By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society, Volume 2 (of 14), 1899
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society, Volume 2 (of 14), 1899" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.




                    Mississippi Historical Society

                               Edited by
                           FRANKLIN L. RILEY

                            Reprinted 1919
                        DUNBAR ROWLAND, LL. D.

                               VOL. II.

                         OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI:
                       PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY.



            GENERAL STEPHEN D. LEE, Columbus, Mississippi.


           PROFESSOR R. W. JONES, University of Mississippi.
              JUDGE B. T. KIMBROUGH, Oxford, Mississippi.


          CHANCELLOR R. B. FULTON, University of Mississippi.

                       SECRETARY AND TREASURER:

        PROFESSOR FRANKLIN L. RILEY, University of Mississippi.

                         EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:


PROFESSOR J. M. WHITE, Agricultural and Mechanical College of Mississippi.
       PROFESSOR CHARLES HILLMAN BROUGH, of Mississippi College.
              PROFESSOR W. L. WEBER, of Millsaps College.
             PRESIDENT J. R. PRESTON, of Stanton College.

       *       *       *       *       *

All persons who are interested in the work of the Society and desire to
promote its objects are invited to become members.

There is no initiation fee. The only cost to members is, annual dues,
$2.00, or life dues, $30.00. Members receive all publications of the
Society free of charge.

Donations of relics, manuscripts, books and papers are solicited for
the Museum and Archives of the Society.

Address all communications to the Secretary of the Mississippi State
Historical Society, University P. O., Mississippi.



  TITLE,                                                               1

  OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY FOR 1899,                                    3

  CONTENTS,                                                            5

  by _Prof. C. Alphonso Smith_,                                        7

  MOVEMENT, by _Prof. W. L. Weber_,                                   15

  by _Prof. Dabney Lipscomb_,                                         32

  OF THE SOUTH, by _Prof. Alexander L. Bondurant_,                    43

  AND WRITINGS, by _Prof. Chiles Clifton
  Ferrell_,                                                           67

  by _Prof. Franklin L. Riley_,                                       85

  Hillman Brough_,                                                   113

  TERRITORIAL GROWTH OF MISSISSIPPI, by _Prof. J. M. White_,         125

  Stone, Esq._,                                                      135

  MISSISSIPPI, by _Thomas McAdory Owen, Esq._,                       147

  Esq._,                                                             157

  COLLEGES, by _Bishop Chas. B. Galloway_,                           169

  Morrison_,                                                         179

  _Dunbar Rowland, Esq._,                                            189

  GLIMPSES OF THE PAST, by _Mrs. Helen D. Bell_,                     201

  R. W. Jones_,                                                      219

  _Mr. H. S. Halbert_,                                               223

  INDEX,                                                             235



The year 1870 marks an epoch in the history of the South. It
witnessed not only the death of Robert E. Lee but the passing also
of John Pendleton Kennedy, George Denison Prentice, Augustus Baldwin
Longstreet, and William Gilmore Simms. In literature it was not only
the end of the old but the beginning of the new, for in 1870 the new
movement in Southern literature may be said to have been inaugurated in
the work of Irwin Russell. I have attempted elsewhere to trace briefly
the chronological outlines of this literature from 1870 to the present
time. In this paper, therefore, I shall discuss not the history of this
literature but rather the history in this literature.

When we compare Southern literature of ante-bellum days with that
produced since 1870 we note at once certain obvious differences of
style and structure. In the older literature the sentences are longer,
the paragraphs less coherent, adjectives more abundant, descriptions
more elaborate, plots more intricate and fanciful. In the newer
literature the pen is held more firmly; there are fewer episodes;
incidents are chosen to illustrate character rather than to enhance the
plot; the language is more temperate; the pathos and humor more subtle;
some fixed goal is kept in view and the action of the story converges
steadily toward this end.

But apart from these stylistic and structural differences there are
differences that appeal to the student of history equally as much
as to the student of pure literature. Since 1870 Southern writers
have begun to find their topics and their inspiration in the life
that is round about them. They are resorting not so much to books
as to memory, observation and experience. They are not rising into
solitary and selfish renown; they are lifting the South with them.
They are writing Southern history because they are describing Southern
life. The writings of Irwin Russell, Sidney Lanier, Joel Chandler
Harris, Miss Murfree, George W. Cable, Thomas Nelson Page, James Lane
Allen, Miss Grace King, Mrs. Ruth McEnery Stuart, and John Fox, Jr.,
are spreading a knowledge of Southern life and Southern conditions
where such knowledge has never penetrated before. And though we call
this literature Southern, it is neither sectional in its appeal nor
provincial in its workmanship. This, then, is what I mean by the
historical element in recent Southern literature.

It has long seemed to me that much of the immediate influence of _Uncle
Tom's Cabin_ both in this country and in England was due to the fact
that the South could not show in all of its ante-bellum literature
a single novel treating the same themes treated by Mrs. Stowe, but
treating them from a different point of view. It was the first attempt
to portray in vivid colors the social and institutional conditions of
the South. None of our writers had utilized the material that lay ready
to their hands. There was no story written in the spirit of _Marse
Chan_ or _Uncle Remus_ which the South could hold up and say,

"Look here, upon this picture, and on this."

The reception accorded Mrs. Stowe's book in the South teaches a
valuable lesson, and a lesson which Southern writers have for thirty
years profited by _Uncle Tom's Cabin_ was met by bitter criticism, by
argument, by denunciation, by denial, or by contemptuous silence. But
the appeal made by a literary masterpiece, however deficient or faulty
in its premises, is not thus to be negatived. The true answer to _Uncle
Tom's Cabin_ and the most adequate answer that could be given is to
be found in the historical note that characterizes the work of Irwin
Russell and those who have succeeded him.

I wish to state, therefore, in somewhat broader terms than I have yet
seen it stated, what seems to me the historical importance of Irwin
Russell in American literature. His priority in the fictional use
of the negro dialect has been frequently emphasized, but I wish to
emphasize his priority in utilizing for literary purposes the social
and institutional conditions in which he himself had lived. Skill in
the use of a dialect is a purely literary excellence, but when a writer
portrays and thus perpetuates the peculiar life of a people numbering
four million, he is to that extent an historian; and Irwin Russell's
example in this respect meant a complete change of front in Southern
literature. He did not go to Italy for his inspiration as Richard Henry
Wilde had done. You find no _Rodolph_, or _Hymns to the Gods_, or
_Voyage to the Moon_ among his writings; but you will find that deeper
poetic vision that saw pathos and humor and beauty in the humble life
that others had contemned.

The appearance of _Christmas-Night in the Quarters_ meant that
Southern literature was now to become a true reproduction of Southern
conditions. Our writers were henceforth to busy themselves with
the interpretation of life at close range. They were to produce a
kaleidoscopic body of fiction, each bit of which, sparkling with its
own characteristic and independent color, should yet contribute its
part to the harmony and symmetry of the whole.

I would not for a moment compare the genius of Irwin Russell with
that of Chaucer or of Burns; and yet when Chaucer in the latter part
of his life turned from French and Italian sources to find an ampler
inspiration in his own England, the England that he knew and loved, he
was but illustrating the change that Irwin Russell was to inaugurate in
Southern literature; and when Robert Burns broke through the classical
trammels of the eighteenth century and lifted the poor Scotch cotter
into the circle of the immortals, he was but anticipating your own
Mississippian in proving that poetry, like charity, begins at home.
To the student of literature, there is a wide difference between the
_Prologue to the Canterbury Tales_, _The Cotter's Saturday Night_, and
the _Christmas-Night in the Quarters_; but to the student of history
the poems stand upon the same plane because each is a transcript of
contemporary life.

Irwin Russell represents, therefore, a transition of vital significance
in our literature, a transition that had been partly foretold in the
work of Judge Longstreet and Col. Richard Malcolm Johnston. There is
as much local coloring in the _Georgia Scenes_ and the _Dukesborough
Tales_ as in the work of Irwin Russell; but I do not find the same deft
workmanship; I miss in the older works the sympathy, the pathos, and
the self-restraint that enable Irwin Russel to be local in his themes
without being provincial in his manner.

I do not say that the poet or the novelist must never revert to past
history or to historical documents for his topics. His own genius and
taste must be his surest guide to both as to topic and to treatment;
but I do say that a nation is unfortunate if the builders of its
literature invariably draw their material from foreign sources or from
the history that was enacted before they were born.

"I have no churlish objection," says Emerson in his _Essay on
Self-Reliance_, "to the circumnavigation of the globe for the
purposes of art, of study and benevolence, so that the man is first
domesticated, or does not go abroad with the hope of finding somewhat
greater than he knows____ The soul created the arts wherever they
have flourished. It was in his own mind that the artist sought his
model. And why need we copy the Doric or the Gothic model? Beauty,
convenience, grandeur of thought, and quaint expression are as near to
us as to any, and if the American artist will study with hope and love
the precise thing to be done by him, considering the climate, the soil,
the length of the day, the wants of the people, ... he will create a
house in which all these will find themselves fitted, and taste and
sentiment will be satisfied also."

The historical element, therefore, of which I am speaking is not
synonymous with the historical novel. The critics apply the term
historical novel to those novels that attempt to reproduce the past.
These novels are retrospective and essentially romantic. In the work of
Sir Walter Scott this form of literature attained its florescence. But
I contend that while the historical novel may have a genuinely human
interest, its value as history is almost inappreciable as compared with
the historical value of the literature that portrays contemporary life.
We do not study ancient history in Chaucer's _Legend of Good Women_,
but there would be a deplorable gap in our knowledge of fourteenth
century England if _The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales_ had never
been written.

A hundred years from now Dickens' _Tale of Two Cities_ will not have
the historical significance that _David Copperfield_ will have; because
the _Tale of Two Cities_ is based on records that are accessible to
all students of the French Revolution. It is not an interpretation of
life at first hand; it is an interpretation only of books. Then, too,
historical investigation is even today far more accurate and scientific
than when Dickens wrote. But _David Copperfield_, which the critics
have never called an historical novel, has an historical element
that time cannot take away, for it is the record of what an accurate
observer saw and felt and heard in the first half of the nineteenth
century. The historical novel, therefore, in the current acceptation
of the term, contributes nothing to the sources of historical study,
though it does popularize history and thus help to prepare an audience
for the scientific historian.

Now, the South has produced her full share of historical novels. From
_Horse-Shoe Robinson_ in 1835 to _The Prisoners of Hope_ in 1898,
Southern writers have shown themselves by no means insensible to
the literary possibilities latent in our colonial and revolutionary
history. But it was not until 1870 that the South may be said to have
had a school of writers who, while not neglecting the historical novel
proper, began to find the scenery and materials of their stories
chiefly in local conditions and in passing or remembered events. Much,
it is true, has been lost to our literature, but much has been saved.

It has often been said that the new movement in Southern literature
was due to the influence of Bret Harte's works, but such a statement
hardly deserves refutation. The cause lies deeper than this. The events
of 1861-65 not only broke the continuity of Southern history but
changed forever the social and political status of the Southern states.
The past began to loom up strange and remote, but "dear as remembered
kisses after death." Men seemed to have lived a quarter of a century in
four years. They moved as in a world not realized. Now it is just at
such periods that literature finds its opportunity, for at such periods
a people's historic consciousness is either deepened or destroyed, and
this national consciousness finds expression in historical literature.

The South, then, is slowly writing her history in her literature.
Hardly a year passes that some new state or some new period does not
find a place in the onward movement. Only in the last year, hundreds
of readers who care nothing for formal histories have pored over Mr.
Page's _Red Rock_ and learned for the first time the inside history
of Reconstruction; in the pages of Miss Murfree's _Story of Old Fort
Loudon_, they have seen the heroism with which the Tennessee soldier
won his state from the wilderness and the Indian; in Miss Grace King's
_De Soto and his Men in the Land of Florida_, they have followed the
discoverer of the Mississippi on a journey as marvelous and romantic as
the fabled voyage of Jason; in _The Kentuckians_ of John Fox, Jr., they
have read again of that undying feud between highlander and lowlander
that has found expression in more than a hundred English and Scotch
ballads; in _Chalmette_ of Mr. Clinton Ross, they have stood again with
Jackson on an immortal battlefield; in _The Wire Cutters_ of Mrs. M.
E. M. Davis, they have witnessed a hitherto unexplored region, that of
West Texas, added to the growing map of Southern literature; in _The
Prisoners of Hope_, by Miss Mary Johnston, they have heard the first
mutterings of insurrection under the colonial tyranny of Governor
Berkeley,--mutterings that a century later were to be reinforced by the
pen of Jefferson and the sword of Washington. And these books mark the
record of but twelve months.

Need I say that the significance of this historical movement in our
literature is vital and profound for every man and woman before me? or
that it merits the earnest consideration of every historical society
organized to preserve and perpetuate the facts of our history.

Let me remind you that the literary significance of the Civil War is
as noteworthy as its purely historical significance. That struggle
meant far more to the South than to the North. To the North it meant
the preservation of the Union and the abolition of slavery. To the
South it meant decimated families, smoking homesteads, and the passing
forever of a civilization unique in human history. But LITERATURE LOVES
A LOST CAUSE, PROVIDED HONOR BE NOT LOST. Hector, the leader of the
vanquished Trojans, is the most princely figure that the Greek Homer
has portrayed; the Roman Virgil is proud to trace the lineage of his
people not back to the victorious Greeks but to the defeated Trojans;
the English poet-laureate finds his deepest inspiration not in the
victories of his Saxon ancestors over King Arthur but in King Arthur
himself, the fated leader of a losing cause. And so it has always been:
the brave but unfortunate reap always the richest measure of literary

In conclusion, I believe that in the organization of the Mississippi
State Historical Society and in the beneficent work that it has
wrought during its career of nine years, I see another indication of
that growing historic consciousness without which we cannot stand
unabashed before the bar of future history. "Deeds of prowess and
exalted situations cannot of themselves" says Schlegel (_History of
Literature_, Lecture I) "command our admiration or determine our
judgment. A people that would rank high in our esteem must themselves
be conscious of the importance of their own doings and fortunes." The
invaluable work that is being done by this Society for the history of
Mississippi is a part of that larger movement of which I have spoken.
Both testify to the advent of that historical spirit which "cannot
be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price
thereof." If I read aright the signs of the times, the new century will
not have been many years old before the history of the South will be
enshrined not only in annals and chronicles but in the living letters
of a nation's song and story.



So wide is the connotation of the word Romanticism, we may make up
almost any conceivable definition and be sure we have respectable
authority in agreement with the view we have taken. The fault to be
found with the current definitions is that they stress the source, at
the expense, of the character of that influence which transformed "the
age of prose and reason" into the "Renascence of Wonder." The influence
to be stressed in the use I shall wish to make of the word Romanticism
is protest against the settled, conservative, classical order of
things. Secondarily, it will be remembered that the source of much of
the literary material used by the protestants is to be found in the
remote past--remote whether in time or in charge of mental attitude.

In order to be able to throw a clearly defined portrait of Irwin
Russell on the canvas of Southern literature, it will be necessary
rapidly to review the main outlines of this Romantic movement in the
development of English thought a period which may be shown to be the
prototype of our own after-the-war literary life.

We shall not go into details. First we should recall to mind the
main literary currents of English thinking from the time of Dryden
to the end of the dictatorship of the great Cham himself. It will be
readily remembered that fashion in literature had changed soon after
Shakespeare's death and his native wood-notes wild were forgot for a
time. The age of prose and reason followed. Self-consciousness was a
characteristic note of the Augustan, the eighteenth century literature.
Narrowness of imagination, and faithfulness in copying made up the
main classical elements in many an English poet under the regime of

"Back to nature!" was the rallying cry of a protest against this
formalism--an inarticulate protest which culminated in the Romantic
movement. Under the leadership of Dryden and for more than a century
after him, canons of literary art based on classical models had almost
undisputed sway. Aristotle filtered through Horace and Horace diluted
by Boileau were prescribed by doctors who would correct and amend
English speech and literature. From these masters were drawn rules so
minute and so inflexible as to put to the death budding originality
by the demand for "correctness." If the poet were moved to describe
pastoral scenes, he must needs go to Theocritus for the names of
his characters, to Virgil for the contour of his scenery. But all
this classicism was counterfeit. It was "more Latin than Greek, and
more French than Latin." The classical poet, as he misnamed himself,
followed with slavish persistence the creed which he had adopted. It
was an accepted law that "the best of the modern poets in all languages
are those that have the nearest copied the ancients." He would have
nothing of country life. Rough and irregular scenery were distasteful
to him. Mountains he described by Gothic--his pet term of opprobrium.
Scenery as well as thought must conform to the level. "Decent
conformity," then, characterized the Augustan age and enthusiasm had no
place in the age of Dryden and of Pope.

Some of the characteristic features of the Romantic movement may
be readily got at, by prefixing a negative to the qualities of the
classical school. The country, out door life, rugged mountains,
folk-songs, ballads in every form, the picturing of English people
in English scenery were used as subject-matter--in other words, the
telling what the writer had himself seen and, therefore, what he
really knew, instead of what he had read. It was this reaction against
formalism which produced such men as Chatterton, Burns, Wordsworth,
Coleridge, Byron, Scott.

It is not within the purpose of this paper to give a full list of
the writers who may be said to be the forerunners of this movement
which dominated English poetry during the first quarter of the
Nineteenth Century. Nor is it needful to enter into the controversy
as to who first gave evidence of the changing attitude. So careful
a critic as Theodore Watts assigns the place of priority to Thomas
Chatterton, styles him the Father of the Romantic School, and insists
that to his influence may be traced some of the best work of Keats
and of Coleridge. It will always be well to remember that changes in
literary habit do not take place in a year, rarely in a decade. It
will, therefore, be easy to point out poets as early as Gray who gave
prophecy of the new era. This much at least is noteworthy--putting
aside the question as to who comes first of all--that the new current
of ideas began very early to flow through poets who were hardly more
than boys. Professor Beers has already reminded us that in Joseph
Warton as well as in Thomas Chatterton--neither of whom was more than
eighteen years of age--we may see the set of the literary current.

It may not be insisting too strongly on a parallel to see in the
history of Southern literature a state of affairs much like that we
have just sketched. It will be remembered that in 1818 Bryant sounded
his protest against a "sickly and affected imitation of the peculiar
manner of the late popular poets of England." As late as 1848 Lowell
did not hesitate roughly to assert:

    They stole Englishmen's books and thought Englishmen's thought,
    With English salt on the tail our wild Eagle was caught.

In these circumstances it is not surprising that Sydney Smith should
have asked with suggestion of truth even if with evidence of venom,
"Who reads an American book?" American literature in the Northern and
Middle sections escaped from bondage many years before the South came
into its own literary inheritance. Just as unreasoning worship of a
pseudo-classicism had its death-grip on Eighteenth Century writers so
a like uncritical devotion to the usually read classic writers and to
earlier English authors had checked the growth of the budding Southern
literature of the first half of the Nineteenth Century. Conservative as
the South has always been in matters of thought it was not surprising
that this should be so. Paul H. Hayne tells what contemptuous
references were made by the literary coterie of Charleston to the early
efforts of Simms because he dared aspire to cultivate the Muses, when
he must needs get his Homer through the medium of Chapman or of Pope.
This respect unto classical authority was of long continuance among
cultured men and showed itself, also, in the dry and tedious essays of
Legare who was reputed a great scholar.

It was, indeed, not until 1870 that the South may be said to have
achieved literary independence. As the sway of Greece and Rome passed
away, the South came to be a literary dependency of England. Kennedy
and Sims are dominated by Scott, just as Wirt and his friends of
the "Old Bachelor" group got their inspiration from the Spectator.
Of course there were poets as Hayne and Timrod and story-writers as
Johnston and Thompson who sang and wrote clearly and with a note of
individuality. But Lowell might have described the greater part of
Southern literary work in the words:

    Your literature suits its each whisper and motion
    To what will be thought of it over the ocean.

With the same thought in mind Poe wrote that "one might suppose that
books, like their authors, improve by travel, their having crossed the
sea is with us so great a distinction."

This natural conservatism was upheld by the fact that many Southerners
of means sent their sons to England to be educated. The South
being settled for the most part by emigrants of English blood, it
is not surprising that the controlling influence should be from

Before the war, Sydney Smith's cutting question might have been
answered with greater suggestion of truth in the form, "who reads a
Southern book?" A not untruthful answer would have been, "Southerners
do not." We have never adequately supported our own writers. We have
added to the tragedy of nations by allowing Poe to die the death of an
outcast; Timrod to break his heart, without a crust to eat or a penny
to buy food; Lanier not to have time to record the strains that were
demanding utterance, in order to spend his wasting strength seeking
support for wife and children; Russell broken in courage and in fortune
to find not even a resting-place in the soil of his native State.
Before the war the Southern library shelves were weighed down with
Fielding, Smollett, Addison, Johnson, Scott and Dickens. Charleston had
a public meeting to congratulate Macaulay on the issuance of one of the
later volumes of his History. Simms and Timrod lived in the City by the
Sea in obscurity and neglect. We have not yet reached the place where
we turn first to our own writers.

To say we had no writers, no books is not true. We had a plentiful
supply of books whose writers with a kind of literary metonymy
transferred the conventionalities and commonplaces of English life to
the atmosphere of the South. The result was not English and it was not
Southern but it had the worst features of both. Wax flowers were long
a popular form of domestic art and the literary amateur caught the
unreality of the maker of flowers.

There was, indeed, abundant material in the South and much of it was
made use of. A distinct weakness in our workmanship arose from the fact
that too much material was used for a given purpose. The stage was
overcrowded with characters, the plot was weakened by using too much
incident. This surplus-age of incident seems to have distracted the
writer's attention from the details of his craft. The value of the work
of art was lost in carelessness of workmanship. The new order of things
was to see a renaissance of simplicity. It was to be expected that in
order to bring about a re-crystallization of Southern literary canons a
shock was essential. That shock came in the form of the war between the
States. New ideas, newly expressed was the inheritance.

The new school of Southern writers found their material near at hand
and yet from a past growingly remote. They delighted to tell of the
days of slavery--to idealize that period, perhaps--and with some
acquaintance with slavery as it actually existed. While it has not
been a half century since the master and his slave lived together in
Southern lands, yet the number of those who have had experiential
knowledge of slave-life in the South is increasingly small. To be
accurate the picture of master and man had need to be painted quickly.

Perhaps the very first of our writers to give a true picture of
negro life in negro dialect was Irwin Russell of Mississippi. He was
certainly the first to make use of verse to put before us the negro
as he saw him. Russell's negro is for the most part not the slave but
the negro who is reconstructed in his legal relations, but altogether
unreconstructed in habits of thought and of action. That negro, a
picture of whom was to be had only during the decade immediately after
the war, is the hero of much of Russell's verse. That he has pictured
the character faithfully is evidenced by the fact of the life of his
work. Despite encouragements to die, the slender volume of posthumous
verse still lives and seems destined to have permanent place in
American literature.

Russell's place in our literary history does not depend solely on
the estimation put on his own work but is assured by the fact of
his influence on those he preceded in this new field. Joel Chandler
Harris was one of the first to recognize the genius of Russell and
he doubtless looks upon the power of the young poet as one of the
formative influences of his life. Likewise Thomas Nelson Page delights
to ascribe to the Bard of the Quarters the inspiration of his own
literary life.

It will be remembered that in sketching the English Romantic Movement
the fact was recorded that the boys Warton and Chatterton occupied a
place of prescience with regard to these new ideas. It will be worth
while calling to mind that Irwin Russell's relation to the Southern
Romantic Movement was much the same. Already at sixteen years of age,
he had begun to write and ten years later he had completed his work and
returned his talents to him who gave them.

The parallel to be drawn between the life of Chatterton and of Russell
is interesting if not suggestive of actual brotherhood of thought.

As mere boys they both began to write verse. They both made use of a
medium other than mother tongue. Chatterton manufactured for himself a
speech we cannot do better than describe as the Rowley dialect; Russell
put into form the rude speech of the negro with whom he had grown up;
yet he had no help in the difficult work of transcriber.

