Wesson Photograph Collection

On September 29, 2011, in Digital Archives, Photographs, by Amanda
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The Wesson Enterprise newspaper office. Call Number: PI/2000.0001, item 1 (MDAH Collection)

The Wesson Enterprise newspaper office. Call Number: PI/2000.0001, item 1 (MDAH Collection)

The Wesson (Miss.) Photographs Collection (PI/2000.0001) is comprised of thirty black and white photographs of and related to the town in Copiah County. The collection include city scenes of businesses, churches, and schools, as well as images of the inauguration of Governor Edmund Noel and the state fair.

New Capitol is 108 this month

On July 28, 2011, in Digital Archives, Photographs, by Amanda
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New Capitol shortly after completion of construction. Call Number: PI/STR/C36.456 (MDAH Collection)

The new state capitol of Mississippi was completed in July 1903, after almost three years of construction on the site of the old state penitentiary (which was built in 1840 by Old Capitol architect William Nichols). It cost $1,093,641 and was funded mainly through $1,000,000 in back taxes paid by the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley and the Gulf and Ship Island Railroads. State officials moved into the new building in September 1903 and legislators met there for the first time in January 1904. Here the New Capitol is shown after construction was completed but before grounds work had begun.

Theodore Link. Call Number: PI/PER/1982.0096 (MDAH Collection)

The New Capitol was designed by architect Theodore C. Link (1850-1923) of St. Louis, pictured at left. Link also oversaw the renovation of the Old Capitol into a state office building in 1916-1917.

Digital Archives related to the New Capitol:

Series 637: Minutes, 1900-1904 (of the State House Commission)
This body was charged with planning and overseeing the construction of the New Capitol.

Series 317: Photographs of New Capitol (State House Commission)
This album shows photographs of the construction of the New Capitol.

Source: John Ray Skates, Mississippi’s Old Capitol: Biography of a Building (Jackson: Mississippi Department of Archives and History, 1990), 125-29.

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Early Natchez: Concord

On January 19, 2011, in Artifacts, Photographs, by Amanda
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This post is the final part of a short series of items from the collection related to the early days of Natchez, one of the early settlements in Mississippi and the center of government and society during the territorial years (1798-1817) and early days of statehood.

PI/CI/N38.3.65
Concord, Natchez, 189-. Call Number: PI/CI/N38.3 Item 65 (MDAH Collection)

This is “Concord,” built in 1789 by Don Manuel de Gayoso, Spanish governor of the Natchez region. The governor named the home “Concord” because it symbolized the fact that people from different countries lived together in “concord” in the Natchez area. The occupants of the home entertained many notable people of the day, including territorial governor Winthrop Sargeant, Aaron Burr, and Jefferson Davis. The last event held there was hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Manchester. Concord burned in 1901. The only parts remaining were the curved marble staircase in the front and a brick outbuilding (the staircase was dismantled in the late 1970s). Some pieces of furniture and a few of the marble mantles were also saved from the blaze.

Read more about Concord, including the text of a newspaper article published shortly after the fire in this article from the Preservation in Mississippi blog.

Key from Concord. Accession number: 1960.44.5 (Museum of Mississippi History Collection)

Key from Concord. Accession number: 1960.44.5 (Museum of Mississippi History Collection)

E.B. Baker donated these Concord artifacts to MDAH in 1917. Artifacts in the collection of the Museum of Mississippi History are available for viewing by appointment only. Please contact Cindy Gardner, Director of Collections or Nan Prince, Asst. Director of Collections by email to schedule an appointment.

Newel post ornament from step leading to front entrance of Concord. Accession number: 1960.44.2 (Museum of Mississippi Collection)

Newel post ornament from step leading to front entrance of Concord. Accession number: 1960.44.2 (Museum of Mississippi Collection)

Connelly’s Tavern on Ellicott’s Hill, exterior, Natchez, Miss. Call Number: PI/2004.0011 (MDAH Collection)

Connelly’s Tavern on Ellicott’s Hill, exterior, Natchez, Miss. Call Number: PI/2004.0011 (MDAH Collection)

Concord originally looked similar to this house on Ellicott’s Hill in Natchez.
Sources:
“Concord,” Subject File, MDAH.

Westley F. Busbee, Jr., Mississippi: A History (Wheeling, Illinois: Harlan Davidson, Inc., 2005), 47.

