French settlement along the coast left traces of the mother tongue and 
established the Catholic religion, but this influence is slight compared with 
the British and Negro heritage of the State as a whole. 

The Negro, bringing with him to Mississippi remnants of his African 
tribal culture, was placed in the position of a slave performing the heavy 
manual labor on which a civilization rested. Generally he dwelt apart from 
white associations, lived in the field and in segregated cabins. He received 
no schooling in languages or indigenous art forms. If he showed origi- 
nality, he sometimes was allowed to express himself in wood and iron 
working carving stair rails, cabinets, and mantels for his white master's 
home but, generally, as long as he performed his menial task of cultivat- 
ing the fields he was left to his own devices. The simpler beliefs of 
Protestant Christianity were taught him and were learned readily by him ; 
but these were assimilated in his own way. Hence his emotions and in- 



ARTS AND LETTERS 135 

herent sense of rhythm found expression in song, the only external ex- 
pression, other than the handicrafts, that could surmount his paucity of 
tools. 

This handicap, twisted by changing circumstances into almost completely 
economic form, has lingered with the Negro. Since emancipation, the 
Negro has been too occupied with economic problems and too busy assimi- 
lating the culture of the society about him to have the time for creative 
expression. That he is still deeply imaginative is evidenced by his song, 
anecdotes, and cabin gardens. But even these, like his religion, emotions, 
and physical appearance, have become subjects for the white artist. Instead 
of expressing himself creatively, the Negro has been placed in the position 
of being an almost inexhaustible reservoir of material for the creative 
efforts of others. The young Syrian sculptor, Leon Koury of Greenville, 
first won recognition for his modeling of a Negro's head, and has since 
devoted much of his time to portraiture of Negro subjects. The painter, 
John McCrady, has found his best material in the Negro. His painting, 
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, recognized as his greatest work to date, inter- 
prets the Negro's idea of death and ascension to heaven. 

The culture of white Mississippians has been more complex, composed 
of Scotch, Irish, and English influences, with the last predominating. 
There has always been a close relationship between the Englishman's life 
and his creative efforts. This makes it possible, to a degree, to explain the 
white Mississippian's external expressions in connection with his more or 
less material existence. His financial status, the amount of leisure he has 
had, and his purpose in life have greatly influenced his creative efforts, if 
not his temperament. 

There were three migrations of English, Scotch, and Irish stock to 
Mississippi. The first was the migration of Tory families to the Natchez 
country during and immediately following the American Revolution. The 
second was the migration from the Piedmont of the Carolinas and Vir- 
ginia into the Mississippi hills and Piney Woods regions immediately 
after the War of 1812. The third was the "flush times" migration that 
brought settlers from all classes of the older South, and even from the 
East and North, into Indian lands opened by the treaty of 1832. 

These three groups, though all of one racial stock, came with different 
backgrounds and purposes. The Tories were comparatively wealthy and by 
habit were accustomed to a certain amount of ease and gracious living. 
Their ideal was the English country squire. They placed emphasis on 
permanency, family background, and conservatism in arts and politics. 
They built homes that would endure, filled the homes with accepted 



136 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

objets d'art, planted formal gardens, and wherever possible preserved in 
detail the code they had brought with them. Fortunately for their con- 
tinued peace of mind the cotton culture supported them in their accepted 
way of life. It gave them money to spend and a plantation to rule. It 
enabled them to buy Negro slaves, hire private tutors for their children, 
buy harps and pianos for their music rooms, and engage itinerant painters 
to do the family portraits. Unfortunately, it shielded them from emotional 
crises and left them contented to express themselves as patrons of art and 
literature rather than as painters and writers. 

The hill people were in many ways quite different from the Tory group. 
They did not come to Mississippi to reestablish an empire. Instead, they 
came from King's Mountain to escape a world that was too much for 
them. Preferring the alternative of independent isolation, they purposely 
forsook hope of wealth and leisure to hide themselves in the hilly retreats 
of northeastern Mississippi or in the great stretches of the Piney Woods. 
Here, scattered on small farms with their trading centers hardly more than 
crossroad stores, these people retained with remarkable purity their tradi- 
tions. Folk songs and stories were their literature, and because they had 
no financial means with which to supply their domestic needs, their artistic 
urge found expression in such utilitarian handicrafts as quilt-making and 
woodwork. 

The people who came to Mississippi on the crest of the "flush times" 
had purposes more nearly like what are considered "American" today. 
They moved to Mississippi in order "to get ahead." They meant to begin 
a tradition, not to continue one. Temperamentally, they were not contem- 
plative or contented men ; rather they were men of action, fired by hope of 
gain and believing that all things were within their grasp. This belief in 
progress held in temporary abeyance their desire for leisure. 

But if they had some of the so-called failings attributed to Americans, 
they also had, to an exceptional degree, American strength. They were 
plungers, men with initiative, pioneers, fighters. They cared little for tradi- 
tion but demanded that each man prove his worth. They acknowledged no 
upper class and were more willing to trust their own opinions than accept 
the standards of others. To them external expression was utilitarian even 
more than it was to the Piney Woods farmer, for it was propaganda, a 
means to an end. They had no wish to seek an escape. Even life's 
amenities, it would seem from the houses they built, were sought not so 
much for their intrinsic value as for the fact that the amenities would be 
tangible proof that they had "arrived." 

Of the three groups, Tory, yeoman, and speculator, placed temporarily 



ARTS AND LETTERS 137 

on Mississippi's frontier stage of civilization, the yeoman remained on the 
frontier, while the other two groups rose for a brief period, then were 
plunged into the frontier once more by the devastations of the War be- 
tween the States. Even in the twentieth century the Mississippi environ- 
ment is, by and large, agrarian in character. It is here that the Industrial 
Revolution is said to be finding its last frontier. This agrarian character of 
the State and the people illustrates itself in Mississippi's literature. 

The chief characteristic of the ante-bellum literati was their manner of 
taking literature in their stride. It was for them but one facet of exceed- 
ingly busy lives; and as such it held the positivism of the frontier rather 
than the somewhat negative protest and escape elements of more settled 
contemporary New England. Their literature, taken with light good-humor, 
was divided into five classes: lyrics dashed off by hearty, well-read men; 
travel books and journals that shrewdly caught the significant details of 
the country; reminiscences and lusty anecdotes, whose humor was akin 
to the spaciousness of a frontier; the oratory of men of action; and the 
histories and diaries of men stirred enough to feel that their own and 
their contemporaries' debates needed preservation. 

Lyric poetry was too delicate a medium to receive more than a passing 
glance, and this from the Tory element alone. Unfortunately, the Tory 
poets were neither strong enough nor good enough to create a literature 
of their own. In the same manner as that in which other members of 
their class became patrons rather than producers of art, the poetically 
inclined preferred losing themselves in the lyrical expressions of classic 
Greece and Rome, and of Elizabethan England. 

It was in tale-telling and oratory that the Mississippian's interest in 
literature was centered. Even semi-historical and social analyses were tied 
together by stories. For instance, the first book of the type of humor 
that later reached its peak in Mark Twain was written by A. B. Long- 
street, a Georgian who came to Mississippi in 1848 to assume the chan- 
cellorship of the new State university. In his Georgia Scenes Longstreet 
set the pattern later followed by Joseph G. Baldwin's Flush Times of 
Alabama and Mississippi, Joseph B. Cobb's Mississippi Scenes, Henry 
Clay Lewis's The Swamp Doctor's Adventures in the Southwest, and 
T. W. 'Caskey's Seventy Years in Dixie. These books are histories and 
social analyses that find common ground in their vast anecdotal humor. 
They are as full of stories as a local politician's campaign speech or a 
country minister's sermon. 

Unfortunately, the greatest stories of the ante-bellum period have been 
preserved only by word of mouth. A few, however, found their way into 



138 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

the magazine, The Spirit of the Times, and have since been seined out 
for the contemporary reader in Arthur Palmer Hudson's Humor of the 
Old Deep South. Yet as excellent as some of these stories are, they are 
insignificant compared to those that never have been put on paper. 

The stories always were tied to known persons or events. In place of 
being "Pat" and "Mike" the characters were Cousin Ephie or "Old Man" 
McWillie, and were about the bear fight last spring in that canebrake 
just south of Sandy Hill. They were intended for a close-knit audience 
who could appreciate, because they knew, all the humor inherent in the 
personalities and occasions exaggerated by the stories. These tales were 
later penalized because of their dated and localized character, but they 
nevertheless had, for their time, the unmistakable stamp of living lit- 
erature. 

It has been said that the Mississippian would much prefer "hearing 
a book" to reading it. They always have preferred speaking to writing. 
In oratory, "the literature of action," Mississippi has the sustained excel- 
lence that began with Pushmataha (the Choctaw chieftain who matched 
words with the great Tecumseh and won), and continued through a 
century to another chieftain, James K. Vardaman, the "Great White 
Chief" of the so-called common man. Orators ranged from the great 
Whig, George Poindexter, to Mississippi's first great political ranter, 
Franklin Plummer. With these came a score or more of matchless 
orators, men who made themselves and their audiences drunk with the 
wine of eloquence. Perhaps no other State has sent as many able and 
fluent speakers to the National Congress. The dynamic force of Robert 
J. Walker, the sonorous apostrophes of Seargent S. Prentiss, Henry S. 
Foote, Albert G. Brown, and Jefferson Davis, the quiet, human dignity 
of L. Q. C. Lamar, Edward Cary Walthall, James Z. George, and John 
Sharp Williams, as well as the barbed humor of "Private John Allen," 
have distinguished the Congresses of which they were members. The 
most polished orator of them all, Alexander K. McClung, never reached 
Congress; and two others, James L. Alcorn and William L. Sharkey, 
elected to the United States Senate, were refused seats because of recon- 
struction policies. 

The reason for this superlative oratory is contained in the training 
and background of the orators. The conflicting legal claims to land 
during the "flush times" attracted to the State some of the Nation's 
ablest lawyers. They had their fortunes to make, everything to gain and 
nothing to lose. They were schooled in and anxious for debates ; forcible 
in argument; reckless and brilliant. For them it was but a short and 



ARTS AND LETTERS 139 

natural step from swaying juries in courtroom battles over the ownership 
of land to swaying constituents in contests for office. For the lawyer, 
oratory was the escalator that could lift a political candidate to higher 
ground. 

The orator was necessarily dramatist, philosopher, author, and speaker 
rolled into one. Yet the greatest of the speeches, as the greatest of the 
anecdotes, have never been reduced to writing. Nor can they be. The 
speaker was in rapport with an audience whose emotional response, denied 
outlet in other forms of art, lifted him to constantly greater heights. A 
frenzied enthusiasm, partaking of mob spirit, rose in a continuous inter- 
play of complementing appreciation between orator and listeners. There 
has seldom been such an example of the moving power of speech. 

Yet some of the force of the ante-bellum debates can be gained from 
the accounts of participants in the contests who, retiring from the actual 
field of battle, carried on the fight in their memoirs. Examples are the 
journal of Andrew Ellicott, the memoirs of General James Wilkinson, 
and the histories of J. F. H. Claiborne, Mississippi's Herodotus. 

Ante-bellum Mississippiana is seldom prosaic. A part of its vividness 
is due to the contagion of the material. The travel books, first written by 
visitors, are absorbing narratives of life in a strange country. The 
Travels of William Bartram; the notebooks of John Pope, Fortescue 
Cuming, Christian Schultz, and Francis Baily; descriptions, ornithological 
and otherwise, of Alexander Wilson and John James Audubon; the 
journal of Lorenzo Dow; the autobiography of Gideon Lincecum; the 
retrospect of Miss Harriet Martineau; and the journeys of Frederick Law 
Olmsted are fascinating accounts of early days on the great river and 
in the heart of the cotton kingdom. 

Consequently, when native Mississippians turned to chronicling the 
events of their State's history or to describing the life they saw about 
them, they did not need to pad their stories to make them dramatic. 
John W. Monette's masterful History of the Discovery and Settlement 
of the Mississippi Valley was among the first accounts of the early eight- 
eenth century colonization of the lower valley by the French. Standard 
source books for the early nineteenth century drama of cotton culture 
are Joseph Holt Ingraham's The Southwest by a Yankee, W. H. Sparks' 
The Memories of Fifty Years; and Reuben Davis' Recollections of 
Mississippi and Mississippians, which gives clear brief summaries of 
outstanding Mississippi personalities. 

Henry Stuart Foote's Bench and Bar of the South and Southwest, an 
informal legal history, written by one of the greatest criminal lawyers 



140 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

in the State, is indispensable in a reconstruction of the life and spirit 
of the time. 

Even the most scholarly historians, inclined to a stately rotund style, 
often relieved their pedantic conclusions by flashes of bright humor or 
lapses into violent personal opinion that made them almost poetic. The 
zestful jote de vivre of the chroniclers can not escape notice. 

The almost complete absence of introspective literature shows the 
influence of an extremely hearty and gregarious life. Miss Sherwood 
Bonner of Holly Springs, looking at Mississippians in retrospect, told 
her friend, Mr. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, that "they had the immense 
dignity of those who live in inherited homes, with the simplicity of 
manner that comes of an assured social position. They were handsome, 
healthy, full of physical force as all people must be who ride horseback 
and do not lie awake at night to wonder why they were born." Her 
description gives an excellent basis for understanding the literature they 
produced. Instead of distilling their experiences into a more individualized 
art, Mississippians have been ballad-makers. 

The War between the States, in place of making an essential break 
in their literary tradition, only gave fresh incidents from which tale- 
tellers could fashion their anecdotes. There is no Mississippian of the 
present generation who has not been reared on stories of the fighting. 
And there are few Mississippians who, having heard the tales, have not 
wondered how it was possible that the Confederacy lost. 

However, after 1865, unless the world-troubled souls could express 
themselves in speech, they were hard put to it to make a living at literature. 
Hence, Mississippi since the War between the States has had her share of 
emigre writers. Miss Bonner herself was one of these, though she re- 
gretted the necessity of leaving what she always considered her home. 
Mississippiana continued to be her special province, and Suwanee River 
Tales is an interesting revelation of where her heart lay. 

In the same period with Miss Bonner was Irwin Russell, the genius 
whose work was cut short by his death in New Orleans in 1879 when 
he was but 26 years old. As the first Southern writer to master Negro 
dialect in verse, Russell has won national recognition with his long poem 
"Christmas Night in the Quarters." His influence has endured in the 
work of Joel Chandler Harris, and in a more subtle way in all present- 
day Mississippi literature. He was the first Mississippi writer of rank 
to keep his art free from propaganda. He labored for no cause in his 
portrayal of Mississippi Negro life. He sang instead of sermonizing; and 
the charm and catholicity of art is patent in all that he has done. 



ARTS AND LETTERS 14! 

Russell, as an individual artist, is one of a handful of Mississippi 
writers who have been able to break with the powerful tradition of 
raconteur prose and unspeculative verse. S. Newton Berryhill, the "back- 
woods poet," introduced unusual themes into his verse, but even such 
a poem as "My Castle" is marred by his weakness for rhyme. 

Among contemporaries, Stark Young, William Faulkner, and William 
Alexander Percy stand out. But, for the average Mississippian, Harris 
Dickson's Old Reliable Tales, The Story of King Cotton, and his tales 
of the Mississippi are more satisfying than the highly subjective work 
of Young and Faulkner. In the same way, the poems of David Guyton 
or such a good rouser as Walter N. Malone's "Opportunity" are more 
widely read than the poetry of Percy. 

In Young and Faulkner, Mississippi can boast of outstanding exponents 
of both the romantic and realistic schools of regional literature. Born 
near each other, reared in the same town (though at slightly different 
periods), these two artists have drawn accurate pictures of Southern 
life: one, the most charming; the other, the most revolting. It is again 
an indication of the wide field covered by Mississippi material that these 
two men can both work in it without contradiction. 

Young's novels are less novels than descriptive essays of Mississippi 
life hung on the convenient framework of the McGehee family and its 
"cudns" (cousins). He has not stuck exclusively to the ante-bellum period; 
both River House and The Torches Flare are as modern in time and as 
penetrating in analysis as his essays in defense of agrarianism. Because 
Mr. Young has taken his stand on the near perfection of life as expressed 
in the ante-bellum period, Heaven Trees and So Red the Rose are more 
representative of his work than the two novels first named. 

It is unfortunate that hill-born William Faulkner is most widely known 
for a novel, Sanctuary. Even though it is a part of the "Jefferson" set, 
Sanctuary is different from such books as The Sound and the Fury, 
As I Lay Dying, Light in August, and Absalom, Absalom. An aviator 
himself, Faulkner occasionally deserts "Jefferson" in his short stories 
and in such a novel as Pylon, but this desertion can itself be traced 
to his boyhood and to watching the flight of eagles from an Oxford 
hill. There is little of the emigre about Faulkner even though his most 
enthusiastic audience may be international. When the "Jefferson" saga is 
completed and if the short stories of the "Snopeses" are ever fused in 
a novel America may see its finest bit of regional interpretation. 

There is much about William Alexander Percy that is in the best 
Mississippi literary tradition. He is a lawyer, and literature is an absorb- 



142 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

ing but not a paying interest with him. Almost his whole work is lyric 
poetry; and he finds his metier in the fifteenth instead of in the present 
century. No typical Mississippi singer, however, could have produced such 
thoughtful work as Percy's Sappho in Levkas and Enzio's Kingdom. Nor 
in their best nostalgic moments could the traditional Mississippi lyricists 
have written so fine a piece as Percy's "Home" which, in its implications, 
is as persuasive an interpretation of the Delta as any of Stark Young's 
pronouncements . 

, Young, Faulkner, and Percy have won an established audience. A 
younger group, now fighting for recognition, is obviously more difficult 
to appraise: Robert Rylee, David Cohn, and James Street. Street is a news- 
paperman and was brought up hearing priceless old Mississippi stories; 
his Look Away is the result. Cohn seems to be in the tradition of the 
Mississippi analyzers and debaters. His God Shakes Creation is a fine 
piece of analysis of Mississippi Delta society. His Picking America's 
Pockets does the same thing in writing that Mississippi's cotton statesmen 
have done in speeches in the halls of Congress. Robert Rylee has shown 
exceptional promise in his Deep Dark River and St. George of Weldon. 
Deep Dark River's "Mose Southwick" is a Negro character worthy of 
a permanent place in Southern literature. In St. George of Weldon 
Mr. Rylee limns the man overlooked in the contemporary labelling of 
all Mississippians as either planters or tenants. He finds in the Delta 
of all places a bourgeois family; and his description of this family 
may influence a literature which, for the sake of truth, needs to put 
less emphasis on the two poles of society. 



Architecture 



Just as transportation lines form the skeleton of the social organism, 
so architecture reveals its character. In Mississippi's homes the student 
may recreate the pattern of the State's everyday existence; and enough 
remains of its early architecture to evoke a period of romance that has 
had few equals. French voyageur, English Tory, Spanish Don, and South- 







A "DOG-TROT" CABIN 



ern planter have crossed the great stage of the State, and each has left 
the color of his drama in his architecture. 

The French were the first to settle. On the Coast, a locale rich in lore, 
their impress remains in the thick squat masonry and solid shipshape 
timbers of the old fort on Krebs Lake at Pascagoula, built by Sieur 
Joseph de la Point in 1718, before the founding of New Orleans. 

Following the French, in 1763 Great Britain took over the empire 
west of the Alleghanies ; into the Natchez region English colonists pushed 
even while the Atlantic seaboard was cutting its bonds with the mother 
country. No structure like the Krebs Fort remains as a monument to 
English settlement. Instead, the English built log cabins and rough-hewn 
blockhouses indistinguishable in type from those in the eastern half 
of the Continent. 

But if the English left little that was distinctive, the dandified ideas 
of the Spanish, brought in with the last score years of the eighteenth 
century, made a profound impression. Swinging up from the Coast as 
far as the Natchez bluffs, the Dons left as distinct and as civilized an 
architecture as could be wrung from the wilderness. It is recognizable 



144 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

in the pleasantly-canted roof, the strong concentration of ornament, and 

the flair for flamboyant, if rare, color of the type known as "Spanish 

Provincial." 

At the close of the eighteenth century Virginia and Carolina emigrants 
pushed into the region about and to the south of Natchez. The effect 
of this mixture of Old World and New was a fusion of significance. The 
grand staircases, spacious rooms, and haughty colonnades of the new- 
comers combined admirably with the delicate spindling work and fluid 
lines of their predecessors to produce homes in the "Grand Manner." 

The Americans who came after the Spanish, settled themselves on the 
Natchez bluffs and, separated by wooded ravines, built homes of a type 
close to the Grand Manner yet distinctively rural. They made use of the 
same motives, but their adaptation of it was rangy, more open. Fronted 
by long single or double recessed galleries, the roof forming a transverse 
ridge, the homes were one-story, story-and-a-half, or two-story; and their 
simple, unflaunted dignity marked them for what their name implies, 
the "Southern Planter." 

At a later date the Mississippi "hill-billy" made his home north and 
east of the Natchez country. One to every ridge, the houses were of logs 
(later clapboarded) with a wide wind-swept hall, known as the "dog- 
trot," running through the center, and with the cook house in the rear. 
As the people became wealthier and more prosperous, they closed in 
the center hall, often decoratively, and added long front porches. The 
dog-trot houses were so natural and traditional to these pioneers who 
had migrated from Tennessee, the Piedmont of Georgia, and the Caro- 
linas, they constitute a contribution to American architectural types. A 
log cabin was an indivisible unit; in order to expand, another had to 
be built. That the hill-billy should lay his two cabins parallel and roof 
the open space between to make a hallway was natural. To keep the 
cook shack separate was dictated by fire hazard and the desire to keep 
the heat from the living room time and saving steps for his wife were 
no part of the frontiersman's considerations. To sheathe the logs with 
clapboards was the first evidence of the end of the frontier. To waL 
in the dog-trot and add a porch was the last. 

North of the hill-billy country, in the Central Hills and especially in 
the Black Prairie region during the "flush times" of the 1830'$, a Greek 
Revival type of home was introduced, known locally as the "Black Belt' 
from the geographic region that produced it. The Black Belt home, 
contrasted with the house of the Grand Manner type, placed emphasis 
on sheer refinement of ornament and attenuation of proportions a trait 




gsp 






McGAHEY HOUSE, A BLACK PRAIRIE HOME, COLUMBUS 



apparently common to all architectural cycles toward their wane. The 
Shields home at Macon best expresses the characteristics of this form, 
though many examples may be found between Macon and Aberdeen, and, 
less concentrated, in the Northern Hills. The Georgia emigrants who built 
this type were evidently remembering their native models. 

A number of ante-bellum homes were "imported," a term derived 
from having either the builder or the architect from England, France, 
Scotland, or Germany. Lochinvar at Pontotoc is typical, but the best 
examples are in Madison County, around Canton. The Delta, too, has 
many imported homes in this sense of the term, distinguishable by rubbed 
brick forms and asymmetrical planning, considered a sin in earlier times. 
The Delta, last settled, was peopled by luxury-loving Kentuckians and 
Carolinians who built from designs more often seen in the Ohio Valley. 

The character, tastes, and economy of early Mississippians left their 
effect also upon church architecture. Along the Coast, in the Natchez 
district, and, following the flush times of the 1830*5, in Holly Springs, 
Oxford, and Columbus, the wealthy planter and professional class built 
many churches with slave labor. Constructed usually of home-burned brick, 
the churches were, as a rule, Gothic Revival in design, with tall spires 
and stained glass windows. St. Mary's Cathedral, Natchez, completed in 



146 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

1851, the Christian Church, Columbus, and the Episcopal Church, Holly 
Springs, built in 1858, are examples. The windows often were imported 
and unmatched. Interiors expressed good taste and a touch of luxury in 
open beams, delicate hand-carved decorations, and solid comfortable pews. 
More often than not a gallery extended across the front of the audito- 
rium for the use of slaves who were prevented by law from having a 
church of their own. 

But as the dog-trot type of house of the Piney Woods and Central 
Hills differed from the planter's mansions so did the plain and straight- 
forward churches of these sections differ from those of the older and 
wealthier districts. These churches were, and to a large extent are, of 
a type colloquially called "shotgun." Comparatively small, oblong or 
box-like shells, they had frame side walls and V-shaped, split-shingle 
roofs. Without porches or an approach of any kind other than simple 
wood steps, they had single entrances front and rear. Windows were of 
plain unstained glass. The interiors offered the plainness of open rafters, 
unpainted walls and floors, and pine pews the latter as stern and temper- 
ate as the people who worshipped in them. Hundreds of these churches 
dot the rural sections today, but the Toxish Baptist Church is a good 
example of their simple box-like construction. 

What is more important to the layman than architectural types, how- 
ever, is the life that determined them. This story must, of course, remain 
conjectural, but nothing could be more intriguing than to speculate upon 
its varied development. An examination of the timbers in the attic of 
the fort at Pascagoula reveals them to be so remarkably like the ribs of a 
ship that it is not farfetched to ascribe them to French ship carpenters. 
Indeed, the crews of the vessels loading on the Coast were the only 
artisans, their passengers being unskilled, or else preoccupied in a fruit- 
less search for wealth. A building with walls as thick as the fort was 
needed for protection from Indians, not from the elements. Oyster shells, 
limitless in number, and the misty swaying drapery of Spanish moss were 
obvious and happy materials. The moss made an ideal binding element 
for the cement, such masonry improving with age and becoming rock- 
like with the passage of centuries. The life that could be wrung from 
the sterile sand of the Coast was as plain and as austere as the fort's 
outline. The lot of the French colonists was, if romantic, not luxurious. 
This much the fort makes plain. 

As intimated, Spanish influence was strong in southwest Mississippi 
architecture. The Spaniard, though a pioneer, did not abandon his tra- 
ditions. His was the first in Mississippi to warrant the name of a civilized 










if 
,t 




DUNLEITH, NATCHEZ 



society. Before him, the path along the river was nameless; after him, 
it had become El Camino Real The King's Highway and the change 
was indicative of what he brought. His materials were the same the 
French and English had access to logs from the forest or timber from 
dismantled flatboats but in his particular use of them he displayed a 
Castilian taste that is expressed in works of art such as Ellicott's Inn 
at Natchez. Balance, refinement, and grace are revealed in the slope 
of the roofs, and in the toothpick colonnettes and ironwork of the slender 
galleries. 

The Castilian's taste lingered after him. The styles of three national- 
ities the Georgian style, traveling southwest with the planter, and the 
Creole mixture of French and Spanish coming up from New Orleans 
met at Natchez. The search for a type or fusion of types that would be 
best adapted to the region led for a time into several blind alleys. The 
Regency, an in-between style that originated in England under George, 
Prince of Wales (1810-20), left Vancourt and the back portion of 
Hope Villa among its few examples. More significant was the Greek 
Revival. Started in England at the end of the eighteenth century, this 
style, now closely associated with ante-bellum plantation architecture, was 




THE BRIARS, NATCHEZ 



spontaneously accepted in this country by the Southerner because of his 
wealth, his wide travel, and his classic, country-gentleman tastes. The 
revival in the South was a facile thing. The Mississippian created his 
own architecture ; his slave labor was unskilled, his models no more than 
pictures or memories; his real pattern was the Spanish. The result was 
the fusion of styles found at Natchez, predominantly Georgian in char- 
acter, with columns and pediments relieved by the sloping roofs and 
galleries that broke across the classic fronts. In Concord, the former home 
of the Spanish governors at Natchez, which burned in 1901, this fusion 
probably reached its finest expression. The great columns that gave dis- 
tinction to the building sprang from the earth itself. The lower story 
was extended to the face of the upper verandah, whose slender balustrade 
and smaller piazza posts were deeply recessed under the eaves of the 
light roof. The effect was Spanish West Indian as much as Greek. Though 
Dunleith at Natchez is the best remaining example of the adaptation of 
the classic order to planter comfort, Arlington and Auburn are better 
compositions and are truer to Natchez in their grandiose conception. 

The Southern Planter type of home, while not as impressive as that 
of the Grand Manner, was more representative. Its use of the classic 
formula was as easy and as unconventional as the planter's life. The 
gallery was the prominent feature, as well it might have been when most 



ARCHITECTURE 149 

of the owner's life was spent either on horseback or on his porch. Though 
the proportions were generous, they did not overawe. The stranger stop- 
ping by must have felt he was not so much "calling" as "visiting." In 
the Natchez area the best remaining Planter example is The Briars. On 
the Coast the best example is Beauvoir. Beauvoir shows the West Indian 
influence in the balanced arrangement of the pavilions at each side of, and 
entirely separate from, the big house. Also West Indian was the custom 
of devoting the ground floor to the service quarters and using the breezy 
main or second floor, reached by a number of exterior stairways, as the 
center of domestic life. 

The materials for construction and the kind of workman available 
resulted in a crudity of detail in contrast to the conception of the exterior 
design. Though there were notable exceptions in the interiors of some 
of the Grand Manner homes at Natchez the spiral stairway at Auburn, 
for instance the detail that could not be imported was often unfinished. 
The scattered faced brick found in the homes may have come as ballast 
in the one-sided export cotton trade; but where wealth was not sufficient 
to import brick, the builders fired their own. Around Liberty, axe and 
adze marks on foundation timbers and sills hewn from the forest are 
visible in many sturdy homes. Beams were fastened with wooden pegs 
or with home-forged, wrought-iron nails. Heart yellow pine, though 
stout, was not easily worked another reason for the lack of finish in 
the interiors. 

The Black Prairie and the Central Hills show the Georgian free from 
Spanish influences. The slender proportions characteristic of these homes 
may be explained partly by the fact that they were frame, not brick; 
the builders saw no necessity for having too thick a column as support 
for the light roof. The homes were two-story; the planter wanted his 
second story to be as much shaded as the lower story; yet to have a 
thirty-foot column with the Grecian-prescribed three-foot diameter would 
have been an absurdity. The result was the beautifully slender column 
which distinguishes the Black Belt portico. This break from Grecian sim- 
plicity was carried further in the ornament, especially in the bric-a-brac 
that later was strung between the columns just under the roof line. This 
was feminine, the planter evidently considering a woman's taste impor- 
tant, and the architects have concurred in his judgment. 

Adding to the undeniable charm of many of the Delta ante-bellum 
homes were the piers on which they rested, dictated by the necessity of 
letting the periodic flood run free beneath their floors. The first of these 
homes on stilts were unsightly, but for a people to whom beauty was 






MELROSE, NEAR NATCHEZ 



a necessity, there soon evolved such combinations as Longwood and 
Swiftwater. 

To look upon all ante-bellum homes in Mississippi, therefore, as 
alike in a type loosely called Southern Colonial, is to destroy half the 
charm. The nuances reactions to sectional and climatic restrictions, in- 
herited customs and variations of pioneer life provided great individu- 
ality within the type. (At Vicksburg, for instance, homes had to be 
built despite the inhospitable looking bluffs. On these promontories, the 
houses naturally and correctly assumed features less warm, more military, 
more disciplined. ) The crudity of interior detail, the lack of compactness, 
and the wasted space, as compared with the architecture of other States, 
mean little; the Mississippian of the period was a generous outdoor 
man with plenty of land and servants. The classic, white-columned house 
pleasingly fulfilled its function always the chief criterion of what is 
good. 

The architecture developed since the War between the States, however, 
reflects only too well Mississippi's social and economic adjustments. Out 



ARCHITECTURE 151 

of the war and reconstruction arose a merchant-banker society that sup- 
planted the leadership of the planter. There was a transposition of social 
and economic prestige from rural districts to urban centers, and with 
the transposition were lost the qualities that had nourished individuality 
in design. The urban dweller does not possess the remoteness of broad 
acres and wooded groves; he lives in a comparatively crowded space; 
his tastes are conventionalized; his land is measured in lineal feet; and 
his servants are paid each Saturday at noon. To fit this new locale of 
conveniences, customs, and tastes, the builders adopted new methods and, 
recently, new materials. Unfortunately, the result is often neither dis- 
tinctive nor, by comparison with Natchez, especially noteworthy. 

The story of the plantation's decline and continued dependence is held 
fast in the planter's contemporary architecture. Impoverished and faced 
with the immediate task of reconstruction, the landowner was left at 
first with little time in which to build. When he finally had gained the 
time, he was no longer the dictator of his tastes, for under the new 
system capital was not on the farm but in the towns. Within a decade 
rural construction reached the level of barren necessity. 

The influence of urban merchant-bankers on rural building, through 
the power of extended credit, has reduced what was once the "big 
house" on the farm to a questionably comfortable frame dwelling of 
indefinite plan and parentage. Tenant houses, by their number, catch the 
eye, but they hardly warrant architectural description. They are Delta, or 
Piney Woods, or "southern shacks" local color in architecture. In the 
Tennessee Hills, in the Central Hills, and in the Piney Woods, the poorer 
homes with their mud-wattle chimneys, sagging roofs, and vertical 
weather-boarding are as bare and stark as the poverty they represent; the 
bright corrugated tin roofs covering weather-beaten walls of barns repre- 
sent a false economy. Many of the richer homes are uncertain in design 
and lacking in taste. 

With the exception of Natchez, Vicksburg, Columbus, and Holly 
Springs, the towns, submerged both socially and economically before 
the war, gained from the Reconstruction Period an importance that was 
in direct ratio to the rural districts' decline. And, again as in the rural 
districts, the change developed an architecture that almost defies classi- 
fication. As if hastily discarding traditional rags for costumes that better 
expressed their new station in life, the towns followed the North into a 
building boom that has lasted from the i88o's to the present (1938). 
Paradoxically, the late economic depression rather than the boom proved 
an architectural blessing. 



152 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

The period between 1880 and 1914 belonged to a generation of newly 
empowered urban persons who expressed themselves, not in the simpler 
classic styles adhered to by the planter, but in elaborate display. Volume 
was preferred to refinement of detail; and an exterior trim of jigsaw 
decorations matched a gaudy interior that has come to characterize the 
period. (This exhibitionism sometimes resulted in houses vaguely reminis- 
cent of the grandiose homes of the 1850'$ Longwood at Natchez and 
the Walter place at Holly Springs). Contractors and carpenters, as much 
without benefit of architectural advice as had been the slaves, reproduced 
in their busy practice the styles made popular in the North by the boom 
of 1873. The Victorian Gothic, the Romanesque, and the American ver- 
sion of the Queen Anne were architectural types accepted as representa- 
tive of wealth. In the cities these three types marked the better-class 
residential section. In the smaller towns, where the wealthier families usually 
occupied the first tree-shaded block north of the business district, the 
preference was for the local carpenter's version of Victorian Gothic. Such 
homespun variations sacrificed convenience for false splendor, and in 
a determination to achieve volume obliterated the lines that originally 
gave the design a name. The houses were of frame construction and, 
usually, two stories in height. With their elaborate gingerbread trim- 
mings, bulging bay windows, and pointed turrets they remain to mark 
the home of the banker or merchant in a majority of Mississippi towns 
today. The Rowan home, with its unstudied massiveness, its twenty-three 
rooms, and its gingerbread exterior treatment, is an example (see Tour 5, 
Sec. b). The elder types remain as criteria of good taste, and to these 
models latter-day designers return for inspiration. 

The abandonment of tradition for massiveness found expression in 
the building of the New Capitol at Jackson in 1903. Designed by 
Theodore C. Link in the manner of the National Capitol and built of 
gray sandstone and marble, it faces the business district from ten land- 
scaped acres (see JACKSON). 

The rise of the lumber industry, the establishment of railroad shops, 
and the building of a few cotton mills gave to the Piney Woods, to 
Meridian, and to Stonewall what were perhaps the first grouped, stand- 
ardized houses for the working class. These houses, small frame buildings 
one-story high, were erected by the company and grouped close to the 
commissary a barnlike frame structure raised from the ground and 
fronted with a narrow shed porch. Lean-to porches extend across the 
front and rear of the houses, and thin bisecting partitions divide the 
interiors into four rooms of equal size. At Quitman, once the site of the 



ARCHITECTURE 153 

State's largest sawmill, and D'Lo, a typical sawmill ghost town, are 
examples of grouped, company-owned houses. 

At Laurel and at Electric Mills, however, the lumber industry placed 
emphasis upon housing almost from the start. Here the policy of en- 
couraging home ownership and individuality of taste has resulted in 
the white millworkers' building neat cottages suited to the size and 
needs of their families. These low-priced cottages have enhanced in a 
modest way Mississippi's architectural and social scene, and have supplied 
an example of economical housing reform. 

The World War and its aftermath of inflation brought to an end 
the merchant-banker era of exaggerated architectural design. Rural peo- 
ple, attracted by urban prosperity, migrated from farm to town, swelling 
the population and creating demands that the urban centers, with pre- 
war physical equipment, were not able to meet. A decade of unrest, the 
1920*5 brought along a fundamental alteration in Mississippi's urban 
architecture. A variety of types appeared. French Provincial, Dutch Co- 
lonial, and the half-timbered manor house of Elizabethan England, 
subject, as always, to the contractor's conception, became the popular 
types. These houses, the homes of business and professional families, 
were developed, remote from the business districts, in new residential 
areas called subdivisions. The Florida version of the Spanish style was 
adopted by a few builders on the Coast during the boom of 1925-27, 
but in Mississippi as a whole, this style is too conspicuously incongruous 
for popularity. 

When the business and professional families deserted the residential 
area traditionally allotted to them, skilled laborers and white-collar work- 
ers moved in. Here, between the "best family" section left untouched 
since pre-war days and the traditional outer fringe of Negro houses, the 
skilled laborers and middlemen built their bungalows. These bungalows, 
constituting the majority of urban dwellings in Mississippi today, vary in 
material wood, stucco, or brick but they do not vary essentially 
in design. They are squat, low-roof houses of from four to six rooms. 
Sitting close to the earth, half protected by the shade of chinaberry trees, 
they indicate the workingman's somewhat raised standard of living; but 
their low ceilings, thin walls, and lack of basements show no regard either 
for the Mississippi climate or its traditions. 

The greatest architectural change of the 1920*5, however, was the 
advent of the skyscraper. Prior to the war the demands for office space 
had been comparatively light. The second and third floors of thick- 
walled, brick structures with cornices, built for the purpose of housing 



1 






STAIRWAY AT COTTAGE GARDEN, NATCHEZ 



retail establishments on the ground floor, had been partitioned into a 
number of offices. But post-war prosperity and the subsequent migration 
to urban centers increased the need for more modern buildings. Archi- 
tectural advice was sought a procedure as new to Mississippi as were 



ARCHITECTURE 155 

the resultant buildings and for the first time skyscraper methods of 
construction were employed in commercial buildings. 

At Jackson, the Tower Building (reputedly the tallest reenforced con- 
crete building in the South: 18 stories high with a penthouse and a 
two-story tower) and, at Meridian, the Threefoot Building are the State's 
best examples of set-back design. C. H. Lindsley was architect for both 
buildings. Wyatt C. Hedrick, employing the same type of construction in 
designing the Lamar Life Insurance Building, Jackson, adorned it with 
Gothic motifs and a decorative treatment of the top. The thin rectangular 
New Merchants Bank Building, Jackson, emphasizes its 17 stories by 
a perpendicular treatment. 

With modern designs in commercial building came also for the first 
time engineering methods for industrial building. The best examples of 
these are the buildings of the Reliance Manufacturing Company, Colum- 
bia, the Pioneer Hosiery Mill, Hattiesburg, and Meridian Garment 
Factory, Meridian. 

In this period higher standards were gained in institutional and re- 
ligious architecture. The 78 buildings of the Mississippi Insane Hospital 
are grouped with village-like informality on spreading, landscaped acres. 
The buildings, not over two stories in height, are designed in the manner 
of Colonial Williamsburg. The exterior walls are of red brick with 
white trim, and the roofs of the larger buildings are crowned with white 
cupolas. N. W. Overstreet and A. H. Town were the architects. At 
Laurel, the Presbyterian Church, designed by Rathbone DeBuys, consists 
of two buildings joined by a tower. The architecture of the church proper 
is based upon twelfth century English Gothic precedent; the other build- 
ing, the church school, is Collegiate Gothic in type. 

As indicated, the depression proved an architectural advantage to Mis- 
sissippi. Prior to the Government's policy of extending financial aid to 
builders through housing agencies, a majority of Mississippi's buildings 
were constructed without architectural advice or planning. They were not 
only of indefinite design but ill-fitted to the owner's needs. But the 
Government, wielding the power of extended credit more intelligently 
than the merchant-banker, demanded that engineering principles be ap- 
plied. Each applicant for a building loan was required to have the plans 
of his building approved by a competent staff of architects. Fortunately, 
the architects accepted from the beginning the hitherto ignored fact that, 
tradition notwithstanding, the urban Missisippian does not live out of 
doors; he lives and works indoors, and he has need for compactness and 



156 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

modern conveniences. This simple acceptance of fact is the outstanding 
characteristic of recent building trends. 

Supervision of planning and construction brought to the State tangible 
evidences of two recently developed schools in architecture. The Howie 
home, Meridian, is typical of the school which follows traditional designs, 
with stress on Colonial types. The home is smaller than those of classic 
conception in the past, but the size does not remove the classical stamp. 
One story in height, with seven rooms, it is carefully detailed with a 
finely proportioned entrance and well-spaced windows. The exterior is 
of wood siding, while the interior has wood-paneled wainscoting, with 
wallpaper above that reproduces nicely an early pattern. The design of 
the R. F. Reed home, Tupelo, replaces the architectural doctrine of "bal- 
anced symmetry" with that of "utility." Built for comfortable living, 
it is of a flat-roof design with sun and recreational decks. The exterior 
walls are white reenforced concrete with steel frame and metal casement 
windows. 

The Government, in addition to aiding in the building of dwelling 
houses, has placed a new Federal building, modern in design, in every 
town of importance, and has aided financially in the construction of 
municipal buildings. The Jones County jail and New Albany city hall, 
the latter designed as a monolithic concrete structure by E. L. Malvaney, 
are examples of municipal buildings, while the Meridian post office, 
designed by Frank Fort, is perhaps the State's outstanding Federal build- 
ing. Modern in design, with fluted pilasters and no cornices, the post 
office building is noted for its mass and proportion rather than for 
its detail. 

These modern buildings are both too new and too few to do more 
than hint that Mississippi is entering upon a new era of building that 
may equal if not surpass the classic period of ante-bellum days. In the 
meanwhile, its architecture remains a confused picture of classic man- 
sions, vertical weatherboarded houses, tenant shacks, bungalows, vol- 
uminous gingerbread displays, and thick-walled two- and three-story 
commercial buildings. The integrated character of life in the ante-bellum 
period, reflected in an architecture of spaciousness and dignity, is lacking. 



Music 



If Mississippi is judged by its singing folk, rather than by the number 
of its symphony orchestras, truly it can be called a musical State. The 
Negro folk, traditionally musical, comprise more than half of Mississippi's 
population. The white folk, for the most part, are descendants of those 
early settlers who, in their westward trek, stopped in the hills of north- 
east Mississippi or in the Piney Woods. Living on and close to the soil, 
they have retained the lore, customs, and songs of their Anglo-Saxon 
ancestors. 

The songs of the Negro fall into three groups spirituals, work songs, 
and social songs. The spirituals are America's most distinctive and artistic 
contribution to folk music. Expressing strong emotions and simple faith, 
they have a beauty, power, and sincerity that are irresistible. Such songs 
as "Jesus the Man I'm Lookin' For," "Judgment Day is Rollin' Round," 
"Angels All Waitin' for Me," and "They Crucified My Lawd" show the 
religious fervor of the Negro spiritual. These and many others may be 
heard in their purest and most impressive form in the Negro churches, 
especially the rural ones. The white visitor who comes in a spirit of 
sympathetic interest is welcome, and if especially interested in folk music 
he will find authentic expression here. The school choruses have won inter- 
national recognition for their interpretation of the spirituals (see EDU- 
CATION). 

In the second group of songs are those of the levee, the railroad, the 
river, and the field, best of which possibly are the cotton-picking songs. 
The work songs are improvised, growing out of one phrase or line, with 
the repeated whack of the hoe or the stroke of hammer or pick setting 
the rhythm. An old Negro, asked to repeat a song, said, "I ain't got no 
reg'lar words, I jes say what my mind tells me." For this reason and 
because the Negro's intonations as well as the words vary with his feel- 
ings, his songs are difficult to reproduce in written form. The following 
improvisation heard in a cotton field near Columbia is a good example 
of the field song: 

Old voice singing bass: 

I know it was th' blood 
High soprano in another part of field: 

I know it was th' blood 



158 MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

Thirty or more voices together: 

I know it was th' blood, 
I know it was th' blood, 
I know it was th' blood for me. 

Second Stanza 

Young tenor: One day when I was lost, 
Young soprano : One day when I was lost, 
All: One day when I was lost, 

He died upon the cross, 
I know it was th' blood for me. 

Each solo singer held his last note until it was picked up by the next 
singer or group of singers. The workers continued for half an hour sing- 
ing variations of this song as they picked the cotton. 

The social songs of the Negro run the gamut of his social activities 
and range from the coarse song of the roustabout to the sentimental 
message of the lover. This group includes nursery songs, play, dance, and 
animal songs, as well as the "blues" and more sophisticated jazz-band 
and swing tunes. One of the most popular of the animal songs and one 
rich in personification is about "de co'tin frog:" 

De frog went a co'tin, he did ride. Uh-huh! Uh-huh! 

De frog went a co'tin, he did ride. 

Wid a sword an' a pistol by his side. Uh-huh! Uh-huh! 

Contrasting with the gayety and homeliness of this song is a long line 
of melancholy "blues" developed from the "Memphis Blues" and the 
"St. Louis Blues." Because of the increasing influence of the city upon 
the Negro and the resulting departure from the simple life, the number 
of social songs has increased with a proportionate decrease in the number 
of spirituals and work songs. Present-day conditions are not conducive 
to creation of the latter the laundry is fast supplanting the wash tub 
under the trees, and the modern white mother objects to having her 
baby sung to sleep with such a typical Negro lullaby as the following: 

Don't talk. Go to sleep! 
Eyes shet and don't you peep! 
Keep still, or he jes moans: 
"Raw Head and Bloody Bones!" 

The most characteristic musical expression of Mississippi white folk is 
in their group singing of hymns, many of which are from the "Sacred 
Harp," a hymnal published in 1844. From shortly after spring planting 
until cotton-picking time, regular "singings" are held, reaching a height 
in midsummer (see WHITE FOLKWAYS). Besides hymns, these folk 
sing the English, Scotch, and Irish ballads of their ancestors, often in 
modified form, and songs of American origin cowboy and Western 
songs, Civil War songs, ballads of outlaws and "bad men," and those 



MUSIC 159 

inspired by local events such as the Casey Jones tragedy. Equally as 
popular as the community singings are the "sociables," at which Old 
Fiddlers Contests are held, and singing games are played by old and 
young (see Tour 17). 

Although there is no State supervisor of music, there is music in the 
schools, and the larger cities have full-time supervisors of public school 
music. In the spring of 1926 the State High School Accrediting Com- 
mission ruled that credits be granted for high school piano and violin, 
and for public school music, which might include sight singing, ear 
training, theory of music, rhythm band, and music appreciation. Since 
1935 members of high school bands and orchestras have received these 
credits. All licenses to teach music are issued and all credits approved 
by the State Board of Music Examiners, a group appointed by the State 
Superintendent of Education from among members of the various college 
faculties. Spring field meets and band contests have brought about a vast 
improvement in school music by provoking a greater interest in it. 

The Federation of Music Clubs holds an annual contest in voice, violin, 
piano, organ, choral music, hymn singing, and memory. Organized in 
1916, the federation has^ a membership approximating 3,000, with 33 
senior and 70 junior groups. Scattered in towns over the State and in 
many of the colleges, these federated clubs serve as a great musical 
stimulus. 

Mississippi colleges, especially those for girls, have from earliest times 
included music in their courses of study. Records of Elizabeth Female 
Academy in 1840 mention "the performance of a very fine class in music." 
A report on the Female Institute of Holly Springs shows "two pianos 
purchased in 1838," and "yearly tuition for Piano or Guitar $50, Harp 
$60." Old yearbooks of Hillman College, organized in 1853, give a 
curriculum with music included. Whitworth College, established in 1858, 
always has placed emphasis on music; its spring concerts once were so 
widely attended that special trains were run to accommodate the crowds. 
The burning of Amite Female Academy by the Federals caused the de- 
struction at the same time of its 13 highly prized pianos pianos trans- 
ported with great effort and cost through the wilderness to Liberty. 

In Natchez are substantial reminders that there was music of the high- 
est type in ante-bellum Mississippi. The violin presented by Ole Bull, 
the famous Norwegian violinist, to his young friend, Gustave Joseph 
Bahin, when Bull played in Natchez in 1851, is treasured by the Bahin 
family. The piano played when Jenny Lind sang in Natchez the same 
year is at Richmond. Other famous musical instruments in Natchez are 



l6o MISSISSIPPI: THE GENERAL BACKGROUND 

the silver-stringed Palyel-Wolf e piano at Windy Hill Manor ; the century- 
old spinet at Arlington; the harp at Rosalie; the harpischord at Hope 
Farm; the piano at Longwood, which legend says was the first grand 
piano brought into Mississippi; the quaint square piano at Clover Nook, 
which was played at the Lafayette ball. 

Today in the colleges for women are found most of the State's out- 
standing music departments. Mississippi State College for Women, or- 
ganized in 1885 with music as a part of its first curriculum, has continually 
played an important part in the development of the higher type of music 
in Mississippi. It is the only college in the State with membership in 
the National Association of Schools of Music; its music department is 
the only one housed in a music hall built especially for and dedicated to 
this art. Here in 1904 Paderewski gave his first concert in Mississippi, 
and was the first artist of international fame since the War between the 
States to appear in concert on a Mississippi college campus. This concert 
was made possible by Weenonah Poindexter, the young director of the 
department, who signed the $1,000 contract, equal in amount to her 
yearly salary. An extra $1,000 from the proceeds of the concert was the 
beginning of a fund creating for the college an artist series which has 
brought to it many of the world's best musicians. 

Although the University of Mississippi had no regular music depart- 
ment until 1930, its Glee Club has been active since 1900, and the new 
department gives promise of being one of major importance. State Teach- 
ers College, with an excellent music department, is best known for its 
Vesper Choir, which sang before the National Federation of Music 
Clubs in Philadelphia in 1935, and the Louisiana Federation in 1936. 
The Mississippi Woman's College has received special recognition for 
its choral and chamber music. Belhaven College, Jackson, places especial 
emphasis on music. Each of the above colleges confers the degree of 
Bachelor of Music. Delta State Teachers College and Blue Mountain Col- 
lege have active choral groups and offer courses in piano, voice, and 
violin. Mississippi State College has no music department, but has an 
excellent military band. 

The following are among the musicians born in Mississippi who have 
received national recognition: Chalmers Clifton, Jackson, is State Director 
of New York's Federal Music Project under the Works Progress Adminis- 
tration, and teaches conducting at Columbia University; William Grant 
Still, Woodville, is best known for his Afro- American Symphony (1930), 
an idealization of his heritage, the spiritual, and for his Symphony in G 
Minor "Song of a New Race," which was performed by the Philadelphia 



MUSIC l6l 

Symphony Orchestra in December 1937; A. Lehman Engle, Jackson, a 
pianist, composer, and critic, directs the Madrigal Singers, one of the most 
popular of the New York WPA music groups ; Walter Chapman, Clarks- 
dale, is a pianist, composer, and teacher; Creighton Allen, Macon, is a 
pianist and composer. Although born in Alabama, the Negro composer, 
William C. Handy, nationally known as the "granddaddy of the blues," 
lived in Clarksdale for a number of years. He has said that his chief in- 
spiration for the "blues" that made Beale Street famous came from his 
experiences in Mississippi. Mississippi's own pioneer in jazz, Bud Scott, 
born in Natchez, has attained more than State-wide fame. His orchestra, 
which may be heard at the Pilgrimage Balls, has played for three Presi- 
dents McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and Taft. 

No hotel or cafe in the State employs a full-time orchestra, except on 
the Coast during an unusually good season. The largest night clubs are 
along the Gulf Coast, and many of these operate only during summer 
tourist season. Their orchestras are imported through the American Music 
Association, as proprietors find that the big-name orchestras draw the 
crowds and local orchestras lack popular appeal. Though there is little 
demand for orchestral musicians, there is an active chapter of the Musi- 
cians Union, which regulates wages and insists that none but union 
members be employed locally. Their chief competition is from college 
orchestras, which, with the exception of the one from University of 
Mississippi, are non-union and can afford to play for lower wages than 
professional musicians. 

The greatest single impetus toward more and better music in the 
State (1937) is coming from the Federal Music Project under the direc- 
tion of Jerome Sage. With few unemployed symphony orchestra musicians 
in the State, the program is largely one of musical education. Approxi- 
mately 20,000 persons are receiving musical training either in quartets, 
choruses, piano and violin classes, small orchestras, or listening groups. 
The music appreciation classes, brought to the children of the rural 
homes where radios have been made possible by the rural electrification 
program, have created a new listening group with vast musical potenti- 
alities. 



:<<<<<<<< <&> >>>>; 
PART II 

Main Street 
and Courtnouse Square 



Railroad Stations: L. & N. Station, Reynoir and Railroad Sts., for Louisville & 

Nashville R.R. 

Bus Station: 204 E. Beach Blvd. for Greyhound Bus Lines. 

Airport: Municipal, W. Howard and Glennan Aves. No scheduled service. 

Local Busses: Busses hourly to Gulfport and Pass Christian, fare 25^. Half -hour 

schedule to all parts of the city, fare 5^. 

Taxis: Fare lotf within city. 

Accommodations: Seven hotels; rooming houses; cottages; tourist cabins. 
Information Service: Chamber of Commerce, Kennedy Hotel, Reynoir St. 
Motion Picture Houses: One. 

Swimming: Municipal pier, free; beach front, free. 

Golf: Country Club, Pass Christian Rd., reasonable greens fee. 

Riding: White House Stables, $1.50 per hr.; Edgewater Gulf Stables, $1.50 per hr. 

Boating and Fishing: Yacht Club and hotel piers; gasoline boats chartered, $15 a 

day up; sailboats (skipper included) $i per hr. up. 

Annual Events: Summer Sports Carnival, 10 days preceding July 4; Regatta, July 4; 
Blessing of Fleet, Sunday preceding Aug. 15; Mardi Gras, for two weeks prior to 
Lent; golf tournaments, Feb. and March. 

BILOXI * (22 alt., 14,850 pop.), the first permanent white settlement 
in the Mississippi Valley, holds within its narrow streets and aged, pro- 
vincial houses the charm of an Old World village that has turned to 
fishing and the entertainment of tourists. Confined to the low ridge of 
a narrow, finger-like peninsula, the city stretches long and lean between 
the Mississippi Sound on the south and the Bay of Biloxi on the 
north. Howard Avenue is its backbone. Lined with one- and two-story 
business structures, whose stuccoed exterior walls have mellowed to a 
soft cream color that is in keeping with the atmosphere of the narrow 
street, this main artery fuses the modernity of Beach Boulevard facing 
the sound with the age-heavy, older section along the bay. Here, in 
markets and drug and department stores, the native, a fisherman or boat- 
builder of proud Castilian and venturesome Gallic antecedents, meets the 
stranger with that subtle acceptance of fact peculiar to Old World peoples. 
South of Howard Avenue and connected with it by narrow lane-like 
streets, where giant live-oaks arch their branches over the roadways, is 
the beach front. Developed primarily as a recreational center, Beach 
Boulevard (a part of US 90) stretches for approximately six miles between 
the sound, with its stepped concrete sea wall, artificial beaches, and 
lean, wooden piers, and a line of resort hotels, summer cottages, and 
amusement parks. The tone is bright sunshine on blue-green water, 

* A map of Biloxi is on the back of the State map, in pocket at end of book. 



l66 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

white sands, and tall green longleaf pines. The atmosphere is the gayety 
of people out for a holiday. Here and there among the modern cottages 
of frame and stucco, or bordering the wide green lawn of a hotel, which 
rises high above oak, pine, and camphor trees to catch the breeze that 
is always blowing, are planter type houses homes left from days when 
ante-bellum planters came to the Coast to escape the heat and fever 
of their inland plantations. To the passerby these houses are often little 
more than glimpses of white through great boxwood hedges. Raised 
high off the ground, with broad wind-swept galleries and wide cool 
halls, they express both an appreciation of the climate and a sense of 
tradition. Surrounded by green lawns, solid hedges, and well-designed 
gardens of camellia japonicas, poinsettias, crapemyrtles, and azaleas, they 
give to the beach front the sense of permanence that saves it from 
garishness. 

North of Howard Avenue the older section of the city spreads hap- 
hazardly to the shore line of the bay. This greater portion or Biloxi has 
remained under the influence of the natives for three centuries, and 
now, time-worn, graying, and slightly dingy, it holds an exotic impress 
that fascinates. Contrasted with the bright white and green of the beach 
front, its tone is the quiet serenity of sunlight and shade. Tidy, steep- 
roofed cottages with brick or stucco side walls aged to a deep russet 
or cream sit behind low picket fences in the almost eternal shade of 
great oak trees. Streets perpetuate their birthright in their names 
Benachi, Lameuse, Cuevas, Reynoir. Many of them paved with finely 
crushed oyster shells, they stretch through the shade as soft and gray 
as the Spanish moss overhead; others are as bright and white with sun- 
light as patches of snow that native children read about but never see. 
Here, too, the force of the breeze that blows continuously against the 
beach front is broken, leaving the pungent odors of a well-seasoned 
cuisine unruffled and the dark green surface of the bay unmoved. 

On the "Point" at the eastern end of Howard Avenue is a clearly 
defined section, strange in a State whose white population is 99 percent 
Anglo-Saxon. Grouped about the Wesley house, and within a stone's 
throw of a packing or canning plant, live the southern European peoples 
brought to Biloxi as laborers in the fishing industry. The cabin-like 
houses inhabited by these Poles, Austrians, Czechoslovakians, and Yugo- 
slavs were built as temporary structures in 1925, but they have never 
been replaced or improved. Many of them rest on stilts at the water's 
edge. Yet the new fisherfolk, with strange customs and heavy accents, 
have imparted to the section a romantic atmosphere that almost hides 
its poverty. 

Northeast, between Howard Avenue and the bay, is the Negro sec- 
tion. Although Biloxi has the largest foreign-born population (3.3 
percent) in the State, it has the lowest percentage of urban Negro 
population. The majority of Biloxi 's 2,445 Negroes (16.5 percent of 
the population), do manual labor on boats and in factories, though 
many find work as domestic servants and a few maintain themselves 
independently either by fishing or by farming small plots of truck. The 




OYSTER FLEET, BILOXI 



number of them who are home owners is unusually large for Mississippi. 
Also unusual, in the State but not for the Coast, is the fact that a majority 
of them are members of the Roman Catholic Church. After the War 
between the States the white Roman Catholics of Biloxi did good social 
and religious work among the Negroes of their community. For years 
the Negro Catholics worshipped with the whites, some even holding pews. 



l68 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

But in 1914 a frame structure of Gothic design, Our Mother of Sorrows 
Church, was built for them. Three years later the church established a 
school for Negro children. This school is operated independently of 
the Negro school maintained by the city. In 1933 a ninth grade was 
added to the school, and each year thereafter another grade until 1937 
when the first class graduated from the iath grade. 

Biloxi, as a resort city, makes playing its business. The amusement 
calendar is divided by the winter and summer tourist seasons. The prin- 
cipal winter tourist sport is golf, with tournaments in February and 
March. The Biloxi Tourist Club, however, sponsors horseshoe, croquet, 
and roque tournaments for winter visitors, and in cooperation with the 
chamber of commerce promotes dances, oyster-bakes, boat trips, com- 
munity sings and concerts, bridge tournaments, and picnics. The winter 
night club season a changing number of establishments with changing 
names are scattered along the beach front is from before Christmas to 
Lent. 

The summer season is gayer, with swimming, boating, and racing. 
The Biloxi yacht race course is one of the most difficult in the South, and 
the annual regatta in July is rated second only to Newport in events 
of its kind. Each Sunday afternoon from the middle of April to Labor 
Day catboats and fisher-class sloops race for trophies awarded by the 
Biloxi Yacht Club. Each September winning skippers in the fisher-class 
eliminations race in the Lipton Cup series against ten other Gulf clubs. 
Fishing boat owners often supplement their incomes by carrying visitors 
to the outlying islands. 

The residents, however, play almost as much as the tourists. A social 
study made of the fisherfolk in 1934 revealed their overwhelming prefer- 
ence for dancing as a recreation. Their dance halls, separate from the 
hotel pavilions, are numerous toward the Point. Charity dances are given 
occasionally for unfortunate persons or families, the use of the hall 
being donated by the management. Admission to these halls is usually 
billed: "Gentlemen 25^, Ladies free." Free dances with free beer mark 
the summer political campaign. On occasions, such as a marriage cere- 
mony, even the Slavonians forego the conservative habits that have won 
for them the proprietorship of a majority of the seafood packing plants. 
The celebration, consisting chiefly of dancing and feasting, often lasts 
a week. Of like expansiveness is the celebration staged when a young 
Slavonian achieves some success such as completing his college course or 
receiving a political appointment. At this time his father endeavors to 
have even the mayor at the celebration. 

In addition to the regular mercantile and service businesses cater- 
ing to the needs of both a static and transient population, Biloxi has 
approximately 20 canning factories for seafoods and an equal number 
of plants for the shipping of raw oysters. More than 2,000 boatmen are 
engaged in catching fish for the factories and more than 3,000 persons 
are employed inside. The approximately 800 boats engaged in the fishing 
end of the seafood industry are divided almost equally between the 
shrimp and oyster fleets. In many instances, however, boats are oystering 



BILOXI 169 

at one season and shrimping at another (oyster season is from November 
to April; shrimp season from August 15 to June 15). The greater 
number of these boats are owned by individuals and are classed as 
"independents" to distinguish them from "factory boats." 

Within this general oyster and shrimp packing industry not an incon- 
siderable section is devoted to the handling of fish. The fish, however, 
are shipped fresh since none of the canning plants is devoted to packing 
them. Speckled sea trout, mullet, croaker, redfish (channel bass), drum, 
catfish, and pompano are shipped in considerable quantities. The fishing 
is done by individual boats, usually around the outlying islands or in 
the Louisiana marshes. Most of the fish are caught by seining, but large 
numbers are taken at certain periods of the year by pole and line. 

Like all new and expanding industries, commercial fishing in Biloxi 
has had its drama of conflict; and this drama has been heightened by the 
lawless certainly unmoral character of the early fishers. The Old World 
fishermen, starting with a single net in this land which had promised 
them individual fortunes, were not a folk to be squeamish about tactics. 
This saga of unchecked competition ended only when a few strong and 
ruthless men brought stability out of noisome war. 

Things other than competitive strife belong to the Biloxi fishermen, 
however. Their saga is distinguished also by the color which the Gulf 
and its tree-hidden coast shed on peoples who cast their nets in its waters. 
In keeping with their traditions, they follow the Old World custom 
of blessing their fleet before it puts out for the deep-sea fishing 
grounds each year. In a quiet cove of the bay, beneath the white cross 
that commemorates the landing of the French in 1699, the fishermen 
anchor their boats on the Sunday preceding each August 15 and pray 
for a successful season. In this cathedral of nature, mass is held with all 
the solemn dignity and splendor of the rituals of the Roman Catholic 
Church. After mass, the priest steps from boat to boat, blessing the occu- 
pants. Each boat is manned by from two to five men who that day will 
put out to sea to work from dawn to dusk, and at night drop anchor 
wherever fishing is left off. 

Weeks and months out among the oyster reefs and shrimp "strikes" 
have given them something of the romance compounded of unforgettable 
scenes; they have felt the quiet, thickly-moving Gulf, and have watched 
the horizon of long, low rollers washing at stringy islands, where dead 
stumps of conquered cypress mark a point that was land; they know 
the constant sound of wind in sails, and the taste of salt; and they have 
come home again to beach their schooners on bars that are white against 
the gray and green of moss-hung oaks. 

Growing directly out of the fishing and seafood industry is the trade 
of shipbuilding. The Biloxi lugger (a power-propelled boat from 30 to 
46 feet in length) represents the experience of generations in building 
boats suitable for coastal waters. Nearly all the shrimp and oyster boats 
operating out of Biloxi, as well as many of the luggers used in Louisiana, 
are Biloxi-built. Each boat averages approximately $3,000 in value. Many 
of the fisher-class sloops (a standard 6-meter sloop of shallow draft built 



170 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

for both racing and pleasure) used in the Sunday races are Biloxi-built, 
while the Biloxi catboat has attained more than local fame. The larger of 
the catboats, 21 feet long with a lo-foot beam and a sail of 30 feet at 
its peak, are considered the fastest boats in their class on the Coast. 
In addition to building, the Biloxi yards service and repair work and 
pleasure boats. A majority of the shipuilding factories are "backyard" 
factories long open-sided sheds between the rear of a fisherman's cot- 
tage and the bay. The owner is often a skilled ship carpenter who engages 
in the shrimp and oyster business during part of the year and builds 
boats when the dull season sets in. Many of the concerns are family 
affairs, though the volume of production is considerable. 

But perhaps all this is but the fulfillment of what the Biloxi (Ind., 
first people) knew would some day come to pass. Legendary with these 
Indians who once passed their time in the shade of the oaks on the 
shore of the bay that bears their name was the tale of white, godlike 
giants who, centuries before, had left their mounds as burial places on 
this shore and moved to the East. They were to remain in the East for 
a time, when they were to return to their mounds and to the shore where 
one had only to eat the fish and oysters and drink from Biloxi's healing 
springs to find contentment. 

And the gods did "return," in 1682, when La Salle took possession 
of the Mississippi River in the name of the King of France, and 17 
years later, when Pierre le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville, dropped anchor at 
Ship Island (see Side Tour lA) and, after a preliminary exploration of 
the coast, decided on the Bay of Biloxi as the place for his settlement. 
A boulder and a cross mark the approximate spot where the company 
of Frenchmen first stepped from their boats to the mainland. 

From this first landing of Iberville, when Biloxi became the capital 
of a region including what is now Yellowstone Park, to the removal 
of the seat of government to New Orleans in 1723, the history of Biloxi 
is the history of the lower Mississippi River Valley. To Fort Maurepas, 
built on the eastern shore of the bay, came, in addition to the Biloxi, 
members of the Pascagoula, Pensacola, Chickasaw, and Choctaw tribes, 
rubbing their faces with white earth to honor Iberville and his brothers. 
Hardy voyageurs from Canada paddled down the Mississippi to settle 
in the newly opened province, bringing the strain of weathered frontier 
blood necessary for the founding of a permanent settlement. Chevalier 
Henry de Tonti and Fathers Davion and Montigny were among the 
more distinguished of the visitors who came from the river; and here 
Sauvolle, Tonti, and many knights of St. Louis lie buried where they 
died in the first years of the i8th century. Sauvolle, brother of Iberville, 
was stricken with yellow fever in August of 1701, and Tonti followed 
to the grave in 1704. 

In 1702, because of a destructive fire, the administrative center of the 
colony was moved to Mobile Bay, and Dauphine Island became the 
harbor. In 1717, however, a typical Gulf hurricane choked the Dauphine 
harbor with sand, and Ship Island became again the principal anchorage 



& 



BENACHI AVENUE, BILOXI 



I-/2 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

for vessels from France. A fort was built on the island to protect the 
pass. 

In 1719 headquarters were moved from Mobile back to Old Biloxi, and 
two years later across the bay to Fort Louis at New Biloxi, which remained 
the administrative center of the colony until Bienville procured its removal 
to New Orleans in 1723. But even after New Orleans had been established, 
ships from France continued to touch first at Ship Island. 

The progress of the colony during the first score of years after 1699 
was characterized by an entire neglect of agricultural pursuits, and hard- 
ships from famine and disease. The scum of France, convicts and adven- 
turers of both sexes, was shipped as colonists, usually against their will. 
The occasional supplies from France, Santo Domingo, and Vera Cruz 
were so inadequate that the troops were quartered upon the Indian tribes. 
In 1718, after Crozat, the French banker, had failed in his grandiose 
schemes to strengthen the colony, the even more grandiose schemer, John 
Law, first great promoter of modern times, adopted the policy of making 
considerable concessions of land to wealthy and powerful personages who 
could introduce a specified number of settlers on the lands. Under this 
scheme, Negroes, Swiss, and Germans were brought to the colony; the 
Negroes as slaves, the Swiss and Germans as settlers. Exasperated by 
hunger, many of these immigrants rebelled in 1723 and attempted to 
reach the English settlements in the Carolinas. The hardy French Canadi- 
ans survived, in many cases taking Indian wives. 

France at last realized her mistake, and in order to "make a solid 
establishment," authorized a bishop to select the right sort of girls to 
become wives and establish homes. The bishop selected 80 girls who, 
though poor, were well reared and educated. Each was provided with a 
marriage outfit. They were put in charge of Sisters Gertrude, Louise, and 
Bergers, on board the ship La Baline, and landed at Ship Island, January 
5, 1721. This was the third shipment of "Casket Girls." The last was 
sent to New Orleans, February 1728. 

When the seat of government was moved to New Orleans in 1723, 
Biloxi slipped from the spotlight to spend a century in being shuttled 
back and forth like a pawn in the great chess game played by the Old 
World kings on the table of the New. In 1763 the Gulf Coast country, 
including Biloxi, was ceded to Great Britain. Sometime between 1779 
and 1781 it passed under Spanish rule. In 1810 Biloxi was a passive 
participant in the rebellion which ousted the Spaniards; and in 1811 
its first Justice of the Peace, Jacques L'Adner, took his commission from 
the emissary of the Government of the United States. 

It was in the 1840*5 that Biloxi, like Pass Christian (see Tour 1), 
first became a favored summer watering place. In 1846 the editor of 
the Louisville (Ky.) Journal wrote to his wife from Biloxi a poem, 
entitled "To One Afar," in which was set forth the beauties of the sea 
breeze and bright flowers, the mocking bird's notes, the orange trees, 
and the blue waves of the Sound. This is among the first of the plethora 
of literary compliments paid to Biloxi, and foreshadowed the development 
of the town as a resort. 



BILOXI 173 

Biloxi was incorporated as a town of Hancock County February 8, 
1838, and reincorporated in 1850 and 1856. After Harrison County was 
formed it was incorporated as a town of Harrison County in 1859, then 
reincorporated in 1865 and 1867. In 1896 it was incorporated as a city. 
Twenty-two years later (1918) it adopted the commission form of gov- 
ernment. 

The War between the States left Biloxi comparatively unharmed. Ship 
Island was taken, lost, and retaken by the Union forces, and the main- 
land was harassed by patrol boats from Fort Massachusetts, but no major 
engagements were fought near the town. Biloxians ran the blockade for 
food and supplies, giving basis for the anecdotes that preserve much of 
the war history of the town. 

Yellow fever swept Biloxi in 1853, '78 and '97. The epidemic of 
1878 claimed 600 cases and 45 deaths out of a population of 2,000. 
One of the victims was the son of Jefferson Davis, the President of the 
Confederacy. 

From the 1870*5 through the 1890*5 the social life of the village was 
centered at the seashore camp grounds of the Mississippi Methodists, 
where bonfires, built in sand boxes elevated on posts, furnished the light 
for night services. 

For many years there were no roads on the beach front, the residents 
using sail and rowboats for getting about; and dependence on the water 
early led to the boatbuilding and racing for which Biloxi is noted. Biloxi- 
built boats competed with boats from Pascagoula, Ocean Springs, Pass 
Christian, and Mississippi City, for trophies donated by the Howards 
(founders of the Louisiana Lottery, who made their home in Biloxi). 
After the war, however, the opening and paving of streets with crushed 
oyster shells was a major development. One erratic mayor, opposed by 
property owners, opened a beach road in front of their places on a day 
when he knew they would be in New Orleans ; he also put a road through 
a cemetery at night, moving the graves to a new location. It is thought 
by some that he moved only the headstones, and that the bodies are still 
beneath the road. 

In the 1890*5 the Montross Hotel (now the Riviera) on the corner 
of Beach and Lameuse Streets was the popular hotel. Reservations had 
to be made early in the season, as the people of wealth and fashion from 
Memphis, Chicago, Minneapolis, and other places gathered here. Ac- 
commodations, however, were poor, though full dress dinners and ele- 
gant card parties were held, enlivened by Negro cakewalks and spirituals. 

This period fixed Biloxi's reputation as a resort town, and the ensu- 
ing prosperity caused Biloxians to forget that Northerners were "Yankees." 
The 1890*5 found the first winter tourists coming into this part of the 
Deep South. 

The real growth of Biloxi after the War between the States, however, 
was the direct result of development of the seafood packing business. 
The New Orleans & Mobile Railroad (now the Louisville & Nashville), 
built in 1869, gave the packers a needed outlet to northern markets. 
Oysters first were packed in ice and shipped in the shell; later they were 




LIGHTHOUSE, BILOXI 



BILOXI 175 

opened and shipped in tubs. The first oyster packing plant, on Back Bay 
at Reynoir Street, was established in 1872. The canning of shrimp was 
pioneered in Biloxi in 1883 by Lopez, Elmer, and Gorenflo, seniors, names 
still prominent in the industry. Largely because of the fresh oyster and 
shrimp business the population of Biloxi jumped from 954 in 1870 to 
5,467 in 1900. From 1900 to 1925 the developing factories imported 
seasonal labor from Baltimore, the majority of which was Polish. The 
slums on the Point in Biloxi are the camp houses constructed for these 
seasonal laborers. Since 1925 Acadian French from Louisiana and former 
sawmill hands from the dying lumber towns of southern Mississippi have 
furnished the necessary labor. 



E. from Main St. on Howard Ave. 

1. MEMORIAL BRIDGE, E. end of Howard Ave., extending across 
the south end of the Bay of Biloxi in a low graceful span, connects Biloxi 
with Ocean Springs. Of concrete construction, it has a double-lane drive 
and is brilliantly lighted. A draw toward the Ocean Springs end opens 
for the Back Bay shrimp and oyster fleets. When the bridge was com- 
pleted in 1930 at a cost of $880,000 it was said to be one of the largest 
World War memorials in the United States. 

Retrace Howard Ave. L. on Myrtle St.; L. on 1st St. 

2. UNITED STATES COAST GUARD AIR BASE, E. end of ist St. 
(open), is designed to become one of the key units of Coast Guard aviation 
in southern waters. A hangar, 160 x 100 feet, connected with a concrete 
apron and a wooden ramp, houses six planes, including a huge ambulance 
plane equipped for landing on rough seas. These planes, cooperating with 
the Coast Guard boats at Gulf port, aid ships in distress, rescue injured 
fishermen, and prevent smuggling. 

Retrace 1st St.; L. on Myrtle St.; R. on Beach Blvd. 

3. The CANNING AND PACKING PLANTS, Beach Blvd. (L) be- 
tween Myrtle and Cedar Sts. (open), are built out over the water to facili- 
tate the unloading of boats and the disposal of refuse. The plants employ 
men, women, and children to pick the shrimp, which have been packed in 
ice for several days to make them brittle enough to handle. The picking 
tables are long troughs down which the shrimp baskets are rolled. The 
pickers, standing on each side of the table, remove the head and scales 



176 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

from the shrimp with a single dexterous twist. Buckets of alum water 
into which the pickers dip their hands neutralize the shrimp secretions. 
Payment for picking is made by weight, the wage running not quite one 
cent a pound. The average skilled picker earns $1.50 a day, with a few 
making as high as $2.50. Whistles let the pickers know when a day's sup- 
ply of shrimp has been brought in, and the pickers work as long as they 
care to, or until the supply is exhausted. The average picking room is the 
scene of much conversation and occasionally a hair-pulling combat, when 
someone tries to edge another out of the weighing line. While the picking 
of shrimp is a fairly easy process requiring no tools, oyster shucking is a 
skilful operation, and the proficiency attained by some of the workers is 
amazing. Frequent shucking contests are held, with rivalry running high 
between contestants. 

At the south end of the packing plants' piers, one of the two most 
prominent of the ceremonies involved in the blessing of the fleet is held. 
The boats blessed here, in contrast to the French-manned boats at the Iber- 
ville Cross ceremony, are manned by Slavonians. An altar is improvised on 
the pier, and the shrimp boats pack so closely around that the priest can 
step from one to another in administering his blessing. 

The WESLEY HOUSE, NW. corner Beach Blvd. and Cedar St. (open), 
is the two-story, cream frame community house and recreational center of 
the Point Cadet fishing settlement. Grouped about it are the box-like 
houses built prior to 1925 for housing transient Baltimore Poles during 
the packing season. 

4. RED BRICK HOUSE WITH SLAVE QUARTERS, 947 Beach 
Blvd. (private), is an example of ante-bellum architecture. An outside 
stairway and finely executed entrance doorway are architectural features of 
the bright red brick structure. The story is that the stairway and plain green 
shutters are mute traces of the result of a French tax levied on inside stairs 
and latticed blinds. If so, the house was built before 1763, during the 
period of French dominion. In the rear, the slave quarters retain their 
original character, with a raised hearth and Dutch oven. 

5. The JOHN H. KELLER HOME, NE. corner Beach Blvd. and 
Bellman St. (private), typifies the ante-bellum homes designed especially 
for this climate. Built of wide boards, painted white, its second or main 
floor is set high off the ground, over a dark, cool brick ground floor. A 
double flight of steps curves from the ground to the main floor. 

6. CHURCH OF THE REDEEMER, NW. corner Beach Blvd. and 
Bellman St., a brown, ivy-covered, heavily buttressed structure of Gothic 
design, was built in 1890. The four windows placed in it are memorials 
to the family of Jefferson Davis. They are considered to be among the 
most beautiful memorial windows in the South. At the rear of the church 
is the old Episcopal Church that Davis attended. The pew used by the 
Davis family has been moved to the newer church, marked with a silver 
plate and draped with a Confederate flag. 

In the SW. corner of the churchyard is the RING IN THE OAK, a 
curious open ring in the limb of a large live oak, perpetuating one of the 
most charming of the Gulf Coast Indian legends. An Indian maiden fell 




A SOUTHERN PLANTER HOME, BILOXI 



in love with the son of an enemy chieftain. The maiden's father, who was 
chief of the Biloxi tribe, refused the suit of the young brave, and pointing 
to the oak tree, said, "No, the young fawn can never be the light of your 
wigwam until a ring grows in yonder oak!" That night a terrific storm 
twisted the tender branches of the young oak into a distinct ring, a ring 
that with the years has grown firmly into the tree. 

7. COMMUNITY HOUSE AND PARK, Beach Blvd. (R) between 
Nixon and Elmer Sts., is the center for tourist entertainment. South of 
Beach Boulevard and opposite Deer Island is the community house bath- 
ing pier. Between the pier and the beach drive is a children's playground. 
In the yard of the community house are the 1BERV1LLE CANNON, three 
corroded iron cannon dredged from the bottom of Back Bay and alleged 
to be from one of Iberville's ships. 