Chatterton found the tasks set for him in a lawyer's office unbearable
while there was poetry in his mind to be written down; Russell was
actually admitted to the bar but the Muse of Letters had marked him
for her own and the courtroom knew him no more. Breaking away from the
bondage of legal drudgery, Chatterton went with high hopes from Bristol
to London where for a few short months "the unhappy boy" strove against
starvation only at last to be overcome in the struggle for living.

Russell left Port Gibson and went to New York to enter upon a literary
life but after buffetings not a few, he at last entered into the
eternal rest not vouchsafed on earth to that weary, outworn body.

Chatterton may be granted place as forerunner of that noble body of
poets who have had part in making the poetry of the Nineteenth Century
as distinct contribution to English literature. Before Irwin Russell
there were, indeed, fore-gleams of the day that was to dawn, but it may
not unfairly be urged that he was the first to turn his camera on one
section of our Southern life and give us a picture that has cause to
be enumerated among the monuments which must be consulted as primary
authorities by the historian who will picture the life and thought of
the Southern people.



A gentleman of advanced age, ripe culture, and extensive knowledge
of the literature of the State, was asked, "Who is the best poet
Mississippi has produced?" Promptly he replied, "William Ward of
Macon." Respect for the opinion of the one who so unhesitatingly
adjudged this pre-eminence among the poets of the State led to a study
of William Ward's life and poetry, the result of which is now presented.

At the outset, however, let it be understood that the purpose of
this essay is not to establish Mr. Ward's supremacy as a poet.
Classifications of this kind in literature and elsewhere are generally
unsatisfactory and often invidious, for excellencies that vary greatly
in kind are not to be measured in degree. Some would doubtless accord
pre-eminence to Irwin Russell for his humorous, sympathetic pictures
of the quaintly sage and irrepressibly happy old-time plantation
negro. Others would as likely claim this honor for James D. Lynch of
West Point, who, against over two hundred poets of America, won for
himself and his State, by unanimous vote of the committee of awards,
the proud distinction of welcoming the nations of the world to the
great Columbian Exposition, and afterward of having his salutation ode
adopted as the Press Poem of America. Of him and his works more will be
said on another occasion. Other classes in attempts at gradation would
prefer this one or that one for reasons as different as the peculiar
merits of the poet or the tastes of the admirers.

Panegyric cannot perpetuate a reputation. If so, Tupper, whose fame was
predicted, would live as long as the language, would now be more than
a name. Joanna Baillie, too, whom even Sir Walter Scott describes as
sweeping her harp

      Till Avon's swans--
    Awakening at the inspired strain,
    Deemed their own Shakespeare lived again,

--where is she? Mindful of the futility of claiming for an author
more than is warranted, no eulogy will be offered, extravaganza will
be avoided. On the contrary, that criticism will be eschewed which
"damns with faint praise" what is cordially admired, fearful lest
others may not assent. William Ward and his poems shall speak largely
for themselves; knowledge of the man and his work being sufficient,
it is believed, to justify the claim that he is a poet entitled to

Like many others who have reflected honor on the State, he was a son
of Mississippi by adoption, a New Englander by birth. Son of William
and Charlotte Ward, he was born in August, 1823, at Litchfield,
Connecticut, an historic village, the early home of the Beechers; once
noted also for its famous law school, attended by many from the South,
John C. Calhoun among the number. Scarcely less was it famous for
the beauty of the surrounding scenery and for the aristocracy of its
leading families, who boasted their descent from old English houses as
much as did the Virginians of their Cavalier and the Carolinians of
their Huguenot ancestry. Social aristocracy in New England was a more
prominent feature of life there than is commonly supposed. Among the
leading families of Litchfield was that of the Wards. William, father
of the subject of this sketch, was a jeweler by occupation, a man of
integrity and unusual intelligence; wealthy until middle life, when
it appears that reverses overtook him. For this reason his children,
excepting one, perhaps, did not receive a college education as was
intended. John became an Episcopal clergyman; Elias a jeweler, like his
father; Henry, sorely disappointed in not being able to attend Yale
College, scholarly, poetic, took reluctantly to printing an editorial
work; Mary Charlotte, literary in her tastes, married a wealthy
gentleman, traveled in Europe, and wrote sketches of travel and a
number of poems. Of Henry Ward, a word more in passing to indicate more
fully the literary leaning of the family. At the age of thirteen, his
poem, "Novel Reading; or The Feast of Fiction," published in the local
paper, gave him notoriety and raised great expectations. Thwarted in
his college aspirations looking toward the ministry, he grew melancholy
and excessively reserved. After forty years of life as a practical
printer and editor, he left at his decease manuscripts in Greek, Latin
and Hebrew, versification of the Books of Job and Lamentations, and a
volume of hymns. His claim to the well-known hymn, "I Would Not Live
Always," generally accredited to William Augustus Muhlenberg, and also
to the poem, "Tell Me Ye Winged Winds," usually ascribed to Charles
Mackay, is set forth in Harpel's Poets and Poetry of Printerdom. In it,
too, may be found other poems by him and several by his sister Mary,
then Mrs. Webster.

But to William Ward, the youngest son, attention must now be turned
exclusively, with a glance first at the brief but important period
of his life spent in his boyhood home. Of those early days which
evidently left deep impression on his after life, less can be said
than could be wished. The beauty of the country about Litchfield must
have impressed him as it did Henry and Harriet Beecher, born amid
the same surroundings, ten or twelve years before him. Like them, no
doubt, he gazed with delight on the glorious sunsets which Mrs. Stowe
so enthusiastically describes, and roamed in perhaps the same mood the
woods in which they speculated whether Apollo had not there once built
his altars. He, too, wandered along the banks of crystal Bantam River
and dreamily watched the clouds as they hooded and un-hooded Mount Tom
in the hazy distance. Nature there surely must have been "meet nurse
for a poetic child."

His scholastic education was completed under the tuition of a
learned Episcopal clergyman whose private academy for boys was well
patronized. He was an insatiable reader and a fairly good student,
though his mind ran in literary lines rather than to the study of the
exact sciences. The classics he must have especially preferred, and
in them been carefully instructed, judging from the familiarity he
manifests in his poems with the mythology and literature in general of
Greece and Rome. Astronomy seems to have laid strong hold upon him; for
it held high place in his esteem in later life. He early gave evidence
of a poetic tendency, and some of his boyish effusions are said to
have possessed considerable merit. Intuition, environment, and reading
apparently combined to make of this New England lad a poet. What the
experiences of active life contributed in this direction, a look ahead
will show.

When only sixteen years of age, a great and unexpected change in his
plans and prospects occurred. He was urged by his brother Elias who had
gone South and set up in business at Columbus, Mississippi, to come
and learn under him the watch repairing and jewelry business. Though
his tastes and aptitudes led in opposite direction, the opening seemed
too favorable to be set aside. The invitation was accepted and bidding
adieu forever to the home of his love, with mingled enthusiasm and
trepidation the young man set out on his long journey to the South.
Embarking at New York on a sailing vessel, he reached Mobile, Alabama,
after a safe but lengthy voyage. Of the experiences of that voyage
which afterward gave coloring to some of his most poetic lines and of
the amusing incident attendant upon his arrival at Mobile notice cannot
now be taken.

Ten or twelve years of quiet busy life at Columbus, Mississippi
constitute the second distinct period in William Ward's comparatively
uneventful life. His letters home indicate that many of the sights and
incidents connected with life in that almost frontier land were new and
startling to the scholarly youth from staid Connecticut. By degrees
he became accustomed to his surroundings, and identified himself with
the society and business of the place. Modest and reserved in public,
with his friends he was ever a genial and interesting companion.
More student than mechanic, he would doubtless have preferred a
literary career. As it was, his literary tendency continued to assert
itself, and before attaining his majority verses from his pen began
to appear in print. At twenty or earlier he became a contributor to
the Philadelphia Saturday Courier, to which for ten years or more
thereafter he continued to furnish poems or themes chiefly classical
and patriotic. First in order of time of those that have been preserved
is "The Grave of Hale," which appeared in the issue of June 3, 1843. In
smooth and vigorous Spenserian stanzas, he protests against the neglect
of the martyr-patriot's grave.

    "Alas! and hath no gentle honoring hand,
      But that of Nature decked his tomb with flowers,
    We mourn the heroes of some storied land,
      And leave a cold and barren grave to ours."

Among other published poems of his early period indicative of his
devotion to the classic Muse, and of his ardent patriotism, may be
named "The Egean," "Greece," "The Bellman of '76," and "Our Own New

These lines from the first two poems, written respectively in 1844 and
1845, but for the dates might seem to have been inspired by the result
of the late sad struggle between the Greeks and Turks:

    "Bright sea! no more the naiad haunts
      Thy pearl founts with a syren spell,
    No sea-nymph on thy foam-bed pants,
      Within her rainbow spawning cell,
    The halo of departed years--
      Sleeps like a dream upon thy sky,
    While the dark curse of blood and tears
      Is echoed back with freedom's sigh."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Oh Greece! could ye but boast of Greeks the shame
    That gathers o'er thee now would make thy altars flame."

For the tenderness and warmth of sentiment expressed therein, the
poem, "Our Own New England," merits more than simple reference to it.
The last stanza shows how thoroughly Southern in ten years he had
become. Friendships strong and lasting had been formed, and he was now
prominent among the citizens of a town that even then prided itself
on its culture. One of the intimate friends of Alexander K. McClung,
he has left an appreciative tribute to that powerful, but somber and
erratic genius.

In 1850 Mr. Ward removed to Macon; Mississippi, and there lived
till his death in 1887. Early in the fifties he married Miss Emilie
A. Whiffen, an estimable and highly cultured young lady of English
parentage, then teaching in a female institute at Crawford, Miss. The
Philadelphia _Courier_ contained a pleasant notice of the marriage,
from which this extract is taken: "We sincerely congratulate our
esteemed correspondent, William Ward, Jr., Esq., whose delightful
verses have enriched but too seldom our Poet's Corner, upon the
agreeable fact reported in our hymeneal department last week." These
were his halcyon days, during which he was prosperous and serenely
joyful in his home. In 1856, he built in the woods skirting the eastern
edge of the town the modest but tasteful little cottage in which he
spent the remainder of his days. To verse he seems to have given but
little time during those busy years; though occasionally he still
contributed a poem to the _Courier_ and to the Macon and Columbus
papers. Three daughters and a son came to increase his pleasures and
his cares. Meanwhile the war cloud lowered and the tempest broke in
fury on the land he had learned to love and call his own. But this
was little heeded in comparison with the calamity which befell him
in the midst of those dreadful days in the loss of his devoted and
helpful wife. His life "cleft in twain," as he expressed it, from
that time forward is thus described by one who knew and loved him:
"To his half-orphaned children he became father and mother. We have
seen him in his cottage home spending his evenings in the bosom of
his little family, assisting his daughters with their lessons, amusing
the children, looking after their comfort, and doing all in his power
to make them happy. Proud and sensitive, he bravely struggled through
poverty that came to so many Southern families; and though at times
obliged to add the office of housekeeper to that of bread-winner for
his young family, he never sank the dignity of a gentleman to the
servility of a drudge."

Under these circumstances, all the more honor is due to him that
after the war he spurned the offers of place and wealth extended by
carpet-bag leaders of the Republican party who knew of his Northern
birth. Instead of such a course, he became in 1870 editor of the Macon
_Beacon_, and was as pronounced a Democrat as he had been Whig in
former years. During intervals of work in his little shop he hurriedly
wrote his editorials; and might often be seen walking up and down
behind the counter evolving a poem or a prose reverie, oblivious to
his surroundings. But to poetry he gave no more time than, as he said,
he _must_. Outside the joys of companionship with books and with his
children, he could truly have exclaimed with Burns:

    "Lease me on rhyme! it's aye a treasure,
    My chief, amaist my only pleasure."

With his little ones, on Sundays, he walked in the woods hard by his
house; and on clear nights he often pointed out to them the stars and
constellations, and told them of the myths that cluster about Orion,
the Pleiads and other denizens of the nightly firmament. He had his
own telescope and frequently searched the heavens with it for hours.
"It is well," he says, "to look upon the Christmas skies when the most
glorious constellations of the year are gathered as at the world's
great festival. It will give us higher conceptions of life and tone
down excesses we too often indulge in through the anniversary week that
closes up the year."

But let us look more closely at the man himself and then give his work
such examination as time left us will admit. Tall, slender, erect in
carriage, clean shaven, with dark brown hair and eyes, rapid in his
movements, the scholar and the gentleman written unmistakably on every
lineament, and William Ward, the man, is as nearly portrayed as can
now be done; for except a little daguerreotype taken for his wife,
which has been lost, he sat for no other picture. Singularly reserved
and almost shy in public, with his children and with his intimate
friends he was delightfully communicative, a vein of quiet humor often
outcropping in his words and deeds.

Public life he generally avoided; offices which he might have held, he
would not accept, although urged upon him. A loyal, ardent Odd Fellow,
like Abou Ben Adhem, he "loved his fellow-man," and was loved by them
in turn. His addresses and poems on the anniversaries of this order,
and at decorations of the soldiers' graves were much admired. Though
educated for an Episcopal clergyman, he never united with the church,
at least in the South, more than as a vestryman for a time. It is to
be regretted that, with outward eye so quick to see and interpret the
true and beautiful, his eyes of faith could not discern more clearly
the full truth and beauty of God's written Revelation. If so, his
pathetic lines on "Hope," composed a few years after his wife's death,
would have had a more triumphant ring than is contained in the last two
stanzas. Elsewhere hopes shines brighter and faith soars on stronger
wings, as when in his "In Memoriam" poem to his wife, he sings:

    "Still for this grief so desolate, so lone,
      A solace for unmated hearts is given,
    Another hand, another voice hath known
      The symphonies of heaven."

In the sixty-fourth year of his age, at the season he loved best, the
Christmas-tide, December 27, 1887, the gentle spirit of William Ward
softly slipped from its earthly moorings. His body by loving hands was
tenderly laid to rest in the cemetery at Macon, his home for nearly two
score years.

His spirit still lingers with us, embodied in the songs which he sang,
now out of a glad, now out of an aching heart. Well has it been said
that a poet least of all needs a monumental pile. The Iliad towers high
above the Pyramids, and will outlast them by ages. William Ward has
left no Iliad; he sang not of the gods and demi-gods; he struck the
lyre, and not the full-resounding harp. Intuition, early environment
and scholastic training, as has been shown, combined to make of him a
poet. Life's dull and dark experiences seemed to repress but could not
suppress in him the "noble rage." Visions of beauty continually flitted
in his imagination; music from choirs, visible and invisible, seemed
ever to soothe and charm his troubled, lonely heart. Especially in
the closing years of his life was poetry a joy and comfort to him. As
the burdens of life were shifted to the shoulders of his children, he
found more leisure, it appears, and indulged more frequently in poetic
expression of the mood or thought that deeply stirred within.

As might be supposed, his poems are of as diverse themes and varied
measures as the moods and occasions which suggested them. In them may
be best shown the poet and to some extent the man; hence, they deserve
and, it is believed, will repay a full and close investigation. Hear
him first, as in patriotic strain, he invites the world to his adopted


    Come to our hill-sides and come to our prairies,
      Broaden our fields with the spade and the plow;
    Bring us from Deutsche-land to gardens and dairies,
      To household and kitchen the fraulein and frau;
    Come from the birth-land of Goethe and Schiller,
      Scholar and poet and teacher and priest;
    Come where each acre of tilth needs a tiller,
      And people the South with the strength of the East;
    Bring you the songs and dance of Rhine-land
      The legends and sports of your home if you will;
    Give us the lays of your forest and vine-land,
      With the strong arm of labor the artisan's skill.

    Come from the cliffs where the sea-eagle fledges
      His brood o'er the wild ocean-storm of the North,
    Where the fisher-boats play round the moss-mantled ledges,
      Where the sea-kraken sports and the maelstrom has birth;
    Leave you the land where the treacherous glacier
      Mocks you, blinded and chilled with its pitiless glare,
    Where all save the mist-clouded rim of the geyser
      In the impotent sunlight lies frozen and bare;
    Where Hecla sits mailed like a desolate giant,
      With his flame-covered crest and his foot-stool of snow,
    O'er the storm-rended realm of the Viking defiant,
      And the sea rolling red in his terrible glow.

    We call you, O men of the kilt and the tartan,
      From highland and lowland, from mountain and mere--
    Though you feel for your country the love of a Spartan,
      A sunnier home and a welcome is here;
    Must you cling to the fields where the gorse and the heather
      That bloomed for your grandsires still blossom for you?
    Cannot hopes that await you here loosen the tether
      Which a birthright descended has cast over you?
    There is room, there is work for the peer and the peasant,
      From the land of the shamrock, the olive, and vine,
    You may lift up unquestioned the cross with the crescent,
      Or the lilies of France with the thistle-bloom twine.

No prosy pen could have indited those picturesque and stirring lines.

In his Centennial Hymn, "The Victory of Peace," in "The Blue and the
Gray," "Under Two Flags," "Gettysburg" and other poems, his muse dons
American colors and echoes the national note of peace and unity.

    "Now another flag is o'er us,
    And the bitter hate that tore us,
    From beneath its shadow falters,
    Let us raise the olden altars,
    Let us smite the wretch who palters
    With the tie that binds forever
    Those who lost and won together,
    While their banners live in story,
    Haloed with a common glory."



       *       *       *       *       *

    We see those splendid columns sweep
      Across the field. Men hold their breath;
    Before them frowns the sullen steep,
      Before and near is life or death.

           *       *       *       *       *

    They are not such as break and fly,
      No laggards droop, no cowards quail,
    Those only pause who drop and die
      Beneath that storm of leaden hail.

           *       *       *       *       *

    'Tis sunset. For the Blue, a gleam
      Of glory fills the dying day;
    From clouds above that sunset stream
      Another glory for the Gray.


       *       *       *       *       *

    They meet again--not steel to steel,
      But hand to hand and breast to breast,
    Hailed by the cannon's peaceful peal--
    The Blue the host, the Gray the guest.

           *       *       *       *       *

    And so they share--the brave and true,
      The glory of that fateful day;
    The Gray the glory of the Blue,
      The Blue the glory of the Gray.

           *       *       *       *       *

    'Tis sunset. From yon heaven away
     Fades every golden, purple hue;
    O'er host and guest, the twilight gray
     Blends with the evening sky of blue.

In "McMahon at Sedan" he strikes the martial measure with trumpet note.
Many more stirring war lyrics could not easily be found.

But his muse was also often pensive, and in that mood he softly sings
as if to himself alone. Among the best of these poems of reflection are
"A Memory," "Alone," "Nebulae," and "Look Up." In them the visions and
the melody evoked are often strangely beautiful and haunting; but a
depressing undertone like a sigh runs through them all.

    The misty realm of dream-land lies before me,
      O Sleep! in thine embrace,
    What shadows from the past are flitting o'er me,
      What mocking memories traced;
    The dim procession, slowly wafted onward,
      Prolongs the dreary moan
    That finds an echo in that fated one word,
            Alone! Alone!

From "The Master Thought" and "If Tongues Were Steel," the conclusion
might be drawn that a cynic set words to the tunes. The last stanza of
the first of these is keenly pointed and sadly near the truth:

    "Still man, though born a Socrates or Nero,
      If white with truth, or black with falsehood's taint,
    Would rather gleam in marble as a hero,
      Than glow on canvas, pictured as a saint."

His intense hatred of shams and fraud of every kind occasionally found
indignant voice; as

    "O God! were all the lies distilled
    From supple lips in cunning skilled,
    Hell would be stretched and overfilled;
    Aye, moulded in one burning curse,
    'Twould wreck a shaken world; nay worse!
    Would crush and damn a universe."

But these were transient and rare utterances. "Though far from the east
the youth had traveled, he still was Nature's priest." The boy dreamer
among the Connecticut hills is now a poet on the Southern prairies.

    "And by the vision splendid
    Is on his way attended."

"The glory had not yet passed from earth." Nature beckoned him
continually, and gladly obedient to the summons, he sought her haunts,
caught the visions, heard her minstrelsies, and forgot the while his
burdens, his loneliness, and his long sorrow. Many of his poems in
whole or part might be cited in proof of this. Most prominent are "The
Dying Year," "The South Wind," and "The Night Storm."

For its rich setting and striking presentation of a common theme this
poem is reproduced entire:


    The year is dying as the dolphin dies,
      Not with the ashen hue,
    Death's signal color, ere the fading eyes
      See dimly, darkly through
    The waxen lids. No pallor creeps along
      The earth and sky; no tone
    Floats through the air like a funeral song,
      Or like a dying groan.

    The warm rich sunlight gilds the autumn trees
      Whose gorgeous tints are spread,
    Each toning each, and fringed with heraldries
      Of purple, gold, and red
    The crimson myrtle burns upon its stem
      As though a heart of fire,
    The yellow maple, like an oriflamme,
      Lifts up its banner higher.

    The oak is rich with russet, bronze and brown,
      And there a purple crest
    Gleams o'er the forest like a lifted crown
      Some color-god has blest.
    Loosed by the frost, the sumac's pallid leaves
    Like yellow lance-heads fall,
    While lights and shadows ever shifting weave
      A net-work over all.

    O queenly autumn! though you proudly lead
      The old year to its death,
    A glory comes and goes where'er you tread
      With every dying breath,
    The year is dying--dying as a king
      Dies in his purple. Now
    His shroud is woven, and its colors fling
      A glory o'er his brow.

The cold, the night, the storm, were especially congenial to him. He
almost literally "kept open house" throughout the year; for he would
hardly permit his doors to be closed even in the coldest weather. On
his gallery he delighted to stand or walk and watch a thunder storm,
especially by night, as his graphic picture of "The Night Storm" fully
testifies. But nature in her gentler aspects was also at times very
attractive to him, as this stanza must suffice to show:

    "O warm South Wind! awake and send
      Across the sea that breath of thine,
    And let its lotus fragrance blend
        With the rich odor of the pine.
    O'er land and sea your treasures bring,
      From zones with health and beauty rife,
    To youth the fullness of its spring,
      To age, the aftermath of life."

Particularly noticeable, and often fascinating through their witchery
or weirdness are a number of Mr. Ward's poems. Of those through which
fancy sports most winsomely are "The Lake of the Golden Isle," "St.
Nicotine, a Christmas Phantasy," "Just Twenty-Two," and "Katie Did."

The last was extensively copied in the press and much admired. It will
bear another repetition.


    Naughty Katie, saucy Katie,
      Is your secret aught to me
    That you hide it, nor divide it,
          In a tree?
    In a tree before the trellis,
      Where I have a secret hid,
    And provokingly you tell us,
          Katie did,
          Katie didn't,
          Yes, she did,
          No, she didn't,
            Katie did.

    Prithee, Katie, by what penance
      Are you nightly doomed to be
    Trilling to the quiet tenants
          Of the tree,
    Safely hidden from espial
      Of what Katie said or did,
    That incessant, shrill denial,
          Katie did,
          Katie didn't,
          Yes, she did,
          No, she didn't,
            Katie did?

    Little disputant, securely
      Ambushed, from intrusion free,
    Don't I see you so demurely
          From the tree,
    Peeping through the latticed branches.
      Where the moon its arrows slid,
    Piping forth with cunning glances,
          Katie did,
          Katie didn't,
          Yes, she did,
          No, she didn't,
            Katie did?

    Will you tell it, Katie, never?
      Must it still a secret be?
    And forever and forever
          From the tree,
    Will that answer shrill and lonely
      Mock us with the secret hid,
    With these accents varied only--
          Katie did,
          Katie didn't,
          Yes, she did,
          No, she didn't,
            Katie did?

Somewhat more thoughtful but scarcely less charming is the little lyric
"Just Twenty-Two," which closes with the plea, "Leave me immortal at
sweet twenty-two."

