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.

Early Natchez: 1854 River Scene

On January 14, 2011, in Sketches & Engravings, by Amanda
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This post is the second 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.

Natchez, 1854. Call Number: PI/1989.0001.1 (MDAH Collection)

Natchez, 1854. Call Number: PI/1989.0001 (MDAH Collection)

This 1854 engraving shows Natchez from the Louisiana side of the Mississippi River. Notice the steamboat traffic on the river and buildings in Natchez “Under-the-Hill.” Describing it as a ”colorful, ribald old river port” one writer said:

There were times when flatboats were tied to its banks 14 deep in a stretch two miles long. Ships from Liverpool and other foreign ports came to its wharfs. All that remains is a single desolate street and a few moldy buildings; year by year the river eats away the soft rockless land.[1]

This was written in 1938, because now things couldn’t be more different–Natchez “Under-the-Hill” is a popular tourist spot that is proud of its colorful past.[2] 

Holiday Closing

All MDAH offices will be closed on Monday, January 17, 2011 in observance of the birthdays of Robert E. Lee and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 8:00 a.m.


[1] Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Progress Administration, Mississippi: A Guide to the Magnolia State, The American Guide Series (New York: The Viking Press, 1938), 244.

[2] Natchez Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, “Natchez Under-the-Hill,” http://www.visitnatchez.com/custom/webpage2.cfm?content=Articles&cat=NatchezUnderTheHill (accessed December 16, 2010).

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Early Natchez: Fort Rosalie/Panmure

On January 11, 2011, in Sketches & Engravings, by Amanda
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This post is part one 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
“View of the Fort of the Natchez,” 1797. Call Number: PI/CI/N38.3, Item 1 (MDAH Collection)

This sketch shows Fort Panmure, formerly Fort Rosalie, which was constructed on the site of present day Natchez by Lieutenant Governor Bienville in the early 1700s. At that time, the French ruled the Mississippi-Louisiana area. The fort was renamed in the 1760s during British rule of the colony. In 1797, the date of this sketch, Natchez was under Spanish rule.

For a handy summary of Mississippi colonial and territorial history see the text of the “Mississippi: The Magnolia State” historical marker or check out the marker itself on its blog entry from the historical marker series:

Explored, 1540-1, by De Soto. Colonized first by French, 1699. Became a colony of British, 1763; Spanish, 1779. Territory organized by U.S., 1798. Became 20th. state, 1817.

The area under the bluff by the Mississippi River would later become Natchez “Under-the-Hill,” the more boisterous part of town, owing to its proximity to the river traffic and their boat crews.

The site of Fort Rosalie is now famous as the site of the antebellum mansion “Rosalie,” name after the fort, and built by Peter Little in 1823. It still stands today.

Sources:

Westley F. Busbee, Jr., Mississippi: A History (Wheeling, Illinois: Harlan Davidson, Inc., 2005), 29, 39-40, 55.

Mississippi State Society Daughters of the American Revolution, “Rosalie Mansion,” http://www.rosaliemansion.com/index.html, accessed December 15, 2010.

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An 1890s Christmas

On December 20, 2010, in Digital Archives, Photographs, by Amanda
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It’s a short week here at the archives, but we will spend it looking at some of the wonderful Christmas themed holdings from the collections! Holiday hours are listed at the end of the post.

Christmas tree, Stewart Photograph Collection, 189-. Call Number: 1992.0006 (MDAH Collection)

Christmas tree, Natchez, 189-. Call Number: 1992.0006, Item 8 (MDAH Collection)

These images from the Stewart Photograph Collection show turn of the century Natchez around Christmas time. View the entire collection (including more snow scenes) in the Digital Archives.

Collection Description:

The collection consists of 258 black-and-white images from prints of glass plate negatives created by amateur photographers (and brothers) Robert Livingston Stewart and William Percy Stewart of Natchez, Mississippi, around 1890-1905. The photographs are primarily of the Natchez area and focus on the Stewart family and activities such as dedication ceremonies, winter storms, floods, steamboats and river scenes.

"Residence of W. P. Stewart," Snow scene, Natchez, 189-. Call Number: PI/1992.0006 Item 148 (MDAH Collection)

"Residence of W. P. Stewart," Snow scene, Natchez, 189-. Call Number: PI/1992.0006, Item 148 (MDAH Collection)

"Mississippi River," River, ice and snow, Natchez, 189-. Call Number: PI/1992.0006 Item 246 (MDAH Collection)

"Mississippi River," River, ice and snow, Natchez, 189-. Call Number: PI/1992.0006, Item 246 (MDAH Collection)

MDAH Holiday Closings:

All offices will be closed for the Christmas holidays from Friday, December 24 through Monday, December 27, 2010.

All offices will be closed for New Years’ from Friday, December 31, 2010 through Monday, January 3, 2011.

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