R. from Beach Blvd. on Lameuse St.; L. on Water St. 

8. The SPANISH HOUSE, 206 W. Water St. (private), was built 
by a Spanish army captain about 1790, and is the sole relic of the 
period of Spanish rule in Biloxi (1780-1810). The house is severely 
simple, with a steep roof stepped squarely in military fashion. The 
original brick walls are covered with stucco and the house is divided into 
apartments. 

9. The FRENCH HOUSE, SE. corner Water and Magnolia Sts. (open 
by permission), is thought to have been built between 1750 and 1800. 
It is a tiny one-story cottage, lost in a profusion of azaleas and palms. 
The rambling additions are of a hybrid type of architecture, but the 
iron-railed porch and grille work are characteristically French. 

R. from Water St. on Magnolia St.; R. on Howard Ave.; R. on 
Delauney St.; R. on Beach Blvd. 



178 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

10. MAGNOLIA HOTEL, NW. corner Beach Blvd. and Magnolia 
St., was built in 1846 and is still operating. The main part, a large 
square broad-gabled house facing the beach, is separated from the rear 
portion by a long open passage and surrounded by porches with round 
wooden rails. This represents the type of summer hostelry inland South- 
erners preferred before the War between the States. 

R. from Beach Blvd. on Benachi Ave. 

BENACHI AVENUE, overarched with oaks, is a favorite vista for 
photographers, the moss-draped trees forming an archway nearly two-fifths 
of a mile long. 

R. from Benachi Ave. on Howard Ave.; L. on Caillavet St.; R. on 

Division St.; L. on Oak St.; L. on E. Bay View Ave. 

11. BACK BAY BOATBUILDING FACTORIES (R), E. Bay View 
Ave. (open by permission), are unpainted frame buildings strung along 
the avenue. The process of boatbuilding from the initial steps to the 
finishing touches can be observed here. 

12. BACK BAY FISHERIES (R), E. Bay View Ave., are a hodge- 
podge of shrimp- and oyster-packing and canning houses which extend 
to Iberville Bridge. The damp rank odor of fish pervades this entire 
section. 

R. from E. Bay View Ave. on Caillavet St. 

13. IBERVILLE BRIDGE, across Back Bay, is a concrete span 3,400 
feet long, built in 1926 at a cost of $350,000. At the exit of the 
bridge (R) are visible the IBERVILLE CROSS AND BOULDER, com- 
memorating the landing of Iberville. It is here that the ceremony of 
blessing the fleet takes place on Sunday preceding August 15. 

Retrace Caillavet St.; R. on W. Bay View Ave.; R. on a narrow 
sandy road. 

14. NAVAL RESERVE PARK was established by the Government to 
preserve the trees for making knees for wooden ships. Now owned by 
the city, the park is noteworthy for its vistas of the bay seen through 
moss-draped oaks. Public pier, ZOO (open 9-5), and picnic tables are 
maintained by the city. 

Retrace the sandy road; R. on W. Bay View Ave.; R. on Naval 
Reserve Rd.; R. on Pass Christian Rd. 

15. UNITED STATES VETERANS FACILITY (open Fri. 1-5), 
occupies a tract of 700 acres with frontage on Back Bay. Its buildings 
of whitewashed brick designed in the Colonial tradition are attractively 
grouped in a setting of oaks, pines, magnolias, and shrubs. The institution 
was opened in 1933 and is designed to accommodate 4,000 beds. The 
main building, five stories in height, is one of the largest single buildings 
in the State. 

Retrace Pass Christian Rd.; R. on Porter St. 

16. BILOXI LIGHTHOUSE, Porter St. and Beach Blvd. (open), 
65 feet in height and mounted through the center by a revolving stair- 
case and ladder, was built in 1848. Near the beginning of the War 
between the States, when Ship Island was taken, a Biloxi citizen climbed 
the tower, removed the lens and buried it. When the war was over, the 



COLUMBUS 



179 



lens was dug up and returned to the tower, the nicks being the only 
indication of its stay underground. When Lincoln was assassinated, Biloxi 
demonstrated its sorrow by painting the tower of the lighthouse black. 
Shortly afterward, however, the Government had it painted white, its 
present color. 

R. from Porter St. on Beach Blvd. 

17. BILOXI CEMETERY, Beach Blvd. (open), marks the early set- 
tlement of Biloxi. One section of the cemetery has graves so old that 
all inscriptions on the headstones have been effaced. Originally owned 
by the Fayards, the cemetery was given by them to the city, which, in 
turn, gave away the lots without charge. Probably unique among ceme- 
teries of the world is the custom frequently used here of shading the 
graves with canopies of Spanish moss draped on bars a few feet above 
the headstones. On All Saints' Day decorations ranging from handsome 
hothouse plants to paper flowers are placed on the graves. The poor 
decorate the graves of their dead with shells arranged in geometric 
designs. The growing of flowers for All Saints' Day, and the making of 
paper flowers, are considerable industries on and near the Coast. 

18. SEASHORE CAMP GROUNDS, Beach Blvd. (R), are the sum- 
mer camping grounds for Methodists. The camp was established in 1871, 
with the tabernacle in the center and a semicircle of frame summer cot- 
tages. Between religious services the cottages are occupied by members 
of the congregation, and rented to the public between periodic camp 
meetings. 

POINTS OF INTEREST IN ENVIRONS 

Southern Memorial Park, 4.9 m., Beauvoir, J..5 m., Edgewater Gulf Skeet Range 
and Golf Course, 8.5 m., Gulf Coast Military Academy, 8.5 m., (see Tour 1); 
Harbor (see GULFPORT); Ship Island, 12 m. (see Side Tour lA). 



Railroad Stations: 6th St. and 8th Ave. S. for Mobile & Ohio R.R.; 2ist St. 
and 2nd Ave. S. for Frisco R.R. ; 1 3th St. and Main St. for Columbus & Greenville 
R.R. and Southern Ry. 

Bus Station: Union Bus Station, 5th St. and 3rd Ave. S. for Tri-State Transit 
Co., Dixie Greyhound Lines, Dixies Coaches, and Magnolia Motor Lines. 
Taxis: Intra-city 10$ per person. 

Traffic Regulations: Speed limit 30 mph. Turns in either direction at intersections 
except where lights direct otherwise. Limited parking. 



i8o 



MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 



KEY 

1. Christian Church 

2. Old Franklin Academy 

3. Stephen D. Lee Home 

4. F. M. Leigh Home 

5. Alexander B. Meek Home 

6. J. H. Kennebrew Home 

7. J. M. Billups Home 

8. Mississippi State College for 

Women 

9. Charles McLaren Home 

(Humphries Home) 

10. Jesse P. Woodward Home 

11. Columbus Marble Plant 

12. Friendship Cemetery 

13. Rosedale 

14. Owen's Greenhouse and 

Nursery 




COLUMBUS 



181 



COLUMBUS 

Federal Writers' Project 1937 






IBB 




182 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

Accommodations: Two hotels; tourist camps. 

Information Service: Chamber of Commerce, City Hall, NW. cor. Main and 6th Sts. 

Motion Picture Houses : Three. 

Athletics: Y.M.C.A., 6th St. and 2nd Ave. N.; Magnolia Bowl, 3rd Ave. N. bet. 

5th and 6th Sts. 

Swimming: Y.M.C.A.; Luxapalila Swimming Beach, i m. NE. 

Golf: Country Club, 2 m. N. on Military Road, moderate greens fee. 

Annual Events: Memorial Service, Decoration Day, April 26. 

COLUMBUS (250 alt., 10,743 pop.), sprawling leisurely along the 
banks of Tombigbee and Luxapalila Rivers, is a city in which there is 
room to breathe. A comfortable old-tree shaded town, the streets are 
broad, the sidewalks wide, lawns are spacious, and houses are set apart 
in a manner characteristic of the lavish ante-bellum period in which they 
were built. It is the junction of the Old South with the New, with gracious 
lines of Georgian porticos forming a belt of mellowed beauty about a 
modern business district, where 2oth century facades and white Doric 
columns stand side by side. 

The same leisurely atmosphere of spaciousness is carried into "North- 
side," the Negro section of town. Here approximately 45 percent of 
Columbus 's population lives in low-roofed, red frame houses that are 
festooned with wistaria and shaded by umbrella chinaberry trees and tall, 
brightly colored sunflowers. A majority of the Negro men find work 
with white families rather than with industries, or are delivery boys, 
taxi drivers, and filling station helpers. The Negro women who work 
are employed almost entirely as domestic servants. In their section of 
town they have their own stores, cafes, hotels, and recreational center. 

In 1540 De Soto entered the State at a point eight miles above the 
present site of Columbus, and two centuries later Bienville, on his way 
to attack the Chickasaw Nation, passed beneath the Tombigbee bluffs; 
but it was not until 1817 that the white man came to the spot where the 
Tombigbee joins the Luxapalila and built a trading post. In that year 
Thomas Thomas opened a store and shortly afterward Spirus Roach built 
a tavern. Because Roach was gray and bent and wizened, he reminded 
the Indians, who came to buy his whisky, of an opossum, so they called 
the settlement Possum Town. In 1821, however, the Virginia and Caro- 
lina bluebloods, who had followed Thomas and Roach to grow cotton 
in the fertile prairie soil, expressed their distaste for Indian humor and 
renamed the community Columbus. 

Sitting on the banks of the Tombigbee, the only artery of commerce from 
northeast Mississippi to the Gulf, and bordered by undulating prairies, 
the new trading post grew from settlement to village and from village 
to town, until just prior to the War between the States it was well estab- 
lished as a cultural center of the Black Prairie a section referred to by 
slaves as "de rich folk's Ian'." 

From its beginning Columbus welcomed education. Situated on one 
of the early land grants set aside for schools, the town was a pioneer 
in the establishment of public institutions of learning. In 1821 Gideon 




CLOCK TOWER, STATE COLLEGE FOR WOMEN, COLUMBUS 



Lincecum founded Franklin Academy, the first free school in the State. 
In 1847 Columbus Female Institute was organized, a private academy 
which, 38 years later, reorganized under the name Industrial Institute 
and College, became the first State-supported college for women in the 
United States. In 1920 the name again was changed to Mississippi State 



184 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

College for Women. Today the city and education are synonymous. Even 
the property in the downtown district comes within the i6th section 
belonging to the State as part of the original land grant reserved for 
schools. Business establishments here must lease this land from Mississippi. 

However, ante-bellum Columbus was not "at home" to the more 
blatant aspects of progress. When the Mobile & Ohio R.R. tried to secure 
a right-of-way through the town, permission was refused. A railroad was 
unsightly, it would mar the landscape and bring undesirable people, the 
citizens said. And not until 1861 did they capitulate, with a few die-hards 
even then continuing to plant their cotton along the railroad tracks, 
forcing the company to erect fences to protect the rails. 

During the War between the States the Confederate Government 
maintained a large arsenal in the town, and when Jackson fell into the 
hands of Federals the seat of State government was moved here immedi- 
ately. The Christian church was hastily converted into a Senate chamber 
and the courthouse next door was prepared to receive the lower house 
in time for the legislative session of 1863. Politicians thronged the lobby 
of the Gilmer Hotel and President Davis was a guest in the Whitfield 
(now Billups) home. It is still told in Columbus that one night, 
while Davis slept, the townspeople gathered beneath a window of his 
room to serenade him, and that upon being awakened by the voices and 
the guitars, Davis, with his long night shirt trailing beneath his dressing 
gown, appeared on the little balcony opening off his room and delivered 
an address. 

In the years since the War between the States three new railroads have 
obtained rights-of-way through the city, and, as old settlers had suspected, 
a new people, with an outsider's idea of progress, followed in their wake. 
Today the city ships cotton, hay, cattle, and hardwood lumber; it has 
large floral, brick, and marble industries, and is the center of a rapidly 
developing dairy industry. 

But the aristocrats have bred their kind. The old Columbus still sur- 
rounds a 20th-century business district and sets the tempo that gives 
the city its tone of leisurely unconcern. 



N. from Main St. on 6th St. 

i. CHRISTIAN CHURCH, NW. corner 6th St. and 2nd Ave. N., 
next to the courthouse is the small Gothic Revival church that housed 
the refugee Legislature of 1863. 



COLUMBUS 185 

L. from 2nd Ave. N. on 5th St. 

2. OLD FRANKLIN ACADEMY, NE. corner 3rd Ave. N. and 5th 
St., the first free school in the State, chartered in 1821, is a part of the 
Columbus public school system ; the old academy building houses a gram- 
mar school. The three-story red brick structure with white wood trim 
is an example of ante-bellum Gothic Revival adapted to institutional pur- 
poses. A stone marker on the campus tells briefly the history of Franklin 
Academy. 

R. from 5th St. on 3rd Ave. N.; L. on 7th St. 

3. The STEPHEN D. LEE HOME, occupying a block on 7 th St. (R) 
between 3rd and 4th Aves. N. (open schooldays 9-4; Sept. to June), 
was willed to the city on the death of its owner, Stephen D. Lee, and 
is now a part of the Lee High School. Built in 1844 by Col. Thomas 
Blewett, it is a square two-story brick building, with a covered porch 
extending across the front. Iron grille work, said to have been cast in 
New Orleans and suggestive of French influence, is used for railing and 
columns on the porch. Iron animals on the campus formerly occupied a 
prominent place in the Lee garden. 

Stephen D. Lee, born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1833, was 
graduated from West Point in 1854 and was first lieutenant and regi- 
mental quartermaster of the 4th United States Artillery when he resigned 
in 1 86 1 to join the Confederate forces. He was one of two officers sent 
by General Beauregard to demand the surrender of Fort Sumter, and, 
upon refusal, it was he who ordered the nearest battery to fire upon the 
fort. In the spring of 1862 he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel. After 
gaining distinction at Seven Pines and in the Seven Days' Battles against 
General McClellan's forces, he was given command of the 4th Virginia 
cavalry. When it became necessary to reinforce the army defending Vicks- 
burg, he was promoted to brigadier-general and assigned to duty in the 
West. After the fall of Vicksburg he became lieutenant-general and was 
given command of the Department of Mississippi, Alabama, East Louis- 
iana, and West Tennessee. When Hood became commander of the army 
of Georgia, Lee took command of Hood's corps. He saw hard fighting 
around Atlanta and his last campaign was in North Carolina, where he 
was paroled with Johnston's army. In 1865 he married Regina Harrison, 
of Columbus, where he made his home. He was a member of the State 
Senate of 1878 and a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1890. 
He was the first president of the Agricultural and Mechanical College 
(now Mississippi State), serving from 1880 to 1899, when he resigned 
to become a member of the newly created Vicksburg National Park Asso- 
ciation. General Lee was a president of the Mississippi Historical Society, 
a member of the Board of Trustees of the Department of Archives and 
History, and the author of several papers on the War between the States. 
When he died in 1908, he was national commander of the United Con- 
federate Veterans of America. 

4. The F. M. LEIGH HOME, 824 N. yth St. (private), built in 
1841, stands on a hill overlooking the vales and dells of the highlands. 
Large Doric columns support a porch that extends around two sides of 



186 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

the building. Inside are antique gilded mirrors, sofas, chairs and tables 
of rosewood, mahogany, and cherry, and family portraits in massive 
frames. The flower garden at the southern end of a winding walk is 
landscaped with formal beds, each bordered by a low brick curb. Scattered 
about the yard toward the back are three outhouses and the old brick 
kitchen relics of the slave era. 

Retrace 7th St.; L. on 6th Ave. N. 

5. The ALEXANDER B. MEEK HOME, SE. corner 6th Ave. N. and 
8th St. (private), was built in 1854 by William R. Cannon, who came 
from South Carolina to Lowndes Co. in 1830, and settled on a prairie 
plantation 12 miles from Columbus. Later, desiring to bring his children 
into town for education, he built this home. It is of the ante-bellum 
Classical Revival style, with the characteristic columns, entrance portico, 
and graceful lines. Plans were drawn for it by a Mr. Lull, who built 
many other Columbus houses of that period. An artist was brought from 
New York to paint the family portraits that remain on the walls. The 
library shelves were filled with books, many dating to the early i8th 
century. Chinaware was imported from Europe and glassware from Bo- 
hemia. When complete the house was an excellent example of the homes 
wealthy planters of the Black Prairie were building before the War be- 
tween the States. 

6. The J. H. KENNEBREW HOME, SW. corner 6th Ave. N. and 9th 
St. (private), is designed in the Greek Revival style modeled after a 
Doric temple. It is simple, stately, unadorned. All the timber used in 
the house was cut from the forest by slaves, and only the heart of each 
tree was used. Each column a single tree trunk is hand carved. 

R. from 6th Ave. N. on 9th St. 

7. The J. M. BILLUPS HOME, SE. corner 9th St. and 3rd Ave. N. 
(private), where Jefferson Davis was once a guest, built by Gov. James 
Whitfield about 1854 and modeled after Thomas Jefferson's "Monticello," 
has an octagonal hall, with doors opening on all sides. Connecting the 
first- and second-story halls is a broad winding stairway, the newel posts 
and railings made of solid Mississippi walnut. A similar stair leads from 
the second story to the observatory. When Major Billups purchased the 
home from Governor Whitfield, he had the observatory removed, and the 
resemblance of the home to Monticello became less apparent. All brick 
used in the construction of the home was made by slave labor. 

L. from 9th St. on 2nd Ave. S. 

8. MISSISSIPPI STATE COLLEGE FOR WOMEN, 2nd Ave. S. (R) 
bet. nth and i5th Sts., holds membership in the Association of Amer- 
ican Colleges and its graduates are eligible for full membership in the 
American Association of University Women. 

As a pioneer in the field of education, and the first State-supported 
school in America to offer higher education exclusively to women, the 
college has many of the characteristics of the pioneer warmth, vigor, 
and ruggedness and, like all pioneers, has accumulated its traditions. 
There is the "wedding" of the Freshman and Junior classes, the Magnolia 



COLUMBUS 187 

Chain carried by the Seniors at commencement, and the Zouave and 
Singlestick drills performed on class day. 

Main Dormitory, the oldest building on the campus was built in 1860, 
and like the Old Chapel adjoining, has ivy-covered brick walls. In the 
tower is the clock that has continuously marked the hours for more than 
half a century. The newer buildings are modern variations of Southern 
Colonial style, with stone Corinthian columns, broad galleries, and por- 
ticos. The last to be built (1930) is the JOHN CLAYTON PANT 
LIBRARY (open weekdays 8 a.m.-9 p.m.), which houses 50,000 volumes, 
including government documents received by the library as an official 
depository. Here, also, is the Belle Kearney collection of curios. The 
college places emphasis on its Physical Education Department. It offers 
courses in aesthetic and acrobatic dancing. The swimming pool, occupying 
the lower floor of the gymnasium, is the largest indoor pool in the State. 

The campus has the appearance of a well-kept Southern garden, shaded 
with a variety of indigenous trees, and planted in japonicas, hydrangeas, 
gardenias, and Japanese magnolias. A network of walks leads to a 
drinking fountain and sundial. 

Retrace 2nd Ave. S.; L. on 2nd St. 

9. The CHARLES McLAREN HOME (HUMPHRIES HOME), 514 
S. 2nd St. (private), built several years prior to the War between the 
States, is of stately proportions and exquisite detail. The lot upon which 
it stands occupies a block bordering the Tombigbee River. The building 
is of Georgian Colonial style, with massive stone Corinthian columns 
upholding the roof of the double porch across the front. Two lions, 
symbolic guards of the mansion, crouch on the cheek blocks of the 
steps; two greyhounds, emblems of fidelity, stretch full-length on stone 
slabs facing the walk. 

10. The JESSE P. WOODWARD HOME, NE. corner 2nd St. and 
5th Ave. S. (private), is one of the State's best examples of the Southern 
Planter type of architecture. Built early in the 1850*5 by Col. W. C. 
Richards, the house has been restored with its original lines carefully 
preserved. A double flight of steps, graced by delicately wrought iron 
railings, dominates the entrance. The brick ground floor is occupied by 
study and service rooms; the family living quarters are above on the first 
floor. The outer walls are covered with white clapboards, and brick 
chimneys flank the ends. The grounds are informally landscaped with 
boxwood hedges and magnolias. 

L. from 2nd St. on 7th Ave. S.; R. on 4th St. 

11. The COLUMBUS MARBLE PLANT, 4 th St. (R) between 7 th 
and 8th Aves. S. (open weekdays 8-4; tours), reputed to be the largest 
plant of its kind in the South, occupies a low-roofed, corrugated tin 
building covering an entire block. Here marble, brought from Georgia 
and Alabama, is cut into building blocks, slabs, and headstones. 

12. FRIENDSHIP CEMETERY, long known as Odd Fellows Ceme- 
tery, 4th St. (R) facing i3th Ave. S., is situated on land purchased by the 
Odd Fellows in 1849 for recreational purposes. During the War between 
the States the 18 acres were converted into a cemetery. The first burials 



KV'*.^ - f f I. 






I j : SB | >* ' 



WOODWARD HOUSE, COLUMBUS 



were of soldiers who fell at Shiloh. Under the magnolias are the graves 
of about 100 Federal and 1,500 Confederate soldiers, whose names were 
recorded in a book since lost. Now all graves are "unknown," and so 
marked on the more than 1,000 headstones set up by the War Depart- 
ment in 1931. In one corner of the cemetery is a faded red brick vault 
the grave of William Cocke, Revolutionary War veteran, legislator of 
Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi. 

Memorial Day had its origin in this cemetery on April 26, 1866. 
The ladies of Columbus met and marched in procession to the burial 
ground, where they cleared and decorated with flowers the graves of 
both Confederate and Union soldiers. This act inspired Francis Miles 
Finch's poem, "The Blue and the Gray." April 26, not the nationally rec- 
ognized May 30, is still Decoration Day in Mississippi. 

L. from 4th St. on 13th Ave. S.; R. on 9th St. 

13. ROSED ALE, 9th St. (L) between i3th Ave. and city limits 
(private), is the oldest brick house in Columbus. Built by Dr. Topp 
in 1855, it was planned by architects and decorators from New Orleans. 
It is a square two-story brick building surmounted by a cupola, and sug- 
gests Italian villa architecture in its general appearance. Outside walls 
are covered with gray stucco. A covered porch runs across the front. 
Full-length arched windows are used throughout. Interior walls and ceil- 



GREENWOOD 189 

ings are elaborately decorated with ornamental plaster. Holly trees in the 
yard were planted by Dr. Topp at the time the house was erected. 

14. OWEN'S GREENHOUSE AND NURSERY, foot of 9th St., is 
said to be the largest of its kind in the South. 

POINTS OF INTEREST IN ENVIRONS 

Belmont, 9 m., Waverly, 7 J m., Site of Old Plymouth, 9 .5 m. (See Tour 4) . 
Stover Apiary, 15 m. (see Side Tour 4A). 



Railroad Stations: Carrollton Ave. for Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R.R.; S. end 

Howard St. for Columbus & Greenville R.R. 

Bus Station: Union Bus Station, Weiner Hotel, 219 Carrollton Ave. for Tri-State 

Transit Co., Dixie Greyhound Lines. 

Airport: Greenwood Airport, 2.1 m. S. off US 49E, taxi fare 50^, time 8 min. 

No scheduled service. 

Taxis: Fare io# within city. 

Accommodations: Five hotels. 
Motion Picture Houses: Two. 

Swimming: Country Club, Humphreys Highway; Municipal Pool, High School 

campus, Cotton St., nominal charge. 

Golf: Country Club, Humphreys Highway, reasonable greens fee. 

Tennis: Country Club, Humphreys Highway, High School campus, Cotton St. 

GREENWOOD (143 alt, 11,123 PP-)> th e heart of what is reputed 
to be the greatest long staple cotton growing area in the world, is an 
enlarged edition of the little towns and villages that dot the Yazoo- 
Mississippi Delta. Completely surrounded by cotton fields, and centered 
about its gins, compresses and warehouses, the growing, ginning, and 
marketing of cotton keep up the pulse of its social and industrial life. 
Cotton built the gins and compresses and the pretentious mansions on 
the Boulevard. The fickleness of cotton crops and prices sets the stand- 
ard that accustoms the city to taking its pleasures while it may. 

In character with a Delta town, a river cuts the center of Greenwood. 
On the south bank of the green and shadowy Yazoo lies the business 
district; on the north bank are residences typical of Delta architecture, 
with tall, stilt-like foundations for protection against the constant menace 
of flood waters, and screened front porches against ever present mos- 



190 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

quitoes. These homes, as well as the more pretentious mansions that line 
the broad street called Boulevard, represent the "good" years of the 
planters and merchants. Many of these homes follow the familiar colonial 
pattern, but interspersed with them are pastel Spanish villas and English 
manor houses, incongruous against the flat delta landscape. This section 
of Greenwood, formerly a part of the vast plantation of Sen. J. Z. 
George, was not opened up until 1915. Before that time a majority of 
the Deltans who now have residences here preferred living on their own 
plantations or small farms. 

Surrounding the business and white residential section of Greenwood 
is the typically Mississippi fringe of Negro quarters. The fringe is divided 
into sections, each with its name and its particular group of persons. 
"Gritney," occupying 30 acres near the compresses, is the largest and 
oldest. Here the more economically well-to-do Negroes live, a majority 
owning their homes. "Ram-Cat Alley" furnishes Greenwood's best cooks. 
"G. P. Town" lies south of the railroad tracks; "Baptist Town" is to 
the east, where Negro Baptists live close to their church; "Buckeye Quar- 
ters," in west Greenwood, gets its name from the oil mill that employs 
a great many of the men as unskilled laborers; in north Greenwood, 
"Burkhalter's Alley" is a small but favorite district. On West Church 
and Williamson Streets, where approximately 20 or more houses are 
located in a white district, is "New Town." Negroes compose 48.4 percent 
of Greenwood's population. The men do menial labor at the gins, ware- 
houses, oil mills, and other industries. During cotton chopping season 
and cotton picking time approximately 1,500 Negroes are transported 
daily from Greenwood to the outlying plantations. The women are 
domestic servants. 

In 1834 John Williams came to the lush swamp near the confluence 
of the Yazoo and Yalobusha Rivers and built a river landing on 162 
acres bought from the Government at $1.25 an acre. Immediately planters 
began to bring their cotton to his landing to be shipped down the Yazoo 
to New Orleans. Among their number was the Choctaw chieftain Green- 
wood Leflore, who brought his baled cotton here from Malmaison (see 
Tour 6) until one day Leflore discovered that Williams let his cotton 
lie unprotected from the weather, and the two men quarreled. In retali- 
ation, the Indian built his own warehouse and landing at a point three 
miles north on the Yazoo and called it Point Leflore. But the rivalry 
between the landings was not as great as Leflore had expected. By 1844 
Williams Landing had grown into the semblance of a village and was 
incorporated, ironically enough, as Greenwood, the given name of the 
Indian chieftain. Slowly Greenwood, with its town hall, post office, 3 
saloons and 17 combination grocery stores and grog shops, absorbed the 
trade of Point Leflore, and with its steady flow of river trade flourished 
as a trading center during the ante-bellum period. Its prosperity, how- 
ever, was flaunted in lavish living on outlying plantations rather than 
in the town itself, for at that time the planters preferred living among 
their fields of cotton. 

The War between the States paralyzed the cotton industry. Gunboats 



GREENWOOD 191 

supplanted barges on the river and the railroad tracks were destroyed. 
Even throughout reconstruction much of the rich, black Delta lands lay 
fallow because there were no means of transporting such crops as were 
grown. 

With the coming of the railroads in the i88o's, Greenwood declined 
as a river town but had a renascence in rails and locomotives. The Yazoo 
& Mississippi connected the town with the main freight line of the 
Illinois Central System, and the Columbus & Greenville connected it 
with eastern and western traffic. This gave the city, despite its inland 
location, another outlet to the ports of the world. 

Greenwood handles more than 200,000 bales of cotton each year. Be- 
cause it is a staple market, prices here are such that often cotton raised 
in neighboring States is brought to Greenwood for sale. In the city 
are 56 firms of cotton shippers, exporters, buyers, factors, and several 
cotton cooperative associations. The cotton is handled on the factor system, 
which originated after the War between the States when the planters were 
too poor to finance the making of a crop. The factor, a merchant-banker 
who advances money to the planter and takes a lien on his crop, has 
the cotton tagged and shipped to him in Greenwood. The theoretical 
advantages of this system most often pointed to are that the factor can 
secure cheaper storage and insurance rates and that his leased wires to 
New Orleans and New York give him the advantage of knowing the 
erratic quotas of the large export markets and thus offer the planter 
a better opportunity to secure a higher price for his cotton. 

The activity of cotton is in two fever-pitch stages, the first, when the 
planter is preparing his spring planting, the second, when the crop is 
picked and ready for market. From December until March, Greenwood 
is absorbed in handling the planter's crop production loan. For whether 
the planter owns 200 or 2,000 acres, he has a ritual to follow before 
he may actually put the seeds into his ground. He must get a waiver on 
his mortgage and record it in the chancery clerk's office. He must make 
out a budget, work and rework it until it is approved by the lien holder 
(factor), the mortgagees, and all parties concerned. His certificates must 
be signed by the county agent, his abstracts must be made by reputable 
authorities. Repeated inspection is made of his plantation by land exam- 
iners of the various mortgages. All this activity naturally involves end- 
less waiting on street corners and in outer offices, yet the planter takes 
it good-naturedly. A majority of the men with whom he does business 
are his friends, and conferences usually end as social occasions. When, 
at last, after having signed away practically every earthly possession in- 
cluding radio and automobile, and after specifying the exact number of 
acres to be planted in cotton, the amount of seed and the kind of ferti- 
lizer to be used, the number of bales of hay the mules will eat, the 
gallons of gas the tractor will consume, and how many pairs of shoes 
the children will need, the annual ordeal of the crop production loan is 
over. The planter will receive the money in monthly installments, duly 
witnessed and countersigned. 

The marketing season, usually from the latter part of August through 



192 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

Christmas, keeps Greenwood, tensely holding its breath until the price of 
cotton is somewhat stabilized. For with the price, the whole economic 
and social life of the town is inextricably bound. Everyone from the 
tenant Negro to the land-owning planter feels the repercussion of a 
"good" or "bad" year. 

Wagons and trucks piled high with cotton crowd the streets leading 
to the gins. At the gins they are driven on large scales that weigh the 
cotton before it is unloaded. The modern gin operates on the "saw" 
principle of the Whitney gin, but is a far cry from the original model. 
The whole process of ginning has been perfected to expedite labor. 
Suction pipes, which have the appearance of enlarged stove-pipes, draw 
the cotton from the wagon. An elevator system from the suction pipe 
to the second story of the gin transports the cotton to shoots leading to 
the gin saws. These saws pull the cotton apart, separating it from the 
seeds. The lint is removed by air blasts, going into a condenser where it 
receives a final beating and cleaning, and where it becomes glorified, 
snowy-white drifts. The final process is confining these drifts into sturdy 
jute bagging and binding it with metal bands. The seed is delivered by 
conveyor back to the planter, or, when sold directly to the ginnner, is 
sent to the seed house. 

The baled cotton goes from the gin to the compress where Negro 
handlers unload and pitch it to another set of Negroes, who "bust" the 
bands with a band breaker and throw it into the press. The Negroes 
work rhythmically, singing and shouting at one another. The compress 
runs by steam and each time the plunger goes up with a bale the press 
gives a snort and lets out a puff of white vapor, making the scene noisy 
and exciting. 

Cotton oil mills handle the cottonseed, turning it into vegetable oil, 
which, refined, and mixed with compound lard, is the basis for many 
cooking preparations. It is also used extensively in the manufacture of 
soap. The oil mills run continuously day and night for a period of about 
eight months. This continuous operation is necessary, because cotton 
"meat," as the seed is called, must never be allowed to cool while in the 
process of cooking. The meats are properly toasted; then the oil is ex- 
tracted, trickling out of the press in a clear, golden stream, deliciously 
odorous. The hull of the seed is shaped into seed cakes, then ground into 
cottonseed meal, which makes fertilizer and cattle food that is valuable as 
a fattener and milk-producer. 

POINTS OF INTEREST 

i. The COURTHOUSE, squared by River Road, Cotton, Market, and 
Fulton Sts. with main entrance on Market St., is a large concrete struc- 
ture of neo-Classic design. Rising above the principal facade is a clock 
tower topped with a small cupola. Below the clock is the belfry where 
chimes sound every quarter hour. The chimes are pitched to duplicate 
the tones of the Westminster chimes in London. On the hour, they peal 
forth the air to which has been set these words: 



GREENWOOD 193 

"Lord through this hour 
Be Thou our Guide 
So by Thy power 
No foot shall slide." 

The chimes were a gift to the County by Mrs. Lizzie George Hender- 
son as a memorial to her husband, an early Leflore County physician, who 
was much respected by his neighbors and patients. 

2. The TERRY HOME, 305 West Market St. (open weekdays 9-5), 
is the oldest house in Greenwood. It was built before the War between 
the States. The house is occupied by Mrs. Cora Terry, granddaughter 
of the Choctaw chieftain, Greenwood Leflore, and is equipped with 
furniture and appointments from the chieftain's home, Malmaison (see 
Tour 6). Other Leflore heirlooms here are the belt and sword presented 
the chieftain by President Andrew Jackson, a silver peace medal given 
him by Pushmataha who had received it from Thomas Jefferson, a 
pamphlet containing the history of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, 
monogrammed china from Paris, Bohemian glass wine and brandy 
sets, three large volumes on Indian tribes of North America presented to 
Leflore by the United States Government, the red leather Leflore family 
Bible, a certificate of payment from the Mississippi General Land Office 
signed by President Martin Van Buren, and several invitations addressed 
to and sent from the Leflores. 

3. SUPREME INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION PLANT, 414-416 
Howard St. (open weekdays 8-4; tours), manufactures radio testing ap- 
pliances. The company has the patent on a special testing instrument 
and, as the only plant allowed to manufacture the instrument, has devel- 
oped a world trade. 

4. PLANTERS' OIL MILL GIN, East Greenwood (not open to pub- 
lic), is one of several plants that separates cotton lint from the seed, 
then bales the lint. 

5. FEDERAL COMPRESS AND WAREHOUSE, East Greenwood 
(not open to public), compresses the bales of cotton delivered by the 
gins and stores it for shipping. 

6. BUCKEYE COTTON OIL MILL, W. River Front (not open to 
public), extracts the oil from the cottonseed, making cottonseed oil, hulls, 
meal, and cakes. 

7. STAPLE COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATION WAREHOUSE, Mar- 
ket St. (open weekdays 9-5; tours), grades, stores, and markets cotton 
for association members. 

POINTS OF INTEREST IN ENVIRONS 

Malmaison, 28.2 m. (see Tour 6); Site of Fort Pemberton, 3.2 m.; Wreck of 
Star of the West, 2.4 m. (see Side Tour 7 A) . 



Gulfport 

JL 



Railroad Stations: Union Station, 2yth Ave., for Gulf & Ship Island R.R. and Louis- 
ville & Nashville R.R. 

Bus Station: 1400-24^1 Ave. for Tri-State, Teche-Greyhound lines. 
Airport: Municipal Airport, 1 m. from City Hall, bus fare 5$, taxi fare io<; time 
5 min. No scheduled service. 
Taxis: 10$ upward. 

City Bus: mo-3oth Ave., fare 5$ in city limits; hourly trips to Biloxi and Pass 
Christian. 

Traffic Regulations: Speed limit 20 mph. within business district; 30 mph. other 
districts. Limited parking only on certain side of designated streets. See signs. 

Accommodations: Six hotels; tourist camps. 

Radio Station: WGCM (1210 kc.). 
Motion Picture Houses: Two. 

Swimming: Municipal pier and bathing pavilion, West Beach; Markham Pool, 

23rd Ave.; Small Craft Harbor. 

Golf: Great Southern course, East Beach, 15 min. drive from town, or 10$ bus fare. 

Tennis: City Park, West Beach; Great Southern Hotel courts; Second St. court, 

I4oo-2nd St.; High School campus, 2oth Ave. and i5th St. 

Riding: Edgewater Gulf Hotel Stables, $1.50 per hr. 

Fishing: Deep-sea and fresh-water fishing boats and guides for hire at hotels. 

Annual Events: Annual Fox Hunters' Meet, Feb., affiliated with Southern and 

National Associations; Southern Marble Tournament, June; Gulfport Yacht Club 

Regatta, July; Mackerel Rodeo, July; City Tennis Tournaments, July, Municipal 

Tennis Courts, City Park. 

GULFPORT (19 alt., 12,547 PP-)> fronting the Gulf of Mexico and 
flanked by a line of historic towns of narrow streets and old landmarks, 
is a planned city, with no antecedents earlier than those of the 2oth cen- 
tury. Conceived by the Gulf & Ship Island Company as a model of 
unobstructed expansiveness, the old live-oaks and indigenous shrubs 
that characterize the Coast, were sacrificed to an atmosphere of wide, airy 
streets and narrow, formally planted parkways. The streets, paralleling 
the white concrete sea wall with arrow-like straightness, allow no infor- 
malities or small outcroppings of individuality to mar their directness. 
The avenues, running at right angles to the streets, are bordered by 
stiff, imported palms and are as orderly and patterned as an engineer's 
dream. 

Overlooking the Gulf, the city has greater length than depth, with 
its length centered by its harbor and business district. Beginning at the 
harbor between 22nd and 3ist Avenues, the business district bears the 
marks of two booms. The buildings of the first boom (1900-08) are 
of white brick, two and three stories high, with commodious, high- 
ceilinged interiors and dated cornices. Among them, emphasizing their 




LOADING BALES OF COTTON, GULFPORT 



outmoded appearance, tower apartments and hotels constructed dur- 
ing the boom of 1925-26. These newer buildings are of cream faced 
brick or stucco, with a suggestion of Spanish architecture in their pastel 
walls and bright tile roofs. 

Extending from the business district east and west, and separated 
from the sea wall by narrow, neutral strips of grass and sand, is Beach 
Boulevard. Along this broad street overlooking the Gulf was developed 
a residential section during the early boom; later it was made a part 
of US 90, the main artery of the Coast. The houses, all on the north 
side facing the water, express the same spirit as the earlier business 
houses in that they are roomy frame structures with elaborate trimmings 
and many wind-swept galleries. 

Northward from the boulevard is the residential section developed 
during the excitement of the second boom. A majority of the dwellings 
are compact bungalows, though a few in the subdivisions show the influ- 
ence of Spanish design. 

Fringing the sandy ridge further northward is the Negro section. 
Though there are here many aspects of the average urban Mississippi 
Negroes' district three- and four-room houses, bare yards, and small 
garden patches this section is above the average, with many of the 
homes owned by the occupants. A higher percentage of Gulfport Negroes 
are said to own their homes than in any other town in the State. These 
homes, often given undue emphasis by the drab backdrop of unkempt 



196 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

rental houses, are set on well-shaded and well-planted lawns. The Negroes 
of Gulf port comprise 25.2 percent of the population and are, for the 
most part, employed as stevedores or are fishermen. The stevedores re- 
ceive union wages and thus are able to maintain a standard of living 
somewhat higher than that of the fishermen, who, equipped with nets, 
seines, and rowboats, usually bring into the local markets a catch suffi- 
cient only for simple needs. The Gulfport school system maintains an 
accredited high school for Negro children. After graduation, a fair num- 
ber of the male children are sent out of the State to college. But unlike 
the Negroes of Natchez, only a small percentage of this educated group 
ever return to Gulfport as self-appointed missionaries to their race. 

The beginning of Gulfport can be dated exactly at May 3, 1887. On 
that day a committee of the Board of Directors of the Gulf & Ship 
Island Company, an organization formed for the purpose of building a 
railroad as an outlet for the Piney Woods, and headed by Judge W. H. 
Hardy, accepted a civil engineer's report as to the best location for the 
contemplated railroad's terminal harbor on the Mississippi Coast. By 
1891 the railroad was completed to Saucier, 20 miles north. Then the 
Union Investment Company, which held the building contract, fell into 
legal difficulties and Federal court proceedings brought construction to 
a standstill. 

Immediately after this, however, Capt. J. T. Jones of New York saw 
the potentialities in the railroad and undertook its completion. By 1902 
the entire stock of the Gulf & Ship Island R.R. had passed into his 
hands and within a few months the town of Gulfport became a city 
of 5,000 population. But the achievement found its obstacles. Yellow 
fever was an acute problem. Each summer brought a few cases of the 
plague to the Coast and with these the dreaded quarantine law. Immedi- 
ately upon the development of a case all withdrawal from the city was 
banned; railroads were required to transfer incoming passengers, and 
freight and mail were fumigated before being allowed to proceed. These 
restrictions served to isolate Gulfport, along with other Coast towns, 
from the outside world during certain seasons of the year and, conse- 
quently, to check its growth. At this time all incoming vessels were 
inspected at the Government quarantine on Ship Island (see Side Tour 
1A). By 1902, however, the cause of yellow fever was at last determined 
and the disease brought under control. In that year the personnel of 
the station was withdrawn from Ship Island and the inspection service 
established at Gulfport, the seat of Harrison, second county in the United 
States to have a Board of Health. 

The original plan of the Gulf & Ship Island R.R. was to extend the 
tracks across the 1 2-mile channel to Ship Island. This plan proved im- 
practicable, and instead of carrying it out, improvements were made on 
the Gulfport harbor, which was opened in 1902. With its completion, the 
road, built through a sparsely settled section as an outlet for lumber ship- 
ments, brought a transformation to the southern part of the State. In 
1911 Gulfport shipped more yellow pine than any other port in the 
world. 



GULFPORT 197 

Into this ready-made city, in the pre-war boom, poured a population 
from many countries. A dozen languages could be heard in a morning's 
stroll, and court proceedings were carried on largely through inter- 
preters. These folk were mostly seamen lured from their ships by high 
wages. When the lumber shipments decreased and wages became less 
attractive, they returned to the sea. But their comparatively short stay put 
a cosmopolitan mark upon the character of the town. There was no 
tradition by which to gauge values, and during this period Gulf port's 
social and political history is a story of churches and schools fighting 
against saloons and lawlessness. But due to a few events the unpro- 
voked killing of a Greek on a prominent corner, a mass Christmas night 
attack upon the small police force public sentiment crystallized against 
the wide-open character of the town. 

Shipping and lumbering brought stevedore companies and subsidiary 
industries, such as foundries, machine shops, ship chandlers, and build- 
ing trades, to the city. But in 1906 a terrific tropical storm swept the 
Piney Woods and brought the shocking realization that, figuratively, the 
city had all its eggs in one basket. Approximately a fourth of the stand- 
ing timber in south Mississippi was blown down, and by the financial 
repercussion every bank in Gulfport was tossed to the verge of insol- 
vency. Recovering from the catastrophe, a move was made to develop 
truck gardening and to interest tourist trade. 

The need for other props to the city's commercial life was made 
compelling by the exigencies of the World War. With lumber shipments 
practically at a standstill in the early years of the war, Gulfport business- 
men cast about for new sources of income. The result was the spon- 
soring of the Mississippi Centennial Exposition in 1917, partly to cele- 
brate the looth anniversary of the State's admission to the Union, but 
more to establish the Gulf Coast as a permanent exposition site for 
Mississippi products and industries, with a view of developing eventu- 
ally the millions of acres of idle land in the State. Before the exposition 
could be held, the United States entered the World War, and the build- 
ings and grounds were taken over by the Federal Government for use 
as a naval training school. 

In 1925 the Illinois Central System purchased the Gulf & Ship Island 
R.R., launching a real estate boom that continued through that year and 
much of 1926. With the collapse of the boom, Gulfport faced a crucial 
situation. The timber of the Piney Woods had been cut and never again 
would there be lumber shipments from Gulfport like those of the earlier 
period. But the years had brought a civic consciousness that united the 
citizens in a community drive to keep the city alive. Cotton, the State's 
oldest and largest industry, was sought as a new means for industrial 
growth; warehouses, compresses, and a yarn spinning mill now con- 
verted into a shirt factory were built. The climax to this development 
was the completion of a million-dollar pier and warehouse that gave 
the city shipping facilities unexcelled by any port on the Gulf. 

In the fall of 1935 the Gulfport longshoremen, participating in the 
nation-wide strike of the International Longshoremen's Association, struck 



198 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

for higher wages and union recognition. Their efforts were nullified, how- 
ever, through the failure of New Orleans longshoremen to make an effec- 
tive tie-up with them. After a month public sentiment and the city officials 
turned against the strikers, as a result of which the strike failed. The long- 
shoremen now (1938) receive union wages. 

The tourist trade as a business has gained recognition in Gulfport. 
Recreation at a seacoast playground naturally centers on bathing, sailing, 
and fishing. Stretching before Gulfport and paralleling it, Cat and Ship 
Islands, two of a series of islands, cut off from the Gulf a wide body of 
tranquil water known as the Mississippi Sound. About these islands and 
through the Sound sweep schools of game fish speckled sea trout, Span- 
ish mackerel, king mackerel, bonito, cavalla, and the king of all sporting 
fish, the silver tarpon. Here, between May and November, is the salt 
water fishermen's choice. Within an hour's ride of Gulfport the fresh- 
water fisherman can make his casts in a new stream every morning for 
a month, and in these streams fishing for bass, striped bass, channel 
bass, crappie, bream, and perch is good every day in the year. 



< < < < < -fr- 



Tour-j. 



i.qm. 



S. from 13th St. on 30th Ave. 

i. The HARBOR AND SHIP CANAL, fronting the city between 30th 
and 26th Aves., is a kaleidoscopic picture of deep blue water, broken now 
and then by the gleam of a high-leaping mullet or trout. The voices of 
Negro longshoremen mingle with the rattle of winches as cotton bales 
are swung into the holds of cargo boats; rocking skiffs scurry from the 
wake of tugs laboriously docking freighters from Liverpool, Stockholm, 
Peiping, and Bordeaux. Here and there Negro children perch precar- 
iously on a ship's spar, each with pole and fishing line, and winging 
over all are great, gray pelicans and screaming white sea gulls. The 
ship channel is marked by beacons for its seven-mile length. At its 
northern end it becomes a U-shaped turning basin for large ships; its 
east and west sides are flanked by piers. In the northwestern corner of 
the U of the basin is a seafood packing plant and, adjoining it, a small 
municipally-owned wharf; curving southward to form the west prong 
of the U is the newest pier, constructed with PWA aid. This reenforced 
slab rests on mammoth concrete and creosoted wood pilings and covers 
more than five acres on the ground floor. From Bay St. Louis to Biloxi's 
Back Bay, this pier is visible as a long low smudge jutting seaward. 



GULFPORT 199 

From the pier itself, southward through the channel separating Cat and 
Ship Islands, is a view of the squat funnels of in- and out-bound 
freighters. 

R. from 30th Ave. on W. Beach Blvd.; R. on 31st Ave. 

2. The LUTHERAN CHURCH, 3ist Ave. (L) facing i 3 th St., for- 
merly the first Presbyterian Church, is a small, gray, frame structure of 
modified Gothic architecture, built in the early 1900*5. A bronze plate 
marks the pew in which President Woodrow Wilson sat at the time of 
his visit in 1913. 

R. from 31st Ave. on 13th St. 

3. The HARDY MONUMENT, intersection of i3th St. and 25th 
Ave., is a bronze bust erected to the memory of Judge W. H. Hardy, 
who planned the city of Gulfport. The bust is the work of Leo Tolstoy, 
Jr., and was cast in the Philadelphia Art Studios of Bureau Brothers. It 
was given to Gulfport and southern Mississippi by Lamar Hardy, lawyer 
of New York City and son of Captain Hardy. 

R. from 13th St. on 25th Ave.; L. on E. Beach Blvd. 

4. The SMALL CRAFT HARBOR, E. Beach Blvd. between 25th and 
2oth Aves., is a basin 1,225 ^ eet wide, 1,500 feet long, and 10 feet deep, 
and is formed by the extension of 2oth Ave., approximately 2,750 feet 
into the Gulf. The concrete extension, 40 feet wide, has a foundation 
of earth dredged out to form the basin and is protected on the east side 
by a reenforced concrete concave-type of wall that throws the waves 
back upon themselves. On the south end of a westward angle to the 
extension is a wide oblong concrete fill that serves as a protection to the 
basin and as a foundation for the Municipal Clubhouse and Yacht Club. 
Jutting into the basin from the extension are four creosoted piling docks, 
each 450 feet long and lined with slips for boats. On the south side of 
the clubhouse are the bathing pier and beach. The site was given to the 
city by the heirs of Captain Jones; construction was completed in 1937 
with PWA aid at a cost of $350,000. 

5. UNITED STATES VETERANS' FACILITY NO. 74, E. Beach 
Blvd. (L) between Oak St. and city limits, is one of the largest under 
the Veterans Administration. Situated on grounds comprising 2,000 feet 
of beach front, the buildings follow the governmental type of hospital 
structures: rectangular, two-story brick and stucco, barrack-like utility 
buildings. Facing the Boulevard, and more ornate than the other build- 
ings, is the administration building of Spanish Mission architecture. The 
walls are sand-colored stucco on steel laths, with heavy framework con- 
struction. The health records established by Harrison County and by the 
naval training station, which occupied the grounds during the World 
War, drew the attention of Federal officials to the desirability of this 
section for a veterans' hospital. At the close of the war, the grounds 
were turned over to the Public Health Service for the establishment of 
a hospital. When the hospitalization of World War soldiers passed under 
the present board, the buildings and grounds were sold to the Govern- 
ment. Since then, Congress has made large appropriations for additional 
buildings and equipment, until the hospital has a capacity of 600 beds. 



20O MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

The hospital operates its own laundry, bakery, and heating plant, and 
receives its water supply from an artesian well. 

POINTS OF INTEREST IN ENVIRONS 

Paradise Point, 3.9 m., St. Mark's Chapel, 3J m., Gulf Park College, 3.2 m., 
Gulf Coast Military Academy, 4.9 m. (see Tour I); Ship Island, 12 m. (see 
Side Tour lA). 



Holly Springs 

J JL C/ 



Railroad Stations: 959 E. Van Dorn Ave. for Illinois Central R.R.; end of E. Van 
Dorn Ave. for St. Louis & San Francisco (Frisco) R.R. 

Bus Station: Stafford Cafe, cor. Memphis St. and Van Dorn Ave. for Dixie-Grey- 
hound Lines, Tri-State Transit Co. 
Taxis: 25$ per person within city. 

Accommodations: One hotel; tourist rooms. 
Information Service: Hotel; filling stations. 
Motion Picture Houses: Two. 

Swimming: Experiment Station, 1 m. N. on State 7; Spring Lake State Park, 8 mi. 
S. on State 7. 

Golf: Experiment Station, 1 m. N. on State 7. 

Annual Events: Field Trials, Amateur and Professional, U. S. Field Trial Course, 
10 m. SW. on Chulahoma Road, ist wk. in February; Holly Springs Garden Pil- 
grimage in spring. 

HOLLY SPRINGS (602 alt., 2,271 pop.), with its lovely old homes 
and business houses, its immense trees and boxwood hedges, gives evi- 
dence of the early culture brought to north central Mississippi by the 
turbulent but romantic times of the 1 8 30*5. Its heart is a courthouse 
square, shady, informal, with a four-faced clock in the typically Mississippi 
courthouse tower. Set back from the square along oak-shaded streets are 
homes of Georgian Colonial and Greek Revival architecture, their faded 
grandeur eloquent expression of a culture that sprang into being, flowered, 
and died with one generation. 

The trading center for a wide farming district, Holly Springs is the 
headquarters for a soil conservation unit and the shipping point for 
cotton, dairying products, and clay deposits. More than one-half of the 
population are native born white persons while approximately 48 percent 



HOLLY SPRINGS 2OI 

are Negroes. The latter, as proud as the white persons of their ancestral 
connection with the town, are almost entirely unskilled laborers or domes- 
tic servants. 

Situated near the top of a ridge along which an Indian trail once led 
from the Mississippi River to the tribal seat of the Chickasaw Nation, 
Indians stopped here to drink the waters of the great spring that bubbled 
up in the midst of a grove of holly trees. They called the place Suava- 
tooky or watering place, and according to legend their young chieftain 
Onoho with his love, a princess of a rival tribe, drowned themselves here 
to avoid separation. In 1832 the Chickasaw Nation ceded their lands to 
the United States Government, and the territory was opened to white 
men. 

The influx of white settlers was a part of the great land and cotton 
fever that pulled men westward during the two decades before the war. 
Second sons of Tidewater families, they came with the eagerness and spirit 
of adventure that characterized the Forty-niners and grew almost as 
wealthy planting cotton as the miners did panning gold. They bought 
land recklessly, worked it a year or two, then bought more. They sent to 
Virginia and the Carolinas for additional slaves to work the expanding 
and fabulously fertile tracts of land. 

William Randolph, a descendant of Virginia's famed John Randolph, 
was not the first white man to settle at the springs, but it is he who is 
credited with founding the town in 1835. An indication of the settle- 
ment's feverish growth is its incorporation as a town in 1837. In 1838 
the Holly Springs and Mississippi River Turnpike Company was chartered. 
Three years after the building of the railroad, Holly Springs was a minia- 
ture of the older Tidewater cities. Lawyers outnumbered the other pro- 
fessions, as squabbles over land grants raged and as the need for deeds 
and abstracts grew. In March 1838, one year after Holly Springs became 
a town, there were fourteen law offices, six doctor's offices, two banks, 
nine dry goods stores, five grocery stores, five churches, three hotels, and 
several private schools. Unlike other Mississippi towns, it scarcely knew 
a frontier life. In place of log cabins these second sons built mansions 
that rivalled one another in elaborate treatment and grand proportions. 
Yet these homes, while expressions of their builders, did not reveal the 
individuality of the homes built by the Natchez planters; instead, they 
re-echoed the Tidewater spirit influenced by the grandiose manner of the 
period in which they were built. 

Although land and cotton remained the backbone of the town, whose 
population jumped from 1,117 in 1840 to 5,000 in 1861, other industries 
were established. Most notable of these was the iron foundry that 
furnished iron for the Mississippi Central Railroad (now a part of the 
Illinois Central System), for the Moresque Building in New Orleans, 
fences for the gardens of Holly Springs, and cannon for the Con- 
federacy. 

During the War between the States, the town suffered 61 raids, the 
most devastating conducted by the Confederate General, Van Dorn. This 
was in 1862. Generals Grant and Sherman were launching a convergent 



202 



MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 







HOLLY SPRINGS 203 

attack upon Vicksburg, and Grant had moved his base of supplies from 
Memphis to Holly Springs. With Grant on his way to meet Sherman 
before Vicksburg, Van Dorn burst in upon the town unexpectedly, 
wrecked Grant's winter stores, and took the town for the Confederacy. 
The effect of this raid was to delay for a year the fall of Vicksburg (see 
VICKSBURG). 

Hardly had the town recovered from war and reconstruction when it 
was struck by the yellow fever epidemic of 1878, which reduced the 
population by about half. At the time the epidemic broke out in border- 
ing counties there was not a single case in Holly Springs, and authorities, 
believing the germ could not live in a high dry altitude, threw open the 
doors of the highest town in the State to fever refugees. Within a few 
months 2,000 fever victims were dead. 

Neither war nor pestilence drained the vitality of the town so steadily 
and permanently as did the rapid erosion of the land. Behind the decline 
of Holly Springs as a wealthy agrarian center was the slump of the sec- 
tion's basic industry, cotton cultivation. Year after year, planters squeezed 
the fertility from one tract of land, then discarded it to repeat the opera- 
tion on another, until at last the virgin strength of the land was gone. 
With the topsoil washed away, great gaping red gullies ate cancerously 
through the plantations, and the second generation of planters forsook 
the land for the professions. They became lawyers, doctors, ministers, and 
tradesmen, but their power was gone with their wealth. 

Concerted efforts are being made to prevent further erosion. The conser- 
vation headquarters for northern Mississippi are set up in Holly Springs, 
home of Congressman Wall Doxey, who is much interested in this work. 
Also, a comeback to industrial prominence is being attempted in other fields ; 
dairying is slowly taking the place of cotton growing, and clay deposits 
in the vicinity are being commercialized. But in spite of this new trend, 
it is the faded tapestry of ante-bellum grandeur that gives Holly Springs 
its tone today. 



KEY TO HOLLY SPRINGS MAP 

1. Methodist Church n. Coxe-Dean House 

2. Christ Church (Episcopal) 12. Bonner-Belk Home 

3. Strickland Place 13. Rust College 

4. The Freeman Place 14. Presbyterian Church 

5. Gray Gables 15. Craft-Daniel Home 

6. The Watson Building 16. The Crump Home 

7. The "College Annex" 17. Featherstone-Buchanan House 

8. The Rufus Jones House 18. The Polk Place 

9. Clapp-Fant Place 19. Walter's Place 

10. The McGowan-Crawford 20. Mason-Tucker Home 

Home 21. Waite-Bowers Place 



204 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 



Tour i.im. 



E. from Courthouse Square on Van Dorn Ave. 

1. The METHODIST CHURCH, SE. corner Van Dorn Ave. and 
Spring St., was completed in 1849. Except for the wooden spire and 
front entrance added in the iSyo's, the structure is of brick covered with 
time-grayed stucco. After the courthouse was burned by the Federals, 
court sessions were held in its basement. 

2. CHRIST CHURCH (EPISCOPAL), NW. corner Van Dorn Ave. 
and Randolph St., was built in 1858. Of Gothic Revival architecture, the 
edifice is constructed of brick covered with cream-colored stucco. The 
auditorium has delicate open beams and windows of stained glass. Facing 
the pulpit across the auditorium is a slave gallery. The lot was presented 
to the church by the county police. 

3. The WILLIAM STRICKLAND PLACE, 800 Van Dorn Ave. (open 
during Pilgrimage), is lovely but not well preserved. The date, 1828, 
found on one of its beams, is cited as proof that it was the first two-story 
house in this section. Among the old furnishings is a hand-carved rose- 
wood tester bed built to accommodate nine persons. Jefferson Davis often 
visited here, and it is said that when Van Dorn recaptured the town from 
the Federals, the owners of the home hid a Northern officer within its 
walls to repay him for having earlier prevented Federal authorities from 
making a hospital of the house. 

L. from Van Dorn Ave. on Walthall St.; R. on E. College Ave. 

4. The G. R. FREEMAN PLACE, 810 E. College Ave. (open during 
Pilgrimage), a small vine-covered frame cottage, was the home of Gen. 
Edward Cary Walthall, Mississippi's great conservative and perhaps Holly 
Springs' most distinguished citizen. Soldier, statesman, and patriot, Wal- 
thall (1831-98) was a corporation lawyer of the Tory tradition. Believ- 
ing implicitly in the Constitution and defying political experiment, he 
was a great stabilizing force during the period of reconstruction, when 
civilization in the South reached the breaking point. He never sought 
political office and seldom spoke in political campaigns, yet he was U. S. 
Senator for four terms. Paying tribute to his memory in the U. S. House 
of Representatives, John Sharp Williams spoke of him as the "last of a 
long line of Mississippians of historic type and fame." Walthall is buried 
in the Holly Springs cemetery. The house is owned by the artist, Kate 
Freeman Clark. 

5. GRAY GABLES, 871 E. College Ave. (open during Pilgrimage), 
is a twin-gable, two-story structure of stucco-covered brick. The interior 
is characterized by a delicate spiral stairway with hand-carved woodwork 
that repeats the decorative motif of the ceiling design. Openings are of 
stained Venetian glass. The house was built in 1830. 



HOLLY SPRINGS 205 

Retrace E. College Ave. 

6. The WATSON BUILDING, 601 E. College Ave., home of the 
jurist, Judge J. W. C. Watson, was built in the early 1850'$. In it Eliza- 
beth D. Watson, his daughter, established the Maury Institute, a school 
for girls. Later the school was made the Presbyterian College, and it is 
now a unit of the Mississippi Synodical College, a junior college estab- 
lished in 1883. Anna Robinson Watson, stepdaughter of Judge Watson, 
was poet laureate of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. 

R. from E. College Ave. on Randolph St. 

7. The "COLLEGE ANNEX," SE. corner E. Falconer Ave. and 
Randolph St., was the town house of Maj. Dabney Hull. Once, during the 
War between the States, Hull's nephew, Capt. Edward H. Crump, had 
tied his horse at the gate and was sitting on the veranda when he heard 
the cry, "The Yankees are coming!" Mrs. Hull called, "Quick, Ed, bring 
the horse into the parlor!" This the young soldier did, escaping the 
Northern troops while his horse pawed the parlor. The house is a part 
of the Mississippi Synodical College. 

R. from Randolph St. on E. Pale oner Ave. 

8. The RUFUS JONES HOUSE, 800 E. Falconer Ave. (private), 
built in 1857, is a handsome two-story frame structure of Greek Revival 
design. The entrance opens into a square, richly- decorated reception hall, 
flanked by rooms on three sides. The furniture and fixtures express the 
fineness of the homes of this period. 

L. from E. Falconer Ave. on Walthall St.; R. on Salem Ave. 

9. The CLAPP-FANT PLACE, 221 Salem Ave. (private), was built of 
slave-made brick in the early 1840*5 and is probably the State's finest 
example of Georgian Colonial architecture outside of Natchez. Judge 
J. W. Clapp was so careful in the building of the house that he would 
tear down half a wall, if necessary, to take out a faulty brick ; to prevent 
moisture he had charcoal placed between the outside walls. The interior 
is distinguished by a circular staircase, an oval dining room, white marble 
mantels, hand-carved cornices, and light grey rosettes centered in the 
ceiling. During a Northern raid Judge Clapp escaped capture by hiding 
in one of the hollow Corinthian columns supporting the roof of the 
front veranda. After the war Gen. A. M. West, who was twice nominated 
for the presidency of the United States, became the owner of the house. 

10. The McGOWAN-CRAWFORD HOME, 222 Salem Ave. (open 
during Pilgrimage), is a brick mansion containing parquetry floors, fine 
interior cornices, and a spiral stairway with a niche for statuary. It was 
built in the "grand manner" by Alfred Brooks as a gift to his daughter 
in 1858. 

11. The COXE-DEAN HOME, 330 Salem Ave. (open during Pil- 
grimage), designed in the manner of a Swiss chalet, was built in 1859 
by William Henry Coxe. Through the house runs a 5O-foot central hall 
with a stairway ornamented with elaborate woodwork. Materials for the 
house were brought from abroad. The house has etched glass windows, 
silver door knobs, and well preserved marble mantels. Its bathroom had 
a solid lead tub and a marble lavatory. The tub, when removed, had to 



206 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

be taken out in sections. Situated on a i2-acre lot, the house is sur- 
rounded by numerous shade trees and magnolias; forming the entrance 
to the grounds are three massive iron gates. General Grant had his head- 
quarters here when he occupied the town during the War between the 
States, and on its stairway three Confederate soldiers are said to have been 
shot as they made a dash for liberty. 

12. The BONNER-BELK HOME, 411 Salem Ave. (open during Pil- 
grimage), is a commodious Gothic Revival mansion built in 1858 by 
Dr. Charles Bonner. On spacious grounds, the house is notable for its 
ornamental windows and wrought-iron work. The outside walls are of 
four-brick and the inside walls are of three-brick thickness. The furniture 
in one of the front bedrooms was brought from France; the woodwork 
is hand-carved. Dr. Bonner's oldest daughter, Sherwood (1849-83), a 
first writer of Southern dialect stories, was born here. During the War 
between the States the place was occupied by General Ord. 

Retrace Salem Ave.; R, on Randolph St.; L. on Rust Ave. 

13. RUST COLLEGE, NE. corner Rust Ave. and N. Memphis St., 
has been one of the leading liberal arts Negro colleges of Mississippi 
since it was founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1868. The 
property value is $125,000; its equipment is valued at $15,000. The 
school is supported by the Board of Education of the M. E. Church and 
the Woman's Home Missionary Society of the same church. With an en- 
rollment of 177 students (1937), the school has an exceptionally good 
science department and is listed by the University Senate, an accrediting 
agent of the Methodist Episcopal Church. One of the oldest Negro 
schools in the State, Rust has given the Negroes of Mississippi many of 
their outstanding religious and educational leaders. 



<<<<<<<<<<< 



Tour 2- 



i.ym 



S. from Courthouse Square on S. Memphis St. 

14. PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, NW. corner S. Memphis St. and 
Gholson Ave., is a Gothic Revival structure with stained glass windows, 
of Isle de Fleur design, imported from Europe in 1858. Two lovely spiral 
stairways lead to the second floor auditorium, and paralleling these "white 
folks' stairs" are narrow flights leading to a slave gallery. Though not 
quite finished at the beginning of the War between the States, the con- 
gregation was preparing to dedicate the church when the Federal army 
arrived in 1861 and used the lower floor for a stable. 



HOLLY SPRINGS 2Oy 

R. from S. Memphis St. on Gholson Ave. 

15. The CRAFT-DANIEL HOME, SW. corner S. Memphis St. and 
Gholson Ave. (private), is one of the Holly Springs homes remaining in 
the hands of the original family. A two-story stucco house similar in de- 
sign to Mount Vernon, it is occupied by the fifth generation. 

16. The E. H. CRUMP HOME, 140 Gholson Ave. (open during Pil- 
grimage), one of the earliest homes of this section, was built entirely of 
hand-hewn timber. Of Southern Colonial style, the one-story house is well 
preserved and has the original wallpaper and furnishings. The house is 
thought to have been built in 1830 by Samuel McCorkle, first land com- 
missioner to the Indians and first banker in the county. This is the birth- 
place of E. H. Crump, Memphis political leader. 

L. from Gholson Ave. on Craft St. 

17. The FEATHERSTONE-BUCHANAN HOUSE, 290 Craft St. 
(open during Pilgrimage), was built in 1834 by Alexander McEwen. A 
white, two-story, clapboard structure, the house is of the Planter type of 
architecture; the ground floor or basement contains the living room, din- 
ing room, and servants' quarters; the second floor is given to bedrooms, 
the back ones of which are raised above hall level. The original pegs are 
in all the doors. 

1 8. The POLK PLACE, 300 Craft St. (open during Pilgrimage), joins 
the Featherstone home by an oval driveway and is similar to it in color, 
style of architecture, and floor plan. The house was built in the i83o's 
by Gen. Thomas Polk, brother of the "Fighting Bishop," Leonidas Polk, 
and kinsman of President Polk. 

R. from Craft St. on W. Chulahoma Ave. 

19. The WALTER PLACE, 331 W. Chulahoma Ave. (open during 
Pilgrimage), was begun by Col. Harvey W. Walter in 1854. This two- 
story brick house is a fine example of the more luxurious homes of the 
1850'$. The central motif of the facade is in the form of a Corinthian 
portico flanked by two battlemented octagonal corner towers. The broad, 
high central hall leads to a grand double staircase. On the east side of 
the lower floor is a large parlor containing unusually large pieces of 
furniture. In 1862 Mrs. U. S. Grant awaited her husband here, and it is 
told that when General Van Dorn raided the town she appealed to him 
to protect the privacy of her room and thus saved her husband's papers. 
In return for the courtesy, when Grant retook the town, he gave an order 
that no Federal soldier could go within a block of the place unwittingly 
making the house a rendezvous for Confederates passing through the 
town. 

Retrace W. Chulahoma Ave.; R. on Craft St. 

20. The MASON-TUCKER HOME, 601 Craft St. (private), is an 
example of the early affluence of Holly Springs. It is a fusion of the 
Georgian and Gothic Revival types, with a wide front gallery. Of especial 
interest are its double parlors, spiral staircase, iron hearth in the living 
room, and iron grille work. 

Retrace Craft St.; R. on Elder Ave.; L. on S. Market St.; R. on Ghol- 
son Ave.; L. on Spring St. 



208 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

21. The WAITE-BOWERS PLACE, NW. corner Spring St. and 
Gholson Ave., is a log house remodeled into a frame residence. Two 
Jog rooms are hidden within the house, built more than 100 years ago by 
Judge Godentia White, the first probate clerk of this county. 

POINTS OF INTEREST IN ENVIRONS 

Galena, 12.1 m., Goodman Home, 8.3 m., Austin Moore Home, 8.4 m., Martha 
Gardner Home, 8.3 m. (see Tour 9). 



Railroad Stations: Union Station, 301 E. Capitol St., for Illinois Central System, 

Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R.R., Alabama & Vicksburg R.R., and Gulf & Ship 

Island R.R. ; E. Pearl St. for Gulf, Mobile & Northern R.R. 

Bus Stations: Central Motor Coach Depot, 117 E. Pearl St., for Tri-State Transit 

Co., Varnado Bus Lines, and Thomas Bus Lines; Union Bus Depot, 118 N. Lamar 

St., for Greyhound, Dixie-Greyhound, Teche-Greyhound, and Oliver Bus Lines. 

Airport: Municipal Airport, Woodrow Wilson Ave., bet. Rozelle St. and Sunset 

Drive, for Delta Airlines and Chicago & Southern Airlines, taxi fare 20^, time 

10 min. 

Street Busses : Fare 5$. 

Taxis: Fare 10^ per person first zone, 20^ per person second zone. Cabs 25^. 

Traffic Regulations: Speed limit 20 mph. business district, 30 mph. other districts. 
No left turn at designated intersections; limited parking, i hr. between 8 a.m. and 
6 p.m., all-night parking prohibited. 

Street Arrangement: Capitol St. divides N. and S. portions of city, Parish St. divides 
E. and W. portions. 

Accommodations: Five hotels; tourist camps; boarding and rooming houses. 
Information Service: Chamber of Commerce, Lamar Life Ins. Bldg.; hotels. 

Radio Stations: WJDX (1270 kc.) ; WTJS (1310 kc.). 

Theaters and Motion Picture Houses: City Auditorium, S. Congress St.; occasional 

road shows. Six motion picture houses. 

Athletics: Y.M.CA, 303 E. Pearl St.; Y.W.C.A., 117 N. West St.; Livingston 
Park, 2918 W. Capitol St.; Millsaps College, N. West St.; professional baseball, 
Cotton States* League, State Fairgrounds, end E. Amite St. 

Swimming: Livingston Park; Y.M.C.A.; Crystal Pool, 2 m. E. out High St. near 
Pearl River. 

Tennis: Y.W.CA. ; Armory, near Fairgrounds; Millsaps College; Belhaven Col- 
lege, Belhaven St.; Livingston Park; Portwood Tennis courts, 515 N. West St. 
Golf: Jackson Country Club, 4 m. from Union Station, W. Capitol St. (US 80), 18 
holes, greens fee $1.10; Municipal Course, Livingston Park, 18 holes, greens fee 
44$. Weather permits year-round playing. 



JACKSON 209 

Riding : Robert M. Stockett Riding Academy, east end Mississippi St. ; minimum 
charge $i. 

Sheet Club: 5 m. from city, US 51, minimum charge $1.15, April i-Nov. i, Sun. 
and Wed. 

Annual Events: Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association Basketball Tournament, 
City Auditorium, Mar. ; Music Festival, City Schools, City Auditorium, no set date ; 
the Follies, Junior Auxiliary benefit for underprivileged children, City Auditorium, 
Spring; May Day Festival, City Schools, Fafrgrounds; Mississippi Championship 
Tennis Tournament, Livingston Park, second Tues. in June; Red Cross Water 
Pageant, Livingston Park, Aug. ; Mississippi State Fair, Oct. ; Junior Auxiliary Style 
Show, Edwards Hotel, Oct. ; Horse Show, sponsored by Girl Scouts, Oct. ; Feast of 
Carols, Dec. 

JACKSON * (294 alt., 48,282 pop.), spreading along a high bluff, with 
the Pearl River forming its eastern boundary, is Mississippi's largest city 
and its capital. Viewed from an upper story window of an office building 
it is an unconsolidated city of breadth and space. Nowhere is there an 
over-concentration. On the south, well-spaced civic buildings surround 
a block-long flower garden. Near the center, the Governor's mansion, 
occupying an entire block, looks out upon the business district from a 
lawn that is wide and shaded with trees. The business district, confined 
almost exclusively to Capitol Street and characterized by modern facades, 
is unbegrimed and fresh. To the north and west are the residential dis- 
tricts. The northern section contains a few examples of ante-bellum archi- 
tecture ; the western area is a heterogeneous group of bungalows and Eng- 
lish cottages. Strung along the railroad tracks northwest of the business 
district are the "heavy" industries, lumber, oil, and cotton. Forming con- 
centric ellipses around the north, west, and south edges of the city are the 
new subdivisions. Planted along the neutral grounds and in the city parks 
are more thai; 7,000 crapemyrtle trees, Jackson's loveliest natural attraction. 

In character with its position as a capital, a majority of Jackson's white 
population find employment in governmental service, either national, 
State, or county. Yet commercial and industrial employment does not lag 
far behind, for with cheap fuel and transportation facilities Jackson's 
growth is not based on government alone. Lumber, cottonseed oil, and 
textile factories have brought to it industrial solidity. 

Approximately 40 percent of the population are the Negroes who fur- 
nish the bulk of the city's unskilled labor. A majority of their families 
live in the northwest section, in three- and four-room frame houses. 
Crowded together, these houses are in clean-swept yards ; a few have gar- 
den patches at the rear. More familiar than the garden, however, is the 
clothes line upon which hangs the week's washing of some white family. 
For Jackson has not yet abandoned its washerwomen in preference to laun- 
dries, and many Negro women, who often are employed as cooks and 
nursemaids, take in washing on the side. 

Yet not all of the city's Negroes are unskilled laborers; many of the 
State's leading Negro lawyers, doctors, and educators live here. With 
homes on the opposite side of the city, these professional men maintain 
a standard of living superior to their humbler neighbors, who mow lawns, 

* A map of Jackson is on the back of the State map in pocket at end of book. 




MUNICIPAL GARDEN AND CIVIC CENTER, JACKSON 



work gardens, or do manual labor for the industrial plants. They own sub- 
stantially built homes, make themselves a part of the city's economic life, 
and follow the sophisticated trends of the white population. 

Founded and platted as the seat of government, and for 116 years the 
funnel through which all the turbulent events of the State's history have 
poured, Jackson has a background which is, in turn, murky with political 
intrigues and bright with historic associations. Its position as the demo- 
cratic heart of the State accounts for its tone and prestige ; the skyscrapers 
spaced along Capitol Street and the new outlying subdivisions are evi- 
dences of its rapid expansion on the surge of an industrial and govern- 
mental boom. For Jackson is the crossroads to which all Mississippians 
gravitate ; and in a State that is predominantly rural, it alone has the met- 
ropolitan touch. 

Jackson had its beginning as Le Fleur's Bluff, the trading post of Louis 
Le Fleur, adventurous French-Canadian who had his cabin at what is now 
the intersection of South State and Silas Brown Streets. When the Treaty 
of Doak's Stand expanded Mississippi by breaking the bounds of the 
Natchez District in 1820, the legislature decided that the capital city should 
be located near the center of the State rather than at Columbia or Wash- 
ington. From Columbia, the temporary capital, a three-member commission 
composed of General Thomas Hinds, hero of Andrew Jackson's coast cam- 



JACKSON 211 

paign against the British, William Lattimore, and James Patton made 
their way up the Pearl River to select a suitable location. Le Fleur's Bluff, 
with its extensive fertile flat to the east and rich prairie to the west, plus 
its strategic location with regard to river transportation, was the commis- 
sion's choice. In 1821, three days after Thanksgiving, the legislature ap- 
pointed Peter Van Dorn to work with Hinds and Lattimore in laying out 
the city, assisted by Abraham DeFrance, superintendent of public build- 
ings at Washington, D. C. 

The first statehouse was completed in 1821. It was a two-story building 
with outside dimensions of 30 by 40 feet, and was constructed of brick, 
clay, and limestone found in the vicinity. Shutters on each window, up- 
stairs and down, added the i9th century modern touch, and large chim- 
neys flanked each end. The first session of the legislature convened here 
in January 1822. 

The name of the newly created city was changed to Jackson in honor 
of Andrew Jackson, then the idol of Mississippi and later President of the 
United States. The area around the city became Hinds County, named for 
the chief of the capital commission who had been Old Hickory's asso- 
ciate in military campaigns in the South. The new statehouse was erected 
at the approximate center of the town site, which embraced two adjoining 
half sections of land deeded for the purpose, and which had been laid out 
on the checkerboard plan in accordance with Thomas Jefferson's sugges- 
tion to Territorial Governor Claiborne 17 years before. Each square desig- 
nated for building purposes was alternated with a square reserved as a 
park or green. Evidence of this plan remains in downtown Jackson and on 
College Green, which extends east of the New Capitol. The original boun- 
daries were the bluffs on the east, and South, West, and High Streets, the 
town including College Green, Court Green, and Capitol Green. Among 
the first settlers was Lieutenant Governor Dickson, who was appointed 
postmaster soon after his arrival. In 1823, 100 lots were offered for sale. 

Records of early Jackson were burned during the War between the 
States, but it is known that there was agitation for removal of the state- 
house. In 1829 the Senate passed a bill authorizing the removal to Clinton, 
but the measure was defeated by a tie vote in the House. In the next year 
the House voted 18 to 17 to move the capital to Port Gibson, but imme- 
diately reconsidered. The following day they voted 20 to 16 to move it to 
Vicksburg, but still no action was taken. Then, to avoid the question for a 
number of years, the constitution of 1832 designated Jackson as the capi- 
tal until 1850, when the legislature should name a permanent seat of gov- 
ernment. By 1850 Jackson was well established and the legislature made 
no change. 

The Old Capitol, though incomplete, was occupied in 1839, anc ^ the 
following year Andrew Jackson addressed the legislature here. Five years 
later, Henry Clay was entertained under its roof. In half a dozen more 
years a convention was called here to consider Clay's last compromise, that 
of 1850; and in January 1861, the building was the scene of the Secession 
Convention that severed Mississippi from the Union. 

During the 1830*5 and early 1840'$ much of the groundwork for the 




NEW CAPITOL, JACKSON 



city's future prosperity was laid, even though this was a period when the 
State's currency was rapidly depreciating from the flush times that pre- 
ceded the 1837 crash. A railroad linking Vicksburg to Jackson was begun 
in 1836. In 1837 tne Jackson & Natchez R.R. laid its first track. Through 
this Jackson became, just prior to the war, the junction of two through 
railroads, the New Orleans, Jackson & Great Northern connecting with 
the Mississippi Central to give a route from New Orleans to Jackson, Ten- 
nessee, and the Southern, which completed the road east and west from 
Vicksburg to Meridian. 

Early newspapers printed in Jackson were the Pearl River Gazette, pub- 
lished by G. B. Crutcher; the State Register, edited by Peter Isler; two 
political papers, the Flag of Our Nation and the Reformer; the State 
Rights Banner; the Mississippian, at one time the most influential paper 
in the State, published by Henry Foote and moved to Jackson from Vicks- 
burg and Clinton; and the Eastern Clarion, organized at old Paulding in 
1837, purchased by Col. J. J. Shannon in 1862, moved to Meridian until 
after the war, and then to Jackson where it is known now as the Daily 
Clarion-Ledger. 