With "The Neophyte" in 1851, the supernatural and mysterious elements,
traceable perhaps to Coleridge and to Poe, began to appear in his
poems, and became conspicuous in "The Burning Casque," "The Phantom
Train," and "The Ride of the Ku-Klux." At places in these, the breath
comes short and quick, and the nerves grow unsteady in the presence of
grotesque phantoms and direful mysteries. Few pass a real train without
a pause and look of mingled awe and admiration. A momentary glance at
"The Phantom Train" should certainly be taken:

    On the track stood the engine cold and still,
    For throttle and valve had ceased to thrill
    With the giant power of the wizard steam.
    I saw the track, by the lantern's gleam,
    Far on the night, till it seemed to meet
    In a point at the dim horizon's feet,
    And there in the distance, faint and far,
    Glimmered a blue and ghostly star.
    Nearer and nearer it came and grew,
    'Till it gleamed in a circle of ghastly hue.

           *       *       *       *       *

    By the Holy Saints! 'twas a gruesome sight
    As ever came from the womb of night--
    A spectral train that, nigher and nigher,
    Was whirled on its silent wheels of fire.

"The Ride of the Ku-Klux" is even more gruesome and fantastic, but the
appearance of those terrible night regulators cannot satisfactorily be
shown by a brief extract.

Several poems of personal character deserve notice for both their merit
and the associations connected with them. The noble lines to George
Peabody may be found in Harpel's "Poets and Poetry of Printerdom," to
which reference has been made. In it, too, are published "The Blue and
the Gray," "The Frosted Pane," and "The Ride of the Ku-Klux." It is
unfortunate that a poem which elicited the following interesting note
cannot be designated, perhaps is lost:

                                              New York, March 11, 1872.

Dear Sir:

I thank you for the privilege of reading your beautiful poem, and
regret that I could not have been its inspiration. I wrote once a poem
for the Atlantic entitled "The Heart of the War," but never one with
the title of yours. You will pardon me, I am sure, for relieving you of
the burden of a mistake which was very complimentary to me.

                                      Yours very truly,

                                                J. G. HOLLAND.

Shakespeare and Dickens were particular favorites of Mr. Ward's, one of
his last purchases of books being a new set of each of these authors.
For Byron also, as a poet, he entertained a high regard; but perhaps
the literary character whom he loved the most was Oliver Wendell Holmes
to whom on his seventy-fifth birthday he addressed an affectionate and
admiring tribute, which called forth this response from the genial

                                     Beverly Farm, Mass., Oct. 5, 1884.

My Dear Sir:

I beg you to accept my sincere thanks for your very pleasant lines. I
am sorry they were too late for the birthday number of The Critic; for
they would have been reckoned among the best and most graceful of all
that were sent. Believe me,

                                                      Gratefully yours,


The most popular poem, however, of this class is one dedicated to Wyatt
M. Redding, the telegraph operator who during the yellow fever epidemic
of 1878 bravely died at the post of duty in the plague stricken city
of Grenada. For its historical as well as poetical value it should be


GRENADA, 1878.

                Click, Click
    Like the beat of a death-watch, sharp and quick,
    From hearts that are stifled and lips that are dumb
    With the lightning's speed, and the lightning's thrill,
        The dark words go and come:
    Click, click, and a pulse is still--
    There's a form to shroud and a grave to fill,
    For the Yellow Death is upon the air,
    And the city lies in the clutch of Despair.
    Not less a hero than he whose plume
    Goes blood-stained down in the conflict's gloom,
    Not less a martyr than those who slake
    A blood-thirst, bound to the burning stake,
    Is he who stands as the last defence
    Against the shock of the pestilence.

                Click, Click
    His heart is strong and his fingers quick,
    'Tis a fearful work of hand and brain,
    Each click is a groan, each word is a pain,
    But he falters not in the fight with death,
    Even under his wings as he breathes his breath,
    The shrouded city before him lies,
    And the dead drop down 'neath the burning skies,
    Never a smile, or a word to cheer,
    Brightens his eye, or falls on his ear,
    All is dreary and all is dumb,
    Save the hourly wail from a stricken home.

                Click, Click
    'Tis the only hope where the dead are thick,
    Where the living strewn by the plague's hot breath
    Are sown with the ripening seeds of death.
    Still, the hero-boy at his key-board stands,
    And many a far off city feels
    The thrill of the wire, and its mute appeals,
    And hands are stretched from the East and West
    Their upward palms with a blessing blest,
    As it comes to those who meet their doom
    Like scorched leaves struck by the hot simoon.

                Click, Click
    Like the beat of a death-watch, sharp and quick,
    'Tis the last note struck, 'tis the first wild touch
    He gives the key, as he feels the vague
    An creeping chill of the deadly plague.
    Ere its burns with the strength of its fever clutch.
    He falters, falls, and his work is done,
    And the fiend has marked his victim won,
    Not long he dallies with those who fall
    Beneath the curse of his yellow thrall,
    O city, beneath his merciless sway,
    Mourn, mourn, for your hero dies today.

Passing several poems of genuine humor and two or three more lengthy
ones of epic cast and tragic interest, this appreciation of William
Ward's life and poetry, though incomplete must find an end. What poetry
in the abstract is, the world has not yet determined, and probably
never will. Whether it be "the rhythmical creation of beauty" or the
"lyrical expression of emotion," or both; whether its end be truth or
beauty or merely sensuous delight, one or all, each will decide for
himself, according as he is provincial or cosmopolitan in his culture.
What is poetry to one is doggerel or riming prose to another. "The
Ring and the Book" is intolerable to many who enjoy "The Idylls of
the King." Wordsworth is for the most part childish or meaningless to
numbers who delight in Scott or Byron. Where Poe is lauded, Whitman
very likely will be scouted.

Individual estimates of William Ward's poems will, therefore, vary
according to the tastes and training of the reader. But it can hardly
be doubted that they will appeal strongly to a majority of the lovers
of true poetry. If imagery be preferred, it is conspicuous throughout
his verse; if emotion be specially sought for, it too in almost every
type pulsates in these poems; if music be the criterion, in that also
they will not be found wanting, for the melody and harmony of most of
them is a striking characteristic. That they might be judged on their
own merits, and not so much on the opinion of one who might be deemed
more advocate than critic, fuller selections by way of illustration
have been offered than would have been the case, if the poems could
readily be found. They were published mostly in the Philadelphia
American Courier, the Macon Beacon, and the New Orleans Times-Democrat,
and have not been collected in book form, as it is earnestly hoped they
yet will be. Better known, it is confidently believed that they will
place their author high on the roll of Southern poets.

As a summary and a conclusion, the following Report of the Committee
on Necrology to the Press Convention of Mississippi in 1888 is here

"One of the oldest members of this association, who had not an enemy on
earth, the urbane, genial and ever agreeable William Ward is with us
no more. Those of us who knew and loved him for his big heart and true
manly worth, will sadly miss his gentle footfalls, cheerful face, and
warm hand-clasp as we meet in our annual conventions. The voice of him
who sang songs of love, devotion, and duty, is as silent as the marble
shaft that marks his resting place.

"Born in a New England village up among the hills of old Connecticut
in 1823, Mr. Ward came South when a youth of tender years, to seek a
home in the land of sunshine and flowers, fit prototypes of his own
sunny self. A poet by nature and a writer of purest English, he gave
to the press some of the sweetest poetic gems that have graced the
literature of the South; and his poems addressed to or read before our
press conventions were always regarded as the chief features of an
entertainment. With them he was wont 'to set the table in a roar,' or
draw tears from the eyes of the most obdurate. He wrote his name high
on the scroll of fame, and through all the vicissitudes of life, from
the days of his early manhood when struggling to support a growing
family to the evening of his declining years when surrounded by the
comforts of life, that name remains as pure as a star, as unsullied as
the snowflakes falling in mid-heaven. In all the relations of life,
William Ward was ever a true and honorable man, loving and beloved by
all who came within the circle of his acquaintance.

"Let the recollections of this New England youth who cast his lot with
the South, and who lies buried in its soil ever remain fresh and green
in our heart of hearts; and now let us pluck a flower from the chaplet
of memory, and tenderly lay it upon his hallowed grave."



The life of Sherwood Bonner illustrates the union of the subtle
elements, ancestral traits and personal qualities, which, distilled by
the alchemist, Dame Nature, in her alembic produce the individual.

Her father, Dr. Charles Bonner, was born in Ireland, but his family
left their ancestral home when he was quite young, and settled in
Pennsylvania. When he arrived at man's estate, he left the North,
and like Prentiss and Boyd turned his face Southward. He reached
Mississippi in "Flush Times," and was content to dwell there, for he
found a cultured, refined people, who recognized in him a kindred

In her novel, "Like Unto Like," Sherwood Bonner thus describes the home
of his adoption: "The climate was delicious. Winter never came with
whirl or wind and wonder of piling snow, but as a temperate king with
spring peeping to meet him, before autumn's rustling skirts had quite
vanished round the corner. Yet there was not the monotony of eternal
summer. Winter sometimes gave more than hints of power to the pert
knaves of flowers who dared to spring up with a wave of their blooming
caps in his face; and the peach-trees that blossomed too soon were apt
to get their pale pink heads enclosed in glittering ice-caps, through
which they shone with resplendent beauty for a day then meekly died.
Even a light snow fell at times; and everybody admired it and shivered
at it, and said the climate was changing, and built great wood-fires,
and tacked list around the doors, and piled blankets on the beds, to
wake in the morning to find sunshine and warmth--and mud. But for the
most part, the days, one after another, were as perfect as Guido's
dancing hours."

She thus speaks of the people whom both she and her father loved: "They
had the immense dignity of those who live in inherited homes, with the
simplicity of manner that comes of an assured social position. They
were handsome, healthy, full of physical force as all people must be
who ride horseback ---- and do not lie awake at night to wonder why
they were born. That they were Southerners was, of course, their first
cause of congratulation. After a Northern tour they were glad to come
home and tell how they were recognized as Southerners everywhere--in
the cars, shops, and theatres. They felt their Southern air and accent
a grace and a distinction, separating them from a people who walked
fast, talked through their noses, and built railroads."

The young physician found the sun which caused the flowers to bud, to
blossom, to give forth rich fragrance not less kind to the daughters
of the Southern village whither he had journeyed; but one seemed to
him fairer than all the rest, and he sought to make her his own. Miss
Mary Wilson is said to have been both lovable and beautiful. Fortune
favored his wooing so they were soon wedded. Their means were ample and
Dr. Bonner retired from the active practice of his profession, dividing
his time between the management of his estate, and the dispensing of
an elegant hospitality in his own home. He was always a great lover of
books and possessed a fine mind, but had no ambition beyond his class;
and while believing in and honoring woman to the highest degree, he
thought her place to be the home.

His library was large and carefully selected, and he directed in large
measure the reading of his family. We surmise that the daughter is
giving an episode in her own life when she has Blythe Herndon tell
Roger Ellis that she never disobeyed her father's injunction about
books but once, that having exhausted everything else in the library,
she climbed up to the forbidden shelf and took from it a copy of "Tom
Jones." But, says Blythe, "papa scolded; to this day I have never known
whether Tom married Sophia." Dr. Bonner was an honorable, courteous,
cultured gentleman, another Thomas Dabney. The daughter being asked
by Mr. Harper, of Harper and Brothers, where she obtained such a fine
command of English, replied with great dignity, "In my father's house."

From her father Sherwood Bonner inherited her love for books, and her
keen sense of humor, her best gift from the gods; from her mother came
beauty and a charming femininity.

Five children were born to Dr. and Mrs. Bonner; Katharine Sherwood,
born February 26, 1849; Ruth Martin, now Mrs. David McDowell, who lives
at Holly Springs, Mississippi; Samuel Wilson, who died of yellow fever
in '78; and two other children, who died in infancy.

The family residence built by Dr. Bonner is still standing. It is a
commodious brick mansion, built in Gothic style, with a wide portico in
front, and ample windows opening to the floor. The house stands well
back from the street, surrounded by a spacious lawn. One enters a wide
hall, and on the left is seen the library, where in winter a wood fire
is kept burning. The room is a very charming one, and afforded a most
appropriate setting for the writer at her desk. This room is connected
with the hall by folding doors. On the right is the drawing-room.

One seeing the fair haired baby-girl in this luxurious, well-ordered
Southern home, would probably have said that she was destined to
become what her mother before her had been, charming, well read,
and, according to prevailing standards, educated. But in addition
to these inherited qualities, Sherwood Bonner possessed that strong
individuality that made her a writer. As a child she was fond of play,
but she loved books and stories better still, and games ceased to
charm, if gran'mammy consented to tell her the story of the wonderful
adventure of "Breer Rabbit" and "The Tar Baby," or some of his other
escapades, or if her papa came in bringing her a fresh volume of fairy

Her first effort at original composition was while she was still
wearing pinafores. It came about in this way: she and a playmate lost
their temper, and, forgetting that they were little gentlewomen, began
to fight like two waifs with no family dignity to uphold. Kate got
her frock torn, and later when her mother asked her the cause of the
quarrel, she handed her a paper, with a tragic air, saying, "read this,
it will tell you all."

She was not universally popular as a child, for she manifested a
precociousness that separated her, in large measure, from her kind;
but she attracted strongly those whom she really liked and was, at
an early age, the queen of a little coterie of her own. In childhood
she was distinguished for loyalty, a ready wit and a keen sense of
humor; qualities that made the warp and woof of her nature, and but
strengthened when the maid was merged in the woman.

Her education was conducted under her father's eye, and as he pressed
the chalice to eager lips, little did he guess that he was entertaining
genius unawares. At school she could not have been accounted a hard
student. Her mind slaked its thirst at the pure fountain of the muses;
history was a joy, literature a delight, and the composition, a task
hated by most of her schoolmates, a pleasant pastime; but she looked
askance at the sciences, and pronounced life too short for geometry.
During her last year at school she wrote an allegory. It is the work
of a tyro in art, but was regarded by her schoolmates a remarkable

The morning of her life was bright, and with father, mother, sister,
brother, around the family hearth, each passing day brought added
happiness. Even the dark clouds that began to lower in the North, ere
she passed the limits of girlhood, did not bring sadness, for she
with many older heads in the South failed to comprehend what these
foreshadowed. But she was now to receive the baptism of sorrow, and to
gain through suffering needed training and added strength.

    "Who tears to other eyes would bring
    Must first have tasted sorrow."

She was just sixteen, she had written something and it had been
accepted, her heart was aglow with visions of the future, when the
desolating blow fell upon her home. The much loved mother was taken
from her, the rude shock and turmoil of war being too much for that
gentle spirit.

We find this entry in Sherwood Bonner's scrapbook in her own hand:
"First story ever published, aged fifteen, _Boston Ploughman_, twenty
dollars." Underneath, the story is pasted in. It was called "Laura
Capello, A Leaf from a Traveler's Notebook." It is a mystery story,
highly melodramatic and crude, but containing the promise of a rich
fulfillment as the bud contains the rose. It deals with the lot of a
young girl whose life is the fruit of unhallowed love. The scene is
laid in Italy, the land of mystery, and the story is given to the world
by a young American artist, whom a capricious fate enmeshes, and make
an unwilling actor in the drama. The sketch shows dramatic power, and
abounds in vivid description.

Mr. Nahum Capen, the author of "The Republic of the United States,"
"History of Democracy," and other works, was at this time connected
with _The Ploughman_. He was the friend of Longfellow, Lowell and
Emerson, and was selected by Hawthorne as the first one to read his
first book, which appeared anonymously. He was the intimate friend
and adviser also of Irving. Under his tutelage Sherwood Bonner first
essayed Grub street, and he never ceased to take a keen interest in
her, and was to the day of her death her trusted adviser and friend.
He urged her to write, and encouraged her work with kindly, but
discriminating words of praise. "Laura Capello" was followed by "A
Flower of the South," published in a musical journal. Somewhat later
a piece called "An Exposition on one of the Commandments" was sent to
_Frank Leslie's Journal_.

In 1871, Sherwood Bonner became the wife of Mr. Edward McDowell, a
gentleman of refinement and liberal culture; like his wife he was a
native of Holly Springs. The young wife assumed with earnestness the
responsibilities of the new life and when her husband determined to
try his fortune in the frontier state of Texas, she went with him
into a country that was little better than a wilderness. But the
venture failed and the young people returned to Holly Springs poorer
in purse than when they left. A daughter was born to them, and for
her child henceforth the mother in large measure seemed to live. Like
George Sand, she found in motherhood love's deepest expression. At
this crisis of affairs, the young wife and mother recalled her talent,
and remembering the kind words that had come to her from Boston, she
determined to go thither, and try her fortune with her pen. In Boston
she became a member of Mr. Capen's family, and under his eye, and with
his encouragement, continued her work.

She had the gift of clear vision, and at once perceived that the
defects of her early training must be overcome if she was to write
that which the world would read; so she studied closely, books, men
and manners. The North received her lucubrations with a criticism that
was in the main kindly, and ere long she had made for herself a place
in "The Moral Lighthouse" as she playfully denominates Boston. After
several years she was able to have with her her child and the aunt
who since her mother's death had striven to supply her place. But she
counted that she was only sojourning in the North. The place of her
birth she ever spoke of as "home," and a portion of each year she spent
amidst the dear familiar scenes.

Soon after going North she met the poet Longfellow. He recognized
her talent, became her warm personal friend, and lent her aid and
encouragement in her work. She in turn seemed to impart new vigor
to the white-haired poet. She became his private secretary and
collaborator. At her suggestion he compiled "Poems of Places, Southern
States," and she assisted in this work. It is a quaint conceit of the
poet which causes him to treat the South as a separate country. In that
interesting book, "Poets' Homes," appears a description of Longfellow's
home written by her. It is given the place of honor in the book, but
by a strange oversight no credit is given to the author. In one of her
early letters from Boston, published in the _Memphis Avalanche_ she
writes: "A great man and a poet, who enjoys the additional distinction
of being my very good friend, read my first letter written for your
columns, with an evident amusement, which he made a commendable effort
to suppress. 'This is too bad,' frowned he, between smiles, 'don't do
it again. Write about the good side of Boston next time.'"

She wrote a number of letters for Southern newspapers in a style that
the ordinary newspaper man would strive in vain to emulate, though
she regarded the letters as mere potboilers. They give interesting
accounts of the happenings in Boston, and her impressions of Boston's
great men: Emerson, William Lloyd Garrison, Oliver Wendell Holmes and
Wendell Philips. She says of Boston: "For the native Bostonian there
are three paths to glory. If his name be Quincy or Adams, nothing more
is expected of him. His blue blood carries him through life with glory
and straight to heaven when he dies. Failing in the happy accident of
birth, the candidate for Beacon Hill honors must write a book. This is
easy. The man who can breathe Boston air and not write a book is either
a fool or a phenomenon. One course remains to him should he miss fame
in both these lines. He must be a reformer."

She thus speaks of her meeting with Mr. Emerson: "The unaffected charm
of Mr. Emerson's manner soon restored me to my normal serenity, and the
interview progressed delightfully for both of us. He has the purest and
most refined face I have ever seen, and his smile is something to be
remembered forever. Of course we spoke of the South, and he expressed
the opinion that the Southern man had a more elegant manner and a finer
physical frame than the Northerner, but must generally yield the palm
in intellect. And to this I assented sorrowfully enough, recalling as I
did, the small returns from the stock I took in a certain Philo club,
where I spent the ambrosial evenings of my life and pinned my faith to
several masculine coat sleeves of intellectual giants pro tempore,
who would have brought my tawny hair down in sorrow to the grave--if I
hadn't taken the pin out.

"Mr. Emerson has a way of looking off into the distance as he speaks
or listens which is very poetic and beautiful. I liked it, but yet I
was not happy, for I had a knot of purple violets in my hair, and I
distrusted this way of appreciating them. I don't wear violets every
day; nor for the Colonel who talks politics to me; nor for the young
preacher who propounds chemical conundrums. And so they meant something
in this case! perhaps to subtly express the homage of a Southern heart,
that I had no skill to put into words. I dare say, however, the great
man received a general impression of sweetness and perhaps it is well
he did not trace it to outside influences.

"On the whole, Mr. Emerson personally strikes me as one who might
falsify that comprehensive saying that no man is a hero to his valet,
as I cannot imagine him under any circumstances other than the
consistent high-toned man, who beyond all scholarship and learning

    'Still may hear without abuse
    That Grand old name of gentleman.'"

She thus describes her impressions of Carl Schurz, the occasion on
which she saw him being a Sumner memorial meeting: "He is German
in accent but not in appearance. His full whiskers are red, not
blonde. And his features have none of the Teutonic heaviness, but
are rather characterized by the sagacious sharpness of the American.
The eulogy was very fine, and repeated bursts of applause testified
to the enthusiasm of the audience. Most especially I must note the
warm and hearty reception accorded that part of the address in which
Mr. Schurz spoke of the noble and manly stand taken by Mr. Lamar, of
Mississippi, and paid a just tribute to his brilliant eloquence, which
was especially grateful to my Southern pride."

In the following paragraph she gives her Southern readers a pen picture
of her poet friend:

"Longfellow was there from his beautiful historic home. Bret Harte
calls him his 'ideal poet,' and as one looks upon his gracious,
benignant face, framed in silvery hair, and reverently notes the broad
thoughtful brow, and the eyes from which love toward all mankind seemed
to beam, it is easy to comprehend how the perfect harmony between the
man and his works should win from one, a poet himself, the highest
praise he could possibly bestow."

In her stories Longfellow suggested that she write of the life around
her, but she chose, and wisely, the life of the South that she knew
best, and the poet admitted in the end that her instinct had led her
aright. Before '76 she wrote some of the "Gran-mammy Stories" and other
short sketches that found a ready sale. Longfellow said that she would
be "the American writer of the future."

Eleven years after "Laura Capello" was written its author visited the
scenes where the plot was laid. She enjoyed deeply this foreign travel,
and has left a partial record of it in her letters published in Boston
and Southern papers, and in her private correspondence. She writes thus
to a friend from Rome: "I am living every hour, never have I known days
of such enchantment; Roman violets that make the air sweet, Roman fleas
that bite with a Swinburne ardor, Roman donkeys that bray in the early
morning, Roman shops that bewilder with their gems, shopmen who will
make you buy whether you will or no; even in these delights I revel,
so what can I say of the pictures, the statues, the ruins of Rome? Do
you remember how my Lilian exhausted her raptures after the first layer
of her box, and sat afterwards in a mute adoring ecstasy? Think of
Lilian's mother in the same position."

Several days were spent by her party at a little coast town in France.
At times the hours lagged, so the little group, like the young people
in the _Decameron_, devised game and story to amuse themselves.
Sherwood Bonner showed herself the most fruitful of device, and
became the leader in the sport. She devised a game that was played
with avidity. The loser each time was supposed to pay the forfeit by
taking his life with his own hands. A wan young Scotsman who had been
"Ordered South" chanced to be one of the party and participated in the
game. For the rest it was a pleasing pastime, but for him it had a
tragic suggestion, for at that time Robert Louis Stevenson--it was no
less than he--had begun that hand to hand conflict with disease that
terminated fatally twenty years later. It is thought that he received
from this game the suggestion of that very unusual story of his, "The
Suicide Club."

Home at last came this busy working bee after her flitting in distant
lands. "The Crest of the White Hat," "Rosine's Story," and other
sketches show the effect of this foreign travel. The years following
were filled with hard work; ever attaining, but never quite satisfied,
she strove to make each piece better than the last. During this period
she wrote a clever characterization in verse of "The Radical Club,"
which set all Boston to laughing.

Sometimes she had her hours of despondency as when she wrote a friend,
"Put up a tablet for me in case I join the mermaids and write on it,

    Death came to set me free,
    I met him cheerily
    As my true friend."

During the summer of '78 yellow fever raged in many parts of the South.
The citizens of Holly Springs with a noble disregard for consequences
offered an asylum to the refugees from the stricken town of Grenada; in
this way the plague was introduced, and of the first hundred who took
the fever only ten survived.

