Postcards

October 10, 2015, is Electronic Records Day. MDAH Electronic Records staff including Chloe Edwards and Alanna Patrick prepared the posts in this series about recent additions to the disk collection at MDAH.

This WWII broadside encourages Americans on the home front to contribute to the war effort. From the MDAH broadside collection.

This WWII broadside encourages Americans on the home front to contribute to the war effort. From the MDAH broadside collection.

Prisoner of war in Camp Como, Mississippi, 1944

Call no.: Disk 0105

Format: CD

This disk represents both a great addition and a great opportunity for our collections. Donated by Dr. Ernst Pannen of Troisdorf, Germany, the disk contains scans of letters written by his father in law Peter Wilrodt when he was a German prisoner of war being held in Camp Como in Panola County. Camp Como, which began receiving prisoners in the fall of 1943, was originally intended to hold both Italian and German prisoners, the latter from General Erwin Rommel’s famous Afrikakorps. Ultimately, however, racial and ethnic tensions between the two groups led to the camp being designated for German prisoners only. Although the Second World War ended in 1945, POWs remained on American and Mississippi soil until 1946.

The material on this disk consists of scanned letters (including envelopes) and a 28 page Word document containing text and images, all of which are in German.  The Word document appears to contain additional context for the letters; some letters are excerpted and images include photographs of European sites and men at Camp Como, drawings and camp menus. MDAH will seek volunteers to translate the material to English.

MORE INFORMATION:

To find out more about this disk, search our online catalogue for disk 0105. To browse the disk collection, navigate to the advanced search page, check the “Electronic Records” box, and type “disk” into the keyword search bar.

All catalogued disks are available to view or listen to in the Media Room; patrons should request disks from media staff using the four digit call number.

References:

“Camp Como.” Accessed September 24, 2015 at <http://www.fortwiki.com/Camp_Como>.

John Ray Skates, Jr. “German Prisoners of War in Mississippi, 1943-1946.” Accessed September 24, 2015 at <http://mshistorynow.mdah.state.ms.us/articles/233/german-prisoners-of-war-in-mississippi-1943-1946>.

Postcard from the Forrest Lamar Cooper collection showing four Greenville houses of worship. PI/1992.001.

Postcard from the Forrest Lamar Cooper collection showing four Greenville houses of worship. PI/1992.001.

Washington County, Mississippi, Cemeteries

Call no.: Disk 0145

Format: CD

This disk is an excellent genealogical resource for those with ancestors from Washington County. Containing photographs and research notes of several neglected cemeteries in the county, the disk also features headstone transcriptions, copies of selected obituaries from the Delta Democrat Times and a copy of the will of Solitaire plantation owner Ambrose Knox (d. January 14, 1873). Solitaire, Peru Hill planation, and National Register of Historic Places site Linden plantation are all documented on the disk. The Erwin family cemetery and Long Island, owned by the William Alexander Dromgole family, are also included. Two African American church cemeteries, Canaan Hill, located outside Hollandale, and Daniel Chapel A. M. E. in Glen Allen complete the disk.

The disk was donated by Dr. Nancy C. Coleman and is part of her project to document cemeteries in Washington County. Other titles are available.

MORE INFORMATION:

To find out more about this disk, search our online catalogue for Disk 0145. To browse the disk collection, navigate to the advanced search page, check the “Electronic Records” box, and type “disk” into the keyword search bar.

All catalogued disks are available to view or listen to in the Media Room; patrons should request disks from media staff using the four digit call number.

References:

Woods, Woody. Delta Plantations: The Beginning. Accessed on September 24, 2015 at https://books.google.com

“Our History.” Accessed on September 24, 2015 at http://www.washingtoncountyms.us/

“National Register of Historic Places listings in Washington County, Mississippi.” Accessed on September 24, 2015 at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Register_of_Historic_Places_listings_in_Washington_County,_Mississippi

 
"Courthouse, Laurel, MS" Call Number: PI/2004.0025 (MDAH Collection)

"Courthouse, Laurel, MS" Call Number: PI/2004.0025 (MDAH Collection)

The Laurel, MS Postcard Collection is now available to view online! Simply click “Create a set of down-linked records” to see the list of individual postcard catalog records, click to view the record, then click “Link to Electronic Resource” to view the image.

"Strand Theatre, Laurel, MS" Call Number: PI/2004.0025 (MDAH Collection)

"Strand Theatre, Laurel, MS" Call Number: PI/2004.0025 (MDAH Collection)

"Eigth Avenue Cottages, Laurel, MS." Call Number: PI/2004.0025 (MDAH Collection)

"Eigth Avenue Cottages, Laurel, MS." Call Number: PI/2004.0025 (MDAH Collection)

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This series explores the life of Dunbar Rowland (1864-1937), first director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. He served from 1902 to 1937.