As the capital and as a railroad center Jackson played an important part 
in Mississippi's military history during the War between the States. After 



JACKSON 213 

the Ordinance of Secession in 1861, the city remained the Confederate 
capital of Mississippi until just before it was besieged in 1863, when, 
under pressure of war, it lost its place as a seat of government until the 
spring of 1865. The siege of Jackson was closely connected with the cam- 
paign and siege of Vicksburg. When Vicksburg was attacked, Gen. Joseph 
E. Johnston collected troops at Jackson and moved them against the Fed- 
erals across the Big Black River. But his campaign was halted when Vicks- 
burg surrendered, July 4, and he was forced to retire to his entrenchments 
and base at Jackson. On July 9 General Sherman, marching across the 
State, reached the Confederate entrenchments. There was a spirited two- 
day engagement during which the Federals were repulsed, with a loss of 
about 500 men and three battle flags. Under continuous bombardment 
Johnston evacuated the city on the night of July 16, moving on toward 
Meridian, and Sherman took possession. It was then that Jackson's records 
were destroyed, for the city was gutted by fire and became known by the 
dismal sobriquet of Chimneyville. The governor's mansion, built in 1842 
and occupied by Sherman, and a few private homes were saved from the 
general destruction. In Sherman's report to Grant on July 18 he stated: 
"We have made fine progress today in the work of destruction. Jackson 
will no longer be a point of danger. The land is devastated for thirty miles 
around." 

Though retarded by the war and the fact that it kept a city government 
of carpetbaggers long after the State as a whole had restored white su- 
premacy, Jackson's growth continued during Reconstruction. In 1869 Tou- 
galoo College for Negroes, seven miles north, was founded by the Amer- 
ican Missionary Union of the Congregational Church of New York City, 
aided by Mississippi; in 1884 Jackson College for Negroes, founded in 
1877, was moved here from Natchez; in 1898 Campbell College, also for 
Negroes, was moved to Jackson from Vicksburg. The leaders of the Negro 
race developed by these schools helped Jackson to forgive the "Black and 
Tan" Constitutional Convention of 1868 under "Buzzard" Eggleston, and 
the use of troops to drive Governor Humphreys from the executive offices 
and mansion in that same year. In 1887 Jackson sponsored the Kermis 
Ball lasting three days, staged by a group of Jackson women to raise 
money for a monument to the Confederate dead. The monument, one of 
the handsomest in the South, was unveiled on the Old Capitol grounds in 
June 1891. In 1884 Jackson was the scene of Jefferson Davis's last public 
appearance. He spoke at the Old Capitol in response to an invitation of 
the legislature; and in 1890 Mississippi's greatest convention met at Jack- 
son to draw up the present State Constitution. 

Railroads continued to radiate from Jackson. In 1882 a line was com- 
pleted from Jackson to Natchez; in 1885 a line to Yazoo City; then fol- 
lowed at intervals the Gulf & Ship Island, the New Orleans & Great 
Northern down the Pearl River valley, and the Gulf, Mobile & Northern, 
running northeast. The Gulf & Ship Island meant the beginning of south 
Mississippi's lumber boom. 

Completion of the railroads and the end of the troubled days of recon- 
struction gave the city opportunity for new growth. In the first five years 



214 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

after 1900, Jackson nearly doubled its population and tripled its busi- 
ness, having a population in 1905 estimated at 15,000. In 1903 the mag- 
nificent New Capitol was completed. Millsaps College, opened by Major 
Reuben W. Millsaps in 1892, has become one of the State's leading insti- 
tutions for higher education. 

The latest period of the city's development began with the opening of 
the Jackson natural gas field in the 1930'$. With cheap fuel for factories, 
and excellent transportation facilities, Jackson began to draw industries 
other than governmental. Starting almost with the crash of 1929 and con- 
tinuing through the depression, it grew faster than any major city in the 
United States, with the possible exception of Los Angeles. The estimated 
population in 1937 was 60,000. 

It is impossible to separate Jackson's history as a city from its history as 
capital of the State. In a governmental sense, all that has happened in Mis- 
sissippi since 1822 has centered in Jackson; and today, government, in- 
cluding Federal, State, county, and city branches, is its biggest business. 



Tour izm. 



S. from Capitol St. on S. Congress St.; L. on E. Pascagoula St. 

1. HINDS COUNTY COURTHOUSE, E. Pascagoula St. (R) bet. 
S. Congress and S. President Sts., is a million-dollar four-story stone 
structure of distinctly modern design, occupying the entire square south 
of the municipal flower garden. It was erected in 1930, C. H. Lindsley, 
architect. 

2. CITY HALL, E. Pascagoula and S. President Sts., a dignified classic 
Revival structure of gray stucco over brick, was erected in 1854, probably 
by A. J. Herod. The square it occupies was originally the city's muster- 
ground and market place. By an agreement the top floor is reserved for 
certain of the city's lodges. During the war the hall was converted into a 
hospital. Janus-like, the front and rear facades are similar; but the build- 
ing is two stories on one side, three on the other. The narrow front lawn 
is shaded by oak trees. The back entrance faces the municipal flower gar- 
den. The structure is in an excellent state of preservation, and houses all 
municipal offices under Jackson's commission form of government, adopted 
in 1912. 

L. from E. Pascagoula St. on S. State St. 

3. The OLD CAPITOL, State St., facing Capitol St., is the city's most 
historic building. The architecture of the Capitol, designed in the style of 




OLD CAPITOL, JACKSON 



the Classical Revival, exemplifies the taste for classic form developed by 
Jefferson and his contemporaries during the early days of the Republic. 
Its design is based upon the abstract qualities of the classic ensemble the 
temple and rotunda. Symmetrical in plan, the simple rectangular mass of 



2l6 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

the structure is broken by the graceful lines of a pedimented central pa- 
vilion, two smaller pavilions at each end, and a gleaming silver dome. 
The central pavilion is in the form of an Ionic colonnade, rising two stor- 
ies above a high arcaded base. The dome is topped with a large circular 
lantern. The somber, gray stone walls of the exterior are somewhat re- 
lieved by the accented courses of the rusticated first story and the heavy 
lines of the classic cornice. 

Within, two long halls branch from the central rotunda. Directly oppo- 
site the vestibule is a semicircular stairway which dates only from 1916, 
and in the center of the rotunda is a statue of Jefferson Davis that for- 
merly stood on the grounds. This statue is lighted from the lantern of the 
elaborately decorated dome 50 feet above. Originally the second and third 
floors of the north wings were one, and housed the assembly and gallery. 
The third floor, however, has been extended and both floors divided into 
offices. The old rostrum and its beautifully decorated windows are yet visi- 
ble. Directly above the entrance on the second floor are the offices once 
occupied by the governors. 

In February 1833 the legislature appropriated $95,000 for the con- 
struction of the statehouse. It was not finished until 1842 and only after 
the total cost had reached $400,000. Much of the construction work was 
done by slave labor. Brick in the massive walls were burned in nearby 
kilns, and the longleaf yellow pine lumber was sawed from the then 
virgin forests of Simpson and Smith Counties and transported to Jackson 
by ox teams. Copper used in covering the dome, still in perfect preserva- 
tion, was brought by ox team from New Orleans. By 1865 repair was 
necessary and in 1903 the place was abandoned as unsafe, not to be used 
again until 1916, when it was put into its present state of repair. 

A major portion of Mississippi's early history has centered in the Old 
Capitol. Andrew Jackson in 1840 and Henry Clay in 1844 visited Missis- 
sippi and addressed the legislature within its walls. Jefferson Davis, tri- 
umphantly returning from the Mexican War at the head of his regiment 
in 1847, addressed a multitude from the second floor balcony. The Ordi- 
nance of Secession, which made Mississippi the second Confederate State, 
was enacted in the house chamber in 1861. An Irish comedian then 
playing in Jackson, Harry McCarthy, was inspired to write three verses of 
the "Bonnie Blue Flag," battle song of the Confederacy, and the flag was 
unfurled in the Secession Convention as a symbol of Mississippi's inde- 
pendence. Governor Clark was arrested in the executive offices in 1865 
and taken to the Federal prison at Fort Pulaski. Governor Humphreys was 
ejected from the executive offices in 1868 to mark the beginning of the 
carpetbag reign. Governor Adelbert Ames, last of the carpetbag governors, 
threatened with impeachment by the legislature, resigned in 1876. In 1884 
Jefferson Davis made his last public appearance here in an address to the 
State legislature. The building is used to house departments of State gov- 
ernment, including those of Education, Insurance, Health, and Agriculture. 

On the grounds south of the building is the Confederate Monument 
unveiled by Jefferson Davis Hayes, grandson of Jefferson Davis, the only 



JACKSON 217 

President of the Confederate States of America, in 1891 during the second 
Confederate Veterans Reunion. 
L. from N. State St. on Amite St. 

4. The JUDGE BRAME HOME, NW. cor. Amite and N. President 
Sts. (private), marks the center of Jackson's earliest residential section. 
The exact date of erection is unknown, but the house was standing in 1836 
and at that time was occupied by Silas Judd. For many years it was owned 
by Judge Lex Brame. It is a one-story Georgian Colonial structure, pleas- 
ing in its extreme simplicity and lack of distracting ornamentation. Dor- 
mer windows front and back, fluted classic columns supporting the roof of 
a square portico, and full-length windows are in keeping with its architec- 
tural style. Inside the house is a trap-door, which, though its significance 
is unknown, gives color to its story. During the early days of Jackson, 
State politicians used the house as a rendezvous, and it has been suggested 
that the secret door was for their convenience. 

5. The J. L. POWER HOME, 411 Amite St. (private), a wide, low- 
roofed frame structure, was built nearly a century ago within the original 
checkerboard plan of Jackson. The long gallery and ornamental grilles 
are original, but extensive improvements have been made within recent 
years. Jefferson Davis, a friend of Col. J. L. Power, was a frequent visitor. 
During the first gathering of the United Confederate Veterans in Jackson 
in 1891, all Confederate generals were entertained here. 

R. from Amite St. on N. Congress St.; L. on Mississippi St. 

6. The NEW CAPITOL, fronting on Mississippi St. (R), bet. N. Pres- 
ident and N. West Sts., is the product of a new century, a place of power 
and utility rather than of tradition. Constructed of Bedford stone and 
similar in design to the National Capitol, it stands with formal dignity on 
a high terrace. The symmetrical building, four stories in height, is sur- 
mounted by a high central dome and lantern. The lantern is topped with 
a copper eagle, covered with gold leaf. The eagle stands eight feet high 
and has a wingspread of 15 feet. 

Inside, a large central rotunda opens upward to the ceiling of the dome. 
Around the rotunda are built the wings which comprise the second, third, 
and fourth floors. On the first floor are the Museum, Hall of Fame, and 
the Archives. The Supreme Court occupies the east wing of the second 
floor, the State Library the west. On the third floor are the Senate and 
House Chambers and the Governor's suite. 

On February 21, 1900, an act of the legislature authorized the creation 
of a Statehouse Commission to supervise the building of a new Capitol, 
which was to be built on the old penitentiary grounds, at a cost or not 
more than $1,000,000. Fourteen architectural plans were submitted. That 
of Theodore Link was finally adopted and a contract for $833,179 
awarded. The Illinois Central R.R. laid a track at its own expense from 
its lines to the site to save the State time and money. The building was 
dedicated and opened for use on June 3, 1903. 

The penitentiary, which had occupied the grounds, was built in 1840, 

id during the war was used as a munitions factory until Sherman's occu- 



218 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

pation of the city. It is said that part of the penitentiary's walls, too diffi- 
cult to demolish, are buried under the man-made hill from which the 
Capitol now rises. 

The DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY AND STATE 
MUSEUM, on the ground floor (open weekdays 9-5), is one of the first 
State-supported historical departments in the United States. Since its estab- 
lishment in 1902, it has assisted actively in creating 15 State departments 
of history, and has originated the idea of a State hall of fame, adopted by 
other States. The Hall of Fame is a collection of portraits, assembled 
without cost to the State, and valued at $5,000,000. Many prominent 
Mississipians are represented there. Two of the most valuable portraits 
of the collection are the original paintings of Gov. George Poindexter by 
Benjamin West, and of David Holmes by Gilbert Stuart. The Manuscript 
Collection of the department includes the archives from 1678 to the pres- 
ent. The department's translations of European provincial archives are a 
standard source for the early history of this section. The museum has a 
fine collection of historical flags and a notable Indian display. Dr. Dunbar 
Rowland was the first director. Upon his death in December 1937, Dr. 
Wm. D. McCain was appointed to the office. 

R. from Mississippi St. on N. West St. 

7. GREENWOOD CEMETERY, N. West St. (L) bet. George and 
Davis Sts., is Jackson's first burial ground, and one of the few cemeteries 
in the South where both white and Negro dead are buried. One of the 
earliest graves is that of Gov. A. M. Scott who died in 1833. Perhaps the 
most famous monument is that at the grave of George Poindexter, Whig 
Senator. An interesting tomb is that of John R. Lynch, Negro Secretary of 
State during the carpetbag regime. Two Confederate brigadier-generals, 
four Confederate colonels, and more than 100 Confederate soldiers are 
buried in the cemetery. 

8. The CHAS. H. MANSHIP HOME, NE. cor. N. West and For- 
tification Sts. (private), has both architectural beauty and historical sig- 
nificance. Built in 1857, the one-story gray frame house preserves with 
accuracy the characteristics of Southern Colonial architecture. Beneath a 
steeply-pitched gable roof are seven spacious rooms, separated by a wide 
hall. A gallery runs the length of the house and iron balustrades are de- 
signed with a grapevine motif. Fortifications thrown up by the Confed- 
erate army extended across this lawn. On the front lawn is a Fire Bell, 
which originally belonged to Jackson's first fire company. The bell, similar 
to the Liberty Bell, is half-silver and was the only bell in the city to escape 
being melted and molded into cannon balls during the war. Instead, it was 
rung for curfew, fires, funerals, and news of battles. In 1888 it was pre- 
sented to Mr. Manship, the last survivor of the volunteer firemen. Begin- 
ning with news of the Armistice, Nov. n, 1918, the bell, removed from 
the Manship lawn to the Old Capitol, was rung continuously for 24 hours. 

FORTIFICATION STREET, extending east and west through the 
northern portion of Jackson, derives its name from the fact that Confed- 
erate fortifications were built along its course. Crossing the yard of the 
Manship home, following Congress Street south, the lines turned into 



S& ' 



** 






MANSHIP HOME, JACKSON 



what is now Fortification Street, and extended west between the Raymond 
and Clinton roads. 

9. MILLS APS COLLEGE, N. West St. (R) bet. Marshall St. and 
Woodrow Wilson Ave., is a fully-accredited, four-year, liberal arts college 
for men and women under the control of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
South. The first senior college in the State approved by the Association of 
American Universities, it has a student body of 415 and was opened in 
1892. 

R. from N. West St. on Woodrow Wilson Ave.; R. on N. State St.; 
L. on Belhaven St.; R. on Peachtree St. 

10. BELHAVEN COLLEGE, NE. cor. Peachtree and Pinehurst Sts., is 
a fully-accredited, four-year, liberal arts college for women. It was founded 
as a private school in 1894 by Dr. L. T. Fitzhugh. Since 1911 it has been 
under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church. 

Retrace Peachtree and Belhaven Sts.; L. on N. State St. 

11. MISSISSIPPI INSTITUTE FOR THE BLIND, N. State St. (R) 
bet. Manship and Fortification Sts., was founded in 1847 through the in- 
fluence of James Champlain, blind philanthropist of Sharon, Mississippi, 
and became a State institution by legislative act, March 2, 1848. The 
school's purpose is to train blind children and those with defective sight, 
between the ages of 6 and 21, who can not be educated in public schools. 

12. The MUNICIPAL CLUBHOUSE ART GALLERY, 839 N. State 
St. (open weekdays 8-6), houses a permanent collection owned by the 



220 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

Mississippi Art Association and offers special loan exhibits monthly. The 
building was a gift of Thomas Gale in 1927. Among the Mississippi 
painters represented are Marie Hull, William Woodward, William Hol- 
lingsworth, Bettie McArthur, Bessie Gary Lemly, and Karl Wolfe. Karl 
Wolfe and John McCrady are Mississippi's foremost contemporary painters. 

13. The NUGENT-SHANDS HOME, 607 N. State St. (private), ex- 
emplifies the Southern ante-bellum architecture. The wide entrance porch 
is supported by Classic columns ; double doors, outlined in side lights and 
with a transom of colored glass, lead into a wide hall. Noticeable features 
of the exterior are the three small balconies on the front, executed in deli- 
cately wrought iron. A wing at the left has its own porch and entrance, 
with railings on the upper porch similar to those of the front balcony. In- 
side, the house follows the Colonial plan of arrangement, with large rooms 
divided by a central hall both upstairs and down. It is furnished with an- 
tique furniture, some of which was brought by Colonel and Mrs. Nugent 
from Alabama in the i83o's. The original home on this site was badly 
damaged by fire and this house, a practically new structure, was built to 
encase the remnants of the old. The original flooring is still in place under 
the present covering of hardwood. 

L. from N. State St. on Amite St. 

14. BOWMAN HOTEL SITE, Amite St. (L) bet. N. State St. and 
North St., is now occupied by the Standard Oil Building. A five-story 
brick building, formerly the Eagle Hotel, it was the gathering place of the 
State's ante-bellum politicians. In 1855 Col. Alexander McClung, the 
Black Knight of the South, fulfilled the prophecy of his own melancholy 
"Invocation to Death" by committing suicide here, supposedly because of 
adverse public opinion resulting from the death of a youth in one of Mc- 
Clung's many duels. The hotel was burned by Federal troops in 1863. 

15. MISSISSIPPI STATE FAIRGROUNDS, end of Amite St., is the 
place where Mississippi's largest fair is held in October of each year. 

Retrace Amite St.; L. on N. State St.; R. on Capitol St. 

16. SITE OF FIRST STATEHOUSE, NE. cor. Capitol and President 
Sts., is marked by a tablet on the side of the Baptist Bookstore building. 

17. The GOVERNOR'S MANSION, Capitol St. (R) bet. N. Congress 
and N. West Sts. is situated amid a grove of trees at Jackson's busiest cor- 
ner. The design of the building was intended to "avoid a profusion of 
ornaments and adhere to republican simplicity as best comporting with the 
dignity of the State." Appropriation of funds for the mansion was made 
in 1833, but construction was not begun until later, and the building was 
not completed until 1842. Its first occupant was Governor Tucker, al- 
though it is claimed that Governor McNutt occupied it temporarily during 
construction. The long list of governors it housed has given it personality, 
and the admirable arrangement of the lower floor makes it well suited for 
the occasional receptions that are highlights of Jackson's political society. 
In 1908 the building was repaired under the supervision of William Hud, 
and a new wing added on its center axis. As it stands today, however, it 
is almost indistinguishable from the original structure designed by Wil- 
liam Nichols. 



HP* 






GOVERNOR'S MANSION, JACKSON 



R. from Capitol St. on N. Parish St. 

PARISH STREET is the spinal cord of the Negro business district. 
Though a great many Negroes patronize the cheaper stores maintained by 
white owners, a large part of their trading is done in their own section. 
On Saturday nights this street, swarming with shoppers and pleasure seek- 
ers, has a carnival atmosphere. The shingles of Jackson's Negro lawyers 
and doctors compete with lodge signs such as "The Sons and Daughters 
of the I Will Arise Society." Gallery space is reserved for Negroes at the 
civic auditorium for all public performances, but the number who attend 
is negligible ; the Negro's social life, for the most part, is confined to the 
picture shows, dance halls, and pool rooms on or near this street. 

Retrace N. Parish St.; R. on Capitol St.; L. on 5". Gallatin; R. on 

Hooker St.; L. on Terry Rd.; L. on Porter St. 

18. BATTLEFIELD PARK (R), formerly known as Winter Woods, 
includes 5.5 acres of natural woods in which tall oaks and slender pines 
predominate. Here nature has been left almost undisturbed since the days 
when Confederate troops abandoned their fortifications on this site. Parts 
of the trenches remain, and several cannon are on the ground. The woods 
form a children's playground maintained by the city. 

Retrace Porter St.; R. on Terry Rd.; L. on Poindexter St.; L. on 
Lynch St. 

19. CAMPBELL COLLEGE, W. end of Lynch St., is one of the two 
Negro schools in the State supported by Negroes. The school, composed 



222 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

of two brick buildings three stories in height and several frame buildings, 
including the residence of the president, is affiliated with the African 
Methodist Episcopal Church. It has a high school department and offers a 
four-year college course leading to the Bachelor of Science degree. Con- 
nected with the school on the west are 36 acres which are farmed by stu- 
dents to help pay their tuition fee. The guiding hand behind the school is 
the native Mississippi Negro, Bishop S. L. Greene of the African Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church. The school, founded in 1885, has an enrollment 
of approximately 417 students. 

Retrace Lynch St.; L. on S. Gallatin St.; L. on W. Capitol St. 

20. The DEAF AND DUMB INSTITUTE, Capitol St. (R) bet. S. 
Green Ave. and Magnolia St., was erected in 1904 and is training 275 
boys and girls of both races to overcome their handicaps. The State's first 
deaf and dumb institute was established in 1854, but its buildings were 
destroyed during the war. 

21. LIVINGSTON PARK, 2918 Capitol St., comprises 79 acres of 
landscaped rolling park on which are a municipal i8-hole golf course, an 
artificial lake, tennis courts, pavilion, and a zoo. The lake, used for swim- 
ming during the summer months, is chlorinated twice daily. The 200 and 
bird sanctuary are the outgrowth of a pet animal collection begun by the 
Jackson Fire Department. 

POINTS OF INTEREST IN ENVIRONS 

Insane Hospital, 7.9 m., Lakewood Cemetery, 12.2 m., Mississippi College, 14.9 m., 
Hillman College, 15 m., Rankin County Natural Gas Fields, 2 m. (see Tour 2) ; 
Radio Station, 7.4 m., Tougaloo College, 8.9 m. (see Tour 5, Sec. a). 



Railroad Stations: Maple and Oak Sts. for New Orleans & Northeastern R.R.; Cen- 
tral Ave. and Walters Ave. for Gulf, Mobile & Northern R.R. ; Central Ave. and 
Commerce St. for Gulf & Ship Island R.R. 

Bus Station: Central Ave. and Commerce St. for Teche-Greyhound, Tri-State Transit 
Co., Gulf Transport Co. 
Local Busses: Fare 5$. 
Taxis: Intra-city rates 10^. 

Information Service: Chamber of Commerce, Civic Center, Ellisville Blvd. 
Accommodations: Two hotels, tourist camps. 

Radio Station: WAML (1310 kc.). 
Motion Picture Houses: Three. 



LAUREL 223 

Athletics: Baseball Park, Beacon and Royal Sts.; Civic Center, Ellisville Blvd. 

Swimming: Municipal Pool, Daphne Park, 6th St. and loth Ave., adm. 25^ and 

15$; Freeman's Amusement Park, Washington Road. 

Tennis: Daphne Park; Y.M.C.A. 

Golf: Laurel Country Club, i m. W. on US 84, reasonable greens fee. 

Annual Events: Garden Club Festival, April. 

LAUREL (243 alt., 18,017 pop.), seat of Jones County and situated on 
the northeastern edge of the vast yellow pine forests of southeastern Mis- 
sissippi, is a new city. When Newt Knight and his followers were organiz- 
ing a "Free State of Jones" and waging a private battle against Confeder- 
ate troops in the i86o's, the site of Laurel was a gallberry flat separating 
two grassy ridges. Hence its story is not, like that of many Mississippi 
towns, richly flavored with the essence of the ante-bellum South, but re- 
veals in a few fast-moving chapters a swift transition from forest through 
lumber camp to a stable industrial city in the course of fifty years. 

Laurel dates from 1881, when the Southern Railroad, pushing north- 
eastward, laid its course directly through the heart of Mississippi's great 
belt of virgin pine timber. In that year two sawmill men, Kamper and 
Louin, followed the tracks to a point which they considered the center of 
the forest. Here they built a sawmill and a railroad station, which they 
named for the flowering laurel shrubs, so abundant among the pines, and 
so soon exterminated because they were poisonous to livestock. Kamper 
and Louin had but one purpose, to cut as much timber as possible to keep 
their mill supplied. The settlement, therefore, became a typical Piney 
Woods lumber camp, rowdy in character and forlorn in appearance. The 
pines about the camp were considered a menace in windy weather, so they, 
too, were cut down, leaving the few cabins and mill in the midst of a half- 
mile strip of gaunt, girdled trees and stumps. 

When, in 1891, the sawmill passed into the possession of the Eastman- 
Gardiner Lumber Company a new regime began. Laurel was transformed 
from the spirited child of the Piney Woods into a pampered ward of east- 
ern capital. The first earnings of the mill were used to build a school, and 
mill hands were encouraged to buy property and build permanent homes. 
Soon a row of neat frame houses with picket fences and gardened lawns 
replaced the box-car cabins. Tough-fibered lumberjacks, whose previous ex- 
perience with music had been bawdy songs around the campfire or a hymn 
sung lustily in church on Sunday, made down payments on pianos for their 
children's music lessons. And, as if to retract the injustice to the flowering 
shrub for which the town was named, the first garden club in the State was 
organized. When Laurel was incorporated, only the crooked narrow down- 
town streets that followed the cowpaths of the first-comers bore resem- 
blance to the mill camp from which it had sprung. 

Yet it was not until the Gulf & Ship Island R.R. was completed through 
Hattiesburg to Jackson, with a branch line to Laurel, and the opening of the 
harbor at Gulfport in 1902 that the town's real prosperity began. The East- 
man-Gardiner Co. grew wealthy, and spent part of its money in playing 
godfather to the town it had fostered. Asphalt streets were laid among the 
pines; squares were developed into parks; and schools and churches re- 





PULPWOOD READY FOR PROCESSING, LAUREL 



fleeted the lavish expenditure of money, the latter in Gothic architecture, 
stained glass windows, and ivy-covered brick walls. In character with the 
fact that the early mill hands had spent their first pay checks for second- 
hand pianos, the first and only art museum in the State was established. 

Continuing the development of the cultural side of Laurel to the large 
percent of the population who were employed as unskilled laborers by the 
mills, white families fostered a movement for an adequate school for Ne- 
gro children. Prof. J. E. Johnson, educational leader of his race and prin- 
cipal of Prentiss Normal and Industrial Institute, was brought to Laurel to 
help Sandy T. Gavins, then leading Negro teacher at Laurel, in directing 
the work for founding the school. The drive resulted not only in the Oak. 
Park Vocational School, which is one of the best Negro high schools in the 
State, but later in a $35,000 grammar school building for Negroes. Both 
schools are now a part of the city school system. As part of this program, 
The Leader, founded in 1897, continues to be one of the State's two news- 
papers carrying a column on Negro activities. 

While other lumber towns despoiled themselves by cutting all the tim- 
ber, Laurel created a permanent community. As the timber that fed its 
mills was cut, the mill hands were urged to buy the cutover land and, with 
homesteads of their own, to farm in their off time. So with this two-way 
means of livelihood for its citizens, the city developed a stability which 
not even the crash of the yellow pine industry in the late 1920*5 could 
shatter. After the World War, when other towns of the Piney Woods sec- 



LAUREL 225 

tion reached the nadir of their fortunes, the same foresight which had 
made the mill hands buy farms prompted the development of industries to 
take the sawmills' place. A reforestation program was inaugurated to off- 
set the former profligate tree cutting, and a balanced industrial program 
was given serious trial. Laurel is apparently on its way to a happy mean 
between the land and the machine. Its cultural side has developed with its 
industrial side, and this pattern of 2oth century culture impressed upon it 
by its foster parents is its dominant feature. 

POINTS OF INTEREST 

1. The MASONITE PLANT, NE. cor. S. 4th Ave. and Johnson St. 
(open weekdays 8-4; tours), is the largest single manufacturing plant in 
Mississippi, and the only plant of its kind in the United States. The plant 
buys second growth pine as small as two inches in diameter, chews it into 
small chips, then explodes the chips into fibre from which the Masonite 
process fashions a trade-marked fibre board. This board has more than 300 
uses, ranging from panel ceilings to children's toys; from concrete forms 
to radio cabinets ; and is exported to more than 30 foreign countries. 

2. The SWEET POTATO STARCH PLANT, end of S. 4 th Ave. 
(open iveekdays 8-4; tours), manufacturing starch to supplement that pro- 
duced by the cereal starch industry, is the only plant of its kind in the 
country, and it annually supplies a domestic market with 420,000 
pounds of starch. The factory, which is in an abandoned sawmill, began 
operation in 1934 as a result of a FERA project to assist the people of 
south Mississippi. In that year, $150,000 was allotted for the construction, 
equipment, and operation, on a commercial scale, of a plant that would 
provide not only emergency relief work but a market for sweet potatoes 
the farmers produce. The Laurel plant, with a capacity of 200,000 bushels 
and 2,000,000 pounds of starch per loo-day season, has been deeded to 
the Mississippi Agricultural Experiment Station, and leased to a self-help 
cooperative organization of farmers, at least 51 percent of whom are be- 
ing rehabilitated. The plant pays the farmer a minimum of 20 cents a 
bushel for culls, at the same time competing adequately with imported 
white potato starch. 

3. The MAYHEW CANNING PLANT, Commerce St. bet. 6th and 
yth Aves. (open weekdays 8-4; tours), encourages diversified farming on 
the cutover timber lands. Corn, beans, and cucumbers are packed here, en- 
abling the farmer to grow at least three profitable crops from his land each 
year. 

4. The LAUREN ROGERS LIBRARY and MUSEUM OF ART, 5 th 
Ave. and yth St. (open weekdays 10-5 ; Sat. 7-9 p. m.; Sun. 3-6), grew 
out of the Eastman Memorial Foundation, established by Lauren Chase 
Eastman, lumberman of Eastman-Gardiner Co., in memory of his grand- 
son, Lauren Rogers. It houses the State's only art museum. The building is 
of Southern Colonial architecture with a broad front portico having slen- 
der, coupled columns. The iron grille work, gates, and railings are the 
work of Samuel Yellin of Philadelphia. The paintings in the gallery are 








ART MUSEUM AND LIBRARY, LAUREL 



by such artists as Reynolds, Rousseau, Constable, Inness Millet, and Whis 
tier Exhibits in the museum include a collection of baskets from all part 
of the world; statuary by Anna Hyatt, Herman McNeil, Jeanette Scuddei 
and Ary Bitter; Chinese, Japanese, and Persian pottery; English, Amen 



MERIDIAN 227 

can, and Flemish tapestries ; and antique furniture of different periods. In 
addition to the Memorial Library the building houses the circulating li- 
brary of the Laurel Library Association. 

5. The CITY PARK, bet. yth and loth Sts. and 8th and loth Aves., is 
the beauty spot of Laurel. It is landscaped and has an attractive artificial 
lake with mimosa bushes along the shore. 

POINTS OF INTEREST IN ENVIRONS 

Bogue Homo Indian Reservation, 12.1 m. (see Tour 8); Big Creek Baptist 
Church, 12.6 m.; Buffalo Hill, 12.6 m.; Laurel Country Club, 2.6 m. (see Tour 
11). 



Railroad Stations: Union Station, Front St. and i9th Ave., for Mobile & Ohio R.R., 

Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R.R., and Southern R.R. ; 22nd Ave. and D St., for 

Gulf, Mobile & Northern R.R. 

Bus Station: Union Station, 2306 6th St., for Tri-State Transit Co., Teche-Grey- 

hound, Magnolia Motor, and Capital Motor Lines. 

Local Busses: Intra-city, 5^ per person. 

Taxis: Intra-city, 10^ per person. 

Airport: Key Field, 2 m. SW. of city on US n, for Delta Airlines, taxi fare 15^, 

time 10 min. 

Traffic Regulations: Speed limit 30 mph. Turns may be made in either direction at 
intersections of all streets except where lights direct otherwise. Parking limitations 
marked in yellow on pavement. 

Street order and numbering: Streets run east and west, avenues north and south. 
Front (3rd) St. parallel to and north of railroad starts numbering at 100. 

Information Service: Chamber of Commerce, Threefoot Building, NW. cor. 22nd 
Ave. and 6th St. 

Accommodations: Four hotels; five tourist camps. 

Radio Station: WCOC (880 kc.). 

Motion Picture Houses: Three. 

Golf: Northwood Country Club, Magnolia Drive, 2 m. N., moderate greens fee; 

Meridian Country Club, 4.5 m. N. on Poplar Springs Drive, moderate greens fee. 

Swimming: Municipal Pool, Highland Park, 38th Ave. and i6th St. 

Tennis: Municipal courts, Highland Park. 

Riding: Massey Academy, Highland Park. 

Annual Events: Mississippi Fair and Dairy Show, first wk. in Oct.; Confederate 
Memorial Day, April 26th at courthouse and Rose Hill Cemetery; Intercollegiate 
Athletic Association Event, Stadium, Magnolia Drive, Thanksgiving Day. 



228 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

MERIDIAN (341 alt., 31,954 pop.), Mississippi's second largest city, lies 
among the most southerly of the Appalachian foothills, a region char- 
acterized by heavy forests and outcroppings of buff-colored limestone. In 
harmony with the surrounding hills, native rock is used for building 
material, and elms and live-oaks like giant grenadiers line the walks. Yet 
it is a railroad and industrial town, and as such has its shops and districts 
where the poorer workmen live. 

Laid out with singular lack of design, Meridian, viewed from the air, is 
like a vast spider web with a multitude of streets intersecting at curious 
angles and coming to abrupt endings. Cutting through the web near its 
center are numerous railroad tracks, dividing the business section from 
the industrial district. At the heart of the web is the city's most salient 
piece of architecture, the Threefoot Building. The only skyscraper in 
Meridian, this building rises 17 stories, its brightly decorated tower 
dwarfing the buildings dotted below. The southern and eastern boundaries 
of the city are arched by the humped ridges of the foothills, known locally 
as Mount Barton. This is Meridian's playground, with stone and log 
cabins, lodges, and fishing camps stuck along the rugged slopes. Between 
the mountain and the city proper are the mill districts, Southside and 
Tuxedo, where a great part of the city's laboring class lives in two- and 
three-room rented houses. The wealth of the city's merchant class expresses 
itself in attractive residential suburbs fringing north Meridian. Every 
architectural style is being tried here, with the English cottage and manor 
house of native limestone the most conspicuous. The rugged topography 
of this section lends itself to both sunken and rock gardens, and the 
charming effects created with stone and flora are noteworthy. 

In 1831 Richard McLemore migrated from South Carolina to clear a 
plantation on the present site of Meridian. Soon he was offering free land 
to settlers who he thought would make desirable neighbors. In 1854, 
when Mississippi's pre-war railroad building was nearing its climax, plans 
were made for the Vicksburg & Montgomery R.R. (Alabama & Vicks- 
burg) to cross the Mobile & Ohio line. The former was to cross the State 
east and west, the latter to follow close to the eastern boundary from 
north to south; their junction was to be on McLemore' s plantation. Mc- 
Lemore sold his plantation to L. A. Ragsdale and J. T. Ball, pioneer rail- 
road men, and they immediately built the one-room, red and yellow 
"union station." But it was not until 1861, one year after Meridian had 
been incorporated as a town, that the Vicksburg & Montgomery train ar- 
rived from Vicksburg. 

Other railroads became interested in the junction which, though small, 
quickly assumed the air of an important railroad center. But this attitude 
of suddenly acquired importance made the future city's first year extremely 
difficult. The farmers who lived on the plantation before the railroads 
were built pridefully considered themselves the junction's first citizens; 
the families who came in with the railroads boasted that they were build- 
ing the town, and, with the pride of achievement, assumed the rank of 
leaders. The contest between farmer and mechanic was intensified when 
one of the two city fathers, believing the word "meridian" to be synon- 




TEXTILE MILL, MERIDIAN 



ymous with junction, determined on that name for the village, while the 
other, supported by the farmer families, chose "Sowashee" (Ind., mad 
river), name of the nearby creek. Each morning the first would nail up the 
sign "Meridian," and each night the second would tear it down to make way 
for his own "Sowashee." Instead of compromising, the two fathers selected 
different plans for laying out the city streets. One day one of them would 
drive stakes in line with his plan. The next day the other would pull up 
his rival's stakes and drive some of his own. It was a struggle that has 
affected the city to this day. For even though the continued development 
of the railroads and the consequent influx of railroad workers overruled 
contrary opinion and left "Meridian" on the union station permanently, 
the confused plans for laying out the city have given Meridian the appear- 
ance of having been formed by some giant who playfully gathered up a 
handful of triangles and dropped them at the junction of two railroads. 
Railroads with their noisy shops, and trains with their screaming 
whistles and their engines puffing steam and smoke, changed the quiet 
plantation life in Meridian to one of excitement. Government mail con- 
tracts, the lifeblood of the early railroads, were awarded to the trains that 
could make the fastest time, and were determined by racing these trains 
from one terminal to another. In 1883 the Louisville & Nashville's crack 
train left Cincinnati on the dot with the Queen & Crescent, both bound 
for New Orleans. Excitement ran high, especially at Meridian where the 
Queen & Crescent changed engines. The latter train steamed into New 
Orleans eight hours ahead of its rival and established the fastest time 
then on record. A few years later the Meridian shops despatched a special 
train to Lumberton to carry a physician on an emergency call. This train 
covered the 112 miles between Meridian and Lumberton in exactly 112 
minutes, and set a new record. Once a month Meridian's railroad men 



230 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

went to the banks of Sowashee Creek to enjoy a beer party and poker 
game. But the pride of the shops was the old wrecker car that had been 
reconditioned as a sort of restaurant and bar and was presided over by a 
Negro named "Bob," the best cook in east Mississippi. The wrecker held 
open house each day in the week and when the higher officials visited 
Meridian it was to the wrecker they went to order one of "Black Bob's" 
specials. 

When the War between the States began, Meridian, with a population 
of about 100, was made a Confederate military camp and division head- 
quarters. Troops were stationed here and arsenals and cantonments were 
built. In 1863 the State records were moved here for safekeeping, and for 
one month the town was the State's capital. In February 1864, General 
Sherman's troops, marching across the State from Jackson, entered the 
town. Several days later Sherman made his official report: "For five days, 
10,000 men worked hard with a will in that work of destruction with axes, 
crowbars, sledges, clawbars, and fire, and I have no hesitation in pro- 
nouncing the work well done. Meridian ... no longer exists." 

Rebuilt after the war, Meridian, as a railroad center, grew rapidly, be- 
coming a magnet that attracted a rabble of adventurers who came into 
the State seeking to share in the spoils of radical reconstruction. In 1871 
a riot prominent in Mississippi's reconstruction history took place when 
one of several Negroes on trial for urging mob violence shot the presiding 
judge. A party of whites who were interested in the trial immediately 
formed a mob, killed between 25 and 30 Negroes, and burned a Negro 
school. This riot was followed by a yellow fever epidemic in 1878, which 
almost depopulated the town, and in 1906 a cyclone struck the city with 
considerable damage to life and property. 

But Meridian survived these disasters and again achieved prominence 
as a railroad center. By the end of the century, however, manufacturing 
was competing with railroading for first place. A cotton mill established 
late in 1890 was the initial effort. In 1913 the commission form of gov- 
ernment was adopted, and under the guidance of a mayor and two com- 
missioners 90 industrial plants, including a large shirt and garment 
factory and three hosiery mills, have been established. These industries 
have done much to modify the city's railroad tone and have brought into 
it a new type of labor, the farm boy and girl. Drawn from the farms and 
villages of the environs by the attractions of city life these young people 
have been swallowed up by the factory system. A few commute daily 
from their homes to the factory, but the majority find cheap lodgings in 
the city's Southside. To the Negroes, who make up 35 percent of Meri- 
dian's population, fall the jobs requiring unskilled labor. They are used 
especially in sawmills, cottonseed oil mills, and gins, where strength and 
hardiness are requisite. As in most southern cities, the servant class is ex- 
clusively Negro, and, though Meridian is well dotted with Negro districts 
composed of one- and two-room rented cabins with tiny dirt plot yards, a 
few white people maintain servants' quarters in the rear of their homes for 
their cooks, nurses, or chauffeurs. 

Not until recent years did agriculture attempt to regain the prestige it 



MERIDIAN 231 

early lost to railroading and manufacturing. With the encouragement of 
diversified farming, stock, and poultry raising in the surrounding country, 
Meridian has gained recognition as an important market for vegetables, 
fruit, poultry, and livestock. With a view to building up the livestock in- 
dustry of the county, the Meridian Union Stockyards were established in 
1935. This plant occupies 14 acres of a triangle bounded by the tracks of 
the Southern, Mobile & Ohio, Illinois Central, and Gulf, Mobile & 
Northern railroads, and its buildings and pens accommodate approximately 
5,000 head of stock. This is the State's largest stockyard. 

Second to agriculture in importance is the lumber industry. Given a 
fresh impetus by the maturity of second growth stands of timber, six 
large and numerous small lumber mills operate full time, cutting pine tim- 
ber. One company, the only hardwood mill in the city, cuts a daily average 
of 35,000 feet of gum, oak, poplar, ash, hickory, and magnolia. 



Tour- 



iom. 



N. from the World War Monument on 23rd Ave. 

1. SCOTTISH RITE CATHEDRAL, NW. corner 23rd Ave. and nth 
St., is based upon the design of the Temple of Isis at Philae, Egypt. The 
two-story structure is built of brick and concrete, faced with native Bowling 
Green limestone and ornamented with polychrome terra cotta. The sym- 
bols on the terra cotta decorations of the fagade, as well as the obelisks, are 
typically Egyptian; on each side of the long flight of steps leading to the 
entrance are buttresses with a Sphinx and obelisk on each, the four sides 
of the obelisk being cut with Egyptian characters. The two massive round 
columns surmounting the steps are conspicuous for their bell-shaped capi- 
tals as well as for their monumental proportions. The interior contains 
banquet hall, ballroom, pool room, library, offices, assembly room, organ 
room, and kitchen. Striking and colorful Egyptian designs cover the walls 
of the foyer. 

R. from 23rd Ave. on llth St.; R. on 18th Ave. 

2. McLEMORE HOUSE, 1009 i8th Ave. (private), is built around 
the original log home of Richard McLemore, the town's first settler. The 
present house is a mixed style of architecture and the original design of 
the McLemore house, built in 1837, has been obliterated. The site, how- 
ever, is interesting as a landmark of the town's birthplace. 

R. from 18th Ave. on 4th St. 

3. The SOULE STEAM FEED WORKS, NE. corner 4th St. and 19* 



232 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

Ave. (open by permission), is a machine shop and foundry with interna- 
tional distribution. Organized in 1893, it manufactures sawmill and oil 
well machinery, and forges cast and wrought iron and brass products. 
L. from 4th St. on 22nd Ave. 

4. MERIDIAN GARMENT FACTORY, 22nd Ave. S. between B and 
C Sts. (open weekdays 8-4; tours), is a square, two-story building of con- 
crete and structural steel. The outside walls are broken by 11,500 window 
lights framed by projected steel sashes. The central hall is reached by five 
entrances, each with fire-latch doors. The interior columns and floors are 
of hardwood. The first floor is divided into offices, laundry, and shipping 
department; on the second floor are cutting, sewing, and first-aid rooms. 
Employing between 500 and 600 operators, this factory produces approx- 
imately 900 dozen shirts a day. 

5. HAMM LUMBER MILL, 22nd Ave. S. (open weekdays 9-5; tours), 
began operation in 1917 to plane and process hardwood timber. Cutting 
hardwood exclusively, it has a daily capacity of 40,000 feet, and employs 
approximately 60 persons. 

Retrace 22nd Ave. ; L. on A St. 

6. MERIDIAN GRAIN ELEVATOR PLANT, A St. between Rubush 
and Grand Aves. (open weekdays 8-4; guides), is the only milling plant 
in the State using the de-germinator method of manufacturing grits and 
cream meal, and the only one requiring a health certificate semiannually 
from its employees. Surrounded by a forest of elevators, 22 of which are 
used in making grits, this plant can mill 300 bushels of corn per hour. 
Because of the uniformity required in the grain, the corn used is shipped 
in from the Corn Belt. In general, the season for making meal starts in 
January and extends through September; for grits, the season is from 
September through May. 

L. from A St. on Rubush Ave.; R. on B St.; R. on 31st Ave. 

7. SWIFT & COMPANY OIL MILL, 3ist Ave. at railroad tracks, 
(open by permission), is housed in two adjoining buildings, each con- 
structed of sheet iron and two stories high. The company manufactures 
cottonseed oil with its byproducts, hulls, meal, and cotton linters. 

8. The J. H. GARY HOUSE, 905 3ist Ave. (private), in a somber set- 
ting of magnolia trees, is a white, two-story frame house with a broad 
gallery and classic columns. Similar columns uphold a porte-cochere at 
one side. The single story ell, which extends to the rear, was the head- 
quarters of Gen. Leonidas Polk, Commander of the Confederate troops 
stationed in Meridian. 

Retrace 31st Ave.; R. on 7th St. 

9. In ROSE HILL CEMETERY, 7 th St. and 4 oth Ave., is GYPSY 
QUEEN'S GRAVE. In a concrete vault armored with steel, is the burial 
place of the wife of Emil Mitchell, King of all gypsies in the United 
States. The Queen, Kelly Mitchell, who died in 1915 in Lititia, Ala., 
was buried here in her Romany dress strung with gold coins dating back to 
1750. Until the King's remarriage gypsies from all parts of the country 
made periodic pilgrimages here. 

Retrace 7th St.; L. on 38th Ave.; L. on 16 St. 



NATCHEZ 233 

10. The ARBORETUM, Highland Park, intersection of i6th St. and 
38th Ave. (R), displays native shrubs, ferns, and wild flowers in a natural 
setting. 

R. from 16th St. on the Asylum Road, graveled, to 20th St. 

11. The EAST MISSISSIPPI INSANE HOSPITAL, entrance L. (visit- 
ing hours 9-30-4:30 daily), was constructed in 1882. The buildings, half 
hidden in a great grove of trees and reached by a circular drive, are 
grouped about the administration building, which is constructed of brick, 
four stories high, and designed in the form of an E. The majority of the 
smaller buildings also are of brick and have more the appearance of large 
gingerbread style houses than of institutional designs. The landscaped 
grounds are one of the showplaces of Meridian. The hospital, with land, 
buildings, and equipment, is valued at $814,457. There are approximately 
850 patients at the institution; the average yearly cost per patient is about 
$258. 

POINTS OF INTEREST IN ENVIRONS 

U. S. Horticultural Experiment Station, 3-5 m. (see Tour 4) ; Grave of Sam Dale, 
pioneer scout and soldier, 19.2 m. (see Side Tour 4B). 



Railroad Stations: Broadway, near river, for Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R.R. ; Union 

Station, 212 Washington St., for Mississippi Central R.R., Missouri Pacific R.R., and 

Natchez & Southern R.R. 

Bus Stations: Union Station, 515 Main St., for Teche-Greyhound, Tri-State Transit 

Co., and Interurban Transportation, Inc.; Missouri Pacific Branch Office and Bus 

Station, 107 N. Commerce St., for Bobs Bus Line and Parsons Bus Line. 

Ferry: The Royal Route. Landing on Silver St. and Mississippi River. Fare lotf per 

person, 50^ and up for car and driver depending on weight of car. 

Airport: One mile east of city limits on Liberty Rd., taxi fare 50$, time 15 min. 

No scheduled service. 

Taxis: Fare 15$ per passenger within city limits. 

Traffic Regulations: Speed limit 15 mph. East and west traffic has right-of-way. All 
turns on green lights on congested streets. See signs on less important streets. One 
hour parking in business section. All night parking prohibited. 
Street Arrangement: Main St. divides the city into N. and S. sections. 

Accommodations: Four hotels; boarding houses; tourist homes and rooming places. 
Rates higher during Pilgrimage Weeks. 

Information Service: Garden Club Headquarters at Ellicott's Inn, 215 N. Canal St.; 
Natchez Association of Commerce, 403 Franklin St.; Natchez Democrat, 106-108 
S. Pearl St.; all filling stations and hotels. 



234 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 




NATCHEZ 



235 



NATCHEZ 

Federal Writers' Project 1937 



Z\' 

Z3 




236 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

Motion Picture Houses: Three. 

Swimming: Carpenter School, No. 2; Elks Pool; Crystal Pool, Washington Rd., 

5 m. E. ; Beverly Beach, 10 m. S. on Lower Woodville Rd.; Cool Coosa, 12 m. 

across Mississippi River in Lake St. John, La. 

Tennis: Duncan Memorial Park, eastern limits of city i block N. from Homochitto 

St. ; high school athletic field, Homochitto St. ; Cathedral grounds, S. Union St. 

Golf: Duncan Memorial Park, all year-round playing reasonable greens fee. 

Skeet Club: On US 61, i m. N., April ist to Nov. ist, Sundays. 

Annual Events: Pilgrimages to old estates, in March, ist wk. in April; American 
Legion Fall Fair, held on Broadway, facing the Mississippi River, no definite date. 

NATCHEZ (202 alt., 13,422 pop.), overlooking the Mississippi River 
from a series of lofty, alluvial bluffs, conscientiously presents its age in the 
appearance of its low-roofed, time-worn buildings and in what its people 
say and do. It is one of the earliest white settlements in the State, and was 
at one time the center of ante-bellum culture. Its people, its buildings, its 
aged trees, and its general Old South atmosphere conspire to keep these 
facts evident. Beginning with three narrow parks that overlook the docks 
and river front, the city proper spreads fanwise, with the Confederate 
Memorial Park as its center. The streets are slightly rolling, with restored 
or carefully preserved mansions rising unexpectedly from the midst of 
dilapidated, heavy-timbered houses whose flush fronts and steep roofs 



KEY TO PRECEDING MAP OF NATCHEZ 

1. Adams County Courthouse 23. Magnolia Vale 

2. Parish House of San Salvador 24. Wigwam 

3. Mercer House 25. The Towers 

4. Lawyers' Row 26. Cottage Garden 

5. Governor Holmes or Conti 27. Airlie 

House 28. Protestant Orphanage 

6. Old Spanish House 29. Melmont or Sans Souci 

7. Britton Home 30. King's Tavern 

8. First Presbyterian Church 31. St. Mary's Cathedral 

9. Memorial Hall 32. St. Joseph's Academy 

10. Old Commercial Bank Building 33. Trinity Episcopal Church 

11. Banker's Home 34. Ravenna 

12. Metcalfe House 35. Greenleaves 

13. Esplanade 36. The Elms 

14. Rosalie 37. Arlington 

15. Site of Fort Rosalie 38. Dunleith 

1 6. Natchez-under-the-Hill 39. Routh Cemetery 

17. Buntura Home 40. Hope Farm 

1 8. Marschalk's Printing Office 41. Auburn 

19. Connelly's Tavern 42. Hospital Hill 

20. Choctaw 43. Home of Don Estevan Minor 

21. Stanton Hall 44. The Briars 

22. First Lumber Mill 45. Richmond 



NATCHEZ 237 

speak definitely of days past but not dead. Surreys and two-wheeled dump 
carts driven by white-haired Negroes are seen on the streets. 

So deeply has the patina of the past been impressed on Natchez that it 
is the modern rather than the aged that stand out as anomalies. The down- 
town district, with the Gothic spire of St. Mary's Cathedral rising above 
the low skyline, and the historic courthouse hemmed in by stucco and 
brick, or yellowish frame structures, is definitely dated. Here is a marked 
conflict between careful preservation and decay. Standing flush with the 
sidewalk are structures whose uncompromising severity tie them to the 
Spanish period. Interspersed among these ill-preserved buildings, which 
often are occupied by Negroes, are modern one- and two-story structures 
that house up-to-date business firms. 

The residential districts, emerging with uncertain plan from the down- 
town area and somewhat softened by the shadows of Spanish moss and 
magnolias, are marked by restoration rather than by change. Homes that 
are little more than ruins stand proudly beside mansions whose beauty 
and lines have been carefully cherished and preserved. Varying features of 
architecture indicate the survival of French and Spanish influence, while 
many of the houses were remodeled in the early iSoo's to conform with 
the classic order dictated by the Greek Revival. Sprinkled among these 
homes are modern bungalows and cottages ; but the sprinkling is so light 
it produces little discord between the old and the new. 

Aloof from the city and yet a part of it are its industries. The cotton 
mill runs only spasmodically. The cottonseed oil mill is one of the city's 
oldest industries. Here are also a box factory and the oldest sawmill in 
the State. With the shirt factory excepted these industries draw their 
labor from the 53.3 percent of the population that are Negroes. The tex- 
tile labor class is not well defined, but is a transitory group of white peo- 
ple who come in from and return to the outlying plantations as the routine 
of farm, or factory, becomes monotonous. 

Natchez is still the trade center for its district and an important shipping 
point for cotton and for beef cattle. It is from this trade that a majority 
of its white population derive their income. Many of the older families 
are still large landholders and, like their grandfathers, live in town on 
incomes from their plantation operations. As in any plantation town, 
Saturday is trade day in Natchez, and fall, cotton picking time, is the busy 
season for growers, ginners, buyers, merchants, and bankers. 

The wealth, the rich background, and the intelligence of the Natchez 
Negro leaders have made Natchez the Negro cultural center of the State. 
Among them are leading Negro physicians, several outstanding ministers, 
id a musician who presents "Heaven Bound," a production with a 
lorus of fifty voices, each year to a large white audience. The African 
tethodist Episcopal Church includes cultural and intellectual activities in 
its religious program, and the Negro Baptists support Natchez College, a 
lucational four-year institution with a high school department. The 
legroes of Natchez, unlike the Negroes in other Mississippi towns, trade 
lost exclusively at stores owned by members of their own race. This 
las created a comparatively wealthy business and professional class, fam- 



238 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

ilies who send their children out of the State for education. Neither the 
Negroes' residential nor business districts are well denned but are scattered 
about the city in the midst of other residential and business districts. St. 
Catherine Street, however, may be said to be the focal point. Here, inter- 
spersed among the houses left from Spanish days, are many of the com- 
mercial and business establishments, and a majority of the churches. It is 
also to this street that Negroes from out of town gravitate. 

The history of Natchez is the variegated story of a frontier town, raw 
and polished, crude and elegant: a town that absorbed the best and the 
worst of Mississippi River pioneer days. It has been ruled by the Natchez 
Indians, France, Spain, England, the Confederacy, and the United States. 
The town was settled as part of the French colonization development after 
Iberville landed on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1699. Land grants were 
made as early as 1702, but it was 1716 before Bienville built and gar- 
risoned Fort Rosalie, named in honor of the Duchess of Pontchartrain. 
Two years later 1 5 laborers opened the first plantation at Natchez a farm 
on St. Catherine's Creek. The settlement prospered, with ships plying to 
the Gulf Coast colony and back, carrying tobacco, pelts, and bear's grease 
in exchange for staple supplies. 

In November 1729, the Natchez Indians (who inhabited the region and 
whose name is commemorated in the name of the city) attacked the fort 
and massacred the garrison and settlers. The following year the French 
colonists of the Gulf area retaliated by exterminating the Natchez Indians. 
Then they attacked the more warlike Chickasaw and were defeated. This 
defeat ended the French scheme of uniting the French of the Ohio Valley 
with the French of the lower Mississippi Valley, thus forming a line of 
defense against the westward-moving English. 

After the French and Indian War, Natchez became a part of the region 
east of the Mississippi River which France ceded to Great Britain in 1763. 
The British settlers who followed were hardy veterans of the Colonial 
wars and established permanent homes on large tracts of land granted by 
the English king. 

Natchez, as an English possession, was in reality a fourteenth colony of 
Great Britain. However, its people remained neutral during the Revolu- 
tionary War, indifferent to the struggle on the Atlantic seaboard a thou- 
sand miles away. It was this isolation that enabled Galvez, Spanish 
Governor of New Orleans, to take Natchez in 1779 in the name of the 
King of Spain. During the first year of Spanish occupancy, British veterans 
made an abortive attempt to retake Natchez. 

Under the ambitious Dons the town began to prosper again. The 
Spaniards who occupied Natchez between 1779-98 were efficient and fair. 
They loved punctilio and all the trappings of lavish living, and they intro- 
duced a rigid caste system which prevails to a certain extent today. Until 
their coming few buildings stood on the bluffs, the settlement having 
grown up along the water front. So the town, much as it is today, was 
laid out in a square by Collel, a Spanish engineer. Choice streets were 
reserved for the residences of Spanish grandees and a church called San 
Salvador stood on a broad esplanade extending across the front of the 



NATCHEZ 239 

city overlooking the river. But of all their magnificent buildings erected 
during this period not more than 20 remain. 

By the treaty of Madrid, 1795, parallel 31 was agreed upon as the 
boundary between the newly formed United States and Spain's possessions, 
with free navigation of the Mississippi guaranteed by the Spaniards who 
still owned New Orleans. In 1797 Andrew Ellicott, a Pennsylvania sur- 
veyor, arrived in Natchez to run the new boundary line, and unofficially 
raised the American flag. But another year passed before Spain could be 
forced to evacuate this rich territory according to the terms of the treaty. 
On March 30, 1798, however, the last Spanish soldier withdrew, leaving 
the fort to Maj. Isaac Guion, who officially raised the American flag. In 
that same year, the Territory of Mississippi was organized and Natchez 
was made the capital. 

The opening of the Mississippi River started the turbulent flatboat era 
that lasted until the steamboat brought it to an end. Down the river came 
the flatboatmen, swearing, drinking, fighting; bringing on their clumsy 
rafts, tobacco, grains, fruits, pelts, molasses, hams, butter, flour, and 
whisky. Many of them stopped at Natchez to sell their goods and their 
boats ; most of them continued to New Orleans ; but all returned through 
Natchez, since it was too difficult to return to the upper country by water. 
Banding together for protection against prowling savages and murderous 
outlaws, they returned home, carrying their money in money belts or in 
saddlebags. They followed the 55O-mile road to Nashville, a road that was 
a mere trace or bridle path. This road became famous as the Natchez 
Trace (see TRANSPORTATION). 

A frontier city, capital of a rich territory, Natchez soon grew important 
as a supply depot and the gathering place for the intellectuals of the 
Southwest. It became an opulent, suave, and aristocratic community, main- 
taining a social and political prestige that influenced the entire Mississippi 
Valley. 

Men of all degrees of wealth and intelligence were drawn to this new 
region where land was cheap and fortunes were quickly made. Hundreds 
of families drifted down the river from the upper valleys in fleets of flat- 
boats. These pioneers came to a rich and fertile country that had a mild 
climate featured by a growing season nine months long. They tried raising 
indigo but the refuse accumulations, with the poisonous drainage from 
them, made it unhealthful. They tried raising tobacco and found it un- 
profitable. After the invention of Whitney's cotton gin in 1793, they 
turned to growing cotton. Slave labor, together with natural advantages, 
enabled them to create in a remarkably short time a system of great planta- 
tions and luxurious living. The Mississippi Gazette, first newspaper in the 
State, began publication in 1800. On April 9, 1803, Natchez was incor- 
porated as an American city. In 1810, when the population of Natchez was 
9,000 persons, it was estimated that the aggregate cotton sales exceeded 
$700,000. 

Increasing prosperity made it necessary to establish an overland line of 
communication with the East. Hitherto, the Mississippi River had been the 
one route of travel. In 1801 the Treaty of Chickasaw Bluffs was made 



240 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

with the Chickasaw Indians whereby the Indians agreed to permit immi- 
grants, the United States mail, and soldiers to pass through their lands. 
The immediate effect of this agreement was a sudden growth in the pop- 
ulation of Natchez and the lower Mississippi Valley. Droves of settlers 
toiled down the Natchez Trace from the Atlantic seaboard, bringing new 
blood, new ideas, and new wealth in money and slaves. 

In 1802, however, Natchez lost much of its prestige when the Terri- 
torial Assembly ordered the seat of government moved from Natchez to 
Washington, a small, gay, wealthy, inland city situated about six miles to 
the east. 

Because of the growing importance of Natchez as an entrance to the 
West, Aaron Burr and Harman Blennerhassett selected it as the base from 
which to operate their mysterious colonization scheme. The plan was 
broken up when both were arrested, charged with treason. 

During the War of 1812 the city was threatened frequently by Indians 
who lived in the wilderness east of the river. All able-bodied men be- 
came soldiers, and when the Battle of New Orleans was fought in 1815, 
the Natchez Rifles was present. One historian related that nearly all the 
male citizens of Natchez took part in the battle. 

In 1817 the Mississippi Territory was organized as a State. The conven- 
tion met at Washington and decided to move the seat of government from 
Washington to Columbia, then to a more central location at Le Fleur's 
Bluff (see JACKSON). From this time on, the political eminence of 
Natchez declined. 

The booming steamboat era, however, had just begun with the arrival 
of the New Orleans, first steamboat to stop at Natchez, and within a 
few years the city recovered its prominence by becoming one of the great 
cotton ports of the world. In this period fabulous fortunes were made by 
cotton planters, and Natchez reached a pinnacle of wealth and culture with 
liberal, open-handed living prevailing. Planters spent their money building 
distinctive homes and accumulating libraries and art collections (see 
ARCHITECTURE). They speculated in land, slaves, cotton, and credit. 
While much in their lives was gracious, their code demanded exaggerated 
standards of honor. Duels were fought frequently on the sandbar across 
the river. 

At the outbreak of the War between the States Natchez was still a rich 
agricultural center. It furnished many soldiers to the Confederate cause, 
most prominent of whom was Maj.-Gen. William T. Martin. Natchez was 
bombarded by the U. S. S. Essex in July 1863, and occupied by Ransom's 
brigade. Civil government was suspended from November 1863 to August 
9, 1865. The war destroyed the fortunes, slaves were freed, and the eco- 
nomic and social structures were overturned completely. Natchez has never 
regained the river trade that once had helped to make it rich, one of the 
queen cities of the lower Mississippi. 

For three generations the population increased little. The changes made 
were material improvements that blend with rather than destroy the still 
cherished past. In 1881 telephone lines were installed, and five years later 
Judge Thomas Reber built a street railroad from the ferry landing on 



NATCHEZ 241 

Main and St. Catherine Streets to the "Forks-of-the-Road." The Judge also 
installed the first electric light plant, in 1886, to furnish lights for a 
casino. In the same year, the Adams Manufacturing Company plant was 
built to manufacture cottonseed oil. 

Natchez does not boast of its material progress, but prefers to keep its 
industries in the background. Yet the income from the sale of its manu- 
factured products amounted to $2,121,755 m I 935- 

The old Spanish portion of Natchez can be seen either on foot or by 
car. It was centered around an esplanade that faced the river. Many other 
interesting examples of Spanish architecture survive here and there in all 
parts of the city. 



Tour i- 



W. from Pearl St. on Market St. 

1. The ADAMS COUNTY COURTHOUSE, Market St. (L), stands 
in the exact center of Natchez as it was laid out by the Spaniards. Erected 
in 1819, and constructed of soft cream stucco-covered brick, it has three 
porticos with large fluted columns. In its vaults are stored records dating 
back to 1780, compiled in Spanish, French, and English. Its rectangular 
grounds are the site of the old Spanish market and, presumably, the 
Church of San Salvador. 

2. The PARISH HOUSE OF SAN SALVADOR, 311 Market St. 
(private), is a three-story frame structure erected by order of the King of 
Spain in 1786. It was first occupied in 1788 by four Irish priests, brought 
to Natchez to instruct the English-speaking population in the Roman 
Catholic religion. Though the house is gray and dilapidated, evidence of 
its beauty can be seen in its simple, hand-carved doorway and woodwork, 
and in its severe, plain lines. 

L. from Market St. on S. Wall St. 

3. The MERCER HOUSE, NW. corner S. Wall and State Sts. 
(private), is a two-story Georgian Colonial structure built in 1818 and 
distinguished by dormer windows, spacious floor plan, and a fanlight filled 
with early, imperfect glass. Constructed of gray stuccoed brick, the lower 
front portico is supported by arches and the upper by slender columns. 
On the north side of the house is a garden enclosed by a well-patterned 
hand-wrought iron fence. Andrew Jackson, on his way to take part in the 
unveiling of his equestrian statue in New Orleans in January 1840, stayed 






CONTI HOUSE, NATCHEZ 



in this home. He was joined by Gen. Thomas Hinds and other veterans of 
the Battle of New Orleans, and from the porch addressed a throng of ad- 
mirers gathered in the courthouse yard. 

4. LAWYERS' ROW, SW. corner S. Wall and State Sts., is a low 
L-shaped stuccoed brick building with two adjacent wings extending for 
approximately half a block from the corner. The wings are broken into 
small, bin- like offices whose front entrances stand flush with the street. 
The rear entrances open into a court. Erected by the Spaniards before 
1796, it is thought that the building was used first as a commissary for the 
old fort. After Mississippi became a territory the bins, converted into 
offices, were occupied by bachelor lawyers. Because many of these young 
men were later famous the building became known as Lawyers' Row. 

5. CONTI HOUSE, 207 S. Wall St. (open daily 10-4; adm. 25$), is 
a rectangular, two-story stuccoed brick house, built prior to 1788. Of 
Spanish Provincial architecture it stands flush with the street, with Spanish 
slate steps and no eaves to break the line of wall or roof. Two green- 
shuttered windows and a central door open on the sidewalk. A two-story 
service wing extending to rear with four slave rooms upstairs and down 
forms a setting for an old-fashioned garden. First used as a home by 
Don Lewis Favre, surgeon of the King's galleys, the house was from. 
1825-35 the home of David Holmes, last Territorial and first State Gov- 
ernor of Mississippi. 

6. The OLD SPANISH HOUSE, NW. corner S. Wall and Washing- 
ton Sts. (private), is a good example of the average home of the Spanish 






NATCHEZ 243 

Dominion. Brick and stucco trimmed in green, it is two stories high, with 
dormer windows, outside stairways, and a kitchen attached by a wooden 
hyphen. At the rear of the kitchen are the slave quarters, a two-story, rec- 
tangular structure built of cedar joined with wooden pegs. The house was 
built in 1796 or earlier. 

L. from S. Wall St. on Washington St.; L. on S. Pearl St. 

7. The BRITTON HOME, NW. corner S. Pearl and Washington Sts. 
(open by appointment), erected in 1858, is an imposing two-story brick 
house with Corinthian columns and a classic two-story portico. Wrought- 
iron railings enclose each gallery. The house was struck by a shell during 
the bombardment of Natchez in 1863. 

8. FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, NE. corner S. Pearl and State 
Sts., was designed by Levi Weeks of Boston and built in 1829. This sim- 
ple, cream, stuccoed brick building has a classic portico with large Tuscan 
columns and pedimented headings over the doors. The interior is plain, 
with slave galleries, enclosed with handmade banisters, on both sides of 
the auditorium. Small wooden doors open into the cushioned box pews. 

9. MEMORIAL HALL, 111-1155. Pearl St. (open daily 10-5), flanked 
on each side by small landscaped grounds and protected by an iron fence 
eight feet high, is a stuccoed brick structure of modified Spanish archi- 
tecture. Built in 1852 for public meeting purposes, it was first called In- 
stitute Hall. It is two stories in height, with recessed columns made in the 
masonry. The main floor is at street level. The entrance opens into a cen- 
tral hallway from which twin stairways rise to the second floor auditorium. 
After the World War, memorial tablets were placed on each side of the 
entrance and the name of the building was changed to Memorial Hall. 
Here balls and other social affairs of importance are held each year. The 
right wing houses the FISK MEMORIAL LIBRARY, separate entrance 
(open weekdays 8-4). 

L. from S. Pearl St. on Main St. 

10. The OLD COMMERCIAL BANK BUILDING, 206 Main St., 
was erected about 1809. It is of brick construction and has a stuccoed front 
with four graceful Ionic columns supporting a classic pediment. John 
Hampton White of New Jersey was the architect. Until the founding of 
this bank all currency used in Natchez was Spanish "hard money" and 
cotton gin receipts. The bank issued notes but none of them is known 
to exist. 

L. from Main St. on S. Canal St. 

11. BANKER'S HOME, 107 S. Canal St. (open by permission), at- 
tached to the Commercial Bank, was built in 1809 as the home of the 
bank's president. Set in the remains of a garden, the house is of stucco 
and brick construction and two stories in height. In front is a small portico 
with two slender fluted columns ; a deck to the portico is enclosed with an 
iron railing. In the garden is a walk of Spanish flagstones brought to 
America in sailing ships as ballast. The custom of having the banker's 
home as part of the bank itself is said to have been a heritage from the 
Spanish regime. 

R. from S. Canal St. on Washington St.; L. on S. Broadway. 



244 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

12. The JAMES METCALFE HOUSE, facing the river at SE. corner 
S. Broadway and Washington Sts. (open during Pilgrimage), is a raised 
brick building with a portico. Built about 1849 by Peter Little, pioneer 
lumberman in Mississippi, this home is well preserved and contains many 
of its original furnishings. The story is that Peter Little grew tired of his 
wife's continually entertaining preachers in his home, and erected this 
house and deeded it to a church on condition that entertaining in his home 
cease. 

13. The ESPLANADE, extending along the bluff in front of the James 
Metcalfe House, was the parade ground attached to Fort Rosalie. It affords 
a view of the river and the remains of the old river town, Natchez-under- 
the-Hill. 

14. ROSALIE, foot of S. Broadway (open daily 10-4; adm. 250), 
is a square red brick home of the late Georgian (or Post-Colonial) type; 
its two-story, pedimented portico has four white Tuscan columns. Double 
doors, with fanlight transoms and side lights, are at each gallery. The 
windows are five feet wide, their huge wooden shutters held in place by 
slender wrought-iron hinges 26 inches long. The rooms are 21 feet square 
with i4-foot ceilings and mantels seven feet high. Double parlors contain 
hand-carved rosewood furniture. A stairway rises from a recessed hall. 
The house was built by Peter Little in the early iSoo's and stands partly 
on the site of old Fort Rosalie, scene of the Indian massacre in 1729. 
Brick for this home was burned on the place by slaves. The house was 
used in 1863 as Union headquarters and later General Grant and his 
family spent several days in it. 

15. The SITE OF FORT ROSALIE, an elevation directly back of 
Rosalie, is marked by a tall iron pole. 

Retrace S. Broadway; L. on Silver Sf. 

1 6. At the foot of Silver St. and below the Natchez bluffs, lies a strip 
of land called THE BATTURE. This is the only remnant of dissolute 
Natchez-under-the-Hill, known throughout the Mississippi Valley during 
flatboat days and the steamboat era. This colorful, ribald old river port 
with its brothels and gambling dens and its heterogeneous population of 
flatboatmen, Negroes, Indians, bandits, pirates, scented quadroons, cour- 
tesans, and gamblers held sway for many years. There were times when 
flatboats were tied to its banks 14 deep in a stretch two miles long. Ships 
from Liverpool and other foreign ports came to its wharfs. All that re- 
mains is a single desolate street and a few moldy buildings; year by year 
the river eats away the soft, rockless land. 

The ferry line at the Batture that operates between Natchez and Vidalia, 
La., has maintained service since 1797. 
Retrace Silver St. ; L. on S. Broadway St. 

17. The BUNTURA HOME, 107 S. Broadway St. (private), midway 
between State and Main Sts. and facing the river, is a two-story, L-shaped 
house built in 1832. The galleries on its narrow front are ornamented with 
delicate lace ironwork. The ell faces on a courtyard garden with an old 
cistern in the center. A vaulted driveway through the rear of the house 
permitted the passage of vehicles into the courtyard. 



CONNELLY'S TAVERN, NATCHEZ 



R. from N. Broadway St. on Franklin St.; L. on N. Wall St. 

18. MARSCHALK'S PRINTING OFFICE, NE. corner N. Wall and 
Franklin Sts. (private), is a small two-and-a-half-story brick building 
where Andrew Marschalk, an officer in the American Army during 
the Revolutionary War and the pioneer of printing and publishing in 
Mississippi, issued the third newspaper in the State, on July 26, 1802. 
This paper, The Mississippi Herald, was in reality the first news sheet 
of any stability. The Mississippi Gazette, published by Benjamin Stokes, 
was established in Natchez in 1800 and was followed there in 1801 
by The Mississippi Intelligencer. It was Marschalk's press that turned 
out both these papers. He conducted the Herald for many years but 
changed its name often. He was first territorial printer and printed the 
first territorial laws. Before Marschalk came to Natchez in 1800 he had 
been stationed at Walnut Hills, now Vicksburg, and while on duty there 
he printed a ballad on his small press, the first piece of printing done in 
Mississippi. 

L. -from N. Wall St. on Jefferson St.; L. on N. Canal St. 

19. CONNELLY'S TAVERN or ELLICOTT'S INN, SE. corner N. 
Canal and Jefferson Sts. (open by permission), is on the top of a steep, 
terraced hill. This old frame house, restored by the Natchez Garden Club, 
was built in 1795 during Spanish rule in Natchez. It stands on the old 



246 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

Natchez Trace and is a notable example of Spanish Provincial architecture. 
Long, narrow, double galleries with slender columns overlook the Espla- 
nade and the river. The lower floor is brick paved. Though the ceilings 
throughout are low, several rooms are vaulted. It is thought that some of 
the materials used in its construction were timbers taken from dismantled 
flatboats, and the vaulted rooms indicate the influence of a ship's carpenter 
in the construction of the house. 

In 1797 the American flag was first raised on this site by Andrew 
Ellicott, sent from Washington to survey the line between the United 
States and Spanish territory. Ellicott kept the flag flying a year in defiance 
of Spanish objections. It was also on this hill that Maj. Isaac Guion, on 
March 31, 1798, raised the American flag after the Spaniards had evac- 
uated the fort the night before. Tradition says that Aaron Burr and Har- 
man Blennerhassett met here to plan their defense following their arrest 
for treason in 1807. 

Retrace N. Canal St.; R. on High St. 

20. CHOCTAW, SW. corner High and N. Wall Sts. (private), was 
the home of Alvarez Fisk, wealthy cotton broker and philanthropist in 
the 1 830*5 and 1840'$. Though in bad condition, it is a notable example 
of Greek Revival architecture. It is built of brick with a large Ionic portico. 
The galleries of the portico are enclosed with a wooden railing. Unlike 
many of the manor houses of its period, Choctaw rises from the street, its 
first floor flush with the sidewalk. Double transverse steps lead to the 
lower gallery. Steamboats tied up at the wharfs to allow passengers time 
to inspect its gardens. Fisk donated land for the first school in Natchez, 
and erected the first school building. 

21. ST ANTON HALL and its grounds, enclosed by a high iron fence, 
occupy the entire block on High St. between N. Pearl and N. Commerce 
Sts. (open daily 9-4; adm. 25$). This huge brick house, with its Corin- 
thian two-story portico, was built by Frederick Stanton, an Irish gentleman 
who became rich as a cotton broker. It was completed in 1857 after five 
years' work. Some of the ceilings are 22 feet high. Mahogany doors, 
carved Carrara marble mantels, heavy bronze chandeliers, and gigantic 
inset mirrors were imported from Europe on a chartered ship. The east 
side of the house can be opened by sliding doors into one long suite. Tre- 
mendous matched mirrors balance each other at front and rear of suite. 
The frieze in the music hall bears names of old masters. 



NATCHEZ 247 



Tour 2-. #2. 



A 7 , from Main St. on N. Canal St.; L. on Madison St.; R. on Clifton St. 

From the corner of Clifton and Oak Sts. is one of the best river views 
in the city. To the west are the alluvial plains of Louisiana, where many 
Natchez planters owned cotton lands that made them wealthy. To the 
left is the canal completed by the Government in 1935 to shorten the 
Mississippi River 18 miles. When this canal was dug, Army engineers 
found petrified trees too large to be dredged out ; they were pulled to one 
side of the channel. The great, sweeping curve of the Mississippi as it 
turns west above Natchez to flow east again will soon become another 
river-bed lake. The canal is depositing a sand bar across the river in front 
of Natchez and it is estimated that the stream eventually will be com- 
pletely dammed up. (The canal is expected to send the river past Natchez 
on a straight course that will eliminate much of the eroding done by the 
river). 

The two points following can be reached by an unpaved street extend- 
ing down the bluf from the foot of Madison Street. 

22. From this corner is also the best view of the FIRST LUMBER 
MILL in Mississippi, situated at the foot of the cliffs. The mill was 
started in 1809 by Peter Little. Its operating capacity is 40,000 feet a day. 
On the Louisiana shore opposite the mill is an old sandbar where many 
famous duels were fought. Here George Poindexter killed Abijah Hunt 
in 1811. 

23. North of the lumber mill is MAGNOLIA VALE (private), a two- 
story brick and stucco house with gardens that have been a Natchez at- 
traction for more than 100 years. In steamboat days river travelers could 
see the gardens from the decks, but often the period allowed on shore 
was extended so passengers could hire a hack and drive through the gar- 
dens. It was built in 1831 by Andrew Brown, a Scotsman who came to 
Natchez in 1821. The land had in turn belonged to Stephen Minor and 
Peter Little. 

R. from Clifton St. on Oak St. 

24. The WIGWAM, 307 Oak St. (private), back from the street on a 
lot elevated 10 or 12 feet, is enclosed by a brick wall. The walk from the 
entrance is shaded by a double row of live-oak trees. In the center of the 
walk is a fountain, a silent reminder of the days when the home was the 
center of culture and gay social life. The date the house was built is not 
known but it is shown on a map made in 1819 by Col. John Steel, first 
secretary of the Mississippi Territory and later Governor. It is a story-and- 
a-half, "H-shaped" frame structure to which several additions have been 
made. The eaves of the projecting wings are trimmed with graceful iron 



248 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

work that is given emphasis by iron columns, ornamented with four-leaf 
clover designs, which support the recessed gallery. The interior is planned 
with a large central hall and with spacious chambers. 

L. from Oak St. on Myrtle Ave. 

Myrtle Avenue was once the most elegant neighborhood in Natchez. 
On it lived five governors: Vidal and Minor during Spanish sovereignty; 
John Steel, George Poindexter, and Robert Williams during the time 
Mississippi was a Territory. Harman Blennerhasset, Aaron Burr's co- 
conspirator, also lived here. 

25. THE TOWERS, 803 Myrtle Ave. (private), in a dense grove, is 
an old home pictured in Stark Young's So Red the Rose. The house, built 
about 1818 by Wm. C. Chamberlain, was first called Gardenia. The 
Towers is a two-story frame dwelling built on a brick foundation. It has 
recessed upper and lower galleries in the center, and a square tower on 
each side. At the time of Federal occupancy of Natchez during the War 
between the States the house was used as headquarters by Colonel Peter 
B. Hays, Union engineer in charge of fortifications. Several years ago it 
was badly damaged by fire. 

26. COTTAGE GARDEN, 816 Myrtle Ave. (private), is a frame 
structure of Southern Planter architecture. It is one-and-one-half stories 
high with a low, sloping roof extending across the front to form a long 
gallery. The gallery has slender square columns. The central columns 
support a pediment. Cottage Garden was erected in 1793 by Don Jose 
Vidal. It stands on lands first granted him when he was acting Spanish 
Governor of Natchez in 1798. The chief features of the house are its 
curving mahogany stairway and a fanlighted entrance door. Huge brick 
chimneys rise at each end, and there is a frame and brick gallery in the 
rear. A large, underground reservoir or cistern, used to furnish water 
and to cool wine and milk, is under the main part of the building. 