Sherwood Bonner was in the North at the time, but she at once hurried
to Holly Springs to urge her loved ones to seek a place of safety. But
the old physician would not go and his son remained with him; they were
soon stricken with fever; she nursed by their bedside during the weary
hours of their sickness and they died in her arms on the same day. She
escaped the disease, but left Holly Springs broken in health from her
constant vigils, and wounded in spirit. She wrote an account of the
plague for _The Youth's Companion_, from which the following extract
is taken: "It is not alone to see loved ones die; it is to dread their
dying kiss. It is not to watch the dear dead face until the coffin
lid is closed above it, but to turn, shuddering, from the face where
you can see waves of change follow each other, until it has become a
yellow transfigured mask. It is not to see the folded hand clasping
flowers, the dear forms enshrouded in fresh grave-clothes, nor to see
them laid away with prayers uttered above them and friends standing
by with uncovered heads, but it is to know--with what intensity of
horror!--that these forms are changed to a poison so deadly, that death
can be tasted in the air around them, and love itself shrinks from
rendering its last sad offices. It is to know that they are buried,
wrapped hastily in sheets, sometimes uncoffined, hurried to deep
graves, without friends, or mourners, or care, by hirelings, who slight
and dread their task."

After the publication of "Like unto Like" she found ready publishers.
Mr. Conant, the editor of _Harper's Weekly_, said to her, "I accept
your articles now without reading them in advance, your signature is
enough." Enduring fame was hers if she could only live to grasp it,
but ere the noon hour was reached, the worker was laid low. She began
to feel the approach of an insidious disease, which she strove in vain
to throw off. Not wishing to distress her loved ones she spoke of it
to only a few friends, who finally persuaded her to consult the best
medical authority. The physician when he saw her perfect physique
expressed his surprise at her coming. He made the examination, but
hesitated to state the result. She would have the whole truth and he
pronounced her death sentence, telling her that she had but a single
year of life. She met her fate with fortitude, and determined to make
the most of the few remaining months, in order to provide a competency
for the loved ones that she must soon leave.

She worked on to the very gates of death, her courage never forsaking
her; and even when her good right hand was useless she continued to
dictate to an amanuensis, and was satisfied with nothing short of the
best work.

February 14, 1883, she wrote:


    Come to my aching heart, my weary soul,
    And give my thoughts once more their vanquished will;
    That I may strive and feel again the thrill
    Of bounding hope, to reach its fartherest goal.
    Not Love, though sweet as that which Launcelot stole,
    Nor Beauty, happy as a dancing rill,
    Nor Gold poured out from some fond miser's till,
    Nor yet a name on Fame's immortal scroll--
    But what I ask, O gracious Lord, from Thee,
    If to Thy throne my piteous cry can reach,
    When stricken down like tempest-riven tree,
    Too low for prayer to wreak itself in speech,
    Is but the fair gift--ah, will it e'er be mine?
    My long lost Health for my dear Valentine.

A dear friend writes of the closing days of her life: "During her
hours of suffering, her bravery, her patience, and her heroism were
extraordinary. One who watched by her dying bed said: 'I have seen her
smile when it would have been a relief to see her cry.' She uttered
no complaint and no one heard her repine. One day she gaily asked her
friends what would be a suitable inscription for her tomb-stone; and
from several that had been suggested she selected this, 'She was much
loved.' Surely no words could furnish a more fitting epitaph for the
young life that had done so much, enjoyed so much, suffered so much, in
a little more than thirty years." The end came July 22, 1883.

Sherwood Bonner cast the witchery of her personal charm over all who
surrounded her. Nature formed her to command, to love and to be loved.
In childhood she was slight, but in womanhood she possessed a perfect
physique. Hers was no usual beauty; her features were refined, but not
regular: her complexion a delicate pink and white; expressive blue
eyes, her hair an indescribable shade of auburn and very heavy; an
exquisite mouth and chin; and a hand that would have been a sculptor's

The poet Longfellow in a poem dedicated to her thus describes her:

    "A cloud-like form that floateth on with the soft undulating gait
    Of one who moveth, as if motion were a pleasure."

Her heart was always true to the friends of her youth, and when they
visited the North she was ever ready to introduce them to the circle
of which she was so prominent a member. Adulation did not spoil her
for she had the artist's perception with her woman's heart. Hers was
a trenchant tongue and a stinging wit, but like the Venusian bard she
was quite as ready to hold up her own foibles to ridicule as those of

She lived for her child, and nothing from her pen is more charming than
the references to her in letters to friends, hitherto unpublished. In
one of them she writes: "Now for my baby, she certainly is the most
perfect child in the world. No human being knows how I love the little
thing. Every plan of my life bears upon her future, and so long as she
is left me, nothing can ever make me unhappy again."

We may not judge of her literary work as of a finished product. It is
rather like a sculptor's dream that is but half realized. Lips are
parted as if for speech, eyes look wistfully towards the East; but the
figure is still restrained in its marble prison, and we wonder why the
sculptor was stricken, the task unfinished.

But this unfinished work was fraught with rich promise. She probably
wrote the first story of any writer that belongs to the distinctively
Southern school. She wrote before '77 some of "The Gran'mammy Stories,"
and these seem to be the first negro dialect stories published in a
Northern journal, and thus speaking to the whole country. She wrote in
'78 "Like unto Like," a story that has to do with the reconstruction
period. Into this field Cable came later, and Page selected it as a
fitting period in which to locate his most ambitious work, "Red Rock."
Only one writer before her had attempted to work this virgin soil,
Baker in "Colonel Dunwoddie, Millionaire." In this book she refers
to the "Tar Baby Story," which she published several years later in
_Harper's Monthly_. She wrote some excellent dialect stories of the
Tennessee mountains, thus doing pioneer work in a field which Miss
Murfree has made so peculiarly her own. She spent some time beginning
in 1880, in that portion of Illinois known as Egypt; and "On the
Nine-Mile," and "Sister Weeden's Prayer" illuminate this dark world.
These stories and a number of others were written in the dialect
peculiar to this region. Of "Sister Weeden's Prayer" in the "new"
dialect _The Nation_ spoke in most complimentary terms. She seems to
have been the first to give to the vernacular of this region literary
treatment, thus doing for Illinois what Eggleston and Riley have done
for Indiana.

Her principal writings may be grouped as follows: Early pieces,
'64-'73;--Letters from Boston and Europe, '74-'76;--Short Stories
published in periodicals between '73 and '83; a number of these were
collected after the death of the author and reprinted in a volume
entitled "Suwanee River Tales"[1] (There are many excellent sketches in
this little book, but the best are those in which Gran'mammy figures);
to this period of her life belong "Miss Willard's Two Rings,"[2] and
"From '60 to '65"[3];--"Like unto Like,"[4] a novel, "The Valcours,"[5]
a novelette, "The Revolution in the Life of Mr. Balingall,"[6] "Two
Storms,"[7] "A Volcanic Interlude,"[8] appeared between '78 and '83.
She wrote during these years besides, a number of dialect stories
dealing with negro character, the mountaineers of East Tennessee, and
the denizens of the Western prairie. "Hieronymus Pop and the Baby,"
"The Case of Eliza Blelock" and "Lame Jerry" are all strong sketches.
Some of these stories have appeared in book form.[9]

The "Gran'mammy Stories"[10] reveal with force and beauty the
characteristics of the old Southern "mammy," who deserves a modest
place with "The chaste and sage Dame Eurycleia" and fair Juliet's
nurse; and Sherwood Bonner has made posterity her debtor by preserving
the lineaments of this picturesque personage whose place formerly was
of so much consequence in the Southern home. But let the author unfold
her character:

"In our Southern home we were very fond of our old colored mammy, who
had petted and scolded and nursed and coddled, ---- yes, and spanked
us,--from the time we were born."

She was not a 'black mammy,' for her complexion was the color of clear
coffee; and we did not call her 'mammy' but 'gran'mammy' because she
had nursed our mother when a delicate baby,--loving her foster child, I
believe, more than her own, and loving us for our dear mother's sake.

She was all tenderness when we were wee toddlers, not more than able
to clutch at the great gold hoops in her ears, or cling to her ample
skirts like little burrs; but she showed a sharper side as we grew old
enough to 'bother round the kitchen' with inquisitive eyes and fingers
and tongues. I regret to say that she sometimes called us 'limbs' and
would wonder with many a groan and shake of her head, how we contrived
to hold so much of the Evil One in our small frames.

"'I never seed sich chillern in all my born days,' she cried one day,
when Ruth interrupted her in the midst of custard making, to beg leave
to get into the kettle of boiling soap that she might be clean once
for all, and never need another bath; while Sam, on the other side,
entreated that she would make three 'points' of gravy with the fried
chicken for dinner. (Sam always came out strong on pronunciation; his
very errors leaned to virtue's side.)

"'I 'clar to gracious,' said poor gran'mammy, 'you'll drive all de
sense clean outen my head. How Miss Mary 'xpec's me ter git a dinner
fitten fur white folks ter eat, wid you little onruly sinners _furever_
under foot, is mo' dan I kin say. An' here's Leah an' Rachel, my own
gran-chillern, a no mo' use ter me dan two tar babies.'

       *       *       *       *       *

"As gran'mammy grew older, her manner softened; her love was less
fluctuating. It was she to whom we ran to tell of triumphs and sorrows;
she whose sympathy, ash-cakes and turnover pies never failed us. It was
she who hung over our sickbeds; who told us stories more beautiful than
we read in any books; who sang to us old-fashioned hymns of praise and
faith; and who talked to us with childlike simplicity of the God whom
she loved.

"During the troubled four years that swept like the hot breath of the
simoon over our country, she was true to the family. Her love, courage,
her faithful work, helped us to bear up under our heavy trials. And
when the gentle mother whose life had been set to such sweet music that
her spirit broke in the discords of dreadful war, sank out of life,
it was in gran'mammy's arms that she died; and neither husband nor
children mourned more tenderly for the beautiful life cut short."

"How Gran'mammy Broke the News" shows the tact of the faithful old
nurse in revealing to "Aunt Sarah" the fact that her soldier son, who
was reported to have been killed in battle, is alive and well, in fact
has but a few moments before arrived at that house. One of gran'mammy's
foster children is a witness of the scene. The little girl was for
going to tell her aunt as soon as her cousin arrived, but gran'mammy
said: "Stop, honey, stop; Miss Katie, you forgit. Don't you know dat
joy itse'f is sometimes more dan a breakin' heart kin bear? Mis' Sarah
is mighty frail; an' she mus' be made ready to meet dis shock, for dis
is jes as much a _shock_ as de lie dat struck her down. Blessed be de
Lord for sendin' de last so quick on de heels of de fust. * * * *

"Aunt Sarah's door was ajar. She was seated by the fire in an attitude
of utter dejection. Gran'mammy was bustling about the room, an
expression of perplexity on her dear old brown face. Presently with a
side-long glance at poor Aunt Sarah, gran'mammy began to sing softly.
I had never heard her croon anything but Methodist hymns. Now, to my
surprise, she broke forth in a chant that Miss Rose was very fond of
singing with us after vesper service Sunday afternoons, 'Praise de
Lord, O my soul! O my soul; and forget not all his benefits.'

"At first Aunt Sarah took no notice; but, at a louder, more vigorous,
'Praise de Lord, _Praise de Lord!_' she shook her head, as if a gnat
was buzzing about her ears, and looked at the singer with a dull look
of surprise in her weary eyes.

"'Gran'mammy _singing_!' she said, in a faint voice.

"Gran'mammy came and stood directly in front of my aunt. She tried to
laugh, but the tears tumbled out of her eyes so fast that she choked in
the effort to swallow them.

"'Why, yes, Mis' Sarah,' she at last manged to say; 'when my heart is
light with thinkin' of de goodness of de Lord I can no mo' help singin'
dan if I was a saint in heaven worshippin' at de throne.'

"'The goodness of God!' echoed Aunt Sarah, drearily; 'He has forgotten
mercy; He has turned His face from me; He has left me desolate and
forsaken in my old age.'

"'De Lord _never_ forgits,' said gran'mammy, solemnly; 'an' He never
fails to keep de promises He has made. Lean on me, Mis' Sarah. Rest yo'
po' tired head. Speak de name of yo' boy, honey. It'll do yer good ter
talk about him.

"'No, no, no!' said Aunt Sarah, shrinking back; 'I thought you loved
him, gran'mammy, but you could come to my room and sing. Go away, I do
not want you.'

"'I'll go, Mis' Sarah, in one little minute. Love Mars' Allan!
Why, wusn't my arms de fust ter hol' him--a little soft helpless
innocent--even before you held him to yo' own mother's heart? An'
from that very minnnit I loved him. I kin see him now, a little
white-headed boy, always runnin' ter his ole granmammy fur turnovers
an' ginger-cakes. Hevn't I watched him all through de years, growin'
as straight an' tall as a young poplar, full of his jokes, but with
never a mean streak in him, bless de Lord! An' den, Mis' Sarah, don't
you mind how he looked in his grey uniform, wid de gold lace on his
sleeves; an' how his eyes would kindle an' his voice ring out when he
talked of de country he loved next ter God?'

"'Gran'mammy! do you want to break my heart? Why do you torture me?'
And Aunt Sarah burst into such wild, wild tears that I was frightened.

"'Oh! my po' sweet mistis, I wants to _mend_ yo' heart, not break it;'
and gran'mammy, too, burst into tears, kneeling now by Aunt Sarah, with
her arms around her. 'I wants you to call ter mind jes' one thing--de
commandment given by de Lord to his people, _given wid a promise_. Kin
you say it over ter me?"

"'Honor thy father and thy mother,' said Aunt Sarah, like one in a
dream, 'and thy days shall be long in the land--'

"'Stop dar, Mis' Sarah,--_stop at dat promise_,' almost shouted
gran'mammy. 'Did Mars. Allan honor his father an' his mother?'

"'Always! Always! He never disobeyed us in his life. No son could have
been better or nobler.'

"_And thy days shall be long in the land_," cried gran'mammy, 'which
the Lord thy God giveth thee!' Now, Miss Sarah, jes _trust God_. He
won't break dat promise.'

"Words cannot do justice to the solemnity, the yearning tenderness, the
pathetic earnestness, that made the dear old woman like one inspired.
Wave after wave of feeling rolled over her face. I do not know how to
express it, but a sacred, even a _religious_ rapture seemed to hold
her in its possession. Strong feeling had exalted her, I felt as if I
should like to steal in and pray beside her. She still knelt, but she
kept her arms about the frail figure in the arm-chair.

"Wild, vague suspicions were evidently forming in Aunt Sarah's mind.
She looked at gran'mammy--a piteous, agonizing gaze. But gran'mammy's
eyes met hers with steady joy.

"'What do you mean?' she gasped huskily. 'In God's name, what do you

"'I mean,--lean on me, dear, lean on me,--I mean dat if our blessed
Lord wus on earth today, an' we could kneel at his feet askin' de life
of our boy, he could not give it ter us. For Allan's grave has not been
dug, an' Allan is livin' not dead today.'

"'What have you heard?'

"'A messenger has come.'

"Then I saw a transformation. Aunt Sarah sprang up, the color and
light flashing into cheeks and eyes, the vigor and erectness of youth
restored to her shrunken and bowed figure. No longer a haggard old
woman,--like a girl she threw open the door, and swept past me without
a word."

"Gran'mammy's Last Gifts" has to do with the closing hours of her life.

The children that the old nurse had tended from infancy now gather
around her bed. She had her daughter look in her chest and take from
it a parcel. "The parcel was handed her, and taking off the outer
covering, a white one was revealed; then a third wrapper of silver
paper. Slowly, reverently, she unwound this; and there were two tiny,
high-heeled satin slippers, yellow with age, but dainty enough for
fairy feet.

"'De night your mother was married, honey,' said gran'mammy proudly,
"nobody waited on her but me. I unlaced de fine weddin' dress,--all
lace an' satin,--an' I put de white nightgown over her head. An' when
I took de slippers off her slim pretty feet, she flung her white arms
aroun' my neck, an' she says, "keep 'em gran'mammy, in memory o' dis
night." An' now, my chile, arter all dese years, I gives em ter you' de
fustborn, your dead mother's weddin' slippers.'

"I could not speak for my tears. Was there ever a gift so delicately
bestowed? I pressed the slippers to my heart kissing them and the
faithful black hands that had taken them from the little feet so many
years ago.

"'Now my little singin'-bird,' said gran'mammy to Ruth, 'I was boun'
you should remember me; so I jes' went to de picture man, an' here's my
ole black face for you to keep.'

"The likeness was perfect; and as Ruth warmly thanked her she sank back
wearily on the pillows.

"'I'm tired now,' she said, "Miss Ruthy, I'd like to hear you sing once
more--before I hear de angels on de other side.'

"Ruth hushed her sobs and in her exquisite voice rolled out in those
beautiful words:

    "Only waiting till the shadows
      Have a little longer grown,
    Only waiting till the glimmer
      Of the day's last beam is flown;
    Only waiting till the angels
      Open wide the mystic gate,
    At whose feet I long have lingered,
      Weary, poor and desolate."

"'Only waitin', murmured the dying voice. 'O my chillern!" and she
spoke with sudden energy. 'In your hearts you are pityin' your poor
ole gran'mammy; you are thinking o' de sun shinin' outside, an' de
fllowers, an' home an' love. You see me lyin' here, ole, an' black, an'
racked wid pain. But oh! what's de sunlight of earth to de glory roun'
de throne of God? what's de flowers here ter de flowers in de gyardin
younder? An' what's de love of earth ter dat waitin' for me, sinful an'
onworthy though I am?

And with her beloved nurslings around her gran'mammy passed quietly
away. Amongst her last words were, "Good-by Miss' Marthy, take good
keer o' Miss' Mary's chillren."

"Two Storms," one of her latest stories, published in _Harper's
Monthly_, deserves especial notice.

The story has to do with the gulf coast. We see a fair young wife with
a husband who idolizes her, and a little daughter with her faithful
black mammy. The mother dies suddenly, and the husband is felled by
the blow. In his despair he curses Fate and would die. His child he
neglects, in fact her presence is disturbing, since it but serves to
remind him of his irreparable loss.

Little Dinah's lot is a hapless one. It would be tragic were it not
for the devoted old nurse, who watches over her "Shorn Lamb" with a
tenderness not to be surpassed by a mother. "'I wish I were a little
dog' she said once to Maum Dulcie, 'then I could lick papa's hand, and
perhaps he would pat my head.'

"'You po' little sweet rosebud!" cried the old woman, 'Ain't you got
yo' ole nuss to love you an' pet you?'

"And in her compassionate tenderness Maum Dulcie did her best to spoil
her charge by too great indulgence. * * *

"When at last she aroused from the long trance of her illness, it was
to find a face she had dimly feared all her life, bent above her with
a rapturous protecting love, to hear a father's voice murmuring: 'My
child, my little Dinah, forgive your father for all you have suffered.
It is over now, and we will begin a new life hand in hand.' Safe in the
purest love man ever gives to woman, she rested on her father's heart;
and Maum Dulcie said weeping: 'I dunno but it's a sin to give thanks
fur dat Las' Islan' storm, an' I is as sorry as anybody fur de mo'ners
an' de dead, but I can't help seein' de good dat de Lord brings out o'

She dedicates "Like unto Like" to Longfellow in the following verses:

    O poet, master in melodius art,
    O man, whom many love and all revere,
    Take thou with kindly hand, the gift which here
    I tender from a loving reverent heart.
    For much received from thee I little give,
    Yet gladly proffer less, from lesser store;
    Knowing that I shall please thee still the more
    By thus consenting in thy debt to live.

The story has to do with that time when the South Niobe-like still
mourned her dead, and was unable to grasp fully the living present.
The opening chapter reveals three Dixie lassies standing on the bridge
at sunset--Blythe Herndon, Betty Page and Mary Barton. Each is a real
flesh and blood maiden; and while each is southern, they differ much.
Below them gurgles a limpid stream and peering into the clear water
they see clinging to stones at the bottom moss, which twists itself
into fantastic shapes. Above towers a lofty mountain, the setting sun
now giving it a glowing aureole; from its base gushes a noble spring,
the pride of Yariba, for so this Arcadian village is named. Each maiden
speaks of the suggestion that this whirling, twirling moss carries to
her mind, and by these and other confidences exchanged on the bridge
we are enabled to form some opinion of the dispositions of the young
girls, who are important characters in the story.

As the girls talk on the bridge, Mr. and Mrs. Herndon approach. They
are still lovers after forty years; and sweet are the memories that
crowd upon them now, for it was here they plighted their troth. They
find the girls in animated conversation about the advent of a Yankee
regiment that is to be stationed at Yariba for the summer. And these
loyal young "rebels" are not at all agreed that the officers should be
received. Mrs. Tolliver has consented to take Colonel and Mrs. Dexter
to board,--brave soul, it cost her many a pang, but she did it to aid
her husband's fallen fortunes. This decision causes a flutter, but
finally Mrs. Oglethorpe calls and where this lady leads all others
follow. With the regiment comes Roger Ellis, a man of middle age, and
an ultra-radical. He wins the heart of Blythe Herndon, and then loses
it again largely through his own fault.

    "But death to the dove
    Is the falcon's love--
    Oh sharp is the kiss of the falcon's beak!"

It is best to mate with your kind, this lesson the book teaches.

The story is briefly told, but its chief charm consists not in the
plot, which is rather slight, but in the local color and character
portrayal. The artist sketches from life. Squire Barton (the chief
of the village detectives), who always knows all the happenings of
the village, and thinks he _knows_ much that never happens; he is the
selfsame squire whose refrain is, "Search the whole world over, there
is no place like Yariba," or "We are a good breed in Yariba;" Colonel
Dexter, whose eyebrows are askew, the one fierce the other mild;
Civil-Rights Bill, the little darky whose antics amuse the reader, but
often bring him summary punishment from his old black gran'mammy; Ellis
the enthusiast whose passion is reform; Blythe's grandmother, who has
ceased to pray to her God because he allowed the Southern cause to
fail; Mrs. Roy, the mountain woman, called 'po' white trash' by the
plantation negro, but having a pathetic life, and individuality all her
own; the forerunner of many others that appear later in the sketches
of Craddock, McClelland and Sherwood Bonner; Aunt Sally, the old
laundress, (she would have much preferred to be called a washer'oman),
who sniffs at a wash board and beats her clothes, "I'se no puny Alabama
nigger, I'se fum South Caliny, I 'longst to de oldest branch uv de
Tollivers;" Van Tolliver, the brave soldier, the true gentleman who
fought through the war, but accepted in good faith the arbitrament
of the sword, and in the New South made for himself a place; Blythe
Herndon, the idealist, who loved not wisely, and waking found her dream
shattered; Betty Page, the cool, calculating coquette; Mary Barton, the
loving, sympathizing woman--all these are living breathing persons, not
abstractions or figures on a stage.

This book was well received by the critics. Mr. Longfellow, in a letter
to Mr. Harper of the firm, Harper and Brothers, says: "It has marked
and decided merit, is beautifully written, and full of interest to
North and South."

Mr. S. G. W. Benjamin wrote a highly favorable review of the book
for _The Literary World_, Boston, from which the following extract
is taken: "When a country is ripe for it, its literature comes
unsought and the authors who are its creators appear. Among the
various indications that such a literature is at hand, not the least
is the publication of such a remarkable work as _Like unto Like_. In
style it suggests the work of no other writer; its merits and its
faults are entirely its own; its characters could only be found in
our complex civilization. The plot is founded on certain phases of
American society, and is evidently directly suggested by the author's
personal experience and observation. * * * The characters of Blythe,
Ellis, the abolitionist, Civil-Rights Bill, Mrs. Roy and the inimitable
Mrs. Oglethorpe, abundantly vindicate their right to a prominent and
permanent place in our literature."

A reviewer in the Providence _Journal_ says: "We welcome it as an olive
branch in the truest and best sense of the word. * * * There is not an
attempt at fine writing in the book, and yet it is full of painting
from life. There is excellent comedy and at least one scene of the
deepest tragedy. Here and there we are reminded of Miss Austen, the
common scenes of life are drawn with so much fidelity, but our American
Miss Austen excels her English sister in imaginative delineation of
character, and becomes the true poetess in the presence of nature."

Paul H. Hayne thus speaks of the work: "Regarded purely as a literary
performance, this work, as I have before intimated, is exceedingly
clever; in certain particulars even brilliantly able. The descriptions
of scenery, which in most novels bore one unspeakably, are here vivid,
picturesque and truthful, with occasional displays of bright, poetic
enthusiasm: and of the _dramatis personae_, some are portrayed with
quiet but significant humor, some with keen, ironic shrewdness, and one
at least (the 'Grandmother of Blythe Herndon') with a degree of tragic
force decidedly impressive."