Today we continue the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion series, written by guest blogger Mary Lohrenz, curator of the mansion. This post continues her discussion of the Greek Revival style of the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion.

Let’s go inside to discover more Greek Revival elements. You can also view the floorplans of the Governor’s Mansion.

Foyer, Governor's Mansion, 2000

Octagonal foyer, Mississippi Governor's Mansion, 2000

Foyer column detail, Mississippi Governor's Mansion, 2010

Foyer column detail, Mississippi Governor's Mansion, 2010

The mansion’s octagonal foyer has columns that are a different interpretation of the Corinthian order than those on the front portico.

The Corinthian foyer columns are set in antis, meaning round columns placed between square columns or piers.  Mansion architect William Nichols also used Doric columns set in antis for the side entrances of the 1839 Mississippi Capitol. 

Architrave over Front Rose Parlor door to foyer, Governor's Mansion, 2009

Architrave over Front Rose Parlor door to foyer, Governor's Mansion, 2009

Architrave, Black Rose Parlor looking into Front Rose Parlor, Governor's Mansion, 2009

Architrave over pocket doors, Back Rose Parlor looking into Front Rose Parlor, Mississippi Governor's Mansion, 2009

Architrave, LaFever engravings, 1839

Architrave, Lafever engravings, 1839

There are ornately-carved architraves (ornamental moldings) with the Greek honeysuckle design above the pocket doors located between the Front and Back Rose Parlors and between the State Dining Room and the Gold Parlor and above the front door and selected first floor room doors. William Nichols patterned these after engravings published in Minard Lafever’s The Beauties of Modern Architecture (3rd edition, 1839).   

Mantel, Green Bedroom, Governor's Mansion, 2009

Mantel, Green Bedroom, Mississippi Governor's Mansion, 2009

"Chimney Pieces," La Fever engravings, 1839

"Chimney Pieces," Lafever engravings, 1839

William Nichols also used Lafever’s publication as the pattern for the Greek Revival rosette design of the original wooden mantel in the mansion’s Green Bedroom.

Read more about the mansion’s history and view frequently asked questions

Free tours of the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion are given Tuesdays through Fridays, 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. on the half-hour.  Reservations are required for groups of ten or more.  Because the mansion may be closed for official state functions, you should call 601-359-6421 to confirm tour availability.

Sources:

Helen Cain and Anne D. Czarniecki,  An Illustrated Guide to the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion (Jackson:  University Press of Mississippi, 1984).

Mary Lohrenz, Mississippi Governor’s Mansion Docent Manual (January 2011).

C. Ford Peatross and Robert O. Mellown,  William Nichols, Architect  (Tuscaloosa:  University of Alabama Art Gallery, 1979).

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Today we continue the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion series, written by guest blogger Mary Lohrenz, curator of the mansion. 

Designed by architect William Nichols, who also designed the 1839 Mississippi Capitol, the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion is an outstanding example of domestic Greek Revival architecture.  Greek Revival is a style based on the reuse of ancient Greek architectural forms.  The Greek Revival style often combines both Roman and Greek influences and is sometimes called the Classical style.

What is Greek Revival about the mansion? 

Front portico, Mississippi Governor's Mansion, 2010

Choragic monument of Lysicrates, drawn by Stuart and Revett

Choragic Monument of Lysicrates, drawn by Stuart and Revett, 1762

Let’s start with the front exterior. The design of the Corinthian columns on the 1841 mansion front portico is the same as that of the Corinthian columns on the 334 B.C. Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens, Greece.  William Nichols may have used the scale drawings of this ancient Greek monument that were published in The Antiquities of Athens, Volume I (1762) by James Stuart and Nicholas Revett. 

Northeast column capital, Portico, Governor's Mansion

Northeast column capital, Portico, Mississippi Governor's Mansion, 2010

Scale drawing of choragic monument of Lysicrates, by Stuart and Revett

Scale drawing of Choragic Monument of Lysicrates, by Stuart and Revett, 1762

Look particularly at the capital (decorative top) of the Corinthian columns of the Mansion portico and the ancient Athens monument in the images above to see the similarities.

More mansion architecture coming next…

Read more about the mansion’s history and view frequently asked questions

Free tours of the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion are given Tuesdays through Fridays, 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. on the half-hour.  Reservations are required for groups of ten or more.  Because the mansion may be closed for official state functions, you should call 601-359-6421 to confirm tour availability.

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