27. AIRLIE, N. end of Myrtle Ave. (open during Pilgrimage), is a 
simple frame home of Spanish Provincial design to which wings have 
been added. It was built in 1793 and was once a home of Don Estevan 
Minor, Civil Governor under Spain in 1798. The interior of the house 
is filled with heirlooms : silver, china, paintings and furniture. The grounds 
are laid out with old-fashioned flower gardens. 

R. from Myrtle Ave. on Elm St.; R. on N. Union St. 

28. The PROTESTANT ORPHANAGE, N. Union St. (R) between 
Oak and B Sts., is the last of three buildings bought by the "Female ' 
Charitable Society of Natchez." The building, erected as a country home 
in 1820, was bought from Ann Dunbar Postlewaite for $10,000. It is 
a large building with long galleries across front and rear. 

L. from N. Union St. on B. St.; L. on Rankin St. 

29. MELMONT (SANS SOUCI), N. Rankin St. (R) between B 
and Oak Sts. (open during Pilgrimage), built in 1854, is an unpreten- 
tious brick home having double-decked porticos with fluted columns, and 
a steep-gabled roof. The brick was burned of Natchez clay, but the hard- 
ware and mahogany woodwork were imported. At present Melmont is 
owned by descendants of John Henderson, first great commission mer- 



NATCHEZ 249 

chant in Natchez. Many of the Henderson heirlooms are in the house. 
In 1863 this home was used as a residence for Union officers and breast- 
works were thrown up on its grounds. 

Retrace N. Rankin St.; R. on Jefferson St. 

30. KING'S TAVERN, Jefferson St. (R) between N. Rankin and N. 
Union Sts. (open daily 9-5; adm. 25$), is conceded to be the oldest 
house in Natchez. It abuts the sidewalk and is thought to have been a 
blockhouse on the old Natchez Trace. Built of ship's timbers, its huge 
sleepers and beams filled with holes and rounded pegs indicate they were 
part of a flatboat. For many years the inn was the mail and stage coach 
station on the Trace. 



Tour 34.7/72 



E. from Pearl St. on Main St.; R. on S. Union St. 

31. ST. MARY'S CATHEDRAL, SE. corner S. Union and Main Sts., 
was built during the years 1841-51. Of Gothic Revival design, it is con- 
structed of red brick with a tall spire surmounted by an illuminated cross. 
The altars are of Carrara marble, and behind the main altar is a copy of 
Powell's picture of Christ. The bell, weighing 3,000 pounds and made 
by Giovanni Lucenti, was given to St. Mary's by Prince Alex Torlonia 
of Rome in 1849. The Princess Torlonia threw her wedding ring into 
the molten metal as the bell was cast. The early history of Natchez was 
connected closely with the Roman Catholic Church. Missionary priests, 
both Capuchin and Jesuit, came and went. The edifice is now the 
Cathedral for the Catholic Diocese of Mississippi, and improvements 
costing more than $100,000 recently were made. The CEMETERY ad- 
joining the church, and now called Memorial Park, is a portion of the 
old cemetery that was attached to the Spanish church of San Salvador. 
Until the 1890*5 it stood in the center of town, dilapidated, with 
crumbling tombs overgrown with weeds. At that time, it was decided to 
level the cemetery. All remains were carefully gathered and placed in 
one vault in the center of the grounds. Tombstones and markers were 
placed around it, and a monument to the Confederacy was erected. It 
was then that the name was changed to Memorial Park. The vault con- 
tains the dust of seamen, scouts, adventurers, distinguished Revolutionary 
War veterans, and two of the wives of Spanish Governor Manuel Gayoso 
de Lemos. 

R. from S. Union St. on State St. 

32. ST. JOSEPH'S ACADEMY, NE. corner State and S. Commerce 



250 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

Sts., was organized in 1867 by the Sisters of Charity. In that year the 
nuns purchased a large house with extensive grounds from a Dr. Chase, 
Presbyterian minister, and moved their school to these quarters. Later the 
other buildings were added. 

L. from State St. on S. Commerce St. 

33. The TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SE. corner of S. Com- 
merce and Washington Sts., was erected in 1822. It is a rectangular brick 
building with a gallery extending across the front. Tall Corinthian col- 
umns are a part of the wide portico, and two heavy shuttered doors open 
into the beautiful interior. Here is a small slave gallery built over the 
entrance. 

L. from S. Commerce St. on Orleans St.; R. on S. Union St. 

34. RAVENNA, 601 S. Union St. (open during Pilgrimage), is a 
simple, two-story frame building erected in 1835 by William Harris. 
Approached through a large iron gate, it has long, colonnaded galleries 
both front and rear. The interior woodwork is carved in geometric de- 
signs of squares, angles, and wedges. From the back hall a graceful stair- 
way with mahogany hand rails curves upward. The furniture is of 
rosewood. 

Retrace S. Union St.; R. on Washigton St. 

35. GREENLEAVES, SE. corner of Washington and S. Union Sts. 
(open during Pilgrimage), is a raised, brick and frame house built before 
1812. Of Greek Revival architecture, it has a narrow, classic portico with 
Corinthian columns. In the rear is a detached brick kitchen erected in 
the Spanish era. In the patio is a giant Jive-oak beneath which the 
Natchez Indians are believed to have held their pow-wows. The 14 rooms 
of Greenleaves are furnished as they were in the 1840'$ with carved 
rosewood, gilt frame mirrors, and china said to have been painted by 
Audubon. 

36. THE ELMS, NE. corner Washington and S. Pine Sts. (open 
during Pilgrimage), is thought to have been built by the Spanish Gov- 
ernor, Don Pedro Piernas, in 1785. Low ceilings, narrow window facings 
with deep reveals, large chimneys, and heavy, hand-made iron hinges 
indicate its Spanish origin. Galleries with slender columns extend across 
the front and north sides. An iron stairway, once on the outside of the 
building, is enclosed in the north hallway. A feature of the interior is 
the set of old slave bells, each different in tone. Each house slave had 
his own bell with its particular tone to call him to his duties. The garden 
contains a lattice work eagle house and a brick archway thought to have 
been part of an early Spanish mission, for the mission was usually part of 
the official group of buildings in a Spanish settlement. 

L. from Washington St. on St. Charles St.; R. on Main St. 

37. ARLINGTON, E. end of Main St. (open during Pilgrimage), 
reached through a large gate and down a long driveway, is considered 
an excellent example of Greek Revival architecture. A square red brick 
mansion, it has four tall, white columns supporting a classic pediment, 
and a double portico. The upper gallery is enclosed with delicate ban- 
isters, and the lower gallery is paved with marble mosaic. Delicate fan- 





ARLINGTON, NATCHEZ 



lights both front and rear open into a long central hall. The interior 
contains many of the original furnishings: gold brocades, carved rose- 
wood, large mirrors, paintings by Vernet, Sully, and Audubon, and a 
library. Arlington was built by Mrs. James Surget White, daughter of 
Pierre Surget, who settled in Natchez during Indian days. The architect 
was James Hampton White, of New Jersey. 

Retrace Main St.; L. on Arlington St.; L. on Homocbitto St. 

38. DUNLEITH, Homochitto St. (R) at S. end of Arlington St. 
(open during Pilgrimage), is a stately, white-columned, Greek Revival 
mansion. It is a square building with tall Greek Doric columns surrounded 
by galleries enclosed with wrought-iron railings. At the rear is a kitchen 
wing attached to the house, and farther back are brick carriage houses 
and stables. Dunleith was built by Gen. Charles Dahlgren in 1847. The 
grouping of the buildings is typical of the period. 

39. The ROUTH CEMETERY (L), on Homochitto St. (not open), 
is the private burial ground for the Routh family. 

L. from Homochitto St. on Auburn Rd. 

40. HOPE FARM, intersection of Auburn Rd. and Homochitto St., 
is a notable example of the hybrid English-Spanish style of architecture. 
The rear wing, built in 1775, is one of the few architectural relics of 
the English period. The front portion was built in 1790 by Carlos de 
Grandpre, Spanish Governor from 1790 to 1794, and shows in its severe 



252 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

lines the influence of Spanish Provincial architecture. Wooden pegs and 
tongue and groove method of construction were used in building both 
sections. The garden has a collection of flowering bulbs and camellia 
japonica. 

R. on Auburn Rd. 

41. AUBURN, Auburn Rd. (R) at Park Ave. (open to public), 
was built in 1812 by Judge Lyman G. Harding, first attorney general 
of Mississippi Territory and of the State. Levi Weeks of Boston was 
the architect. The plainness of Auburn's red brick walls is broken by 
long triple hung windows with green shutters and the four heavy Ionic 
columns of the two-story pedimented portico. The entrance door is im- 
posing, with side lights and a canopied fanlight transom. The lower 
floor contains a front hall opening at right angles into a long vaulted 
back hall, a drawing room, a banquet room and office, and a ladies' 
tea room. The outstanding feature of the interior is the spiral stairway. 
A detached brick kitchen faces a courtyard in the rear. A brick carriage 
house and a billiard hall are still standing. Auburn and its grounds were 
deeded to the city of Natchez in 1911 by the Duncan heirs as a memorial 
to Dr. Stephen Duncan, who purchased the estate in 1820. The grounds 
were converted by the city into DUNCAN PARK. The park contains 
swings, tennis courts, and an excellent i8-hole public golf course. 



Tour 4-7/72. 



E. from Wall St. on Main St.; L. on N. Pine St.; R. on St. Catherine St. 

42. HOSPITAL HILL, 70 St. Catherine St., is the site of the first 
charity hospital in America. The hospital was incorporated in 1805, and 
five acres of land surrounding it were deeded to the trustees by Don 
Estevan Minor in 1813. The site is now occupied by the electric light 
company. 

43. HOME OF DON ESTEVAN MINOR, 42-44 St. Catherine St. 
(private), a small, dilapidated, two-story, stuccoed brick house, retains its 
severe Spanish line. Don Minor, a captain in the Spanish Army, came to 
Natchez in 1783 as a subordinate under Governors Miro and Gayoso. Later, 
he was Commandant at Natchez and, for a year preceding the Spanish 
evacuation in 1798, Civil Governor. Minor was well liked by the Ameri- 
can settlers and, after the evacuation, remained at Natchez, became an 
opulent planter, and died in 1815. 



NATCHEZ 253 

-<-<-#> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 



Tour 5- 



zm. 



S. from Main St. on S. Canal St.; R. on Irvine Ave. (an unsaved, 
winding alley-like street). 

44. THE BRIARS, W. end Irvine Ave. (open daily 9-4; adm. 50$), 
is the best example of Southern Planter type of architecture in the 
Natchez district. A white frame structure with green blinds, its sloping 
roof, forming a 9o-foot gallery, is supported by slender columns. Dormer 
windows light the upper floor. Three doors with fanlight transoms open 
on the front gallery. The rear gallery is upheld by an arcade and has 
a mahogany stairway at each end. Slave rooms are in the basement. The 
Briars was built between 1812-15, anc ^ was ^ ater owned by William Burr 
Howell, whose daughter, Varina, married Jefferson Davis here in 1845. 
The Briars commands a view of the Mississippi River. 

Retrace Irvine Ave.; R. on S. Canal St. 0.5 m. to private drive (L). 

45. RICHMOND, end of long circular driveway (open daily 9-4; 
adm. 25</>), represents three distinct periods in architectural development. 
The frame and brick central portion was built in 1786 by Juan San 
Germaine, interpreter for the Spanish King. It is Spanish Provincial. 
The timbers are hand-hewn, and the gutters are made of hollowed logs. 
The lower or ground floors are bricked. The front, built in 1832, is Greek 
Revival, with a pediment and four tall columns. The brick wing of 
modified Empire design was added in 1850. Legend says that in the 
Spanish regime the central portion of the house was a rendezvous for 
river pirates. 

POINTS OF INTEREST IN ENVIRONS 

Longwood, 2.9 m., Homewood, 2.7 m., Lansdowne, 3.2 m., Monteigne, 1.5 m., 
Oakland, 1.7 m., Windy Hill Manor, 7.2 m., Monmouth, 1.4 m., Melrose, 2 m., 
D'Evereux, 1.5 m., Washington, 6.5 m., Site of Elizabeth Female Academy, 8 m., 
Foster Mound, 9 m., Pine Ridge Church, 11.5 m., Mount Repose, 11.9 m., Peach- 
land, 13 m. (see Tour 3, Sec. b). 



or 



Railroad Station: W. end of Jackson Ave. for Illinois Central R.R. 
Bus Station: Mack's Cafe, Lamar Ave., for Tri-State Transit Co. 
Taxis: 10$ per person within city limits. 

Accommodations: One hotel. 
Information Service: Service stations. 
Motion Picture Houses: Two. 

Swimming: University, adm., 25$. 
Coif: University, greens fee 50^. 

Annual Events: Spring festival on University Campus. 

OXFORD (458 alt., 2,890 pop.), on a small wooded plateau overlooking 
the snug valleys of the Central Hills, retains the persuasive charm and cul- 
ture of the Old South. Its character, like the essence of its appeal, is com- 
pounded of intangibles as elusive as the scent of its jasmines and as deli- 
cate as the humor of its town clock, the four faces of which seldom agree. 
It has been the county seat of Lafayette and the site of the State university 
for nearly a century, and it is these two factors, education and law, that 
give to it its tone today. The white stuccoed courthouse, with its green roof 
and clock cupola, centers the town. About the small grass-free courtyard, 
shaded on the west by heaven trees, is a low iron fence handy for farm- 
ers to hitch their horses after having watered them at the nearby trough. 
Facing the courthouse on four sides are the low red brick and stucco com- 
mercial buildings that form the business district which Oxford's leisured 
trade has not outgrown. Leading from the square, shaded residence streets 
climb a slight ridge or two before changing into highways or country lanes. 
Cloistered behind the cedar, magnolia, and oak trees along these streets 
are the homes that make Oxford today seem as it has always been, a town 
dedicated to the cultural and social life revolving around the university. 

Tradition is important; the current of Oxford's life is not swift but 
deep. The people are not prosperous as in the days "before the war," but 
they are comfortably sustained by the university and by the farmers who 
come in on Saturdays to do business on the square. It is the headquarters 
of the Northern District of the United States Court, and the headquarters 
of the northern division of the State highway department. As yet no in- 
dustry has intruded upon its serenity, nor has the town felt the pain of ex- 
panding beyond original boundaries. In 1928 it received a silver cup for 
being the cleanest and best kept town in the State. 

Oxford's unskilled and domestic labor is drawn from its Negro pop- 
ulation, approximately 900. Negro men mow the lawns, trim the boxwood 
hedges, and work the gardens of the white townspeople; their wives are 






OXFORD 255 

-cooks, nursemaids, and washerwomen. Many of them feel the pride of be- 
longing, boast of lifetime service with one family, and live in quarters that 
their parents and grandparents occupied before them. Others are confined 
to districts fringing the town, their homes the small cabins common to 
Mississippi Negro families. 

In 1835 John Chisholm, John J. Craig, and John D. Martin made their 
way into the territory ceded by the Chickasaw Indians and, stopping in the 
section now comprising Lafayette County, set up business in a log store 
they built near what is now Oxford's town square. Close on their heels 
came Robert Shegog and Thomas D. Isom, the latter obtaining a position 
as clerk in the store built by the former. The influx of settlers was rapid ; 
stimulated by the enthusiastic descriptions of early traders, there swarmed 
into the ". . . fairy land (of) park-like forests and waving native 
grasses ..." adventurers, speculators, and would-be landowners. On June 
12, 1836, Chisholm, Craig, and Martin bought from Ho-kah, a Chickasaw 
Indian woman, section 21, township 8, range 3 west. Ho-kah affixed her 
signature to the deed by making a cross mark, and to make the deed legal 
beyond doubt two other citizens certified "... that the above named Ho- 
kah is able to take care of her own affairs." After securing the land, the 
three traders donated 50 acres to the board of police to establish a county 
seat. The following year the village was laid out and incorporated, the first 
city minutes bearing the date May u, 1837. Isom, voicing the hope that 
such a promising spot would catch the plum of the State university then 
under consideration, suggested the name Oxford. In 1838 the inhabitants 
numbered 400. There were no churches but arrangements had been made 
for two; there were two hotels, six stores, and two seminaries of educa- 
tion. Beasconn, a contemporary writer, described it as one of the most 
pleasant towns in the whole region. 

The hope of Oxford's citizens was fulfilled when the State university 
opened in 1848. Eight years earlier the Mississippi Legislature had passed 
an act providing for the State university and, with a commission appointed 
to select the site, Oxford had been chosen by a margin of one vote. The 
institution under the administration of Dr. Augustus B. Longstreet, elected 
president after the first session, drew some of the South's most brilliant 
minds to Oxford, and until the outbreak of the War between the States, a 
society of culture and gaiety flourished. An opera house was built, bringing 
many famous entertainers to the town. Young men held tilting tourna- 
ments that resembled in their color and pageantry the jousts of Scott's ro- 
mances. Sober-minded scholars divided their attention between their books 
and addresses to the crowds gathered on the courthouse square. 

The War between the States, however, put a blight upon the gay little 
town. No major battles were fought in Oxford, but it suffered from Fed- 
eral raids and from the necessity of helping supply troops and provisions 
to the Confederacy. By August, 1861, nine companies of infantry and cav- 
alry had been drawn from the town and sent to Florida, Kentucky, and 
Virginia. Breaking the precedent of enlisting for 1 2 months, three of these 
companies enlisted for service "during the war." After the Battle of Shiloh 
the buildings of the university were used as a hospital for the sick and 



256 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

wounded. General Grant's forces occupied the town from early in Decem- 
ber 1862 until Christmas Day. On August 22, 1864, the court records say, 
"The Public Enemy under A. J. Smith came to Oxford . . . and burned the 
town, including the courthouse." In reporting the destruction the Oxford 
Falcon quoted travelers as saying that Oxford was the most completely de- 
molished town they had seen. 

Oxford, before the war, possessed new lands and a new university to 
draw wealthy and brilliant persons from the older States. Oxford, after the 
war, accepted more than its share of the economic problems of reconstruc- 
tion and the social problems of reconciliation on which to prove the lead- 
ership of its still brilliant but no longer wealthy citizens. For 25 years, 
from the end of the war until 1890, the town furnished Mississippi and 
the Nation with many influential leaders. Isom, Hill, Thompson, Lamar, 
and others gained State and national recognition for their work. But since 
1890, when new political ideals and leaders came into power in the State, 
Oxford, like a sensitive plant, has refused to spread. There is a dreamy 
lethargy about the place that even the post-war progressiveness of the uni- 
versity cannot penetrate. Static and preoccupied, it has remained at ease 
while a native son and two of its one-time citizens have limned it for the 
public. It is the "Jefferson" of William Faulkner's novels and the scene of 
several of Stark Young's stories (see ARTS and LETTERS); its court- 
house square was the subject for John McCrady's painting, Town Square. 

POINTS OF INTEREST 

1. The HOME OF WILLIAM FAULKNER, 900 Garfield St. (pri- 
vate), was built in 1848 by Robert Shegog. It is a two-and-one-half story 
clapboarded house of modified Greek Revival design. Its pedimented front 
portico has slender square columns and a balcony above the entrance door- 
way. The house is approached by a long tree-bordered walk. Faulkner, who 
still maintains his home here, has made several additions, but fundamen- 
tally the house remains as it was when built. 

2. The SITE OF JACOB THOMPSON'S HOME, Garfield St. diago- 
nally across from the Faulkner home, is marked by offices, carriage houses, 
and a gatekeeper's lodge that escaped destruction by Union soldiers in 1864. 
Thompson, Secretary of the Interior in the cabinet of President Buchanan, 
built the house, a 2o-room mansion, for his young wife, Kate Jones, daugh- 
ter of a Revolutionary soldier. Kate was so beautiful that, immediately 
after their marriage, Thompson placed her in school in France instead of 
taking her with him to Washington. When he finally permitted her to 
join him in Washington, the Prince of Wales, then on a visit to the States, 
asked her to lead a ball given in his honor. Kate's presentation at the Eng- 
lish Court so pleased Queen Victoria that she gave the young girl a gold 
thimble set with diamonds, a gift that became part of the loot of a Federal 
raider. In 1863 Thompson at the request of President Davis headed a se- 
cret mission to Canada, where, in cooperation with Vallandigham of Ohio, 
he was to foment insurrection in the Western States, a plan of which noth- 
ing came. 






:-2fo**i 



? iti 







HOME OF WILLIAM FAULKNER, OXFORD 



3. The HOME OF L. Q. C. LAMAR, 616 N. i4th St. (private), is a 
simple cream-colored frame cottage built prior to the War between the 
States. Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar was a member of Congress, Sec- 
retary of the Interior in Cleveland's cabinet, and a U.S. Supreme Court 
Justice. He is famous for the memorable eulogy he gave Charles Sumner. 
This speech made while in Congress was a prime factor in reconciling the 
North and the South (see Tour 14). 

4. ST. PETER'S CEMETERY, E. end of Jefferson Ave., surrounded by 
a low vine-covered fence and shaded by soft evergreen trees, has been the 
town's burying ground since the settlement began. Here is the grave of 
Lamar, bearing the inscription "L.Q.C Lamar, 1825-1893." By the side of 
Lamar's grave is that of Augustus Baldwin Longstreet, Lamar's father-in- 
law. Longstreet, the author of Georgia Scenes, a book that set the pattern 
for Southern humor in the generation before the war, was made president 
of the newly opened University of Mississippi in 1849, and was instru- 
mental in bringing Lamar to Oxford shortly after he himself had arrived. 
Here also are the graves of Senator Sullivan, Judge Hill, and Dr. Isom. 

5. DR. T. D. ISOM HOME, 1003 Jefferson Ave. (open by permis- 
sion), is a white clapboarded two-story Planter-type house with a wide gal- 
lery and six square white columns across the front. Over the entrance door 
is a small frame balcony. The exact date at which the house was erected is 



258 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

unknown, but it is said to have been standing in the latter part of the 
1830'$. The jig-saw brackets on the caps of the square gallery columns are 
of later date. Thomas Dudley Isom was one of the earliest settlers of Ox- 
ford, having arrived here in his youth ; after some years of study of medi- 
cine in Kentucky, he returned to practice his profession. Of all Oxford's 
early citizens he is perhaps the best remembered. Dr. Isom's redheaded 
daughter Sarah was the only woman member of the university faculty. 
Known as "Miss Sally," Sarah had a magnificent deep voice and gained in- 
ternational recognition as a "reader." Her reading or Poe's Raven brought 
her an invitation to read in England. 

6. The R. A. HILL PLACE, 419 N. Lamar St. (private), a gray two- 
story structure, of modified Victorian Gothic design, with a gallery on each 
floor and a bay on the right, was the home of Robert A. Hill, one of the 
most influential personalities in reconciling the North and the South. Born 
March 25, 1811, in Iredell County, N. C, Robert received only a few 
weeks schooling each year ; further education he acquired at home with his 
father's help. In 1855 he moved to Mississippi and the following year was 
appointed judge of united courts of Mississippi. Two years later he was 
elected probate judge, serving in this capacity until the end of the War be- 
tween the States, when he was apointed chancellor by Provisional Gover- 
nor Sharkey. Judge Hill was no politician and, opposed to secession, took 
no part in the war. By sheer personal integrity he retained the confidence 
of both factions, and was elected by his county as delegate to Governor 
Clark's constitutional convention in May 1865 and, after this convention 
was prevented from meeting, to the one called by Governor Sharkey in 
August of the same year. A personal friend of President Johnson, he was 
appointed judge of the Mississippi Circuit in 1866 and was the only "oper- 
ating" judge in the State until 1869. Judge Hill was a trustee of the Uni- 
versity of Mississippi and several other educational institutions. He died in 
1900. The house was bought by D. I. Sultan, merchant and lumberman. 

7. The OLD OPERA HOUSE, 106-108 S. Lamar St. (open), one of a 
long line of attached commercial buildings, was once the center of Ox- 
ford's civic culture. It is a square, two-story brick structure with a flat roof, 
and a balcony across the front. The second floor auditorium, unused for 
years, is approached from the sidewalk by a stairway which divides the 
lower floor into equal parts. For a decade before and after the War be- 
tween the States the country's leading singers, musicians, and lecturers ap- 
peared here. Because the university did not permit dancing in its halls, the 
students held their balls in the opera house. 

8. The LAW OFFICE OF SEN. WILLIAM V. SULLIVAN, 1013 
Jackson Ave. (private), sits back from the sidewalk, a typical mid- Victorian 
brick structure resembling a small cottage more than an office building. 
The right side, half hidden by foliage, is softened by the dense shade of a 
red magnolia. Born in Montgomery County December 18, 1857, William 
V. Sullivan first attended the University of Mississippi then was gradu- 
ated with the first law class of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. 
Admitted to the Mississippi bar, he moved to Oxford in 1878 ; here he be- 
came a member of the Board of Aldermen. Sullivan served in Congress as 



OXFORD 259 

Representative from March 4, 1897, to May 31, 1898, when he was ap- 
pointed as Senator to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Sen. Edward 
C. Walthall (see HOLLY SPRINGS). Subsequently elected to the U.S. 
Senate, he served until March 3, 1901. Senator Sullivan died in Oxford 
March i, 1918. 

Of Senator Sullivan's five children, only his daughter, Ellen Sullivan 
Woodward, has followed in his footsteps. In 1925 she was elected to the 
State Legislature, the second woman to serve in the House of Representa- 
tives. This was the beginning of a career of outstanding service to her 
State in key positions: on the State Board of Development (1926-33) ; on 
the State Research Commission (1930); on the State Board of Public 
Welfare (1932). These activities led to her being chosen to organize and 
head the Women's Division under Harry Hopkins, Administrator of the 
Federal Relief Program (1933) and to become the only woman Assistant 
Administrator of the Works Progress Administration (1935). 

Mrs. Woodward's interest in and work for library extension service be- 
gan while she was in the Mississippi Legislature, and it is largely to her 
credit that Mississippi has library facilities in every county of the State 

0937)- 

From the beginning of her career, Mrs. Woodward has stood consist- 
ently for the principle that women should receive equal pay with men for 
equal services. 

9. The NEILSON HOME, nth and Fillmore Sts. (private), is one of 
the best preserved ante-bellum homes in Oxford. Built in 1855 by W. S. 
Neilson, this massive square house is flanked on two sides by porticos with 
slender square columns two stories in height, and fine classic pediments. 
The interior is planned in the form of a Maltese cross. In the yard, shaded 
by cedars and magnolias, occurred an incident mentioned in So Red the 
Rose: a small Negro boy who climbed into a tree to hide from Federal 
raiders was shot and instantly killed. 

10. The KATE SKIPWITH HOME, 508 University Ave. (private), 
on a spacious lawn overlooking the street, is a peak-roofed cream frame 
house. In the Skipwith art collection is a portrait of Ellen Adair Beatty, 
daughter of John Adair, Governor of Kentucky 1820-24, and celebrated 
Oxford beauty. Ellen was presented at many of the courts of Europe, in- 
cluding that of St. James. 

11. HILGARD'S CUT, under the University Ave. bridge, was dug by 
Dr. Isom's slaves to bring the Mississippi Central R.R. through Oxford. It 
was hoped that by bringing the trains past this point the passengers would 
have an opportunity to see the new university. But the cut was made too 
deep ; when the trains passed through, the passengers saw only the bright 
red clay banks. It is the deepest cut on the Illinois Central line and is 
named for Dr. E. W. Hilgard, an early State geologist. 

12. The UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI, foot of University Ave., oc- 
cupies 640 acres of wooded hill lands, with the campus and the older, red 
brick, white-columned buildings half-hidden by the shade of great oak 
trees. The Lyceum building, erected in 1848, is the center. Greek Revival 
in style, its wide spreading wings and towering white columns set the ar- 



260 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

chitectural theme of the campus. The other buildings are grouped in the 
form of two great tangential circles. The east circle, swinging around a 
low forested bowl of natural beauty, is formed by the older structures. The 
west circle, swinging up into the more open hills, includes the latest addi- 
tions to the university's physical equipment. These newer buildings, erected 
with the $1,600,000 appropriated by the legislature in 1929 and designed 
by Frank F. Gates, are of Classical Revival design with the simple classic 
details. Constructed of light red brick, two and three stories high, they 
have pedimented porticos with white columns. To avoid the monotony of 
a single perspective the porticos vary in design ; some are Doric, some are 
Corinthian. 

The founding of the university was provided by an act of the legislature 
of 1840. Four years later the college was chartered and the first board of 
trustees of 13 members was appointed. In another four years the four- 
member faculty received the first enrollment of 80 students. These early 
students, sons of planters, brought their horses and slaves to college with 
them. The records indicate that the majority of them were poorly prepared 
for college work. Under a wise administration, however, the university 
grew in numbers and in public confidence, soon taking rank as one of the 
best equipped institutions in the country. 

The advent of the War between the States in 1861 seriously interrupted 
the progress of the university. The students organized a company that be- 
came historic as the University Grays. The faculty, cancelling an order for 
the world's largest telescope, resigned. The university closed its doors. In 
the following four years the buildings sometimes were used by Confeder- 
ate and sometimes by Federal troops. After the Battle of Shiloh they were 
used as a hospital for approximately 1,500 sick and wounded Confederate 
soldiers, 700 of whom are buried in the little cemetery near the campus. 

From the opening of the university in 1848 to the year 1870, the "close 
curriculum" was in use. The university was handicapped by the tendency 
to keep it as a liberal arts and law school and to relegate vocational sub- 
jects to the land grant colleges. There was a prescribed course of study 
leading to the B. A. degree and a prescribed course of study leading to the 
LL.B. degree, and the student took precisely either one or the other of 
these courses. This classicalism caused the university gradually to be known 
as a rich man's school, an unfortunate position for an institution in a farm- 
ing state. In the year 1870 the principle of the "elective" system was 
adopted, but so deeply had the idea of a rich man's school embedded itself 
in the minds of Mississippians that they sought to democratize the insti- 
tution by condemning the fraternity system in a legislative committee's re- 
port. In 1912 the fraternities were abolished, not to return until 1926. 

Beginning with the session of 188283, women have been admitted to 
the university on the same terms and conditions as men. In 1892 prepara- 
tory courses were discontinued and since that time the grade of educa- 
tional work has advanced fully one year. The enrollment has increased 
from 167 to 1,361 (1936-37). 

The university, in 1937, included nine divisions, ranging from the orig- 
inal College of Liberal Arts through the Extension Division to the Gradu- 



TUPELO 26l 

ate School, founded in 1927. The majority of the graduate students enter 
the profession of law, with approximately 90 percent of the State's lawyers 
and politicians receiving their education at "Ole Miss." 






Tupelo 



Railroad Station: Union Station, foot of Spring St., for St. Louis & San Francisco 

R.R. and Mobile & Ohio R.R. 

Bus Station: Courthouse Square for Tri-State Transit Co. and Greyhound Bus Lines. 

Taxis: Intra-city rates 10$ per person. 

Airport: Municipal, 3^ m. W. on Chesterville Pike, taxi fare 50$, time 10 min. 

No scheduled service. 

Information Service: Chamber of Commerce, Lyric Theater Bldg. 
Accommodations: Four hotels; tourist camps. 

Motion Picture Houses: Two. 

Swimming: Municipal pool, N. Madison St. between Franklin and Jackson Sts. 

Rates 15^ per person. 

Golf: Tupelo Country Club, li/ 2 m. NW. on US 78 (R), 9 holes, moderate greens 

fee. 

Annual Events: Northeast Mississippi-Alabama Fair, last of September or first of 
October. 

TUPELO (289 alt., 6,361 pop.) is perhaps Mississippi's best example of 
what contemporary commentators call the "New South" industry rising 
in the midst of agriculture and agricultural customs. It has a pattern-like 
consistency of one-story, clapboard residences and two- and three-story red 
brick business buildings. These business houses, with stores on the street 
level and offices or factories in the upper stories, lie knotted in the angle 
formed by the crossing of the Mobile & Ohio and Frisco railroad tracks. 
The main residential section, emerging gradually from the business dis- 
trict, stretches into the slowly climbing hills north and west. A number of 
the houses, rebuilt after the tornado of 1936, were constructed with the 
advice of a planning commission. They are mostly white, one-story Colo- 
nial in type, with green roofs and shutters. Yet here and there the line of 
bright new green against glistening white is broken by a deep brown roof 
or a two- story home of faced brick. 

South of the Union Station, which forms the angle's apex, lies another 
residential section. This is a small, unpaved district of standardized four- 
and five-room houses sheltering the mill folk. The houses, painted alter- 
nately yellow trimmed in white and white trimmed in yellow, are set in 



262 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

unsodded yards behind sagging picket and wire fences. They were built by 
the cotton mill and are rented to its employees. Biting off the northeast 
corner of the district is the recreational ground with a diminutive baseball 
diamond and grandstand. Facing South Spring Street across the ballground 
is the low, one-story red brick grammar school built especially for the chil- 
dren of cotton mill employees. This section of Tupelo is referred to either 
as "South Tupelo" or "Mill Town." 

Looking down upon the residential section proper from the northern 
ends of Madison and Green Streets, and fringing the town eastward into 
the flat bottom land, which lies across the Mobile & Ohio tracks, is the 
Negro section. The houses on the hilltops are more or less substantial five- 
and six-room structures and, in a great many instances, are owned by their 
occupants. Here, too, are the two Negro churches, of red brick construc- 
tion, with square spires and Gothic windows, and the Lee County Train- 
ing School, an accredited high school for Negroes. But, as if influenced by 
the topography, the quality of the houses drops with the land, until those 
around Park Lake and in the low flats are hardly more than shacks. It is 
in the latter section, called "Shakerag," that a majority of the cooks, 
nurses, and house servants of Tupelo live. A few of the Negro men of 
Tupelo are professional men but the majority are unskilled laborers. The 
Negroes compose 39.5 percent of Tupelo's population. 

Key city to an agricultural area circling on a 2 5 -mile radius, Tupelo took 
its early wealth from rich black land and, never quite breaking with the 
land, invested in industry. It is a pioneer city at heart and was among the 
first to practice successfully the economic philosophy that factory employees 
should live on subsistence farms outside of town and commute to and from 
their work. Widely publicized as the "First TV A City," it earlier achieved 
distinction among Southern cities for the concrete roads approaching it. In 
its courthouse were written the first drainage laws in the nation. 

With those who work at the cotton mill excepted, the majority of fac- 
tory laborers in Tupelo are girls and young women who form a surplus 
supply of labor on surrounding farms. Each morning a fleet of busses gath- 
ers up the workers and brings them into town; each afternoon the same 
busses return the workers to their homes. The cotton mill laborers are 
stable, many of them of the group who moved into the new mill houses 
built for them when the mill was first opened; others are the children, 
now grown, of these workers. 

The region around Tupelo was a part of the land obtained from the 
Chickasaw Indians by the Treaty of Pontotoc in 1832. Immediately after 
the opening of the land, settlers from the eastern seaboard States moved in 
and by 1848 had established themselves as well-to-do farmers. In that 
year, C. C. Thompson built a store on land belonging to Judge W. R. 
Harris, one of the wealthy prairie planters, and named the site Harrisburg. 
Within three years two stores were built. The village continued to thrive 
until 1859, when the tracks of the Mobile & Ohio R.R. were laid two 
miles to the east and a gradual abandonment of Harrisburg began. The 
people moved east, down from the upper slope of the ridge into the flat, 
marshy bottoms, where there were no stores or dwelling houses, but a rail- 



TUPELO 263 

road and plenty of tupelo gum trees. By the end of the first year, the first 
arrivals had built a store, a temporary railroad station, and two saloons. 
These stood opposite the present freight depot, on the east side of the rail- 
road. Because of the nearness of a small pond lined with tupelo gum trees, 
the new station was called Gum Pond. But later the first citizens wished to 
honor the trees that had supplied the timber for their homes, so they 
changed the name to Tupelo (Ind., lodging place). 

During the War between the States General Beauregard retreated to 
Tupelo after the battle of Shiloh, and encamped here during the summer 
of 1862. Later General Forrest made his headquarters in the Younger 
home. On July 14, 1864, the Confederate army under the command of 
Stephen D. Lee paused at Tupelo to give battle to the pursuing Union 
army commanded by A. J. Smith. The two armies met on the hilltop where 
the village of Harrisburg had been. It was the last major battle and one 
of the bloodiest fought in Mississippi. Cavalry General Forrest, whose 
wounded foot forced him from horseback into a carriage, drove madly up 
and down the Confederate lines, swearing at officers and giving orders 
wholesale. One of the orders miscarried, and the battle was lost for the 
Confederates an incident which Joe Smith, once of the Forrest cavalry, 
described as "making the General so mad he stunk." But though the Con- 
federate troops were beaten back, the Federals retreated two days later. 
Robert S. Henry, in his Story of the Confederacy, says: "General Smith was 
uneasy in his mind. That night he burned Harrisburg and started on his 
retreat to Memphis. He left so hurriedly that he abandoned 250 of his se- 
riously wounded, their wounds undressed, to be found by the Confederates 
in Tupelo, a ghastly sight with open wounds fly-blown and festering. . . . 
It was a strange spectacle, an army which had just won a pitched battle 
drawing back from an enemy of half its own size which it had just 
beaten." In the winter of 1864-65, 20,000 Confederates rested at Tupelo. 

On October 6, 1866, Lee County was formed from Itawamba and Pon- 
totoc Counties, and after considerable wrangling on the part of the older 
towns, Tupelo was selected as the county seat, and a courthouse was built. 
This raised Tupelo from the category of village to that of town, and 
brought to it the adventurous young men who cut themselves off from es- 
tablished families in other communities, and who later forsook the land 
for the machine, thus shaping Tupelo into an industrial city. Cultural 
progress was manifested on September i, 1871, when, according to John 
Thompson's announcement in the Tupelo Journal, "school was opened to- 
day in the new building near the Baptist Church with 30 pupils." 

In 1875 the town was grouped around Main Street, with three brick 
store buildings, a brick bank, a courthouse, and several business houses. 
The population was slightly less than 100. There were no sidewalks or 
paved streets, and the large area between Main Street and the courthouse 
square served the farm people in town to trade as a "hitching yard." In 
wet weather the little holes caused by the restless pawing of horses' hoofs 
on the earth would fill with water and turn green. The hitching yard was 
also the "swapping ground," where farmer met merchant and traded pro- 
duce for merchandise. 



264 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

In 1887 the Memphis & Birmingham R.R., now the St. Louis & San 
Francisco, called the Frisco, swerved slightly out of a more direct course to 
cross the Mobile & Ohio tracks at Tupelo. This gave the town rail trans- 
portation in four directions, and enabled it to develop in a more substan- 
tial way. Connecting streets, now called Spring, Broadway, and Green, 
were cut, and Main Street was extended. In 1890 electric lights were in- 
stalled and one year later a charter of incorporation was granted by the 
State. Then, with electric lights, a city charter, and thousands of "bottom 
acres" made available for farming by a system of 36 drainage canals (the 
latter of which were the outcome of the first drainage laws passed in the 
nation), the citizens financed one of the first cotton mills in the State. 

The cotton mill was Tupelo's first step away from the land, but since its 
establishment the growth of the city has been largely identical with the 
growth of the cotton goods manufacture in the State. With money dug 
from the earth rather than with "outside capital," a work-shirt factory was 
built, as well as a woman's dress factory, a factory for making baby clothes, 
and finally, a cottonseed products plant. Outside capital was represented in 
a compress and a fertilizer factory. 

Tupelo still retains its ties with the land. Cattle breeding and dairying 
led to the establishment of a condensery, whose trucks return each after- 
noon loaded with cans of milk picked up at surrounding farms. Each 
Wednesday and Thursday cattle auctions draw buyers from as far as North 
Dakota. 

On October n, 1933, the city entered into TVA's first contract for the 
purchase of power to be generated at Wilson Dam, 75 miles northeast of 
Tupelo. Initial service was inaugurated February 7, 1934. With a total 
first year's saving to residential and commercial consumers amounting to 
$53,000, consumption for residential users increased 114 percent and for 
commercial users 77 percent. 

On April 5, 1936, a violent tornado struck old Harrisburg, now a sub- 
division, swept through Willis Heights, another subdivision, and roared 
down into the hitherto hill-protected city of Tupelo. In 33 seconds, 201 
persons were killed, 1,000 injured; hosts of others wandered helplessly, 
without homes, schools, or places of worship. The great oak trees lay 
broken or uprooted. In less than a minute Tupelo received the most disas- 
trous blow ever delivered to a Mississippi town. Within six months, how- 
ever, Tupelo had built new homes, repaired the churches, and designed 
new, modern schools. 

On April 8, 1937, approximately 100 cotton mill employees struck for 
higher wages, the first strike in the history of the mill. Unable to reach an 
agreement with the strikers, the board of directors of the mill voted to 
liquidate, throwing not only the strikers but also an additional 350 em- 
ployees out of work. The cotton mill workers were not organized, but 
since the strike the garment workers have formed a local union. 

Tupelo's history and character are epitomized in the view from the 
south front of the Union Station. In autumn, the bottom lands just over 
the tracks at the left are white with bolls of growing cotton; directly to 
the right, South Spring Street is blocked with trailers, trucks, and wagons 






TUPELO 265 

piled high with dusty bales. Swarming about the bales, in and out among 
the vehicles, are buyers and sellers, who pull a large handful from each 
bale, hastily grade the fiber, and, again hastily, drop the fiber to the street 
to bargain with the farmer. Within a two-block area of the Union Station 
the cotton is ginned, compressed, dyed, made into yarn, into thread, into 
cloth, and finally into shirts, dresses, and baby clothes. Within the same 
area, the seed is milled for oil, hulls, and meal. 



Tour i.zm 



S. from Mam St. on S. Spring St. 

1. TUPELO COTTON MILL (R) S. Spring St. (open weekdays 8-4; 
tours), one of the largest cotton producing units in the South, manufac- 
tures more than 25 miles of cloth per day. The mill operates in two build- 
ings, one on each side of the street. The building on the left, where the 
cotton is dyed and spun into thread, is a two-story, dilapidated red brick 
structure with a flat roof and many windows. Adjacent to it is a one-story 
addition called the dyeing shed. The building on the right is well venti- 
lated, of brick, and two stories in height. In this building the thread, con- 
veyed by cable across the street, is respun for the looms, then woven into 
cloth. In front of the building is the small, brick, bungalow-shaped office 
building. 

L. from S. Spring St. on Elizabeth St. across the M. & O. R.R. 

2. TUPELO FISH HATCHERY (R) Elizabeth St. (open weekdays 8-4; 
tours), owned and operated by the U.S. Government, is the only fish 
hatchery in the State. Here in artificial pools of fresh water among green 
lawns and weeping willow trees, the Government propagates fish for the 
lakes and streams of the State. The well-kept grounds are Tupelo's favorite 
picnicking resort. The hatchery is often called "Private" John Allen's 
Hatchery, because his influence while a member of the House of Repre- 
sentatives helped procure it for his home town, Tupelo. 

R. from Elizabeth St. on Green St. 

3. TUPELO GARMENT PLANT (R) Green St. (open weekdays 8-4; 
tours), manufactures work and dress shirts in a three-story rectangular red 
brick building paralleling the Frisco railroad tracks. On a lower floor of 
this building, cloth, in many layers, is cut to pattern by a keen-bladed elec- 
tric knife ; then sent to an upstairs sewing room to be stitched on machines 
by women operators. Each operator performs a single operation. When 
the shirt is completed it is inspected, ironed, and wrapped for shipment. 



266 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

R. from Green St. on Clark St. ; L. on S. Spring St. 

4. REED'S MANUFACTURING PLANT, S. Spring St. (R) bet. Mag- 
azine and Clark Sts. (open weekdays 8-4; tours), occupies the second and 
third floors of a three-story red brick building of modern design. Six hun- 
dred or more women operators produce women's work dresses, smocks, 
and aprons. 

L. Jrom S. Spring St. on Main St. 

5. MILAM MANUFACTURING PLANT, Main St. (L) bet. Broad- 
way and Green Sts. (open weekdays 8-4; tours), operates on the second 
floor of a commercial building. This is the only factory in the State that 
produces children's wear. Various garments are shipped to retail and de- 
partment stores, the majority being the baby aprons which this company 
originated. 

6. The BOULDER, parkway at intersection of Main and Church Sts., is 
a granite stone commemorating De Soto's alleged march through here in 
1540-41. It was placed by the Colonial Dames. 

L. from Main St. on S. Church St.; R. on Carnation St. 

7. CARNATION MILK PLANT (R) Carnation St. (open weekdays 
8-4; tours), occupies a modern two-and-a-half -story building of white 
stucco, with a tall white smokestack. The building stands on a terrace. The 
plant receives approximately 17,500,000 pounds of milk from the sur- 
rounding farms each year and condenses it into about 30,000,000 cans of 
condensed milk. The milk is poured into large vats, then passed through 
copper condensers to the tin containers or cans. 

POINTS OF INTEREST IN ENVIRONS 

Tupelo Homestead Resettlement Project, 5.9 m. (see Tour 4); Tombigbee State 
Park, 74 m. (see Tour 9); Old Walker Home, 4.2 m. (see Tour 14). 



Railroad Station: Cherry St. for Illinois Central System. 

Bus Station: 800 South St. for Tri-State Transit Co., Dixie Greyhound Lines, Oliver 

Coach Line. 

Airport: Municipal, 6 m. NE., on Vicksburg-Oak Ridge Road. No scheduled service. 

Ferry Line: Mississippi River Ferry Co. between Vicksburg and Delta, La. Landing 

at foot of Clay St. and Mississippi River. Fare for automobile and driver, 50$; 

additional passengers, 15^ each. 

Bridge Service: Mississippi River Bridge, fare for automobile with driver, $1.25; 

additional passengers, 15$. 



VICKSBURG 267 

Taxis: 10^ up. 

Infra-city bus line: Fare 5$. 

Traffic Regulations: Turns may be made in either direction at intersections of all 
streets except where traffic lights direct otherwise. Right turn on red traffic light. 
Downtown parking space free. 

Accommodations: Three hotels; rooming and boarding houses; tourist camps. 
Information Service: Chamber of Commerce, Carroll Hotel, Clay St. 

Radio Station: WQBC (1360 kc.) 
Motion Picture Houses : Four. 

Athletics: Y.M.C.A. on Clay St.; City League Baseball, City Park, Drummond St. 

Swimming: Mount Memorial Swimming Pool, municipal, Drummond St. 

Tennis: City Park, Drummond St. (free). 

Golf: National Park Golf Course, 18 holes, reasonable greens fee, Union Ave. just 

outside Vicksburg National Military Park. 

Parks: Vicksburg National Military Park, free guides, Administration Bldg., Pem- 

berton Ave., or Contact Station, at Memorial Arch, Clay St. 

Fishing: On rivers and nearby lakes. 

Annual Events : Historic Tour Week, held in Spring; Annual National Assembly of 
Descendants of Participants of Campaign, Siege and Defense of Vicksburg, held 
in Spring. 

VICKSBURG (206 alt., 22,943 pop.), Mississippi's third largest city 
and major river port, is a leisurely town, rich in historic associations and 
natural beauty. Sprawling over the highest of a line of bluffs and over- 
looking the junction of the Yazoo Canal and the Mississippi River, it is 
a city of precipitous streets, natural terraces, and wooded ravines. During 
the War between the States Vicksburg was called the "Gibraltar of the 
Confederacy" and was the objective of the western campaigns. Since the 
war, and without relinquishing the customs and traditions of a river 
community, it has emerged from reconstruction and yellow fever into 
the "Hill City," an inland port of the New South. 

The business district, dominated by the tall, sandy-colored cupola of 
the ante-bellum courthouse, parallels and climbs abruptly from the river 
front, an architectural mixture of ante-bellum porticos, gingerbread orna- 
ments of the 1890*5 and modern steel and concrete buildings two and 
three stories high. Higher among the bluffs, clinging in scattered groups 
to the less precarious terraces, are the residences. Both the ante-bellum 
homes, placed by right of priority on the comparatively secure terraces, 
and the newer homes, built after the War between the States on streets 
that often are almost sheer, have a stern, militaristic appearance. 
Scattered about the city, clustered in the ravine bottoms, and facing the 
river from north Washington Street, are the Negro quarters. Infrequently 
these homes are solid brick houses abandoned by white persons; more 
often they are two- and three-room cabins, dwarfed by the backdrop of 
towering, steep-sided cliffs. 

Vicksburg is the seat of a cotton county that supports gins, compresses, 
and warehouses ; as a start to a new industry a garment factory was built 
in 1936. But as yet the city's chief business comes from the river that 
shaped its destiny. Barge lines have their terminals here for the ship- 
ment of hardwood lumber, cotton, and cattle; the Government main- 



268 



MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 



VICKSBURG 

Federal Writers' Project 1937 




tains here the river fleet and the general headquarters of flood control 
work on the Mississippi and its tributaries; nearby is the United States 
Waterways Experiment Station (see Tour 2). This government work re- 
quires skilled machinists and mechanics, technical engineers and drafts- 
men, while the handling of cotton, shipping, and levee building demand 
hardy, unskilled labor. Because stevedoring and roustabouting are jobs 
still left to the Negro, Vicksburg's Negro population is 51.9 percent 









VICKSBURG 269 

of the total, the third largest urban percentage in the State. Under the 
leadership of Bishop Green, one of the outstanding Negro leaders of 
the State, the Negroes of Vicksburg were given an impetus to social and 
educational improvement. Today they have their own professional group, 
a modern, well-equipped Y. M. C. A., a private school of approved 
high school standing (St. Mary's), and two high schools, units of the 
city school system. But "Catfish Row" along the river still exists, and 
it is here that a majority of the Negroes spend their leisure hours. 

The bluffs over which Vicksburg is spread are formed in part of a 
peculiar loess formation, a brown dust, or more accurately, a rock flour, 
blown eons ago from the Mississippi basin. The loess, caked 20 to 40 
feet thick on all elevations and covered with jungle-like vegetation, often 
rises in sheer precipices. This makes a wild, rugged contour that has the 
appearance of distant castles, and gives to Vicksburg the air of a city 
in perpetual siege. This is not inappropriate, however, for by a siege 
Vicksburg is best known; and a pattern of violence following land spec- 
ulation and turbulent river trade stands out, like the bluffs themselves, in 
the city's history. 

In 1790 the Spaniards recognized the military advantages of the bluffs, 
obtained a land grant from the Indians, and established an outpost here. 
The following year, they built a fort on the highest hill and called it 
Nogales, for the many walnut trees that grew on it. Later, the flatboatmen 
and other voyagers, who sighted the point above the great bend in the 
river, renamed it Walnut Hills. In 1814 the Rev. Newitt Vick, a Metho- 
dist minister, came from Virginia and established one of the first missions 
in Mississippi in "the open woods." This was a clearing, six miles 
east of the present city, denuded of its timber by the Indians who had 
made the Walnut Hills their camping grounds. 

Vick, evidently, was as good a business man as he was a minister. The 
War of 1812 was over; cotton culture had been made highly profitable 
by the introduction of slaves and the invention of the cotton gin. The 
first steamboat appeared on the Mississippi River, and settlers poured 
in from Virginia, the Carolinas, Kentucky, and the uplands of the East- 
ern Seaboard States so Vick bought another tract of land, this time a 
piece that fronted the river, and planned to lay out a city. In 1819, 
however, before his enterprise was well begun, he and his wife died of 
yellow fever and his son-in-law, John Lane, as executor of the estate, 
sold the city lots and started the town. In 1825 the people named their 
sprawling village Vicksburg in Vick's honor. 

True to its founder's expectation, Vicksburg became the export point 
for central Mississippi and the settlement, like other frontier river towns, 
expanded rapidly. Wagons, pulled by six and eight yokes of oxen, hauled 
bales of cotton from a radius of 100 miles to the little inland port, where 
it was stacked high on the cargo decks of river boats and shipped down- 
stream to New Orleans. Merchandise from Europe was tugged laboriously 
upstream by churning "paddle wheelers" to be landed here, then hauled 
across the hills and through the bogs to inland communities. With the 
crops and water routes and slave labor to be metamorphosed into wealth 




MISSISSIPPI MONUMENT, VICKSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK 



and culture, men of means came down the river and down the Natchez 
Trace to add new energy to the thriving community. 

The first settlers, full of years and prosperity, soon lost themselves in 
their "segars," their families, their palatial homes, and their gardens 
which stretched beyond the rugged terraces down to the river itself. But 
by 1830 newcomers composed a majority of the 3,000 population. They 
were second sons of families well established in Eastern States, mostly 
lawyers, doctors, and professional men, alone in a frontier society with 
a tendency toward a more energetic and unrestrained mode of life. They 
lived well but recklessly, speculated in land, indulged in oratory, and 
took the chances of surviving a duel. They lived in the hotels and office 
buildings and spent their leisure hours lounging in each other's rooms, 
in the bars and gambling houses, or in drilling away the hours in aristo- 
cratic military companies. Their day was colored by an extravagant form 
of chivalry, but they opened new lands and built the town which became 
famous in the golden age of the old Deep South. 

Like a strenuous boy, Vicksburg suffered violently from the pangs of 
eating too well and growing too fast. With trade and expansion came 
speculation, embezzlement, and graft. With prosperity came lawlessness 
and vice. The scum of the river gamblers gathered at the foot of the 



VICKSBURG 271 

Walnut Hills, and became an open menace. Wagon drivers, more often 
white farmers conveying their whole crop into Vicksburg in a single 
wagon, hated broadcloth coats and tall beaver hats. They wore coarse, 
dingy, yellow or blue linsey-woolsey and broad-brimmed hats, and with 
long rawhide whips in their hands and plenty of whisky under their 
belts, they blustered and roared through the town. Flatboatmen joined 
the wagoners in their blustering and the young professional gentlemen 
in their gambling. These "ring-tailed roarers" from the river spent their 
working hours fighting swift currents and hairpin bends, and their time 
on shore swearing they could "throw down, drag out, and lick any man 
in the country," and proving it. Beatings, knifings, and shootings oc- 
curred daily, and women appeared on the streets at the risk of insult. 

On the 4th of July, 1835, a drunken gambler wandered into the 
Springfield section of the city and while there insulted Captain Brun- 
grad's military company. The indignant officers of the company placed 
him under guard but, upon his threats of dire vengeance, released him. 
That evening the company returned to the courthouse to find him heavily 
armed and prepared to fight. He was seized, disarmed, and carried to the 
outskirts of the town. There he was whipped, tarred and feathered, and 
ordered to leave immediately. His enraged associates, encouraged by the 
number and reckless character of their patrons, denounced and threatened 
the citizens who had heretofore patronized them. Sentiment against the 
gamblers increased and at a public meeting the citizens decided to run 
the leaders of the gamblers out of town. They appointed a committtee 
to serve notice on the gamblers. But when Dr. Bodley led his com- 
mittee down the steep incline to the river front and called out the 
warning, the gamblers, barricaded in a house, answered by shooting and 
killing Dr.. Bodley. In retaliation the citizens lynched five of the gamblers 
in the city cemetery and gave a sixth back to the river from which he 
had come, setting him adrift in a small skiff with his hands pinioned 
behind him. 

With the gamblers under control, Vicksburg next had a "war" with 
the flatboatmen. In order to collect a heavy tax from the flatboatmen, a 
company of soldiers was sent down to the waterfront with instructions 
either to get the tax money or, failing in that, to blast the flatboats from 
the river. But the flatboatmen, tougher and braver than the gamblers, 
were also shrewder. They fraternized with the soldiers, passed around 
several jugs, and swapped tall stories until the soldiers forgot their 
mission. 

The first newspaper issued in Vicksburg was The Republican in 1825. 
In 1837 tne Vicksburg Tri-Weekly Sentinel began publication. But the 
pattern of violence extended to the press. Within 22 years the vitupera- 
tions of the first five editors of the Sentinel caused their violent deaths. 

When the Union was severed, Federals and Confederates alike recog- 
nized the strategic importance of the Mississippi River. With the South 
in control of the river, Middle Western commerce would be stagnant; 
with the North in control, the Confederacy would be split in two. Be- 
cause its strategic position on the Walnut Hills commanded the river, 



272 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

Vicksburg ceased commercial activities early in the war and became 
an armed camp. 

In June 1862, Admiral Farragut ran the Federal gunboats up the 
river to the great bend at Vicksburg. After several unsuccessful long range 
bombardments he withdrew his forces. In November of the same year, 
General Grant at Corinth and General Sherman at Memphis planned 
a converging attack from the north. Grant's line of communication was 
cut by Forrest's Cavalry and his supply depot (see HOLLY SPRINGS) 
was destroyed by Van Dorn, so that he, too, was forced to withdraw. 
Sherman hardly fared better. Descending the river in December with 
30,000 troops, his command was hurled back with heavy losses by 
Confederate shot from the bluffs in a short, decisive charge on Chickasaw 
Bayou, just north of the city. 

The new year, 1863, found General Grant in command of the Union 
forces with orders to compel the fall of Vicksburg. With the city seem- 
ingly impregnable from the north and from the river, he made numerous 
attempts to reach the rear of Vicksburg by a series of bayou expeditions. 
But these failed and during the remainder of the winter he sought to 
avoid exposing his army to the Confederate fire from the bluff, even 
attempting to cut a new channel for the river across the narrow tongue 
of land opposite the city. Spring floods kept the lowlands under water 
and President Lincoln lent every possible assistance, but the General's 
engineers could not persuade the river to change its mind. 

In April, however, Grant decided to risk running the batteries. He 
ordered Admiral Porter to slip his gunboats and transports past Vicks- 
burg by night, while he marched his army on a wide detour down the 
river through Louisiana. Although the Confederates fired part of the town 
to throw light on the river and the night was punctured with the bellow- 
ing fire of siege guns, Grant's desperate maneuver was successful. On April 
30, 1863, under the protection of Porter's 80 vessels, he recrossed the 
river with his army at Bruinsburg (see Tour 3, Sec b), 30 miles below 
the city. Cut off from the north and forced to live off the country, his 
strategy lay in clearing the territory south and east of Vicksburg and 
then carrying the fight to the city itself. This he accomplished by a 
series of brilliant maneuvers (see Tours 2 and 3, Sec. b), which drove 
the Confederates and their general, J. C. Pemberton, into Vicksburg. A 
young girl's diary aptly describes the situation: "I never hope to witness 
again such a scene as our routed army. From twelve o'clock until late 
in the night the streets and roads were jammed with wagons, cannons, 
horses, mules, stock, sheep, everything that you can imagine that apper- 
tains to an army, being brought hurriedly within the retrenchment. 
Nothing like order prevailed, of course, and divisions, regiments and 
brigades were broken and separated. . . . What is to become of all the 
living things in this place, when the boats begin shelling, God only 
knows." 

In Vicksburg, however, the Confederate lines were reformed on the 
innermost of the two parallel ridges that rim the city, and the Federals 
were halted. Twice, on the i9th and 22nd of May, 1863, the encircling 



VICKSBURG 



273 



jjosy 







WARREN COUNTY COURTHOUSE, VICKSBURG 






wave of blue charged up the steep western rims to dash itself to pieces 
against the stubborn gray line. Met with such repulses, Grant, with char- 
acteristic stubbornness, decided to starve the defenders into submission. 
For 47 days and nights his land and water batteries hammered incessantly 



VICKSBURG 275 

at the city. Many residents fled to caves in the hillsides. Food became 
scarce. Mule meat was a delicacy to starving inhabitants, and the soldiers 
were put on rations of fat bacon and stale bread. With the ranks of his 
army depleted by hunger, disease, and exposure, and with no indication 
of succor in sight, General Pemberton surrendered on the 4th of July, 
1863. Five days later the Confederate garrison at Port Hudson also 
capitulated, and the Mississippi River was open. 

The siege and aftermath of the war paralyzed the city for many years. 
During the carpetbag and reconstruction era that followed, the town was 
plunged into debt by mismanagement. Negroes in civil office had the 
support of the State "carpetbag" government in their defiance of old laws 
and the making of new ones. The white citizens differed politically and, 
at first, could not unite. But in 1875 they met and as one united party 
demanded the resignation of Negro officials. The Negroes refused to 
resign. One Negro, named Crosby, carried the matter to Governor Ames 
in Jackson and was advised by the Governor to defend his office with 
bloodshed if necessary. Returning to Vicksburg, Crosby circulated hand- 
bills over the county, urging all Negroes to be in Vicksburg on a speci- 
fied Monday morning. Rumor that 1,400 armed Negroes were marching 
upon the town by three different roads spread through the city. Once 
more Vicksburg armed itself against attack. Streets were filled with 
weeping women and terrified children. Squads of armed white men hur- 
ried to the three approaches. Groups of Negroes appeared on the roads, 
some orderly, others disorderly. After the fight, white men claimed that 
the Negroes fired first, but the records are not clear. Fifteen Negroes 
and one white man were killed; 30 Negroes were taken prisoners. It 
was the end of Negro and carpetbag rule in Vicksburg. 

This fresh start, however, was followed by cataclysms. In 1876 the 
erratic Mississippi River, which had so successfully defeated General 
Grant's efforts to cut a new channel, broke through the narrow tongue 
north of Vicksburg and made a new channel for itself. The city was 
left high and dry and Vicksburg seemed destined to disappear as had 
other towns that the "Father of Waters" sired only to abandon. How- 
ever, one day a little boy suggested the possibility of bringing the Yazoo 
River down in front of the city through a chain of lakes where the boys 
went fishing. The idea was found practical. Under Government engi- 
neering, the Yazoo' s mouth was closed and its waters were diverted 
through a canal into the old Mississippi River bed; on December 22, 
1902, Vicksburg again had a river coursing along the base of its bluffs. 
Thus Vicksburg achieved the distinction of being moved from a river 
to a canal by an Act of Congress. 

The financial depression of 1873, followed by a frenzied era of rail- 
road building in the i88o's, was the death knell to river trade. By the 
end of the century the railroads had driven out the steamboats, and up 
to 1917 there was little or no river traffic. In that year the United States 
entered the World War and the Government, seeking to relieve the 
terrific strain upon the railroads, subsidized a barge line to operate on 
the Mississippi River. After the war, the subsidy was not withdrawn, 



2 7 6 



MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 




*$& 



VICKSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK 

Federal Writers' Project 1937 
** *-- Main Park Roads 

Approach Roads 

"Follow the Arrows" 



but was left to develop further river traffic. The profits made by the 
Government line led to the establishment of private lines, and at present 
(1937) the river is making great strides in regaining its prestige as a 
transportation route. 

On June 28, 1879, Congress created the Mississippi River Commis- 
sion to survey and improve the river channel and banks for better navi- 






VICKSBURG 277 

gation, to prevent floods, and to promote commerce and postal service. 
By 1882 the commission had organized four operating engineer districts 
with Vicksburg in the third district. 

When the Mississippi River overflowed in the devastating flood of 
1927, Vicksburg again became a Gibraltar, with thousands of refugees 
rushing to its hills to escape the raging waters. Largely because of the 
flood damage to the lower valley and the menace of the river, the head- 
quarters of the Mississippi River Commission were moved from St. Louis 
to Vicksburg in 1930. Shortly afterward, the United States Waterways 
Experiment Station, where the problem of controlling the mighty Mis- 
sissippi is studied in a special laboratory, was established. The river com- 
mission's fleet and shops, known as the "U. S. Government Fleet," are 
on the river front just north of the business district. 



Tour 1-3.6 m. 



E. from Washington St. on Grove St. 

1. WARREN COUNTY COURTHOUSE, Grove St. (L) between 
Monroe and Cherry Sts. and extending to Jackson St., dominates Vicksburg 
from one of the highest points in the city. Designed by William Weldon 
and constructed by George and Thomas Weldon, who used slave labor, 
the structure is of Greek Revival architecture. Four identical facades hav- 
ing broad galleries, upper balconies, and fluted Ionic columns extend the 
full length of each side of the building. Begun in 1858, it was com- 
pleted in 1 86 1. During the siege of 1863 the courthouse was struck 
often by cannon balls and the original cupola was riddled by gunfire 
from Admiral Farragut's gunboats. The present cupola was added at 
a later date. 

L. from Grove St. on Monroe St. 

2. McNUTT HOME, NW. corner Monroe and First East Sts. (open 
by appointment), built by Alexander McNutt, former Governor of 
Mississippi (1838-42), is said to be the oldest home in Vicksburg. A 
white frame house, two stories high, it has the straight, boxlike lines 
and steep roof of the Colonial New England type. The house contains 
a fine collection of antique furnishings, including a set of Dresden china 
more than 100 years old and other pieces handed down from one gen- 
eration to another. In the side yard overlooking the river is the grave 
of a Confederate soldier, Lieut. D. N. McGill, who died June 4, 1863, 
from injuries received in the defense of Vicksburg. 




McNUTT HOME, VICKSBURG 



R. from Monroe St. on First East St.; L. on Adams St. 

3. The MARMADUKE SHANNON HOUSE, 701 Adams St. (open 
by appointment), was the home of one of Vicksburg's first crusading 
editors. In this low, one-story frame house, according to Vicksburg 
legend, on dark and blustery nights stalk the ghosts of the notorious 
gamblers who murdered Dr. Hugh Bodley. The large dormer window 
on the north and the portico with its gable roof, supported by plain 
square columns, are the most noticeable features of this century-old house. 

R. from Adams St. on Fayette St.; L. on Farmer St.; R. on Catherine 
St.; L. on New Cemetery Road 0.5 m.; L. on Lovers' Lane 0.4 m. 

4. HOUGH CAVE, Lovers' Lane at sign (open by appointment), is 
one of the three remaining caves used by citizens of Vicksburg when seek- 
ing protection from gunfire and cannonball during the siege. Apparently 
this cave was private (though many were communal) and was ideally 
situated, well protected from fire from the Federal fleet on one side 
and from the rain of bullets from land forces on the other. It was easily 
accessible from a nearby road. 

Retrace Lovers' Lane, New Cemetery Road and Catherine St.; L. on 
Farmer St. 

5. BODLEY MONUMENT, intersection of Farmer and Openwood 
Sts., is a plain granite slab erected by the community to the memory of 
Dr. Hugh Bodley, murdered by gamblers July 5, 1835, "while defending 
the morals of Vicksburg." The monument was first placed in the yard 
of the old Presbyterian Church ; later it was removed to the triangle. 






VICKSBURG 279 

R. from Farmer St. on Main St. 

6. CONSTITUTION FIRE COMPANY HOUSE, 1200 Main St., 
is a gray brick building with tall arched doors and bell tower. It was 
built in 1835 for the volunteer fire company, composed of the city's 
most aristocratic young gentlemen. Motorized equipment has replaced 
the faithful horse, and the company is employed by the city. 

R. from Mam St. on Locust St. 

7. CHRIST CHURCH (EPISCOPAL), NW. corner Locust and Main 
Sts., is the fourth oldest church in the State. Of brick construction, with 
ivy-covered walls, it is of English Gothic design. The cornerstone was laid 
in April 1839 ky the fighting bishop, Gen. Leonidas Polk, later killed 
in the service of the Confederacy. The edifice was completed between 
1842 and 1845. 

8. The DUFF GREEN MANSION, SW. corner Locust and First 
East Sts. (open), famed for its magnificent balls in ante-bellum days, 
has been in turn a private home, a Confederate hospital, a domicile for 
dependent old ladies, and (1937) a Salvation Army home. Built in the 
1840'$ by Duff Green, the design of the four-story, red brick mansion, 
with its exquisite iron lacework galleries, is one of the finest examples 
of the Queen Anne influence that crept into Vicksburg's ante-bellum 
architecture. 

9. PLAIN GABLES, 805 Locust St. (private), was built in 1835 by 
a brother of Dr. Hugh Bodley. The Greek Revival structure, Doric in 
style, graces a high terrace surrounded by well-kept grounds in which 
is an old hand-turn bucket pump. Although considerably damaged by 
shell fire during the siege, the house has been completely restored. A 
notable feature is the flight of steps leading up to the terrace with its 
ancient iron railing and entrance gate. 



Tour 2 



E. from Washington St. on Grove St. 

10. The MARSHALL-BRYAN HOME, 1128 Grove St. (open by 
appointment), was built about 1835 by the Rev. C. K. Marshall, son- 
in-law of the founder of Vicksburg. The original building consists of 
four large, square rooms and a reception hall but later two other units 
were added. Six graceful Ionic columns support the roof of the front 
gallery and the elaborately carved front entrance is a good example of 



280 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

Greek Revival architecture. The house was untouched during the shelling 
of the city in 1863. 

Retrace Grove St.; L. on Adams St.; L. on Crawford St. 

11. The LUCKETT HOME, 1116 Crawford St. (open by appoint- 
ment), was built in 1830. Originally, the house was a one-story struc- 
ture atop a small hill. Later this part became the upper portion of a 
two-story building, the hillock having been dug away and a sturdy ground 
floor built. This older portion now has an outside stairway from the 
pavement to the upper gallery. During the bombardments in 1863 a 
shell tore through the upper portion of the house. Following the sur- 
render of the city, officers of the Federal army were billeted in the 
upstairs rooms, while their horses were stabled downstairs. 

Retrace Crawford St. 

12. The WILLIS-COWAN HOME, 1018 Crawford St. (open by 
appointment), is on a high terrace, almost flush with the sidewalk. An 
austere two-story brick house painted gray, built about 1840, it was one 
of Vicksburg's most notable ante-bellum homes. During the siege, it 
was lent by its owners to General Pemberton for his headquarters and 
remained so until the fall of Vicksburg. It was also one of the childhood 
homes of Vicksburg's philanthropist, Mrs. Junius Ward Johnson. 

13. In the METHODIST CHURCHYARD, SW. corner Crawford and 
Cherry Sts., is the TOBIAS GIBSON MONUMENT. A white marble 
shaft marks the grave of the Rev. Tobias Gibson, pioneer Protestant 

S-eacher of the Walnut Hills and founder of Methodism in Mississippi, 
ibson, a South Carolinian, early caught the flame of evangelism spread 
by John Charles Wesley, and at the age of 23 made his way down the 
Natchez Trace to the bluffs. He found only a military outpost, evacu- 
ated the preceding year (1798) by the Spaniards. The minister worked 
hard and his influence was keenly felt during the early days of Vicks- 
burg. He died in 1804 and was buried four miles south of the present 
city. In 1935 he was reburied in this churchyard. 
L. from Crawford St. on Cherry St. 

14. The WILLIS RICHARDSON HOME, 1520 Cherry St. (open by 
permission), is the most pretentious early home of the Vick family in 
Vicksburg. Built in the 1830'$ of brick, it is of Greek Revival architecture. 
The portico, extended around three sides of the house, has beautiful fluted 
columns. The original grounds covered two city blocks. 

L. from Cherry St. on Harrison St. 

15. The COOK-ALLEIN HOME, 1104 Harrison St. (open by ap- 
pointment), was built by Col. A. J. Cook, about 1862. It is occupied by his 
niece, Mrs. Thomas Allein, and her family. The house, with octagonal 
brick columns, has woodwork of cypress and is constructed of brick im- 
ported from England. After the fall of Vicksburg, it was converted into a 
Federal hospital, and the soldiers left their U. S. insignia stamped on the 
floor in the living room. 

Retrace Harrison St.; L. on Cherry St.; R. on Belmont St.; L. on Wash- 
ington St.; R. on Speed St.; R. on Oak St. 

1 6. The KLEIN HOME, 2200 Oak St. (open by appointment), stands 



VICKSBURG 28l 

about 1,500 yards from the Mississippi River and when built in 1856 was 
in the center of spacious grounds with lawns extending down to the river 
bank. A large brick house two stories high, it is of Greek Revival archi- 
tecture, with an Ionic portico. On each side is a wing whose roof slopes 
gently from the second-story windows. During the Siege of Vicksburg a 
small cannon ball, fired from a Union gunboat, struck the front door. The 
owner had it replaced and there it has remained. In mansions of this type 
the first or main story was devoted almost wholly to entertainment. The 
Klein home has a ballroom, banquet hall, reception hall, and, as was typical 
in houses of the period, a guest room on the main floor. Family rooms 
were in the second story. On the spacious lawn is a fountain of the pre- 
war period. Originally there was a family burial ground on the estate 
directly east of the house, but the remains have been removed to Cedar 
Hill Cemetery. The house is well preserved and is now an apartment 
house. 

L. from Oak St. on Henry St.; R. on Levee St. 

LEVEE STREET (railroad district along water front) has at one time 
or another harbored all sorts and conditions of men and boats. Long be- 
fore the first steamboat, the New Orleans, eased around the Mississippi's 
great bend in 1811, a continuous procession of Indian canoes, flatboats, 
and keelboats came to the foot of the bluffs. Steamboats sometimes anchored 
out four deep, and now the modern packets nose their barges away from 
the wharves and out into the river. Bleak, worn, and bare, stand houses 
once brimming with ribald laughter of men white and black with wine, 
women, song, and sudden death. 

R. from Levee St. on Clay St. 

17. VICKSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK, entrance E. end 
of Clay St., at Memorial Arch (open; guides), was established by Act of 
Congress in 1899 "to commemorate the Campaign, Siege and Defense of 
Vicksburg" and "to preserve the history of the battles and operations on 
the ground where they were fought." The park, consisting of 1,323.63 
acres, comprises the battle area of the Siege and Defense of Vicksburg, 
May 1 8 to July 4, 1863. The visitor can walk among the remains of the 
Confederate army's trenches and see on the steep slopes rows of markers 
indicating the positions occupied by the Federal troops in their siege 
operations. Numerous places show outlines of the Federal approach 
trenches, once filled with soldiers determinedly digging their way towards 
the Confederate forts. The story is recorded on 898 historical tablets, 274 
markers, and 230 monuments. Three equestrian statues, 19 memorials, 
and more than 150 busts and relief portraits memorialize the troops and 
officers who served here. Sculptors, such as H. H. Kitson, A. A. Weinman, 
C. C. Mulligan, F. C. Hibbard, and F. W. Sievers, are represented. 

The park consists of two systems of ridges, running in a northerly and 
southerly direction, which hem in the city of Vicksburg like a crescent on 
the north, east, and south sides. Connecting the main systems of ridges are 
secondary ridges, at right angles to the former, with attending valleys. 
Approximately 40 percent of the park area is densely wooded, while the 
remainder is sparsely wooded or open ground. 



282 MAIN STREET AND COURTHOUSE SQUARE 

Remnants of 9 major Confederate forts, 10 Union approaches, and 
many miles of breastworks, gun emplacements, and rifle pits are visible in 
the park, in varying degrees of preservation. Three distinct types of Civil 
War forts are preserved: the redan, or triangular fort, with its apex ex- 
tended toward the enemy, the lunette, or crescent shaped fort, and the 
redoubt of various forms, of which the square is the most common type. 
Remains of Union trenches are of two types: the parallel, or regular 
trench running parallel to the enemy's lines, and the approach, or sap, an 
advanced trench, running at right angles toward the enemy's forts. From 
the ends of these approaches mines were dug under the Confederate forti- 
fications and large charges of powder were exploded in an attempt to de- 
stroy them. The crater formed by the explosion of a Union mine is visible 
in front of the redan on the Jackson road. 

At Fort Hill, at the northern end of the park, the view over Lake Cen- 
tennial and the Yazoo Canal shows the course of the Mississippi River in 
1863 and the dangers encountered by the Union gunboats and transports 
in passing the Vicksburg batteries. 

The site of Fort Hill is also the original site of Fort Mt. Vigie which 
constituted a part of the Spanish military post of Nogales, 1791-98. Here 
also was Fort McHenry, an American military post established later to 
maintain the claim of the United States to this region. 

Various services to help the visitor understand the military operations 
of the Siege of Vicksburg, by visiting in systematic order the various sites 
of historic interest and principal memorials, are provided free by the 
National Park Service. A staff of qualified historians is stationed in the 
Administration Building for this purpose. 

Special provision is made at Vicksburg National Military Park for 
groups of students, clubs, patriotic and other organizations. 

The Administration Building, Pemberton Ave. (open weekdays 9-4:30), 
is a one-story brick structure with wings extending on both sides. It was 
completed in 1937. In the left wing is the HISTORICAL MUSEUM, ex- 
tensive in its scope. Through the medium of color charts, pictures, and 
relief models, the history of this area is graphically portrayed from the 
pre-human period to the rise of the New South. Literature on the park is 
available here. Illustrated lectures are offered periodically by members of 
the staff. Also in the left wing is a HISTORICAL REFERENCE LI- 
BRARY, open to the public. Members of the staff will assist visitors in 
research on historical subjects. 

POINTS OF INTEREST IN ENVIRONS 

U. S. Waterways Experiment Station, 4.6 m. (see Tour 2) ; Eagle Lake, 17.1 m., 
Blakely, 11.7 m., Vicksburg National Cemetery, 1.9 m. (see Tour 3, Sec. a). 



PART III 

Tours 



Tour i 



(Mobile, Ala.) Biloxi Gulfport (New Orleans, La.). US QO 
Alabama Line to Louisiana Line, 88 m. 

Louisville & Nashville R.R. parallels route throughout. 
Concrete and black-top paving two lanes wide. 
Accommodations of all kinds available. 

Bait, tackle, and small boats for fishing can be obtained along route. In the cities ar- 
rangements can be made for renting boats and equipment for deep-water fishing. 

Caution: Do not attempt fishing or hunting in inland streams and bayous without 
experienced guides, or deep-water fishing without experienced boat pilots. Do not 
dive into the water without first ascertaining its depth. The Gulf along the Coast is 
shallow, particularly at low tide, and only in the channels or passes is there suffi- 
cient depth for diving. 

US 90 breaks in upon a section of Mississippi that combines scenic and 
recreational attractions with legendary interests. Here in 88 miles of Coast 
country are the color and tone of the Old World and the Old South. Be- 
tween Pascagoula and Bay St. Louis, US 90, called the mid-Gulf section 
of the Old Spanish Trail, passes through the oldest white settlements in 
the lower Mississippi River Valley. The beach front has been developed 
with fine homes and hotels, and is remarkable because the vegetation, in- 
stead of being sea-shrunk and wind-weathered, is profuse and subtropical. 
The combination of palms, pines, magnolias, oaks, Spanish bayonets, poin- 
settias, crapemyrtles, and azaleas gives the region a year-around, changing 
greenness. 

Between Biloxi and Bay St. Louis, the highway follows the water's edge, 
with the sea wall, Gulf, and outlying islands on the L., and the homes on 
the R. The area between the highway and seawall, formerly a sloping 
beach, has been leveled and landscaped, and many residents have built 
pretentious summer pavilions here. Wooden piers, diving platforms, and 
small boat landings jut into the water. 

While the Coast is covered by many separate communities, there is a 
geographical and spiritual unity that makes the Mississippi sobriquet, "the 
Coast," understandable. It has been a resort center for years. New Orlean- 
ians began coming here in the early iSoo's to escape the yellow fever 
epidemics so prevalent in those days. Long before the War between the 
States, wealthy planters from upper Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama 
made their summer homes on the Coast because it was cooler here than on 
their upland plantations. In recent years Northerners have found it an 
agreeable winter resort. Freezing weather is rare and golf, fishing, and 
other sports can be enjoyed practically every day. 