The concluding extract is taken from a review of "Like unto Like"
that appeared in _The Boston Courier_: "Sherwood Bonner's new novel
in Harper's Library of American Fiction is a book so original, so
charming, so complete in itself, that to write a review of it must be
one of the most disheartening tasks possible. Not for many years has
there been produced a novel so broadly American, so un-provincial while
yet retaining the peculiar atmosphere of locality, and at the same
time utterly unassuming as to its representation of 'phase.' Its art
is so good and so fresh that it hardly impresses us as art; it is more
nearly nature. And yet the story abounds in traces of dainty skill,
and delightful appreciation of the shades and angles of character, and
perfect and easy adaptation of words to the transmission of meaning,
without that over-solicitude as to style which has become so fatiguing
in our recent New England school of fiction writers. * * * The main
thing to observe is that Sherwood Bonner has seized the transition
period of the feeling between South and North so perfectly that her
book will probably stand in the future as the best representative of
this episode in the national life; and she has done this within the
compass of a simple tale which commends itself to our affections quite
independently of that special illustrative interest."

In _Harper's Monthly_, _Lippincott's Magazine_ and _The Atlantic
Monthly_, the book was favorably reviewed. Sherwood Bonner spoke of it
as "a part of her training."

Mrs. Albert Anderson, her lifelong friend, wrote of her: "To literature
she was 'Sherwood Bonner,' the young author, full of genius and
promise; to society she was the beautiful, fascinating woman, always
the central attraction in every room she entered, but to the companions
of her youth she was only 'Kate,' the loyal, brave, trusted friend,
whose untimely death has taken so much from life that it can never look
the same again."

"Hers was a talent," says Dr. William Kirk "sure to expand and develop;
she observed life and learned from it and was in no uneasy haste to
record her impressions; the future was hers through her individuality,
if fate could have permitted it." But for the work that she has done,
which when weighed in the balances still sustains the test, Sherwood
Bonner should possess for the students of Southern literature and
Southern life, a permanent and abiding interest.


[1] Boston, Roberts Brothers, 1884.

[2] Lippincott's Magazine, December, 1875.

[3] Lippincott's Magazine, October, 1876.

[4] New York, Harper and Brothers, 1878.

[5] Lippincott's Magazine, September, October, November and December,

[6] Harper's New Monthly Magazine, October, 1879.

[7] Harper's New Monthly Magazine, April, 1881.

[8] Lippincott's Magazine, April, 1880.

[9] "Dialect Tales," New York, Harper and Brothers, 1883.

[10] See "Suwanee River Tales."



It was on the 27th of June 1864 that Winnie Davis was born in the
'White House' of the Confederacy at Richmond. The boom of cannons in
the distance seemed to celebrate this important event,--the birth of a
daughter in the reigning family. But in reality the firing was not a
manifestation of joy; many of the cannons were hostile cannons which
were ultimately to deprive her of her birthright. The superior forces
of the Union were closing in upon the Confederate capital, and it was
not long before it fell, and the little girl, as well as her parents
and friends, became an outcast. She took part in the flight from
Richmond, traveling by day and night in an army ambulance for hundreds
of miles over rough roads through lonely woods, and being even carried
at times long distances in her mother's arms. It was a veritable _via
dolorosa_! The happy cooing of the baby alone comforted the bleeding
hearts of the family and brought smiles to eyes bathed in tears. During
the dark days of her father's imprisonment little Winnie, who alone
of the children was allowed to visit him,[12] was the only sunshine
that came to him. She liked to stay in his cell, where she played and
prattled, all unconscious of the sad surroundings. She would put her
arms round his neck, and he would clasp her to his bosom, forgetting
everything for the moment except the baby fingers that were pressed
against his cheek and the blue eyes that looked into his. It would be
hard to overestimate the comfort she afforded him while he was treading
the winepress of bitterness and humiliation.

Thus the infant had received the baptism of fire and deserved the name
of 'Daughter of the Confederacy.'

Mrs. Davis tells some interesting anecdotes of the little girl's
precocity, which I repeat in her own words. "When Winnie was very
small,--I think three years old,--her father was reading aloud to me an
essay on the refusal of a tomb to Byron in Westminster Abbey. The nurse
took her up to carry her to bed and she called out: 'Oh, do leave me
until I hear the rest. The English will regret refusing their great man
a grave in their church;' showing she had comprehended the whole paper.
Another time, when she was five years old, she was asked: 'For what
was Abraham blessed?' 'For the manifestation of faith in hospitality,'
she answered. No one had told her in this phrase, for I was her only
teacher. At this same time she chanced to be at a church meeting,
waiting for me and heard us talking of the minister's needs. For six
months afterward she saved up her little pennies and one day tipped
up behind him and put them into his hand, which was behind his back,
saying: 'Dear Doctor, buy everything you want,--here is the money.'
She asked questions which it taxed our mind and ingenuity to answer,
and reasoned out her own theories and adjusted facts so as to suit
her own ideas of right and justice. She could never become reconciled
to the fatted calf being killed for the prodigal son, and sympathized
passionately with the dutiful son who came from the field overtired
with labor in his father's service to hear sounds of revelry in honor
of the prodigal son, while he had never been given a fatted calf with
which to entertain his friends."

The father took great pride in the development of his younger
daughter's bright mind. He and Mrs. Davis were her first teachers and
introduced her to the immortal writers that they knew best. Before
she could read she knew 'The Wreck of the Hesperus,' 'The Fight at
Coilantogle Ford,' and Allan-Bane's song in the dungeon of Stirling
castle, and had the Bible at her tongue's end. At the age of twelve she
knew by heart also many striking passages from Shakespeare and was an
ardent admirer of the 'Wizard of the North.' In 1877 she was placed in
a boarding school at Karlsruhe, Germany, where she remained five years.
The mental and moral discipline maintained by the Protestant sisterhood
that directed the school was of the strictest kind; the life was as
secluded and as free from gaiety and frivolity as that of a convent. In
1882 Miss Davis went to Paris, where she studied French several months,
and afterwards traveled extensively.

When she returned home she spoke German and French more fluently than
English, and was well-versed in European, especially German literature
and history, but had little reverence for the learning and literary
history of her own country. Her parents began by dictations and by
interesting excerpts from Anglo-Saxon history to make her breathe their
atmosphere and adapt herself to their habits of thought. After her
many years of seclusion a new world opened before her young eyes when
she made her first appearance in the gay society of New Orleans at the
time of the Exposition. Now was formed her first acquaintance with
theatre and opera. She was well prepared for this,--really her first
encounter with life,--bringing to it a mind vigorous by nature and well
disciplined by the study of history and economics. Hence, in spite of
the great enthusiasm with which she met the world, she was prevented
from forming any but just judgments of men and things. She was queen
of Comus this same season,[13] and somewhat later while attending her
father on his triumphal procession through Alabama and Georgia she
was introduced to the Confederate veterans by General Gordon as 'The
Daughter of the Confederacy,'--an eminently appropriate title which she
always wore in a manner worthy of her father's daughter.

In 1879 the family had moved to Beauvoir, where they lived until the
death of Jefferson Davis. Miss Winnie's devotion to her father is said
to have been beautiful. She was his constant companion, accompanying
him on all his trips through the South; she served him as private
secretary and assistant in all his literary work. She would walk hand
in hand with him by the sounding sea; she would pore over volumes
uninteresting to her because she knew his heart was in them; she would
read aloud to him by the hour, and when he was weary she would sing to
him sweet old Southern songs. In fact she was the stay of his declining
years, succeeding in her effort to fill not only her own place but that
of the sons he had lost.

After the death of the husband and father, Mrs. Davis and her daughter
moved to the North. They felt that they must do so in order to secure
work, which was now a necessity.[14] It was also a great advantage
to them in their literary labors to be in close touch with their
publishers, and the Northern climate was better suited to the mother's
health. 'The Daughter of the Confederacy' received an urgent and hearty
invitation to attend every function connected with the 'lost cause,'
which she always accepted when it was possible. Both hemispheres
were shocked at the announcement that her life had been cut short at
Narragansett Pier on the 18th of September 1898. As was fitting, her
body was buried at Richmond, where her cradle had stood,--in that
city which is richest in memories of the 'lost cause' and all that is
associated with it.

Splendid was the character of this woman who had been fondled and
kissed in her babyhood by such men as Alexander H. Stephens, Judah
P. Benjamin, Stephen R. Mallory, and the immortal Robert E. Lee. The
hopes they expressed for her future usefulness as they stood around
her cradle were fulfilled in rich measure. She always remained a child
in her simplicity and in her exquisite purity of soul; she was a woman
in dignity and in her ideas of justice before leaving the nurse's
arms. Even when she was a mere baby she resented any reflection upon
her truthfulness or sincerity; once when somebody reproved her for a
supposed fault and threatened to tell her mother, she replied, "Do
tell her, she always understands me; I am not afraid of my mother."
After she had become known as one of the most cultured women of her
time,--up to the very hour of her death, in fact,--she did not give up
her tender, baby ways with her mother, to whom she would say simply, "I
try to be a good girl, do you think, dear, I am?" She was unaffected,
charitable, honest, and loyal. Her love for little children was very
marked; to the sick and afflicted she was a ministering angel; she was
almost worshiped by the poor people and the children about Beauvoir.
It is said that she never allowed tramps to be turned away hungry
even though she saw them impose upon her repeatedly. She was a model
listener and would sit with her blue eyes shining with sympathy. Too
modest to lead the conversation, she did so only when her interest
in the subject and her knowledge of it made her forget herself and
inspired her to speak. She was chary of expressing her opinions,
which were honest and well-considered, and especially disliked

Charles Dudley Warner, who knew her and loved her for many years,
pays a high tribute in an article as yet unpublished to her sterling
character and ingenuous face, her sweet disposition, and power of
great affection. He emphasizes her sympathetic nature, her simplicity
of manner, her open-eyed candor, her transparent sincerity, and her
unworldliness,--her disposition to place spiritual things above
material things. He was especially struck with the fact that she was
free from prejudice and bitterness with regard to the war between
the States. He had reason to know that she rather shrank from the
demonstrations of the Confederate veterans towards her, as she was a
little timid in such matters, and had a very humble opinion of herself
and her merits and womanly reluctance to such publicity. Yet she met
the trying situation admirably, her tact and delicacy preventing her
from making any mistakes. She seemed to the veterans the embodiment of
those principles for which they had fought, and she always remained
true to the traditions of her family and of her beloved Southland.

The first thing Miss Davis published was a little poem in blank verse
which appeared in 'The Times-Democrat;' it was an address to a group of
giant pines at Beauvoir and was signed 'The Colonel.' She was a member
of a little literary club in New Orleans called the 'Pangnostics,' at
which each girl read a paper at an appointed time. 'The Daughter's
of the Confederacy' chose for her subject Robert Emmet, in whom she
felt a strong interest because Mrs. Davis' grandfather, Colonel James
Kempe, of Natchez, had been one of Emmet's men before he was sixteen.
Besides questioning her mother closely as to the stories which her
great-grandfather had told about the ill-fated struggle for freedom in
the home of his youth, she read at least twenty books on Irish history
or subjects related to it, in order to prepare herself for writing,
'An Irish Knight of the Nineteenth Century,'[15] as the piece was
called, contains a vivid portrayal of the oppression of Ireland from
the earliest times and a sympathetic sketch of the young patriot, whose
life was a romantic tragedy. The author shows as great enthusiasm for
freedom as does Schiller in his 'Robbers.' Charles Dudley Warner, who
was present when the paper was read to the club, was much pleased with
it, and Mr. and Mrs. Davis were so proud of it that they decided to
have it published, expecting only to distribute copies gratuitously
among their friends. However, it went through three editions, and
although she had only a small percentage on the books, which sold for
twenty-five cents, it brought the young girl $300. Mr. Ridpath once
told Mrs. Davis that it had gone through many Irish societies and
awakened much enthusiasm.

The next publication, entitled 'Serpent Myths,' appeared in 'The North
American Review.'[16] It shows wide reading and offers an interesting
and ingenious theory to explain the origin of these myths. After this
came some short descriptions of German life written for various papers
and some clever bits of versification which were never published. Two
or three years after her father's death she wrote for 'The Ladies' Home
Journal' a very strong article against foreign education for American
girls, on the ground that such education gives the pupil a different
point of view from her own people and puts her out of harmony with
her surroundings. This piece attracted wide attention in the North as
well as in the South. She wrote for 'Belford's Magazine'[17] a clever
criticism of Colonel William Preston Johnston's theory that Hamlet was
intended as a characterization of James I, of England.

Miss Davis next resolved to write a book, and chose for her subject
a story her mother had told her about a veiled doctor that had once
attended a member of Mrs. Davis' family in Pennsylvania. It shows the
delicacy of her nature that she feared she might wound the feelings of
his family and accordingly laid the scene of her story at Wickford,
Rhode Island, in an old house which she had seen there. The main
incidents of this novel[18] are true. As it is her most ambitious work,
I will speak of it in detail.[19]

Doctor Gordon Wickford, the heir of the leading family in a provincial
town, has married a city belle. She is a beautiful blonde, whose
"glory lies in her hair," which she treasures above all other earthly
possessions, including her husband. "He had prostrated himself
spiritually before her beauty, and demanded nothing but the acceptance
of his adulation." Too late he finds out that blind infatuation has
caused him to marry a woman who is so vain, shallow, and frivolous as
to be utterly unworthy of him. The uncongenial surroundings among which
she finds herself serve to accent her lack of loveliness of character,
and to widen the chasm between them. This becomes impassable, as far
as he is concerned, when he catches her in a downright lie. Then he
turns upon her for the first time, and tells her that, while she may
remain in his house, she shall henceforth be his wife only in name. The
spirit and determination he shows reveal to her a force of character
she had never suspected in one who had been accustomed to yield to her
in everything, and she begins to respect him thoroughly. Only after
she has lost his love does she realize the value of it, and then she
strives to win it back, while a genuine love for him begins to grow up
within her own bosom.

As time goes on Wickford recognizes the fact that he is doomed to die
of cancer, that dread disease to which other members of his family had
already fallen victim. On returning from the city, where his worst
fears with regard to his condition have been confirmed, he is thinking
of seeking a reconciliation with Isabel, his wife, in order that she
may comfort him in the trying hours that are to come. He hesitates
because he has heard her make so many unfeeling remarks about the
afflicted and infirm, and knows she cannot bear to come into contact
with suffering. While he is still in doubt what to do, a scene of which
he is an unseen witness convinces him of his wife's infidelity, and in
a moment of delirium he cuts off her beautiful hair and throws it into
the fire. After this he is ill of brain-fever for a long time.

As he has completely ignored his wife ever since he discovered that she
had been lying, he is not aware of the change in her feeling toward
him. He persistently refuses to listen when his old aunt attempts to
plead the cause of Isabel.

His sensitive nature cannot bear the thought of everybody seeing the
mark of the loathsome disease as it slowly eats its way, so he covers
his face with a black veil, which he never removes. He loses sight of
his own condition in ministering to the sufferings of others. Finally,
after many months his own hour comes, and he locks himself within his
office, determined that no mortal eye shall see his last sufferings.
He writes a letter to his wife beseeching her to respect his wishes
in this matter, and assuring her that by doing so she can atone for
all her sins against him. She obeys him to the letter, refusing, in
spite of vigorous protests, to allow anyone to enter his chamber. She
takes her position just outside his door, and listens with agony to
his moaning until the end comes, when she finds a note, written just
before he expired, in which he recognizes her love for him and asks
her forgiveness. After her own great sorrow she is able really to
sympathize with the sufferings of others, and finally goes down to the
grave respected by all who know her.

Such is the story, briefly told. The title reminds us of Hawthorne's
parable, 'The Minister's Black Veil.' Both Doctor Wickford and Parson
Hooper put on the veil never to lay it aside even for a moment, and
the effect on the outside world is naturally very much the same in
both cases, but here the resemblance ceases, for the cause is physical
in one instance and moral in the other. The selfishness and levity of
Madame Wickford find a parallel in the heroine of Benson's 'Dodo',
while her 'new birth' is not altogether unlike that of Marcella, who
is, however, an infinitely stronger character. More interesting still
is a comparison between our novel and 'The Forge Master' of George
Ohnet. Claire persists in receiving the advances of her husband,
Philippe Derblay, with such coldness that he finally loses patience and
pays her in her own coin. Her respect for him is awakened, and when he
is on the point of fighting a duel for her sake, she rushes in between
him and his adversary, revealing to him the fact that she now loves him
devotedly. Thus a reconciliation is effected. I do not mean to say that
our author has borrowed anything from these stories, for, while she is
probably acquainted with them all, it is by no means certain that she
has read any one of them. I have mentioned these points of resemblance
merely because I think they are interesting.

I have heard the situations in 'The Veiled Doctor' characterized as
unnatural and melodramatic, and the style criticised as stilted.
With this opinion I cannot agree. Our author partially disarms
criticism by calling our attention to the perspective,--the events
being supposed to have taken place in "those times when the lives of
men and women swung between the two poles of war's brutality and a
super-refined sentimentalism, which seems mawkish to their more prosaic
grandchildren." The ideals of different periods are not the same, and
it is hardly safe to take those of our own as a perfectly reliable
standard in judging those of another. For instance, to our age Goethe's
'Sorrows of Werther' seems full of maudlin sentimentality, yet it
was received with wild enthusiasm when it appeared, for it mirrored
perfectly the spirit of the time. All are agreed that a story should
harmonize, at least in a general way, with its historical setting, for
else we should be reminded of Horace's picture of the figure with a
woman's head, a horse's neck, feathered body, and a fish's tail.

When we take into consideration the sensitive nature of Gordon Wickford
and the ignorance of the physicians of his day with regard to the
proper treatment of cancer, his desire to die alone does not seem
so unnatural, and, if this view be accepted, Isabel's obedience is
easily understood. It must be confessed that the most sympathetic and
practical character in the book is 'Aunt Hannah.'

The style is not always what it should be, our author being at times
unable to resist the temptation to use high-sounding phrases, but it
sometimes manifests considerable strength, and we find numerous bits of
description that are really clever and show excellent taste in their
simplicity. I quote several passages:

"As yet the trees in the street had not completely hidden their
graceful branch-lines in new spring greenery; there were still light
young shoots in the box hedges, and the air was full of the breath of
the spring. In the old garden long lines of crocus, yellow jonquils,
and single blue hyacinths hedged the grass-plots. The snowballs
were covered with great foamy white balls, periwinkles looked up
clear-eyed from under the parlor windows, and everywhere the single
blue violets were making the air sweet with their spring thanksgiving.
The tall standard roses had thrown out pale-green racemes, and the
'bridal-wreath' bushes were just commencing to powder their branches
with miniature blossoms. A young moon hung like a reap-hook in the
evening sky; the bride and groom could see it between a fret-work of
flowery apple and pear branches as they paced backward and forward in
the soft air."

"At last the day broke rosy and splendid over a steel-blue sea."

"There was a freshness on her cheeks and a dewy look about her eyes
that seemed to answer to the glory of the new day, and to proclaim her
an integral part of the summer morning."

"Autumn had dressed the old town in sober suits of brown, laced with
yellow and red; there was a sharp tang in the salt sea air that sent
the blood dancing. The smell of the ripe apples, crushed by the
cider-presses, pervaded the orchards, and in the fields the stacked
dried corn showed the unsuspected wealth of golden pumpkins that grew
between rows. Out in the woods the ferns had grown wan and pale, and
the fading leaves began to carpet the dead summer's undergrowth. Day
after day the officer and the lady rode away from the tree-shaded
streets to the silent autumn forests where silver-gray oak-boles
upheld canopies of brown velvet leaves. The gumtrees burned like fire,
and the hickory and sassafras gleamed golden over the red sumach and
whortleberry that made the old fields seem deluged with the blood of
some mighty battle. At times the long lines of homing ducks would
pass them, or a V of wild geese would sweep over their heads, crying

"Evening had come on, and the bare boughs were etched black against
a lemon-colored sky, which melted into orange where it kissed the

"The rosy glow in the west faded to ashen gray as the day burned itself

"Autumn followed, spreading its rich India carpet of leaves before the
retreating footsteps of the dying year."

"Again the dawn swept up out of the sea, rosy and clear; she could see
the pink light of a new day on the western walls of the passage."

"He labored under the oppressive aloofness begotten by sorrow, which
endows even the most familiar objects with a strangeness borrowed from
the new relation that we thenceforth bear to our dead selves. The old
landmarks seemed to be obliterated by the torrents of his anguish and
he felt no more of the balm he anticipated from a sense of homecoming
than he might have experienced in entering any wayside tavern. His
disease created a spiritual alienation from all things, and in his
heart, like the Jewish lepers, he cried out perpetually, 'Unclean!
unclean!' proclaiming his eternal separation from humanity."

"There were all sorts of half-fledged thoughts nestling in his heart as
he strode out into the night."

"A sudden apprehension shook her, every overwrought nerve in her body
seemed strained to listen; the wind had risen since dark, and was
moaning in the chimney. She heard him fumble with the bolts; it seemed
an age before the door flew open with a crash, and the storm rushed
in whooping, making the candles flicker and starting the smouldering
logs into a blaze. Some one was talking to the Captain in the hall;
now the door closed, and she heard his quick step coming back alone.
The presentiment of impending evil that had oppressed her all day now
took the form of anxiety for her husband; her fear grew into an awful
certainty of misfortune as she listened for the Captain's return. Could
Gordon have been taken ill? Was there an accident on the journey? Could
he even be dead? 'Oh God,' she prayed dumbly, 'not without saying
good-bye,--not angry with me, and without good-bye!'"

Finally, the moral of the book is one that has the sanction of the
father of Greek tragedy; it is the familiar adage that wisdom comes
through suffering. The strongest feature of the story is its interest;
I could hardly put it down before I had finished it. This interest,
which is inspired by its intrinsic merit, is increased by the fact that
it is the work of 'The Daughter of the Confederacy.' While it is not a
great book, it is well worth reading.

Next came many unsigned essays for different journals,--a Christmas
story for 'The World,' and a pretty one called 'Maiblume' for 'Arthur's
Home Journal.' Then followed a comprehensive article on 'The Women of
the South before the War,'--before she was born. Mrs. Davis gave her
the material, and her beautiful, pure soul shed upon it the moonlight
of idealism. The piece last mentioned, as well as a remarkable paper
on her father's character as she saw it, was published by McClure's

Miss Davis was unusually well-versed in Chinese history, as she had
spent two years reading it because of her intention of writing a
Chinese novel. On this account 'A Romance of Summer Seas' has so strong
a _vraisemblance_ that people thought the author had visited the scenes
so vividly described. Her knowledge of the Chinese world is shown also
in an article not yet published which has for its title, 'An Experiment
in Chinese Money;' it was written at the time of the silver and gold

It was a cherished wish of the dutiful daughter to put herself in a
position to buy a little home in a beautiful country district and a
little pony carriage for her mother and herself. With this in view
she wrote 'A Romance of Summer Seas,'[20] which she had first intended
to call 'An Unconventional Experiment.' She had contemplated writing
a novel of which the scene should be laid at Hong-Kong,--a novel of a
more ambitious nature than 'A Romance of Summer Seas.'

The 'unconventional experiment' consists in a young girl's being
forced by circumstances to travel under the sole guardianship of a
young Englishman from their home, Penang, off the coast of the Malay
Peninsula, to Hong-Kong and Yokohama. The summer seas of the Orient and
the two cities last named form the background of the story. The pair
are very reserved and stand aloof from the other passengers until these
begin to gossip about them and to whisper that the relations between
them are not just what they should be. This causes two or three fights,
two challenges, and one duel, all of which might have been avoided if
the people on board had minded their own business. It also brings about
a marriage between the young man and young girl in question, who have
been awakened by these rude happenings to the consciousness that they
love one another.

