[Mississippi History Newsletter Online.]

A MDAH Publication  |  Volume 46 No. 1  |  January 2004

MHS Annual Meeting To Focus on Great Depression and New Deal March 4-6

The 2004 annual meeting of the Mississippi Historical Society, to be held in Tupelo March 4-6, will focus on the Great Depression and the New Deal in Mississippi. Some topics to be explored include the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Governor Hugh White and the BAWI program, the photographs of Eudora Welty, Mississippi's WPA post office murals, and the Tupelo homesteads.The Ramada Inn will be the headquarters.

Society president Kenneth G. McCarty and program chair Bradley Bond, both at the University of Southern Mississippi, have scheduled prominent scholars and popular lecturers: Hunter Cole, University Press of Mississippi; Andy Harper, University of Mississippi; Connie Lester, Mississippi State University; Neil McMillen, University of Southern Mississippi; Chester M. Morgan, Delta State University; Fred Smith, University of Mississippi; and Nan E. Woodruff, Pennsylvania State University. Woodruff will deliver the keynote address, "The African-American Struggle for Rights in the Delta."

A luncheon, banquet, and awards luncheon are planned, as well as local tours and a reception honoring MHS president McCarty. Prestigious Society prizes will be presented.

The Federation of Mississippi Historical Societies will hold its annual meeting from 8:15 to 9 a.m. on Friday, March 5, to be followed at 9:15 a.m. by a workshop, "History Programs: The Key to Unlocking Our Past," presented by staff of the Old Capitol Museum of Mississippi History and members of the Northeast Mississippi Historical and Genealogical Society. Registration for the workshop is $10.

Pre-registration for the MHS meeting is $10 for individuals and $12 for couples. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Tupelo Ramada Inn, 662/ 844-4111, at the special rate of $59 each through February 19.

For more information contact Betty Kearney, MDAH, 601/ 576-6850.

Register now for the MHS annual meeting. Registration packets will be mailed to members soon, and complete information is also available online at mdah.state.ms.us.

January Events Around the State

Learn Parlor Games
Monday, January 12, 3 to 5 p.m. at the Manship House Museum, Jackson. Fun for the Fireside. All ages are invited to enjoy an afternoon of indoor activities such as parlor games and needlework. Try your hand at various nineteenth-century needlework techniques. Free of charge. For more information call 601/ 961-4724.

Tuesday, January 6, 13, 20, and 27, 6 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, January 10, 17, 24, and 31, 2 to 4 p.m. at the Winterville Mounds Museum, Greenville. Film Series (courtesy PBS) focusing on the conquistadors. Learn who they were and how they affected the native peoples of the Americas. Free of charge. For more information call 662/ 334-4684.

Saturday, January 31, 2 p.m. at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, Natchez. Eleventh Moon Storytelling. Local and regional storytellers spin tales about Native Americans and nature. Free. For more information call 601/446-6502.

Genealogical Seminar January 17

Genealogical Seminar January 17 Barbara Vines Little, director of the National Genealogical Society and editor of the Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, will be the speaker at a seminar January 17 sponsored by the Mississippi Genealogical Society and MDAH. The seminar will be held at the Clarion Hotel and Convention Center, 400 Greymont Avenue, Jackson (exit Pearl or High Street off I-55 N). Registration, coffee, and book browsing are 8:00-9:00 a.m., and the first session begins at 9:00 a.m. The seminar adjourns at 4:00 p.m.

To reserve a room at the Clarion Hotel, call 800/252-7466. To register for the seminar, send a check made payable to the Mississippi Genealogical Society for $39 (seminar only) or $55.50 (includes lunch). There is a $2 discount for MGS members.

Natchez Literary/Cinema Celebration

Make plans now to attend the February 25-29 Natchez Literary/Cinema Celebration with the theme "Scoundrels to Statesmen: Politics in the Deep South." Hear from writers, scholars, and filmmakers on John Quitman, Theodore Bilbo, Huey Long, Frank Smith, Robert G. Clark, and many others. Hear journalists Donald Adderton, Bill Minor, Emily Wagster, and Sid Salter examine the question, "Why Does the Nation Continue to Elect Presidents Who Are Southerners?" Attend ceremonies for the Richard Wright Literary Excellence Awards and view Greg Iles's film, "Trapped." In addition to lectures there are tours of historic houses, receptions, and other entertainments. To register and purchase tickets for special events, call toll-free 866/ 296-6522 or visit their web site.

SARC to Meet at Winter Building

The Southeastern Archives and Records Conference will hold its annual meeting at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building on February 2-4, 2004, according to H. T. Holmes, director of the MDAH Archives and Library. Eleven member states will send five representatives each for the sessions, where archivists and librarians will share information and discuss opportunities for collaborative projects.