Though the French influence survives on the Coast in peculiarities of 
speech and pronunciation, its deepest impress has been on the character of 
the food, which is unlike that in other parts of Mississippi. The heritage 



286 TOURS 

of French cuisine shows itself in highly seasoned gumbo, court-bouillon 
(koo-bee-aw, a fish stew imported from the Court of France) and jumba- 
laya (a potpourri of shrimp, rice, and tomatoes), made famous by the 
Creole cooks of New Orleans. Hard-crusted French bread and thick, fra- 
grant French-drip coffee are served in almost all homes and restaurants 
along the Coast. Many hotels awaken their guests by serving morning cof- 
fee in their rooms. The grocery stores and the fruit and vegetable stands 
sell "soup bunches" which provide the base for home-cooked vegetable 
soup. As a rule these bunches consist of two carrots, some celery, a quarter 
of a head of cabbage, a large onion, a ripe tomato, a generous handful of 
string beans and fresh peas, a turnip or two, some pods of okra, several 
Irish potatoes, and a sprig of parsley all for 10 cents. 

Crossing the Mississippi Line, m., 30.1 miles SW. of Mobile, Ala., 
US 90 runs about six miles from the Gulf shore (L) and parallels the 
Escatawpa (Ind., dog) River, which flows a mile or two to the R. 

KREOLE, 8.1 m. (118 pop.), is a clean mill town engaged in manu- 
facturing kraft and white paper from pine cut from the woods around it. 
The mill was a pioneer in the manufacture of kraft paper from pine (see 
INDUSTRY). 

MOSS POINT, 11.2 m. (2,453 PP-) at the junction of the Escatawpa 
and Pascagoula (Ind., bread people) Rivers, is surrounded by lakes that 
in the i88o's and 1 890*5 made it a center of the sawmilling industry of 
south Mississippi and during the World War a shipbuilding base. Here is 
the junction with State 63 (see Tour 15). 

West of Moss Point US 90 parallels the Pascagoula River, a half-mile 
to the R. 

PASCAGOULA, 15 m. (15 alt, 4,339 pop.), is in reality four com- 
munities held together by a lotus-eating philosophy. History here becomes 
an old wives' tale as full of legend as or fact. About the rotting wharves 
and the aged fort, the marsh grass and Spanish moss grow as they have for 
centuries; and though destinies once were shaped in the shadow of the 
aged oaks, the events are accepted with charming unconcern. 

Shut off from the world by a barrier of sterile pine ridges and marshy 
bayous, Pascagoula was left undisturbed by the American Revolution, the 
creation of the Government of the United States, the political bickerings 
between American and Spanish boundary commissions, and even the War 
between the States. Some dates and events, however, were influential in 
the town's destiny. These were the local events that tell a story of eight 
flags having waved over the place since it was first used as a summer camp- 
ing ground by the Pascagoula Indians. 

The first fort was erected in 1718, after Pascagoula Bay had been 
granted to the Duchess de Chaumont, a favorite of Louis XIV. In 1763, 
however, the British were given titular sovereignty, which they held until 
the territory was taken by the Spanish 16 years later. Though the settlers 
who poured in from the Ohio country and Orleans territories during this 
time were pro- American in attitude as was made evident by border war- 
fare against Spanish authorities in 1809 an ^ l8l tne f rt continued to 
be known as "Old Spanish Fort." In 1810 Pascagoula became a part of 






TOUR I 287 

the new State of West Florida (see AN OUTLINE OF FOUR CENTU- 
RIES). The following year, after the territory was taken over by the 
United States, Dr. W. Flood was sent by Governor Claiborne to organize 
the Parish of Pascagoula. Dr. Flood, a very learned man, had far more 
trouble with the illiteracy of the populace than with insurgency, but, as 
more settlers drifted into the newly acquired region and the industrial de- 
velopment began, illiteracy decreased rapidly and the town acquired cul- 
ture along with physical charm. Indicative of this culture and of the popu- 
larity of Pascagoula as a summering place was a three-story hotel built to 
accommodate a thousand guests and serviced by a large staff of slaves. The 
town also published a newspaper, the Pascagoula Democrat Star, which 
was started in 1846 at Handsboro. It is characteristic of the town's neg- 
lect of formally recorded story that the files of this paper were burned a 
few years ago. 

Of great importance were the four industries that developed from natu- 
ral resources after the iSyo's, which were to dictate the town's future. 
From the time the first yellow pine log was cut along the stream banks 
and floated down the river to Pascagoula, then the best loading point on 
the Coast, to the height of the business, lumbering was Pascagoula's most 
spectacular industry. It was largely responsible for the increase in popula- 
tion between 1890 and 1906. Closely related to the lumber business and 
almost as spectacular was shipbuilding. Pascagoula ships earned early fame 
for their ability to stand up under long Gulf crossings to the Mexican 
coast. During the World War the International Shipbuilding Yards here, 
combined with U.S. Shipbuilding Yards up and down the river, gave the 
town the most feverish boom it has ever known. But with the end of the 
war, business slumped suddenly, leaving the hulls of unfinished schooners 
half submerged" in the river to mock the town's industrial death. Boat 
building, however, is still a fine art; the Pascagoula luggers are as tradi- 
tional as the Gloucester fishing boats. Largely through the efforts of Con- 
gressman W. M. Colmer, Pascagoula has been retained as a base for the 
U. S. Coast Guard. 

Commercial fishing has increased with the years. The native-made lug- 
gers bring in tons of deep-sea red snappers to be packed and shipped to 
Northern markets ; smaller boats bring in shrimp and oysters. Apparently 
destined to be as important as the commercial fisheries is the pecan busi- 
ness, begun around 1900. Thousands of tons of local paper-shell pecans 
are now shipped annually, while Jackson Co., where many leading vari- 
eties of paper-shell pecans have originated, is recognized as the home of 
the paper-shells. 

The SINGING RIVER (the Pascagoula), two blocks W. of the court- 
house and fronting the docks of a fish company, produces a mysterious 
music. The singing sound, like a swarm of bees in flight, is best heard in 
the hot summer months in the stillness of the early evening. Barely caught 
at first, the music seems to grow nearer and louder until it sounds as 
though it comes from directly underfoot. Of the varied hypothetical scien- 
tific explanations offered for the phenomenon none has been proved. The 
music, so scientists say, may be made by a species of fish, the grating of 




BOAT BUILDING, PASCAGOULA 



sand on the hard slate bottom, a current sucked past a hidden cave, or 
natural gas escaping from the sand beds. Legend says the sound is con- 
nected with the mysterious extinction of the Pascagoula tribe of Indians. 
The Pascagoula were a gentle tribe of handsome men and shapely women 
with large dark eyes and small, well-shaped hands and feet. The Biloxi, 
on the other hand, were a tribe calling themselves the "first people" and 
extremely jealous of their position. Miona, a princess of the Biloxi tribe, 
though betrothed to Otanga, a chieftain of her people, loved Olustee, a 
young chieftain of the Pascagoula, and fled with him to his tribe. The 
spurned and enraged Otanga led his Biloxi braves to war against Olustee 
and the neighboring Pascagoula, whereupon Olustee begged his tribe to 
give him up for atonement. But the Pascagoula swore they would either 
save their young chieftain and his bride or perish with them. However, 
when thrown into battle against terrible odds, they soon lost hope of vic- 
tory. Faced with the choice either of subjection to Otanga or death, they 
chose suicide. With their women and children leading the way into the 
river, the braves followed with joined hands, each chanting his song of 
death until the last voice was hushed by the engulfing dark waters. 

Right from Pascagoula on N. Pascagoula St., 0.2 m.; L. on Spring St. to cross- 
roads at 0.6 m.; L. on shady lane to narrower lane, 0.8 m.; R. on narrower lane 
to OLD SPANISH FORT, 0.9 m. (open). Built in 1718, it stands on a low bluff 
and from the land side looks like what it really is now, a farmhouse set in a 
grove of pecan trees. From the lake it still appears much as it did in its early days 










OLD SPANISH FORT, PASCAGOULA 



as a fort, even though much of its color has disappeared. The clue to the age of 
the structure is best found in the attic. The walls of oyster shells, moss, and mor- 
tar masonry are 15 to 30 inches thick but are not stouter than the wooden timbers 
bracing the roof, hewn and joined by the early carpenters. The fort in late after- 
noon is an appropriate setting for a Maxfield Parrish sunset. Diagonally E. by the 
marsh-dotted lake is the Krebs Cemetery. Some of the graves are so old that the 
inscriptions on the headstones are effaced; each headstone is capped with an iron 
cross. 

At 15.8 m. US 90 crosses the Pascagoula River on a toll bridge (car 
and driver 50$ ; passengers 25$ ; pedestrians free). On the banks of the 
Pascagoula are the U.S. GOVERNMENT DRY DOCKS AND REPAIR 



290 TOURS 

YARDS, 16 m. (L). At the end of the marsh road is another major 

bridge, this one spanning the West Pascagoula River, 18.9 m. 

GAUTIER (pron. go-chay' ), 19 m. (116 pop.), named for one of its 
pioneers, is on the bluff of the Pascagoula bottoms, under fine oaks that 
overlook the marsh. Here was once a race track and a commodious sum- 
mer hotel. At a fishing camp (R) near the second bridge guides can be 
obtained for reaching the Pascagoula lakes and bayous by outboard motor. 
(Trip should not be made without guide.) 

West of Gautier US 90 runs through flat pine barrens now being re- 
forested. 

At 21 .5 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road at 1.4 m. is the junction with a road; R. on the latter to Fairley's 
Camp, 2.7 m., at the mouth of BAYOU GRAVELINE. Here fishing for redfish, 
speckled trout, sheepshead, mullet, croakers, and drum is good. 

At 27.7 m. on US 90 is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road at 2J m. is the junction with a sandy local road; R. on the lo- 
cal road 1.7 m. to the junction with a dim trail through a pine forest; R. on the 
trail 0.8 m. to FARRAGUT LAKE and the SITE OF THE FARRAGUT HOME, 
0.5 m., built about 1800. Here Admiral David Farragut passed his childhood, his 
father being the first Justice of the Peace for Pascagoula. Tradition has it that an 
orphan girl who lived with the Farraguts was jilted by young David and cursed 
the land, then drowned herself in the lake below the bluff. Now, when crops fail, 
the settlers remember the curse. 

At 25 m. on US 90 is the junction with a narrow winding road. 

Left on this road with one-way bridges to NELSON'S CAMP, 34 m. Here Lake 
Graveline is connected with the Gulf by small deep bayous and serves as a tre- 
mendous trap for seafish coming into it with the rising tide. Fishing here for red- 
fish, speckled trout, sheepshead, mullet, croakers, and drum is perhaps the best on 
the Coast. 

At FONTAINEBLEAU, 26 m. (22 alt., 19 pop.), is the junction with 
State 59. 

Right on this road 10.2 m. to VANCLEAVE (98 pop.), a backwoods settlement 
interesting because of the extreme age of some of the clearings along Bluff Creek. 
The first settlers found the Biloxi and Pascagoula Indians here; bears and wolves 
were so numerous that a century of the white man's domination has not killed all 
of them. It is said that the pioneers' first plowshares were made of wood 
sheathed with the tough skin of the scaly garfish caught in creeks and lakes in 
the wilderness. 

At 16.1 m. on State 59 is the junction with a local dirt road. 

Right on this road 0.3 m. is the LIVE OAK POND SCHOOL, established to 
serve the children of mixed Indian, Spanish, French, and Negro bloods who live 
in the forests near Vancleave. These children are living racial history, showing 
the mark of every invasion into the swamps. 

At 26.7 m. on US 90 is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left 1 m. along this road is the largest tract of VIRGIN PINE FOREST in the 
State, 3,000 acres, of which part belongs to the Government. Here is one of the 
scenes of the Mid-Winter National Fox Hunt, which is held every year the latter 
part of February. The drive through the forest extends to the point where the vir- 
gin pines go down to meet the waters of the Gulf. 






TOUR I 291 

West of Fontainebleau the highway is bordered with pecan groves. 

At 28.8 m. is a bridge across DAVIS BAYOU, where bridge and bank 
fishing for bass is good. 

At 29.3 m. is a bridge across HERRING BAYOU. Here fishing for 
bass and bream from the bridge or banks is fair. 

OCEAN SPRINGS, 33.3 m. (19 alt, 1,663 PP-)> occupies the site of 
Old Biloxi, the first European settlement in the lower Mississippi River 
Valley, made by Iberville in 1699. Today (1938) it is a quiet little village 
that makes its living by catering to tourists and in the pecan orchards that 
surround it. It is situated on a waterfront of extraordinary beauty, facing 
both the Gulf and the Bay of Biloxi on a curve between Fort Bayou and 
Davis Bayou. 

Here the headland (R), N. of the Louisville & Nashville R.R. bridge, 
which crosses the bay, is doubtless the SITE OF FORT MAUREPAS, on 
what is now a private estate. While no traces of the fort remain, cannon 
balls have been dug up at the place and cannon have been brought up 
from the bay in front of it. The pieces of artillery mounted in the Biloxi 
Community Park (see BILOXI), designated as IBERVILLE CANNON, 
were salvaged in the summer of 1893 from the shallow water near the fort 
site. Tiblier and son, Biloxi fishermen, while dredging for oysters in the 
bay, encountered the wreck of a submerged ship. Without diving suits 
they succeeded in raising four cannon, a number of cannon balls, musket 
barrels from which the stocks had rotted away, swords without scabbards, 
and several iron bars. The wrecked ship was built of mahogany timbers 
fastened with wooden pegs and was judged to be about 65 feet long with 
a 20-foot beam. About 40 feet astern lay a smaller ship. That these boats 
were part of Iberville's fleet in 1699 is legend; it is known that Iberville 
found the bay much too shallow to float his larger ships. It is possible, 
however, that the boats were driven into the bay by the storm of 1723, or 
that they were pirate ships of a later date. 

As Old Biloxi, Ocean Springs was at one time capital of the vast water- 
shed drained by the Mississippi River. After the seat of government was 
transferred to Mobile in 1702, the settlement around Fort Maurepas made 
little progress. With the exception of a few practical and experienced 
French Canadians who had joined the group, its members were soldiers 
and sailors who knew nothing of agriculture. They had come not to work 
the land, but with the belief that the ores of rich mines, the hides of wild 
buffalo, and the pearls of the Gulf would make them wealthy. The colony, 
reached only after a five months' sail from France, neglected by its King 
and dependent on the Biloxi Indians for food, somehow managed to sur- 
vive. For two centuries the colonists' descendants, who lived on the Ocean 
Springs side of the bay, across from New Biloxi, made charcoal-burning 
and fishing their chief industries. In the i88o's the first summer visitors 
arrived. There is mention of a hotel built in 1835, but until 1852 Ocean 
Springs people sailed across the bay to get their mail at Biloxi. Among the 
many magnificent live oak trees that grow here is the RUSKIN OAK, 
with a spread of 139 feet and circumference of 25 feet, on the estate 
called Many Oaks. An Englishman bought the estate in 1843, and when 



292 TOURS 

John Ruskin visited Ocean Springs after the New Orleans Cotton Exposi- 
tion in 1885, the Englishman named the huge tree in Raskin's honor. 

SHEARWATER POTTERY, on east Beach, was founded in 1928 and 
takes its name from a variety of sea gull found on the Mississippi Gulf 
Coast. The products made here are sold throughout the United States, and 
are distinctive in the originality of design and variety of glazes used. Many 
of the designs are objects familiar to the Coast gulls, pelicans, fish, and 
crabs. Figurines of Negroes are notable for their humor, grace, and char- 
acter. The pottery is owned and operated by G. W. Anderson and his 
three sons. 

Right from Ocean Springs on a paved road and across Fort Bayou to GULF 
HILLS, 0.8 m., a $15,000,000 resort subdivision, club, and golf course, one of the 
show places of the Coast. The golf course (open; greens jee $1.50), beautifully 
laid out, is one of the most difficult courses in the South. 

At 34.9 m. US 90 crosses the mouth of the Bay of Biloxi on the mile- 
and-a-half long concrete WAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE. When this bridge 
was dedicated in 1930 it replaced the last ferry crossing between Ocean 
Springs and New Orleans. The view from the bridge, with Deer Island 
and the east and west channels (L) lying immediately offshore and the 
curving tree-lined bay shore (R) stretching to the N., is particularly good. 
Fishing from the bridge for sheepshead, speckled trout, and redfish is 
excellent. 

US 90 enters on Howard Ave. to Main St. 

BILOXI, 37 J m. (22 alt., 14,850 pop.) (see BILOXI ). 

Points of Interest. Seafood packing plants, Back Bay Bridge, old homes, and 
others. 

The route continues L. on Main St. to Beach Blvd. ; R. on Beach Blvd. 
(US 90). 

The boat trip across Mississippi Sound to Ship Island can be made from 
Biloxi (see Side Tour 1A). 

SOUTHERN MEMORIAL PARK, 42.4 m. (R), is one of the Coast's 
newest and most beautiful cemeteries. 

BEAUVOIR, 43 m. (R), facing the Gulf, was the last home of Jeffer- 
son Davis, Confederate President. It is a State-supported home for Confed^ 
erate veterans, their wives and widows. Surrounded by a grove of live 
oaks, magnolias, and cedars, Beauvoir is designed in the Mississippi 
planter tradition, a full story-and-a-half set high above a raised basement, 
with a wide central hall, a broad gallery on three sides, broad hip-roof, 
and long floor-to-ceiling windows. The square, paneled wooden posts of 
the gallery, joined by a delicate balustrade, rise in support of a simple 
dentiled cornice. The main doorway with its double glassed doors and 
slender side lights is approached by a graceful flight of steps, flanked by 
curving handrails. It was erected 1852-54 by J. H. Brown, and was the 
first beach home built in the vicinity. Brown planned the buildings him- 
self, brought his skilled workmen from New Orleans, and, so the story 
goes, had the cypress pulled from the Louisiana swamps and carried to 



It* 




%%^m m 



BEAUVOIR, HOME OF JEFFERSON DAVIS, NEAR BILOXI 



Lake Pontchartrain by camels. From there it was shipped to Beauvoir by 
schooner. The four original buildings are standing ; the big house is planned 
with a cottage on each side and a brick kitchen at the rear. The cost of 
building and maintaining the estate impoverished Brown, and for some 



294 TOURS 

years before the War between the States the house was vacant. Finally it 
was bought by a planter named Dorsey from St. Joseph, La. 

In 1877 Jefferson Davis rented from Mrs. Dorsey, an old friend of the 
Davis family, the east cottage called the Pavilion, and began to write his 
work, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government. In April 1878 
Mrs. Davis joined him at Beauvoir, and for the next three years helped 
him write in longhand the manuscript of the book. Beauvoir, during the 
time the Davises lived in it, was a Southern social center. In the second 
year of his stay at the house, Davis bought the estate from Mrs. Dorsey 
for $5,500. Before he had finished paying her for it, Mrs. Dorsey died, 
willing the estate to him. In 1889 Davis, while on a business trip to his 
old plantation at Brierfield, in Warren Co., Miss., became ill and was 
never able to return to Beauvoir, dying that year in New Orleans, where 
he was buried. Four years later his remains were removed to Richmond, Va. 

No story is more typical of post-bellum times than that of Winnie (Va- 
rina Anne) Davis, Jefferson Davis's maiden daughter, who gave up her 
Northern lover to remain her father's devoted and constant companion 
during his declining years. Within a year after his death Winnie and her 
mother moved to New York City. After again refusing to marry, Winnie 
died at Narragansett Pier in 1898. 

Mrs. Davis sold Beauvoir in 1903 to the Mississippi Division of the 
Sons of Confederate Veterans. Until the Mississippi Legislature appropri- 
ated funds for the home's upkeep, the Daughters of the Confederacy main- 
tained Beauvoir. The home is now controlled by a board of six directors 
appointed by the Governor of Mississippi, but it is still owned by the Sons 
of Confederate Veterans. The original buildings have been preserved with- 
out alteration. Many of the furnishings used by the Davises have been dis- 
covered and restored to their places in the great house. Exact reproductions 
of others have been obtained. The central hall and two large chambers 
have been dedicated as memorials to Winnie, while on the porch of the 
Pavilion is her skiff. On the front lawn near the entrance gateway is a 
statue marking the grave of Winnie's little dog. Twelve dormitories, a 
hospital, a chapel, and a few cottages have been erected. The number of 
inmates of the home is decreasing, the majority now being widows of vet- 
erans. In a shaded CEMETERY, N. of the cottages, are the graves of 1,000 
men who, following Jefferson Davis through war, now sleep near their 
leader's home. 

EDGEWATER PARK, 44.1 m. (R), surrounds the EDGEWATER 
HOTEL, a great square building set in well-landscaped grounds, an im- 
pressive example of what Chicago capital did for the Coast during the real 
estate boom of 1926. 

At 45 m. is the junction with an unpaved road. 

Right on this road to the EDGEWATER GULF SKEET RANGE and the EDGE- 
WATER GULF GOLF CLUB (open; nominal fees), 1 m. 

At 45.5 m. is the GREAT SOUTHERN GOLF COURSE AND 
COUNTRY CLUB, one of the oldest in this section. In the clubhouse are 
the studios of WGCM, a 500 watt radio station operating on a frequency 
of 1,210 kilocycles. 






TOUR I 295 

GULF COAST MILITARY ACADEMY, 46 m., is an honor-ranking, 
privately supported school for boys of high school grade. 

MISSISSIPPI CITY, 46.4 m. (21 alt, 1,000 pop.), was before the War 
between the States the most important settlement in Harrison Co. The 
town had its beginning in 1837, when Scotch-Irish pioneers were issued a 
charter to construct a railroad from northern Mississippi to the Gulf. Al- 
though the effort failed, it initiated Mississippi City's flush pre-war period. 
In 1841 the little town lost by one legislative vote its fight to have the 
University of Mississippi located within its limits. A second attempt to 
build a railroad, in 1853, resulted in the construction of a number of fine 
beach homes and the building of a resort hotel, which was from that time 
until the 1890'$ the outstanding hotel on the Coast. 

At 46.6 m. is the Coast's HAUNTED HOUSE, a particularly good ex- 
ample of ante-bellum architecture adapted to the Gulf climate. 

At 46.6 m. is the junction with a macadam road. 

Right on this road is HANDSBORO, 1.2 m. (1,200 pop.), now as unruffled as 
the waters of Bayou Bernard that outlines its northern boundary, but before the 
War between the States an industrial and cultural center of the Coast. The com- 
munity is peopled with descendants of the English and Scotch-Irish who settled 
here early in 1800. Handsboro shipped the first lumber to be exported from Har- 
rison Co., and late in the war Federal troops raided the town for lumber to build 
their quarters on Ship Island. In 1902 the opening of the Gulf port harbor killed 
the lumber trade. More than a dozen houses built between 1840 and 1850, when 
Handsboro was a booming lumber town, are easily distinguished by the heavily 
morticed timbers of their framework. On the north side of Bayou Bernard are two 
houses, almost identical, built by Myles and Sheldon Hand about 1845. The 
houses are two-and-a-half stories high, with the broad expanse of their roofs 
broken by dormer windows. Broad two-story porches extend the entire length 
with square columns of heavy timber more than 24 feet high. Open hallways 
(now enclosed) on both floors of the houses provided a draft for Gulf breezes. 
The MASONIC HALL, intersection of Cowan St. and Pass Christian road, (L) 
was built before 1850. Its square box-like architecture is undistinguished, but the 
building is pointed out as the place where Jefferson Davis attended lodge meet- 
ings. 

PARADISE POINT, 47 m., was named by high-church Episcopalians 
who originally used it for their family burying ground. 

At 47.4 m. (L), half a block from the highway, is ST. MARK'S 
CHAPEL, a one-story frame Episcopal church building of fine propor- 
tions. Constructed in 1855, the church is celebrated because Jefferson 
Davis was once a vestryman and communicant. Along the beach opposite 
the chapel the blockaded Coast people during the War between the States 
boiled seawater in wide shallow kettles to obtain salt. 

At 47.7 m. (R), on Courthouse Road but visible from US 90, is the 
first courthouse of Harrison Co. Built in 1841, it is now a yellow brick 
apartment house. 

At 47.9 m. (R), on a vacant lot, stand the trees under which John L. 
Sullivan fought Paddy Ryan in 1882. 

US 90 enters on E. Beach Blvd. ; R. on i5th St. ; L. on 2ist Ave. ; R. on 
1 4th St.; L. on 24th Ave.; R. on i3th St. 

GULFPORT, 50.9 m. (19 alt., 12,547 pop.) (see GULFPORT). 

Points of Interest. Harbor, U. S. Veterans Facility, Hardy Monument, and others. 



296 TOURS 

Here is the junction with US 49 (see Tour 7, Sec. b). A boat trip across 
Mississippi Sound to Ship Island (see Side Tour lA) can be made from 
Gulfport. 

The route continues on i3th St.; L. on 3oth Ave. ; R. on W. Beach 
Blvd. (US 90). 

Between Gulfport and Bay St. Louis the beach is lined with well-spaced 
homes (R) of permanent residents. The houses for the most part are of 
planter and Victorian styles, with only a few small summer bungalows. 
Recreation here is simple; entire families golf, sail, swim, and fish. From 
the sea wall, piers, and boats, small nets baited with meat are lowered, a 
bushel basket being filled with crabs in a short time. Another diversion is 
gigging or spearing flounders, flat-bodied fish that swim in to the shore 
waters at night and burrow in the sand. The equipment for "floundering" 
includes a spear and a torch or flambeau. On still, moonless nights the 
flickering yellow light of flambeaux illuminates the dark along the water's 
edge as the flounderers wade about in the shallow water spearing the 
fish. 

LONG BEACH, 53.4 m. (25 alt., 1,346 pop.), stretches along the 
highway on the site of a former Indian village. GULF PARK COLLEGE, 
54.1 m. (R), is a privately-supported junior college for girls, and the 
center of the Coast activities in music, painting, and drama. On the campus 
is FRIENDSHIP OAK, a live oak with a spread of 127 feet and a trunk 
diameter of 15^/2 ^ ee ^- Vachel Lindsay, the poet, and one-time member of 
the college faculty, held classes on the platform built among the branches 
of this tree. The MUNICIPAL ROSE GARDEN is four blocks R. from 
the highway on Jefferson Davis Ave. On both sides of the avenue, N. of 
the Louisville & Nashville R.R., are the truck farms for which Long 
Beach is noted. 

Between Long Beach and Pass Christian the desolate stretch of beach is 
known as White Harbor. Here, before the Gulfport harbor was built, lum- 
ber schooners loaded in a deep basin a mile and a half offshore. Legend 
is that the i8th century pirate who gave his name to PITCHER'S POINT, 
56.4 m. (L), pronounced a curse on this two-mile strip of land which 
has been effective to the present time. White Harbor is the only visible 
break in the line of continuous settlement between Biloxi and Henderson 
Point. 

PASS CHRISTIAN, 584 m. (n alt., 3,004 pop.), for all its century- 
old importance as a recreation center, is in reality an unaffected commu- 
nity of the Old Deep South. Winter visitors furnish a livelihood to many 
of the natives, who retain great pride in the town's heritage and in a so- 
ciety whose brilliance dates from the i8th century. 

Pass Christian took its name from the channel known as Christian's 
Pass, supposedly discovered by Christian L'Adnier, a member of Iber- 
ville's crew in 1699. Later, both the French and the Spaniards occupied 
this section, and with the opening of the Mississippi Territory the set- 
tlement became a trading center for the back country as far N. as Black 
Creek. Down the old Red Creek Road, now Menge Ave., came caravans 
of ox-teams, six and eight yokes long, loaded with cotton, hides, furs, 



TOUR I 297 

venison, potatoes, honey, turkeys, gophers (dry-land burrowing tortoises), 
and "pinders" (peanuts). A U.S. garrison was stationed at Pass Chris- 
tian in 1811. The Battle of Pass Christian, the last naval engagement 
against a foreign foe in American waters, was fought SW. of the town, 
near Bay St. Louis during the War of 1812. During the ante-bellum pe- 
riod "the Pass" with its delightful climate became noted as a resort, at- 
tracting the sugar, cotton, and rice planters of Louisiana, Alabama, and 
Mississippi, and the aristocrats of New Orleans. The first yacht club in the 
South was organized here in 1849, the year in which many of the pres- 
ent homes were built. In the i88o's, the influx of winter tourists from the 
North began. 

Beach Boulevard rims the water, a narrow five-mile strip paralleling the 
seawall. Along the inland side of the drive are numerous hotels, filling 
stations, and antique shops built to attract tourists; they are in harmony 
with the old homes and cottages along the way. The homes are set in gar- 
dens of roses, oleanders, azaleas, crapemyrtles, palms, and camellia japon- 
icas, and are enclosed with fences laden with honeysuckle, wistaria, roses, 
and trumpet vines. North of the Boulevard are the truck gardens that pro- 
duce okra and other vegetables destined for the making of the famous 
Creole dishes of the Coast. 

Three miles offshore are approximately 30 square miles of shell banks, 
perpetually rebuilt by fishermen who are required by law to return a per- 
centage of shells taken each year. Free of mud, these banks produce small 
oysters notable for their flavor. Before daybreak, in oyster season, people 
miles inland can hear the engines of the oyster-boats throb their way out 
to these reefs. In the evening the boats return, low in the water, their 
cabins covered with piles of oyster shells. During the winter months, resi- 
dents and visitors are awakened each morning by the familiar cry, "Oyster 
ma-an from Pass Christi-a-an," announcing the approach of the oyster 
peddler. 

OSSIAN HALL (private) is a white two-story frame Southern Colo- 
nial-type house with a wide, double-deck portico and large round columns. 
Set well back in Beechhurst facing E. Beach Blvd., the house is the scene 
of the motion picture, Come Out of the Kitchen, in which Marguerite 
Clark starred. The building was erected by Seth Guion in 1848. 

The ADELLE McCUTHEON HOME (private), 861 E. Beach Blvd., 
has in its front yard the Coast's most famous camellia japonica, originally 
cut from a Mt. Vernon bush and planted here by a great-granddaughter of 
Martha Washington, Mrs. Frances Parke Lewis Butler. 

The DIXIE WHITE HOUSE (private), 767 E. Beach Blvd., acquired 
its name in 1913 when President Woodrow Wilson visited here. The dig- 
nified two-story structure built in 1854 has the divided front steps char- 
acteristic of many houses of the period. The open ground floor is screened 
with ironwork banisters ; the columns are covered with ornamental plaster. 
The second floor is frame, with a gallery across the front and arched win- 
dows extending from floor to ceiling. 

The MIDDLEGATE JAPANESE GARDEN (open daily 1-5; adm. 
, St. Louis St. between Clarence Ave. and Pine St., is filled with 



298 TOURS 

plants, entirely Japanese, including flowering plum, quince, and peach 
trees, giant bamboos, and Japanese magnolias. The 1 74-year-old bronze 
Buddha and other Japanese figures came from Japan. 

TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH, NW. corner Second and Church 
Sts., was built in 1849 and stands in a magnificent grove of live oaks 
thickly hung with moss. The church is a small frame structure of the 
Gothic type with stained windows and a modern green roof. In the same 
moss-hung grove, but across the street, is the Live Oak Cemetery estab- 
lished simultaneously with the church. 

The DOROTHY DIX HOME (private), 730 W. Beach Blvd., the 
summer home of the well-known syndicate writer, stands in a large gar- 
den shaded by live oaks. It is a rambling story-and-a-half frame structure 
with triple gables and a wide front gallery adorned with jig-saw lattice- 
work and a striking wooden railing. In the rear is a large rose garden. 

Right at the second street beyond Miramar Hotel ; L. between Trinity Church and 
the Cemetery, a macadam road leads to BAYOU PORTAGE, 2.1 m., where boat 
fishing for black bass, redfish, and speckled sea trout is good (boats and bait ob- 
tainable at pier). At 3.6 m. is the bridge over BAYOU ACADIAN, where fish- 
ing is also good. At 4.4 m. is the bridge over BAYOU DELISLE (pron. d'leel), 
the third good fishing stream crossed. DELISLE (150 pop.), near the mouth of 
Wolf River and known as Wolf Town until 1884, is one of the earliest settle- 
ments on the Gulf Coast. The name was changed to the present DeLisle to honor 
Comte de Lisle, lieutenant to Bienville and one of the first explorers of the Mis- 
sissippi Coast. The land around DeLisle was first settled in 1712 by the Saucier, 
Necaise, Ladnier, Dedeaux, and Moran families, who tradition says were Acadian 
exiles. Until recent years the French language was spoken here exclusively, French 
being used in the schools. Communal life centers about the LADY OF GOOD 
HOPE CHURCH, a simple one-room frame building, containing valuable vest- 
ments and altar pieces from Europe. At 8 m. is the entrance to PINE HILLS, at 
the head of the Bay of St. Louis, a mammoth real estate enterprise undertaken 
during the boom of 1926. The pretentious hotel has long been closed, but the 
i8-hole golf course (open; greens jee $1) is still in operation. Pine Hills marks 
the highest elevation, 90 feet, on the coast between Pensacola, Fla., and Corpus 
Christi, Tex. The largest shell Indian mound on the Mississippi Coast is on the 
grounds. At 11 m. the road crosses ROTTEN BAYOU (Bayou Bienasawaugh), 
at Fenton. The bayou affords good fishing for bass and bream. The surrounding 
land is one of the best sections for fox hunting along the Coast, and hunters often 
follow the chase in automobiles. At 15.5 m. is KILN (165 pop.), named for the 
immense kilns in which the original French settlers burned charcoal for a living. 
Charcoal burning was soon superseded here by sawmilling, but Kiln did not come 
into the limelight as a lumber town until 1912. In that year, when the mill inter- 
ests of the section were sold to a large eastern company, Kiln mushroomed from 
a backwoods community into a town with a high school, picture show, a 5o-room 
hotel, and row after row of neat mill houses. In 1930 the mill closed and Kiln 
sank into near oblivion. During prohibition the territory around Kiln was the cen- 
ter of a moonshining industry known for the excellent quality of its whisky as far 
north as Milwaukee, Wis. Strange tales of giant stills hidden under sawdust piles 
and rumored connections of Kiln with Chicago's Capone gang still afford interest. 

On HENDERSON POINT, 63.9 m. (L), is the entrance to the INN- 
BY-THE-SEA, an interesting adaptation of the Spanish mission style to 
the Mississippi Gulf Coast environment. 

At 64. 5 m. is the head of the two-mile-long wooden bridge across the 
BAY OF ST. LOUIS. Along the shore of the bay (L) is good salt-water 



TOUR I 299 

bathing from the sand beach. Fishing is good from the bridge for speckled 
sea trout, sheepshead, and redfish. 

The Bay of St. Louis was the scene of the misnamed Battle of Pass 
Christian in 1814. British Vice- Admiral Cochrane was following Andrew 
Jackson from Pensacola, Fla., as Jackson was hurrying to defend New Or- 
leans. In an effort to delay Cochrane's fleet of 60 vessels and prevent his 
forcing a passage through Mississippi Sound, Lake Borgne, and Lake Pont- 
chartrain to New Orleans, the American flotilla of 5 gunboats, commanded 
by Lt. Thomas Catesby Jones, waylaid the invaders. Jones had stationed 
his boats in the shallow bay where the enemy's heavier ships could not 
follow him. On December 14, the 5 American boats were attacked by 45 
British launches and armed boats manned by 1,000 men, and, although 
Lieutenant Jones showed great bravery and excellent qualities as a com- 
mander, within an hour every American vessel was either captured or 
sunk. The casualties included 80 Americans and 300 British. 

The town of BAY ST. LOUIS, 66.6 m. -(21 alt, 3,724 pop.), at the 
time of the battle was known as Shieldsborough, for Thomas Shields, who 
obtained his grant from the Spanish Government in 1789. Bienville, how- 
ever, had explored the bay in 1699, naming it St. Louis for the dead and 
sainted King Louis IX; and in 1720 John Law, Mississippi Bubble pro- 
moter, had given the land around the bay to Madame de Mezieres. But the 
permanence of each of these colonization efforts was as uncertain as 
French policy. The French-Canadians living about the bay intermarried 
with the Indians, Spaniards, and Acadians expelled from Nova Scotia, 
forming the blood strain sometimes incorrectly called Creole on the Coast. 
In the shuttling sovereignties of the i8th century, these forest dwellers 
around the bay ignored and were ignored by everything that smacked of 
government. Yet when the British overwhelmed Lieutenant Jones in 1814, 
Shieldsborough was an established summer retreat for wealthy Natchez 
planters. Because land titles in this section were based on claims that in- 
volved 2 3 different types of tenure, including claims of the State of Geor- 
gia, some of the ablest lawyers of the profession were drawn here. By 1825 
Shieldsborough, then also known as Bay St. Louis, rivalled Pearlington as 
the seat of the Hancock Co. courts. The town was incorporated in 1854. 
The military road that Andrew Jackson had cut through the pine woods 
into Shieldsborough was bringing the town a substantial part of the back 
country trade W. of the Bay St. Louis streams. 

The building of the New Orleans, Mobile & Chattanooga R.R. (now 
the Louisville & Nashville), completed in 1869, lent impetus to the devel- 
opment of the town as a summer resort. Since 1905 the growth of Bay St. 
Louis has been a paradox ; the town has been a victim of progress. As long 
as it was isolated by the Louisiana marshes, the Jordan River, and the bay, 
it was a liberal, detached, and moneyed country community. But improved 
transportation facilities have resulted in making it more of a resort and 
less of a rural center. 

The beach front includes a portion of the business section. Main Street 
follows a high ridge, which in turn follows the sea-wall. On the beach side 
of this street many of the frame buildings have entrances level with the 



300 TOURS 

street ; the back parts, supported by heavy pilings, stand 30 feet above the 
base of the hill. Facing the Gulf from the first block W. of the Louisville 
& Nashville R.R. track is the CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF THE 
GULF, the center of the largest Roman Catholic parish in the State, with 
3,000 communicants. The red brick structure, whose construction contin- 
ued from 1908 to 1926, is designed in the Italian Renaissance style. The 
interior is beautifully furnished, the stained glass windows having been 
imported from Germany. West of the church and also facing the Gulf is 
ST. STANISLAUS COLLEGE, an accredited boys' boarding school of 
high school standing. The school was founded in 1854 by the Brothers of 
the Sacred Heart and named for Father Louis Stanislaus Marie Buteux, the 
first resident priest in the territory. Adjoining the church on the E. in a 
large white building of Romanesque design, three stories high, set well 
back from the beach, is the main building of ST. JOSEPH'S ACADEMY, 
a girls' school of accredited high school rank. The Sisters of St. Joseph 
are in charge of the school. At the rear of the academy, approached by an 
avenue of cedars, is the SHRINE OF OUR LADY OF THE WOODS. 
Honoring the Blessed Virgin, in fulfillment of a vow made for the salva- 
tion of the vessel on which he was returning from France, Father Buteux 
erected this shrine in what was then the wilderness. The statue, made of 
plaster of Paris and protected only by a small dome, has stood for more 
than 60 years without damage. ST. AUGUSTINE SEMINARY, 0.2 m. 
from bridge, is a Catholic school where Negro boys are trained for the 
priesthood. The school has several acres of landscaped grounds and a num- 
ber of commodious buildings grouped about the two-story red brick ad- 
ministration building. It is said to have been richly endowed by a North- 
ern woman. 

Left from Bay St. Louis on the Hancock Co. sea-wall drive is WAVELAND, 2.4 
m. (15 alt., 663 pop.), the home of many New Orleans people during the hot 
months from June to September. Since Waveland is closer to New Orleans than 
other Gulf Coast cities, hundreds of business men come here with their families 
to live in houses and apartments, commuting to New Orleans. Life in Waveland 
is simple, gravitating lazily around swimming, fishing, and house parties. Imme- 
diately after Labor Day the people return to New Orleans with the certainty, pre- 
cision, and celerity of a regiment breaking camp. At 2.6 m. is the PIRATE'S 
HOUSE (open by appointment), built in 1802 by a New Orleans business man 
who is alleged to have been the overlord of the Gulf Coast pirates. At one time, 
legend says, a secret tunnel led from the house to the waterfront. Recently re- 
stored, the house is a perfect example of Louisiana planter type, with a brick 
ground story and an outside stairway leading to the first floor. The outer walls 
are covered with white stucco; square, white frame columns support the gallery, 
which runs the length of the house. The three dormer windows on the front are 
beautifully proportioned, and the iron grillwork forming the banisters is remi- 
niscent of that in the French Quarter of New Orleans. 

GULFSIDE, 5.6 m. (R), is an unusual institution. The plant, which includes sev- 
eral hundred acres of land, a number of buildings, and a mile and a quarter of 
Gulf frontage, is the only stretch of beach in Mississippi owned and controlled 
by Negroes. Gulfside is essentially a summer school ; the only work done during 
the winter is by the pupils of the school for retarded boys, who pay their expenses 
by keeping grounds and buildings in order. During the summer, classes are held 
for teachers, pastors, and others, and camps are maintained for Boy Scouts and 






PIRATE'S HOUSE, WAVELAND 



Girl Reserves. The work done by the summer school is recognized by the State 
Departments of Education of Louisiana and Mississippi, and credits are allowed. 
Religious emphasis is strong, but no stress is placed on denominational lines. At 
a Song Fest, usually on the last Sunday in August, spirituals are sung by a chorus 
made up of Negro church choirs and college glee clubs. 

At 7.3 m. is LAKESHORE and the mouth of BAYOU CADET, where fall and 
winter fishing for speckled trout is excellent. 

Between Bay St. Louis and the Louisiana Line US 90 is a flat straight 
stretch of road running through cut-over pine lands. That the second 
growth pine is already being wellworked for turpentine is evidenced by 
the many slashed trees along the road. 

At 7,5 .j5 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road to the Gulfview School, 2.5 m.; R. here on a dirt road through 
pine and stump barrens, past the post office at Ansley, 5.8 m., and through two 
pasture gates, at 10.9 m. to a trail fork; R. on the trail to the old PLANTATION 
HOME, 13.2 m., once belonging to Col. J. F. H. Claiborne, Mississippi's pioneer 
historian. In 1712 John B. Saucier settled here on Mulatto Bayou, and in the 
1780*5 had his title confirmed by the Spanish authorities. He built the house be- 
fore 1800, taking timber from the pine woods about him and firing his own brick 
with the help of slaves. The house shows Spanish influence in its main floor, 
propped high on open brick piers in the West Indian manner. A single flight of 
steps rises to the gallery with toothpick columns, running across the front. The 
hipped tin roof is broken in front by two dormers and is topped by a plain box 
observatory. The rooms are large and open off a central hall. 

At Jackson's Landing on Mulatto Bayou, just a mile from the house, is seen the 
long circle of earthworks thrown up by Andrew Jackson in 1814 to guard the 
mouth of Pearl River from British assault. Colonel Claiborne bought the house in 
the 1840*5 and lived in it until 1870, writing his best books during this period. 



302 TOURS 

Back of the house are the ruins of the brick slave quarters. The piers that sup- 
port the house itself are joined with bars to form cages. In these cages the Ne- 
groes who were brought from Africa were kept until they had been tamed enough 
to be moved into slave quarters in the rear. 

Painted on the wall panels in the hall and in the front bedrooms are huge can- 
vases of hunting and fishing scenes done by Coulon, a i9th century artist of New 
Orleans. 

The estate now belongs to a New Orleans business man who has turned it into a 
cattle range. Brahma bulls, half again as large as the average bull, with shaggy 
humps above their shoulders, drink at the spring where the Choctaw Indians 
camped. Near the spring is a mound of clam shells left by the Indians. 

At 82.4 m. on US 90 is the junction with a wide graveled road. 

Right on this road is the picturesque NETTIE KOCH HOME, 0.4 m. (R) (pri- 
vate), erected before 1820. The original part of the house, consisting of two 
rooms, is constructed of logs. Lean-tos, ells, and wings that are connected to the 
main house by latticed porches have been added, giving it a rambling appearance. 
The kitchen floor is of timbers 30 inches wide and several inches thick, taken 
from a dismantled flatboat that drifted down Pearl River. The white-washed inte- 
rior is furnished with old relics, some of them having been brought from Den- 
mark, his native country, by Dr. Koch. The house is surrounded by live oaks, 
sycamores, and cedars. A red camellia japonica in the small courtyard rises higher 
than the house. 

At 2.2 m. on this same road is LOGTOWN (500 pop.). A sawmill here has 
been in continuous operation since 1850. It stands on the bank of Pearl River, 
was built with slave labor, and was worked by slaves for the first 10 years. 
BOUGAHOUMA BAYOU forms the dividing line between the white residential 
section and Possum Walk, the Negro residential section. 

PEARLINGTON, 87.7 m. (10 alt., 318 pop.), is a town which has been 
revived, the new US 90 short-cut to New Orleans having put it back on 
a main road for the first time in more than a decade. It was one of the pio- 
neer lumbering towns in this once-important lumbering area, and later was 
the terminal for a Louisiana-Mississippi automobile ferry, now discontin- 
ued. Many large, Spanish-moss-covered live oak trees, and some of the 
largest and oldest camellia japonicas on the Mississippi Coast grow in and 
around Pearlington. 

At 88 m. a bridge crosses PEARL RIVER, the boundary line between 
Mississippi and Louisiana, 44 miles NE. of New Orleans. Free bridges at 
the Rigolets (pron. rig-lees} and Chef Menteur Passes in Louisiana; 47 
miles by a toll bridge across Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana (car and 
driver $1 ; passengers 25$). The river was given its name by the French 
because of the large pearl oysters found on the banks. 



TOUR IA 303 



Side Tour lA 



Gulf port to Ship Island, 12 m. 

Excursion boats leave yacht harbor and west pier at Gulfport twice daily during 

summer season. Round-trip fare $i. 

Surf bathing and other aquatic sports. 

No overnight accommodations. 

SHIP ISLAND, a low white sandy bar lying between the Mississippi 
Sound and the Gulf of Mexico, is approximately seven miles long and 
half a mile wide, its length roughly paralleling the mainland east to 
west. The island has a strategic position, an excellent harbor formed by a 
"V" of deep water. The place is rich in early history and legend. 

Intermittently from 1699 until the late 1720'$ Ship Island was the 
harbor for French exploration and settlement df the Gulf Coast from 
Mobile to the mouth of the Mississippi River. Iberville delayed here three 
days before he made his landing in small boats on the shore of Biloxi 
Bay (see BILOXI ), and later, using the island as a base, he explored 
the Mississippi River for nearly 300 miles from its mouth. Even after 
the capital was moved from Biloxi to Mobile, Ship Island continued to 
be the port of entry for vessels from France. To Ship Island came the 
first marriageable girls for the early colonists, bringing their chests, or 
"casquettes" with them. In 1717 the first fort and warehouse were con- 
structed here near the present pass. In 1724 what was probably the first 
cargo of pine lumber to be sent from the Mississippi Coast was shipped 
from here. 

In 1815, when the British general, Pakenham, tried to take New 
Orleans, Ship Island served as the base for the British Navy. From the 
island harbor the British fleet of 60 vessels sailed to what was to be 
the last naval engagement in which Americans fought a foreign foe in 
American waters (see Tour 1). 

On the extreme western tip of the island is FORT MASSACHUSETTS, 
used during the War between the States. As early as 1847 tne island 
was reserved for military purposes; in 1858 the War Department, car- 
rying out an act of Congress of 1857, authorized the building of a fort 
to protect the short cut into New Orleans, Rigolets Pass, the outlet of 
Lake Pontchartrain. In December 1860 work was still under way, and 
the Government had ordered 48 large cannon shipped from Pittsburg. 
The outbreak of the war in 1861 left the Union garrison isolated on 
the island, and in May 1861 they destroyed the fort in order to prevent 
its falling into Confederate hands. For three months, from July to Sep- 
tember 1 86 1, five companies of Confederates held the fort, having 
rearmed it with eight small cannon after its "destruction." Because of 
the constant threat of the Federal fleet then blockading the mouth of 



304 TOURS 

the Mississippi, the Confederates fired the fort and evacuated the island 
on September 16. In December Gen. Benjamin Butler moved into the 
damaged fort with a garrison of about 7,000 Federal soldiers, at which 
time it was named Massachusetts, in honor of Butler's home State, and 
partly rebuilt. As the war dragged on, the island was used as a prison 
for captured Confederates, some 4,000 of whom were held here in the 
course of the war years. A number of youths from a military school in 
Alabama, sent as prisoners, died and were buried in the sands. Sub- 
sequent washings of the sands have exposed a number of their skeletons. 

From the time of the withdrawal of the Federal garrison in 1875 
until the purchase of the old fort in 1935 by the Gulf port American 
Legion, the western end of the island was a desert, visited occasionally 
by boatloads of sightseers. The Federal encampment on the island had 
denuded its western half of protecting timber; rainstorms have washed 
away the ground in front of the fort. 

Beyond the fort is the SHIP ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE, built in 1879 
and maintained by the U. S. Government. 

The present QUARANTINE STATION, 4 m. E. of the lighthouse, 
is an outgrowth of the station established in 1878, when the flourishing 
trade that sprang up between the Mississippi Coast and Cuba and Vera 
Cruz brought yellow fever into the country. Here all incoming vessels 
were inspected and fumigated. About 1886 the city of Biloxi vigorously 
protested that the proximity of the quarantine station was dangerous to 
the city, and as a result the station was removed to Chandeleur Island. 
Mississippi authorities then moved into the buildings left on Ship Island 
and established a quarantine station of their own. For a while incoming 
vessels had to be fumigated twice, once by Federal and once by State 
authorities. This situation continued until the storm of 1893 blew both 
stations away. The next year the present station on Ship Island was con- 
structed by the Federal Government, and was active until yellow fever 
was definitely brought under control. The buildings are maintained in 
good condition for any emergency campaign against a contagious disease. 

Surf bathing and boating are enjoyed on the outer beach of the island, 
where boats and swimming paraphernalia are for rent. 



<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< <#> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 

Tour 2 



(Livingston, Ala.) Meridian Jackson Vicksburg (Monroe, La.). US 80. 
Alabama Line to Louisiana Line, 157.7 m. 

Alabama & Great Southern R.R. parallels route between the Alabama Line and 
Meridian, Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R.R. between Meridian and Vicksburg. 






TOUR 2 305 

Concrete roadbed two lanes wide, well marked. 
Accommodations of all kinds. 

US 80 runs across the center of the State through Mississippi's three 
largest cities. It dips from the red clay hills on the east through the 
central prairie to climb again into the brown loam hills at Vicksburg. 
The only large stream crossed is the Pearl River at Jackson. The scene 
alternates between field and forest. Settlements are older in the western 
section. Meridian was insignificant at the outbreak of the War between 
the States; Jackson was small though the State capital; while Vicksburg 
was an important port on the Mississippi River. US 80 and US n (see 
Tour 8) are united through Meridian. 

At m. US 80 crosses the Mississippi Line 21 miles W. of Livingston, 
Ala., and winds through red clay hills, pine and hardwood forests, and 
gully-threatened fields with unpainted houses. 

KEWANEE, 1.8 m. (150 pop.), is a sawmill and farm country hamlet, 
celebrated chiefly because it was the home of Chief Pushmataha. Pushma- 
taha was the Choctaw who, by blocking Tecumseh's scheme for uniting 
the Indians, saved the Southern whites from annihilation. He was a 
friend of Andrew Jackson, and is buried in the Congressional Cemetery 
at Washington (see ARCHEOLOGY AND INDIANS). 

Left from Kewanee on a sand and clay road is WHYNOT, 8.3 m. (34 pop.), a 
backwoods farming settlement gradually acquiring improved roads and new fan- 
gled ideas from Meridian. "Why not?" is the native's retort to the visitor's query 
of how the community got its name. 

TOOMSUBA (Ind., rolling horse), 6 m. (292 alt., 350 pop.), on 
the creek of the same name, had an active Ku Klux Klan unit during 
reconstruction days. The cut through which the road passes at 10.1 m. 
shows the red clay texture of the hilly soil and explains the poor land- 
scape. 

At 16.5 m. US 80 follows B St. to 26th Ave. 

MERIDIAN, 19.1 m. (341 alt., 31,954 pop.) (see MERIDIAN). 

Points of Interest: Industrial plants, Gypsy Queen's Grave, Arboretum, and others. 

At Meridian are the junctions with US 45 (see Tour 4), US n 
(see Tour 8), and State 39 (see Side Tour 4B). 

The route continues on 26th Ave.; L. on 6th St.; R. on 5th St. 
(US 80). 

West of Meridian US 80 winds through hills. 

CHUNKY, 33.8 m. (312 alt., 268 pop.), is a sawmill town that takes 
its name from Chunky Creek, on which it is situated. Chunky is the 
Anglicized pronunciation of the name the Choctaw Indians gave to 
one of their games. It was the southernmost Choctaw town visited by 
Tecumseh in 1811 when he tried to unite all Indian tribes against the 
whites. 

HICKORY, 39.7 m. (322 alt, 736 pop.), another sawmill town, was 
named for Andrew Jackson, "Old Hickory," whose military road passed 
through the village. Jackson is supposed to have camped overnight in 
1815 with his army on the banks of Pottoxchitto Creek just S. of the town. 



306 TOURS 

NEWTON, 49.1 m. (412 alt., 2,011 pop.), the seat of Newton Co., 
is the largest town in the county. A trading center for the farmers of a 
wide area, it has a compact, modern business district and wide residen- 
tial streets, shaded with live oaks. Here is CLARKE MEMORIAL COL- 
LEGE, a private school of junior college rating, with modern brick 
buildings. In the Doolittle family cemetery is a CONFEDERATE CEM- 
ETERY with approximately 100 graves. 

At Newton is the junction with State 15 (see Tour 12). 

Between Newton and Lake the hills gradually flatten to gently rolling 
swells, and the intense redness of the clay soil is modified to a light 
lemon yellow, with fewer pine woods and more truck farms visible. 

At 59.1 m. is LAKE (452 alt., 375 pop.). 

Right from Lake on an unmarked graveled road to the PATRONS' UNION 
CAMP GROUND, 2.2 m (R). The Lake Patrons' Union, an outgrowth of the 
National Grange, has held annual sessions in August since its organization in 
1874. The first meeting was called under a rude brush arbor, but after two assem- 
blies had been held, the arbor was superseded by a pavilion built to seat a thou- 
sand people. The granges of Newton, Scott, Lauderdale, Neshoba, Jasper, Smith, 
Leake, and adjoining counties elect the directors. The August programs of the 
union are varied. There are reports of committees on agriculture, horticulture, 
education, and other subjects embracing almost every topic of interest to the peo- 
ple of the State, and the sessions have many distinguished visitors. The daily 
attendance has varied from 2,000 to 6,000. 

Since 1893 for several weeks prior to the August meetings, Teachers Normal 
Institutes have been held on the union property, with well-known educators 
serving as instructors. 

On this same road is CONEHATTA, 8.8 m. (152 pop.). The CONEHATTA 
DAY SCHOOL FOR INDIANS, under the supervision of the Government agent 
at Philadelphia, is the center of an Indian community of one-mule farms typical 
of the communities in this "Indian country" of Mississippi. The settlement 
is made up almost entirely of Choctaw, descendants of the Indians who made this 
their home after the signing of the Dancing Rabbit Treaty in 1830. A number 
of the Conehatta women and girls supplement the inadequate family income by 
making and selling baskets of dyed split cane. The Conehatta baskets are perhaps 
the most attractive in the State. Few tribal rites are practiced, the majority of the 
Indians being either Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, or Presbyterians. An out- 
standing feature of early Indian life that is retained is the bright-colored dress of 
the women. The men dress much as do the neighboring white farmers, but they 
are easily distinguished by their long hair and dusky color. The school is carry- 
ing on the Americanization process: although the girls are taught basket weaving 
and bead work along with their domestic science and basic subjects, Indian ball 
has been replaced with top spinning, marble shooting, and basketball. The In- 
dians are shy and reticent. 

At 62.7 m. US 80 enters the eastern end of the BIENVILLE NA- 
TIONAL FOREST. This forest, established in 1934, covers an area of 
382,820 acres in Scott, Smith, and Jasper Counties; in shape it is an 
irregular, scjuat L, extending W. approximately 20 miles from this point, 
and N. and S. more than 35 miles. The forest has not yet attained im- 
pressive height, but the shortieaf pine is restocking naturally and quickly. 

FOREST, 68 m. (481 alt., 2,176 pop.), is the seat of Scott Co. 
and the headquarters of the Bienville Forest supervisor. The town is so 
named because of the dense pine growth which once covered the site. 






TOUR 2 307 

Here is the junction with State 35 (see Tour 16). 

MORTON, 79.4 m. (463 alt., 955 pop.), is the home of one of 
the largest sawmills between Newton and Jackson, and the shipping 
station for bentonite dug from a mine 18 miles SW. 

Left from Morton on an unmarked graveled road to forks, 1.7 m. 

1. Right here to the ROOSEVELT STATE PARK, 2.2 m., named for President 
Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is on the western edge of the Bienville Forest in a 
494-acre tract of natural forest and flower growth. The park includes several 
springs that have a combined capacity of around 3,000 gallons of water per day. 
There are rustic, overnight cabins, a clubhouse, a native stone lodge, and bath 
houses. A dam creates a 125-acre lake stocked with fish and used also for swim- 
ming. Foot trails for hiking and bridle paths for horseback, as well as camping 
and picnicking facilities, are available. 

2. Left here on a graveled road, keeping R. at every fork for 14.9 m.; L. to 
BENTONITE MINE, 15.2 m. (open by permission from office, 8:30 to 5 week- 
days), utilizing the largest bentonite deposit in the State. The stratum averages 
three feet in thickness and underlies 100 acres. Because of its nearness to the sur- 
face the mine has the appearance of a great opened pit. In 1934 the State Geolog- 
ical Survey made a detailed examination of the field, which had been noted three 
years earlier, and in 1936 the Attapulgus Clay Co. began development of the 
mineral. The product is a grayish, clay-like mineral, or group of minerals, con- 
sisting of hydro aluminum silicates and alkalies. Bentonite mined here is shipped 
to Jackson where it is processed in the Filtrol plant (see Tour 5, Sec. b) . 

At 80.7 US 80 crosses the western boundary of the Bienville National 
Forest. 

PELAHATCHIE (Ind., hurricane creek) , 89. m. (409 alt, 1,599 PP-)> 
is named for the creek it borders. 

Between Pelahatchie and Brandon the highway runs past fine stands 
of pine and hardwood trees. 

At 99.1 m. (L) is the CAPT. JAMES L. McCASKILL HOME 
(private), one of the few ante-bellum homes left in this section. A long 
one-story house with square columns, it was built in 1830 and was 
originally an inn and stagecoach stop. Because it was occupied by a 
Northern family during the War between the States, it escaped the fate 
of other homes in the vicinity. General Sherman made his headquarters 
here. 

BRANDON, 99.6 m. (484 alt., 692 pop.), is an old town, rebuilt 
since its destruction during the War between the States. It is said that 
Brandon has produced more State governors, senators, and representa- 
tives of distinction than any other town its size in Mississippi. The town 
was named for Gerard Brandon, who served as Governor of the State 
from 1825 to 1831. The A. J. McLAURIN HOME (private) was at 
different times the home of two governors, Lowry and McLaurin. It 
stands 100 yds. S. of US 80 at the W. end of town on a spacious lawn 
shaded by cedars. The house is of frame construction, painted white, and 
has a two-story colonnaded portico rising in front. By the door in the 
living room there was for many years a dark stain. Here, during the 
war, a Northern officer was slain as he answered a call at the door. In 
the attic is a charred spot, marking the attempted burning of the house 



308 TOURS 

by a young slave girl trying to escape. At PURNELL SPRINGS both 
Confederate and Union soldiers camped during the war. 

US 80, W. of Brandon, slopes gradually downward toward the Pearl 
River bottoms. 

At 709.3 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road to the new MISSISSIPPI HOSPITAL FOR THE INSANE, 
5.6 m. (L), a $5,000,000 plant including 78 buildings. It is the handsomest and 
best equipped of Mississippi's eleemosynary institutions. The hospital plant covers 
3,300 acres and was completed in 1935. In appearance it is more of a village than 
an institution, with roads passing fruit and pecan orchards and well-spaced buildings 
(none more than two stories high) of the Colonial Williamsburg type of archi- 
tecture. In reality there are two plants, one for white patients and the other for 
Negroes, but no distinction is evident in the type of buildings, and all patients 
receive similar care. Each race has its own chapel. Because of the space available 
the patients of each race are segregated according to their types of disease. All 
non-violent patients march to a central dining room for meals served cafeteria 
style; most of the food is produced on the institution's farm, which is worked by 
patients. Treatment includes hydrotherapy, physio-therapy, and occupational 
therapy; one of the most successful aids for the women has proved to be a well- 
equipped beauty parlor. The landscaping, like the buildings, is free from institu- 
tional aspects. There are an artificial lake and several miles of shrubbery-lined 
walks and drives. The site was once the Rankin Co. Penal Farm. 

Between Brandon and Jackson the highway is bordered with small 
but neat truck farms. Back of the truck farms (R) but not visible from 
the highway is the RANKIN COUNTY NATURAL GAS FIELD, a 
recently exploited source of much potential wealth. 

At 110.1 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road to the KNOX GLASS MANUFACTURING COMPANY, 
1.9 m. (R), (visited by permission), the only plant of its kind in the State. Here 
bottles of all shapes and sizes are manufactured for distribution to all parts of the 
United States. The plant is a modern building with recreational facilities pro- 
vided for its employees. 

At 110.6 m. is the junction (L) with US 49 (see Tour 7), which 
joins US 80 to cross a levee running through the second bottoms of 
the Pearl River and over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, 111 .5 m. The 
river limits Jackson on the E. From the bridge are visible the few sky- 
scrapers of which Mississippi can boast. 

At 111.5 m. US 80 follows E. Silas Brown St. over bridge; R. on 
S. State St. ; L. on South St. to S. Gallatin St. 

JACKSON, 112.7 m. (294 alt., 48,282 pop.) (see JACKSON). 

Points of Interest. Old Capitol, New Capitol, Livingston Park and Zoo, Hinds 
County Courthouse, Millsaps College, Belhaven College, Battlefield Park, and 
others. 

At Jackson is the junction with US 51 (see Tour 5), and US 49 (see 
Tour 7). 

The route continues on S. Gallatin St.; L. on W. Capitol St. (US 80). 

On US 80, Jackson, as it does on all the highways running through it, 
marks an end and a beginning. Over the section between Jackson and 
Vicksburg was fought one of the bitterest and most decisive series of 
battles in the War between the States. Over this ground the Confederates 



TOUR 2 309 

were gradually pushed by Grant to the earthwork defenses of Vicks- 
burg, the last link binding the two halves of the Confederacy. 

US 80 crosses the bridge over the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R.R. at 
the western city limits of Jackson. At 117.4 m. (R) is the entrance to 
the JACKSON COUNTRY CLUB ($1.10 greens fee), of which the 
i8-hole course is the scene of Mississippi's major tournaments. At 
1193 m. (R) is the CRISMORLAND ROSE GARDEN, a lovely country 
garden and nursery typical of the showy suburban places that contrast 
with the small truck farms along the road. 

At 119.5 is the entrance to LAKEWOOD CEMETERY, in appearance 
more a park than a cemetery because bronze tablets set flush with the 
carpeting grass take the place of grave monuments. The cemetery, opened 
in 1927, occupies a 2oo-acre tract, 35 acres of which are developed. A 
pleasing conceit is a heart-shaped lake, divided by the graveled drive. 

The highway W. of the cemetery is bordered with small truck farms, 
separated by hedges of honeysuckle and Cherokee roses, with an oc- 
casional clump of cedars denoting an older settlement. 

At 121.3 m. (L) is the CLINTON CEMETERY, marking the eastern 
limits of CLINTON (324 alt., 912 pop.), a small college town. Long 
before Mississippi became a State, Clinton was an Indian agency, known 
as Mount Dexter. About 1823 Walter Leake, formerly a Mississippi 
Territorial judge, who later became the third Governor of the State, 
bought land here and later erected a home called Mount Salus. The 
white settlement that grew up around his home was called Mount Salus. 
The first land office and the first post office in the State were in this place. 
The land office was established to dispose of lands acquired in 1820 
from the Choctaw Indians by the Treaty of Doak's Stand. The post 
office was Governor Leake's "little letter-box." The spring waters at 
Mount Salus and' the town's situation on the Natchez Trace made it 
popular as an early health resort. State roads to Vicksburg and Jackson 
were opened in 1820 and 1826. 

In the fall of 1828 the citizens of Mount Salus changed the name 
of the village to Clinton in honor of De Witt Clinton, then Governor 
of New York. In the same year the town narrowly missed selection as 
the county seat, the honor falling to Raymond, and in the next year 
missed by one vote being selected as the State capital. The deciding vote 
was cast by Maj. John R. Peyton of Raymond, Clinton's rival town. 

The Clinton & Vicksburg R.R. (see TRANSPORTATION), the sec- 
ond oldest in the State, was incorporated in 1831. In 1835 the citizens 
had to organize hastily against a threatened raid of Murrell's desperadoes. 
In 1834 a Masonic lodge was organized, becoming the parent lodge to 
those of both Jackson and Vicksburg. Grant and Sherman each estab- 
lished headquarters here. Sherman pillaged, but there was little burning, 
and the two colleges were left unharmed. Immediately after the War 
between the States Clinton was shipping 20,000 bales of cotton a year, 
handling more than any market between Vicksburg and Meridian. In 
1875 occurred the Clinton race riot, one of the bloodiest of the Recon- 



310 TOURS 

struction upheavals, in which white citizens rising against Negro su- 
premacy gained the ascendancy, with the assistance of volunteer groups 
of armed men from Jackson and Vicksburg. The number of Negroes 
killed has been estimated at 50. 

At 122 m. (L) is the entrance to MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE, the Bap- 
tist school that has made Clinton a seat of learning since 1826. Next to 
Jefferson College it is the oldest school for boys in the State. It was 
founded as Hampstead (incorporated as Hamstead) Academy in 1826, 
but the year after its name was changed by an act of the Legislature to 
Mississippi Academy, and in 1830 to Mississippi College. The founders 
in changing the name hoped that it would become the State university, 
and this hope was realized to the extent of State recognition and sup- 
port from the "seminary lands." Failure to achieve permanent State 
support, however, caused Clinton citizens to turn the school over to 
the Presbyterian Synod in 1842. The Presbyterians gave it back in 1850, 
and when it appeared that the school was about to become extinct, the 
Mississippi Baptist State Convention rescued it and has cared for it 
ever since. 

The period of enthusiasm just after the Baptists took over the school 
resulted in the building of the COLLEGE CHAPEL, the only ante- 
bellum structure on the campus. The Baptists had succeeded in obtaining 
a $100,000 endowment fund; then in 1858 a building fund was raised, 
and from its $30,000 was created this Corinthian style temple. It is a 
square building constructed of red brick and stucco with a slate roof. 
The capitals, railings, interior columns, and other ornaments are of 
cast iron. The stuccoed ground floor is given to classrooms, but the 
chapel itself is lofty enough to include a balcony around three sides of 
the chamber. Particularly attractive are the triple-hung sash windows, 
fully 20 feet high. When the War between the States began, the Missis- 
sippi College Rifles was organized from the student body. The endow- 
ment decreased in value, and the school would have been sold for debt 
had it not been for the aid Mrs. Adelia Hillman gave in raising funds 
in the North. For a long period after 1877 the college faculty worked 
on a contingent basis instead of with guaranteed salaries. It has pro- 
duced many of the outstanding men of the State, including three gov- 
ernors: Brown, Longino, and H. L. Whitfield. 

Closely associated with Mississippi College in spirit as well as in 
organization is HILLMAN COLLEGE, the oldest existing school for 
girls in Mississippi. Almost hidden in a quiet tree-shaded campus, the 
brick and frame buildings are of no definite design. The school was 
begun by the Central Baptist Association in 1853 as the Central Female 
Institute, in 1891 it was renamed "in honor of those who have done so 
much for it, Dr. Walter Hillman and Mrs. Adelia M. Hillman, his 
wife." For 16 years it was under the direct control of the Baptist Asso- 
ciation; it is said to have been the only educational institution in the 
South that held classes uninterruptedly throughout the War between the 
States. Even when the campaigns against Vicksburg brought the roar 
of the contending armies' cannon to the quiet campus the institute was 



TOUR 2 311 

enrolling a hundred pupils annually and was graduating classes ranging 
from nine in 1860 to two in 1865. Although the school remained open 
during the conflict and was unharmed by Federal troops, it was heavily 
in debt at the close of the war. In 1869 the Baptist Association turned 
the property titles over to the school's president, Dr. Hillman. It has 
since been operated privately, but has retained its denominational char- 
acter. Dr. Hillman remained as president until his death in 1894. 

At one time the school possessed the best natural history museum in 
Mississippi; it now shares science laboratories with Mississippi College. 

At Mississippi College is the junction with the graveled Raymond road. 

Left on the Raymond Road and on the westernmost of twin hills S. of Mississippi 
College are the ruins of the old MOSS HOME, 0.6 m. (R), formerly the home 
of Col. Raymond Robinson. The crumbling ruins are of a beautiful red brick, 
and enough is left to give a vivid idea of the original structure, built before 
1810. Much of the original roof still protects the broken brick walls. The design 
of the structure, of somewhat hybrid type, is based upon Spanish and English 
Georgian traditions. This is notable in its H-shaped plan, raised basement story, 
the high central section with its low-pitched hip roof and tall flanking chimneys. 
The secondary roof of similar construction once covered the lower wings 
and deeply recessed front and rear porches. The porches, now gone, were in the 
form of loggias between the wings. At the eaves of the roof a heavy wooden 
cornice with modillion brackets is impaled with cut nails upon hewn joists and 
rafters. The great central hall on the second or principal floor, with its large 
window openings and graceful arched doorways, flanked by small half-length side 
lights, opens onto the porches. These, in turn, give access to the two rooms on 
each side. Each of the side chambers has corner fireplaces. The dining room, 
scullery and other services were on the ground floor. Facing N. on the crest of the 
hill, the house was originally approached by a drive crossing the ravine and 
circling the knoll. It is guarded and half hidden by two tall cedars on each side 
of what was once the entrance staircase. In 1818 Andrew Jackson, then land 
commissioner at Clinton, was a guest in this home. 

Here the wealthy widow of Judge Caldwell (see below) was found murdered 
shortly after her re-marriage. 

Between the Moss home and the Raymond road, on the other hill, are the RUINS 
OF GOVERNOR LEAKE'S HOME, Mount Salus, facing the lake across the 
road. When built Mount Salus was the first brick house in the county. It was 
burned in 1920. 

In the middle of the road between the hill and the lake is the SITE OF THE 
CALDW ELL-PEYTON DUEL. This duel, taking place in 1829, was the result 
of a quarrel between Judge Isaac Caldwell of Clinton and Maj. John R. Peyton 
of Raymond. As a member of the State legislature Peyton cast the deciding vote 
which established Jackson as State capital over Clinton. His action so enraged 
Caldwell that he challenged Peyton to a duel. Both men escaped uninjured, but 
in 1835 Caldwell fought a duel with Samuel Gwin, this time to defend the honor 
" his friend, George Poindexter. Gwin had hissed a speech of Poindexter's at a 
free-drinking inaugural levee for Governor Lynch. Caldwell and Gwin were each 
armed with six pistols and were advancing upon each other as they fired. Cald- 
died that day; Gwin lingered in agony a year. 

US 80, W. of Clinton, passes through cuts showing a pebbly clay 
outcropping. The land is not heavily wooded; the homes are poor. An 
occasional Negro is seen hoeing or plowing in fields which are separated 
by clumps of trees. There are pastoral landscapes, and at intervals groups 
of fine oaks. 



5 

\ 



312 TOURS 

At BOLTON, 130.2 m. (216 alt., 441 pop.), the highway runs 
through an avenue of water oaks that shade the residences on each 
side. Bolton exemplifies the quiet, shadowy, old inland hamlet found 
in the prairie belt W. of Jackson. It has three steam cotton gins. 

West of Bolton good farms lie on both sides of the highway, white 
folks' tractors alternating with Negroes' mules in the work. Fresh eggs 
and cool buttermilk can be bought at the roadside farmhouses. 

At 139.2 m. is EDWARDS (226 alt., 456 pop.). 

1. Left from Edwards on a graveled road, the old Edwards-Bolton highway, to 
CHAMPION'S HILL, 4.4 m., situated at the point where the middle Raymond 
road intersects the old highway. The old highway extends over the crest of the 
hill, an elevation 70 feet above the surrounding country. On the crest of this hill 
on May 16, 1863, Confederate General Pemberton's left wing was placed, facing 
E. against the far larger Union Army under Grant. The occasion was momentous. 
Grant was in possession of Jackson and was moving toward Vicksburg. The three 
divisions of Pemberton's army were trying frantically to unite with Johnston. 
Grant moved in between. South of Champion's Hill Pemberton's army stretched 
three miles, 15,000 Confederates fighting desperately to save Vicksburg from 
destruction, but it was for the hill that Grant and Pemberton fought. One of th 
most brilliant movements on either side was the charge of Cockrell's brigade of 
Bowen's division, preparing the way for the advance of the Confederate front to 
beyond the crest of the hill. This movement was accomplished in the evening 
of May 1 6, following an afternoon of steady contest for possession. The weight 
of the Federal forces, increased by fresh divisions moving up from Raymond, 
however, finally turned the Confederate wing and Pemberton retreated across the 
Big Black River. The Confederate loss was 324 killed, 3,269 wounded or cap- 
tured, and all artillery. The Federal loss was 410 killed, 2,031 wounded or cap- 
tured. One division of Confederate troops, consisting of almost 4,000 men, was 
cut off from the rest of the army and forced to flee in a southeasterly direction 
beyond Jackson. Grant's victory was the decisive stroke of the campaign. The 
Confederates were scattered and the Federals were rapidly nearing Vicksburg, 
their objective. The evening after the battle Grant received Halleck's order, sent 
five days before, telling him on no account whatever to undertake such a campaign. 
Grant could read the order with calmness ; he had staked everything and had won. 

2. Left from Edwards on a country road leading across the wooden bridge over 
the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R.R. tracks to the TILGHMAN MONUMENT, 
3 m. The monument is on the L. just beyond a church on the R. The stone is not 
50 feet from the road and is easily visible, but is on the other side of a bordering 
gully. A path leads down into the gully and up to the railed enclosure. The road 
has every appearance of age, winding through a cut below the level of the fields, 
bordered with trees. A single small cedar shades the monument, whose inscrip- 
tion reads: "Lloyd Tilghman, Brigadier General C.S.A., Commander First 
Brigade, Loring's Division. Killed here the afternoon of May 18, 1863, near the 
close of the battle of Champion's Hill." Tilghman died defending the ford across 
Baker's Creek while the Confederates retreated. The story is that he was shot by 
a sharpshooter from the HENRY COKER HOUSE, 3.3 m., on the next hill. It is 
a one-and-a-half-story country house, painted brown, with a central hall and a 
small four-columned porch. At the four corners are giant magnolia trees. Along 
the drive in front are cedars with moss hanging from the limbs. The hou.se is on a 
knoll. In its front door and jambs are bullet holes made during the battle on 
Champion's Hill, three miles NE. across the hills and ravines. 

The SOUTHERN CHRISTIAN INSTITUTE, 140.2 m. (L), a Negro 
college known as Mount Beulah, was established in 1875 on the planta- 
tion of the Cook family. Its 1937 enrollment is 222. The school struc- 
tures, set on a hill just off the highway are grouped about a white, square 



TOUR 2 313 

frame building two stories in height, housing the administrative offices 
and the classrooms; the boarding students live in small one-story frame 
structures scattered over the campus. At the school the highway flattens 
out into the bottoms of the Big Black River. 

At 145.3 m. is the junction with the old road across the Big Black 
River. 

Left on the old road leading under the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R.R. to an 
old BRIDGE, 0.3 m., across the Big Black River. Near this concrete railroad bridge 
the Battle of the Big Black was fought, confirming the outcome of Champion's 
Hill. The Confederates were routed in panic, losing the fortifications of the 
bridge and 18 guns, in addition to 1,751 men taken captive by Grant. After the 
battle Pemberton concentrated his remaining forces in the bluff hills encircling 
Vicksburg. 

US 80 climbs into the bluff hills immediately W. of the Big Black 
River. The cuts through which the new road passes are in some places 
25 feet deep, showing brittle loess. The highway runs through a stretch 
of large and varied trees to come suddenly at 154>1 m. upon a spider 
web of intersecting roads the ENTRANCE TO THE VICKSBURG 
NATIONAL MILITARY PARK (see VICKSBURG). 

US 80 follows Clay St. to Washington St. 

VICKSBURG, 1HJ m. (206 alt, 22,943 pop.) (see VICKSBURG). 

Points of Interest. Warren Co. Courthouse, a number of ante-bellum, siege- 
marked homes, and others. 

Here is the junction with US 61 (see Tour 3). 

Left from Vicksburg on Clay St. to Cherry St. ; R. on Cherry St. ; L. on a local 
blacktop road that cuts an intricately winding path through the hills and bluffs of 
this section. The landscape is very rugged, with dense forests and undergrowth 
throughout, and contrives to give a scene of primeval beauty. The U. S. WATER- 
WAYS EXPERIMENT STATION (guides at Administration Building, 9-4 
weekdays), 4.6 m., is a hydraulic laboratory installed for the purpose of building 
and operating small-scale models of the Mississippi and other rivers. The lab- 
oratory is on a Federal reservation containing 245 acres. In the valley at the en- 
trance is the Administration Building, flanked with auxiliary buildings containing 
special laboratories, shop facilities, and warehouses. Back of these is an 8o-acre 
lake, while spread in front across the valley are miniature reproductions of sec- 
tions of rivers, bays, and harbors. 

Beyond this valley a winding road up a steep wooded hill leads to a plateau 
that was levelled to provide a loo-acre experimental field. Here larger models are 
in operation. Among them and probably of greatest interest is the Mississippi 
River model, the largest of this type in the world. It represents a 6oo-mile 
stretch of the river from Helena, Ark., to Donaldsonville, La. including the 
entire main river channel and the backwater areas of its tributaries. The model, 
like all the others, is constructed of concrete and is covered with fluted screened 
wire that represents roughness such as trees and undergrowth or anything that 
hinders the flow of water. The model is 1,055 ft- l n g> has an average width of 
167 ft., and covers 111,600 sq. ft., which represents 10,250,000 acres of the 
actual Mississippi area. One cubic foot per second of water flowing through the 
channel of the model is equivalent to 1,500,000 cubic feet per second in nature. 
The water is introduced into each of the tributaries by means of V-notch weir 
boxes, several of which are also scattered over the model to simulate run-offs 
from rainfall. 

In seven small houses are gauges recording the height of the water surface in 
the models. Telephones installed in these houses enable all operators to keep in 




HIGHWAY THROUGH LOESS BLUFFS TO VICKSBURG 



touch with each other. An automatic timing device gives a signal with the passing 
of each "day," which requires five minutes and 24 seconds on this model. The 
purpose of this work is to test flood control devices, such as cut-offs, floodways, 
and storage reservoirs. This is carried out by running water into the model in 
which have been constructed proposed levees, dikes, or dredge cuts in order to 
determine if these constructions will produce the desired results. Two full-time 
photographers make pictures during these tests which need detailed study. 