The characters are well-drawn and lifelike. Bush, the Globe Trotter,
who tells the story, proves to be a very entertaining _raconteur_
in spite of the reputation he has of being an insufferable bore. He
is loyal and true, and does not hesitate to risk his life for his
new-found friend. Malcolm Ralstone and Minerva Primrose, the pair
in whom the interest of the story centers, are not idealized but
thoroughly human. Guthrie, the Kansas cattle king, is the best-drawn
character of all; he is kind-hearted and manly, but the personification
of vulgarity,--one of that type of Americans who travel much because
they think it is the thing to do, make themselves very conspicuous
by their loudness, bad manners, and ignorance, and do all they can
to bring our country into disrepute. They are aided in this noble
work by such vulgarians as the American consul at Hong-Kong,--these
creatures who owe their prominence to the abuses of our consular
system. Miss Edwina Starkey is a revised but unimproved edition of
Mrs. Jellyby,--what Mrs. Jellyby might have been if she had become a
sour old maid. Though an apostle of 'The Brotherhood for the Diffusion
of Light,' Miss Edwina has about as much of the true spirit of
Christianity as she has of personal beauty. Among the minor characters
Doctor Clark is admirably drawn.

The book contains many charming bits of description; one has the
feeling that Miss Davis must have visited these scenes which she so
vividly paints. The life on shipboard seems very real. We find evidence
of the closest observation of the world, and the results of this
observation sententiously expressed. A quiet humor pervades the story,
which is realistic in the best sense and quite healthy.

I insert a few extracts.

"We were all up on deck enjoying the black glory of the night,--stars
set in a velvet pall overhead, and, below, the phosphorus fringes that
edged every ripple in the water and made the ship's wake shine like a
reflection of the Milky Way."

"As I sat there heedless of time, the light in the west faded, and
the great blue dome blushed with a thousand delicate gradations of
color, from the deep sapphire overhead, where the first stars twinkled,
through fainter blues and apple greens, until everything melted into
the gold of the horizon."

"So he went off, leaving me alone in the white glory of the tropic
night. No words of mine can convey the magic of that moonlight,
enveloping everything, and culminating in a glittering path across the
water. Every now and then a fish jumped, and I could see its wet sides
glitter; or a ghostly gull swept by on silent wings, for when the full
moon rides in the southern sky, not even the birds can sleep, but wake
and sing their songs fitfully throughout the night."

"They sat at the window waiting, and watching the heat-lightning play
in the west and the reflection of the ships' lamps that lay in the
water like long yellow smudges. As the night closed in the threatened
storm swept up out of the sea, deluging the city and whipping the
quiet harbor into a foam; the thunder crashed incessantly, and the
flashes of lightning showed stooping figures running along the bund to
shelter, and hooded jinrikishas tearing by, the coolies' grass cloaks
dripping at every blade."

"When one woman wishes to wound another she always strikes at her

"Black was very inky and white immaculate to this son of the prairies."

"People never relish life as they do when the taste of death is still
bitter between their teeth."

"Her heart was as pure as crystal."

"Women are the most conservative things alive."

"The face he turned upon me was no more the face of Minerva's lover
than the sea in December is like the sea in June."

"I venture to say that very few of the dead would be entirely welcome
if they returned unexpectedly to their widowed affinities."

"Nothing is so perfect a guarantee of respectability in a chance
acquaintance as the names of your own friends on his visiting-list."

"Many babies and Burmese summers had exhausted all the elasticity she
had ever possessed."

On the whole, 'A Romance of Summer Seas,' while it is on a less
ambitious scale than 'The Veiled Doctor,' seems more natural and shows
a gratifying advance along several lines.

When Miss Davis was suffering intensely in her last illness, she would
pat her mother's hand and say, "We shall have our carriage when my book
sells." But her unselfish dreams were not to be realized. The career
which seemed so full of promise was cut short by death. Now we see
through a glass darkly; when we see face to face, we shall know why
this life of usefulness ended in its morning. As long as the memories
of the 'lost cause' linger in her beloved Southland, so long shall
the name of Winnie Davis, 'The Daughter of the Confederacy,' remain
unforgotten. She has passed away, but the perfume of her noble life
will not pass away.


[11] The writer is indebted to the kindness of Mrs. Jefferson Davis for
much of the information necessary in the preparation of this paper.
Even Mrs. Davis, however, is unable to give the date when some of her
daughter's minor pieces were published, and every effort to secure them
has proved fruitless. They are either out of print or inaccessible.

[12] She was the only one of them he wished to have with him, as she
alone would not understand that he was a prisoner.

[13] In 1892 she was queen of Momus,--an honor that has always been
reserved for natives of New Orleans. Miss Davis is the only visitor
upon whom it has ever been conferred.

[14] With their slender means the two women found it impossible to meet
the interruptions and exactions of sight-seers at their home, so this
too had something to do with the change of residence.

[15] John W. Lovell & Company, New York, about 1884 or 1885. Now out of

[16] February, 1888.

[17] March, 1891.

[18] 'The Veiled Doctor,' A Novel by Varina Anne Jefferson Davis, New
York, Harper and Brothers, Publishers, 1895.

[19] The following review is practically the same as one published by
the author of this paper in 'The University of Mississippi Magazine,'
April 1896.

[20] 'A Romance of Summer Seas,' A Novel. By Varina Anne
Jefferson-Davis, Author of 'The Veiled Doctor,' New York and London,
Harper and Brothers, Publishers, 1898.



William Dunbar was born in 1749 at the celebrated manor house of
Thunderton, near Elgin in Morayshire, Scotland. He was the youngest
son of Sir Archibald Dunbar, who was head of one of the most ancient
and famous earldoms in his native country.[22] After William Dunbar's
removal to America, he became head of this house in Scotland. Although
he never assumed the title which he thus inherited, he is known in the
history of his adopted state as Sir William Dunbar.[23]

After he had received a liberal education at Glasgow, his fondness for
mathematics and astronomy led him to continue these studies in London.
His health failed in the latter place and he decided to try his fortune
in the New World.

He procured from the great house of Hunter and Bailey, London, an
outfit of goods suitable for trading with the Indians. He reached
Philadelphia in April, 1771, and immediately transported his goods,
to the value of about £1,000, overland to Fort Pitt (Pittsburg).[24]
Within two months he had exchanged them for furs and peltries, which he
forwarded to London. He continued in this business for two years, when
he formed a partnership with John Ross, a prominent Scotch merchant and
capitalist of Philadelphia.

In order to establish a plantation in the British province of West
Florida, Dunbar descended the Ohio and Mississippi in 1773, and
selected a tract of land near Baton Rouge, then called by the English,
New Richmond. He went to Pensacola, capitol of West Florida, where he
received from Governor Chester permission to settle the tract selected,
and thence to Jamaica, where he bought a large number of slaves,
direct from Africa. With these, he returned to his new home, by way of
Pensacola, the lakes, and the Amite.

He first directed his attention to raising indigo, but soon found
that it was more profitable to manufacture staves for the West India
market. These he exchanged for such commodities as were demanded by his
neighbors along the Mississippi.[25]

From a document written in 1773, and found among the papers of George
Chalmers, Secretary of Trade of Great Britain, we find that at this
time there were only thirty-three settlements east of the Mississippi
and between Natchez and what is now the state of Louisiana.[26] But
from that date the streams of immigration began to flow steadily
into this new country. This fact is shown by another contemporary
manuscript, which was written by Gov. Chester, shortly after the
Spanish conquest of West Florida. In it he says that in 1778,
"considering the importance of the Western Parts of the Colony (of West
Florida) lying on the River Mississippi which had so far increased in
its inhabitants____that since the____last Assembly (held in 1772) it
had been divided from the District of Mobile or Charlotte County and
erected into Two Districts, viz.: The District of Manschack and the
District of Natchez and contained a great number of respectable wealthy
Planters and Settlers than either of the other Districts in the Colony"
(Mobile and Pensacola).[27]

During the greater part of his first six years' residence near Baton
Rouge, Dunbar suffered from a series of misfortunes which well-nigh
destroyed all that he could accumulate through his industry and thrift.
In 1775, he lost some of his most valuable slaves through a rebellion
in which they were implicated. Three years later, his house and
plantation were plundered by one Capt. James Willing,[28] who, although
a commissioned officer in the continental army was really a freebooter.
In speaking of Willing's visitation, Dunbar says, in his private
Journal that "the houses of the British gentlemen on the English side
were plundered, and among the rest, mine was robbed of everything that
could be carried away--all my wearing apparel, bed and table linen;
not a shirt was left in the house,--blankets, pieces of cloth, sugar,
silverware. In short, all was fish that came in their net____I was
plundered of £200 sterling value."[29] The year following, 1779, his
plantation was again raided,--this time by marauding bands of soldiers
from the Spanish army that subdued the district under their gallant
leader, Galvez.

For several years after the last of these misfortunes, Dunbar was left
undisturbed in his pursuits; and by constant application to business
and the adroit management of the affairs of his firm, he accumulated a

In 1787, he wrote to his partner, Mr. Ross, that the lands at Natchez
were far preferable to their lands at Baton Rouge; that the Natchez
soil was particularly favorable to the production of tobacco and that
there were overseers in that part of the country who would engage to
produce from two to three hogsheads to the hand besides provisions.
His final settlement was at a place nine miles south of Natchez and
four miles east of the Mississippi River. Here he opened the celebrated
plantation called "The Forest," where he spent the remainder of his

On account of the competition from Kentucky and the Spanish
restrictions on trade, he found the cultivation of tobacco
unprofitable. He directed his attention to the raising of indigo, but
was soon forced to abandon this also, because of the ravages of an
insect. He then engaged in the cultivation of cotton, which proved
to be a very remunerative crop. We are told that he became "the most
extensive and successful planter" in this region, being one of the
first to turn the attention of the planters of the Natchez District
to the advantages which the cultivation of cotton afforded over other
crops. In 1799 he wrote to Mr. Ross of Philadelphia that he continued
to cultivate cotton with very great success and that it was by far
the most remunerative staple that had been raised in this county.[30]
In another letter, written while in the midst of the cotton harvest,
he said that he had made "not less than 20,000 pounds of clean
cotton worth in London £2,000." He also mentioned that he had helped
to improve the method of packing cotton by the introduction of the
square bale. In order to perfect this improvement, he requested his
correspondent to have a screw press made in Philadelphia according to
the specifications which were enclosed.[31] In a subsequent letter
written to the same party, Dunbar expressed his surprise that the
press should have cost him $1,000, but added that he would try "to
indemnify" himself "by extracting an oil from the cotton seed." He
requested to be informed what price such an oil would bring in the
market, stating that it would probably be classed "between the drying
and fat oils, resembling linseed in color and tenacity, but perhaps
less drying."[32] Claiborne says that this was "the first suggestion
of that product which has now become a great article of commerce, or
indeed of utilizing cotton seed at all. At that period it was not
dreamed of as a fertilizer, nor fed, in any shape to stock. It was
usually burnt or hauled to a strong enclosure, at a remote part of the
farm, to decompose, and was considered of no use whatever, and really a

These brief extracts, from the correspondence of Dunbar, show that he
made a practical application of the scientific principles which he had
learned in his native country. No comments are needed to show that he
was a man of thought as well as of action.

Dunbar continued his business relations with Mr. Ross until the
partnership was dissolved by the death of the latter in 1800. The
interest of the heirs of the deceased was then bought by Mr. Dunbar for
about $20,000.[34]

The remaining years of his life were devoted almost exclusively to
scientific investigations, which he frequently characterized as his
"favorite amusements." He seemed to be indifferent to political
preferment, and though out of deference to the wishes of his people, he
sometimes permitted an interruption of his scientific work in order to
perform the duties of the offices which were more than once thrust upon
him, such labors were not congenial to him. After the adjournment of
the Territorial Legislature in 1803 of which he was a member, he wrote
to President Jefferson expressing his delight upon being able to return
to his scientific work.[35]

No greater injustice could be done Mr. Dunbar than to infer that his
political indifference was due to lack of patriotism. His strong
attachment to the home of his adoption is shown in the following
extract from a letter to President Jefferson, written January 7,
1803:--"By a letter____from my much esteemed friend, Mrs. Trist,____she
says that you had informed her it was my intention to remove shortly
from this country; I beg leave to remove this impression. Since the
country has been united to the American federation, I have never
ceased to consider it as my own country which I hope never to be under
the necessity of abandoning."[36] In another letter, written to the
same great statesman six months later, Dunbar calls attention to the
"renewed activity and immigration of the French to the Mississippi
Valley," and expresses a fear of the consequences to follow therefrom.
"It is desirable," he adds, "to preserve the whole of the Valley of
the Mississippi for the spread of the people of the United States; who
might in the progress of a century, plant the fine western valley of
the Mississippi with many millions of inhabitants, speaking the same
language with ourselves. It ought not to be objected that this object
is too remote to merit contemplation of the present moment."[37] He
then gives a discussion of the political methods of the French and
Spaniards; also his ideas of the reason why the Spaniards had stopped
the right of deposit at New Orleans, with circumstances to confirm the

He closes this letter by saying that politics is not a favorite
subject with him, and that he would probably not introduce it again
into their correspondence, unless in the view of communicating
something which it might be important for Jefferson to know. However
sincere may have been his intentions to abstain from writing on
political matters, we find that in his next letter to Jefferson,
written about four months later, he discusses at length the claim of
Louisiana to West Florida, and gives a representation of the political
outlook of Mississippi and of Louisiana.[38] In another letter, written
three months later still, he opposes a resolution submitted to Congress
"to deprive Jefferson College of thirty acres of land____and to give
the same to the city of Natchez."[39]

Dunbar's greatest claim to prominence is based upon the results of
his scientific investigations. His researches in this remote and then
unexplored field of inquiry brought him into fellowship with the wise
and learned of all countries, and gained for him a reputation wider
perhaps than that of any other scientist in the history of the State.
Col. Claiborne, writing in 1876, said of him that he "was not only the
most learned man of his time on the Mississippi, but we have had no man
his equal since."[40] Dunbar's fondness for mathematics and astronomy
made him the friend and correspondent of Sir William Herschel. He also
numbered among his correspondents some of the foremost scientists of
his time,--Hunter, Bartram, Rittenhouse, and Rush.

During the latter part of the Spanish rule, he was appointed Surveyor
General of the District of Natchez. He also served as a representative
of the Spanish government in locating the 31° of North Latitude, which
was established as the boundary line between the United States and
the Spanish possessions east of the Mississippi. As he was never a
subject of his Catholic Majesty,[41] these services were strictly
professional. The relationship between him and Governor Gayoso was,
however, very cordial, as is shown by their correspondence.[42] Upon
one occasion,[43] Dunbar presented Gayoso with a costly sextant,
which the latter needed in order to complete a course of astronomical
observations upon which he was engaged. At another time[44] Gayoso had
cause to thank Dunbar for the use of a "famous astronomical circle"
belonging to the latter. Gayoso says of this instrument, "it surpassed
my expectation,____. Every part is so delicately finished and solidly
supported & so well prepared to be adjusted that it would give me
courage to make an observation myself. If the instrument was not your
own property I would have advised you to make a voyage to admire it.
Now I think with your assistance I may with confidence and decency
proceed to the demarcation of the Line as soon as I receive orders for
the purpose." The sickness of Mr. Dunbar about this time was a source
of great concern to Gayoso. In a third letter[45] upon this subject,
written two weeks before the work upon the line began, Gayoso expressed
some apprehension that, for his sake, Dunbar might imprudently expose
himself. When Dunbar was at work upon the line, Gayoso wrote to him
as follows: "I congratulate myself for having had the opportunity of
meeting with a person so well calculated to fulfill so important a
charge for which is required science with every other quality worthy
of public trust; you possess them all in a degree to do honor to any
country; these are my sincere sentiments."

Dunbar's services on the line of demarcation extended from May 26 to
August 28, 1798, the time consumed in surveying the first eighteen
miles of the boundary.[46] The preliminary observations leading to
the location of the 31° were made in his private observatory on Union
Hill.[47] An inundation of the Mississippi prevented the survey from
beginning at the bank of the river. The water having receded by the
28th of July, Dunbar began to extend the line to the river from the
point of starting, while Ellicott, the American Commissioner, continued
his survey to the east.[48] Through this swamp, which was found to be
2111.42 French toises or 2 miles and 186 perches English measure, a
trace sixty feet wide was cut to designate the boundary, and posts were
put at intervals of a mile.

Dunbar rejoined the American Commissioners on August 20. A few days
later he made the following entry in his report to the Spanish
government:--"I set out on the 31st day of August bidding a final
adieu to the Gentlemen of both Commissions, with whom I had spent
three months in a manner highly agreeable to my own taste, and with
uninterrupted harmony on my part with every gentleman of both parties,
and had it not been that my family and other interests demanded my
protection and superintendence, I should have with pleasure pursued
this employment to its conclusion."[49] Ellicott, in his report of this
survey, published in the Transactions of the American Philosophical
Society, says:--"To William Dunbar, Esq., of the Mississippi Territory
I feel myself under the greatest obligations for his assistance during
the short time he was with us; his extensive scientific acquirements,
added to a singular facility in making calculations would have reduced
my labour to a mere amusement, if he had continued."[50] The same
writer in his Journal, published in Philadelphia, five years after his
association with Dunbar, says that he is "a gentleman whose extensive
information and scientific acquirements would give him a distinguished
rank in any place or in any country."[51] Since Ellicott himself was
one of the foremost scientists of his time in this country[52] the
value of his estimate of Dunbar cannot be questioned.

A few months after the completion of this important public survey,
Daniel Clarke wrote a letter to Thomas Jefferson, in which he referred
to Dunbar as "a person worthy of being consulted____on subjects
relating to this Country its productions, or any philosophical Question
connected with them____For Science, Probity & general information (he)
is the first Character in this part of the World. His long residence in
this Country, still but little known to men of letters, its Situation
with respect to many Savage tribes, some of which lately inhabited
the very Place where he resides & where their visages are still
perceptible, the extensive Communications with remote parts presented
by the Mississippi and concourse of Indians & traders, have given him
many opportunities of making observations which may not have presented
themselves to others and may not probably occur in future, to these
may be added those he has made on the Country itself, its population,
manners, Customs of the Inhabitants, the different Changes in their
Government for the last 40 years, the Climate, soil & Trade which are
but little known abroad."[53]

The manuscript correspondence of Thomas Jefferson, in the Archives of
the Department of State at Washington shows that he acted upon this
suggestion from Mr Clarke. In this collection there have been preserved
fifteen letters that were written by Dunbar.

The first of these in chronological order, bears the date of July
15, 1800. It states briefly that in compliance with the request of a
friend in London, Dunbar had prepared certain notes and remarks "made
while upon the line of Demarcation." These he sent to Jefferson with a
request that after reading he forward them to London. Jefferson, who
was then President of the American Philosophical Society and a great
patron of science, was so favorably impressed by these notes that
instead of forwarding them as directed, he sent them to Dr. Wistar of
Philadelphia with a recommendation that Dunbar be elected to membership
in the Philosophical Society. On this point Jefferson wrote that he
had proposed so many members at different times that he was afraid to
add to the number. "Yet," says he, "Dunbar ought to be associated to
us. I enclose you a letter with communications of his to Mr. Smith of
London which ____will enable you to judge of his degree of science, &
therefore, I leave them open for your perusal, & will pray you to seal
& send them____to London." Shortly after this Dunbar was elected to
membership in this, the most celebrated organization of scientists in
the early history of the United States. The fact that only thirteen
other Americans were added to this body during the three years from
January 1st, 1799 to 1802, gives a proper estimate of the high honor
conferred upon Mr. Dunbar. In writing to Dunbar, shortly after this
recognition of his scientific attainments, Ellicott says: "If you do
justice to your own abilities and observations, you will do credit to
the society by your communications."

Before considering the character and extent of his subsequent
contributions to science, the notes and remarks referred to above
demand consideration. These are contained in his report of the survey
to his Catholic Majesty,[54] the Spanish copy of which is in the
archives at Madrid. Several years ago it was examined by Alexander
Everett, who often referred to it as "a document of rare science and

It consists of two parts. The first treats of the mathematical
calculations and the astronomical observations made in locating the 31°
of latitude and in surveying the first eighteen miles of the line of
demarcation. The remainder consists of notes taken at his encampment
on the Bluff, in August, 1798. These treat, for the most part, of the
vegetable and animal life to be found along the line of the survey,
particularly in the swamp of the Mississippi river.

He makes several interesting observations on the red and the white
cypress, the former of which he says is the more valuable for strength
and durability, owing to its being impregnated with resin. He also
observes that the "cypress knees," as they are commonly called, never
reach a height greater than the high water mark. In combating the
theory of Dupratz that the cypress is propagated from its root, Dunbar
says that is "invariably propagated from the seed, which is about
the size of a Spanish walnut," and that he has "often observed half
a dozen or more young plants produced from one apple, which often
coalesce into one and sometimes the greater part perish to make room
for their more fortunate brethren." He says of one species of the white
oak, that "nature has so ordained that the husk embraces the acorn so
firmly that they are not separated by their fall from the tree, by
which means this case by its comparatively small specific gravity buoys
up the acorn, and being carried along by the various current of the
inundation, serves to plant distant colonies of this species." He also
gives an interesting account of the cotton tree, the willow and the
bamboo cane, the last of which he attempts to classify botanically. He
says of the cane: "It produces a very abundant crop of grain, and that
only once, for it immediately after perishes, root and branch, it is
not known how many years the reed requires to arrive at this state of
maturity; if we were to suppose that 25 years were its limit, it must
happen that a person who has resided during that length of time in this
country and who has visited many parts of it must have seen all the
cane that came under his inspection once in grain, and upon the average
one twenty-fifth part of all the cane in a large tract of country
ought annually to yield a crop, but this is by no means the case, for
I who have lived during that length of time in this country and have
frequently traversed many extensive tracts of it, have never in any one
year seen 1-500 part of the canes in seed of those parts that I have
intimately known." He therefore concludes that it must require at least
five hundred years for this plant to reach "a state of maturity to
enable it to bear a crop of seed."

His description of the ornamental trees of this region is graphic and
interesting. No one can read his account of the magnolia tree without
being deeply impressed with the fact that he appreciated its beauty.
In studying the properties of the poplar, he made a hydrometer of a
thin, broad piece of plank of this material, cut across the grain. He
"improved its sensibility by boiling it when very dry, in a solution of
mild alkali or carbonated potash." He describes many other trees, among
which are the dogwood, the redbud, the wild cherry, the horse chestnut
and the sweet gum.

He records the observation of a very rare phenomenon, which he saw
August 12th, when engaged upon this work. It was a rainbow that
consisted of more than a semi-circle, "the vertical point" of which
"did not seem more than 8 feet from the eye, although the inferior
parts seemed farther removed, which produced an optical deception by
giving it the appearance of an ellipsis, the transverse diameter being
parallel to the horizon; this perhaps is the first natural rainbow
exceeding a semi-circle which has been seen by a human eye, because to
produce such an effect from the general idea formed of this phenomenon,
the sun ought to be in the horizon to cause the appearance of a full
semi-circle exceeded only by the parallactic angle of the elevation
of the eye above the base of the rainbow, which must generally be
insensible; the above effect however is easily accounted for on
Newton's principles[56] from the peculiar circumstances in which I was

He says that the microscope reveals in the water of this part of the
country the same varieties of animalculæ which he had often examined
in Europe and many new ones, which he does not remember to have seen
described by any writer, and which he hopes to find leisure to describe
at some future day.

After giving a brief account of some of the wild animals, reptiles,
fish, and birds of this country, he concludes with lists of the
"vegetable productions of the Swampy Grounds or such as are much
exposed to the Annual Inundation;" the "most remarkable vegetable
productions of the high lands;" and the "Trees and Plants cultivated
by the Inhabitants of the Mississippi territory and by those of the
adjoining Spanish Provinces."

As has been noted above, the last ten years of Dunbar's life were
devoted almost entirely to scientific research. The value of his
contributions to knowledge was widely recognized, and "The Forest"
became familiar to the scientific world, though it was sometimes
incorrectly placed in Louisiana.

