[Mississippi History Newsletter Online.]

A MDAH Publication  |  Volume 44 No. 9  |  September 2002

New Books

Holt Collier: His Life, His Roosevelt Hunts, and the Origin of the Teddy Bear by Minor Buchanan is a compelling biography of the bear hunter and guide who captured a large black bear for President Teddy Roosevelt in an incident that spawned the Teddy Bear phenomenon. Born a slave in 1846 in Jefferson County, Collier lived and extraordinary life: he fought for the Confederacy and was arrested for the murder of Union captain James A. King; he worked as a cowboy in Texas before returning to Mississippi to avenge the death of his former master, Howell Hinds; he gained renown as a bear hunter in the Delta; and he killed the outlaw Travis Elmore Sage in a gunfight at Washburnís Ferry. Jackson attorney Minor Buchanan has written a serious biography including footnotes, quotations from primary sources, and photographs. From Centennial Press of Jackson, Mississippi, $30.

More than a guidebook, Touring Literary Mississippi, by Patti Carr Black and Marian Barnwell provides not only maps and precise directions to literary sites, it also contains capsule biographies of writers and over a hundred photographs of writers, residences, and other associated sites. Patti Carr Black is the author of Art in Mississippi, 1720-1980 and The Southern Writers Quiz Book. Marian Barnwell, a fiction writer and assistant professor of English at Delta State University, edited A Place Called Mississippi. Mississippi Narratives. From University Press of Mississippi, $46 cloth, $20 paper.

The Sweet Hell Inside is the fascinating story of the Harlestons, of Charleston, South Carolina, who are descended from Wlliam Harleston, a planter and slave owner, and Kate Wilson, an enslaved African American. The Harleston saga is told by Edward Ball, distant relative of the Harleston family and author of Slaves in the Family (1998), a bestseller and National Book Award winner. Though the children of Harleston and Wilson were denied legal recognition, later descendants went on to distinguished careers, many of them in the arts. From Morrow/HarperCollins, $27.

In An Alston Saga, Jackson attorney Alex A. Alston, Jr., chronicles the remarkable story of the Alston family, beginning in the seventeenth century when young John Alston left the comforts of England for the Carolina wilderness. Alstonís descendants fought in the American Revolution, traveled west to frontier Mississippi, fought for the Confederacy, and finally made their way to the Mississippi Delta, where the authorís grandfather became a notorious outlaw during the late 1800s. The book closes with the authorís recollections of his own childhood in the Delta town Hollandale during the 1940s and 1950s, his career as a lawyer, and the births of his children and grandchildren. Copies are $25 and can be ordered from Alex Alston, P. O. Drawer 119, Jackson, MS 39205.

To order, call the Old Capitol Shop, 601/ 359-6921.



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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