The station studies problems not only of the United States but also of foreign 
countries. The model of Maracaibo Bay in Venezuela, South America, shows the 
Pacific Ocean and the channel from the ocean to the bay through which heavily 
loaded oil barges must travel and are sometimes caught. The purpose of the study 
is to find a means of keeping the channel open without periodic dredging. In 
this model there is an apparatus that reproduces actual tides, and a machine that 
reproduces the waves, both of which are electrically operated and controlled. 
Thirty-five minutes of operation in this study of tides equals a 24-hour day. The 
model is on the plateau but is housed in a building 200 feet square. 

The route continues L. on Washington St. (US 80-61). US 80 crosses 
the VICKSBURG TOLL BRIDGE, 157.7 m. (cars $1.25, passengers 
25$, pedestrians free) over the Mississippi River. A cantilever type and 
through truss spans, the bridge was designed and constructed by Har- 
rington, Howard and Ash of Kansas City. It was opened for traffic in 
1930. The river, the boundary line between Mississippi and Louisiana, is 
73 miles E. of Monroe, La. 



TOUR 3 315 

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< <-# >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 



Tour 3 



(Memphis, Tenn.) Clarksdale Vicksburg Natchez (Baton Rouge, La). US 61. 
Tennessee Line to Louisiana Line, 334.6 m. 

Two-thirds route hard-surfaced, two lanes wide, rest being paved. 
Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R.R. parallels route throughout. 
Accommodations of all kinds available; hotels chiefly in cities. 
Caution: Look out for stock wandering on road at night. 

Sec. a TENNESSEE LINE to VICKSBURG, 206.4 m. 

US 6 1 passes through the State's great alluvial plain, an extensive flat 
land with sluggish rivers, lakes, and bayous. The land, often lying below 
the level of the Mississippi River, which flows between a system of 
high man-made embankments called levees, is not strictly a river delta. 
But for thousands of years the river has deposited over it the rich topsoil 
of half a continent, giving it a fertility equaling that of the Nile and 
making it one of the world's finest cotton-producing areas. For this 
reason the section is colloquially called the Delta. Spreading leaf-shaped 
to the south, it is a land of cotton and cotton planters. In the fall, or 
cotton-picking time, it is a sea of white, broken at intervals by dark lines 
of trees that grow along the bayous. The plantation big houses are sub- 
stantial but not pretentious ; the tenant cabins are all alike. Smaller towns, 
hardly more than plantation centers, are of a single pattern; each is 
centered about a gin, a filling station, a loading platform, and a short 
line of low-roofed, brick stores. The points of interest, aside from the 
land itself, are the levees and the river, the lakes, the Indian mounds, 
and the cotton fields. 

At m. US 6 1 crosses the Mississippi Line, 7.9 miles S. of Memphis, 
and, dropping from the hills to the Delta, gives an occasional glimpse of 
the green levee bank that is 25 ft. high (R) and of the wooded bluffs (L). 

At 1.1 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road is LAKEVIEW, 0.4 m. (222 alt., 200 pop.), a fishing resort 
(buffalo, crappie, perch, bass, catfish, and trout) by one of the lakes formed in 
an old bed of the ever-changing Mississippi River. The lake is six and a half 
miles long. Its front is privately owned (no overnight accommodations; boats 
rented to fishermen, $1 a day). 

WALLS, 3.4 m. (213 alt., 150 pop.), is a plantation town built near 
the Walls group of Indian mounds ; so far as is known no post-Columbian 
material has been found in the mounds. 

LAKE CORMORANT, 8.4 m. (208 alt., 207 pop.), borders a lake 
of the same name, which is typical of the bodies of water left behind 
when the Mississippi River changes its course; it is four and a half 
miles long and only 100 yards wide. 



316 TOURS 

Between Lake Cormorant and Robinsonville the highway cuts due 
southward while the levee (R) swings slightly westward and the bluffs 
(L) swing eastward; here the leaf -shaped Delta, at the northern end not 
two miles wide, begins to widen; further south it reaches a width of 
approximately 85 miles. At various points, plantation roads lead through 
the fields and over the levee. From any of these roads at the top of 
the levee the river is seen still farther to the west, and occasionally a 
cultivated field in the swamps between the levee and the river. 

At 16.3 m. is ROBINSONVILLE (204 alt, 150 pop.). 

Right from Robinsonville on State 3, a graveled road, is COMMERCE, 4.8 m. 
(201 alt., 50 pop.), once a rival of Memphis for the river trade, now a planta- 
tion centered around the big house built on the slope of a large Indian mound. 
The land was originally bought from the Chickasaw by Dick Abbay, who built his 
first log cabin in 1832. Other early settlers were Tom Fletcher, a Choctaw Indian, 
and Col. Tom Burns. By 1850 Commerce had become the seat of Tunica Co., but, 
just before the War between the States, the river, which had been responsible 
for the growth of the town, started destroying it. Abbay's log cabin was washed 
away. Trying to save their homes, the settlers built the first levees in this section 
of the Delta, Abbay being assisted by Gen. James L. Alcorn, later Reconstruction 
governor. But the river climbed the levees, spilled into the streets, and swallowed 
Memphis' 'rival. Today the old COLONEL BURNS' STABLES of whitewashed 
brick serve as commissaries on the Leatherman plantation which borders both 
sides of the five miles of road leading from Robinsonville to the big house. The 
present LEATHERMAN HOME (private) was not built directly on the 5o-foot 
Indian mound because of the unwillingness of the builder to desecrate a mound 
"full of the dead." The mound rises behind the house. From its top, so the in- 
evitable legend goes, Hernando De Soto in 1541 had his first glimpse of the great 
river that was to be his grave. The view of the river is now cut off by the levee 
and the trees. The Leatherman house is a modern structure, an impressive center 
for the silos, great barns, and Negro cabins on this typical Delta plantation. 

At 5.7 m. a great bend in the levee brings it close to the road. From the top of 
the great sloping green mound is a good view of the lowland that has been con- 
demned for habitation by the Federal Government. Here is a i,ooo-acre tract that 
gives a good illustration of what Delta planters have to fight again and again. 
This field is planted each year in corn, but if the planter breaks fifty-fifty with 
the overflowing backwater of the nearby river he considers himself fortunate. The 
river wins more crops than the planter, yet the yield per acre is so great that 
even one-third of a full crop pays for the effort and risk. 

At 7.8 m. on the plantation road is the DE BE VOIS INDIAN MOUNDS, nine 
small ones centered about one as tall as the Leatherman mound but much larger. 
Because of its size the center mound is believed to have been the place on which 
Chief Chisca of the Chickasaw tribe built his home, and the site of the skirmish 
De Soto had with the Chickasaw before he crossed the river. 

TUNICA, 26.4 m. (197 alt., 1,043 PP-)> ' ls tne trading center for 
the stretch of the Delta between Clarksdale and Memphis. The river 
(R) near Tunica has changed its course so often that what was Mississippi 
shore 30 years ago is now Arkansas territory. 

At 39 .5 m. is DUNDEE (190 alt, 300 pop.). 

Right from Dundee on a narrow graveled road climbing over the levee (road 
between levee and jerry is low; drive with care) to a ferry, 6 m., crossing the 
river to Helena, Ark. (18-hr, service, leaving on the half-hour; $1 for car and 
driver, 25$ each passenger). 



TOUR 3 317 

At 44.6 m. is LULA (180 alt., 448 pop.). 

Right from Lula on a graveled road to GRANTS PASS, 2.5 m. A small wooden 
bridge near the head of Moon Lake, here a bayou, marks the place where Gen. 
U. S. Grant dynamited a pass from the Mississippi into the Coldwater River in 
order to get his gunboats through the Coldwater into the Yazoo and then descend 
on Vicksburg from the rear. The scheme failed, however. 

West of Grant's Pass for several miles lies MOON LAKE (R), a Delta recrea- 
tional center (fishing, swimming, boating) ; the scene is delightful. 

At 14 m. on the graveled road circling Moon Lake is FRIAR POINT (171 alt., 
988 pop.), lying in the shadow of the levee that conceals the Mississippi River 
from the town. From the levee's broad, flat top, however, is an extensive view 
of the river. The town is old, the only one of the towns established on the river 
in the 1830*5 that has not been swallowed by the waters that originally gave them 
importance. Nevertheless the river is a menace; because of it the county records 
were, in 1930, removed to Clarksdale, and Friar Point was abandoned as a 
county seat. Today the town lives by growing and ginning cotton, but it once 
had a steamboat trade that bustled and hummed in the days before the War be- 
tween the States. Grant stopped here on his way with a fleet of transports to 
Vicksburg. The ROBINSON HOME (open by 'permission) has a hole in its 
fagade made by a cannon ball when Federal and Confederate gunboats were 
skirmishing in the river at that time. Ferry to Helena, Ark. (18-hr, service, leaving 
on half-hour; $1 for car and driver, 25$ passengers). 

At 46.6 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road to COAHOMA, 3.5 m. (177 alt., 295 pop.), a small planta- 
tion center. Directly across from the depot is the L-shaped, clapboard HOME OF 
MRS. BLANCHE MONTGOMERY RALSTON (open by permission). Mrs. 
Blanche Montgomery Ralston, prominent for many years in civic and social serv- 
ice work in Mississippi, is now Regional Director of the Women's and Profes- 
sional Projects of the Works Progress Administration. 

At 48.6 m. on US 61 is the junction with a graveled road, 
left on this road 3.6 m. is JONESTOWN (175 alt., 506 pop.). 

1. Left from Jonestown 1.4 m. on a graveled road to MATAGORDA (open by 
appointment), a plantation with a home built by Col. D. M. Russell around a 
two-room log cabin constructed before the War between the States. Colonel Rus- 
sell had attained notoriety by resigning from Yale in 1856 as the leader of the 
Southern students' rebellion against President Woolsey's anti-slavery remarks. 
Kept from fighting because of weak lungs, Russell was commissioner of the 
Confederate States for making purchases in England, and on his return planned 
the Confederate raid on the banks at St. Albans, Vermont. Colonel Russell's 
initials, D. M. R., C. S. A., are said to be carved on the top of St. Paul's 
Cathedral in London; Russell is supposed to have made the climb on a dare, 
despite a lung hemorrhage. The name Matagorda was given to the place by 
Colonel Russell for a special variety of long-staple cotton he raised, a variety 
well known on the Liverpool Exchange. The house contains 22 rooms and five 
baths, has one of the best private libraries in the State, a choice collection of old 
china, and one of the State's largest and finest private art collections. Although 
the house is two stories high, its length and wide porches give it a low, rambling 
appearance. Climbing roses, gnarled cedars, and water oaks grace the grounds. 

2. Right from Jonestown 2.4 m. on a graveled road to EAGLES' NEST PLAN- 
TATION. The plantation was the home of Gen. James L. Alcorn, whose 
persistence in fighting for a State levee system was finally successful. It was Alcorn 
who gave the plantation its name. Atop an Indian mound on the plantation is a 
MONUMENT TO ALCORN marking his grave. Alcorn served as Governor of 



318 TOURS 

Mississippi from 1870-71. He died in 1894 (see AN OUTLINE OF FOUR 
CENTURIES). 

At 58.7 m. is the junction with State 6 (see Tour 14). 

CLARKSDALE, 62.3 m. (173 alt., 10,043 pop.), is a typical Missis- 
sippi Delta city with level surface, far horizons, and broad surrounding 
cotton fields. Viewed from a distance, the bare and treeless business 
district of stores, gins, warehouses, and loading platforms appears squat 
and dwarfed; yet silver-leaf maples and water oaks line the residential 
streets giving the homes a secluded air. As many of these streets end 
abruptly in the cotton fields, the sudden emergence from shade into 
open country offers a startling contrast of light and shade. Fringed by 
dark cypresses and bright willows, the narrow Sunflower River winds 
through the city eastward and westward. Along its banks are many of 
the oldest homes of Clarksdale large, comfortable frame houses, with 
wide front galleries. 

There is hardly a planter, tenant, or sharecropper on the surrounding 
plantations whose business does not bring him to Clarksdale every 
Saturday, the planter for business transactions, the tenant to buy supplies 
and fertilizer. These Saturday trips afford opportunity for much visiting 
on street corners; neighbors of the countryside call each other by their 
first names and with delightful informality extend invitations to fox- 
hunting, fishing, or dancing. Weekends in the country form a large part 
of Clarksdale' s social life. 

Though a few French Huguenot families are said to have been estab- 
lished earlier in the locality, John Clark is given credit for founding 
Clarksdale, the seat of Coahoma Co. Clark was the son of an English ar- 
chitect, who was sent to Halifax by the British Government to help rebuild 
the city destroyed by fire. The elder Clark died of yellow fever in New 
Orleans in 1837 leaving John, age 14, to make his way. In December 
1839 he landed at Port Royal near the present town of Friar Point in 
Coahoma Co., where he met Ed Porter who became his partner in the 
logging business. After several years both Clark and Porter quit logging 
for farming. Clark bought his first 100 acres of land from the Govern- 
ment in 1848. The land site was well-chosen, for though the Delta above 
the Lake Washington district was largely a trackless swamp at the time, 
here on the banks of the Sunflower was a narrow spot of dry ground. 
Formerly it was a point of intersection for two most important Indian 
routes: the Chakchiuma trade trail, which ran northeastward to old i 
Pontotoc, and the Lower Creek trade path which extended westward 
from Augusta, Ga., to New Mexico. At the point of intersection was 
a fortification. After Clark's arrival, more Huguenot families came in, 
cleared land, and settled on plantations. In 1858 he began work on 
Hopedale, the original Clark home, and in 1868 opened a store and 
platted off a village on the site of the Indian fortification. In 1882 it 
was incorporated as Clarksdale. Frequent floods, a fire that swept away 
the business houses in 1889, and the lack of roads retarded the devel- 
opment of the town for many years, but since 1900 its corporate limits 



TOUR 3 319 

have pushed the cotton fields farther and farther back on all sides. A 
network of paved highways now connects it with the other parts of 
the State, and, perhaps more important, ties it close to other plantation 
centers. It is today the trading, ginning, compressing, and financial hub 
of a great cotton-growing area. Of secondary importance are lumber mills 
and planing mills, using timber cut from the Delta swamps. 

The CUTRER HOME (private), NW. of courthouse on Friar Point 
Road, occupies the site of one of the first houses in Clarksdale. Built 
by the daughter of John Clark and almost hidden by oak and cedar 
trees, on the bank of the river, it is a red-roofed, stuccoed mansion of 
good proportions. 

HOPED ALE, adjoining the Cutrer home, is the original John Clark 
home. Begun in 1858 by workmen brought from Philadelphia, the house 
was not quite finished at the outbreak of the War between the States. 
Clark and his family moved in, however, and at the close of the war 
completed the construction. Though remodeled and modernized, the west 
side of the home, facing a large lawn studded with magnolia and oak 
trees, retains its earlier character. The interior trim is of solid walnut, 
the lumber having been whip-sawed from trees grown on the plantation. 

The CARNEGIE PUBLIC LIBRARY, SE. corner Delta Ave. and 
First St., a red brick English Tudor type building, was completed in 1914 
at a cost of $25,000, but within recent years additions have more than 
doubled its value. With 49,250 volumes, the largest public library col- 
lection in the State, and an annual book circulation of 167,982, it is one 
of the outstanding libraries in Mississippi. The collection of Indian 
relics on display here is also outstanding; excavated from the old forti- 
fication and from the many nearby mounds, are agricultural implements, 
hunting knives, beads, pipes, and pottery. 

The Delta Staple Cotton Festival, held usually in late Aug. or early 
Sept., is an event that attracts visitors from a number of States. It is 
the social climax of the harvest season. 

At Clarksdale are the junctions with State i (see Side Tour 3 A) and 
US 49 (see Tour 7, Sec. a). 

Between Clarksdale and Cleveland the highway traverses cotton fields 
stretching for miles on each side. The cotton stalks grow taller than a 
man. In the few fields where it is cultivated corn reaches 15 ft. in height. 

BOBO, 71.9 m. (164 alt., no pop.), is an early plantation settle- 
ment. 

ALLIGATOR, 754 m. (163 alt., 278 pop.), was named for the 
alligators that formerly infested Alligator Lake by which the town lies. 

DUNCAN, 77.3 m. (157 alt, 337 -pop.), like many Delta towns, has 
several Chinese families. In 1929 all buildings here were swept away 
by a tornado that killed 22 people. Since then the town has been com- 
pletely rebuilt. 

HUSHPUCKENA, 80.3 m. (250 pop.), is a pecan-shipping center. 

At SHELBY, 82.7 m. (141 alt., 1,811 pop.), the two crews building 
the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R.R. from Vicksburg to Memphis met 
in 1884. 



320 TOURS 

WYANDOTTE, 85.7 m. (142 pop.), also known as Chambers and 
Winstonville, is a suburb of Mound Bayou. 

MOUND BAYOU, 88.7 m. (143 alt., 834 pop.), Renova and Wyan- 
dotte are the only towns in the State populated entirely by Negroes. 
Mound Bayou was founded in 1887 by Isaiah T. Montgomery and Benja- 
min T. Green, Negroes. Montgomery was a former slave of Joseph 
Emory Davis, brother of Jefferson Davis, and purchased the Davis planta- 
tion at Davis Bend after the war, living there with his family until he 
moved to Mound Bayou. Later he, the only Negro delegate to Mississippi's 
Constitutional Convention of 1890, supported the provision whose effect 
was to bar Negroes from voting. 

Montgomery and Green, accompanied by their cousin, J. P. T. Mont- 
gomery, and twelve families, most of whom came from Davis Bend, 
Warren Co., Miss., surveyed this site in Bolivar Co. and cleared it for 
occupation. Indian mounds NE. and SE. of the site gave the town its 
name. The population had reached 183 before the end of the first year 
of settlement. In February 1898 the Negroes petitioned the Governor to 
incorporate the village, and in August the charter was signed and sealed. 
The town has the usual mayor, sheriff, aldermen, and chamber of 
commerce ; the inhabitants engage in farming, lumbering and merchandis- 
ing and service businesses. Here is the BOLIVAR COUNTY TRAIN- 
ING SCHOOL, a coeducational institution. Overnight accommodations 
for white visitors are available at the Montgomery Home (R), a red 
brick house. 

Founder's Day, held annually in July, is attended by prominent 
Negroes from all parts of the country. 

MERIGOLD, 91 A m. (804 pop.), with a population composed of 
whites, Negroes, and Chinese, has two white churches, three Negro 
churches, a high school for white children and a Rosenwald grammar 
school for Negroes. In the park are a swimming pool and tennis courts. 

CLEVELAND, 98.8 m. (139 alt., 3,240 pop.), is a growing Delta town 
made prosperous by the large planting interests of its inhabitants. Many 
of the white frame cottages in its residential section are perhaps the 
best examples in the State of the modern adaptation of the Greek Revival 
design for small dwellings. 

DELTA STATE TEACHERS 9 COLLEGE is a modern plant, estab- 
lished in 1924 to serve the northwestern section of the State. It is a 
Grade A fully accredited senior college. The NATURAL HISTORY 
MUSEUM (open), though small, exhibits articles of interest. The Choral 
Club is outstanding in the State. 

SHAW, 1094 m. (133 alt., 1,612 pop.), is a lively cotton ginning 
and marketing center. Its well-built frame cottages, paved streets, brick 
consolidated high school, and outdoor swimming pool (open) form a 
typical center of the new Delta. 

At LELAND, 125.1 m. (113 alt, 2,426 pop.), along the high slop- 
ing banks of Deer Creek is a charming residential section. Unlike the 
majority of Delta towns, which are dependent solely on the production 
of cotton, Leland profits from the growing of three other major products 






TOUR 3 321 

alfalfa, vegetables, and pecans. Leland, formerly Three Oaks Planta- 
tion, was settled in 1847 by Judge James Rucks, whose commodious home, 
with its surrounding slave quarters, smokehouses, cotton houses, barns, 
and stables, was a settlement in itself. At that time Deer Creek was 
navigable, and the fact that Three Oaks was in a bend on the high banks 
was responsible for its transition from a plantation to a plantation center, 
the change taking place in 1884 with the coming of the Yazoo & 
Mississippi Valley R.R. 

Here is the junction with US 82 (see Tour 6). 

Right from Leland on an asphalt road along Deer Creek to the DELTA EXPERI- 
MENT STATION at STONEVILLE, 2.5 m. established in 1906 and containing 
760 acres under the supervision of Federal experts working in collaboration with 
Mississippi State College. The station has recently acquired 3,000 acres of sub- 
marginal land that is to be reforested. 

At 732.2 m. (R), facing Deer Creek, is a two-story stucco home with 
red tile roof and bright green lawn; it is typical of the new Delta big 
houses. 

ARCOLA, 1354 m. (115 alt, 343 pop.), is a plantation trading center. 

At 736.6 m. (R) is a house, facing Deer Creek from a great oak 
grove, that is typical of the ante-bellum Delta homes. A square frame 
building two stories high, it sits on a high foundation and has a wide 
screened porch; at the rear is a one-story wing. 

At ESTILL, 1394 m. (50 pop.), US 61 crosses the lower end of the 
38,000 acres of the DELTA AND PINE LAND CO. PLANTATION 
(see Side Tour 3 A). 

At 143.1 m. is HOLLANDALE (in alt., 1,211 pop.). 

Right from Hollandale on a marked dirt road is LEROY PERCY STATE PARK, 
4.2 m., the first of the Mississippi State parks; it was opened to the public May 
i, 1936. The administration building, the superintendent's home, and seven over- 
night cabins have been completed. Projects under way include additional over- 
night cabins, a swimming pool, development of the warm water pools, stables 
with horses for hire, two large lakes for fishing, canoeing facilities by Black 
Bayou, playgrounds for children, tennis courts, and trails. A hostess arranges 
for club meetings, parties, and dances; there is equipment to serve banquets to 
as many as 300 people. The entire area of 2,541 acres will be used as a game 
preserve and stocked by the Mississippi State Game and Fish Commission. The 
park is named for the late U. S. Senator LeRoy Percy (1860-1929), one of 
Washington County's most distinguished sons (see Side Tour 3 A). 

PERCY, 148 m. (217 pop.), is the trading center and shipping point 
for a large plantation. 

At 148.9 m. US 61 crosses the northern boundary of PANTHER 
BURN PLANTATION, owned by McGee & Co. of Leland and typical 
of the large corporation-owned plantations in the Delta (see AGRICUL- 
TURE). This plantation has a total acreage of 12,400 and a population 
of 2,200. The frame tenant cabins (L) face Deer Creek across old US 
61. The railroad (R) is said never to have been able to purchase this 
strip of land, making it the only privately owned right of way used by 
the Illinois Central System. At 151.2 m. is the little town that forms 
the plantation center. At 151.7 m. the highway crosses the southern 
boundary of the plantation. 



322 TOURS 

The dark brown, one-story frame buildings, each flanked by a basket- 
ball court, that dot the roadside in this section are schools built by 
planters for the children of tenant families. 

NITTA YUMA, 154.7 m. (109 alt., 25 pop.), according to old settlers, 
was settled in 1768 by the Phelps family who were conducted up the 
Mississippi River by Indian guides. On the south bank of Deer Creek, 
W. of the railroad, is one of the cabins erected in 1768. It is constructed 
of cypress logs put together with wooden pegs. One end now houses a 
business office. West of town on the creek are the remains -of several 
log cabins, slave quarters, and. brick cisterns, built before the War be- 
tween the States. At the time of settlement much of this section was 
owned by the Vick family (see V1CKSBURG). The large house (L) 
shows well the originality the early planter used in adapting current 
modes to his needs. Though having some Georgian characteristics, the 
house has a large archway through the center, furnished and used as 
a terrace. 

ANGUILLA, 158.3 m. (107 alt., 467 pop.), was settled in 1869 by 
William C. H. McKinney. In what was little more than a snake-infested 
canebrake he built the first store and later a post office. The town, how- 
ever, was not incorporated until 1913. It is a plantation center slightly 
enlarged by a lumber mill, and several gins and compresses. 

Right from Anguilla on the graveled Deer Creek road to the BARNARD HOME, 
0.4 m., an ante-bellum structure with fine old furnishings. The summer house is 
built upon an unexcavated Indian mound. 

ROLLING FORK, 163.7 m. (104 alt., 902 pop.), the seat of Sharkey 
Co., is named for Rolling Fork Plantation, which Thomas Chancy cleared 
in 1826. Chaney's daughter was the first white child born in Sharkey 
Co. Lying in the lowest of the bottom lands of the Yazoo-Mississippi 
Delta, the town has frequently been flooded by overflow from Deer 
Creek, but in spite of this menace it has a substantial trade. On the SE. 
bank of Deer Creek is a group of THREE INDIAN MOUNDS, one 
of which is said to be the tallest in the county. 

Here is the junction with State i (see Side Tour 3 A). 

Between Rolling Fork and the Yazoo River the highway runs through 
one of the Delta's poorer and less interesting sections, part of which 
is to become a national forest. The so-called Delta Unit is the most 
recently purchased of the seven in the State, and is bound roughly by 
Yazoo City, Rolling Fork, and Vicksburg. Much of the area is under 
water when the Mississippi and Yazoo overflow, the backwater some- 
times reaching a depth of ten feet. There are numerous Indian mounds 
scattered through the hardwood forests. 

At 195.2 m US 61 crosses the YAZOO RIVER (Ind., river of death). 
Here the Delta ends precipitately. South of the bridge over the Yazoo 
is the monument marking the SITE OF FORT ST. PETER, known dur- 
ing the siege of 1863 as Fort Snyder. In 1719 French missionaries erected 
here a stockade to protect settlers from raids of the Yazoo and Tunica 
Indians. Between the monument and Vicksburg the route is attractive, 
winding up through the Walnut Hills, heavily wooded with magnolia 



TOUR 3 323 

trees. Along the crest of these hills the trenches and earthworks thrown 
up by the Confederates in an attempt to turn back the Federal advance 
are plainly visible. 

At 1^6.6 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road 1.9 m. (L) to BLAKELY (open by appointment). Reached by 
a narrow trail leading up a hillside, the house is the northernmost of the ante- 
bellum plantation homes that crown the Mississippi bluffs between the Walnut 
Hills and Woodville. The original cabin of sassafras logs became a refuge for 
Thomas Ferguson and his wife in 1833, when their home at Haynes Bluff burned. 
The cabin's site on a natural shelf halfway up the hillside and about 300 yds. W. 
of the Old Trace seemed to the Fergusons an excellent place for their new home, 
and they immediately ordered from Cincinnati a pre-fabricated one-room frame 
house that came by flatboat and was joined to the north end of the cabin. After 
Ferguson's death in 1838, Mrs. Ferguson married Benson Blake, who, in 1842, 
built a southern addition to the house. This entire structure was remodeled in 
1873, when further proof of the cabin's great age was found in burials in lime 
discovered under it. While the yard and sunken garden were being graded the 
burial place of a horse with saddle and bridle was revealed, substantiating the 
story of old settlers that the cabin had once been a rendezvous of the highway- 
man, Murrel (see TRANSPORTATION). During the War between the States 
Jefferson Davis and a large staff of officers, including Generals Smith and 
Breckenridge, breakfasted here in two relays on their way to inspect the fortifica- 
tions at Snyder's Bluff. The first shell fired from Admiral Farragut's flagship at 
Vicksburg was presented the day it was fired to Mrs. Benson Blake; this shell 
now stands by the front steps at Blakely. During the siege of Vicksburg both 
Grant and Sherman dined here more than once, the dining room then as now 
being the original log cabin whose age not even Ferguson, who was interested to 
the point of making inquiries, could determine when he bought it in 1833. 

Between here and Vicksburg the highway cuts across the foot of hills 
that give a good idea of the difficulties General Sherman faced toward 
the close of 1862, in the short but deadly Battle of Chickasaw Bayou 
when Grant was making his second assault on Vicksburg. In trying to 
gain the fortified bluffs (L), Sherman's two brigades were cut to pieces 
by the storm of Confederate bullets from the entrenchments along what 
is now the old highway. The flat land (R) was the scene of death, the 
total Federal loss being 1,929, the Confederate 206. 

At 200.1 m., near a small lumber mill, is the junction with a dirt road. 

Right on this road across the Yazoo River to EAGLE LAKE, 11 m. This lake, 
formed when the Mississippi changed its course, is 17 miles long and in some 
places three miles wide. It is a well-known fishing place (black bass, trout, bream, 
perch, buffalo, goggle eye, catfish). In winter the wild duck and geese flocking to 
the willows and marshes along its shore line make the lake a mecca for hunters. 
(Hotel facilities; canoes, outboard motors, and fishing tackle for hire. Road to 
lake virtually impassable after heavy rains and under water when Yazoo River 
is at flood stage.) 

Between the junction and Vicksburg US 61 passes a number of large 
hardwood mills and through a "catfish row" of Negro shacks. 

At 204.5 m. (L) is the VICKSBURG NATIONAL CEMETERY, 
where more than 17,000 Union soldiers who lost their lives in the 
campaign and siege of Vicksburg are buried. Of this number, nearly 
13,000 are unidentified. There are no Confederate soldiers buried in the 
cemetery; they lie in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Vicksburg. A few Spanish 



324 TOURS 

American and World War soldiers are buried here. The much-visited 
grounds have been beautifully landscaped, with walks and drives, ser- 
pentine ravines, terraces, plateaus, long avenues of rare trees and shrub- 
bery, and variegated tropical plants. The cemetery has no connection 
with the Vicksburg National Military Park. 

Paralleling the highway (R) is the Yazoo Canal on which is a base 
of the United States Engineering Fleet (see VICKSBURG). 

US 6 1 enters on Washington St. 

VICKSBURG, 206.4 m. (206 alt., 22,943 pop.) (see VICKSBURG). 

Points of Interest: Warren County Courthouse, Vicksburg National Military 
Park, a number of ante-bellum siege-marked homes, and others. 

At Vicksburg is the junction with US 80 (see Tour 2). 



Sec. b VICKSBURG to LOUISIANA LINE, 128.2 m. US 61. 

The eastern bluffs rimming the circuitous Mississippi River between 
Vicksburg and Fort Adams are the wildest and most precipitous of the 
many hills in the State. The fertile loess, caked in giant hummocks of 
silt, supports a profusion of vines and trees. Moving with slow, meas- 
ured grace at their feet, the river that has brushed the bluffs with the 
debris of half a continent gives them doubled beauty. It rolls by mile 
after mile of settlements that belong to the Deep South; south of the 
cliffs at Natchez its tawny waters have received the blood of Indians, 
Frenchmen, Spaniards, and British. For the 16 years before the ac- 
cession of the Spanish the hills were a i4th colony of George III of 
England; but in 1779 the dons came back to the stream that had been 
De Soto's grave and restored to the bluffs the ceremony and punctilio 
to which the Natchez Indians had been accustomed. Wealth brought a 
renaissance. On escarpments appeared structures combining Spanish grace 
with classic proportions. The produce of the trans-Appalachian States 
drifted downstream in flatboats that tied up at Natchez Under-the-Hill ; 
they were clumsy, blunt, and heavy with corn, whisky, and hides. But 
these, with the cotton raised on the bluff plantations, were the materials 
that enabled men to make fortunes almost overnight. 

What Williamsburg is to Colonial Virginia, Vicksburg, Port Gibson, 
Natchez, and Woodville are to the Old Deep South. The story of this 
southwest corner of Mississippi is the bulk of the colonial and territorial 
history of the State, and is an integral part of the story of the Southwest. 
Of all the spots in the Territory none was tougher than Natchez Under- 
the-Hill, none more genteel than Natchez on the Bluffs. Both by ante- 
cedents and by way of life, many of the Natchez settlers were men of 
heroic characteristics, as great in strength as in weakness. The names of 
the plantations Auburn, Richmond, Rosalie, Elmscourt, Melrose, Windy 
Hill, The Briars, Arlington are indicative of the culture that developed 
here. 

The death of this old culture did not efface all signs of the former 



TOUR 3 325 

life. Though many of the old homes are gradually falling into ruin, 
enough of them remain to stamp the scene with their character. The 
manner, too, survives, curiously expressed in the use of bric-a-brac 
cherished as evidence of the old way of life. The woods, festooned with 
vines and long gray moss, are as grand as they were to the first pioneer. 

South on Washington St. in VICKSBURG, m., US'6i and the river 
separate, the highway winding between the bluffs, and changing its 
character every few miles. 

At 5.9 m. the road temporarily flattens out on the Mississippi bottoms 
where, on plowed fields (R), is the SITE OF WARRENTON, founded 
in 1802, which became the first seat of Warren Co. The shelling and 
partial burning of Warrenton by Federal troops in 1863 put the finishing 
touches to a death that had been coming slowly since the river changed its 
course in the 1 840*5. 

Opposite the fields of Warrenton the hills (L) almost touch the high- 
way. The profusion of creeping vines and thick green shrubbery in the 
woods is striking. Perched in clearings on the slopes and facing the river 
bottoms are Negro cabins. 

At 8.9 m. US 6 1 comes close to the Diamond cut-off on the Mississippi 
River, approximately three miles W., the shortest water route to desolate 
Palmyra Island, for many years the plantation home of Jefferson Davis. 

At YOKENA, 11 .5 m. (52 pop.), the highway climbs a wooded hill; 
long moss hangs from the cedars. 

At 13.6 m. US 6 1 crosses the Big Black River. South of the river 
the highway ascends as sharply as it descended and for several miles 
traverses rugged country cut by ravines, with the few visible habitations 
standing in hilly patches. 

At 24. 1 m. (R), set against a bluff, is the northernmost of the fine 
plantation homes fringing Port Gibson, the JOHN TAYLOR MOORE 
PLACE (open by permission), a large white frame two-story house with a 
broad double-deck front gallery and immense chimneys on each side. 
John Taylor Moore was the wealthiest of the old Port Gibson planters, 
the "Marse John" of Irwin Russell's verse, and the son-in-law of Resin 
P. Bowie for whom the bowie knife was named. It was Moore who 
donated the money to build the Catholic Church at Port Gibson (see 
below). 

US 6 1 flattens out for Bayou Pierre. Leading from the highway on 
each side are sunken wagon roads worn deep into the loess, their depth 
an evidence of their age. 

At 26 m. is the junction with an old graveled road. 

Right on this road to THE HERMITAGE, 0.5 m. (open by permission), the 
home of Confederate Brig. Gen. B. G. Humphreys, first post-war Governor of 
Mississippi. The house, of Southern Planter type, with a broad front gallery and 
a wide enclosed central hall, was built about 1800 by George Wilson Humphreys, 
the general's father; it is well preserved. B. G. Humphreys was born here in 
1808; he entered West Point in the same class with Robert E. Lee, but was dis- 
missed for participation in a Christmas riot. Returning to Mississippi he repre- 
sented Claiborne Co. at different times in both houses of the State Legislature, 
then moved to the Delta; in 1861 he organized a company known as the Sun- 



326 TOURS 

flower Guards, which proceeded to Virginia without waiting for the State to 
organize troops. He rose rapidly in rank, serving at Chickamauga, Knoxville, in 
the Wilderness, and at Richmond until badly wounded in 1864, but when the 
war ended he was again on duty in Mississippi. In 1865 the conservative party 
in the State elected him governor. Increasing friction between Governor Hum- 
phreys and Congressional reconstructionists led to his expulsion from the mansion 
at Jackson. It is said that Andrew Jackson, entertained by the Humphreys on a 
visit to Port Gibson, remembered the charm of this place and named his own 
home The Hermitage. 

West of the Hermitage the old road leads to GRAND GULF, .5 J m., named for 
the whirlpools and eddies formed in the Mississippi by the current from the Big 
Black River and by a sandstone cliff jutting into the river. The danger of the 
Grand Gulf whirlpools was known to all early voyagers on the river, and a Brit- 
ish settlement had been made at the mouth of the Big Black River before the 
American Revolution. On the level plain just above the eddy and cliff the town 
was laid out in 1828, was incorporated in 1833, and had a population approach- 
ing 1,000 by 1860. It was an important river landing, and to it cotton was barged 
down the Big Black River from as far as Jackson for transshipment. In 1835 
Grand Gulf ranked third in commercial importance in the State, and for the next 
20 years handled more cotton than any other town in Mississippi, not excepting 
Natchez or Vicksburg. A railroad, begun in the 1 830*5, was completed to Port 
Gibson to take the place of a wagon road so bad that Joseph Jefferson, the actor, 
commented forcefully on its discomforts. Huge stores, buying fancy goods in 
New York and selling cotton in Liverpool, were grouped near the wharf. Two 
of the store proprietors, Buckingham and Hume, were of the English gentry. 
Grog shops were plentiful and frequent duels were fought on the sand bar. 

The decline of Grand Gulf started when the river began to cut into the bluff. 
There were times when the town was moved piecemeal away from the caving 
banks. Practically all that remained was destroyed by fire in 1862 when Federal 
gunboats were running the batteries in the successive campaigns against Vicks- 
burg. General Grant said later that pistols would have been more appropriate 
the gunboats and land batteries were so close together. The fall of Grand Gulf in 
1863 was the prelude to the siege and fall of Vicksburg. Grant took the town 
and used it as his supply base for the remainder of the campaign. Traces of the 
Confederate fortifications, breastworks, and caves can be found on Tremont 
plantation back of the town, and trenches, still in good condition, are visible in 
the old cemetery. After the war, Grand Gulf's citizens attempted to revive the 
town life, but were again defeated by the river, which this time moved away 
toward the W. The river is now working in toward the one store and the few 
small houses that remain. The Federal Government has bought the cliff, from the 
top of which can be seen the Warren Co. Courthouse at Vicksburg, 25 miles 
away. A Geodetic Survey Station has been set up, and revetment work is planned. 

At 27 m. US 6 1 crosses the big fork of Bayou Pierre. 

At 28.4 m. (R) is the entrance to the SITE OF GLENSADE, one 
of the Humphreys homes, now destroyed. The towering grove of oaks 
under which the house stood is easily found. South of Glensade a curve > 
of the highway gives a view of Port Gibson. 

At 29.7 m. US 6 1 crosses the south fork of Bayou Pierre over the ( 
new IRWIN RUSSELL MEMORIAL BRIDGE. From the new bridge ; 
is visible, less than 100 yards away (L), the hulk of the bridge the 
Confederates burned in 1863 trying to check Grant as he pushed his 
armies toward Vicksburg. Of the old bridge only the pylons, cables, 
railings, and iron cross beams are left, and these are gradually rusting 
away. The flat-spring cables, however, remain to distinguish it as having 
been the only one of its kind. 



TOUR 3 327 

PORT GIBSON, 29.8 m. (116 alt., 1,861 pop.), is today what it has 
always been, a small cotton-growing town that thrives without hurry. 
Purely ante-bellum in tone, it rests tranquilly in the curve of Bayou 
Pierre, its quiet oak-lined streets and well proportioned white frame 
homes supporting the story that General Grant said, when he passed 
through on his march to Vicksburg in 1863, "Port Gibson is too beauti- 
ful to burn." 

The town's founder, Samuel Gibson, exemplifies the pioneer of his 
period. He came to this section in 1788 and soon became stockman, 
bee keeper, hunter, gardener, orchardist, planter, and operator of a grist 
mill and cotton gin. Salt, sugar, tea, and coffee were the only commodi- 
ties with which Gibson could not supply himself. His plantation was 
a rendezvous for early travelers and circuit riding preachers, and in his 
backwoods library were a surprising number of volumes. GIBSON'S 
GRAVE is in the Protestant Cemetery at the east end of Greenwood St. 

Harman Blennerhassett, an associate of Aaron Burr's in the South- 
west conspiracy, brought his wife to Port Gibson in 1810, two years after 
he had been acquitted of charges of conspiracy against the United States. 
He had come to America because he had been ostracized in Ireland for 
marrying his young niece. The sensitiveness aroused by this ostracism 
and the collapse of his friend Burr's schemes made Blennerhassett name 
the plantation he bought here, La Cache, his hiding place. His ability 
and wealth made him a man of affairs in the community, but the same 
sensitiveness brought him continually in conflict with his neighbors. 
In 1818 he gave up La Cache, selling it and his 18 slaves for $25,000, 
and moved to Montreal. 

The IRWIN RUSSELL MEMORIAL, SE. corner College and Coffee 
Sts. (ope.n), is a square white brick house, originally the home of Samuel 
Gibson. During the War between the States it was used as a Confederate 
hospital; it had been used by the Port Gibson Female College for 104 
years when the Irwin Russell Memorial Committee purchased it in 1933 
for a community center. One room of the building is furnished with 
articles intimately associated with the life of Mississippi's outstanding 
poet, Irwin Russell ; and there is an exhibit of some of his manuscripts. 
Russell, recognized as one of the South's three poetic geniuses, was 
born in Port Gibson in 1853. He was one of the first writers of genuine 
Negro dialect stories, Christmas Night in the Quarters being his master- 
piece. His career, however, was cut short, for he died when only 26 
years old, and it is only within recent years that he has received the 
recognition due him. Russell left Port Gibson early in his manhood to live 
in New York, but soon tiring of that city moved to New Orleans where 
he died in 1879. Various anecdotes revealing his quick and brilliant mind 
are still told by those natives who knew him intimately. The town hall 
and a library occupy the other rooms of the memorial. 

The L. P. WILLIAMS HOME (open by permission), NW. corner 
Church and Walnut Sts., is a well-proportioned white frame house one 
story high. One of the finest of the old homes here, it was the birthplace 
of Constance Cary, the woman who made the first Confederate flag. Archi- 



328 TOURS 

bald Gary, distinguished lawyer and father of Constance, was a kinsman 
of Thomas Jefferson and was reared in Jefferson's household, moving to 
Port Gibson in the 1830'$ and becoming the editor of the town's first 
newspaper. His wife was related to Lord Fairfax. In the 1840*5 the 
Carys returned to Alexandria, Va., and it was there during the War be- 
tween the States that Constance made the flags from "ladies' silk dresses." 
The flags were presented one each to Generals Beauregard, Van Dorn, and 
Johnston. It was from the porch of this home that General Grant made 
his announcement concerning the beauty of Port Gibson. 

The PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, NE. corner Church and Walnut Sts., 
has a steeple surmounted by an enormous galvanized-iron hand in place of 
the conventional cross. The original hand, fashioned by Daniel Foley and 
placed on the church when it was erected in 1829, was made of wood cov- 
ered with gold leaf and was the hand of a scholar. The present hand, with 
the forefinger pointing to heaven, replaced the rotting original some years 
ago and represents the hand of a laborer. 

Chandeliers in the church are a gift from the owners of the steamboat, 
Robert E. Lee, which in 1870 won the race with the Natchez, the most 
celebrated event of its kind in the history of Mississippi River packets. 
The church still has a slave gallery. 

The CATHOLIC CHURCH, Church and Coffee Sts., was built with 
money donated by John Taylor Moore, the "Marse John" of Russell's dia- 
lect poems. The brick church, of Gothic design, has mellowed to a reddish- 
pink color with the years. The walnut altar rail and the heavy overhead 
beams were carved by Daniel Foley. On the wall above the altar is a por- 
trait of Christ, painted by Thomas Healy, a brother of George Healy 
(1813-94), painter of portraits and historical pictures. 

The CATHOLIC CEMETERY, Coffee St., contains the GRAVE OF 
RESIN P. BOWIE, inventor of the bowie knife. The original knife de- 
signed by Bowie was a deadly weapon fashioned by a Natchez cutler 
from a blacksmith's rasp. It was the first knife to have a guarded hilt and 
was first used by James Bowie, brother of the inventor, in a duel at Nat- 
chez. The original knife was on James Bowie's body at the Alamo when 
in 1836 James was found dead surrounded by 20 dead Mexicans. 

THE HIL, S. end of town near Y.&M.V. R.R., is a large brick house 
erected early in the i9th century by the father of Gen. Earl Van Dorn, 
C.S.A. The house is in bad condition yet retains its dignity. On the hill 
opposite the house is the grave of Earl Van Dorn, one of the most dash- 
ing and brilliant of the Confederate Cavalry commanders. Born at Port j 
Gibson Sept. 17, 1820, Earl Van Dorn later graduated from West Point ! 
and was given a lieutenancy in the 7th infantry in 1842. He took part in j 
Scott's campaign in Mexico and won the brevets of captain and major for ? 
gallantry. He was wounded at the Belen gate of Mexico City. He served 
in the war with the Seminole Indians in Florida and, in 1855, received 
four wounds in a battle against the Comanche Indians in the West. Upon 
secession of Mississippi he resigned his commission to become one of the 
four brigadier-generals of the State's army. He later served with the regu- 
lar Confederate army, becoming commander of the Army of the W 



ffltw 




RUINS OF WINDSOR, NEAR PORT GIBSON 



His career was ended at Springhill, Alabama, on May 7, 1863, when a 
physician of that town assassinated him. 

Right from Port Gibson on a graveled road are a number of relics of the Old 
South. For several miles the road is a mazy, tree-shadowed pathway leading past 
tangled woodlands and steep embankments. The embankments are covered with 
soft green moss, shaded by the long gracefully curled Spanish moss hanging in 
great gray bunches from extended tree branches. Around each curve is a new and 
pleasing vista. 

At 1.4 m. the road forks; R. here. The landscape gradually loses its secluded 
picturesqueness and emerges into open farming country. Bayou Pierre lies little 
more than 3 miles (R) from the highway; the black silt about it is unexcelled 
for growing cotton. When Vicksburg, Port Gibson, and Natchez were in their 
heyday as river towns, this section was a stronghold of plantation life. But now 
only the ruins of the splendid mansions are left. 

The amazing RUINS OF WINDSOR loom up at 10.3 m. (L). Twenty-two 
gigantic stone Corinthian columns remain as testimony to what was perhaps the 
supreme gesture of the grand manner of ante-bellum Greek Revival architecture. 
These columns, joined by Italian wrought-iron railings which were once at the 
upper gallery level, form a perfect outline of the house, which was rectangular 
in shape with a narrow ell, the service wing, at the rear. Windsor was built by 
S. C. Daniel, a wealthy planter who had holdings in the vicinity and across the 
river in Louisiana. When completed in 1861, it was considered the handsomest 
home in Mississippi. It had five stories topped by an observatory. The furnishings 
were imported and the library housed rare old books. Rich tapestries and velvet 
draperies adorned it. During the War between the States for a short period the 
Confederates used its lofty tower, which commanded a view of the Mississippi 
River, as an observation point; then the Federals used it as a hospital. Mark 
Twain, when a pilot on Mississippi steamboats, used to chart his course at this 
point by the peak of the tower. In 1890 Windsor was destroyed by fire. Except 
for a few pieces of jewelry nothing was saved. 

At 10.8 m. is a junction with an unmarked dirt lane (impassable when wet); R. 
here 3 m. to BRUINSBURG LANDING, which affords one of the loveliest views 
of the Bayou Pierre. Before flowing into the Mississippi the bayou thrusts itself 
out in two giant arms to embrace cypress woodlands hazy with moss. The land- 
ing is a secluded spot today, its few inhabitants living in a primitive logging 



330 TOURS 

camp and in shanty boats moored to the shore. But in the days of river traffic, 
it was a lively port and cotton market. On April 30, 1863, Grant transported his 
40,000 Union soldiers across Bayou Pierre, coming up the river to Bruinsburg. 
A fugitive slave that he brought with him from Louisiana guided him and his 
troops to meet an army of 5,000 Confederates at Port Gibson. Along the banks 
of the bayou at Bruinsburg are numerous Indian relics, flint, arrowheads, and bits 
of pottery. When wandering bands of Choctaw under Captain Chubby came here 
from their settlements in the eastern part of the State, efforts were made to get 
them to pick cotton, but they scorned the menial labor and its associations. 

At 11.6 m. is the BETHEL VOCATIONAL SCHOOL for Negroes, in a brown ! 
frame one-story building, sharing a small clearing with a little white frame 
church. 

At 11.9 m. is the junction with a graveled road; R. here 8 m. is RODNEY 
(124 pop.), a ghost river town that died in 1876 when the Yazoo & Mississippi 
Valley R.R. was built. Prior to the War between the States, Rodney with a pop- 
ulation of 4,000 supported a wharf, a boat landing, two warehouses, and numer- 
ous stores and dwellings. During the war the PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH was 
shelled by Federal gunboats, and the marks of cannon balls are visible on its 
walls. Because of the changes in the river's course, the village is now 3 miles 
inland. 

At 13.1 m. is OLD BETHEL CHURCH (L), a weathered red stuccoed brick 
structure that has faded to a salmon-pink. The stucco has peeled in many places 
exposing the brick. The Greek temple effect of the building is spoiled by a pro- 
truding square entrance tower surmounted by a small incongruous wooden spire. 
In the interior a broad, flat slave gallery faces the pulpit across plain pine pews. 
In the center of the auditorium is a modern, coal-burning heater. Dr. Chamber- 
lain built the church in the early 1820*5, and in it the first classes of Oakland 
College (see below) were held. General Grant's army passed here on its march 
to Vicksburg and riddled the belfry with bullets. The church is used by Presby- 
terians of the Bethel Community. 

At 14.2 m. is CANEMOUNT (open by permission), erected by John Murdock 
who died in 1826. Placed in a picturesque setting on sloping grounds planted in 
oaks and cedars, the one-and-a-half story white brick house is more elaborately 
designed than was the typical Southern Planter type of its period. A wide gallery 
extends around the first floor. The interior is divided by a wide hall, to the right 
side of which is the parlor and library, and on the left an unusually long dining 
room. The woodwork is cut in wedge-shaped patterns and the mantels, on both 
the first and second floors, are of white marble. In the library is a large triple- 
arched window that lends unusual charm to the room. The ceilings of the first 
floor rooms are ornamented with plaster arabesques, the dining room having a 
diamond shaped ornament in its center. The stairway has a mahogany rail, and 
the second floor hall is lighted by a dormer with triple-arched windows. Two 
frame wings extending from the main house form a rear court. These wings, used 
for guests, are typical of the lavishness of ante-bellum entertaining, when friends 
lingered weeks and sometimes years. Each wing contains four rooms, the front 
ones having open fireplaces. John Murdock, a native of Ireland and related to 
Robert and George Cochrane who settled in the Natchez area during the Spanish 
Era, amassed a large fortune and, like his kinsmen, was a man of considerable 
importance during the Territorial period. 

At 15.2 m. is the entrance to ALCORN AGRICULTURAL AND MECHAN- 
ICAL COLLEGE, a Negro high school and senior college accredited and sup- 
ported by the State. The college was established in 1871 during the administration 
of Governor Alcorn, and given his name. The first allotment made for its main- 
tenance was $50,000. About 90 percent of the Negro teachers of Mississippi are 
graduates of Alcorn. Many of the buildings were once a part of old Oakland 
College, established in 1830 by the Rev. Jeremiah Chamberlain. Chamberlain 






TOUR 3 331 

came to Mississippi from Philadelphia, Pa., in 1823, sent by the General Presby- 
terian Board of Domestic Missions. The college was organized at a meeting held 
in the Bethel Church, the members of that church subscribing $12,000 toward the 
college fund. In 1851 Dr. Chamberlain, still acting president, was stabbed at the 
front gate of his cottage on the campus by a hotheaded Secessionist, who believed 
that the doctor was favoring the doctrines of the Unionist party in his teachings. 
The college gradually declined because of the war and yellow fever epidemics. 
The old buildings are distinguishable by their aged brick walls and large white 
wooden columns. The CHAPEL (R), a large, plain brick post-Colonial, Southern 
type structure, has been changed little since its erection in 1831 ; the original seats 
of solid walnut, hewn from trees in nearby woods, are still in use. The front 
steps of the building, of wrought iron, originally belonged to Windsor. 

US 6 1 S. of Port Gibson crosses the fertile loess that made the town 
rich. The land is hilly with alternating woods and tilled fields. At 3-7.3 m. 
US 6 1 enters the northern end of a tract of 29,000 acres being planted and 
terraced by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service. 

LORMAN, 42.8 m. (211 alt., 200 pop.), is a shaded village with a 
Sabbath-like quiet. 

HARRISTON, 50 m. (277 pop.), is a country village, grouped about 
a depot on the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R.R. 

FAYETTE, 52.1 m. (292 alt., 848 pop.), is a typical southwest Mis- 
sissippi village, interesting chiefly because its courthouse holds the records 
of the extinct County of Pickering, one of two Territorial counties founded 
in 1799. From the community have come many outstanding citizens, 
among them Gen. Thomas Hinds, who commanded the Mississippi Dra- 
goons at the Battle of New Orleans, and Cato West, Secretary and Acting 
Governor of the Mississippi Territory (1803-05). 

At 543 m. is the junction with a sunken road. 

Left on this road to HOME HILL, 2 m. (open by appointment), which was the 
plantation of Gen. Thomas Hinds (see JACKSON). 

At 57.8 m. is McGARRY'S FORKS. 

Right from McGarry's Forks to the SITE OF OLD GREENVILLE, 0.2 m. On 
Feb. 8, 1804, in "Gallows Field" at Greenville, Wiley "Little" Harp and James 
Mays, notorious outlaws along the Natchez Trace, were hanged. They had been 
recognized at Natchez as they attempted to claim the reward for beheading their 
former partner, Samuel Mason (see TRANSPORTATION), and had been recap- 
tured here after they escaped. After the execution, the head of Harp was mounted 
on a pole at the north end of town along the trace, and the head of Mays at the 
south end. Their bodies were first buried in the town graveyard, but were later 
exhumed by outraged citizens and reburied in a spot now unknown. 

At 58.8 m. (L) is a monument marking a CROSSING OF THE NAT- 
CHEZ TRACE (see TRANSPORTATION). The old road, leading off 
US 6 1 (L) from the monument, is deeply cut in the loess and arched with 
ancient trees. 

The highway S. and W. of the monument rides the ridge, deep hollows 
dropping away on each side. 

At 67.2 m. (L) is SPRINGFIELD (adm. 25$), in a grove of lofty 
trees. This two- story Planter type house was erected in 1791 by Col. 
Thomas Marsden Green. Across its front extend wide upper and lower 
galleries supported by six Doric columns. The recessed doorways are sim- 



332 TOURS 

pie, with side lights of plain design. The interior is spacious with wood- 
work carved by hand in a lacy design. The mantels, carved by Spanish 
workmen, are unusually large. According to tradition, Andrew Jackson 
and Mrs. Rachel Donelson Robards were married here in 1791. 

West of Springfield US 61 winds through very beautiful woods, with 
moss six feet long hanging from trees whose trunks are almost hidden 
in a jungle of vines and shrubs. 

RICHLAND (L), 61.7 m. (open by permission), was built in the 
1 840*5 by Robert Cox, whose wife had inherited the plantation from her 
grandfather, Col. Thomas M. Green, the owner of Springfield and of an- 
other large tract of land granted him about 1788. The white gracefully- 
proportioned house is built of brick and hand-hewn timber and there is a 
wide gallery with square columns across the front. The roof is broken by 
dormer windows. The front door is massive, with Corinthian pilasters on 
each side. The hall is unusually wide and, extending to an arch in the 
rear, meets a cross hall, from which rises a stairway. Set back from the 
highway in a grove of green cedars, and with a part of the original gar- 
dens remaining, the setting of Richland is particularly attractive. Among 
the camellia japonicas is a red variety that is rarely seen. The crapemyrtles 
have grown into shade trees, their venerable appearance enhanced by fes- 
toons of Spanish moss. 

At 62 .1 m. is the junction with an unmarked road. 

Right on this road to CALVERTON PLANTATION, 3.4 m., to which Aaron 
Burr was carried after his capture in 1807. The capture was as much a burlesque 
as was the excitement raised by the expedition. For two years after he had quitted 
the Vice-Presidency, Burr had plotted and planned, bringing into his scheme Gen. 
James Wilkinson, the man who was to betray him. Yet for all his preparation, 
Burr's flotilla when it arrived at the mouth of Bayou Pierre numbered but 9 
boats and less than 60 men. Because of the politics involved and the excitement 
raised by President Jefferson's proclamation, Acting Governor Mead arranged 
for an interview with Burr at the plantation home near the mouth of Coles Creek, 
and it was here that Burr agreed to surrender himself to the civil authorities and 
await the action of the grand jury. The original plantation home has been 
destroyed. 

At 66 m. (R) on a hill stands CHRIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, a 
small, gray stone, Gothic type structure, erected in 1857. Its exquisite ex- 
terior details and its silhouette against the sky are impressive. This con- 
gregation was established in 1820. 

The SHIELDS HOME (R), 66.2 m. (open by permission), a two- 
story frame structure that is of no definite style but typical of many houses 
in the Natchez country, was built in the early 1830'$. The Shields and 
Dunbar families were the first settlers in this community and influential in 
establishing Christ Episcopal Church, in which their descendants hold the 
largest membership today. 

South of CHURCH HILL, as the community around the Christ Epis- 
copal Church is known, US 61 follows a high winding ridge. There are 
fine views (L) of COLES CREEK VALLEY. 

At 72.7 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road to the SELSERTOW/N INDIAN MOUND, 0.7 m. (R), cov- 
ering nearly six acres. Roughly a pyramid about 600 ft. by 400 ft., it is considered 



TOUR 3 333 

a giant among Mississippi mounds. It has been opened on many occasions, and 
articles of pottery and several implements of war have been found with human 
bones. 

At 76 m. is the junction with a narrow dirt road. 

Left on this road 0.7 m. to SELMA PLANTATION, settled by Gerard Brandon I 
immediately after the American Revolutionary War. Brandon had been forced to 
flee from Ireland because of his implication in an Irish uprising for independ- 
ence. Reaching South Carolina just in time to join the Colonial forces in the 
revolution he was made a colonel under Gen. Francis Marion. In afteryears one 
of his proudest possessions was a rifle on the barrel of which was engraved 
"Given For Valiant Conduct At King's Mountain." At the close of the Revolu- 
tion Brandon came to the Natchez district and settled first on St. Catherine's 
Creek. Later he married Dorothy Nugent and obtained a Spanish land grant of 
600 arpens. The grant was later confirmed by the U. S. Government. Brandon's 
first home burned soon after erection and the present one was built on the site. 
This frame house, one of the oldest homes in Adams County, illustrates a stage 
in the development of the Southern Planter type; the structure sits on a high 
foundation, has wide eaves, and a front gallery more than 80 feet long. The 
entrance leads into an immense banquet room, suggestive of the ancient banquet 
halls of Ireland. The cooking was done in a large basement but a crane hung over 
the fireplace in the dining room. At each end of the dining room are two large 
rooms and on the back, under a sloping roof, are several smaller ones. Outside 
stairways lead from the back gallery to the top floor where the central room is of 
extraordinary size. On the plantation is a grove of 500 pecan trees, offshoots of 
what are said to have been the first pecans in the Natchez district. Brandon's 
son, Gerard Brandon II (1788-1850), was the first native-born Governor of 
Mississippi. 

At 76.9 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road 0.3 m. to PROPINQUITY (reached by private drive; open), 
a two-story white frame house with a hip roof and green shuttered windows. It 
was erected about 1810 by Gen. Leonard Covington and called Propinquity be- 
cause of its nearness to the barracks at old Fort Dearborn. The house has old 
furnishings and the original hand-painted window shades are still in place. 

At 77 m. (L) is the SITE OF FORT DEARBORN, where Propin- 
quity's owner, Gen. Leonard Covington, was commander before he died 
in the War of 1812. Fort Dearborn was built in 1802 to protect Wash- 
ington, the capital of the Mississippi Territory. All traces or the fort have 
vanished. 

WASHINGTON, 78 m. (200 pop.), between 1802 and 1820 was in 
turn Mississippi's second Territorial and first State capital. On the hill 
(L) is the CLEAR CREEK BAPTIST CHURCH, a reel brick building in 
bad repair, said to be the oldest Baptist church in Mississippi. Washington 
was the first station E. of Natchez on the Natchez Trace. That the United 
States land office, the Surveyor General's office, the office of the Commis- 
sioner of Claims, and the United States courts were here is evidence of its 
early i9th century importance. 

JEFFERSON COLLEGE, entrance Main St. (R), founded in 1802, was 
the first institution of learning incorporated by Mississippi Territorial leg- 
islation, and the oldest endowed college in this part of the country. Audu- 
bon, the naturalist, and James Ingraham, the author of pirate tales and 
later a clergyman, were early members of the faculty. Here in 1815 An- 
drew Jackson camped going to and returning from the Battle of New 



| % ^ ; V 

**' <*J**K. iKl 



THE BURR OAKS, JEFFERSON COLLEGE CAMPUS, WASHINGTON 






Orleans, and in 1825 Lafayette witnessed a drill of cadets. The two orig- 
inal square, brick buildings, two stories in height, were joined by a third 
building a few years after their erection, giving the appearance of one 
large building constructed of three types of bricks. The central portion is 
now used as a gymnasium. On the campus near the entrance are the BURR 
OAKS, in the shade of which Aaron Burr was tried for treason. Near the 
Burr Oaks is a white marble MONUMENT erected on the site of the old 
brick church in which Mississippi's first Constitutional Convention and 
first State legislature met. 

The SPANISH HOUSE (private), with a raised red brick basement and 
a frame upper story (R), was built before 1800. The red brick METH- 
ODIST CHURCH (L), a large rectangular, box-like structure, was erected 
in 1825. Just behind the church, hidden from the highway by the trees 
surrounding it, is the former HOME OF COWLES MEAD, erected about 
1800. It was Mead who gave the order for Burr's arrest. Later the house 
became the home of Mississippi's first geologist, B. L. C. Wailes. INGLE- 
WOOD (R) was a home built in the 1850'$ by the Affleck family; 
Thomas Affleck was a scientist who did important botanical research. 
Some of his specimens are in the Smithsonian Institution. The Spanish in- 
fluence is seen in the steep roof and severe walls of the rear parts of the 
house. 






TOUR 3 335 

At Washington is the junction with US 84 (see Tour 13) which unites 
with US 6 1 between this point and Natchez. 

1. Left from Washington 1.3 m. on a graveled road to (R) the brick Southern 
Planter type HOME OF DR. JOHN W. MONETTE (open by permission), 
author of the History of the Discovery and Settlement of the Mississippi Valley. 
Dr. Monette, typical of the cultured citizens of the Washington community be- 
fore the War between the States, is remembered primarily for his history, for 
many years the standard source book of Mississippi students. 

At 1.5 m. (L) on this same road is a small roadside marker reading: "The first 
women's college in America. Chartered on Feb. 17, 1819, to confer degrees on 
women. Named in honor of Elizabeth Roach, through whose generosity the 
College was made possible. Audubon was on the faculty." The hill above the 
marker is the SITE OF ELIZABETH FEMALE ACADEMY, founded in 1818 
with the support of the Methodist Church; it was the first girl's school in the 
United States to have legislative recognition of its authority to confer degrees. 
Mrs. Caroline V. Thayer, "a lady of scholarly attainments and literary reputa- 
tion," and a granddaughter of General Warren, the hero of Bunker Hill, was 
governess here in the 1840*5 when the academy enjoyed its greatest reputation 
and when it was known for the thoroughness of its work. The site is marked by 
two sides of a former square of massive moss-hung cedars, which frame two 
ruined walls of brick. White-washed Negro cabins stand behind the ruins. 

2. Right from Washington on a graveled road to FOSTER'S MOUND, 2.5 m. 
(R), rising approximately 40 feet. The mound's base is circled by a low hedge of 
shrubs ; its summit is crowned by a ring of magnificent oaks, within which is the 
FOSTER HOUSE, now used as an agricultural experiment station. Early maps 
point to a Natchez Indian village on this site. Within recent years the mound has 
been excavated by archaeologists from the Smithsonian Institution, and artifacts 
have been removed. The house, known today by the name of a comparatively 
recent owner, James Foster, was built in the Spanish era (1779-98). It is a long, 
low, white frame structure with three dormer windows. Its homelike appearance 
is accentuated by the narrow gallery, which runs its entire length, and by the 
old shrubs planted about the doorstep. 

Year after year the intricately winding road has sunk deeper into the yielding 
loess, and the moss on the bordering forest oaks has grown denser. On each side 
of the highway, almost hidden from view by the trees, are some of the oldest 
homes in the Natchez district, varying widely in architectural designs. Many show 
Greek Revival and others Spanish influences; a few show both. The hybrids, for 
the most part, were built during the Spanish era; later cupolas, columned gal- 
leries, dormers, and other fashionable ornaments were added. 

The PINE RIDGE CHURCH, 5 m. (R), with a foundation and one wall that 
were a part of the second Presbyterian church built in Mississippi, is one of the 
last mementos of a Scottish settlement made early in the iSoo's. It is a faded, red 
brick building with a steep roof. 

Here is the junction with two roads that run like narrow tunnels beneath the 
branches of aged moss-covered oaks. 

i. Right from the church on the first road, 0.1 m. (R), to the PRESBYTERIAN 
MANSE (open by permission). More than 100 years old, the manse was built at 
the same time as the Pine Ridge Church for the ministers who served that 
church. In spite of its bad repair, its architecture still suggests a characteristic 
Spanish-Georgian Colonial hybrid type. From the porch of the house is an excel- 
lent view of the church. 

At 0.4 m. (L) is EDGEWOOD (open during Natchez Pilgrimage), a large 
two-story plantation home with a French style roof. The brick of Edgewood 
has mellowed to a faint salmon pink. The house was built in 1850-60, on the 
Juan Bisland land grant; eight slender fluted Doric columns support the flat 
roof of the gallery. In the house is a collection of portraits by Lamdin. 



336 TOURS 

2. Right from the church on the second road 0.4 m. to (R) the private lane lead- 
ing to MOUNT REPOSE (open during Natchez Pilgrimage). Built in 1824 and 
recently restored, the house is a large, two-story structure of Southern Planter 
type with a grace that obscures its massiveness. The long double-deck gallery has 
six square columns supporting its roof, and the entrance is hand carved. The old 
brick kitchen, now painted white, has been converted into a garage. The lands 
were granted to the Earl of Ellington prior to the American Revolution, but dur- 
ing the Spanish Era were regranted to Juan Bisland, whose descendants own the 
place. Elizabeth Bisland was a novelist of the reconstruction period. Connected 
with the Ladies Home Journal for years and an early reporter of the old Picayune, 
Elizabeth gained international attention with her Life of Lafcadio Hearn. The 
Negroes who work on this plantation call it "Monty-pose." 

At 1.5 m. (L) is the entrance lane of PEACH LAND (open by permission); 
built in 1830 this house is a good example of post-Colonial architecture infor- 
mally treated, with low hip roof, double-deck gallery, and wide chimneys flank- 
ing the sides. Dormer windows break the straight lines of the rear roof, but the 
downward sweep at the front is uncompromisingly steep and severe. The interior 
is simple, with a hall running the length of two rooms, low ceilings, and almost 
plain woodwork. There are six rooms on the first floor and four on the second 
floor. The walls of the hall and living room are papered in old-fashioned figured 
paper. The parlor mantel is delicately carved, and much of the furniture is of 
carved rosewood. It is said that the present name is a corruption of Pitchlyn, 
interpreter for the Choctaw Indian tribe, whose house once stood on this site. 

At 83 m. (L) on US 61 is D'EVEREUX (adm. 25$), on a hill above 
the old trace. Though the gardens have been ruined, the house itself pre- 
sents much the same appearance as it did when it was built. It is consid- 
ered by many the most beautiful late Greek Revival structure in Missis- 
sippi. Designed by a Mr. Hardy whose initials are unknown, it is a large 
white mansion with fluted Doric columns two stories high, and is sur- 
rounded by enormous moss-hung oaks and magnolias. Because of its 
beauty it was used in the filming of scenes in Heart of Maryland, a recent 
movie. D'Evereux was completed in 1840 for William St. John Elliott, a 
close friend of Henry Clay. When Clay visited here the Elliotts gave in 
his honor one of the most elaborate balls ever held in the Natchez area. 

The double drawing rooms were originally furnished in rosewood, of 
Empire design, with Duncan Phyfe tables, bronze sperm-oil lamps having 
crystal pendants, and magnificent chandeliers and bronze candelabra hav- 
ing long cut-glass prisms that reflected the light of sconced candles. The 
bookcases in the library were of the finest woods. The banquet hall walls 
had panels of soft green felt; the furniture was of hand-rubbed mahog- 
any, the central table with an Italian marble top. The china was made on 
special order by E. D. Honore of Paris. 

The original grounds covered 12 acres, of which a large part was 
wooded. A double driveway crossed and recrossed under oak, catalpa, and 
magnolia trees to form designs that were further outlined by borders of 
luriamundi, an indigenous shrub. On each side were hedges of Cherokee 
rose. In the rear a courtyard opened into a terraced garden brilliant with 
camellia japonicas, roses, and massed azaleas. At the foot of the lower 
terrace was an artificial lake on which swans floated. 

During the War between the States, Federal troops turned the garden 
into a camp ground and chopped down many of the oaks and magnolias 



R 



ll 



D'EVEREUX, NEAR NATCHEZ 



for fuel. Opposite the front gate is a tree beneath which two Union sol- 
diers were executed following their court martial for the killing of George 
Sargent at Gloucester in 1864. D'Evereux was the maternal family name 
of Elliott, whose uncle, General D'Evereux, was a Bolivian patriot and 
close friend of General Bolivar. 

At 83.4 m. is the junction with a marked paved road. Here (R) is the 
SITE OF SLAVE BLOCK from which Negro slaves were auctioned to 
the highest bidders. 

Left on this road is the SITE OF THE OLD SLAVE BARRACK, 0.1 m., now 
occupied by a row of Negro cabins, many of which contain timbers taken from 
the original building. Negroes brought direct from Africa were delivered here, 
fed, clothed, and taught a few words. They were then sold on the block that 
stood on what is now US 61, then a part of the Natchez Trace. 

At 0.2 m. on the paved road is the junction with the Liberty Road and E. 
Franklin St. 

i. Left on the Liberty Road 0.2 m. to (R) MONTEIGNE (open during Pil- 
grimage), a story-and-a-half brick structure smoothly stuccoed in pale pink. The 
steep hip roof is surmounted by a balustraded deck, the classic entrance is formed 
by a square portico with slender white columns. The floor of the portico is 
laid with mosaics. On each side of the building is a narrow gallery with delicately 
designed iron banisters. Tradition says the bricks were made by slaves and the 
heavy timbers were sawed by hand. Monteigne was begun in 1853 by William T. 



338 TOURS 

Martin, later a major-general in the War between the States, and though the con- 
tractor never quite completed the building as it was designed, it was occupied in 
1855. The architect is unknown, but as Monteigne originally stood it was an 
adaptation of a French chalet. When the house was remodeled by Weiss and 
Seiferth, New Orleans architects, the rear patio with its original service wings, 
camellia japonicas, and wistaria vines was left unchanged. The grounds include 
landscaped gardens and are shaded by giant, ivy -covered oaks. During the war 
the double drawing room was used by Federal troops as a stable; other horses 
were pastured in the gardens. 

On the Liberty Road at 0.4 m. (L) is OAKLAND (open during Pilgrimage), a 
raised brick cottage erected in 1830 by a son-in-law of Don Estevan Minor, one 
time Acting Governor during the Spanish regime in Natchez. Oakland is furnished 
as it was in the 1830*5. A fine portrait of Don Minor in Spanish regimentals, and 
other relics from Concord, mansion of the Spanish governors (see ARCHITEC- 
TURE), are on display. 

On the Liberty Road at 4.1 m. is (L) the entrance to WINDY HILL MANOR, 
1.8 in. (open Sun.; adm 25$ )> a planter's house, one-and-a-half stories high with 
a portico having four irregularly spaced Tuscan columns. The dormer windows 
and the fanlight of the front entrance have panes of an early glass whose tints 
are opalescent and wavy. In the wide hall is a spiral stairway remarkable for its 
workmanship. The plantation was in the hands of Col. Benijah Osmun, a veteran 
of the Revolutionary War, by 1788. Colonel Osmun built the home that is now 
incorporated in the present manor. It was here in 1807 that the colonel invited 
his old friend, Aaron Burr, to stay when Burr was released on bail after his 
arrest for treason. Nearby, at the foot of Half Way Hill, lived Maj. Isaac Guion, 
who in 1798 raised the first American flag over Fort Panmure at Natchez. Both 
Guion and Osmun had served throughout the Revolution and both had known 
Burr intimately. Their continued friendship with and defense of the man who 
was branded a traitor is an evidence that many did not accept the popular judg- 
ment of Burr. As Colonel Osmun's guest he was treated with some of the respect 
he thought his due. 

While there he met the lovely, unsophisticated Madeline Price, daughter of the 
Widow Price, who lived in a cottage on top of Half Way Hill. The admiration 
and devotion he won from Madeline pacified his wounded ego. When he for- 
feited his bond in February 1807, he risked capture by remaining at the widow's 
cottage in a fruitless effort to persuade Madeline to leave with him. The little 
cottage is gone, and Major Guion's lands have become a part of Windy Hill 
plantation, but Burr's desperate grasp at love at a time when his ambitions had 
been wrecked gives an aura of romance to the weather-worn timbers of Windy 
Hill, and to the avenue of moss-draped cedars and myrtles where he walked with 
Madeline. 

In February 1817, a decade after Burr had fled into the night, the plantation 
was sold to Gerard Brandon I. The Brandons furnished Mississippi's first native- 
born Governor, Gerard Chittocque Brandon, and, according to historians, furnished 
the State more Confederate soldiers than any other family. One of the present 
mistresses of Windy Hill, Elizabeth Brandon Stanton, is the author of an his- 
torical novel on the Burr conspiracy, Fata Morgana. Windy Hill is in a state of 
poor repair. 

2. Right from the paved road on E. Franklin St. 0.1 m. to MONMOUTH (open 
by appointment), a brick mansion with a well-proportioned portico having four 
square columns. Wrought-iro'n railings enclose the upper gallery. Monmouth 
was built in 1820 by John Hankinson of New York, who was related to the 
Schuyler family of that State. The house has beautiful old furnishings. It was 
the home of Gen. John A. Quitman, hero of the Battle of Chapultepec in the 
Mexican War, U. S. Congressional Representative, and from 1850-51 Governor 
of Mississippi. 

At Monmouth is a junction with the Linden Road. 




LINDEN, NEAR NATCHEZ 



Left on the Linden Road 0.2 m. (L) is LINDEN (open during Pilgrimage), the 
older part of which was built in 1788-89. The frame wings that flanked the 
center were erected in 1825 by Thomas Reed, first U. S. Senator from Mississippi. 
A gallery 90 feet long with 10 slender columns extends across the front. The 
entrance with its beautiful fanlight, geometrically designed panels, and hand- 
carved decorations has been photographed frequently. The house contains old 
furniture, silver, and china, as well as paintings by Audubon. An old detached 
brick kitchen wing in the rear with posts of solid logs faces a patio. 

On the Linden Road at 0.7 m. is MELROSE (open during Pilgrimage), one of 
the best preserved of the ante-bellum mansions in the area. The house, grounds, 
and furnishings are practically as they were in the 1840*5. It is constructed of 
brick and its double portico has four huge Tuscan columns. The interior 
has elaborate furnishings of hand -carved rosewood, with flawless mirrors, 
and with the original draperies of green and gold brocatel imported from France. 
Candle shelves built over the front and rear inside doors of the central hall each 
hold a dozen candlesticks. A detached kitchen, a milk house, and a carriage 
house face a courtyard in the rear. 

US 6 1 enters on St. Catherine St. ; L. on N. Pine St. 
NATCHEZ, 84 .5 m. (202 alt., 13,422 pop.) (see NATCHEZ). 

Points of Interest: Historic and architecturally interesting homes and public build- 
ings, exhibited especially during annual Pilgrimage, and others. 

Right from Natchez on N. Pine St. which becomes the Pine Ridge Road 2.7 m. 
(L) to HO MEW ODD (private), a massive, three-story mansion topped by an 
observatory. Constructed of bright red brick the principal facade is dominated by 
a massive Ionic portico. Above the front doorway and under the porch roof is a 
long balcony with an elaborate iron railing. On each side is an octagonal, 
wrought-iron porch. The house was built in 1860-65, when the architectural 
trend was still to the Greek Revival in style. A Maltese cross is formed by the 
hallways on the ground floor. Scenes of the motion picture, In Old Kentucky, 
were filmed here. 



340 TOURS 

The landscape between Homewood and Lansdowne is one of unmarred beauty. 
Vines and Spanish moss grow luxuriantly from spreading branches, giving the 
woodlands a story-book appearance. 



At 3.2 m. (R) is LANSDOWNE (open during Natchez Pilgrimage; adm. 
a simple buff brick cottage, with the graceful features designed in the Georgian 
Colonial style. Here, where all the furnishings are the originals, is a portrait by 
Sully. The house was built in 1853. 

The route continues S. on N. Pine St. to Homochitto St. ; L. on Homo- 
chitto St. (US 61). At 87.2 m. is the junction with the Lower Woodville 
Road. The space between the fork is the SITE OF WHITE HORSE 
TAVERN, a rendezvous of bandits on the Natchez Trace. The road, nar- 
row and winding in a deep cut, passes some of the finest plantation homes 
in the Natchez district ; because of the woods and the low position of the 
roadbed few houses are visible from the highway. 

Right on the Lower Woodville Road, which was the Natchez Trace, 0.2 m. (R) 
to the entrance of LONGWOOD (open daily; adm. 25$). The house, an un- 
finished structure of oriental magnificence, stands at the end of a half-mile drive- 
way cut through the hills. It was designed by Sloan of Philadelphia and was 
under construction when the War between the States began. The laborers on it 
dropped their tools to go to war and the work was never resumed. The eight- 
sided brick structure is six stories high and is topped by an octagonal drum with 
an enormous onion-shaped copper dome. It contains 32 octagonal rooms. 
Elaborate gallery porches on the exterior are adorned with lacy jig-saw ornaments. 
Niches were built to hold Italian and Grecian statuary. The fireplaces were to 
be made of Italian marble. 

On the same road at OJ m. is (L) GLOUCESTER (open during Pilgrimage), 
which was the home of Winthrop Sargent, first Territorial governor of Missis- 
sippi (1798). The square house, erected between 1800 and 1804 of" brick baked 
on the plantation, is the oldest mansion in the Natchez district and is a fine ex- 
ample of the Greek Revival style of architecture. Its pedimented double portico 
has four huge Tuscan columns. Two recessed entrances with arched fanlights lead 
into two long halls. Between the hallways is a cross hall that on each side opens 
into a hexagonal room. The floors have the original wide planking, and the door 
sills are cypress slabs two feet wide. The doors have inside bars, necessary in the 
days of Indian and bandit attacks. The basement windows are iron-barred and 
overlook a dry moat. The place is luxuriously furnished. 

Opposite Gloucester is the SARGENTS' PRIVATE CEMETERY, in which is the 
tomb of Seargent S. Prentiss (1808-50), gifted Mississippi orator. The cemetery 
was reserved by a former owner in such a manner that only heirs of the Williams 
(Prentiss married a Williams) and Sargent families might use it. The first Terri- 
torial governor, Col. Winthrop Sargent (not related to Prentiss), is also buried 
in this graveyard. 

