[Mississippi History Newsletter Online.]

A MDAH Publication  |  Volume 45 No. 11  |  November 2003

Eudora Welty Print Series

Award-winning artist/illustrator Barry Moser is contributing to MDAH a series of five limited-edition, original relief engravings printed from the block. The series will depict Mississippi writer Eudora Welty at different times of her life. The sales of the prints will support the opening and operation of the Eudora Welty House in Jackson as a literary house museum.

Moser's first print is available for purchase and is on display at the Old Capitol Shop, Old Capitol Museum, Jackson. The other prints will be offered in subsequent years.

Each 4" x 7" print is in a limited edition of 100 and is signed and numbered by the artist. Twenty-five additional prints will be retained by the artist. To order this print, send a check made payable to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for $250 plus $10 shipping and handling, to Eudora Welty Print, P. O. Box 571, Jackson, MS 39205-0571 or call 601/ 576- 6857.

Eudora Welty gave her house to the Department of Archives and History, which is currently cataloging the contents of the Welty House, planning repairs, the installation of a central climate control system, and the development of a visitor center adjacent to the house. The house museum is scheduled to open to the public in summer 2005.

Barry Moser's body of work includes almost 200 volumes that he has illustrated or designed, including Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, which won the National Book Award for Design and Illustration in 1983. In 1991 he won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for his collaboration with Cynthia Rylant on Appalachia, the Voices of Sleeping Birds. Moser's Pennyroyal Caxton Bible has been exhibited at the National Gallery of Art, the Israel Museum, and other galleries.


Winter Building Dedication
The public is invited to ceremonies dedicating the William F. Winter Archives and History Building on Friday, November 7, at 1:30 p.m. David Halberstam, historian and journalist, will be the dedicatory speaker. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, guests will enter the Winter Building lobby where the full-length portrait of William Winter by artist Jason Bouldin will be unveiled. A reception and tours of the building will follow.

Reading Rooms Open
The Public Reading Room, Archival Reading Room, and Media Reading Room of the William F. Winter Archives and History Building are now open to researchers. The reading rooms have space for over 140 researchers, close to four times the space in the Charlotte Capers Archives and History Building search room.

Open House November 1

The Old Capitol Shop presents its annual Holiday Open House on Sunday, November 16, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Old Capitol Museum, Jackson. The Open House offers visitors a sampling of the state's art, crafts, and books by Mississippians and about Mississippi. Some of the shop's specialty items include the first original relief engraving of Eudora Welty by artist Barry Moser, photographs by Eudora Welty, Wolfe Studio ceramics, Choctaw baskets, Teddy bears, handcrafted jewelry, hand-blown glass, Walter Anderson prints, pottery, Christmas ornaments, and old-fashioned toys.

Authors of seven new books will be on hand to autograph their books from 2 until 4 p.m.: An Oxford Sketchbook, by Wyatt Waters; Cotton, by Harris Barnes; The Art of Walter Anderson, edited by Patricia Pinson; Fine Dining Mississippi Style, by John M. Bailey; The Book of Druthers, by the Druthers Sisters (Linda Ross Aldy, Annette Jean Allred, Ann Homer Cook, Beverly Keaton Smith, and Catherine Hamilton Stroud); Cotton Gin Port: A Frontier Settlement on the Upper Tombigbee, by Jack D. Elliott, Jr., and Mary Ann Wells; and My Brother Dan's Delicious, by Stephen Layne, with illustrations by Chuck Galey. Demonstrating their crafts will be Creative Minds (stained glass, mosaics, and metalwork by Theresa Haygood); and J. R. Webb Pottery.

The Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra will present a free concert at 2 p.m.

Main Street Training Available. Call the National Trust for Historic Preservation, 202/ 588-6219, or visit their website.

Civil War
Re-enactment November 15-16

Cannon fire and charging horses will transform the tranquil grounds of Historic Jefferson College in Washington, Mississippi, on Saturday, November 15, and Sunday, November 16, when re-enactors meet to recreate the Wirt Adams Raid of 1863.

Re-enactors from Mississippi and Louisiana will camp on the grounds of the college Friday and Saturday nights. The camps open to the public at 9 a.m. each day. Saturday's skirmish begins at 2 p.m. and Sunday's at 1 p.m. The re-enactments are free and open to the public. Skirmishes last about 45 minutes.

Confederate brigadier general Wirt Adams was charged with retaking Natchez. But when a Union cavalry force of some 1,500 men-a larger force-gathered to apprehend Adams, he marched to ambush them. Positioning his forces within 1,000 yards of the Union forces, he attacked at first light, routing the Yankees. Adams's Confederate troops pursued the fleeing Federal troops for a few miles, then left the area themselves by way of Kingston, destroying the barns of some of the local planters who were Union sympathizers.

For more information call Historic Jefferson College at 601/442-2901.

Underground Railroad Meeting

A "Bound For Glory on the Bayou Underground Railroad" gathering will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Baton Rouge November 6-8, 2003. The public is invited. There is no registration fee.The Friends of the Forks of the Roads Society, Inc., will sponsor a welcoming reception November 6. For further information, please visit their website.

Suggestion Box

The MDAH Historic Preservation Division is developing priorities and objectives for fiscal year 2004 Historic Preservation Fund-assisted programs. Suggestions and comments from the public in regard to proposed priorities, objectives, and projects are invited. Please address correspondence to Kenneth H. P'Pool, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, P. O. Box 571, Jackson, MS 39205-0571.

Grants for Welty House

The Eudora Welty House has been awarded two federal grants totaling over $260,000. The funds will help preserve the house and its contents and allow for the opening of the garden to the public in April 2004. The house is scheduled to open in summer 2005.

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History, which administers the Eudora Welty House, received a $251,000 Save America's Treasures grant from the National Park Service and a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

"We are delighted to have been awarded these grants," said MDAH director Elbert R. Hilliard. "The Eudora Welty House is a national treasure, and this funding will be critical to our effort to maintain the house and garden and open them to the public."

The Save America's Treasures grant will be used to stabilize the house and its contents. Matching funds for the project have been provided by the Mississippi Legislature. The NEA grant will help fund a three-day program to open the Welty House gardens to the public in April 2004.


Nathan Bennett, 1900-2003

Nathan Bennett, resident craftsman at Historic Jefferson College in Washington, Mississippi, 1977-1996, died October 19 at age 103 in Natchez. Born near Garden City in Franklin County, Bennett grew up in the midst of the early 20th-century timber boom in southwest Mississippi, and he worked around sawmills, oxen and mule teams, and steam locomotives. In the 1920s and 1930s, Bennett worked at a variety of jobs in the timber and railroad businesses. He also traveled widely with the Hagenbeck-Wallace and Sells-Floto circuses as a laborer. From the 1940s through the early 1970s, Bennett made his living in Franklin and Adams Counties as a farmer, ranch hand, carpenter, cook, and handyman. As Historic Jefferson College's resident craftsman, he made hickory ax-handles, split-oak baskets, and cypress roofing shingles. Bennett also entertained thousands of visitors with his stories about his travels and experiences.


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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