Volume V. of the Transactions of the American Philosophical Society,
published in Philadelphia in 1801, contains three articles from his
pen, and Volume VI. of the same publication, issued eight years
later, contains twelve, one of which was translated into the German
and appeared in Gilbert's Annalen of Physics, vol. 31,[57] published
in Leipzig in 1809. To this latter volume of the Transactions Andrew
Ellicott contributed nine articles, Jose Joaquin de Ferrer, eight,
Dr. Benjamin Smith Barton, five, Benj. Henry Latrobe, three, and Dr.
Joseph Priestly, F. R. S., three, while to repeat Dunbar contributed
twelve. This shows that Dunbar was at that time one of the most active
investigators on the continent.

His contributions to the Transactions and his correspondence with
Jefferson give a conception of the character and extent to his
investigations. The first of these contributions was written June 30,
1800, and treats of the "Language of Signs among certain North American
Indians." In this he traces certain points of analogy "between the
Chinese written language and our Western language of signs." In both,
says he, there are certain "roots of language in which every other word
or species in a systematic sense is referred to its proper genus or
root." He gives, for example, the sign for water which is a genus and
shows that rain, snow, ice, hail, hoar-frost, dew, etc., are species
represented by signs more or less complex, retaining always the root or
genus as the basis of the compound sign. He adduces other interesting
facts from this study of the subject, which cannot be given in this

His Meteorological Observations for 1799, gives unmistakable evidence
of his devotion to science. It shows that three times a day, each day
in the year, he recorded the temperature and the barometric readings;
also the direction and strength of the winds with the state of the
weather, and the amount of rainfall together with remarks about
the state of the vegetation from time to time. To this he adds a
Recapitulation, giving the greatest, the lowest, and the mean points of
the thermometer and the barometer, and the amount of rainfall for each
month and then for the whole year. The Editor of the publication states
in a footnote that "the society have been induced to publish this
journal _entire_, as it is certainly the first that has been kept with
so much accuracy and attention in that part of the world, and may serve
as a standard with which to compare future observations."

In another article, Dunbar gives a "Description of a singular
phenomenon seen at Baton Rouge" in the spring of 1800.

His fourth contribution consists in extracts from a letter dated Aug.
22, 1801, which he wrote to Jefferson, relative "to fossil bones found
in Louisiana, and to Lunar Rainbows observed West of the Mississippi."
In this letter, he referred to an account of "Dr. Hooks' scheme of
a telegraphy, in the year 1684," which he intended to transmit to
Jefferson, but found himself anticipated in that communication by a
paper in the first volume of the London Philosophical Magazine. He also
directs Jefferson's attention to "a certain phenomenon at sunset,"--the
yellow orange color of the Eastern clouds, which ascends as the sun
descends--upon which he makes certain observations and explanations,
and suggestions for further investigations by philosophers.

With this letter there was enclosed a fifth contribution to the
Transactions. This article is entitled, "Meteorological Observations
made by William Dunbar, Esq., at the Forest, four miles east of the
Mississippi, in Latitude 31° 28´ North, and in Longitude 91° 30´ west
of Greenwich, for the year 1800; with remarks on the state of the
winds, weather, vegetation, etc., calculated to give some idea of the
climate of the country." In this article he says, "the frequent and
rapid changes in the state of the weather in this climate furnish an
excellent opportunity of verifying the vulgar opinion of the moon's
pretended influence at her conjunctions, oppositions and quadratures;
but truth compels me to say (what probably may be said of many similar
persuasions) that after a continued and scrupulous attention to this
object, I have not discovered any such regularity of coincidences,
which might justify the reverence with which those traditional maxims
are at this day received." After discussing a method of manufacturing
ice by artificial means, he concludes this communication with the
following observations on the storms of the Gulf Coast region: "It
is evident that the circular course of the vortex followed that of
the sun's apparent diurnal motion.--It is possible that if similar
observations are made upon all hurricanes, tornadoes and whirlwinds
they will be found universally to consist of a vortex with a central
spot in a state of profound calm."

Dunbar's next letter that is preserved in the Jefferson Papers is
one to John Vaughan bearing the date of March 21, 1802. In this the
writer says that he envies Vaughan's "happiness at the discovery of
a complete skeleton of a mammoth." He makes some observations on the
species to which this mammoth belongs and refers to recent discoveries
of a similar nature in the interior of Asia and Borneo. He gives the
results of recent geological observations on the nature of the soil and
the stratification of the same as shown by the banks of the Mississippi
at Natchez; also a discussion of stones, rocks, ores, mineral waters,
petrifaction, etc. He requests Vaughan to inform Dr. Bartram that since
writing him last, he has made several new discoveries of a botanical
and zoological nature which he here describes.

This letter also shows that Dunbar was one of the first Mississippians
to resort to inoculation for protection against small-pox. He asked
Vaughan to send him some fresh vaccine virus and stated that six
children in his own family had never "had that disease, besides a
lengthy list of Black people, both young and old." Vaughan complied
with this request by sending the virus and asked Jefferson to do
likewise, stating that "the Vaccine inoculation gathers strength
hourly, _no_ respectable practitioner (of Philadelphia) opposes it."

January 15, 1803 Dunbar wrote to Jefferson: "Bad health which has
endured above twelve months has withheld much of my attention from
Philosophic objects, a favorable change having lately taken place, I
perceive with satisfaction that my mind and body are both recovering
their former tone and now again enjoy the pleasing prospect of
dedicating my leisure hours to my favorite amusements."

Dunbar's next contribution to the Transactions was entitled, "Abstract
of a communication from Mr. Martin Durale, relative to fossil
bones, etc., of the County of Opelousas, west of the Mississippi to
Mr. William Dunbar of the Natchez," etc. In this account Dunbar, in
referring to certain phenomena makes use of the following expression,
which has characterized the true philosophers of all ages, "I have
never observed them without endeavoring to ascertain the cause of them."

This communication was accompanied by "pretty full vocabularies of the
tongues of two Indian nations of that country," to which "was added
a sketch of the religion or superstition of these people." In this
connection, Dunbar says, "From several other quarters I have used some
efforts to draw similar information, but am hitherto disappointed."
He also makes mention of a letter which he had just received from Sir
Joseph Banks with an extract from the Transactions of the Royal Society.

January 28, 1804, Dunbar wrote to Jefferson transmitting his seventh
and eighth contributions to Volume Six of the Transactions, while an
extract from his letter was published as a ninth contribution. His
seventh article was entitled a "Description of the river Mississippi
and its Delta, with that of the adjacent parts of Louisiana." In this
he gives a table of the mean altitude of the waters of the Mississippi
at Natchez, from the lowest ebb to the highest elevation for the
first and fifteenth of each month in the year. It also contains a
good account of overflows and some philosophical reflections on the
velocity, banks, currents, deposits and depth of the river and the
effects of confining it to its channel. In speaking of the overflow
lands he says, "although no successful attempt is likely to be made in
our day, yet posterity will reclaim" them. He discusses the methods
used in Holland and in Egypt, and makes several speculations as to
the method that will probably be successful. This sketch, he says, in
conclusion, "is the result of occasional observation for a series of
years and of scattered information collected from various sources,
probably often uncertain, from a cause which is unfortunately, too
general; viz: the extreme inattention of persons, even of some
education to the most curious phenomena passing daily under their

The eighth article was entitled: "Monthly and Annual Results of
Meteorological Observations" for the years 1801, 1802, 1803.

In an appendix to his seventh article, he discusses the writings of
certain Italian, French and German scientists, giving his reasons for
differing with them on certain philosophical questions. His discussion
is devoted largely to a consideration of certain laws of hydrostatics.

His "Observations on the eclipse of the sun, June 16, 1806" made in his
private observatory on Union Hill, constitutes his tenth contribution
to the publication mentioned above. This article gives a vivid account
of the excited state of mind with which an astronomer awaits the time
when nature affords favorable opportunities for investigating her
mysteries. It also shows that this frontier scientist of Mississippi
enjoyed in thought, as he could not by personal association, the
companionship of the great thinkers of the world. These are his words:

"The moment of the expected impression approached and reflecting
that this eclipse was to be seen all over Europe and North America
which renders it a very important phenomenon for settling comparative
longitudes, I conceived that all the zealous astronomers of both worlds
were then looking with me at the great luminary and centre of our
system. I kept my eye riveted upon that point of the disk where the
eclipse was to commence, with an anxiety known only to astronomers;
with the chronometer watch at my ear, I attended to the most doubtful
appearances which my perturbation perhaps presented to the eye, and
upon every alarm, began to count the beats of the watch (five in two
seconds) in order that I might not lose the very first instant of the
impression, and I am confident that not one quarter of a second was

The last letter that has been preserved from the interesting
correspondence between Dunbar and Jefferson, bears the date of
Dec. 17, 1805. With it was enclosed Dunbar's "Method of finding the
Longitude by a single observer without any knowledge of the precise
time," a problem that had been solved by him at Jefferson's request.
This formed an eleventh contribution to the publication referred to

There is no reason for doubting that this correspondence was continued
throughout the remaining four years of Dunbar's life, though the
letters have not been found by the writer.

Dunbar's last contribution to the Transactions was entitled:
"Observations on the Comet of 1807-'8." It was read before the Society
Nov. 18, 1808. In this article appears at least one entry which
indicated that the scientific services of its author were drawing
to a close. "Indisposition," says he at one point in the narrative,
"prevented observation for some time past." A few months from this date
the scientific investigation of this remarkable man were brought to a

Writers have frequently noted the fact that many great men have lived
in advance of their times. To substantiate this assertion they cite us
to the careers of Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, and a host of others.
That Dunbar is entitled to the same distinction might be amply proved
by a study of his life.

The most conclusive evidence of this fact is furnished by his idea of
the relation the government should sustain to scientific explorations.
In a letter to John Vaughan, bearing the date of March 21, 1802, he
writes as follows:

    "There is no example of any encouragement being held out
    by [our] Government; no spirit of inquiry set on foot at
    the public expense. What is the reason, we have no State
    observatory to which individuals might send their contributions
    & from which they might receive astronomical intelligence....
    No naturalist travels at the public expense to explore our
    immense country & make us acquainted with the infinite
    resources it Contains upon its surface, in its waters & within
    its bowels, from whence great national advantages would result;
    the public & individuals would be instructed where to direct
    their researches after such objects as might become subjects
    of curiosity, Public the exercise of genius & agrandizem't
    of fortune; but it would seem that the speculations ... of
    our politicians are confined within the narrow circle of the
    Customs & Excise, while literature of our present illustrious
    President will correct & enlarge the views of our public men,
    & that under his auspices & protection, Arts, Science, &
    Literature may take a flight, which will at length carry them
    beyond those European brethren, as wel[l] to[o] as above them
    in the enjoyment of national liberty."

In transmitting this letter to Jefferson, Vaughan says of Dunbar, "he
is like yourself a warm friend to the encouragement of Science and
letters, it would be fortunate for the country, if these ideas became
more prevalent."

Remarkable to relate, two years had not elapsed after Dunbar had
written this despondent letter before he saw evidences of a partial
fulfillment of his desire and three months later still, he was
appointed a member of one of the first expeditions sent out for
scientific purposes at the expense of the government of the United
States. In a letter to President Jefferson, written May 13, 1804,
Dunbar says: "The surveying and exploring expeditions to be undertaken
at public expense must be most gratifying to all lovers of science
and natural research.... It will give me the highest satisfaction to
contribute everything in my power to promote the proposed expedition on
the Red and Arcansa Rivers."

Owing to the dissentions among the Osage Indians, the main part of
this expedition was postponed, however, until the spring of 1805.
In a letter bearing the date of July 14, 1804, Jefferson wrote to
Dunbar:--"It is very desirable that you make use of any part of the men
or matters provided for the expedition and go to what distance, and
in what direction you please, return when you please, but in time to
report to us the result of your researches, which report will probably
induce Congress to enlarge the appropriation."[58]

August 18, 1804 he wrote Jefferson that, "in consequence of the
permission you are pleased to grant, I have determined to make an
excursion up the Washita river and to the hot springs." Two months
later, he wrote that he had about completed the necessary preparations
for the expedition and that he would carry "several instruments [of his
own] in addition to those provided for the party" by the government.
Three weeks after writing the above letter, he again wrote to the
President from the Post of Washita giving him the latitude of the most
important points on the river.

After his return to Natchez, he wrote Jefferson the first scientific
account of the water at Hot Springs. Subsequent analyses of this water
have shown some inaccuracies in this account, but it must be remembered
that Dunbar was only a pioneer in this important field. His account
reads as follows:

    "I have examined the water at 130° Fahrenheit under a powerful
    microscope and found vegetable and animal life, the former
    a species of moss, the latter a testaceous bivalve of the
    size of the minutest grain of sand. I do not despair of being
    able to reanimate these as soon as I can procure a little
    leisure....[59] From our analysis of the water ... it appears
    to contain lime with a minute portion of iron dissolved by a
    small excess of Carbonic acid. This is ... visible upon the
    first view of the Springs; an immense body of calcareous matter
    is accumulated upon the side of the hill, by perpetual deposits
    from the hot waters, and the bed of the run is coloured
    red oxide of iron or rather Carbonated iron. Every little
    spring which rises up in a favorable situation forms its own
    calcareous cup considerably elevated in form of a crater."

The following year (1805) Dunbar was given the general supervision
of the Red River Expedition. May 24 of that year Mr. Dearborn, the
Secretary of War, wrote requesting him to make all arrangements for
this expedition, limiting the expenses to $5,000. In a letter bearing
the date of March 30, 1807, Mr.

Dearborn expressed his appreciation of Mr. Dunbar's services in the
following words:--"The frequent drafts on account of the United
States upon your time and patience demand an apology, while your
disinterestedness and highly useful services entitle you to the most
grateful acknowledgements."

Dunbar's idea of the relation the government should sustain to
scientific research is still further set forth in his last letter that
has been preserved in the Jefferson manuscripts. From this letter,
which bears the date of December 17, 1805, the following extract is

    "I have just received from London a six feet Gregorian
    reflecting Telescope with six magnifying powers from 110 to
    550 times; hitherto from a liberal construction of the act
    of Congress, by the Collectors of the Mississippi Territory
    residing at Fort Adams, I have been in the habit of receiving
    books and instruments free of duty, but Mr. Browne at New
    Orleans is so rigidly faithful as a public servant that he
    admits of no exemptions neither in favor of the Mississippi
    Society, for which I have lately imported a chest of books;
    nor in favor of this valuable instrument, the cost of which
    in London was about 150 guineas, [about $750]. I suppose Mr.
    Browne is quite correct as to the letter of the law.... I have
    just sent off an order for Mr. Briggs, Mr. Dinsmore and myself,
    for astronomical instruments & chronometers to the amount of
    300 guineas [about $1,500], all of which as well as that just
    received, will in some shape be applied to public use and
    benefit & might therefore be entitled to a claim upon public

The significance of this extract is twofold. It shows that Dunbar
devoted his time to scientific investigation not only to gratify
himself but to serve the public. His love of science for its own sake
made "favorite amusements" of labors that would otherwise have been
very onerous. His desire to benefit others through these investigations
led him to fulfill that true test of all greatness,--service to one's
fellow-man. This extract shows further the contagion of an enthusiastic
devotion to a great cause. Dunbar and his friends, remote from the
intellectual centers of the world, constituted themselves into a
society, which spent a larger sum of money for scientific purposes
than perhaps any other private scientific organization in the history
of the State. He sought the co-operation of all thinking men with whom
he came in contact. He was active in his efforts to collect all facts
of scientific interest throughout his part of the country. That he was
often disappointed in these efforts, is shown by more than one passage
in his writings. In his "Description of the Mississippi and its Delta"
he expresses his regret over "the extreme inattention of persons, even
of some education, to the most curious phenomena passing daily under
their review."

Philip Nolan, the dauntless hero of one of Edward Everett Hale's
most interesting stories,[61] was a warm personal friend of Dunbar
and was often mentioned in the Jefferson correspondence in the most
complimentary terms. This relationship was probably due to the fact
that Nolan had a remarkably wide range of information gathered from
the remote western wilds and he took pleasure in imparting the results
of his observations to Dunbar.

He was a warm friend to all students of nature. Only a few months
before his death, he had the pleasure of entertaining in his own home,
"the Father of American Ornithology," Alexander Wilson. Upon hearing
that Wilson was in Natchez, Dunbar wrote him the following letter:

                                       FOREST, 20th May, 1810.

    "SIR:--It is very unfortunate that I should be so much
    indisposed as to be confined to my bedroom; nevertheless I
    cannot give up the idea of having the pleasure of seeing you
    as soon as you find it convenient; the perusal of your first
    volume of Ornithology, lent me by General Wilkinson, has
    produced in me a very great desire of making your acquaintance.

    "I understand, from my boy, that you propose going in a few
    days to New Orleans, where you will see some small cabinets of
    natural history that may interest you. But as I presume it is
    your intention to prosecute your inquiries into the interior of
    our country, this cannot be done better than from my house, as
    your headquarters; where everything will be made convenient to
    your wishes. My house stands literally in the forest, and your
    beautiful orioles with other elegant birds, are our courtyard

    "The bearer attends you, with a couple of horses, on the
    supposition that it may be convenient for you to visit us
    today; otherwise he shall wait upon you any other day that you
    shall appoint.

"I am respectfully, &c.,

                                          "WILLIAM DUNBAR."[62]

In writing of this visit, Wilson says in his Journal:--"I was
received with great hospitality and kindness, had a neat bedroom
assigned me; and was requested to consider myself as at home during
the time I should find it convenient to stay in exploring this part
of the country." In his great work on Ornithology he acknowledges the
assistance of Dunbar in securing two or three new species of birds.
He also refers to Dunbar as a man "whose life has been devoted to
science," and he says "the few happy days I spent there [at 'The
Forest'] I shall never forget."[63] In writing to Dr. Bartram from
Philadelphia, Sept. 2, 1810, Wilson says, "Mr. Dunbar of Natchez,
remembered you very well, and desired me to carry his good wishes to

The most prominent trait of Dunbar's character was his love of nature.
He admired her in all of her manifestations. She was attractive to him
not only because of her beauty but because of her mysteries. With the
spirit of a true philosopher, he ever inquired into the laws which
regulated her actions. To paraphrase slightly his own language, he
never observed any phenomena without endeavoring to ascertain the
cause of them. He did not read at random, pages from the great book
of nature, but read as continuously as circumstances would permit. He
read it in the howling wind, the turbid current, the trembling needle,
the growing plant, the blazing comet, the silent stone, the lifeless
fossil. He read it critically; he read it appreciatively. That he often
raised his eyes from the well-conned pages of this great book to fix
them on the omniscient Author himself is shown in more than one passage
from his writings.

The career of this great pioneer scientist of Mississippi ended in the
month of October, 1810. Although he was then in his sixty-first year,
his work was incomplete and his plans but partially executed. In the
words of Pliny, "The hand of death is ... too severe, and too sudden,
when it falls upon such as are employed in some immortal work. The
sons of sensuality, who have no other views beyond the present hour,
terminate with each day the whole purpose of their lives; but those who
look forward to posterity, and endeavor to extend their memories to
future generations by useful labors:--to such death is always immature,
as it still snatches them from amidst some unfinished design."

The permanent results of Dunbar's life-work may be summarized as

  1. He helped to locate and to survey part of the present
  boundary line between Mississippi and Louisiana.

  2. He first directed the attention of the world to the manufacture
  of cotton-seed oil.

  3. He invented the screw press for packing cotton, and
  helped to perfect the process of packing it in square bales.

  4. He made the first accurate meteorological observations
  in the valley of the Mississippi.

  5. He made a critical scientific study of the Mississippi
  River and its Delta.

  6. He made important contributions to geographical knowledge,
  by determining the latitude and the longitude of many

  7. He was the first to give a scientific account of the Hot
  Springs and an analysis of its water.


[21] The writer acknowledges, with pleasure, the valuable assistance
rendered him by Major William Dunbar Jenkins, of Natchez, Miss.,
great-grandson of Sir William Dunbar.

[22] In the ruins of the old Elgin Cathedral, which, on the authority
of Billings, was once "the most stately and beautifully decorated of
all the ecclesiastical edifices" of Scotland, may still be seen many
evidences of the greatness of this family. Over the great Western, or
Alpha window of this building have existed for upward of 450 years
the arms of the Stewarts and Dunbars, "two families whose names are
closely associated with the civil and ecclesiastical history" of
Morayshire. "The north end of the transept was called Dunbar Aisle,
probably from its having been the burial place of the Dunbars who
have been landowners in Moray for upwards of five hundred years." The
following are a few of the names of members of this illustrious family,
whose remains are deposited here:--Columbo Dunbar, Bishop of Moray;
Sir Alexander Dunbar of Westfield, Knight (M. P.); Mr. Patrick Dunbar,
Chancellor of Aberdeen; Sir James Dunbar, heritable Sheriff of Moray;
Gavin Dunbar, Preceptor of King James V., Archbishop of Glasgow, and
Lord High Chancellor of Scotland.

The tomb of Gavin Dunbar, Bishop of Aberdeen, may be seen in 'Bishop
Gavin Dunbar's Aisle,' in the transept of the Cathedral at Aberdeen.
(Notes from the "Guide to the Ruins of Elgin Cathedral," 10th ed.
Published for James S. Pozzi, Keeper of the Ruins of the Elgin
Cathedral, 1892.)

[23] Natchez Democrat of Sept. 10, 1873; ibid., Centennial Edition.

[24] Claiborne's (J. F. H.) Miss. as a Province, Territory and State,
200; supplement to Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography.

[25] "Interesting Centennial Reminiscences" by J. F. H. Claiborne in
the Natchez Democrat for 1876.

[26] Peter Force Collection of Historical Manuscripts in the Manuscript
Department of the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.

[27] Manuscript volume in the Manuscript Department of the Library
of Congress, entitled "W. Florida. Respond: Answer A. Chrystie, V.

[28] He had been an unsuccessful merchant at Natchez and was well known
to the people of that community. (Claiborne's Miss., 117).

[29] Ibid. 119-120.

[30] Claiborne's Miss., 143.

[31] Claiborne's "Interesting Centennial Reminiscences" in Natchez
Democrat, Centennial number (1876.)

[32] Ib.

[33] Claiborne's Miss., 144.

[34] Natchez Democrat, Centennial Number (1876.)

[35] Manuscript correspondence of Jefferson in the archives of the
State Department, Washington, D. C.

[36] Ibid.

[37] Ibid. This sentence is doubly interesting in the light of the fact
that Mr. Jefferson himself had predicted "that it would be a thousand
years before the country would be thickly settled as far west as the
Mississippi." (See Hart's Formation of the Union, 139.)

[38] Manuscript Correspondence of Jefferson, in the State Department,
Washington, D. C.

[39] Ibid. On Dunbar's Memorial to Congress, in behalf of Jefferson
College, see Gales and Seaton's Annals of Congress, 8th Cong. 2d. Ses.,
pp. 685, 1184.

[40] Natchez Democrat, Centennial Number (1876.)

[41] He retained his English citizenship until Natchez passed into the
possession of the United States, when he took the oath of allegiance to
this government.

[42] Sixteen letters from Gayoso to Dunbar are now in the possession of
Mrs. George T. Green, of Natchez, Miss.

[43] March 9, 1787.

[44] Letter written at New Orleans, Dec. 20, 1797.

[45] Letter written at New Orleans, May 12, 1798.

[46] This was the limit of the cultivated lands at that time.

[47] Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. V., 216,

[48] They separated ten miles east of the point of starting.

[49] Manuscript copy of Dunbar's Report, presented to the writer by
Major William Dunbar Jenkins, of Natchez, Miss.

[50] Transactions of the Amer. Phil. Soc. V., 203.

[51] Ellicott's Journal, (1803) 56.

[52] See Publication of the Amer. Hist. Association for 1897, 181,
Footnote; Publication, Miss. Hist. Soc. for 1898, 55, Footnote.

[53] This letter was written at New Orleans, Feb. 12, 1799. It is found
in the Manuscript Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson in the archives of
the State Department, Washington, D. C.