South of Natchez US 61 is a route of picturesque beauty, cutting be- 
tween high banks overgrown with green moss, and deeply shadowed by 
the overhanging branches of aged live oak trees. 

At 87.3 m. (L) is the entrance to INGLESIDE (private), a Southern 
Planter type, one-and-a-half stories high with a roof extended to cover a 
low gallery. A large hexagonal room has been added since the original 
building was erected in 1832. Its windows somewhat resemble the gar co- 
meres seen on Louisiana homes. Ingleside was erected by Dr. Gustavus 
Calhoun, who was related to many of the prominent families of the period. 

At 87.J m., (L) and visible from the highway, is GLENBERNIE (pri- 



TOUR 3 341 

vate), the scene of the murder of Miss Jennie Merrill in 1932 (see below). 
The beautiful one-story house, with wide galleries supported by slender 
colonnettes, is more than a century old. 

At 87 .5 m. (R) is the entrance to ELMS COURT (open during Nat- 
chez Pilgrimage), reached by a long, winding roadway. The square, two- 
story, brick center of this commodious mansion, a reproduction of an Ital- 
ian Renaissance villa, was erected in 1810 by Lewis Evans, first sheriff of 
Adams Co. When a later owner, Frank Surget, one of the first Natchez 
millionaires, presented the home to his daughter as a wedding gift, exten- 
sive improvements were made; two one-story wings were added, the ban- 
quet hall was extended, and many interior fixtures, including hand-wrought 
iron and bronze chandeliers and marble mantels, were imported for it. 
The double galleries, front and rear, are trimmed in fine, hand-wrought 
iron lace- work of grape design made in Belgium. The long, central hall is 
flanked on the left by double drawing rooms, a smoking room, and a bil- 
liard room. On the right are a music room, a library, and a banquet hall. 
The living quarters are upstairs. The house today has fine old furnishings: 
portraits, busts, chandeliers, Duncan Phyfe chairs and dining table, and a 
particularly beautiful pier table. Surget's daughter married Ayres P. Mer- 
rill, who became U.S. Minister to Belgium during President Grant's ad- 
ministrations. Elmscourt from the first was famous for its hospitality and 
entertainments ; Jenny Lind, Gen. Andrew Jackson, Lafayette, and Thack- 
eray were guests at different times. During Pilgrimage week Elmscourt is 
the scene of the Ball of a Thousand Candles, with the illumination the 
name implies. 

At 87.9 m. (L), with only a bayou and a stretch of woodland separat- 
ing it from Glenbernie, is GLENWOOD (adm. 25$). All that is visible 
from the highway is a large placarded gate and a dilapidated road house 
called Bucket of Blood. Glenwood itself is hidden in the dense thickets. 
It is much in need of repair, but still shows its substantial construction ; 
though a corner column has fallen out, the roof has held its line. 

The architectural design, a hybrid Georgian Colonial-Southern Planter, 
was characteristic of the country gentleman's house of the 1830*5. It is 
constructed with heavy hand-chopped sills and joists fitted tongue and 
groove, and all woods used are fine and well seasoned. The rectangular 
mass of the edifice is crowned with a heavy cornice and paneled parapet, 
behind which a low hip roof is broken by arched and pedimented 
dormers. Across the principal facade is a double gallery with simple 
wooden balustrade and two tiers of slender columns. The central door- 
ways at the first and second stories are set in deep elliptical arches with 
side lights and fan transom. Behind the big house is the kitchen, now 
tumbling down, with a brick floor, an old-time fireplace, and a Dutch 
oven. An outside stair once led to the servants' quarters above the kitchen. 
On the left of the central hall is the library, and behind it is a mildewed 
recess from which a mahogany staircase rises to the upper floor. A second 
room on the left, formerly the dining room, is now the dining room and 
kitchen. On the right are double drawing rooms. In the four second floor 
bedrooms are heavy, old-fashioned beds cased in dust. 



342 TOURS 

The front of the house is stuccoed; to the N. is the now dilapidated 
schoolroom and tutors' apartment, a small building with pilastered door- 
ways and a portico. The builder of Glenwood was Frances E. Sprague. 
In 1839 Glenwood was bought by Frederick Stanton and was his home 
until he erected Stanton Hall (see NATCHEZ), with materials and fur- 
nishings brought from Europe in a chartered ship. In 1852 the place was 
sold to T. M. Davis, who was the first millionaire in Natchez and one of 
the founders of Mississippi's first bank. In time Glenwood became the 
home of Mrs. Mary Ker, a daughter-in-law of Territorial Judge David Ker. 

In August 1932 the present owner of the now shabby old place had the 
misfortune to be arrested on a murder charge ; he was later freed. During 
the period when he and his housekeeper were under arrest, newspapers 
exploited the case, and because goats were found living in the house, the 
papers renamed it Goat Castle. 

At 92 m. is the junction with a private road. 

Right on this road to ELGIN, 0.5 m. (open by appointment), a two-story white 
frame house with a double-deck front gallery supported by two tiers of Doric 
columns. Built before 1838 it was later the home of the scientist, Dr. John Car- 
michael Jenkins. In ante-bellum days Elgin was noted for the beauty of its gar- 
dens; the place is still in excellent condition. 

At 98.3 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road at 5.4 m. (R) is the entrance to HOLLYWOOD (private), on 
the Spanish land granted to James Alcorn Gillespie about 1785. Various addi- 
tions were made to the original house, making it architecturally one of the most 
peculiar houses in the Natchez country. It is composed of two separate buildings 
connected by a hip-roofed gallery extending the length of the house. The vaulted 
ceilings of the gallery were originally plastered and, except where large rooms 
have been added on each side, small hand-made balusters still enclose it. In ap- 
pearance the house is reminiscent of the primitive dog-trot type. It sits on a 
knoll and through the open central hall is a charming view of meadow lands 
beyond. 

The road, cutting narrowly through steep embankments covered with Cherokee 
roses, circles a tranquil countryside in the valley of the once navigable Homo- 
chitto River. One of the first English settlements in the area and the first Prot- 
estant settlement in Mississippi was made in this neighborhood in 1772, when 
Capt. Amos Ogden, retired naval officer, came to claim the 25,000 acres that 
had been granted him by the British Government in 1768. He was accompanied 
by Samuel and Richard Swayze, to whom he sold 19,000 acres at 20^ per acre 
and by two surveyors, Caleb and Joseph King. The party went from New Jersey 
to Pensacola, Fla., thence through a chain of lakes into the Mississippi, and up 
the Homochitto. With them they brought 10 or 15 families including their own. 
Many old homes stand in this vicinity and their occupants, for the most part, are 
descendants of the early English settlers. These homes stand among the aged, 
moss-covered oaks. 

At 6.4 m. (R) is the lane leading to WOODSTOCK (private), set deep in an 
oak woods heavily festooned with moss. The brick red-roofed house has a re- 
cessed front entrance with fluted pilasters. The house was built in recent years, 
on the site of old Woodstock, but duplicates many features of the older house. 

At 6.7 m. is MT. CARMEL CHURCH (R), a toy-like, exquisitely designed struc- 
ture with white walls, green-shuttered windows, a tiny porch, and a small cupola. 
The congregation was organized in 1825. 



TOUR 3 343 

At 7 m. is the FOSTER HOME (L), known as The Hermitage. This is a dilapi- 
dated frame structure, standing gloomy and deserted on a high bank. Of Spanish 
Provincial type architecture, its timbers show great age. According to early 
records it stood here prior to 1834. 

At 7..5 m. is the junction with old US 61 ; R. here. 

KINGSTON, 11 A m. (25 pop.), is an old community with a modern white, 
frame consolidated school and a general store. The original village, which de- 
veloped around a blockhouse, was called Jersey Town until about 1777, when 
Caleb King, son-in-law of Richard Swayze, laid out lots around his plantation 
home. Until about 1825 Kingston prospered, having several stores, a tailor, a 
saddler, and a blacksmith. The Congregational Church, built in 1798, was the first 
Protestant church in Mississippi. Prior to this time services were held secretly 
in the woods or in private homes, the Spanish Government being opposed to any 
sect other than that of the Catholics. With the establishment of other towns in 
this district Kingston slowly began to decline. By 1830 it was little more than 
it is today. 

At 12.5 m. on old US 61 is the junction with a graveled road; R. here. 
At 12.8 m. is the KINGSTON METHODIST CHURCH, a typical plantation 
neighborhood church, built of brick with a small portico in front. Inside is a 
slave gallery. On the grounds are old steps from which riders mounted their 
horses. This church is the successor of the one founded by Lorenzo Dow in 1803, 
at which time he deeded land to the trustees for the erection of a church. The 
original church, according to tradition, was destroyed by a tornado in 1840, and 
the present one erected in the early i85o's. 

In a field diagonally across the road from the church is the GRAVE OF CALEB 
KING, founder of Kingston, marked by an impressive monument rising high 
above tall meadow grass. 

At 13.2 m. is the COREY HOUSE (open by appointment), formerly known as 
Hillside. It is a one-story, square, compactly built, Southern Planter type house, 
with galleries on all sides and green-shuttered windows that extend to the floor. 
Delicately painted shades as old as the house hang at the windows, and much of 
the furniture is the original. Sliding doors make it possible to convert the entire 
dwelling into one immense room. The Coreys came to the Natchez country with 
the Swayzes in 1772-73. 

At 13.9 m. (L) is the OLD PUBLIC BURYING GROUND, enclosed by a sag- 
ging wire fence and overgrown with tangled weeds and flowering shrubs. The 
tombstones bearing names of early settlers Swayze, Ogden, Foule, and King 
date back to 1784. 

At 15.7 m. is MANDAMUS (L), a simple country cottage, that has lost most of 
its original features in successive alterations. The house has a deep side porch, 
with small, square posts, and dormers breaking the steep lines of the roof at the 
front. 

At 103.1 m. US 61 crosses the HOMOCHITTO (Ind, shelter creek) 
RIVER. Sand bars and masses of water plants form a swamp, choking a 
stream that in 1772 was navigable for sailing vessels. 

Between the Homochitto River and Buffalo Creek US 61 climbs grad- 
ually but steadily for five miles to a hill giving an excellent view of the 
surrounding country. 

At 113 .5 m. the highway dips into the Buffalo Creek bottoms. The sand 
beaches on the inner bends of Buffalo Creek, 115.8 m., indicate that the 
loess is thinner toward the S. 

Between Buffalo Creek and Woodville the highway runs over a loess 
mixed with clay and gravel ; the dwellings are poorer. 



344 TOURS 

WOODVILLE, 119.8 m. (560 alt, 1,113 pop-) seat of Wilkinson 
Co., is on a watershed. Northeast of it are the former longleaf pine hills ; 
W. and S. are the bluff hills of the Mississippi, so like and so much a 
part of the Natchez district that it is hard to draw the line between the 
two areas. Indeed, Woodville's most distinguished citizen, Judge Edward 
McGehee, was used in So Red the Rose to typify the best in the Natchez 
district planter. Judge McGehee gave the town its life and tone, and today 
it retains the marks of his influence. 

The present POST OFFICE was formerly the station of the West Fe- 
liciana R.R., which McGehee financed and which was chartered in 1831. 
This was the first railroad built in Mississippi, the second in the Missis- 
sippi Valley, and the fifth in the United States. The railroad, the rails of 
which were made of cypress, cedar, and heart of pine hewn by McGehee 
slaves, is now a part of the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R.R., a subsidiary 
of the Illinois Central System. It was among the first American railroads to 
use the standard gauge, the first to issue and print freight tariffs, and the 
first to adopt cattle guards and pits. 

Facing the station is the two-story COURTHOUSE, 40 feet square, 
with massive columns on front and rear, each two feet in diameter, rising 
the full height of the walls. 

The METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH, on a high oak- 
shaded bluff, SW. corner of Main St. and US 61, is a neat wooden struc- 
ture, with tall windows and a large slave gallery facing the rostrum. The 
church was built in 1824 and is probably the oldest of its denomination 
in the State. Judge McGehee's name was the first on the roll of member- 
ship. At the rear of the building, in a small enclosure under some cedars, 
are the graves of the family of Col. John S. Lewis, whose wife donated 
the lot for the church. Prominent in the church's annals is the Maffit Re- 
vival. In the early 1840*5 John Newland Maffit so stirred the people that 
a group of young men, the "sons of Belial," determined to break up his 
meeting. They threatened to pelt his pulpit with rotten eggs if he preached 
again. He preached and one egg was thrown; the man who threw it was 
at the altar the next day pleading for forgiveness. 

The BAPTIST CHURCH, one block diagonally SE. of the Methodist 
church, is possibly the oldest church building of any denomination now 
standing in Mississippi. It is a large well-preserved red brick structure 
with four round white columns on the facade, a tall bell tower, green 
shutters, and white trim. In 1806 the Baptist congregations in this area 
met at Bethel, a small community four miles SW. of Woodville, and 
formed an association that has grown into the present Baptist State Con- 
vention. The exact date of erection of the Woodville church is unknown ; 
the first meetings of the congregation were secret because Roman Catholi- 
cism was the state religion of the Spaniards, titular sovereigns of the 
country N. of the 3ist parallel until just before 1800, and of the country 
S. of the parallel (10 miles from Woodville) until 1810. 

ST. PAUL'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH, corner Church and First Sts., 
erected in 1824, one of the oldest Episcopal churches W. of the Alle- 
ghanies. Impressive in its stately simplicity, the gray frame structure, built 



TOUR 3 345 

high on a terrace and surrounded by oaks, is now, except for minor re- 
pairs, as it was when built. Its architectural style followed that of St. 
John's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Va. No less impressive is its in- 
terior, with a massive crystal chandelier from an old monastery, a hand- 
somely carved altar, and an organ, still in use, brought from England 
shortly after the church was built. In early days the novelty of Protestant 
services with a liturgy attracted great crowds. Indeed, so unfamiliar was 
the average Mississippian with the Episcopal form of organization and 
worship that the legislature, granting an act of incorporation to the 
church, changed the titles "warden" and "vestrymen" to the better-known 
"trustees." In 1862 the congregation of the church forwarded the church 
bell to General Beauregard to be melted into cannon, "hoping that its 
gentle tones, that have so often called us to the House of God, may be 
transmuted into war's resounding rhyme to repel the ruthless invader from 
the beautiful land God, in his goodness, has given us." 

The OFFICE OF THE WOODVILLE REPUBLICAN is two blocks S. 
of the post office. The newspaper, the oldest in Mississippi, was founded 
by Andrew Marschalk, pioneer printer in Mississippi, and was first pub- 
lished in 1812. The COL. JOHN S. LEWIS HOME (private), a block E. 
of the Republican office, is, with its massive columns, strikingly like Rosa- 
lie in Natchez. This Woodville structure has been the home of the Lewis 
family for more than a century. The Lewises, among the first English fam- 
ilies to settle in the State, in 1808 built the first house in Woodville. 

At Woodville is the junction with the Fort Adams Road (see Side Tour 
3B). 

Left from Woodville 1 m. on the road that is a continuation of Church St. to 
(L) HAMPTON HALL (private), the handsome old mansion formerly known as 
Ararat because it stands on a hilltop. Hampton Hall, built in 1832, later passed 
into the hands of Colonel Hoard, the engineer who constructed Judge McGehee's 
railroad and assisted in planning the Erie Canal. Oaks almost obscure the two- 
and-a-half-story, columned brick structure, and under them grow boxwood, sweet 
olive trees as old as the house itself, and camellia japonicas. The murals inside 
the house were painted by Grace McManus, sister of the present owner, before 
she had received the art training that later enabled her to illuminate the prayer- 
book for the coronation of King Edward VII. 

At 1.5 m. on the side road is the junction with a graveled road; L. here 0.6 m. to 
BOWLING GREEN (R), a plantation holding the ruins of Judge McGehee's 
home. Four immense round columns shrouded by creeping ivy are all that remain 
of the big house. Nearby are the old brick carriage houses, the brick kitchen, and 
the brick office. The modest frame home now occupied by McGehee descendants 
was built by Judge McGehee after Federal troops had burned the original struc- 
ture. In the present house is the grand piano saved from the fire. Under the moss 
and sweet olive trees a few hundred yards from the ruins are the McGehee family 
burial grounds. On the crest of a knoll and enclosed by a high wrought-iron 
fence is the monument marking the GRAVE OF JUDGE McGEHEE. 
US 61, paved between Woodville and the Louisiana Line, is bordered 
by great hedges of Cherokee rose. 

At 124.2 m. (L) is ASHWOOD (open by appointment), the former 
plantation of George Poindexter (1779-1855), author of the first Mis- 
sissippi Code and second Governor of the State. The early history of 
Mississippi could not be written without mention of him. He was .born 



346 TOURS 

in Louisa Co., Va., in 1779, and came to the Mississippi Territory to open 
a law office at Natchez when he was 23 years old. In 1807 he arranged 
the meeting between Aaron Burr and Territorial Governor Cowles Mead, 
and later was professionally connected with Burr's trial. As a Territorial 
delegate to the U.S. Congress Poindexter first won national fame in 1811, 
when he called Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts to order after Quincy's 
impassioned speech against the admission of Louisiana; Poindexter re- 
marked that Aaron Burr had not gone as far in immoderate language as 
Quincy had gone. In 1817 Poindexter was the leading member of the con- 
vention that framed Mississippi's first Constitution for which he was al- 
most wholly responsible. His code of laws, finished in 1822 while he was 
Governor, was subsequently described by Governor A. G. Brown as the 
best Mississippi "has ever had." In 1830 he was appointed U.S. Senator 
to fill an unexpired term, and it is evidence of Wilkinson County's early 
importance in the State's history that while Poindexter was Senator, 
Gerard Brandon was Governor, and a third Wilkinson Co. citizen, Abram 
Scott, was Lieutenant Governor. Poindexter's congressional career was 
marked by a break with his former ally, President Andrew Jackson, and 
an alliance with Calhoun, a realignment in accord with Poindexter's ex- 
treme doctrine of State sovereignty, in which he foreshadowed the course 
Mississippi would take for the next generation. 

At 728.2 m. US 61 crosses the Louisiana Line, 50 miles N. of Baton 
Rouge, La. 



Side Tour 3 A 






Clarksdale Greenville Rolling Fork, 133-5 m. State i. 

Yazoo & Mississippi Valley R.R. parallels route between Sherard and Rolling Fork. 
One-third hard-surfaced roadbed; rest graveled; two lanes wide. 
Accommodations in cities. 

This route roughly parallels the Mississippi River between Clarksdale 
and Greenville ; it passes through the oldest and some of the most interest- 
ing of the Delta plantations and rims a number of beautiful lakes. The 
lakes, old beds left when the Mississippi River carved out new channels, 
have retained the horseshoe shape of the pronounced river bends. They are 
bordered by bright green willow brakes, and gnarled cypress trees that turn 
russet brown in fall. Part of this highway was under water in 1927 when 




TAKING COTTON TO THE GIN 



the Delta about Greenville was inundated in the greatest flood Mississippi 
has known. 

State i branches W. from US 61 at CLARKSDALE, m. (see Tour 3, 
Sec. a). 

SHERARD, 9-3 m., is a typical large Delta plantation with 6,000 acres 
under cultivation. The northern end of Sherard is three miles from the big 
house (L) and commissary (R). In addition to the commissary two cotton 
gins, a sawmill, and a pecan cleaner and grader are operated. J. H. Sherard 
who cleared the plantation in 1874 lives (1937) in a low rambling house 
shaded by pecan trees. His sons, grandson, and daughter have separate 
dwellings grouped about his. One son, a doctor, practices almost exclu- 



348 TOURS 

sively among the families on the plantation. In the days when steamboats 
could leave the Mississippi at high water and go inland as far as Clarks- 
dale, Sherard the elder used to sail by what is now his plantation. His story 
of clearing and draining the swamps that were the homes of snakes, alli- 
gators, and eagles, of building levees to hold the cleared lands, and of 
prospering through cotton-growing despite these difficulties, is the story of 
all the Delta. 

At 1 1.3 m. the levee is visible (R). 

GREENGROVE, 13.5 m., was, from the 1850'$ until after the War be- 
tween the States, the plantation of Confederate Cavalry Gen. Nathan Bed- 
ford Forrest (see Tour 4). During the war Forrest brought his family here 
for safekeeping. 

At 15 m. is RENALARA (35 pop.), a hamlet that grew up on the 
plantation of John P. Richardson who owned 18,000 acres of Delta land. 

HILLHOUSE, 18 m. (157 alt., 75 pop.), is the center of the Beverly B 
plantation and the shipping point for the Delta Cooperative Farm. 

The DELTA COOPERATIVE FARM, 22.8 m. (open: no fee, contri- 
butions accepted), has achieved some fame as a laboratory experiment in 
cooperative living. Organized in 1935 by Sherwood Eddy, New York 
writer and reformer, the farm is being used to improve the social, racial, 
and economic status of Southern sharecroppers (see AGRICULTURE). 
On 2,138 acres of buckshot land were placed 19 Negro and 12 white fam- 
ilies; the number has been increased to 33 families (1938). There is an 
1 1 -acre common garden in which vegetables are produced for immediate 
consumption and for canning; a hog farm, a poultry farm, a sawmill, a 
blacksmith shop, a school, and a commissary are collectively operated. Al- 
falfa as well as cotton is cultivated. The Rust mechanical cotton-picker is >i 
in use. Thirty frame houses have been erected, and nearly 200 acres of 
land have been cleared and reclaimed. 

The board of trustees, holding a deed of trust on .the investment of ft 
$25,000, is the supreme authority. Acting as a coordinator between the 
board and the tenants is an advisory council of five elected every six! 
months from among the inhabitants of the farm; neither race may have; 
more than three representatives. Under the direction of the council are- 
operated the two cooperatives into which the colony is divided. The 
Producers' Cooperative supervises production planting, cultivating, and> 
building; the Consumers' Cooperative has charge of distributing the sup- 
plies to the tenants and selling the products to outsiders. After operating ! 
expenses and provisions for retiring the capital investment have been de-j 
ducted, the net returns from all commercial crops and timber are prorated \ 
among the member producers according to the kind and amount of work! 
done. Young social workers serve as directors and teachers without salary.! 
On the board of trustees are Sherwood Eddy ; Reinhold Neibuhr, a clergy- 
man ; William Amberson, a former professor of physiology at the Univer- 
sity of Tennessee ; and John Rust, the inventor. 

The levee visible (R) between Hillhouse and Beulah was originall) 
built with Irish labor behind wheelbarrows, but has since been improved 






TOUR 3A 349 

enlarged, and sodded many times to give what is now almost complete pro- 
tection from overflow. 

At DEESON, 26.3 m. (153 alt., 30 pop.), are the headquarters of the 
Delta Planter's Company, a Dutch organization operating a plantation of 
8,800 acres, under the management of Oscar Johnston (see below). 

At 30.8 m. is PERTHSHIRE (420 pop.). 

Right from Perthshire is DENNIS LANDING, 4.3 m., a fishing colony just W. 
of the levee. The road runs through an extensive cotton field for two miles, meets 
a green, sluggish slough, and follows it through an Osage orange grove, sup- 
posed to have been planted by Indians, to top the levee at 4 m. From the levee is 
a good view of the low damp land that lies between it and the Mississippi River. 
The landing is formed by a caved-in portion of the high bluff that is the bank of 
the river. The people live in frame houses built on a high secondary levee, and 
fish for a living. Carloads of buffalo and of giant river spoonbill catfish, valuable 
for their roe, are shipped weekly; the roe packed in ice is shipped in barrels. 
While Chicago takes a part of the yearly catch which amounts to several tons, 
other shipments go as far as New York. 

At 31. 7 m. on State i is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road is the BLANCHARD PLANTATION, 0.9 m., that has been in 
the same family for four generations. Set off the road in the midst of the planta- 
tion's cotton fields is the big house, a spreading one-story frame structure typical 
of the Delta's better types of rural homes. On the place are five Indian mounds 
from which skeletons have been taken by Tulane University experts. 

GUNNISON, 3.5 J m. (153 alt., 484 pop.), is larger than the usual 
plantation town, having several stores instead of one. Artesian wells here 
have shown traces of gas, the town hydrant shooting a flame 10 feet high 
when, after being capped for some time, it was ignited. Derricks of pros- 
pecting gas wells are visible from the town. On the northwestern limits of 
Gunnison is the old CONCORD1A CEMETERY, a significant survival of 
a prosperous river town that was so tough in its day that many of the grave 
markers bear merely the epitaph "Killed in Concordia." 

ROSEDALE, 45.8 m. (143 alt., 2,117 pop.), one of the seats of Boli- 
var Co., with a one-story cream-faced brick courthouse, is the only town of 
size on the river between Memphis and Greenville. The force of the cur- 
rents from the confluence of the White and Arkansas Rivers opposite 
Rosedale keeps the Misssisippi pushing against the Rosedale levee. The 
view of the river from Rosedale landing, with shanty boats tied up here, is 
interesting. Catfish caught here are shipped as far N. as St. Louis and Chi- 
cago. At MONTGOMERY POINT, on the river, David Crockett is re- 
puted to have crossed on his way to the Alamo. In the spring the town has 
the appearance of a well-kept garden, worthy of its name. Annually in Oc- 
tober a Rose Show is held. 

Perhaps the most noteworthy citizens of Rosedale and the surrounding 
area were Walter Sellers, Sr., who was born here, and Charles Scott, who 
came to Bolivar County shortly after the War between the States. 

BEULAH, 51.4m. (143 alt., 506 pop.), is a fishing resort and farm town 
on Lake Beulah, which parallels the highway a half mile distant (R) ; the 



350 TOURS 

lake was formed by the capricious Mississippi River as early as 1863. Fish- 
ing for perch and crappie is fair. 

At .56.3 m. is LOBDELL (75 pop.). 

Right from Lobdell on a dirt road to INDIAN POINT, 5 m., one of many points 
at which De Soto is supposed to have discovered the Mississippi River. At this 
point the gold seekers from Georgia and Alabama crossed the river in 1849 on 
their way to California. PRENTISS, on Indian Point, was the first seat of Bolivar 
Co. Because the old men and boys who remained at home took frequent pot-shots 
at the Federal gunboats on the river, the Federals burned the village in 1863. 
Only a few shacks now mark the site. 

At 61 J m. is BENOIT (137 alt, 438 pop.). 

Left from Benoit on a graveled road running along Egypt Ridge to the old /. C. 
BURRUS HOME, 0.8 m. (R). Egypt Ridge was so called because it was the only 
place on which corn grew during the unprecedented flood of 1844. The Burrus 
Home, called Hollywood plantation because of the grove of holly trees planted 
about the great house, is the only ante-bellum structure in Bolivar Co. It was 
built of heart cypress with slave labor. A portico with six slender columns having 
unusual spool-shaped capitals makes the entrance imposing. The pediment has 
generous proportions but simple detail. During the war it served as headquarters 
for Confederate officers, among them Gen. John Early. 

At 64.7 m. (R) is a view of LAKE BOLIVAR which parallels State i 
for several miles. Fishing here is excellent for buffalo, crappie, perch, and 
trout. Almost a mile wide, Lake Bolivar is somewhat larger than other 
river lakes. Cypress trees of great beauty outline its banks. 

At SCOTT, 67.4 m. (140 alt., 300 pop.), are the headquarters of the 
DELTA AND PINE LAND CO. PLANTATION, the country's largest 
plantation, containing 38,000 acres ; it is owned by the Fine Spinners As- 
sociation of Manchester, England, and is under the management of Oscar 
Johnston. Of the 38,000 acres, 11,700 are in cotton; the whole is under 
the supervision of 12 unit managers, and is worked by 1,000 Negro share- 
croppers. The value of the property is about $5,000,000. 

The company maintains a school, church, and hospital for tenants, the 
croppers paying a 75^-per-acre hospital fee annually thus a man who 
worked 12 acres would be assessed $9 a year for hospitalization. Women 
are encouraged to go to the hospital for confinement rather than to de- 
pend upon midwives. Vaccination for small-pox and typhoid, inoculations 
against malaria, and anti-syphilitic injections are offered as part of the 
medical service. Tenant cabins, unscreened but stoutly built, are above the 
Delta average in quality. The tenants eat the usual pork, molasses, and 
cornbread, but an attempt is made to make up vitamin deficiencies by sup- 
plying them with free yeast. It is estimated that the average tenant here 
clears about $300 a year above subsistence (see AGRICULTURE). 

Oscar Johnston, a native Mississippian, took over the management of 
the company in 1928 ; since then the plantation has shown a notable profit 
for the first time since its establishment in 1910. Johnston was in 1933 
Finance Director of the AAA, and later manager of the Federal cotton 
pool. 

The road leading from State i to the Scott railway station is an experi- 
ment made to find new uses for cotton. A heavy coat of tar was applied to 



TOUR 3 A 351 

the old graveled roadbed, over this was laid cotton fabric, and this in turn 
was overlaid with an asphalt coating. Theoretically, the cotton mesh ab- 
sorbs moisture, thus lessening the amount of expansion and contraction of 
the roadbed caused by changes in temperature. These changes are in some 
part responsible for cracks in paving. The half-mile cotton textile road 
was built in 1935. 

At 743 m. is LOUGHBOROUGH, a low clapboarded structure, actu- 
ally two cottages with long sweeping roofs carried down over its front and 
rear screened porches. The home was built in 1841 by Samuel Burks. In 
front of the house, the concrete roadbed is laid on top of the old levee that 
was built and maintained by the plantation owner before the war. 

At 7:5.6 m. is WINTERVILLE (132 alt, 108 pop.). 

Right from Winterville on a trail to CARTER'S POINT, separated from the 
Delta by a cut-off which becomes a raging channel when the river is up. Since 
the cut-off forced the abandonment of the old plantations in 1900, duck, squirrel, 
and bird hunting has been good on the point. The three plantations, Woodstock, 
Salona, and Tarpley, were settled by the Carters and Randolphs of Virginia be- 
fore the War between the States. The plantation barns still stand. Because of the 
river bend here, some Mississippi land is due W. of Arkansas. 

At 76.6 m. (R) are the WINTERVILLE INDIAN MOUNDS, a group 
composed of a great central mound 55 feet high surrounded by an irregu- 
lar ellipse of 14 smaller ones of various sizes. The view from the top of 
the tall mound is worth the climb, the mounds being the only elevations in 
this stretch of flat country. 

GREENVILLE, 82.9 m. (125 alt, 14,807 pop.), the seat of Washing- 
ton Co., spreads at random along the east bank of the Mississippi River 
and derives a brisk trade from the river. Tugs churn through the muddy 
water to the dock, and along the levee sweating stevedores strain at heavy 
cotton bales brought in from the surrounding plantations. The largest city 
in the Yazoo-Mississippi area, Greenville is a cotton planting, ginning, 
marketing, and financing center. 

Laid out in broad avenues that run parallel to and at right angles with 
the river, Greenville has a business district with solid, modern well-spaced 
buildings interspersed with a few survivals of the past. In the residential 
sections the wealth of the city is evidenced in the homes which vary from 
Greek Revival, plantation-type dwellings to modern stucco and brick 
apartments ; most commonly seen, however, are the large, roomy Victorian 
structures with bay windows, rococo cupolas, and gingerbread trim, their 
idiosyncrasies half-hidden in the shadows of magnolia and live oak trees. 
Greenville's early citizens were people of wealth and culture from Vir- 
ginia, Kentucky, and the Carolinas who brought with them not only their 
household goods and their slaves but also bulky volumes of the classics, 
Greek and Latin textbooks, and tutors for their children. 

The population is 56.5 percent Negro; the remainder are a cosmopol- 
itan mixture. Five Protestant churches, a synagogue, a Roman Catholic 
church, and a Christian Science Church, in addition to 28 Negro churches, 
hold regular services. Separate schools for white, Negro, and Chinese chil- 
dren are operated. The Catholic church maintains a private school, St. 



352 TOURS 

Rose of Lima Academy, for white children and the School of the Sacred 
Heart, under the supervision of German nuns, for Negroes. 

The embryo of the present town was the Blantonia plantation on Bach- 
elor's Bend. In 1828 the land was settled by Col. W. W. Blanton, and in 
1866 sold by his widow, who was then Mrs. Harriet B. Theobold, for the 
third county seat; the first was destroyed by inundations of the river and 
the second was burned by fires from Federal gunboats in 1863. Greenville, 
incorporated June 24, 1870, is a mile NE. of this second site, which, after 
being burned, caved into the river. Block after block of the present town 
fell into the river until 1927, when for 70 days the town was under water. 
After this time levees were built higher and wider under Government di- 
rection; in 1935 the river was banished to a new course several miles west- 
ward and Lake Katherine was created at Greenville's western boundary. In 
1937 its name was changed to Lake Ferguson. Boats still dock at its 
wharf here, and Greenville's river trade goes on. Greenville was the birth- 
place of Nellie Nugent Somerville (1863- ), pioneer suffragist and 
WCTU leader, the first woman elected to the State Legislature. Her daugh- 
ter, Lucy Somerville Howorth, an attorney, is a member of the Board of 
Appeals of the Veterans Administration. 

The PERCY HOME (open by permission), SE. corner Percy and Broad- 
way Sts., is owned and occupied by William Alexander Percy (1885- ), 
lawyer and poet (see ARTS and LETTERS). He is the son of Senator LeRoy 
Percy and the grandson of Col. William Alexander Percy (1834-88), 
known as the Gray Eagle of the Delta because of his leadership of the South- 
ern whites during the days of reconstruction. In the home are five works of 
Jacob Epstein : Head of Christ, bust of David Cohn, Senegalese Girl, Indian 
Boy, and Baby Head; two pieces of sculpture by Leon Koury, born in 
Greenville, Nov. 4, 1909; a Negro head in bronze, and a head of William 
Alexander Percy, the poet; and other notable objects. 

In GREENWAY CEMETERY, end of Main St., is the GRAVE OP 
SEN. LeROY PERCY (1860-1929), marked by a bronze figure, the work 
of Malvina Hoffman. Possessed of the courage of his convictions LeRoy 
Percy became an able and forceful lawyer and in 1909 was elected to the 
U. S. Senate, serving until March 4, 1913. Senator Percy's private and pub- 
lic life was marked by the deep love for his home county that characterizes 
the three generations of Percys who have been active in building the Delta. 
His outstanding contribution to the Delta was his aid in organizing the 
Staple Cotton Association, his connections with the Federal Reserve Sys 
tern, the Drainage System, and his work for better roads development 
During the World War Senator Percy went to France for the National 
Y.M.CA. 

In front of the VALLIANT HOME, NE. corner Central and Shelby 
Sts., a one-story dwelling built in 1866-67, is a large oak tree that illus- 
trates the fertility of the Delta soil and the length of the Delta growing 
seasons. Planted by Mrs. Frank Valliant in 1867, it was recently estimated 
to have the growth of a tree 180 years old. Its spread of branches is mag- 
nificent. 

The STARLING COLLECTION is housed in the GREENVILLE PUB- 
LIC LIBRARY, SW. corner Main and Shelby Sts. This unusually fine col- 



TOUR 3A 353 

lection contains 2,600 old and rare volumes in English, French, Spanish, 
Dutch, Persian, Arabic, Turkish, and Hebrew, and eight books belonging 
to the cradle age of printing. 

In the steeple of the Episcopal Church, Main St., is a relic of early Mis- 
sissippi River trade and old time plantation life, a STEAMBOAT BELL 
taken from an old steamer and used on the Woodstock Plantation until 
placed in its present position. It was the gift of Mrs. Harry Ball whose 
grandfather settled Carter's Point. 

U. S. GYPSUM PLANT, on the Mississippi River, makes insulated wall- 
board from local cottonwood and willow trees. Established in 1930, it does 
considerable reforestation upon land purchased. Trees cut in the company 
forests are floated down the river to the mill at little cost. 

CHICAGO MILL AND LUMBER CO. PLANT, on the river, also uti- 
lizes native woods to make boxes and dimension stock for radios, furni- 
ture, hoops, and staves. The mill was established in 1930. 

Between Greenville and Rolling Fork, State i passes the oldest and most 
charming Delta plantations. 

At 86.1 m. is W1LDWOOD (L), with a one-and-a-half story house 
used during the war as headquarters for Confederate scouts. 

At Wildwood is the junction with a plantation road. 

Right on this road past a large pecan orchard to LOCUST, 1 m. (L), a planta- 
tion home of historic value, built in 1846 by William Pinckney Montgom- 
ery, a pioneer Delta planter. Locust is a long low white structure raised, like 
many of its neighbors, on brick piers; it has wide wings and long windows. 
Though the kitchen at one side is of brick, the house is constructed of cypress. 
The servants' quarters and outhouses were made of brick for permanence, but the 
planters feared malaria, which they thought was hastened by the "brick-sweating," 
and used cypress in their own dwellings. In front of Locust is a levee built by 
slaves, and in the moat are cypress trees six feet through at the base. About the 
house are pecan and magnolia trees. 

On LONE PINE PLANTATION, 87 m. (L), is a cypress log eight 
feet in diameter and 90 years old. The slaves from the old Montgomery 
plantation used the log as a bridge when they hurried to Greenville at the 
news of the Emancipation Proclamation. The banks of Ash Bayou, cutting 
through the plantation, are formed of cinder beds left by the Indians after 
burning their pottery. 

At 88.2 m. (L) is SWIFTWATER (private), built by Alexander B. 
Montgomery in the 1840*8. With the exception of Longwood it is the best 
example of ante-bellum architecture in the Delta. Its red roof, broken by 
an open deck, matches in color the brick of the piers that lift it above the 
swift waters of occasional floods. The one-story building with full-length 
windows, wide doors, and a porch extending along three sides, is par- 
ticularly well adapted for life in this area. The outside walls are white, the 
porch ceiling is blue. Swiftwater was the refuge of Mrs. Ann Finlay and 
her children when their home at Old .Greenville was destroyed by Federal 
gunboats during the war. Before leaving, Mrs. Finlay collected quantities 
of quinine, calomel, and castor oil from the Finlay Drug Store in the old 
town, and, though some of it was confiscated on her way to Swiftwater, 



354 TOURS 

this small supply was the only medicine available in the community until 

the war ended. 

At 93.1 m. (L) is BELMONT (private), a dull red two-story brick 
house, more French or Spanish in character than Georgian Colonial. In 
place of the traditional thick white columns it is fronted with slender 
gray posts, a feature quite in harmony with the wrought-iron railings 
and French bays. The hip-roofed structure is spacious with doorways n 
feet high. This house, finished in 1855, alone remains of those built 
by the pioneer Worthington brothers. The home of one, on a nearby 
plantation, caved into the river in 1885; that of another stood until 1932 
when it was condemned by the Government in its levee-building program. 
The new levee rises in front of the remaining house; between the levee 
and the river is Lake Lee, the first lake, and one of the few lakes in 
the Delta, made by man and not by the river. It was formed in the 
1850'$ when Marcellus Johnson, a planter, made a cut-off here. 

LONG WOOD, 102.1 m. (R), has been saved from the Mississippi 
only by moving it twice, in 1854 and 1885. The house was built in 1832 
by Ben Smith, a planter, on a tract of 30,000 acres bought from the 
Government in 1822. Originally it had a raised brick basement, four 
rooms, an encircling frame porch ornamented with cast-iron stars, a 
balustrade, and a trellis. Four rooms were added in 1848 and four more 
in 1870. The hip roof of seamed metal, painted red, is surmounted by 
a long, low, glassed-in observatory. The porch is set, cantilever style, 
several feet out from the face of the piers. There are large chimneys, long, 
wide, well-spaced windows, and cleverly concealed cabinets. Longwood 
on its third site occupies an elevation that was once four Indian mounds, 
and is surrounded by prickly mock-orange trees. 

At ELKLAND, 106.2 m., is the head of LAKE WASHINGTON, one 
of the Delta's most beautiful lakes, which parallels the highway to Glen 
Allan. Fishing and duck hunting here are excellent. About the lake are 
poules d'eau, called "poodle doos" by the Negroes. In southern Louisiana 
these birds are considered a delicacy, but Mississippians think their meat 
too fish-like. In the Lake Washington area is the nesting place for rare 
birds such as the great blue heron, the American egret, and the snowy 
egret. Members of the biology department of the Delta State Teachers 
College (see Tour 3, Sec. a) have here observed the water-turkey, the 
double-crested cormorant, the mallard, the green-winged teal, the wood 
duck, the Virginia rail, the purple gallinule, the sora rail, the least sand- 
piper, and the dickcissel. At the foot of the lake is a flat of cypress and 
water lilies that makes an ideal cover for ducks. 

Right from Elkland on a graveled road to LAKE JACKSON, .5 J m., a long nar- 
row body of water in the marshy land between Lake Washington and the river. 
It has none of the beautiful blue water of Lake Washington, but its jungle of 
moss-covered cypress, cane, and water lilies is attractive. Lake Jackson is noted 
among hunters for duck and alligator. Between Lake Jackson and the river are the 
sites of many former river landings, now extinct, among them Leota Landing (see 
TRANSPORTATION) and Princeton. From the latter the first barrel of cotton- 
seed oil was shipped abroad. 

Between Elkland and Glen Allan is one of the first settled parts of 



MOONLIGHT ON LAKE WASHINGTON, ELKLAND 



the Delta, called the Lake Washington Country and noted for its ante- 
bellum culture. A few homes are left to suggest the life of that period. 
Before the coming of roads, the lake provided the means of transportation. 
At 107.9 m. (L) is ERWIN (private), with a plantation house that 
was built between the years 1827-30 by Junius Ward, one of the 
first settlers in the county. The story is that the ly-year-old Junius, while 
hunting with Indian guides, was shown Lake Washington and was so 



TOURS 

impressed with the "most beautiful lake in the world" that he preempted 
land and built a log cabin. The logs of the original cabin, now a part 
of the rambling frame house, are visible in the attic. 

At 708.7 m. (L) is MOUNT HOLLY (private), a great red brick 
mansion of 30 rooms, as pretentious as Erwin is simple, built between 
1855-59 for Margaret Johnson Erwin. The bricks were made on the 
place. Of special interest are the wrought-iron railings on the balconies. 
The interior is notable for its rosewood staircase, rounded niches for 
statuary, frescoes, walnut woodwork, and great oven. The walls of Mount 
Holly are 2 feet thick and the ceilings 14 feet high. Perhaps the most 
unusual feature is the asymmetrical plan, with a parlor projecting beyond 
the front line of the entrance porch, verandas and bay windows. During 
the 1927 flood the mansion was used as headquarters for relief com- 
mittees, who were able to land their boats on the lawn. 

LINDEN, 112.3 m. (L), is the site of the first white settlement in 
the county, made in 1825. The first settler, Frederick Turnbull, brought 
with him from South Carolina a plant called the Pride of India, now 
known as the chinaberry tree. Linden was for many years the home of 
Gen. Wade Hampton of South Carolina. The present home dates only 
from 1914, yet its Greek Revival effect and great Corinthian columns, 
half-hidden by trees, are strongly reminiscent of Melrose and Auburn 
(see NATCHEZ). Visible across the lake from Linden is EVERHOPE, 
a red brick house built in 1841 by Andrew Knox. During its erection, 
bottles of wine were sealed in the walls of the house, these to be opened 
for the wedding of Knox's son who was then only a child. The boy died 
in his youth and in that same year Knox sold the house. He died soon 
afterward. But some say the marriage that never occurred was celebrated 
each December for many years by a phantom wedding party, using the 
wine. The bottles trotted out from hiding, placed themselves on great sil- 
ver platters, and throughout the revelry kept the glasses brimming full. 
When all was over, the bottles, still full, hopped back to their hiding 
place. 

At 112.8 m. (R) is the landing pier for gravel barges. The barges are 
loaded across the lake with sand and gravel pumped from the lake's bed. 
The gravel that forms the bottom of Lake Washington is excellent for 
road building. 

GLEN ALLAN, 113.6 m. (275 pop.), is named for a plantation for- 
merly on this site. 

Right from Glen Allan on a narrow paved road are the RUINS OF ST. JOHN'S 
EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 1.8 m. (L), completed in 1857, the first Episcopal struc- 
ture in the Delta. The group of planters who settled around Lake Washington in 
the i83o's were of English descent; some of them were English born. Extensive 
landowners in the older Southern States, they had come to Mississippi in boom 
times and, from the proceeds of the sale of their former holdings, had invested in 
the fertile acres of what were then known as the Mississippi Bottoms. The man- 
sions they built are the remaining evidence of their prosperity. To them in 1844 
came Bishop Otey from Tennessee, and the fruit of his visit was the gift by 
Jonathan McCaleb of five acres of land to be used as a site for the church and a 
glebe. In October 1852, "at which time the families which leave that region in 
summer months generally return to their plantations," the building was begun. 



TOUR 3A 357 

There was delay because of the necessity for importing materials from England 
and an organ for the wilderness. When the church was dedicated in April 1857, 
the services were stopped by a snow storm. Slaves were given their own gallery, 
and the richly-carved chancel, pulpit, and altar were fashioned by the Negro sex- 
ton, Jesse Crowell, who was buried from the church, and was afterward given a 
place in the adjacent cemetery. After the War between the States the church 
began to decay, and a cyclone completed the ruin. Still evident is the out- 
line of the corner tower with circular brick windows webbed in vines. Its design 
is based upon that of the English Gothic. The churchyard still bears the name of 
Greenfield, the plantation of Jonathan McCaleb. In its well-kept enclosure a num- 
ber of iron crosses mark the graves of Confederate dead. 

RICHLAND, 115.1 m. (L), with its face towards a bayou and its 
side to the highway, is a one-and-a-half story frame house on a high 
foundation; at the rear is a kitchen ell. The high, broken-roofed building 
has a cross hall separating the main building from the back ell. The 
house was erected by Jim Richardson, son of Edmund "Ned" Richard- 
son, known as the Cotton King of the World. A politician who was in 
league with the carpetbaggers and renegade Confederates in both his 
native Louisiana and in Mississippi, Ned Richardson maintained convict 
labor gangs under the leasing system. With the labor gangs he accom- 
plished the Herculean task of clearing the almost impenetrable morass 
of the central Mississippi Delta. Living on this rich soil and bringing 
Negro tenants from the central hills, Richardson was able to add link 
after link to his chain of plantations in Mississippi and Louisiana. 

At 122.5 m. (R) is a group of three Indian mounds, the tallest of 
them about 25 feet high. 

EAGLE'S NEST, 122.8 m., is a plantation by Lake Lafayette. It was so 
named because eagles used to hatch in the great trees on the banks of 
the lake. 

At 723 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road to LAKESIDE PLANTATION, 2.7 m. The home, built by 
the Turnbulls from South Carolina (see above) in the 1840'$, is a simple dog- 
trot house built of wide boards throughout, with doors of plain paneling. The 
spacious front porch faces Steele Bayou, whose steep banks with big trees add 
dignity and beauty to the setting. Farther back from the bayou, but facing it in a 
row, are nine ante-bellum cabins. This plantation borders the bayou for two-and- 
a-half miles. Across the bayou is HOPEDALE PLANTATION, also established 
by Turnbull. At one time Steele Bayou was navigable, and cotton was shipped 
down it to the Yazoo River and into Vicksburg. 

At 128.5 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road is MAYERSVILLE, 7 m. (136 pop.), county seat of Issa- 
quena. Mayersville, settled in 1830 by Ambrose Gipson, was called Gipson's 
Landing until 1870, when the site was purchased by David Mayer. Five years 
later Mayer deeded a part of the land as a county site, and that same year the 
town was incorporated as Mayersville. Until the mid-century decline of river traf- 
fic Mayersville was the shipping point on the Mississippi for the cotton of Sharkey 
and Issaquena Counties. Showboats on the river during low water times and a 
shifting population of river crews, gamblers, and traders gave the village a gay 
existence that its present day quiescence belies. Since 1927 Mayersville has been 
adequately protected from caving river banks and floods, yet it has no railroad 
facilities. 

ROLLING FORK, 133.5 m. (104 alt., 902 pop.) (see Tour 3, Sec. a), 
is at the junction with US 61 (see Tour 3, Sec. a). 



358 TOURS 

yvv>vvvvvv>vyyyyvv >4 \ 



Side Tour 



Woodville to Fort Adams, 20 m. Fort Adams Road. 

Graveled roadbed, two lanes wide. 
No accommodations. 






This route winds through the bluff hills in the extreme southwestern 
corner of Mississippi, a tiny part of the State that holds more than its 
share of historic interest. 

Fort Adams Rd. branches W. from US 61 (see Tour 3, Sec. b) at 
Woodville, m. 

At 1 m. is the SITE OF THE HILLS (R), the plantation of John Joor, 
a close friend of Andrew Jackson, under whom he served as an officer 
at the Battle of New Orleans. General Joor acquired two brass cannon 
captured in the battle, placing one in the courthouse square at Woodville 
and presenting the other to Natchez. During the War between the States 
both of the cannon disappeared. 

At 2 m. the road forks. Left here. 

At 6 m. (R) is the SITE OF LA GRANGE, the home of James A. 
Ventress, a graduate of Edinburgh University. In 1844 he was appointed 
a member of the first board of trustees of the University of Mississippi. 
Because of his interest and work in organizing the school he was called 
the father of the university. The house, burned recently, was a handsome 
place, similar in appearance to the Hermitage near Nashville, Tennessee. 

SALISBURY, 12 m. (L), reached by a lane, is a one-and-a-half-story 
structure built in 1811 and still in good repair. Live oaks shade the 
grounds. 

WALNUT GROVE, 13 m. (L), was built by a Nolan, believed by 
natives to have been a brother of the fictional character, Philip Nolan, 
the "man without a country." 

The JOHN WALL PLACE, or the Evans Wall Place (private), 13.5 
m. (R), stands at the corner where the old Lower Natchez Trace crossed 
the Fort Adams Rd. It was built in 1798 by John Wall, and in recent 
years was occupied by Evans Wall, author of "No Nation Girl." Andrew 
Jackson was a frequent visitor here. 

The weather-beaten old structure, standing on a hill, is almost lost j 
behind the locust trees shading the sunken road that was formerly the 
entrance lane. The forecourt is overrun with briars and lush grass, with 
smilax, wistaria, and other old garden plants that have run wild. The 
house has second floor porches on the front and rear, the ground floor 
on the front being open and paved with brick, and on the rear enclosed. 
The walls of the ground floor are of brick, deep rose and mellow with 
age. There are large outside chimneys at each end and the interior is di- 



TOUR 35 359 

vided into small rooms ; each door has a very large wrought-iron lock and 
silver knob. 

At 15 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road is PINCKNEYVILLE, 7 m. (100 pop.), once the seat of 
justice of Wilkinson Co. Oliver Pollock, a witness when General Wilkinson 
was being investigated for conspiracy with Aaron Burr, lived at Pinckneyville, 
as did a number of the first English-speaking settlers in the Natchez District. 

The Kemper brothers (see AN OUTLINE OF FOUR CENTURIES) used 
Pinckneyville as a refuge after their forays into Spanish territory. Because the 
railroad never reached Pinckneyville, the village has retained many of the char- 
acteristics of the old Deep South. 

The Whitaker Negroes here are a group with unusual racial characteristics; they 
have gradually decreased in number until only six remain in the vicinity. Accord- 
ing to local physicians, the Whitaker Negroes have sub-normal sweat glands; 
consequently, in warm weather they have to be near a pool or creek in which 
they can immerse themselves. Frequently the Negroes take buckets of water to 
the field with them, turning the water over their heads to soak their clothing. 
Besides the peculiarity of the skin, which though dark has a shiny appearance, 
they have few teeth, perhaps two or three at the top and a few below, and these 
are fine and pointed. Their lips are large, thick, and protruding, making their 
speech a bit indistinct and giving their faces an odd look. Their hair is fine and 
silky but thin and short. They are perhaps slightly sub-normal in intelligence. 
Their peculiarities seem to be inherited only by the male children, the females 
being normal. The Whitaker Negroes are descendants of Louis Whitaker, a 
Richmond, Va., Negro, sold as a slave in the old market at New Orleans. They 
now live on Alto and Magnolia plantations. 

In the vicinity of Pinckneyville are a number of typical old plantation homes. 
ARCOLE, the home of Gen. William L. Brandon, was built on a Spanish land 
grant received by General Brandon in 1790. It is constructed of blue poplar, 
hand-hewn and whip-sawed by slaves; it is a story-and-a-half high with a broad 
front porch, having heavy wooden columns. A mile N. of Pinckneyville is 
DESERT, built by Capt. Robert Semple in 1800, a two-story structure with porch 
columns supported by brick foundations and with elaborately hand-carved en- 
trance doors. 

Two miles SW. of Pinckneyville is COLDSPRING PLANTATION, one of the 
oldest in the section, with a house built of blue poplar on a brick foundation; 
over the flag-stoned, iron-railed back porch is an arch, from the center of which 
hangs a Masonic emblem, a relic of the decade when men of widely divergent 
character and views followed the Kemper brothers in throwing off Spanish rule 
in the country S. of the 3ist parallel. Coldspring, built by Dr. Carmichael, an 
army surgeon, is perfectly preserved. Among its many legends is that of the 
maiden who sat so long at an upper window watching for her lover that a flash 
of lightning photographed her image on the glass an image still visible, it is 
said. Coldspring has been in the McGehee family since it was bought in 1840 
by Judge Edward McGehee, great-grandfather of the present owner. 

At COLUMBIAN SPRINGS PLANTATION, 16 m., is the GRAVE 
OF GERARD CHITTOQUE BRANDON, Mississippi's first native- 
born Governor, serving in that capacity for a brief period in 1825 and 
1826, and in the latter year commencing a term of office which ended 
in 1832. Brandon, a typical planter, was an exponent of the conservative 
views later expressed by the aristocratic Whig party. 

FORT ADAMS, 20 m. (55 alt., 200 pop.), a small farming cen- 
ter, is on the site of a mission conducted by Father Davion in 1698 
and takes its name from a fort built here in 1798 and later named for 



360 TOURS 

President John Adams. Its first commander was Gen. James Wilkinson 
(1757-1825), who was probably the center of more storms and mysteries 
than any other man who has held high positions in the American Army. 
Wilkinson, born in Maryland, entered the Revolutionary Army and 
advanced to high position as a very young man. His career was ruined, 
however, by his utter inability to keep out of conspiracies and intrigue. 
He was involved in the Conway Cabal but saved himself from complete 
disgrace by revealing the details; for a time he was inactive but after 
he went to Kentucky at the close of the war he became prominent in trade 
and politics there. The next major scandal came when he entered the 
Spanish conspiracy but he again managed to reestablish himself in the 
good graces of those in Washington and after he applied for reinstate- 
ment was rapidly promoted to the position of general-in-chief of the 
American Army. After two years in this position he was sent to Fort 
Adams. While in this area he performed several services of value. The 
settlers rapidly occupying the upper Mississippi Valley had to have free 
access to the sea, which meant that they had to pass through the Spanish- 
owned port of New Orleans. Wilkinson made valuable contributions to 
the development of the territory by completing treaties with the Chicka- 
saw and Choctaw Indians for opening roads through the wilderness (see 
TRANSPORTATION). He became involved in Burr's scheme for a 
southwestern empire, but exposed him, following his usual course in 
such matters. Burr's trial was in a sense a trial of Wilkinson. He was 
court martialed in 1811, charged with treasonable relations with Spain, 
with negotiations with Burr, and with maladministration in the transfer 
of troops. The court by its verdict turned the accusation into commenda- 
tion. Throughout his stormy career Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, and 
Adams defended him. Agreement on Wilkinson's motives and character 
may never be reached but the story of his various and complicated enter- 
prises proved a colorful chapter in American history. 

Only traces of the old fort remain but the place has yet other inter- 
esting associations; it was here that Philip Nolan, "the man without a 
country," was at one time stationed. There is also a legend that Richard 
Butler, an officer of the garrison, defied General Wilkinson; Wilkinson, 
having lost his own queue, ordered all the officers at Fort Adams to 
have theirs cut. Butler refused, telling his physician that when he died 
he desired that a hole be bored in his coffin and his queue be pulled 
through so that Wilkinson would know that he had been defied even 
in death. 

In the vicinity of Fort Adams lived William Dunbar (1749-1810), 
Scottish scientist frequently called "Sir" William Dunbar, who was the 
first to recognize the value of cottonseed oil (see INDUSTRY). 



TOUR 4 361 

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< <#> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 



Tour 4 



(Jackson, Tenn.) Corinth Tupelo Columbus Meridian Waynesboro (Mo- 
bile, Ala.). US 45. 
Tennessee Line to Alabama Line, 298.6 m. 

Route one-eighth paved; remainder, being paved. 

Mobile & Ohio R.R. parallels route between Corinth and Shannon, between Macon 

and Meridian, and between Quitman and Waynesboro. 

St. Louis & San Francisco R.R. parallels route between Aberdeen and Columbus. 

Accommodations in cities. 

US 45 in Mississippi runs from the foothills of the Tennessee River in 
the northeastern corner of the State to the red clay hills of Wayne 
County in the southeast. Between Tupelo and Scooba it traverses the 
Black Prairie Belt, formerly one of the richest cotton growing sections of 
the State but now supplementing that crop with diversified farming and 
dairying. Aberdeen and Columbus were prosperous ante-bellum centers 
and, being in the fertile prairie, they still hold their prosperity. Between 
Scooba and Waynesboro the highway winds through the uplands of east- 
ern Mississippi, where a more typical Mississippi scene is evident with 
small terraced cotton patches scattered among the forests and between the 
gullies. 

Crossing the Mississippi Line, m., 44 miles S. of Jackson Tenn., US 
45 follows the general route of the Union troops in their advance on 
Corinth after the Battle of Shiloh in April 1862. Markers at intervals in- 
dicate various positions of the contending armies. At 2.j> m. is a line of 
earthworks paralleling the highway. The marker reads: "This earthwork, 
i l /2 miles from the outer protective earthwork of the Confederate Army 
at Corinth, was thrown up by the Union Army between May 17 and 
May 29, 1862, in Halleck's advance from Shiloh to Corinth." The Union 
advance was an example of Halleck's generalship. Without risking an 
open engagement he brought an overwhelming force to the outskirts of 
Corinth and entrenched it as strongly as were the defending Confederates. 
From this earthwork the Federals could hear distinctly the movement of 
trains and the beat of Confederate drums in the town. 

CORINTH, 4.5 m. (456 alt., 6,220 pop.), Mississippi's only city in 
the Tennessee River Hills, was closely involved in an important engage- 
ment during the War between the States. Here soldiers fought in hand- 
to-hand combat, and for many years after the war, Presbyterians, inno- 
cently having built their church upon the site of an old Federal maga- 
zine, worshipped above a nest of mines. Yet the inhabitants find the 
future more absorbing than the past; they are more interested in the de- 
velopment of their poultry farms, dairies, and textile plants than in the 
fact that General Grant once occupied the town. They now ship more 



362 TOURS 

than a million dollars worth of products a year, and are beginning to 
produce milk commercially. A cheese factory provides a market for whole 
milk; quantities of butter fat are sold in other markets. The city has a 
hosiery mill and a garment factory. Industrial development is encouraged 
by the low rate of TVA electrical power. 

In 1855 officers of the Memphis & Charleston R.R. and the Mobile & 
Ohio R.R. chose this site for the junction of their two lines, giving it the 
obvious name of Cross City. Two years later the editor of the weekly 
newspaper suggested that the community change its name to the more 
imaginative name of Corinth, the Grecian crossroads city. 

But when war broke out between the States, the asset of being the 
crossing point of two trunk lines became a liability. From the beginning 
of the war the Federals planned to capture the town, and the Con- 
federates kept it heavily fortified. After the Battle of Shiloh, April 6-8, 
1862, Confederate General Beauregard retreated to the town, followed 
by Federal General Halleck. When Halleck, after slow marching, at last 
reached Corinth, Beauregard evacuated the town, permitting him to enter 
without opposition. The Union army occupied the place for five months, 
then General Grant, surmising that the Confederates under Van Dorn 
intended to attack, ordered Rosecrans, who was defending the town, to 
concentrate his troops. But Van Dorn and his forces swooped down from 
Tennessee with extraordinary speed, and on October 3 crushed Rosecrans' 
men three miles N. of Corinth. The Federals retreated into the city at 
dusk and spent the night preparing to renew the battle. The next morning 
Van Dorn hurled his troops against the entrenchments of the Federals, 
but his forces were disorganized and two battalions failed to attack simul- 
taneously. In the second day of fighting Col. Wm. P. Rogers led his 
brigade in the charge against the Federal Battery Robinett. Rogers, after 
desperate fighting, succeeded in taking the almost impregnable position 
but paid with his life for the victory. Shortly afterward the Confederates 
were forced by the augmented Federal troops to retreat. After the battle 
Rosecrans had Rogers buried with military honors. 

The NELL CURLEE HOME (private), 711 Jackson St., was built in 
1857 by Hampton Mask. Iron grillwork is used for exterior ornamenta- 
tion. During the War between the States the house, then the showplace 
of Corinth, was occupied successively by Generals Halleck, Bragg, and 
Hood. 

The FRED ELGIN HOME (private), 615 Jackson St., was used for 
headquarters by General Grant; the large old bed in which he slept is 
now displayed with pride by the owner. A two-story structure set in a yard 
thickly planted with giant boxwood and magnolia trees, it is perhaps the 
most typical ante-bellum house in town. 

The A. K. WEAVER HOME (private), SE. corner Filmore and Bunch 
Sts., is a long low white cottage with pleasing lines. The recessed en- 
trance is noteworthy. This home was occupied by Gen. Leonidas Polk 
at the time of the Federal invasion of Corinth. 

The NATIONAL CEMETERY, i mile SW. of the courthouse, en- 
trance on Meiggs St. (open 6-6), is a plot of 20 acres enclosed by an 



TOUR 4 363 

irregular brick wall. Here are buried more than 6,000 Union soldiers 
from 273 regiments of 12 States. 

The CONFEDERATE PARK, Polk and Linden Sts., holds the SITE 
OF OLD FORT ROBINETT and is maintained by the Corinth Chapter 
of the U. D. C. Within the park is a MONUMENT TO COL. WILLIAM 
ROGERS, who was killed attacking the fort. 

The JONES BOARDING HOUSE, 815 Waldron St., was originally 
the Methodist church, and was at one time used as a Confederate prison. 

South of Corinth is an area supplied with electricity by TVA. The TVA 
Bill was introduced in the House by Hon. John R. Rankin, of the First 
District. 

At 18.3 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road to the SITE OF DANVILLE, 1 m., the first white settlement 
in the northeastern corner of Mississippi. An abundance of fresh spring water 
suitable for tanning determined the site. It is said that the citizens of Danville 
were noted for their piety and their law-abiding natures. Danville lost its pros- 
perity when the railroad skirted it, and, shortly after, completely disappeared when 
the Federal Army moved the houses elsewhere to use them as quarters for its 
troops. 

BOONEVILLE, 24.5 m. (509 alt, 1,703 pop.), was the scene of an 
all-day fight between Hardee's Confederate cavalry and Sheridan's Fed- 
eral troops, July i, 1862, after the Army of the Mississippi had retreated 
from Corinth and was reorganizing at Tupelo. A prosperous farm trading 
center, it now has a garment factory. 

1. Right from Booneville on a graveled road into the TIPPAH HILLS, 10 m. t 
an extremely rugged section known for the number of wild flowers and dog- 
wood trees, and for opossum, fox, and quail hunting. 

2. Left from Booneville on State 30, a graveled road, to BOONEVILLE LAKE, 
1 m., and WALDEN LAKE, 4 m., both favorite picnicking spots. 

BALDWYN, 3:5 .,5 m. (374 alt., 1,106 pop.), is on the line between 
Prentiss and Lee Counties, a division that has caused some amusing con- 
flicts of jurisdiction. Until 1920 the town had a hotel named the Forrest 
House because Confederate Cavalry Gen. Nathan B. Forrest had used it 
for quarters after the Battle of Brice's Crossroads, his greatest fight. 

Right from Baldwyn on a graveled road to the BRICE'S CROSSROADS BATTLE 
MONUMENT, 5.8 m. (R). Against a force of about 5,000 Federals, including 
cavalry, infantry, and artillery, Confederate Cavalry General Forrest interposed 
a much smaller force of mounted troops, defeated the column in a brisk engage- 
ment June 10, 1864, then turned its retreat into a rout along the road to Ripley, 
capturing 14 pieces of artillery, 5,000 stand of fire arms, 500,000 rounds of am- 
munition, and 250 wagons. The Federal casualties were 223 killed, 394 wounded, 
and 1,623 missing, as against Forrest's loss of 96 killed and 396 wounded. It was 
a signal victory for Forrest's peculiar strategy and method of fighting. The marshy 
terrain was to his advantage. He won a race for the crossroads, and, bluffing his 
way as usual, charged against the Federals before they could emerge from the 
woods. At one time he was in the front rank, pistol in hand, and his courage and 
aggressiveness carried his daring to victory. 

At 40.5 m. is GUNTOWN (381 alt., 369 pop.). According to local 
legend the village is named for a Virginia Tory, James Gunn, who fled 



364 TOURS 

here to escape the American Revolution. Gunn later married the daughter 
of a Chickasaw Indian chief. He continued to toast the King of England 
on his birthday as long as he lived. 

At 49-9 m. (L) is a double-pen timber house typical of the early homes 
of this section. It is particularly interesting in contrast with the TUPELO 
HOMESTEADS, 55.3 m. (L) and .5.5 J m. (R), a group of homes 
erected by the Resettlement Administration. 

US 45 enters on Gloster St. 

TUPELO, 55.8 m. (289 alt., 6,361 pop.) (see TUPELO). 

Points of Interest. U. S. Fish Hatchery, cotton mill, Carnation Milk plant, and 
others. 

Here are the junctions with State 6 (see Tour 14) and US 78 (see 
Tour 9). 

The route continues on Gloster St. (US 45). 

South of Tupelo the change from hill country to rolling prairie and 
fertile bottom lands is evident. 

VERONA, 60.6 m. (301 alt., 554 pop.), is the old town that lost its 
leadership to Tupelo when the latter became the junction of the Mobile 
& Ohio R.R. and the St. Louis & San Francisco R.R. (then the Memphis 
& Birmingham) in 1887. After the Battle of Harrisburg General Forrest 
was brought to the LUTIE McSHANN HOUSE on Johnson St., 4 blocks 
E. of US 45, to be treated for wounds that had reopened during the 
battle. 

SHANNON, 66.6 m. (243 alt., 524 pop.) (see Side Tour 4 A), is at 
the junction with State 23 (see Side Tour 4 A). 

NETTLETON, 72.6 m. (252 alt., 834 pop.), is a small agricultural 
center. It was the birthplace of Dr. Felix J. Underwood, executive officer 
of the State Board of Health, and president of the State and Provincial 
Health Authorities of North America. 

At 90. 1 m. (L), visible from the highway is a two-story white-columned 
house typical of the ante-bellum planter dwellings in the Black Prairie. 
At 96.8 m. (R) on top of a knoll commanding Aberdeen is an old brick 
house with stepped end walls. 

ABERDEEN, 91.6 m. (203 alt, 3,925 pop.), is a lovely old town 
built on the western bank of the Tombigbee River at the edge of the 
prairie region. It was first named Dundee by Robert Gordon of Scotland. 
Objecting to the way the local people pronounced the name, Gordon 
changed it to Aberdeen. Near the head of navigation of the Tombigbee 
River and with the almost ideal cotton growing area to the W., Aberdeen 
was one of the most prosperous of the Mississippi ante-bellum planta- 
tion towns. 

In 1836, after the Indian land cessions, Gordon, who founded the 
town as a trading post, auctioned building lots to new settlers, and in 
1849 Aberdeen had grown so swiftly that it became the county seat. 
Steamboats on the Tombigbee carried cotton grown in the vicinity down 
to Mobile in the fall and carried back supplies in the spring. Negroes, 
brought from Virginia to work on the newly-created prairie plantations, 
made possible a swift transition from pioneer conditions to plantation 



TOUR 4 365 

comfort and Aberdeen became a social center with attractive town houses 
built by the planters for their womenfolk. Though many of the old 
structures need paint and repair, these ante-bellum homes, designed for 
the most part on traditional lines, evidence the substantial pre-war pros- 
perity of the area. A good example is HOLL1DAY HAVEN (private), 
on Meridian St., a white house with green shutters; its eight white Doric 
columns, hand-carved by apprenticed Negro slaves, are loftier than the 
classic rules of proportion demand, but they are not displeasing. There is 
a balcony over the front door and long windows opening onto the 
spacious gallery. Two immense magnolias frame the entrance; another 
magnolia (R) is draped with a freely-blooming wistaria vine. At the end 
of a sloping terrace (L) are the few plum trees remaining from the old 
orchard that is now a garden filled with crapemyrtle and syringa. 

The finest of the homes is the REUBEN DAVIS HOME (private), 
block C on Commerce St., just W. of the Mobile & Ohio R.R. Station. 
This white frame house, erected in 1847, in a Deep South variant of the 
Greek Revival style, is of monumental proportions. Judge Reuben Davis 
was born in Tennessee in 1813, the twelfth child of a Baptist minister 
who farmed to supplement his income. The child had little schooling 
except what he learned from adventurers who, temporarily penniless, 
acted as his tutors on the frontier. Before he was of age he studied medi- 
cine with his brother-in-law and began a practice in which he was more 
ambitious than learned. 

Then he turned to the study of law and at the age of 20 was elected 
district attorney, making $20,000 in his first year. He moved to Aber- 
deen in 1838 and entered State politics. Starting as a Whig, he be- 
came a Union Democrat, then a rabid secessionist, and finally, in 1878, 
a Greenbacker. He dated all his mistakes and most of his troubles to 
the Mexican War, in which he contracted an illness that long stayed 
with him. 

Throughout his misfortunes in politics in which he was continually be- 
ing stranded by all parties, he maintained a lucrative connection as attorney 
for the New Orleans, Jackson & Great Northern R.R. and achieved suc- 
cess as a criminal lawyer. It is said that the use of red pepper in his 
handkerchief to induce tears at the decisive point in a murder trial 
heightened the drama of his courtroom oratory. In 1878 he was shot and 
dangerously wounded by a prosecuting attorney whom he had outdone in 
a criminal trial at Columbus, but he did not die until 1890. His Recollec- 
tions of Mississippi and Mississippians, published in 1880, is an excel- 
lent source for Mississippi history of his time. In this home at Aberdeen 
his name is engraved in bold letters on the silver-plated doorbell. 

The OLD CEMETERY on Cemetery Road is entered over a stile. Many 
of the inscriptions on the grave stones refer to wives as "consorts" ; sev- 
eral of the graves are of Irish-born settlers who came to Aberdeen before 
the War between the States. A square of 30 graves of unknown Con- 
federate soldiers recalls the skirmish at Egypt, Miss, (see Side Tour 4A), 
from which these wounded men were brought to die. One unusual monu- 
ment carries the image of a woman surrounded by flames, the story being 



366 TOURS 

that an open fire caught her bouffant skirt and burned her fatally. A 
mausoleum in the middle of the cemetery carries a legend that the occu- 
pant, at her own request, was entombed in a sitting position. 

At 99.5 m. US 45 crosses the Tombigbee River and between Aberdeen 
and Columbus rides a levee in the Tombigbee Valley. 

At 109.8 m. a house (L) marks the SITE OF HAMILTON, first 
seat of Monroe Co. In the i82o's the county was separated from the other 
white settlements in Mississippi by over a hundred miles of Indian terri- 
tory. 

US 45 enters on 5th St. N., to ist Ave. N. 

COLUMBUS, 119.9 m. (250 alt., 10,743 pop.) (see COLUMBUS). 

Points of Interest. Mississippi State College for Women, a number of historic 
and architecturally interesting homes, and others. 



Here is the junction with US 82 (see Tour 6). 



1. Left from Columbus on State 12, which here approximates the route of the 
old Jackson Military Road (see TRANSPORTATION) to BELMONT, 9 m., 
the home built between 1822 and 1825 by Capt. William Neilson on a 2,560- 
acre plantation granted to him as a bonus for his services in the U. S. Army 
during the War of 1812. Architecturally Belmont represents the transitional 
structure between the log cabin and the town house in the Black Prairie. Built 
of oak and heart pine, with hewn sills, hand-sawed lumber, and home-made brick, 
it is a lofty two-story house with a transverse roof ridge. The timbers are fastened 
with wooden pins. The hardware and window glass were brought from Baltimore, 
Md., by the skilled Baltimore Irishman who supervised the construction. The 
manual labor was performed by slaves. Although the formerly separate kitchen 
has been connected with the house, the main part of Belmont is as originally 
built, with much of the first plastering and many of the old window panes still in 
place. The house and 320 acres of the original tract have never passed out of the 
possession of the Neilson family. At the foot of the hill on which Belmont 
stands are two of what used to be a group of fine springs. Tradition has it that 
De Soto camped by these springs in 1540, and a marker placed on the Jackson 
road near them commemorates the camp. 

2. Right from Columbus on old US 45, L. at every fork on a narrow road, and 
crossing the Tombigbee River on an old-style cable ferry, to WAVERLY, 7.5 m. 
This is an impressive mansion with an octagonal tower, colonnaded lower 
floors, and flanking. wings. The years have ravished it of life and color, but its 
mantelpiece of delicately carved marble, its woodwork executed by a discerning 
English craftsman make it comparable to its Natchez forerunners. It is an archi- 
tectural extravaganza, elaborately ornamented. The plan is an "H", the wings 
closing in Corinthian porches at front and back. The central octagonal hall rises 
a full 65 feet to the dome of the tower. Two rooms of monumental scale flank 
the hall on both sides for three stories. A massive double staircase winds up 
through the structure, touching narrow circular galleries on which open second 
and third floor bedrooms. So magnificent was the parlor that stories about it have 
become legendary. Damask curtains overdraped the lace at long windows. The rose- 
wood chairs and divan were upholstered in blue and gold. Above the Italian mar- 
ble mantel hung a gilt mirror of stupendous size. 

Col. George Young, the builder, born in Oglethorpe Co., Ga., in 1799, was one 
of the first landowners with a large tract in the Black Prairie. At the bluff on 
the Tombigbee, where the river formerly made a great bend that almost brought 
it back on itself, he began the erection of Waverly in the 1840'$, and continued 
its building until 1856. The velvet carpets, brocaded draperies, and handsome 
furnishings were imported from Europe, after a first order had been lost at sea. 
The colonel sank an artesian well, planted orchards and vineyards, laid out gar- 



TOUR 4 367 

dens, had extensive kennels of hunting dogs and a private boathouse on the river, 
operated his own ferry, built warehouses of brick and stone, built a gristmill, a 
sawmill, a tannery, a cotton gin, a brick kiln and an ice house, had a lighting 
plant for the big house (he burned lighter wood and resin to make gas), and 
made Waverly a small but complete village. A German gardener landscaped the 
bluff side. A cement swimming pool with marble steps was laid out below the 
house. As a planter he was well equipped for and devoted to entertaining; the 
hospitality of Waverly was as extravagant as its furnishings. 

The War between the States cast its shadow on Waverly. Six sons of the house 
joined the Confederate Army, and Waverly became a refuge for men in gray. 
Cavalry Gen. Nathan B. Forrest and his staff spent one night here. Though im- 
poverished by the war, the colonel's descendants kept Waverly open, with Cap- 
tain Billy and Major Val entertaining more simply but not less genially than 
the colonel. 

Waverly is still in possession of the family, but now needs repair. Some of the 
stained-glass side lights from Venice on the front entrance are cracked. The 30- 
foot hall has a wax-smooth floor and satin-smooth plastered walls, but the gilt- 
framed mirrors on the white marble consoles are covered with a film of dust, as 
is the piano with its mother-of-pearl keys. The draperies of the parlor windows 
are faded and drab as the outside paint. A massive bronze chandelier still hangs 
from the dome of the observatory, with cut-glass globes, but only the spacious- 
ness of the rotunda is left to make it impressive. The boxwood hedge is covered 
with vines. The green shutters are faded, the garden rank with weeds, and the 
swimming pool dry. Unoccupied and dilapidated, it is still majestic. 

Downstream two miles from Waverly (not reached by road or trail) at the junc- 
tion of the Tombigbee with Tibbee Creek is the SITE OF PLYMOUTH, an ex- 
tinct town that was formerly a rival of Columbus and Cotton Gin Port. It is said 
to have been a camping ground for De Soto on his passage through Mississippi, 
many scraps of armor and Spanish military equipment having been found here. 
It also is said to have been the scene of Bienville's operations against the Chicka- 
saw, though Cotton Gin Port is usually given that credit. What substantiates 
Plymouth's assertion is that the first white settlers found a two-story fort of cedar 
logs standing on a slight elevation about 500 yards from the river and sur- 
rounded by a circular ditch and embankment. The building was approximately 
20 feet square with windows in the first story. The first settlers tore it down 
to obtain material to build their cabins. 

Tradition also makes the fort a base of operations for Gen. Andrew Jackson in 
his campaign against the Creek Indians. The site of Plymouth was well known as 
an Indian settlement and trading post even during French rule in this section, and 
was the home of Maj. John Pitchlyn. Pitchlyn, born on St. Thomas Island in 
1765, was left among the Choctaw when his father, an English officer, died on 
his way from South Carolina to the Natchez district. John Pitchlyn's life with 
the Indians gave him extraordinary influence among them, which he exerted in 
favor of the United States. He had five sons, one of whom, Peter Perkins 
Pitchlyn, was described by Charles Dickens after a visit to the United States; he 
is buried in the Congressional Cemetery at Washington, D. C. John himself was 
buried at Waverly in 1835, though his body was subsequently moved by his sons 
to the Indian Territory. 

After the Indian land cessions opened the west bank of the Tombigbee to settle- 
ment, Old Plymouth became an important cotton storage and shipping center 
chiefly because of a nearby shallow ford in the river. It was incorporated in 1836, 
but the low ground at the mouth of Tibbee Creek proved so unhealthful that 
the planters moved back to their plantations, and the merchants and lawyers 
crossed the river to Columbus. Nothing is left of the village though it is asserted 
that the embankment around the fort can be traced. 

The route continues R. on ist Ave. N., crossing the Tombigbee River, 



368 TOURS 

the western limit of Columbus. On the east bank of the river is a good 

view (L) of the bluffs on which Columbus is built. 

Between Columbus and Macon US 45 runs past a number of hay fields 
breaking into the cotton in the prairie belt. The plowed fields and the 
sides of the creeks and drainage canals show rich black soil. 

MACON, 155.1 m. (114 alt., 2,198 pop.), is a pleasant old prairie 
town built on the bank of the Noxubee River and spreading fan-wise 
E., N., and W. from the river and courthouse. It was incorporated in 1836 
on land ceded by the Choctaw under the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, 
and experienced a prosperity of which the big white-columned homes are 
the remaining evidence. During the War between the States, when Jack- 
son was burned by General Sherman, the seat of the State government 
was moved for a short while to Macon. The executive offices of Governor 
Clark, whose home was on the outskirts of Macon, were in the buildings 
of the Calhoun Institute, a private school for girls established by W. R. 
Poindexter about 1856 on grounds now occupied by the Macon Public 
School. Two sessions of the State legislature also met in these buildings, 
and one of the buildings served as an improvised hospital, as did many 
of Macon's churches. Cotton growing and lumbering always have been 
industries associated with Macon; the town now has one of the largest 
cream condenseries in the South. 

