[Mississippi History Newsletter Online.]

A MDAH Publication  |  Volume 46 No. 10 |  October 2004

New MDAH Brochures

Three new brochures will make research at the MDAH Reading Room easier. "Archival Collections of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History" describes the MDAH holdings: Mississippiana, government records, personal papers, maps, newspapers, photographs, audiovisual collection, and more. "Research at MDAH," an on-site aid, contains a detailed map of the Reading Rooms and answers to basic research questions. "Researching Your African American Ancestors at MDAH" describes resources such as federal censuses, slave schedules, statewide marriage indexes, Freedmen's Bureau marriage records, court cases and others-and directs researchers to these aids. Brochures are available by mail upon request: email pubinfo@mdah.state.ms.us or call 601/ 576-6857 or write Public Information, P.O. Box 571, Jackson, MS 39205.

MDAH Events

Old Capitol Museum, Jackson 601/ 576-6920

In conjunction with Archaeology Month events, the Old Capitol Museum offers "Demo-Dig 2004: Can You Dig It?" on Wednesday, October 6, through Friday, October 8. A demonstration archaeology dig will be conducted on the Old Capitol Green for school classes, grades four through six, every hour on the hour from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Programs last one hour.) Reservations are required. For a complete list of Archaeology Month events around the state, visit our Archaeology Month pages.

Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, Natchez
601/ 446-6502

As part of Archaeology Month, Grand Village presents a talk by Dr. Hiram "Pete" Gregory on "Natchezan Influences to the West" on Thursday evening, October 14, at 6:30 p.m. in the Grand Village auditorium. Admission is free, and light refreshments will be served.

At Student Days, Thursday, October 7- Friday, October 8, local and regional fourth-grade classes learn about Native American culture, archaeology, and nature studies. Volunteers perform gospel, country, and jazz music at Music at the Mounds, Saturday, October 23, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Free admission.

Historic Jefferson College, Washington
601/ 442-2901

At Pioneer Days, Thursday, October 21, and Friday, October 22, local and regional third-grade classes will learn about pioneer skills and activities.

Local and regional storytellers tell their best ghost stories at Ghost Tales Around the Campfire, on Friday, October 29, at sundown (about 6 p.m.). Bring blankets or chairs. Free admission.

Vintage Civil War-Era Baseball Games will be played on Saturday, October 9, beginning at 9 a.m. Reenactors will play baseball using 1850s rules. Free admission.

Manship House Museum, Jackson
601/ 961-4724

Visitors to the Manships in Mourning exhibit will see how homes were prepared for the Victorian rituals of mourning. The exhibit, running Tuesday, October 12, through Saturday, November 13, at the Manship House Museum, is free of charge, but reservations are required for groups of ten or more.

Subscribe to the print version of the Mississippi History Newsletter by sending your name and complete mailing address to Public Information.

Please visit our Archaeology Month pages for events around the state.


Raymond Pilgrimage, Reenactments

A Place Called Raymond, the sixth annual fall pilgrimage, will be held Friday evening, October 8, through Saturday, October 9. The theme is "Living with the Arts," and each homeowner has selected an art form to feature: music, quilting, photography, gardening, and other arts. Twelve historic homes will be open, in addition to other historic buildings and churches. Proceeds benefit programs of the Friends of Raymond. The Battles of Port Gibson, Raymond, and Champion Hill will be reenacted on November 13-14 on the Raymond Battlefield. Other events planned for the weekend include a parade, haversack lunch at the Confederate cemetery, and period dress dance. For more information, visit their web site.

Notable Mississippi Women

MDAH recently submitted a list of nationally important Mississippi women to the National Museum of Women's History in New York in response to a nationwide survey. Beginning with this issue, the Newsletter will highlight the lives and works of some of these women.

Althea Brown (1874-1937) was an African American missionary to Africa. She left Rolling Fork, Mississippi, to study at Fisk University, graduated with honors, and went on to teach school in Pikeville, Tennessee. In 1901 she applied to be a missionary in the American Presbyterian Congo Mission. She said goodbye to her family in Mississippi and sailed for Africa in August 1902, stopping in London to assemble supplies.

Brown survived much fierce fighting in the rebellion in the Congo and married co-worker Alonzo Edmiston there, sewing wedding garments herself, as their clothes had burned with their mission station. They came back to America to raise money for the mission and returned to Africa, taking their child with them. Althea Brown Edmiston wrote the first dictionary of the Bakuba language. She died in 1937 in Africa of sleeping sickness and malaria. A biography, A Life for the Congo: The Story of Althea Brown Edmiston, by Julia Lake Kellersberger, was published in 1947.

Exhibitions Available from MHC

The Mississippi Humanities Council is currently overseeing two exhibitions from the Smithsonian Institution. Key Ingredients: America by Food addresses the diversity of our country's food traditions and regional influences on the way Americans eat. After showing in Oxford until mid-September, it travels to Gautier, Cleveland, and Port Gibson before closing in Columbus in March of next year.

The second exhibit, Between Fences, a cultural history of fences and land use in America, will tour the state beginning in the fall of 2005. This exhibit examines how neighbors and nations divide and protect, offend, and defend through the boundaries they build. Proposals are now being solicited from potential venues for Between Fences. Contact MHC at 601/ 432-6752 for details.

New Books

In Bridging Deep South Rivers: The Life and Legend of Horace King, John S. Lupold and Thomas L. French, Jr., tell the story of the architect and engineer of covered wooden bridges in Georgia, Alabama, and eastern Mississippi. Horace King began his work as a slave; as a freedman he became a successful entrepreneur and builder; and during Reconstruction he became a politician. The book deals with King's interactions with his fellow (white) contractors and investors and reveals how important the bridges were to the southern market economy. Cloth, $29.95, from the University of Georgia Press, published in cooperation with the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Troup County Historical Society.

Hurricane Camille: Monster Storm of the Gulf Coast, by Philip D. Hearn, draws from firsthand accounts of survivors of the great storm, one of only three category 5 hurricanes ever to hit the U.S. mainland. The death toll over Mississippi's three coastal counties reached 131, with 41 persons never found. Along the coast today, vacant lots, mysterious staircases and driveways leading to nowhere are Camille's eerie reminders. From University Press of Mississippi, cloth, $25.

Charles Emil Peterson, 1907-2004

Charles Emil Peterson, FAIA, and founder of the Historic American Buildings Survey (1933), the National Park Service's nationwide program to document historic structures, died August 18. A founding member and Fellow of the U.S. chapter of the International Committee on Monuments and Sites, Peterson served as a consultant for the restoration of the Mississippi Governor's Mansion in 1972-75 and oversaw the restoration of the late eighteenth-century plantation house, Mount Locust, on the Natchez Trace.


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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