Inaugural Lecture January 12

Bruce Cole, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, will deliver the Inaugural Lecture on Civic Virtue honoring governor-elect Haley Barbour at 10:00 a.m. on January 12 at the Old Capitol, Jackson. The title of the address is "Restoring America's Memory: The Importance of History." Responding to the lecture will be Eric Clark, Secretary of State; Ricki Garrett, Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning; and Justice James Graves, Mississippi Supreme Court. Governor-elect Barbour will offer comments.

Cole is the author of fourteen books, the most recent The Informed Eye: Understanding Masterpieces of Art. The event is co-sponsored by the Mississippi Humanities Council and MDAH. The public is cordially invited to attend. Seating is limited.

New Books

In Fortune's Favorite Child: The Uneasy Life of Walter Anderson (University Press of Mississippi), Christopher Maurer explores the troubled life of one of America's most prolific and visionary artists. Walter Inglis Anderson (1903-1965) was acknowledged by many after his death as the South's greatest painter. John Russell of the New York Times spoke of the "quietly excellent power" that makes his watercolors "among the best of their date," and others compared his vision to that of Van Gogh and Georgia O'Keeffe.

But Anderson is only now finding his place in American painting, partly because he spent much of his life in the small Mississippi town of Ocean Springs, more intent upon "natural forms" than upon his own stature as a painter. Afflicted with mental illness that baffled some of America's leading psychiatrists, alienated for long periods from his wife and children, he led a life of passion and adventure. Few American painters have lived so intimately with nature as Walter Anderson, and few have lived as adventurously as he did, on the edge of society, a voluntary exile from what he called "the sordid thing most people call reality."

Alan Huffman has rescued a lost chapter of American history in his new book Mississippi in Africa (Penguin Group). Mississippi cotton planter Isaac Ross decreed in his will that his plantation, Prospect Hill, should be liquidated and the proceeds used to pay for his slaves' passage to the newly established colony of Liberia in western Africa. When he died in 1836, Ross's heirs contested the will for more than a decade in the state courts and legislature-prompting a revolt in which a group of slaves burned Ross's mansion to the ground-but the will was ultimately upheld. The slaves then emigrated to their new home, where they battled local tribes and built plantations with Greek Revival mansions in a region they renamed "Mississippi in Africa." The seeds of resentment sown over a century of cultural conflict between the colonists and tribal peoples would explode in the late twentieth century, begetting a civil war that rages in Liberia to this day. Former Mississippi governor William F. Winter said, "Alan Huffman has pulled from the dust bin of history a saga of immense present day significance."

Huffman will present a talk and sign books at the Old Capitol Museum February 22 at 2:00 p.m.

Community Heritage Grants Awarded

Twenty preservation and restoration projects throughout the state have been awarded $3.78 million in the third year of a popular grant program administered by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.


NEWS: Eudora Welty House

Garden Opening April 3

The gardens of the Eudora Welty House in Jackson open to the public Saturday, April 3, with special programs offered through Monday, April 5, 2004. Visitors will walk in the restored garden, and programs will be presented by historical architect Robert Parker Adams, Jackson; Welty scholar Suzanne Marrs, Millsaps College; and Welty historical garden consultant Susan Haltom, Jackson.

After the opening programs, the gardens will be open to the public one day a week until the Welty House opens as a museum.

Readers of Welty's fiction know that Eudora Welty was an avid and knowledgeable gardener: the names of flowers and plants-wild and domestic-of Mississippi abound in her fiction. The garden, created by her mother, Chestina, and tended by Eudora for years, are being carefully restored to their 1940s splendor, including an extensive perennial border and rose garden, reconstructed trellises and latticework, a woodland garden, and camellia collection. The Historic Iris Preservation Society provided bulbs for the 50-foot iris bed.

Eudora Welty House to be featured in volume on Writers' Houses

Erica Lennard, internationally acclaimed photographer of artists' gardens and houses, visited Jackson December 11 to photograph the interior of the Eudora Welty house for a forthcoming book on twentieth-century American writers. A previous volume by Lennard, Writers' Houses, featured twenty international writers of the last century, including William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Alberto Moravia, Hermann Hesse, Mark Twain, and Virginia Woolf, among others.


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2003 JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC
2001 MAY |

Published by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History • Elbert R. Hilliard, director • Chrissy Wilson, editor
Please send correspondence to: MHN, P.O. Box 571, Jackson, MS 39205 or email to pubinfo@mdah.state.ms.us