1. Right from Macon on Pearl St. which becomes a country road; at 1.5 m. 
L. 0.5 m. to SITE OF JACKSON'S MILITARY ROAD (see TRANSPORTA- 
TION), which crossed Noxubee River. The deep trench cut through the bluff on 
the east bank of the stream leads down to the ford and is plainly visible, though 
now overgrown with vines and underbrush. 

2. Left from Macon on State 14, a graveled road, to the ancestral BANKHEAD 
HOME, 8m. (L), a dwelling that has been little changed in the 80 years since 
William Bankhead built it. In several rooms the original wallpaper remains. A 
number of inside windows open into the hallways, and, as they serve no apparent 
purpose, are rather mystifying. The Speaker of the National House of Repre- 
sentatives (1937), W. B. Bankhead, was married and several of his children 
were born in the house. 

At 160.7 m. US 45 crosses the Noxubee (Ind., stinking water) River 
with its steep and sometimes slippery banks. 
At 161.9 m. is the junction with State 14. 

Right on this graveled road is MASHULAVILLE, 9 m. (200 pop.), a village 
with a general store, a consolidated high school, two churches and a number of 
scattered homes, not visible from the highway. Mashulaville, named for Chief 
Mashulatubbee (Ind., the one who perseveres and kills), was once a famous 
Choctaw town. The Russell home, on the SITE OF THE HOME OF CHIEF 
MASHULATUBBEE, links the placid community with a lively past. Mashulatub- 
bee succeeded his father Homastubbee in 1809 as District Chief of the Choctaw. 
Though he is said to have favored a coalition with the Shawnee chief, Tecumseh, 
who attempted to organize a general uprising against the whites in 1811, and gave 
his own race absolute loyalty, he was friendly with the white people of the sec- 
tion, receiving them in his home with courtesy and hospitality. Like many other 
chieftains of the day he vigorously opposed the Dancing Rabbit Treaty of 1830. 
A man of considerable wealth, he became dissatisfied with his simple cabin and, 
in 1819, hired Josiah Tully, a contractor from Pickensville, Ala., to build a house 
.for him at Mashulaville that would be more in keeping with his dignity as a 






TOUR 4 369 

chief. The dwelling had four rooms, two below and two above, and was built of 
logs. He lived here with his two wives and a house full of offspring until the 
signing of the Dancing Rabbit Treaty. One of the chief's wives was partly white 
and very beautiful. When travelers stopped at his home he liked to show her to 
them, but the other* wife, who possessed the stronger character and intellect, was 
his favorite. Upon his migration west, Mashulatubbee sold his home to Anthony 
Winston for $100. Several hundred yards from the Russell home is an old spring 
used by the chief, and on the property are numerous stone artifacts. 

At 10.4 m- on State 14 is the junction with an unmarked dirt road. 

Left 8 m. on this road to the DANCING RABBIT TREATY MARKER (L), 
erected to memorialize the consummation of the treaty in which the Choctaw 
Indians relinquished to the Government practically a third of north-central Missis- 
sippi in return for which they received certain annuities and land further W. 
Near here in September 1830, 20,000 Choctaw gathered to consider the proposed 
treaty. The Government sent agents to negotiate, and following them came white 
traders with whisky and trinkets to bribe the Indians to sign the treaty. 

The first conference was held Sept. 18, 1830. Sixty Choctaw leaders seated them- 
selves in a horseshoe on the ground. Facing them, seated on a fallen log, were 
the Government agents, John Eaton, William Coffee, and the interpreter, John 
Pitchlyn. Among the Indians a group of seven of the oldest women of the tribe 
squatted, muttering their disapproval throughout the deliberations. During the 
first day Government agents dominated the council. Only one Indian, Killahota, a 
young half-breed, addressed the gathering. He spoke in favor of the treaty, and 
the grunts and other signs of disapproval that had greeted the speeches of the 
white men swelled in volume as he spoke. At one point an old squaw, unable to 
control her indignation, rose and made a lunge at Killahota with a knife. For 
several weeks the negotiations proceeded. Every half-breed present advocated 
capitulation to the demands of the white men, and every full-blood Indian 
opposed it. The influence of Greenwood Leflore (see Tour 6) finally brought the 
Indians to accept the terms of a compromise treaty, which promised any Choctaw 
who cared to remain in the State a section of land and the protection of the Gov- 
ernment. A hundred years passed before the Government formulated plans to 
keep the white man's promise. 

At 10 m. on this dirt road is an open field in which is BIG ROCK, 1 m. off the 
highway (L), the traditional rendezvous of the Choctaw. This rock is at the foot 
of a hill which rises high above the surrounding country. Rough and cylindrical 
in shape, 10 feet in diameter and 20 feet high, it has the appearance of having 
been thrust into the ground by some giant hand. Legend is that the Indians had 
silver mines in the foothills of Noxubee and Winston Counties and that when 
they returned from work they gathered at the foot of Big Rock. Pow-wows between 
the Choctaw and neighboring tribes took place here, and once a treaty sponsored 
by Andrew Jackson to make peace between the .Choctaw and Creek tribes was 
signed at this spot in Jackson's presence. At the foot of Big Rock is a small water 
hole that never runs dry. The water is stagnant, but year in and out it remains 
at the same level. 

SHUQUALAK (Ind. hog-wallow), 163.1 m. (214 alt., 810 pop.), is 
between prairie and flatwoods. Several large lumber mills operate here. 
The cut-over timber land in the vicinity is the scene of annual field trials 
of bird dogs, an event sponsored by the National Field Trial Club and the 
Continental Field Trial Club, and held during the latter part of January. 
The National Club conducts two trials; the first a free-for-all champion- 
ship stake in which any pedigreed dog can be entered, entrance fee $75, 
purse $1,000; the second is a derby for two-year-olds, entrance fee $50, 



370 TOURS 

purse $1,000 which is split on a three-quarter one-quarter basis, $250 
going to the runner-up. The trials sponsored by the Continental Club 
differ from those of the National Club in only one important respect: a 
derby for two-year-olds is the only event run. Entrance fees and purses are 
the same. Saddle horses for following the dogs in the field are available 
at $3 a day. 

At 170.4 m. (R) is the southernmost of the Black Prairie Belt homes, 
and at 176.6 m. are the southernmost white limestone outcroppings of 
the prairie. Between here and Scooba the highway passes half-timbered 
houses typical of the hill country. 

SCOOBA, 181.1 m. (192 alt, 933 pop.), is a small farming and saw- 
milling center. Here is EAST MISSISSIPPI JUNIOR COLLEGE, a public 
coeducational school established in 1927. The buildings of modern de- 
sign are grouped on a 254-acre campus. 

Left from Scooba on a graveled road to GILES PLANTATION, 5 m., (open by 
appointment), with a big house that is one of the few ante-bellum homes left 
in this section. Jacob Giles and his wife came here from the Carolinas in 1835 
and built a typical story-and-a-half planter home. It has a guest room and ball- 
room on the second floor, and big fluted columns supporting the roof over the 
long gallery. The side walls are beautifully finished with hand-made plaster 
cornices and friezes. 

ELECTRIC MILLS, 185.1 m. (1,084 PP-) is wnat its name implies, 
an industrial village built around a large electrically-operated sawmill. 
Here are examples of the better type of grouped houses built by corpora- 
tions for their employees. In contrast with the Piney Woods mill-owned 
houses, the houses here have four and five rooms and modern con- 
veniences. 

Between Electric Mills and Lauderdale the highway passes a number of 
aged dog-trot houses perched on the hills in the woodland clearings. 

LAUDERDALE, 204.-? m. (350 alt., 270 pop.), is the home of one of 
the oldest potteries in the State. Housed in a small, modern brick build- 
ing, the work is done on an old hand-wheel pottery making vases and 
jugs from the white clays of the vicinity. The articles are in demand be- 
cause their white surfaces can be painted. 

At MARION, 216.6 m. (358 alt., 54 pop.), the old seat of Lauder- 
dale Co., an election riot occurred in 1874. Like many of the riots of the 
period, this one started with the killing of two white men by Negroes, 
and ended with a posse of white men pursuing the Negroes into the 
woods. A local anecdote has it that a totally blind Negro being led 
around by his son heard the bullets from the shooting whiz by his ears 
and immediately regained his sight. 

Right from Marion on a local road to a CONFEDERATE CEMETERY OF UN- 
KNOWN SOLDIERS, 1 m. The soldiers buried here died in a field hospital after 
they had been wounded in various battles, Shiloh, Corinth, luka, Jackson, Ray- 
mond, Vicksburg, and Bakers' Creek. 

At 218.6 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road to the U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE'S HORTI- 
CULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION, 1 m., with a hundred acres planted to 



TOUR 4 371 

pecan trees, small fruits, and vegetables. Near the station is a group of 25 sub- 
sistence homesteads. 

At 221.1 m. US 45 enters on i4th St.; L. on 26th Ave. 

MERIDIAN, 222.6 m. (341 alt., 31,954 pop.) (see MERIDIAN). 

Points of Interest. Industrial plants, Arboretum, Gypsy Queen's Grave, and others. 

Here are the junctions with US 80 (see Tour 2), US n (see Tour 8), 
and State 39 (see Side Tour 4B). 

The route continues on 26th Ave. ; R. on C St. ; L. on Grand Ave. 

South of Meridian the highway winds along a high and rugged ridge 
for four miles. At 232.6 m. (R) is a small country grist mill, and at 
235.2 m. (R) is the NEW HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH. Because several 
tornadoes have swept through this section, many of the houses on knolls 
have storm pits dug in the red clay banks around them. 

At 246.6 m. is the CLARKCO STATE PARK, a y5O-acre tract being 
developed as a part of the State park system. 

QUITMAN, 249-5 m. (231 alt., 1,872 pop.), seat of Clarke Co., had 
until the 1930*5 one of the largest pine lumber mills in the South. But, 
after the cutting of the green pine forest the mill was moved to the Pacific 
Coast, and Quitman, like other somnolent Southern towns, was left de- 
pendent upon farm trade. Before the war Quitman had traded with Enter- 
prise and the Gulf Coast by means of the Chickasawhay River, until the 
sinking of a river freighter stopped navigation. On Feb. 17, 1864, Gen- 
eral Sherman completely destroyed the ante-bellum town. 

At 254.2 m. (L) are the ARCHUSA SPRINGS of fine red sulphur 
water, on the banks of Archusa Creek. Archusa, locally accepted as mean- 
ing sweet water, is probably a corruption of two Indian words meaning 
little river. 

At 254.3 m. (L) is a CONFEDERATE CEMETERY. Disregarded for 
70 years, the cemetery was discovered when a Negro farmer plowed up a 
handful of buttons from a Confederate uniform. Now it has been cleared 
and provided with headstones and an arch. 

At 2:5,5.2 m. US 45 crosses the Chickasawhay, a large tributary of the 
Pascagoula River. 

Between the Chickasawhay and Shubuta the highway passes a number 
of log houses with mud and wattle chimneys. Nearly every house has its 
rose bush and small one-mule-power cane mill. 

At 262 .5 m. is SHUBUTA (201 alt., 720 pop.). 

Left from Shubuta on a graveled road is LANGSDALE, 8 m. (41 pop.) ; here is 
the old C. L. LANG HOME, a three-story plantation type house erected in the 
late 1850*5. It has a third floor ballroom. 

Right 3 m. from Langsdale on a country road is MATHER VILLE (100 pop.); 
here is the HORNE HOME, the ante-bellum place of Col. J. H. Home, who 
owned 800 slaves; he died in 1865. 

Between Shubuta and Waynesboro the pines increase in number. 
At 267 m. the highway recrosses the Chickasawhay River. 
WAYNESBORO, 277 J m. (191 alt., 1,120 pop.), near the dividing 
line between the hills and the Piney Woods, is a clay-stained town de- 



372 TOURS 

pending on the trade of the sheep-men, farmers, turpentine distillers, and 

sawmill hands in the country around it. 

Here are the junctions with US 84 (see Tour 11) and State 63 (see Tour 

15). 

WINCHESTER, 282.5 m. (165 alt., 359 pop.), a village centered 
around its country store, stands near the site of old Winchester, at one 
time a political center rivaling Natchez. Old Winchester was near the 
Chickasawhay River S. of the present town. In 1813, when the Creek 
Indians rose against the white men, the settlers at old Winchester hur- 
riedly built what came to be known as Patton's Fort. The ditches of the 
old stockade can still be traced. The town, incorporated in 1818, was the 
seat of Wayne Co. until the War between the States, and at one time 
contained about 30 business houses. Many prominent men were asso- 
ciated with it; Powhatan Ellis, a Virginian who said he was a relative of 
Pocahontas, was the first Judge of the Supreme Court District embracing 
the southeastern part of the State. He was described as "a man of very 
stately and courtly demeanor, of amiable temper and extremely indolent 
habits." Despite his reputation for laziness, he also served as U. S. Sena- 
tor and as Minister to Mexico. The connection between the Chickasawhay 
settlements and the Gulf Coast through the Pascagoula River system is 
well illustrated in the life of John J. McRae, another Winchester citizen. 
McRae's father, a cotton buyer, was the first to use the Pascagoula River as 
a means of transportation for cotton destined for ocean shipment at New 
Orleans. In 1825 he moved to Pascagoula at the mouth of the river be- 
cause the sea breezes were considered remediable for diseased lungs. A 
son, John J., was educated first at Pascagoula, then read law with Judge 
Pray at Pearlington. While still young, he, with a brother of President 
Tyler, was engaged to help move the Mississippi Indians to the West, 
and was the leader in agitation for the construction of the Mobile & Ohio 
R.R. He later edited a newspaper at old Paulding (see Tour 8) and in 
1850 was one of the fascinating orators with Quitman and Davis in the 
States' Rights Party, which was even then advocating secession. He was 
Governor of Mississippi, U. S. Representative until the State seceded, and 
then a member of the Confederate Congress. 

BUCATUNNA (In^collected together), 293 m. (150 alt., 385 pop.), 
is in the center of one of the earliest settled parts of the Piney Woods. Many 
of the pioneers came in on the strength of land grants from the State of 
Georgia. In 1811 the "Governor of Georgia and Commander-in-Chief of the 
Army and Navy of that state and the militia thereof," gave William Powe 
a pass to the effect that he "with his wife, eleven children, and forty-six 
Negroes from Chesterfield district, South Carolina, have my permission to 
travel through the Creek Nation, they taking special care to conduct them- 
selves peaceably toward the Indians and agreeably to the laws of the 
United States." Powe, one of the first settlers in the district, rolled his 
goods, packed in oaken hogsheads, along the ridges from the Chatta- 
hoochie River through the Creek Indian country to Bucatunna and settled 
on the creek about a mile N. of the present town. Other early settlers were 
the McRaes, McArthurs, Mclaughlins, McDaniels, McDonalds, and Me- 






TOUR 4A 373 

Laurins, the Scotch-Irish edge of the pioneer axe that was cutting a new 
center of civilization in the wilderness. At Bucatunna Gaelic was spoken 
as late as the 1820*5. 

The RAILROAD BRIDGE over Bucatunna Creek, 294.1 m. (R), was 
in the i88o's the site of the Rube Burrows' holdup of a Mobile & Ohio 
R.R. train. Just before crossing the creek the train had to make a stop to 
take on water. One day Burrows and his men quietly boarded the train 
and ordered the engineer to pull out on the trestle and stop. Since no 
one could leave unless he dived into the creek, Burrows and his men took 
their time looting. When they were through they had $12,000. The saga 
of Rube Burrows is a part of the story of all early railroad outlaws, and 
has probably been colored with repeated tellings. The legend appears in 
Carl Carmer's Stars Fell on Alabama. 

At 298.6 m. US 45 crosses the Alabama Line, 64.5 miles N. of Mobile. 



<<<<<<<<<<<< <#> >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>-> 



Side Tour 4A 



Shannon West Point Macon, 84.1 m. State 23, State 25. 
Mobile & Ohio R.R. parallels route. 
Graveled roadbed two lanes wide. 
Accommodations in towns. 

This route is a central artery through the gently rolling Black Prairie 
Belt, a dairying, and alfalfa and cotton growing country of warm black 
soil, good drainage, and long, mild seasons for cultivation. Except for the 
first few miles, where hills thinly forested with oak, gum, and elm furnish 
the landscape, the scene is typically prairie. From Okolona southward to 
Macon practically every acre of land is being used either for farming or 
dairying, and the careful economy of the country is everywhere evident. 
Unbroken stretches of furrowed fields, substantial barns, windmills, silos, 
and fat cattle cropping the grassy plains make a prairie picture that is 
more typical of Kansas than of Mississippi. 

State 23 branches S. from US 45 (see Tour 4) at SHANNON, m. 
(see Tour 4), and moves through alternating farmlands and wooded hills. 
The hills often show white patches of limestone that appear bare and 
white in the midst of trees and cultivated land. As the hills lose them- 
selves in the flat Chiwapa Creek bottoms, the trees thin out and the in- 
>ingly rich soil and the flattening landscape set the stage for the prairie 
mntry immediately S. 

At 3.3 m. the highway crosses Tallabinnela Creek. 



374 TOURS 

OKOLONA, 8.3 m. (304 alt., 2,235 pop.), wavers between the prairie 
and the hills, an old town inhabited almost entirely by natives. Originally 
called Prairie Mount and standing six miles N. on a stagecoach route, the 
town moved itself to the proposed line of the new Mobile & Ohio R.R. in 
1848, adopting the new name Okolona at that time. In 1859 the railroad 
was built through. During the War between the States the town was 
raided several times. In 1864 the hospital, depot, and 100,000 bushels of 
corn were burned; in 1865 another detachment of Union troops visited 
the town and this time burned it completely. In the CONFEDERATE 
CEMETERY on the outskirts of town are buried 1,000 soldiers killed in 
the Federal raids. The older inhabitants have forgiven and forgotten the 
fighting and burning, but they still say that it was the Commissary Depart- 
ment of the Federals that first brought the bitterweed into the prairie. If 
eaten by cows, the weed gives a bitter taste to their milk, and because the 
prairie is a dairying section this often bitter-tasting milk is a constant re- 
minder that Federal troops once fought their way across the flat landscape. 

A CHEESE FACTORY AND CREAMERY to take care of milk prod- 
ucts of the vicinity is the newest industrial plant. On the western edge of 
the city limits is an 8o-acre MUNICIPAL PARK. Here are a swimming 
pool, skeet grounds, lighted tennis courts, a well-stocked lake, and a chil- 
dren's wading pool. In the center of the park is a large convention hall, 
more often used for dancing than for conventions. 

EGYPT, 17 m. (300 alt, 150 pop.), was established just prior to the 
War between the States when the Mobile & Ohio R.R. was built through 
in 1858. It was named for the variety of corn grown here. During the war 
corn was hauled here to await shipment to the Confederate army, but be- 
fore this could be accomplished Federal troops passed through and burned it. 
The town has grown but little since that time. 

M 18.9 m. the highway crosses the northern boundary of the NATCHEZ 
TRACE FORESTRY AND FEDERAL GAME PRESERVE, which 
embraces 30,000 acres of submarginal land lying in Chickasaw and Ponto- 
toc Counties. Headquarters of this area are in Okolona. 

As the highway moves southward it penetrates the prairie's heart. This 
is wide and open country. The miles of earth rolling to meet far horizons 
make the houses, barns, and even the towns look dwarfed and squat. 
Dairy farms alternate with plowed acres of rich, black earth. Here the an- 
cestors of the older families built a culture that equaled that of the 
Natchez district. But the younger families, those who have moved in after 
the War between the States, have felt not so much the pull of the land as the 
energy of a people who emerged apparently metamorphosed by the war. 
A few have proved themselves such exponents of change that they are 
willing to break with the land entirely and turn to industry, making the 
modern prairie Mississippi's laboratory for the New South. 

At 32.7 m. is the junction with State 25 ; State 23 and State 25 unite for 
several miles. 

WEST POINT, 41 m. (241 alt., 4,677 pop.), a roomy, prosperous 
town fed by the farms and dairies of the surrounding flat lands, epitomizes 
the prairie. Significantly, it developed on a section of land known as the 



TOUR 4A 375 

Granary of Dixie, which two Indian braves, Te-wa-ea and Ish-tim-ma-ha, 
sold to James Robertson in 1844. Though a battleground during the War 
between the States, the town, that once had moved itself from the extreme 
corner of the county to be on the new railroad, was considered so attrac- 
tive by a number of Federal officers that they came back after the war and 
settled here permanently. In reconstruction days the town was the leader 
in Clay County's Ku Klux Klan activities, but immediately after white 
domination was restored, the people here opened one of the few private 
schools for Negroes. The school, MARY HOLMES SEMINARY, a fully- 
accredited junior college supported by the Presbyterian Church, is still a 
flourishing institution. On a large, shaded campus, the brick, one-story 
laundry, Music Hall, and Domestic Science Hall are grouped around the 
three- story red brick administration building which contains 112 rooms. 

There are eight factories besides cottonseed oil mills, gins, and lumber 
companies in West Point. The WEST POINT POULTRY AND PACK- 
ING PLANT is the largest in the mid-South. 

Between West Point and Artesia the highway passes between fields 
of waving alfalfa hay to descend into the marshy bottoms of Tibbee Creek. 
Here Tibbee often spills over its ill-defined banks to cover miles of sur- 
rounding flat lands, affording excellent fishing and hunting. 

At 43.5 m.isz large stone that marks the SITE OF AN OLD INDIAN 
CAMP GROUND. Across the highway at diagonal angles N. and S. 
are two other markers on INDIAN BURIAL GROUNDS. The northern 
marker is backed by a large tree-studded burial mound of the Chicka- 
saw; the southern sign marks the site of a Choctaw mound. Legend says 
that the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes once fought a great battle at this 
spot and that after the battle each buried its dead in a separate mound. 
In 1934 Moreau B. Chambers, Field Archaeologist for the Mississippi 
Department of Archives and History, uncovered several burials in the 
Chickasaw mound. The markers were placed by the Horseshoe Robertson 
Chapter, D. A. R. 

At 46 .1 m. the highway crosses TIBBEE (Ind., water fight) CREEK 
on a steel and concrete bridge. Tibbee was named for the battle in which 
the Choctaw and Chickasaw annihilated the main part of the Chakchiuma 
tribe. The battle site is fixed by legend at Lyon's Bluff approximately five 
miles upstream from this bridge. 

Rising almost imperceptibly from the creek bottom, the highway passes 
into country of peaceful pasture lands, where cattle and sheep graze in 
waist-high clover and alfalfa. 

At 46 m. State 23 branches from State 25 ; L. here on the latter. 

MAYHEW, 52.8 m. (207 alt., 172 pop.), is a small agricultural village 
that took its name from the mission established by the Rev. Cyrus Kings- 
bury of Massachusetts, who came here in 1818 to Christianize the Indians. 
The village is today the home of a very large APIARY containing 5,000 
colonies of bees from which shipments are made to many places in 
America and Europe. 

ARTESIA, 55 m. (223 alt., 612 pop.), is the junction point of the 
main line of the Mobile & Ohio R.R. and its Columbus and Starkville 




It 



TAKING THE QUEEN BEE 






branches. It takes its name from an artesian well N. of the depot. Unus- 
ually large quantities of hay are shipped from this point. 

Between here and Macon the dominant features of the landscape are the 
HEDGES OF OS AGE ORANGE TREES planted in fence-like rows along 
the prairie's edge. The highway runs like a narrow lane between their 
thorny, tangled branches. In winter these prickly trees are etched grayly 
against the sky, but in summer they burst into smooth green leaves and 
pale yellowish blossoms, which are replaced by orange-like inedible fruit. 
Many of these hedges were planted more than a century ago and con- 
stitute the pioneer planters' mark upon the land. They confined stock and 
kept prying Indians out of cornfields, and they conveyed to neighbors the 
idea that the land encircled by the thorny fences was private property. 
Sometimes called boh d' arc (Fr., wood of the ark), these trees, ac- 
cording to legend, furnished the sturdy wood out of which Noah built 
the ark. When lumber is cut from the trees, the tough wood often breaks 
the teeth of the saw. 

At 74.9 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 



Right on this road 0.5 m. is BROOKSVILLE (269 alt., 875 pop.), a quiet old 
prairie town of old-fashioned homes softened by an even spread of shade. 

Southward from here the houses, cattle, barns, fields, and pastures are 






TOUR 46 377 

typical of the prairie country. In winter the landscape reveals the bare 
black soil; in summer and spring the land shows a soft, pastoral char- 
acter, with orchards of peach and apple trees in bloom, fields of alfalfa, 
and grassy meadows that stretch across low-rolling hills to meet the sky. 
At 84.1 m. is MACON (114 alt, 2,198 pop.) (see Tour 4), and the 
junction with US 45 (see Tour 4). 



yyyyyyy M VVyVVVV 



Side Tour 46 



Shuqualak Meridian, 54.2 m. State 39. 
Graveled highway two lanes wide. 
Accommodations chiefly in cities. 

State 39 between Shuqualak and Meridian is a less traveled but more 
scenic route than US 45. Climbing abruptly out of the flat, fertile Black 
Prairie, State 39 rides the backbone of a series of ridges that extend 
southward. The fresh greenness of the pines, which have found foothold 
in every ravine and on every hillside, and the intense redness of the 
sandy clay soil make for a landscape of extravagant color. This is a 
country of small patches of cotton and corn, of peach and pear orchards, 
and here and there a noisy sawmill. 

At SHUQUALAK, m. (214 alt., 810 pop.) (see Tour 4), is the 
junction with US 45 (see Tour 4). 

Southward from Shuqualak, State 39 for a few miles passes through 
the Prairie Belt with its characteristic black loam extending into country 
that is still apparently prosperous. In the rolling meadows are painted 
farmhouses with solid barns and herds of cattle, and near the barns the 
air has a pleasant smell of cattle and fodder. But at .5 J m. is a low flat 
of cut-over land, part of the cutting of a large lumber company, that 
marks the northern end of the highway's climb into the red clay hills. 
Passing through a primitive, heavily forested country it follows the humps 
of ridges for an excellent view of the countryside. The State has few 
sections where the pines have been so little touched or where the land- 
scape retains such pristine freshness. There are no villages of any size, 
only an occasional sawmill settlement. Ancient split rail fences enclose 
the poor-looking farm patches, and the farmhouses built of dressed logs 
and flanked at each end with mud chimneys are good examples of early 
dog-trot structures. 

North of De Kalb the soil takes a redness so lurid that it might have 
given rise to the county's sobriquet, Bloody Kemper. 



378 TOURS 

DE KALB, 20 m. (888 pop.), seat of Kemper Co., is responsible for 
the nickname. After the War between the States this formerly quiescent 
Southern town became the scene of one of the bloodiest of the Recon- 
struction massacres. Over a period of years from 1868 to 1876 certain 
elements of the county, under the carpetbag judge, William Chisholm, 
and the Ku Klux Klan of Kemper, waged a bitter contest for supremacy. 
Shooting was done from ambush, resulting in the deaths of members 
of both factions and making travel through the country unsafe. 

In 1876 John Gully, a member of the Klan, was shot and killed as he 
rode horseback across the county one night. Judge Chisholm was accused 
of the murder and was held in the De Kalb jail, his wife, daughter, 
and two sons insisting on being locked in with him. In late December 
1876 at thisjail the Chisholm Massacre took place; a mob, with the cry, 
"Fire the jail," entered to take Chisholm. The judge seized a gun and pre- 
pared to escape with his daughter and son Johnnie. The three were shot 
and killed as they appeared before the crowd at the top of the steps. 

De Kalb, named for the German baron who came to America in 
1776 to assist in the fight for independence, is on the site of the old 
Choctaw village Holihtasha (Ind., the fort is there), and is often called 
by that name by Indians of the vicinity. 

Two blocks off State 39 (L) is the WILLIAM CHISHOLM HOME 
(private), a simple white frame cottage that is a constant reminder of the 
turbulent past of the county. 

South of De Kalb the country drops off sheerly on each side of the 
highway, the pines thin out, and yawning gullies appear. 

KIPLING, 27 m. (30 pop.), was named for the English writer by 
an early settler of the 1890*5 when a feverish admiration for Kipling's 
books was sweeping the country. 

DALEVILLE, 34 m. (118 pop.), is a small agricultural village that 
swallowed up the population of old Daleville. 

At 35.2 m. is a BRANCH STATION OF THE U. S. SOIL CON- 
SERVATION PROJECT, engaged in restoring eroded land, a work which 
is largely due to the efforts of Congressman Ross Collins. 

LIZELIA, 37 m. (20 pop.), was formerly known as Daleville and, 
except for one or two solidly built white frame houses, every remnant 
of the old settlement founded by Mississippi's picturesque general, Sam 
Dale, has vanished. Dale, the tales of whose daring have become legendary, 
is described as having been of giant-like stature, standing six feet three 
inches, and as having a hawk-shaped face and piercing black eyes. Born 
in Rockridge, Va., in 1772, he migrated with his family to Georgia when 
a lad of twelve. Here he associated with the Indians and learned Indian 
lore and warfare. 

In 1799 Dale began trading with the Creek and Choctaw tribes and 
soon established a wagon line, which he used for transporting families 
of emigrants from Virginia and the Carolinas through Georgia into 
Alabama and Mississippi. During the War of 1812 the "Canoe Fight" 
occurred. Dale, traveling by canoe on the Alabama River, met a party of 
Creek Indians paddling downstream. In the ensuing fight on the river, 



TOUR 5 379 

Dale killed n of the Indians. Two years later the most notable achieve- 
ment of his career was accomplished. Carrying dispatches to Gen. Andrew 
Jackson from the Creek Agency in Georgia to Madisonville, La., he rode 
the distance on horseback in seven and a half days. Upon his arrival Jack- 
son sent him back with replies to the Agency, though neither Dale nor 
his horse Paddy had an hour's rest. In 1831 Dale was commissioned by 
the Secretary of War to remove the Choctaw Indians to Indian terri- 
tory in the West. In later life Dale purchased from the Choctaw Chief, 
locha-hope, two sections of land on the present site of Lizelia, and 
there made his home. Before his death in 1841 he represented Lauderdale 
Co. in the State House of Representatives for several terms. 

Right from Lizelia on a graveled road to the GRAVE OF SAM DALE, 2 m., in 
the old Cochrane Cemetery. For many years the grave of "Big Sam" was neglected, 
but recently the Government has marked it with a plain marble slab. It is said 
that the Choctaw chief, Greenwood Leflore, stood over this grave during his com- 
rade's burial, and, when the last spade of earth had been turned, said: "Big 
Chief, you sleep here, but your spirit is a brave and a chieftain in the hunting 
grounds of the sky." 

Between this point and Meridian the slopes of the hills are dotted 
with peach and pecan orchards, a few dairy farms, red barns, and white- 
washed trees giving color to the landscape. 

At 49.7 m. are the stone entrance gates of the MERIDIAN COUNTRY 
CLUB. 

At 51 m. State 59 follows Poplar Springs Drive which becomes 24th 
Ave., to the Civic Center. 

MERIDIAN, 54.2 m. (341 alt., 31,954 pop.) (see MERIDIAN). 

Points of Interest. Industrial plants, Gypsy Queen's Grave, Arboretum, and others. 

Here are the junctions with US 45 (see Tour 4), US n (see Tour 8), 
and US 80 (see Tour 2). 



Tour 5 



(Memphis, Tenn.) Grenada Jackson Brookhaven McComb (New Orleans, 

La.). US 51. 

Tennessee Line to Louisiana Line, 307.2 m. 

Illinois Central R.R. parallels route throughout. 

Route paved throughout, two lanes wide. 
Accommodations in cities. 



380 TOURS 

Sec. a TENNESSEE LINE to JACKSON, 208.3 m. 

Cutting down the middle of the State between the Tennessee Line 
and Jackson, US 51 traverses a country with a fairly old, prosperous, 
and advanced culture. That in the bluff hills between Memphis and 
Jackson was not dissimilar to that of Natchez, and, though not scenically 
or historically as rich as US 61, the route is rilled with points of more 
than local interest. 

Crossing the Mississippi Line, m., 16 m. S. of Memphis US 51 
follows the approximate route of the old, planked, stagecoach road. 

BULLFROG CORNER, 2.4 m., is a crossroads store so named because 
it was built at a hole in the road where strangers said only a bullfrog 
could live. 

Left from Bullfrog Corner on a graveled road to the main office of GAYOSO 
FARMS, 1 m., a stock ranch having one of the largest herds of Guernsey cattle 
and droves of Hampshire hogs in the South. 

At 8.2 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road at 0.2 m. (R) to the WINNINGHAM PLACE (private), a 
square, three-story, frame house that was formerly an inn on the stagecoach road 
to Memphis. Here Jefferson Davis, Generals Grant and Forrest, and other 
notables stopped in their travels on the old plank road. Built in 1837, it is in 
an excellent state of preservation. 

HERNANDO, 12.3 m. (390 alt., 938 pop.), was named for the Span- 
ish explorer, Hernando De Soto. The mark of a former importance is 
left in the formidable towers of the DE SOTO CO. COURTHOUSE, 
which is perhaps the most interesting public building in northern Missis- 
sippi. In its records are numerous transfers of land from the Indian chief 
Musacunna to the earliest white settlers. Hernando was incorporated in 
1837 and its academy, opened the same year, was the first established in 
the Chickasaw land cession. At the home of Confederate Col. T. W. 
White, both Confederate and Federal prisoners were exchanged during 
the war. This house, completed in 1860, is now known as the MILDRED 
FARRINGTON HOME. Hernando's best-known citizen, Felix La Bauve, 
was born in France in 1809 and came to northern Mississippi in 1835. 
He served as a colonel in the war, grew wealthy as a cotton planter, and 
is remembered in the La Bauve Fellowship at the University of Missis- 
sippi. He is buried in the Hernando Cemetery. 

SENATOBIA, 26.8 m. (284 alt., 1,264 pop.), is a refreshingly clean 
town built near Senatahoba (Ind., white sycamore) Creek. The low 
hill S. of Hickahala Creek and N. of the town was evidently an Indian 
camp on the trail W. from Pontotoc toward the Mississippi River, and 
it is thought that De Soto traveled it on his westward march in 1541. 
Indian mounds can be traced under the cotton loading platform of the 
Illinois Central R. R. depot. The Illinois Central (then the Tennessee & 
Mississippi) was built in 1856 and gave the impetus for founding the 
town. Charles Meriwether, an influential planter and slave owner, named 
the new station Senatobia, a slight deviation from the Indian name for 
the creek. The town grew swiftly, but was burned by Federal troops 
after a skirmish near what is now the campus of the NORTHWEST 



TOUR 5 381 

JUNIOR COLLEGE. The brick-constructed two-story RANDOLPH 
ROW ELL HOME, of the Southern Colonial type, one of the few ante- 
bellum homes escaping the ravages of war, was the nucleus around which 
the junior college was built in 1926. Senatobia was first incorporated 
in 1860 in De Soto County, then became the seat of Tate Co. in 1873. 
The courthouse, built in 1875 of locally manufactured brick, is still in use. 

Left from Senatobia on a graveled road to (1937) a UNIT OF THE U. S. 
SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE, 0.8 m. 

At 29.8 m. (R) the terracing on the hillside is evidence of an early 
attempt at erosion control in these easily washed bluff hills. 

At 30.7 m. is the junction with a private lane. 

Left on this lane to McGEHEE'S GATE, 1.1 m. (private), the ante-bellum 
home described by Stark Young, Mississippi author, in his Heaven Trees and 
River House. It is a white, two-story Greek Revival style house, with a square- 
columned portico. The delicate hand -wrought iron balcony over the front en- 
trance, and the walks bordered by aged boxwood under the shade of great 
magnolias give it a typically Southern appearance. It faces away from the high- 
way and toward the sloping valley of Senatahoba Creek, and from the highway 
approach it seems to be a farmhouse. The fanlights in the doorway are opalescent 
with age and, though the house still shows dully white through the burnished 
green of the magnolias, it has never been repainted. Col. Abner McGehee, the 
builder, was one of the largest land and slave owners in northern Mississippi. 
Treasures of a cultured family are housed in rooms whose size is reminiscent of 
another age. A rosewood piano inlaid with mother-of-pearl, a gift of Colonel 
McGehee to his bride in 1857, is the central piece of a collection of heirlooms 
which includes Sevres vases, tester beds with posts carved in spiral whorls, and 
a rosewood dressing table with legs bent in the shape of a lyre. An unusual 
piece is a bathing machine, a shower and tub arrangement through which a slave 
poured water. The present owner of the house is Miss Caroline McGehee, a 
cousin of Stark Young. 

COMO, 344 m. (367 alt., 851 pop.), established in 1856 when the 
railroad came through and named for Lake Como in Italy, was like 
other Mississippi plantation towns, wealthy just prior to the War be- 
tween the States. The land upon which Como was built was formerly a 
part of the plantation of Dr. George Tait, one of the characters in 
Heaven Trees. 

Right from Como on a graveled road at 1.1 m. (R) to WALLACE PARK 
(private), a square two-story house half hidden in a wandering grove of crape- 
myrtle, magnolia, and native cedar trees. This home was built in 1856 for Col. 
Thomas Wallace by the old stagecoach road. Wortz and Mayer, respectively 
from Indiana and Maine, were the architects, adding incongruous columns onto 
the New England type house; the plain substantial mass is entirely separate from 
its portico. The inside dimensions are more Southern, each room being a generous 
20-foot square. In one of the big upstairs rooms, Gen. N. B. Forrest stayed two 
weeks during that trying period just before Grant took Memphis. 

Between Como and Sardis the highway traverses a rolling, prairie- like 
section that is excellent dairy country. 

SARDIS, 39.6 m. (384 alt., 1,298 pop.), established on the Illinois 
Central R.R. in 1856, took over the population of old Belmont, a river 
landing on the Tallahatchie River some five miles SE. The W . D. 
HEFLIN HOME (private) is Sardis' ante-bellum showplace. Sardis is 



382 TOURS 

now (1938) headquarters for the SARDIS DAM AND RESERVOIR, 
a Government project designed to control flood waters in the Tallahatchie 
River basin. The earth dam, to be erected five and a half miles SE. of 
Sardis, will be unusually large. The reservoir will cover approximately 
100,000 acres and will give protection from overflows to nearly 800,000 
acres in the Tallahatchie basin and in the Delta. The dam itself in places 
will be a quarter of a mile thick at the base. The road to be constructed 
from Sardis to the dam site will pass through old Belmont and near 
the old DR. GEORGE W. LAIRD HOME, built about 1846 and re- 
putedly a rendezvous for Ku Klux Klan leaders during the Reconstruc- 
tion Period. The first postmaster of Sardis gave the town the name of 
one of the churches mentioned in the Bible. 

At 46 m. US 51 crosses the Tallahatchie (Ind., rock river) River. 

At 49-3 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road is BATESVILLE, 1.4 m. (346 alt., 1,062 pop.) sitting on 
the arm of the Delta made by the Tallahatchie River. A typical country trade 
center, Batesville took over Panola's population when the railroad was put 
through in 1856. Here is the junction with State 6 (see Tour 14). 

Right from Batesville on a graveled road 1 m. to the SITE OF OLD PANOLA, 
marked by the old brick courthouse that has been remodeled into a residence. 
Panola was the rival town of Belmont, both of them important landings on the 
Tallahatchie River. Panola was incorporated in 1839, became a flourishing cot- 
ton shipping port in the 1840*5, and struck a body blow at its rival, Belmont, 
by winning a long struggle for the county seat in 1846 through bribery, Bel- 
mont charged. When the Mississippi & Tennessee R.R. (Illinois Central) 
skirted Panola, many of the frame houses were put on rollers and moved to the 
new town of Batesville. The courthouse, its flaming red brick walls immovable, 
was left at the wharf. The rivalry that formerly existed between Panola and 
Belmont, however, is carried over into the friendly competition between Bates- 
ville and Sardis, both of them being seats of Panola Co., though but eight miles 
apart. 

At .53.8 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road is COURTLAND, 0.6 m. (263 alt., 230 pop.), incorporated 
in 1871, which took its name by popular vote from the fact that an unusually 
large number of the settlers were married the year it was founded. The first 
settler was Dr. George Randolph whose ante-bellum home is standing. 

Right from Courtland on a graveled road 7 m. to TOCOWA SPRINGS in woods 
of sugar maple, beech, and gum trees, where the hills meet the Delta. Above 
the springs, the bluffs rise from 80 to 100 feet. The springs are on the old 
Chickasaw-Choctaw boundary line and, having always been considered neutral 
grounds, were the meeting place for all Indians. The name is a combination of 
two Indian words, the Chickasaw ptoco, meaning healing, and the Choctaw 
wawa, meaning water. It was here at the healing waters that the Indians as- 
sembled after the cession of their lands in 1832, preparing for their trek west- 
ward beyond the Mississippi River. In the 1890*5 Tocowa Springs was a famous 
health resort; the old hotel still stands. The lines of trees planted as markers on 
the Chickasaw-Choctaw boundary line have grown to giant size. 

At 63.1 m. US 51 crosses the Yocona River to cut through hills beau- 
tifully laid out with farm patches, pastures, and wood lots separating 
substantially built, prosperous farmhouses. 

At 83.2 m. the highway leaves the hills to cut across black flat land 
that is a finger of the Delta extended eastward by the Yalobusha River. 



TOUR 5 383 

At 89.9 m. it rides a levee through swampland that is typical of what 
the Delta was before artificial drainage systems developed it into the 
South's best cotton fields. 

At 92 .1 m. US 51 crosses the Yalobusha (Ind., tadpole place) River. 

GRENADA, 92.5 m. (193 alt., 4,349 pop.), is on the eastern edge 
of the Mississippi Delta and, though somewhat mellowed by great age, 
has the cotton-consciousness, the wealth, and the character of a Delta city. 
Cotton marketing and processing and lumbering are the leading industries. 

The city embraces the two old towns of Pittsburg and Tulahoma, estab- 
lished on adjoining land grants by two rival speculating companies headed 
by Franklin Plummer and Hiram Runnels, Mississippi political game- 
cocks in the 1830'$ (see Tour 13). Plummer's town, Pittsburg, was the 
western grant and was separated from Runnels' Tulahoma only by a 
line. The personal and political antagonism between Congressman Plum- 
mer and Governor Runnels kept the towns at white heat, and in the 
campaign of 1835 the excitement was so intense that bloodshed was 
narrowly averted. Tulahoma was the slightly larger town, having seven 
or eight grogshops (then called groceries) in addition to its seven or 
eight houses. Pittsburg had the part-time post office and, until the editor 
settled some of his personal debts by moving across the line and switch- 
ing his politics, the only newspaper, The Bowie Knife. 

By 1836 the towns had grown weary of quarreling, and in sudden 
penitence agreed to make up. It was decided to unite a couple in mar- 
riage as a symbol of the new friendship. Pittsburg furnished the groom; 
Tulahoma the bride; and a Methodist preacher joined the two in matri- 
mony in July 1836. Both of the old names were dropped and a new 
one, Grenada, adopted. Line Street marks the division between old 
Pittsburg and Tulahoma. However, the troubles between the two were 
not definitely ended with the ceremony, Pittsburgers and Tulahomans 
finding it difficult to keep from backsliding until the common adversity 
of fire and the war created a civic unity. In the fall of 1862 Confederate 
General Pemberton made Grenada his headquarters while opposing Gen- 
eral Grant in the second campaign against Vicksburg. Much more 
disastrous than the war, however, was the yellow fever epidemic of 
1878, when out of a population of 2,500 there were 1,040 reported cases 
and 326 dead. In 1913 the city was a pioneer in the State in paving, 
covering its square with wooden blocks that are still in service. In 1917 
it furnished Mississippi's first military company for the World War. 

At Grenada is radio station WGRM, a loo-watt station operating 
on a frequency of 1210 kilocycles. 

GRENADA COLLEGE, a Methodist junior college for girls, sits in 
a grove of oak trees and is centered about a red brick two-story building 
whose age shows in the mellow coloring of the brick. Behind and to the 
side are smaller brick buildings of more modern construction. The school 
was opened in 1851 as the Yalobusha Baptist Female Institute; the 
Methodist Church obtained control in 1882. The 1937 enrollment was 
150. The IDA CAMPBELL HOME (open by appointment), on Cuff's 
Hill, said to be the oldest residence in the town, was at one time the 



384 TOURS 

home of the Presbyterian Mission for the Indians. Hunly, the builder, 
was a clerk in the United States land office. Almost as old as the Camp- 
bell place is the ESTELL ROLL1N HOME (open by appointment), 
422 Doak St. Built in the i83o's of hand-hewn logs, the house is now 
covered with weatherboarding. The JOHN NASON HOME (open by 
appointment), 410 College St., is said to have been used as a girls' 
school in the old town of Pittsburg. The BRUCE NEWSOME HOME 
(open by appointment), 217 Margin St., is a two-story Southern Colonial 
type house with a great white-columned portico. Designed by John 
Moore, it is said to be the first house in Grenada planned by an archi- 
tect. Here Confederate Gen. Sterling Price had his headquarters when 
Pres. Jefferson Davis reviewed the brigade under his command. It is 
said that the great pillars of the house were brought from England to 
New Orleans and thence up the Mississippi, Yazoo, and Yalobusha Rivers 
to Grenada. The GOLLIDAY LAKE HOME, 605 Margin St., was 
Davis' headquarters. The IKE COHEN HOME, 204 Cherry St., was 
constructed of material taken from a steamboat stranded by low water 
on the Yalobusha River in 1842. The WALT HALL HOME, on College 
Blvd., opposite Grenada College, is post-bellum but modeled after the 
Walthall home in Holly Springs. It was here that Edward Cary Walthall 
(1831-98), the embodiment of the ideal of Mississippi chivalry, lived 
when he moved to Grenada in 1871. Walthall, with Forrest and Gordon, 
was one of Mississippi's greatest volunteer leaders in the War between 
the States. He entered as lieutenant in the i5th Mississippi Regiment; 
was elected lieutenant-colonel of that regiment; in the spring of 1862 he 
was elected colonel of the 29th Mississippi; in December was promoted 
to brigadier-general, and in June 1864, was made major general. He 
was once appointed and three times elected to the United States Senate. 
He died in Washington, D. C, April 21, 1898, and is buried in Holly 
Springs Cemetery, at Holly Springs, Mississippi. 

At 96 m. (L) is TIE PLANT (60 pop.), a mill community cen- 
tered around the million-dollar creosoting plant in operation for 30 years. 

GLENWILD, 97.5 m. (L), is the plantation of John Borden, wealthy 
Chicago sportsman. The original dwelling, on the brow of a hill over- 
looking an immense acreage, was a log house raised in 1839 ky Col. 
A. M. Payne, an influential pioneer. Unusual for a log house, it had a 
cellar; 20 years later when Colonel Payne enlarged and weatherboarded 
it to nearly its present size, the house adapted itself easily to its greater 
prosperity. Six of the huge square two-story columns were raised in front 
to carry the roof out over a part of the wide lawn, to make a setting 
somewhat similar to Mount Vernon. With the additions made, the Paynes 
used the plantation as their summer refuge from yellow fever in New 
Orleans. 

Just prior to the war, Colonel Payne succeeded in bringing the railroad 
through Grenada past his home and was rewarded by having the first 
locomotive dubbed the "A. M. Payne." But like many planters ruined 
by the war, he was forced to sell Glenwild in 1866. The contract for 






TOUR 5 385 

sale gives an idea of what the large Southern plantation included. The 
purchase price was $40,000 plus $25,000 for the stock and equipment. 
The plantation embraced 4,500 acres, 2,300 of which were in cultiva- 
tion. With the real estate went 500 hogs, 200 head of cattle, 300 sheep, 
9,000 bushels of corn, 30,000 pounds of meat, 15,000 pounds of cotton- 
seed, and 4,000 bushels of Irish and sweet potatoes, all produced on 
the place in that year. In addition to the great house the deed of sale 
also listed: "Meat House, Smoke House, Blacksmith Shop and Tools, 
Carpenter's Shop and Tools, Good Grist Mill, Hospital, Overseer's House, 
25 Negro Houses, Three Corn Houses, Ice House, Stable for Sixty 
Mules, New and Complete Cattle Stable, Carriage House, Horse Stable, 
Two Cotton Gins and Gin House, Four Hen Houses, Large Fruit Orchard 
Bearing Apples, Pears, Peaches, and Figs without limit." Colonel Payne 
urged the buyer to "take the place altogether, it is in better condition 
better stocked than any plantation in the Confederacy." It was bought 
in 1920 by John Borden and greatly improved. Capacious almost ex- 
travagant barns and silos have been set up, and the great house made 
even greater. Its log facade now has ten widely-spaced columns which 
continue from the east front around to the original section of the south 
wing. To the N. another wing completes the plan of a rectangle to 
afford a delightful inner court. The present ensemble is in keeping with 
the original section. 

ELLIOTT, 100.4 m. (235 alt., 128 pop.), established in 1818 as the 
result of a petition made by David Folsom, Choctaw Chieftain, was the 
first mission among the Choctaw Indians. The school was named for 
John Eliot of Massachusetts, the "Apostle to the Indians." John Smith 
of the same State was one of Eliot's disciples and the first teacher at the 
schools. In its time the mission was one of the most important in the 
Southwest. 

DUCK HILL, 105.1 m. (251 alt., 553 pop.), is named for the large 
green hill rising from a plain immediately E. of the town. This hill was 
where "Duck," a Choctaw Chief, held his war councils; and it was 
near this hill that Rube Burrows, notorious bandit (see Tour 4) killed 
the engineer and robbed the express car on the fast Illinois Central 
Express. In 1937 a double lynching occurred nearby that was given signif- 
icant publicity owing to the fact that the Gavagan Anti-Lynching Bill was 
under consideration in the National Congress. 

WINONA, 116.8 m. (386 alt., 2,607 PP-) ( see Tour 6 )> is at 
the junction with US 82 (see Tour 6). 

VAIDEN, 128.1 m. (325 alt., 648 pop.), is one link in a chain 
of small, comfortably prosperous towns, held together by a common 
dependence on the cotton crops of outlying farms. It is a static village 
whose population and character have changed but little in the 100 years 
of its existence. A street of one-story frame stores spreads along the rail- 
road track (R) and homes of old-fashioned rambling architecture in 
the clumps of trees beyond are outward signs of the easeful life that 
the fertile surrounding cotton fields sustain. Ginning season sets a more 



386 TOURS 

lively tempo for the town, but after the last bale is marketed Vaiden 
settles down again into a placid, relaxed existence. Here is the junction 
with State 35 (see Tour 16). 

Right from Vaiden on a graveled road to the SITE OF OLD SHONGALO, 
1 m., the town taken over by Vaiden when the railroad was put through. 
Shongalo was settled by cultured people who established the old Shongalo 
Academy. 

WEST, 137.9 m. (290 alt., 370 pop.), was one of the towns raided 
by Grierson in 1863. The depot was burned, but Confederate soldiers 
drove off the raiders before any dwellings could be looted. 

DURANT, 148.4 m. (265 alt., 2,510 pop.), is a prosperous farm- 
ing town in the rich second bottoms of the Big Black River. Founded 
in 1858 after the Illinois Central R.R. came through, it was named 
for Louis Durant, a Choctaw Chief who got his own name from the 
early French explorers along the Mississippi watercourses. In 1937 the 
town issued bonds for $25,000 for the erection of a FACTORY, the 
mill being leased by the Real Silk Co. The Durant mill was the first in 
the State to be established under the Industrial Act of 1936 (see AN 
OUTLINE OF FOUR CENTURIES). 

Right from Durant on the lower Lexington Road 3.1 m. to CASTALIAN 
SPRINGS (R), a watering place known for its natural beauty. The cures here 
are due as much to the rest as to the waters; there is a rambling hotel. The 
springs were used first by the Indians, and at one time a school for girls was 
here, the school being converted during the War between the States into a 
hospital. A number of Confederate dead are buried in a plot some distance from 
the springs. 

At 15 1.1 m. is the junction with a graveled ridge road. 

Right on this road to the HOLMES COUNTY STATE PARK, 3 m. (L), a 
tract of 419 acres of shortleaf pine now in process of development. This park 
will have a lake with facilities for swimming, boating, and fishing; a lodge, 
overnight cabins, bridle paths; picnic and camping grounds. 

GOODMAN, 155.6 m. (608 pop.), has the general aspect of central 
Mississippi towns; one long street is lined with single-story brick stores, 
and another street has attractive modern homes. Goodman's life is con- 
nected with the HOLMES COUNTY JUNIOR COLLEGE, established 
in 1925 as an addition to the Agricultural High School. The college, 
having seven modern brick buildings, operates an adjacent 4O-acre farm 
with student labor. On the hill between the college and the highway is 
a single GRAVE, protected by a strong iron railing and marked by a 
monument with the inscription, "Here lies buried an old bachelor." 
The grave's occupant was a pioneer who was shot by robbers; at his 
dying request the monument with its singular inscription was erected 
to his memory. 

At 160.8 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road 5.9 m. to the LITTLE RED SCHOOL (L), marking the 
town of old Richland. The school is a two-story brick building, with its struc- 
tural material so deteriorated that it has become necessary to brace the building 
with iron rods extending its width and fastened to the outside walls with huge 
iron washers. In this small building, now used as a schoolhouse, the idea 




THE COUNTY AGENT VISITS 



t t u C Order of the Eastern Star was conceived, and in it the greater part 
the Eastern Star Ritual was written. Here in the 1 840*5 the Masons of 
Lexington and Richland established a school of higher learning to keep their 
sons nearer home. The first teacher they obtained was Robert Morris, who con- 
ducted his classes in this building in 1849 and 1850. Morris was a beloved and 



388 TOURS 

honored Master Mason of Oxford, Miss. While teaching at Richland he worked 
out the plan of an organization for female relatives of Masons that became the 
Order of Eastern Star. 

PICKENS, 162.4 m. (234 alt., 635 pop.), in the days of keelboats 
and barges was a river landing on the Big Black River. The present 
name was not adopted, however, until the railroad was built through in 
1858. The JOSIE BURTON HOME (private) is the handsomest of 
the remaining ante-bellum homes. 

At 162.9 m. is the main bridge across the Big Black River. 

At 773.J5 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road to the retreat of ALLISON'S WELLS, 1.2 m. (R), a low 
rambling frame building of many gables and continuous well-screened porches, 
a popular watering place. A State-wide bridge tournament is held here annually 
in June. The mineral waters at the wells are supplemented with hot sulphur 
baths and were celebrated before the War between the States for their supposed 
efficacy in preventing yellow fever. 

CANTON, 183.3 m. (224 alt., 4,725 pop.), the seat of Madison Co., 
was incorporated in 1836. Built on the low divide halfway between 
Big Black River and Pearl River, it achieved a character that was neither 
the Old South of the Big Black Valley nor the Piney Woods of the 
Pearl River Valley, and is dotted with homes distinguished by their 
variety of plan and appearance. The COURTHOUSE, raised in 1852, 
and the SQUARE come closest to fitting the groove of other Mississippi 
county seats. Its Georgian design is well suited to the ideals of those 
early settlers from Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia who obtained 
Canton's charter of incorporation. The old JAIL stands on a back alley 
off Center St. near the square. 

Travel on the Natchez Trace and cotton culture gave Canton the 
wealth that was to express itself in the homes. The finest of those 
left standing is the IF. /. MOSBY HOME (private), Center St., two 
blocks E. of the courthouse. Surrounded by formally landscaped grounds 
this imposing, square, red brick structure is designed with a massive 
two-story Corinthian portico and with two wings in the rear which 
enclose a courtyard. The roof is topped with a cubical observatory. In 
addition to the slave quarters in the basement, there are 15 large rooms, 
most of which have a natural grace that has not changed since the house 
was built in 1856 by Col. William Lyons. 

Colonel Lyons, a pleasant but imperious landholder, left the task of 
building with an architect who, prior to one of the colonel's European 
excursions, implored his attention about a certain matter but was frus- 
trated by the colonel's pleasantries. When the colonel returned, the 
greater part of the house was finished, but as he climbed the curved 
staircase he was amazed to find he could go no farther than the second 
floor the architect had tried to tell him there was no stairway to the 
observatory. Subsequently the shaft was raised directly in the upper 
hall and a lovely winding stair extended to the roof. The upper floor 
of the home was used by General Sherman, the lower by his mules, 
during a temporary Federal occupation of Canton. When Colonel Lyons 
fell on evil days after the war, he went to his good friend, Mosby, the 






TOUR 5 389 

father of the present owner, expressing the wish to sell to him rather 
than to a less appreciative owner. 

Next to the Mosby house is the MARIE RUCKER HOME (private). 
The plan of the present two-story plantation house is a notable departure 
from its original Georgian Colonial H-shaped plan. Built in 1822 by 
Col. D. M. Fulton, a pioneer settler, a porch on three sides and a tower 
for scanning the cotton fields have been added, giving it an unusual 
appearance. The structure is painted red with a cream trim. This color 
scheme emphasizes the baroque cornice and window blinds. The interior 
is ornamented in the manner of an English house of the period of con- 
struction, the decorations having been done by English plasterers. The 
dining room is approached by low, broad steps leading down from the 
middle hall. A flagged brick terrace separates the detached kitchen, which 
looks now as it did originally except for the removal of the crane from 
the fireplace. The garden in the rear is laid out in scallops, and the 
formal treatment of lawn and hedges is as English as the interior. The 
original box hedge planted in a double heart design has grown luxuri- 
antly around the ancient cistern. 

Near the end of East Academy St. on the south side of town is the 
GUS LUCKETT HOME, a simple one-story white frame dwelling built 
by Major Drane, an early settler of Madison Co., prior to the War 
between the States. It was used as headquarters by Confederate Gen. 
Albert S. Johnston during the war. 

The EPISCOPAL RECTORY was the birthplace of John McCrady, one 
of Mississippi's foremost contemporary painters. McCrady, the seventh 
child of a clergyman, spent his early years in Canton and in Oxford; his 
paintings are nostalgic scenes of the Deep South and show a quiet humor 
that combines fantasy with realism. His work has been exhibited in Man- 
hattan's Boyer Galleries. 

1. Right from Canton on the Flora road to BELLEVUE, 11 m. (private), a good 
example of the plantation homes built in the rich cotton country around Canton. 

2. Right from Canton on the graveled Madison Station road to the GEORGE 
HARVEY PLANTATION, 5 m., comprising 3,000 acres of cotton and timber 
lands. The 102 -year-old big house sits among large trees. The T-shaped house 
has an impressive Doric portico, designed with square columns and a crowning 
pediment, and a long one-story rear wing flanked by porches. From a central 
hall a semicircular stairway leads to the spacious living quarters on the second 
floor. The dining hall and scullery are in the rear wing. 

Between Canton and Jackson US 51 passes through an increasing 
number of fruit and truck farms, the first large peach farm being at 
182.6 m. 

At 195 m. is the junction with a paved road. 

Right on this road is MADISON, 0.2 m. (335 alt., 325 pop.). 

At 6.8 m. (R) is 1NGLESIDE, in a setting of live oaks and an artificial lake. 
The house is a Greek Revival adaptation, with white stucco over brick, a red 
roof, and four large fluted columns upholding the portico. Ingleside was the 
home of the builder of the Chapel of the Cross (see below). 

At 7.3 m. (R) on a slight rise well back from the road in a grove of hickory 
and oak trees is the CHAPEL OF THE CROSS, overgrown with green vines. 



390 TOURS 

The ivy-clad brick structure is Gothic in style with a lofty bell tower. Wills, 
an English architect, drew the plans of the chapel. It was completed and con- 
secrated in 1853. The arched main entrance is placed unobtrusively on the side; 
it has double wooden doors fastened with an iron latch. The dim interior with 
its long narrow windows, arched wooden trusses, and stone floor is decorated 
with charm and simplicity. It has a stone baptismal font and a carved altar of 
redwood decorated with gold leaf, both imported from Europe. Adjoining the 
chapel on each side and at the rear is the CHURCHYARD in which are graves 
grouped in family plots. Among them, close to the buttressed walls of the 
chapel, is the grave of Henry Crew Vick, marked by a rustic stone cross. To 
this grave belongs the story of the "Bride of Annandale," Miss Helen John- 
stone, whose mother built the chapel. When John Johnstone, of a family from 
Annandale, Scotland, came here in 1820 he built in the wilderness the first 
Annandale, a log house, for his wife and daughter. Although he built Ingleside 
later, he continued to live in the weather-boarded log house until his death in 
1848. Before his widow raised a finer Annandale, she built the chapel with 
brick and slave labor from her own place. Christmas of 1855 found Mrs. 
Johnstone and Helen visiting at Ingleside while the new Annandale was under 
construction. It was there that Helen met Henry Vick, son of the founder of 
Vicksburg. From the meeting developed love and then an engagement. The wed- 
ding was set for May 21, 1859. Four days before that date, Vick was killed in 
a duel in New Orleans, firing his own shot into the air to keep a promise to his 
betrothed never to kill a man. His body was brought to Annandale for burial, 
and work on the great house was suspended. Annandale was never actually 
finished, though descendants of the Johnstones occupied it until it burned on 
Sept. 9, 1926. Helen and her mother traveled for a while; then Helen returned 
as the bride of Dr. George Harris, who had come as minister to the chapel. 
The story is that Helen never gave her heart to her husband but remained the 
bride of a ghost, the sweetheart of Henry Vick. Annandale was a huge structure 
of French design planned by a New York architect and built with slave labor. 
During the war it was stripped for the Confederate cause. The carpets were cut 
into soldiers' blankets, the bronze and brass pieces were melted and sent to 
foundries to be cast into cannon, the Johnstone women's silk dresses were made 
into battle banners, and the imported linens torn into strips for bandages. In the 
later years of the war General Sherman and his staff made the home a head- 
quarters. 

At 199.9 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road to TOUGALOO COLLEGE, 0.5 m., an accredited school 
for Negroes founded by the American Missionary Association of New York in 
1869. Tougaloo's red brick buildings are grouped in a natural woodland around 
the ante-bellum mansion of John Boddy, sold with a tract of 500 acres to the 
association in 1869 and since used as the ADMINISTRATION BUILDING. 
The largest of the halls is HOLMES HALL, housing the chapel, library, labora- 
tories, and classrooms. Many of the other buildings were erected by student 
trained in the industrial department, with brick made in the school's 
brickyard. Truck farming, orcharding, dairying, and trade shops supply the 
faculty and pupils and help support the institution. Various faculty members 
hold degrees from Columbia, Chicago, Yale, and Harvard Universities (see [ 
EDUCATION). 

At 200.9 m. are the TOWERS OF W]DX, the Lamar Life Insurance | 
Company's radio station. The broadcasting studios are in the Lamar 
Building, Jackson. The station operates on a frequency of 1270 kilocycles. 

At 203.7 m. US 51 follows N. State St.; R on Pascagoula St. to S. 
Gallatin St. 

JACKSON, 208.3 m. (294 alt., 48,282 pop.) (see JACKSON). 

Points of Interest. New Capitol, Old Capitol, Livingston Park and Zoo, Hinds 



TOUR 5 391 

Co. Courthouse, Millsaps College, Belhaven College, Battlefield Park, and 
others. 

Here are the junctions with US 80 (see Tour 2) and US 49 (see 
Tour 7). 



Sec. b JACKSON to LOUISIANA LINE, 98.9 m., US 51 

South of Jackson, m., US 51 follows S. Gallatin St.; R. on Hooker 
St.; L. on Terry Road. US 51 is the most direct route between Jackson 
and New Orleans. Centered around Crystal Springs and Hazlehurst is a 
truck farming area of importance. In the vicinity of Brookhaven dairying 
has supplanted lumbering, with cut-over lands now used for pasturage. 
Throughout the route the variety of wooded areas and the contrasting 
towns lend interest. 

At 1.5 m. is the junction with State 18. 

Right on this paved road at 10.9 m. is the junction with a graveled road. Left 
here 2 m. to COOPER'S WELLS, a resort known throughout the State for the 
mildness of its waters. The frame hotel, a rambling informal structure, sits on 
a steep bluff, overlooking the well house in the ravine. From the front gallery 
is an excellent view of the alluvial hills encircling Vicksburg. The land was 
purchased in 1837 by the Rev. Preston Cooper, who, because of a recurring 
dream that there was a valuable mineral spring here, dug the first well. A resort 
hotel was built sometime later, but Federal troops burned it during the War 
between the States. The present building (open in summer), which was built in 
1880, has undergone many alterations. The mineral waters of the well are of use 
in the treatment of several diseases. They are quickly purgative. Guests gather 
around the well before meals and engage in contests to see who can drink the 
greatest number of glasses. (Formerly the contest was with dippers of the 
water, everybody drinking from the same long-handled dipper. This was the 
custom as late as 1907. At that time in addition to the rambling old hotel there 
was another building a few feet away, called the Bull Pen, occupied by men 
only, where fortunes were lost and won at poker.) 

On State 18 at 14.2 is RAYMOND (306 alt, '547 pop.), incorporated as the 
seat of Hinds Co. in 1829 with the advantage of being on the Natchez Trace. 
For several years it was a larger and more progressive town than the capital, 
and during the State's most prosperous days was the center of a flourishing 
plantation life. The Old Oak Tree Inn, now burned, was famous as the meeting 
place of ministers, doctors, lawyers, and scholars of Mississippi. From it Andrew 
Jackson made an address during his visit to the town, and so great was his ova- 
tion that linen sheets were taken from the beds and spread upon the board walks 
for him to tread upon. From a bed in this hotel Seargent S. Prentiss arose in 
the middle of the night and made a speech in defence of a bedbug that had 
bitten him. It was heard by a mock jury and judge, and the bedbug was formally 
acquitted. 

Right 0.6 m. from town water tank, to the MAJOR PEYTON HOME (private), 
one of the oldest houses in Raymond. Erected in the early 1830*5 with slave 
labor, it is an elaborate version of the type of plantation home popular at that 
time. When erected, it marked the center of Hinds County. 

The GIBBS BUILDING, corner Main and Port Gibson Sts., was built in 1854- 
59. The lower story is now a filling station but the upper story retains its 
original iron railings and porches. 

The HINDS COUNTY COURTHOUSE, a large gray building, green shuttered, 
is the outstanding structure in Raymond. It has Doric columns on the fagade 
and a towering cupola. 



392 TOURS 

The EPISCOPAL CHURCH, next to the courthouse, is nearly a century old. 
It is a small building of Gothic design. 

The RATLIFF HOME (private), two blocks from the courthouse, corner Main 
St. and Dupree Road, was built in 1853 by Dr. H. T. T. Dupree from lumber 
given by John A. Fairchild to his daughter, Margaret, as a wedding present. 
Mr. Fairchild owned and operated the first sawmill in this section, and the 
lumber used in the home is heart pine cut in his mill. Cornices and mantels are 
hand-carved. When Raymond was occupied by Federal troops, the household 
furniture was thrown into the yard by Union soldiers, cotton was laid in thick 
carpets on the floor, and wounded soldiers were brought here for treatment. 

Dominating the eastern entrance to Raymond are the red brick buildings of 
HINDS COUNTY JUNIOR COLLEGE (R) (see EDUCATION). 

At 31.1 m. on State 18 is UTICA (285 alt., 652 pop.), an important vegetable 
shipping center. 

At 35.4 m. on State 18 to UTICA NORMAL AND INDUSTRIAL INSTITUTE, 
one of the State's outstanding institutions for Negroes. The school was founded 
in 1903 as a grammar school. Since that time its curriculum has been expanded 
to include high school and normal work, and many additional buildings have 
been erected to accommodate its 350 students (1937). The school is known 
outside Mississippi because of the Utica Singers, who have traveled in this 
country and Europe singing Negro spirituals. In 1905 the institute sponsored 
a Negro Farmers' Conference, the object of which was to encourage Negro 
tenants to buy land. At that time only one Negro in the Utica district owned his 
property. At present, with the Farmers' Conference an annual event, more than 
35,000 acres in this area are owned by Negroes. 

At 2.7 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road to the FILTROL CORPORATION PLANT, 0.7 m. (open by 
permission from office, 8:30 to 5 weekdays). Constructed of corrugated iron, 
the building is of modern industrial design, with two elevator towers rising 
from the center. The detached gray office building, surrounded by a grove of 
pecan trees, is of bungalow type, with an experimental laboratory in the rear 
wing. The corporation, established in May 1936, processes each week (1937) 
approximately 800 tons of bentonite clay mined in Smith Co. (see Tour 2). 
Trade-marked Filtrol, the finished product is used chiefly to bleach and absorb 
impurities from vegetable and mineral oils. In the rear tower of the plant the 
crude clay is crushed, mixed with water into a slurry, and treated with acid 
for several hours under heat. This mixture then is piped into several large vats 
where the acid is washed out and left to settle in artificial reservoirs before being 
discharged into Pearl River. An Olivar filter press separates the clay from the 
water, and the clay, conveyed to the front tower, is further dried and pulverized. 
This product is supplementing the use of fuller's earth in chemical processes. 

US 51 southward runs between fruit orchards alternating with suburban 
bungalows. Further S. are Negro cabins with walls of plank weatherboard- 
ing applied vertically. The cut at 7 m. (R) reveals the type of soil in the 
area, a mixture of clay and gravel with a warm yellow-red tint. 

TERRY, 16.2 m. (291 alt., 412 pop.), is the northernmost of the truck 
farming towns on US 51. Although the area had been settled before the 
War of 1812, a town was not established until the railroad came through 
in 1856 and put its depot on Bill Terry's land. Until 1910 Terry was an 
active cotton market, but since that time vegetable growing and shipping 
have become the main activities. 

The best known early settler was Gov. A. G. Brown, whose home, the 
old BROWN PLACE, still stands, a primitive farm house whose sim- 



TOUR 5 393 

plicity suggests the hardships of the early settler. Brown, Governor from 
1844 to 1848, was the most popular and influential man in the State at 
that time. As Governor he took the lead in repudiating the Union bank 
bonds and in working for free public schools and the popular election of 
judges. In national affairs he upheld State rights and all policies advo- 
cated by his small farmer constituents. He died at his Terry home in 1880. 

The DUBOSE HOME (private), a cottage, contains Waldo Beauregard 
Dubose's collection of oil paintings by American and European artists. 
By profession Dubose is a designer of elaborate and spectacular evening 
clothes for women, but his major interest is in the fine arts. 

At 22.1 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road 0.2 m. (L) to the R. L. GANT HOME (private), a white 
frame house where lives the owner of Mississippi's most famous pack of blood- 
hounds. Between 1906 and 1933 the pack tracked down several notorious 
criminals. Gant has been successful in running down 85 per cent of the men he 
sought, and has 12 wounds to show for his man-hunting. 

At 23 ..5 m is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road to LAKE CHAUTAUQUA, 0.2 m., an artificial lake in a set- 
ting of pines and oaks. Here from 1903 to 1915 the Mississippi Chautauqua 
Association held annual sessions each July. Summer cottages and a community 
house were erected and a lake for swimming, boating, and fishing was made. 
Besides the Chautauqua programs, those using local talent were encouraged. 
During the height of its popularity the Chautauqua was widely attended by 
residents of Mississippi and of neighboring States. Cottages were rented for the 
season of two weeks and the hotel accommodated 100 guests. The site is now 
leased to the Illinois Central Railroad which uses the lake as a pumping station. 
The grounds are popular for picnicking and camping; in the summer political 
rallies are held here. On the elevation above the lake is the sturdy old tabernacle 
of the Hennington Camp Meeting, one of the oldest camp meeting sites in the 
State. Built before the War between the States, the tabernacle is constructed of 
hand-hewn logs. 

At 2.5.2 m. is the junction with a paved road. 

Left on this road is CRYSTAL SPRINGS, 0.4 m. (463 alt., 2,257 pop.), one 
of the largest tomato-shipping centers of the State. The story of commercial 
gardening in Crystal Springs begins in 1870 with the first shipment of peaches, 
grown by James Sturgis, to markets at New Orleans and Chicago. Tomatoes were 
still known as love apples at that time, but N. Piazza imported seed from Italy 
and with S. H. Stackhouse began scientific cultivation of tomato plants. With 
the help of a German emigrant, Augustus Lotterhos, the industry achieved suc- 
cess. In 1878 Lotterhos pooled the products of a number of tomato growers to 
ship the first full carload to Denver, Colo. 

The shipping of other vegetables to Northern markets followed. Peas, beans, 
cabbages, carrots, beets, and asparagus began moving in carload lots, but straw- 
berries had to await the development of refrigeration. To offset the occasional 
losses due to a glutted market, the farmers started a tomato-canning plant, 
Lotterhos being instrumental in its establishment. In 1927 the peak of shipping 
was reached with 3,342 carloads of vegetables moving to markets in the United 
States and Canada, of which 1,562 cars contained tomatoes. The vegetable grow- 
ing industry now supports a box and crate factory and a refrigeration plant. 
These activities have made Crystal Springs different from Mississippi cotton 
towns. It has two rush seasons: the typical cotton-picking and corn-harvesting 
one, and the feverish weeks in the late spring when the truck crops are sent out. 



394 TOURS 

The schools open earlier than usual so that the children can get through a full 
term and still work in the fields when crops, which perish rapidly, mature. The 
CONSOLIDATED SCHOOL brings its 1,300 pupils from truck farms within 
a radius of 15 miles. 

Byron Patton Harrison, born in this town, has served Mississippi in one political 
office or another for 32 of his 56 years. Born at Crystal Springs in 1881, and 
educated in the Mississippi public schools and Louisiana State University, he 
began his law practice in Leakesville, Miss., in 1902. From 1905 to 1910 he was 
district attorney for the Second District. From 1911 to 1919 he represented his 
district in Congress. Since 1919 he has been U.S. Senator. He led the movement 
for flood control that resulted in the passage of the National Flood Control 
Act in 1928, and did outstanding work in the fight for the Agricultural Adjust- 
ment Administration. Senator Harrison's home is now in Gulfport. 

At 33.9 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road 0.2 m. to LAKE HAZLE, a favorite swimming and picnicking 
spot. 

HAZLEHURST, 34 m. (460 alt., 2,447 pop-) the seat of Copiah Co., 
is a fruit-and-vegetable-shipping town. Its history begins with the history 
of Gallatin, seven miles W., chartered in 1829; when the railroad was 
put through in 1857 the people of Gallatin moved close to the new depot, 
which was named for George Hazlehurst, chief engineer of the New 
Orleans, Jackson & Great Northern R.R. But because Copiah citizens had 
built an expensive courthouse at Gallatin just prior to that time, Hazle- 
hurst did not become the county seat until 1872. Following the lead of 
Crystal Springs, the town is now chiefly concerned with growing, packing, 
and shipping vegetables. Like Crystal Springs, it has an ice plant and box 
factory and also a large fertilizer plant. 

Right from Hazlehurst on State 20 is GALLATIN, 7.5 m., marked now only 
by a crossroads store, but in its day a town that lived up to what was expected 
of a Mississippi ante-bellum seat of justice. "It enjoyed the reputation of having 
a man killed once every week for pastime," and attracted to it some of the ablest 
members of the bar in Mississippi. The town became the seat of justice of 
Copiah Co. in 1824, and was named in honor of Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the 
Treasury under Madison. Here Albert G. Brown (see above) was born and 
reared, moving to Terry when a young man. 

At 8.6 m. (L) on State 20, perched atop a ridge above a cluster of trees is the 
old WILEY HARRIS HOME (private); it was here that Wiley Pope Harris, 
the younger, the power behind the achievements of many of Mississippi's great- 
est statesmen, was reared. He was a nephew of the Harris who had bought this 
home in the 1820*5 and died in it in 1845. The younger Harris practiced law at 
Gallatin in 1839, but soon turned his talents to wider fields, becoming a mem- 
ber of Congress in 1853, and a leading member of the Southern convention of 
1861 that adopted the Ordinance of Secession. So influential was he in the 
troubled days at the outbreak of the war that he became the first delegate from 
Mississippi to the Montgomery congress that framed the Confederate Constitu- 
tion. He was chosen a delegate by unanimous vote of the State convention. 
Throughout reconstruction he was scathing in his denunciation of the Ames 
Administration, and was openly an advocate of cooperation with the Liberal 
Republican movement. His last service to the State was as a member of the 
Constitutional Convention of 1890, where among men of tremendous stature he 
was still first in influence. His was the level head that determined many of 
Mississippi's decisions. This home in which he was reared is a simple one- 
story, central-hailed dwelling with a long porch having six square columns. 



TOUR 5 395 

At 10 m. on State 20 is BROWNS WELLS (40 pop.), a health and pleasure 
resort built around seven wells containing large quantities of minerals. The 
first well was dug by Billie Brown before the War between the States, and 
shortly after the war a hotel and cottages were built to capitalize the wells' at- 
tractions. The resort is now a part of a 2,2oo-acre tract on which are week-end 
cottages, a dancing pavilion, a swimming pool, and a nine-hole golf course. 

At 44.1 m. on US 51 is a crossroad. 

Left on this road is BEAUREGARD, OJ m. (474 alt., 203 pop.), known as 
Bahala when the railroad was put through in 1857, but changed to Beauregard 
shortly after the war to honor Confederate General Beauregard. It is a lumber 
town formerly known for the number and size of its saloons; only three homes 
survived the cyclone of 1883, which destroyed most of the town. One of the 
three was on the estate of Benjamin King, a testy lawyer of Gallatin, who pro- 
moted the erection of the expensive courthouse at the latter town to protect his 
property rights against the railroad-made changes in population. The most inter- 
esting of the three houses, however, is the DR. E. A. ROWAN PLACE, with 
23 rooms, first (1881) intended for a hospital but later made into a private 
home. Four sudden deaths in the Rowan family are responsible for the legend 
that the house is haunted. The story has been expanded and now includes the 
assertion that there is a standing reward for anyone who will spend a night alone 
with the ghosts in the dust-covered, cobwebbed place. A series of regular yet 
mysterious flaggings of Illinois Central R.R. trains in front of the house in 
1926 grew so annoying as to call special detectives to the case, but the cause 
of the flaggings was never found. 

WESSON, 46.7 m. (799 pop.), is one of Mississippi's older mill towns, 
now devoting its attention to truck farming. It was named for Col. J. M. 
Wesson, who, when his plants in Choctaw Co. were destroyed by Federals 
in 1864, decided to make a new start in the pine woods. His first move 
was to build a sawmill. Soon he erected a cotton and woolen goods fac- 
tory. The latter prospered, passing from the control of Colonel Wesson to 
a New Orleans company and growing rapidly between 1875 and 1891. 
One of the factories reached six stories in height and employed 1,200 peo- 
ple. In 1891, however, after the death of one of the backers, labor trouble 
began that culminated in the mills' going into receivership in 1906 and 
ceasing operations in 1910; during the World War the plant was torn 
down and the machinery and building material sold. Wesson is now the 
home of the COPIAH-LINCOLN JUNIOR COLLEGE, the largest junior 
college in the State. It is coeducational and State-supported. 

At BROOKHAVEN, 54.8 m. (500 alt, 5,2