"A View of A. & M. College Grounds, Starkville, Miss." Call Number: PI/1992.0001 (MDAH Collection)

"A View of A. & M. College Grounds, Starkville, Miss." Call Number: PI/1992.0001 (MDAH Collection)1

Dunbar Rowland attended private school in Memphis, Tennessee, and preparatory school at Oakland Academy in Mississippi.  In 1882, he enrolled at the recently established Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Mississippi State University) and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1886. That summer, Rowland studied law at the office of Judge R. H. Golladay in Coffeeville.2

Rowland entered law school at the University of Mississippi in September 1886, graduating with the L.L. B. (Bachelor of Laws, predecessor to the J. D.) degree in 1888. He then opened law offices in Memphis and worked there for four years before moving his practice to Coffeeville, Mississippi, in 1893.

During his law career, Rowland established a reputation as an amateur historian. He regularly published articles in newspapers and in the Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society, a multi-volume work published from 1898 to 1914 (the Centenary series of Publications, published from 1915 to 1925, was edited by Rowland). A biographical note in the third volume (1900) says:

As a student Mr. Rowland gave as much time to the cultivation of polemics, literature, history, and composition as his other duties would allow, thus laying the foundation for the literary and historical work that has since occupied the time he could spare from his professional duties. He is especially interested in the social, industrial and political problems that are peculiar to the South, and has done much to popularize the study of Mississippi history by his numerous interesting historical and biographical contributions which have appeared from time to time in the Memphis Commercial Appeal and in the Atlanta Constitution.”3

Rowland’s historical writings romanticized the Old South. The use of the word “peculiar” is particularly interesting above. It is a word loaded with meaning due to its use to describe slavery as the “peculiar institution.”  We can only guess what Franklin L. Riley, the editor of Publications, thought at the time, but perhaps “social, industrial and political problems that are peculiar to the South” was a euphemism for the continuing legacy of slavery, Civil War and Reconstruction, and the emerging Jim Crow culture.

Rowland certainly romanticized the Old South. For example, in his article “Plantation Life in Mississippi before the War” in Publications, Vol. III (1900), he waxed eloquently about plantation men, saying:

The writer has a heartfelt conviction that the chivalrous, courtly, courageous Southern gentleman of the ante-bellum period was the grandest embodiment of the most superb manhood that ever graced a forum or died upon a battlefield.4

On the plantation wives, Rowland continues:

Of all the characters that history has preserved for the love of succeeding generations the Southern mother should be enshrined in fame’s proudest niche.5

This philosophy would have implications later for Rowland when he applied for the directorship of MDAH in 1902. So, by 1900 to 1901, Rowland was still in Coffeeville practicing law, but he was also cultivating a reputation as a historian and interacting with the men who mattered in the political and historical landscape of Mississippi.


1 The Chemistry Building (1883, right) and Administration/Chapel Building (1880, center), existed during Rowland’s time there. See “The University’s Historic Buildings,” University Libraries, Mississippi State University. http://library.msstate.edu/exhibits/university_buildings/index.asp (accessed January 12, 2011).
2 Biographical information from “Rowland, Dunbar Biographical Sketches” and “Rowland, Dunbar Death,” Subject Files (MDAH).

3 Franklin L. Riley, ed., Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society, vol. III, (Oxford, Mississippi: Mississippi Historical Society, 1900), 85.

4 Dunbar Rowland, “Plantation Life in Mississippi before the War,” in Publications, vol. III, 87.

5 Ibid., 97.

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MDAH has a variety of images depicting African American life in Mississippi. Following are selected images from the collections in the Digital Archives, which are available to view on the web.

Unidentified African American children. Hamilton Collection. Call Number: PI/1994.0004 (MDAH)

Unidentified African American children. Call Number: PI/1994.0004 (Hamilton Collection, MDAH)

Portrait photograph of unidentified African American woman. Hamilton Collection. Call Number: PI/1994.0004 (MDAH)

Portrait photograph of unidentified African American woman. Call Number: PI/1994.0004 (Hamilton Collection, MDAH)

"Negro Baptism. Souvenir of Vicksburg, Miss." Cooper Postcard Collection. Call Number: PI/1992.0001 (MDAH Collection)

"Negro Baptism. Souvenir of Vicksburg, Miss." Call Number: PI/1992.0001 (Cooper Postcard Collection, MDAH)

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More Valentine’s Day Sentiments

On February 14, 2011, in Digital Archives, Postcards, by Amanda
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"I've taken to the benches at Vicksburg." Call Number: PI/1992.0001 (MDAH Collection)
“I’ve taken to the benches at Vicksburg.” Call Number: PI/1992.0001 (MDAH Collection)

This postcard is also from the Cooper Postcard Collection.

Other Valentine’s Day posts from around the blogosphere:

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