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Z 1892.000

1954 - 1986


The Chapel of the Cross was established in 1850 at what was then the plantation, Annandale, belonging to Mrs. Margaret L. Johnstone (1808–1880) and located near Mannsdale, Madison County, Mississippi. The chapel was built by Mrs. Johnstone as a memorial to her late husband, John T. Johnstone (1801–1848) on ten acres of land deeded to the Episcopal diocese.

The church is probably best remembered due to its association with one event. In 1859, Helen Johnstone, daughter of the builder, was engaged to marry Henry Grey Vick, of the prominent Vick family who founded Vicksburg, Mississippi. Shortly before their wedding, Henry Grey Vick traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana. During the trip, Vick was compelled to participate in a duel which took place in Mobile, Alabama, and in which Vick was killed. He was buried in the Chapel of the Cross cemetery on the day that he was to be married. Helen Johnstone, known as "the bride of Annandale," later married Dr. George Carroll Harris.

The Chapel of the Cross has traditionally been attributed to English architect Frank Wills, but there is virtually no primary source material to confirm the attribution. The church is at least influenced by him, as it is nearly identical to Wills's "Sketch of a First-pointed church," published in the October 1849 issue of the New York Ecclesiologist. The chapel was consecrated on September 19, 1852, by William Mercer Green, first Episcopal bishop of Mississippi, and admitted to the diocese in 1853.

The Chapel of the Cross is an outstanding example of Gothic Revival architecture in the state and may be the most significant example of a Gothic Revival chapel, the architecture of which was directly influenced by the ecclesiological movement in nineteenth-century America.

Scope and Content:

The scrapbook contains artwork, brochures, historical sketches, news clippings, programs, photographs, and a limited-edition print. The bulk of the material was created between 1979 and 1982.

Series Identification:

  1. Scrapbook. 1954–1986. 1 35 mm. positive microfilm roll (MF Roll # 36582).

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