[54] The exact title of this report is: "Account of the Commencement
and Progress of the First 18 Miles of the Line of Demarcation,
beginning at the River Mississippi and proceeding East along the most
northerly part of the 31st degree of North lat. between the Territories
of Spain and the United States of America, concluding with Observations
and Remarks on the Country, its Climate, Production, &c., by William

[55] Natchez Democrat of September 10, 1873.

[56] He here refers to a conflict between the theories of Bernardin de
St. Pierre and Sir Isaac Newton respecting the nature of the rainbow
and claims that this phenomenon demonstrates the correctness of the

[57] Pages 421-434.

[58] Letter in the possession of Mrs. George F. Green of Natchez, Miss.

[59] A fortnight later, he wrote that he had failed to reanimate what
he had supposed to be bivalves in this water. In fact, he was mistaken
in his supposition, as has been shown by subsequent analyses.

[60] "The following is a list of articles ordered by Dunbar from John
Swift, London:

  1 Pocket Chronometer, 30 guineas.

  1 Telescope, £150.

  1 Astronomical Circle, £100.

  1 Parallel Ruler.

  1 Brass Sextant and Stand, 20 guineas.

  1 Improved Astronomical Telescope.

  1 Hair Compass.

  1 Bow Compass.

  1 Pneumatic Apparatus.

  1 Electrical Machine with apparatus for philosophical and medical uses.

  1 Double-barrel rifle gun, to be made after my own plan, as
    follows: Barrels 27 inches; weight 12 pounds; astronomical
    telescope magnifying ten times, 1-3/8 to 1-3/4 inches in
    diameter, 12 to 14 inches in length. With this rifle carrying a
    4 oz. ball, you may shoot a mile into a ten inch circle. By one
    vertical hair and several horizontal ones, the sights in the
    focus of the telescope may be regulated for optical distances.
    By this instrument we may compute the velocity of the ball
    and its general decrease; the fall of the ball by the power
    of gravitation; the comparative velocity with and against the
    wind; the lateral action of the wind, &c."--Natchez Democrat,
    Centennial Number (1876.)

[61] See "Philip Nolan's Friends; or 'Show Your Passport's'" in
Scribner's Monthly, Vols. XI, XII, and XIII. Dunbar recognizes the
value of Nolan's assistance, particularly in the study of the language
of signs of the Indians.

[62] Wilson and Bonaparte's Amer. Ornithologist, Phila. Introduction
pages C.-CI.

[63] Ib. 70.

[64] Ib. CI.



The history of fiscal legislation and development in Mississippi has
five distinct phases and is therefore comprised within the compass
of five distinct periods. These periods, with rough chronological
indices for each, are: (1) Territorial (1798-1817); (2) Transitional
(1817-1861); (3) Confederate and Post-Confederate Governments
(1861-1867); (4) Reconstruction (1867-1876); (5) Modern (1876-1898).

By an act of Congress approved April 7, 1798, all that tract of land
which today includes the States of Mississippi and Alabama, was
constituted one district and called the "Mississippi Territory." Major
Winthrop Sargent, a native of Massachusetts, was appointed governor
and judges were empowered to frame a code of laws for the Territory,
to be drawn from the statutes of other States. This code, known as
"Sargent's Code" has been characterized by an able political writer
as "directly at variance with all Statute law in America, and utterly
repugnant to any known system of jurisprudence derived from the
common law of England."[65] Certainly this is true of that part of it
"directing the manner in which Money shall be Raised and Levied to
defray the charges which may arise within the Several Counties."[66]
According to its provisions, the court of general quarter sessions in
each county was authorized to make an estimate of the county's average
annual expenditure, the estimate to be submitted to the governor and
one or more of the territorial judges for approval. The amount approved
was then apportioned among the several towns within the county by
commissioners biennially appointed by the court of common pleas.
If the town numbered sixty or more free citizens, two commissions
were appointed; if one hundred or more, three commissioners. These
commissioners received the returns of taxables in each township, and
assessed the property therein. It was specified that the commissioners
should ascertain "the names of all free men, inmates, hired male
servants (being twenty-one years of age) and whether profitable or
chargeable to the employers" * * * and obtain "a list of all lands
not being the property of the United States or appropriated to public
uses, the tenements, houses, cabins or other buildings wherein people
dwell and which are rented and afford an income to the owners, and all
ferries, stores, shops, warehouses, mills, gins, keel or batteaux,
boats of the burthen of twenty barrels and upward producing a yearly
income, and of the bound male servants and male slaves above the age
of sixteen and not exceeding fifty; draught oxen, saddle and draught
horses, cows penned or kept up and immediately productive to the
owners; together with the stock cattle, including sheep and swine
intended for market and thereby productive of annual income and profit."

Lands were assessed "in just proportion to their value," with special
regard to their annual profit, and no one having visible property less
than one dollar per head annually, save by a due proportion of labor
in the opening and keeping in repair highways and public roads. This
enumeration, viewed in the light of modern interpretation, virtually
means a graduated income tax applied to town and county government.
The valuation of real estate was determined, not by its intrinsic
worth or actual selling value, but by the annual income [profit]
which, on the average, it was deemed likely to produce. Taxation was
altogether local, there being no territorial levy as distinguished from
the biennial county and township levies. This localization of fiscal
activity, an income [profit] valuation, and the fact that visible
specific property bore all, or nearly all the burden of taxation,
are thus the most striking characteristics of Mississippi's primitive
scheme of taxation.

The collection of taxes was vested in the sheriff, who was _ex-officio_
the county collector, as he is today. This officer had powers of
imprisonment and distraint. The commissioners appointed by the County
Court as assessors were allowed $1 per day, and the sheriffs were
authorized to keep 1% of their collections before making their reports
to the county treasurers.

This crude fiscal system devised by Sargent remained in effect without
substantial modification until 1815. In that year a law was passed
providing for a distinct territorial tax and specifying that county
taxes should be levied upon the same property and objects enumerated as
were within the territorial schedule.[67] County taxes, however, could
not exceed one-half of the territorial tax. Henceforth, there was to
be commonwealth taxation, as distinguished from purely local taxation.
The territorial schedule comprised a general list of ratable objects
with fixed valuations. Land was divided into six classes, each class
having three qualities. The bases of classification were proximity to
the city of Natchez and distance from the Mississippi, Chickasawhay
and Tombigbee Rivers. Thus, class number one contained all lands lying
within eight miles of the city of Natchez, the first quality of which
was rated at $12 per acre; the second, at $8; and the third, at $3.
Class number two contained all land lying within fourteen miles of
the Mississippi River, with valuations according to quality ranging
from $2 to $7. In short, valuations decreased in proportion as the
distances from commercial centres and water courses increased; lands,
lots and buildings within any city, borough or town were subject to a
uniform ad valorem tax of 2 mills; and merchandise and bank stock, to
an ad valorem tax of 2-1/2 mills. Capitation taxes of 50 and 62-1/2
cents respectively were levied on each slave and free white male
above the age of twenty-one. Slave traders were taxed $5.00 on each
slave imported into the Territory, a tax containing the germs of the
privilege license system. The schedule was further strengthened by a
tax of $1.25 on every pleasurable carriage.

It was provided that assessing and collecting officers were to be
appointed by the Governor, rather than by the County Court, as
heretofore--a change probably due to the differentiation between
commonwealth and county taxation.

We may, for the lack of a better designation, call the period from
1817, the date of Mississippi's admission into the Union, to the
outbreak of the Civil War, the period of ante-bellum Statehood. Such
a division in fiscal history would seem to be perfectly artificial,
yet it is justified by the fact that during this period the tax system
of the State underwent substantial change. The increased expenses of
State administration, an accumulation of State indebtedness, minuter
differentiation in industry, giving rise to more numerous classes of
wealth and progress in democratic thought--all demanded an extension of
the State's fiscal system.

Personal property became as important an object of taxation as real
property. The personal property list was no longer limited to slaves,
pleasure carriages, moneys arising from the sale of merchandise, and
bank stock, but also included gold and silver plate, pianos, weapons,
watches or clocks, cattle in excess of twenty head, saddle and
carriage horses, merchants' and brokers' capital and money loaned at

This taxation of personal property, usually rated, was supplemented
by the privilege license system, with charges partly rated and partly
apportioned. Thus, in 1857 auctioneers and peddlers were taxed 3 per
cent. on the amount of their sales; saloon-keepers, one-fourth of one
per cent. on all sales of vinous and spirituous liquors by the gallon;
trading in slaves, horses and mules, 3 per cent. on the amount of their
sales; keepers of ferries, toll bridges or turnpikes, one-fourth of one
per cent. on all receipts; circuses $25 for each day's performance;
nine-pin alleys or any like contrivance, $25 each; theatres or places
for theatrical performances, $35 each. Even the poll tax was widened
into its application so as to include free negro as well as free white
males between the ages of twenty-one and fifty years.

Contemporaneously with this external expansion, the tax system of the
State underwent internal changes. Land classifications were abolished,
and annual income was rejected as a device of valuation.[69] A method
was substituted which is in vogue today, viz: Assessment according to
intrinsic value, to be determined by the owner or person in charge on
oath, taking into consideration improvements, proximity to navigation,
towns, cities, villages or roads, and any other circumstances that may
tend to enhance value. The distinction between commonwealth and county
taxes was preserved, but not in the same form as the older distinction
between territorial and county taxes.

County police boards were now authorized to "order a certain [variable]
rate per centum on the amount of the assessment of the State tax," and
"to levy a special tax for the erection or repair of the court house,
jail or other county buildings."[70] Under the territorial regime,
it will be recollected, the county tax could never exceed half the
territorial tax.

This period of ante-bellum Statehood was also marked by a radical
change in the machinery of assessment and collection. During the
territorial period assessing and collecting officers were appointed by
the County Courts or by the Territorial Governor; during this period
they were chosen directly by the people who were directly responsible
for their conduct.[71] The county sheriff was _ex-officio_ the county
collector, but the assessor was a separate officer with distinct
functions. Both were biennially elected, and the compensation of each
was fixed at 5% on the amount of the state tax assessed and collected.
This per centum remuneration could not exceed a fixed sum; the
assessor's maximum being fixed at $500 per annum and the collector's
at $3000. The fiscal machinery thus set in motion during the period
of ante-bellum Statehood is patterned on substantially the same model

Although this period witnessed the establishment of _some_ of the
main features of the modern system of State and local taxation in
Mississippi, it cannot be designated as transitional, in the sense
Prof. Ely uses the term. There was no change from the taxation of
specific kinds of property at varying rates to the taxation of the
collective mass of property at one uniform rate. More specific kinds
of property were taxed, but there was no disposition to bunch property
under a common category at a uniform rate. The objects taxed were as
specific and the rates as variable as ever. The period was marked by an
extension of the tax system, not by its leveling-out.

War demands emergency revenue, and especially was this true of the
Civil War. When Mississippi formally renounced her allegiance to the
Union in 1861, the Constitutional Convention which passed the Ordinance
of Secession supplemented this by an "Ordinance to Raise Means for the
Defence of the State."[72] This ordinance provided for the collection
from each taxpayer of an additional Special State tax of 50% on the
regular State tax, and also a tax from every inhabitant of 3-10 per
cent. upon all money owned or controlled by such inhabitant--the moneys
so collected to constitute a Military Fund.

In 1863 it was further enacted that a special tax of 50 per cent. on
the regular State tax should be levied, to be known as the Military
Relief Tax, the proceeds to be used for the relief of the destitute
families of Confederate soldiers.[73] In 1865, in order the better to
provide for the families of the soldiers a direct tax in kind of 2 per
cent, was levied on the gross amount of all corn, wheat and bacon,
in excess of 100 bushels, 25 bushels and 100 pounds respectively; on
the tolls from all grain mills in the State, on the gross profits
of leather, whether manufactured for sale or received on shares as
commission by tanneries; and on all woolen and cotton factories and
fabrics manufactured for sale.[74]

For the benefit of the County Indigent Fund, the Boards of Police of
the several counties were empowered to levy a tax in kind of 1/2 per
cent. on all corn, wheat and bacon, grown and produced in the State.[75]

The exigencies of war and the depreciation of the Confederate treasury
notes, in which taxes were paid, necessitated not only the levy
of special taxes, but an increase in the number and rates of the
specific objects taxed. Notable among the additions to the regular
tax schedule were taxes of five cents a pound on all seed cotton
over one bale of 500 pounds of lint, raised by a single hand; of 2
per cent. on the gross profits of iron foundries, machine shops,
dealers and speculators[76] in grain, provisions, etc.; of 50 per
cent. on the wages of mechanics in excess of 75 per cent. profit
above the actual cost of labor and material; of twenty cents on every
hundred dollars of railroad stock which paid 3 per cent. per annum.
Heretofore the State had encouraged railroad enterprise by exemption
from taxation and before the war had even gone so far as to levy
special railroad taxes in the several counties in payment of stock
subscriptions to these enterprises. But financial expediency dictated
that premiums for industrial progress be withdraw and that all the
State's fiscal energy be conserved for the business of war. Emergency
taxation was supplemented as a fiscal device by depreciated cotton
money, Confederate currency and Mississippi Treasury notes, and this
extreme economic tension was only relaxed after the last troops of the
Confederacy had surrendered.

Upon the downfall of the Confederacy in 1865, the Constitutional
Convention assembled by Gov. Sharkey organized Mississippi as a
regular State government. The financial problem confronting this
Post-Confederate government was as hard a Gordian knot to cut as that
which confronted the Confederacy itself. Land was worthless as an
object of taxation, because it had no value. Industries were paralyzed,
and needed bonuses rather than increased burdens. The debt contracted
during the war was not repudiated, and there was a State government to
support. How was the difficulty to be solved?

The Constitutional Convention of 1865 and the State legislatures of
1865, 1866 and 1867 acted in a sensible and heroic way in dealing with
the situation. A direct tax of $1 per bale was levied on all cotton
brought to market and sold; an inheritance tax of 1 per cent. of the
gross amount of all collateral inheritances; a tax of 3-10 per cent.
upon the amount of the annual rents and tenements. Privilege licenses
were exacted from the larger corporations best able to bear them, a
notable instance of this being the license of $2000 per annum imposed
upon express companies.[77] This selection of taxable objects proved
most fortunate, the cotton tax alone yielding sufficient revenue to
support the whole state administration. The commonwealth's indebtedness
was scaled, and Mississippi was rising Phoenix-like from the ashes of
financial despondency.

But in 1867 there was fastened upon the State the reign of
"Reconstruction and Radicalism," which meant untold retrogression in
fiscal policy. This reign of mongrelism, ignorance and depravity
was formally ushered in by a motley assemblage known as "the black
and tan convention," so called from the negroes and carpet-baggers
composing it. The special taxes levied to cover the profligacy and
extravagance of this convention, whose expenses for a period of less
than five months aggregated nearly a quarter of a million of dollars,
were prophetic of the future. Cotton, cotton gins, grist and saw mills,
ferry and wharf boats, grocery, drug and provision stores, banks,
hotels, photograph galleries, railroad and steamboat companies--all
were impaled on reconstruction's fork. Even the freedom of the press
was not respected, sums ranging from $20 to $50 being levied on
each daily, tri-weekly and weekly newspaper published in the State.
The plunderers modestly concluded their infamous schedule with the
provision "that a special tax of 50 per cent. on the State tax be
levied in addition to the State tax now assessed upon real and personal

The Constitution framed by the "black and tan convention" was rejected
and the Conservative administrations of Governors Alcorn and Powers,
both property owners and taxpayers in the State, had the effect of
tempering fiscal excesses. However, this temperance was only temporary
and, as compared with the former period, might be called rank
intoxication. In 1869 the State levy was only 1 mill on the dollar; in
1870, 5 mills; in 1871, 4 mills; in 1872, 8-1/2 mills; and in 1873,
12-1/2 mills. This was only the State tax. In many counties a county
tax of 100 per cent. on the State tax was added, besides a Special
tax in some counties to pay the interest on their bonded debt, and a
Special tax in the incorporated towns of from 5 to 10 mills on the
dollar for town purposes. In this way it happened that the total tax
paid by citizens was 2 8-10 per cent. outside the cities, and from
3-1/2 per cent. to 4 per cent. in cities and towns.[79]

With the election and inauguration of Adelbert Ames as Governor in
1874, the spirit of plunder and revenge which animated the aliens and
negroes burst forth with a fresh fury. The tax on land was increased
to 14 mills, a rate which virtually amounted to confiscation. Cotton
was taxed $10 per bale and the proceeds were invested in the Freedman's
Savings Bank, a gigantic swindling agency at Washington. The poll was
increased from $2 to $6 a head, and the responsibility for the payment
of the negroes poll was saddled on his white employer. This farce
fiscal comedy reached its climax in the imposition of a 1 per cent. tax
on all amounts expended by the citizens of the State in travel.[80] The
people simply could not pay these taxes, and over 6,400,000 acres of
land were forfeited for nonpayment.

On January 4, 1875, the taxpayers driven to desperation by this
confiscation of their property met in convention and submitted to
the Legislature a most respectful appeal for relief. The Legislature
treated the petition with contempt, an action which resulted in the
organization of taxpayers' leagues over the State and the speedy
overthrow of carpet-bag government.

This struggle between taxpayers and tax-layers in Mississippi is but
another illustration of the truth of Edmund Burke's saying that "from
the earliest times the great battles for human freedom have been fought
out on the question of taxation."

But the price of the victory was dear and the penalty paid for
experience was great. In addition to a payable and interest-bearing
debt of $984,200, the carpet-baggers left outstanding, unpaid on
January 1, 1876, non-interest bearing Auditor's warrants amounting to
$414,958.31. During the last six years of their regime, as is shown
by the Auditor's and Treasurer's books for these years, they spent
$8,501,337.86, strictly on account of the expenses of State government,
an average of $1,484,699.55 per annum. They collected nearly a million
dollars of what is known as the Common School fund, and spent it all
in riotous governmental living, save the pittance of $57,000 in U. S.
bonds left in the treasury to the credit of that fund.

This money was not spent on the common schools, the purpose for which
it was collected, but was misappropriated and unaccounted for, and a
debt against the State on account of that fund, was left January 1,
1876, amounting to $830,378.18. This, too, in spite of the fact that
the average rates of State and county taxation during the six years in
question were 8.87-1/2 mills and 12.49-2/3. mills respectively, making
a combined average of $21.37-1/2 on the thousand.

Indebtedness was thus the legacy which the "Modern Period" [1876-1898]
in Mississippi's fiscal history received from the period of
"Reconstruction and Radicalism." Although burdened with this incubus
and with increasing expenditures for educational and eleemosynary
institutions, the "Modern Period" has been characterized by a decrease
in both State and County tax rates and by a proportionate reduction in
State indebtedness, both in amount and interest charge.

The first year of this period, i. e. 1876, gave earnest or fiscal
reform. State taxes were reduced from 9-1/2 mills on the dollar to
2-1/2 mills. The taxing power of county boards of Supervisors was
restricted, a law being passed which prohibited them from levying taxes
for county purposes, which added to the State tax, would exceed 16-1/2
mills on the dollar, except for indispensable purposes. Supernumerary
officials were dismissed, the common school system improved, sinecures
abolished and salaries reduced. The highest rate of compensation was no
longer paid for the lowest standard of qualification. This policy of
economy in State administration has yielded substantial results.

The average rate of State taxation for the past 22 years, inclusive of
1876, has been 4.66 mills, as opposed to an average of 8.87-1/2 mills
for the six years preceding 1876. The average rate of county taxation
for the same period has been 11.1 mills, as opposed to 12.49-1/2 for
the six years preceding. Combining averages, we find a saving to the
credit of home rule of 5.60-1/2 mills on the dollar, or 5.60-1/2 on the

Reduction in tax rates has meant a reversal of the policy of
confiscation. Of the 6,400,000 acres of land forfeited for nonpayment
during Reconstruction rule, all save 250,000 acres have been redeemed.
Property valuation has largely increased, the value of real and
personal property in the State today being estimated at $156,432,328.

Conservative capital is seeking investment in all branches of
industrial enterprise and economic progress is following in the wake of
fiscal reform.

Although the total payable debt of the State has increased from
$830,750 in amount and $45,507.50 in interest charges in 1876 to
$1,105,780.41 in amount and $53,421 in interest charges in 1897, this
increase is seen to be a proportionate decrease when all the facts are

The obligations, amounting to $876,256.57 in principal and interest,
handed down from reconstruction times have all been paid. During
the past 22 years $6,755,706.57 has been appropriated and actually
paid to common schools, as opposed to $1,323,765.62 appropriated and
$327,742.25 paid during the six years preceding 1876.

During the "Modern Period" the State University at Oxford, the Alcorn
University, the Normal Schools at Holly Springs and Tugaloo have been
liberally supported. The A. & M. College has been established, built,
equipped and supported at an aggregate expense of $697,909.95. The
Industrial Institute and College has been built and supported at a cost
of $329,735.99.

Higher education has been liberally supported, eleemosynary
institutions established and equipped, and the Confederate pension fund
largely increased.

Yet these extraordinary expenditures have only meant an addition
of $282,943.91 in principal and interest to the State's payable
indebtedness. This fact alone gives character to the administration
of the State's finances, and bodes well for a wise use of the
commonwealth's taxing power in the future.


[65] Lowrey and McCardle: Hist. Miss., p. 71.

[66] Miss. Laws, 1799, pp. 121-133.

[67] For provisions, Cf. Digest of the statutes of M. T., 1816, pp.

[68] Revised Code of Miss., 1857, pp. 72-73.

[69] Hutchinson's Code of Miss., (1798-1848) pp. 188 and 202.

[70] Miss. Rev. Code, 1875; pp. 417-18.

[71] Miss. Rev. Code., 1857, pp. 70-72.

[72] For provisions, Cf. Proceedings of Constitutional Convention,
1861, pp. 12-15.

[73] Miss. Laws, 1862-63, p. 70.

[74] Indigent beneficiaries were divided into three classes, viz: (1)
Those entirely dependent. (2) Those deficient in breadstuffs. (3) Those
deficient in bacon. No beneficiary could receive more than 6 bushels of
corn, 1 bushel of wheat, and 50 pounds of bacon during the year.

[75] Miss. Laws, Feb'y and March, 1865, pp. 3-10.

[76] Miss. Laws, 1862-63, pp. 153-155.

[77] Miss. Laws, 1866-67, pp. 412-414.

[78] Miss. Constitutional Convention, 1868, pp. 215-220. This
Convention dropped that provision, found in the Constitution of 1832,
restricting the origination of money bills to the lower house. The
Constitution of 1890 expressly declares that all bills may originate in
either house and be amended and rejected in the other.

[79] Lowry and McCardle: Hist. Miss., p. 230, Cf. also Barksdale:
Reconstruction in Mississippi, p. 339 (In Noted Men of the Solid South.)

[80] Miss. Laws, 1875, p. 46.



In 1783 the independence of the Thirteen Colonies in America was
recognized. Fifteen years later on April 7, 1798, Congress passed
an act a part of which was as follows: "All that country bounded
on the west by the Mississippi river; on the north by a line to be
drawn due east from the mouth of the Yazoo river to the Chattahoochee
river; on the east by the river Chattahoochee; and on the south by
the thirty-first degree of north latitude, shall be, and hereby is
constituted one district, to be called the Mississippi Territory." More
than half of this territory is now embraced in the state of Alabama,
and the portion that remains to Mississippi constitutes something like
one-third of the area of the state. Very little of the boundary of the
original territory remains intact, and in so far as Mississippi is
concerned all that remains of this original boundary is that around its
south west corner, extending from Pearl river along the thirty-first
degree of north latitude to the Mississippi river and up that stream to
the mouth of the Yazoo river.

The lands that have been added to the original territory lie to the
north and to the south of it--that added on the north comprises the
South Carolina and Georgia cessions, and that on the south a portion of
the Louisiana Purchase, or Spanish cession.

Before going farther into this subject it is necessary that we examine
briefly some of the old grants made by Great Britain for the purpose
of stimulating the formation of Colonies in the New World. By such an
examination we hope to get a clearer idea of the subject, and how it
is that some of the boundaries of our state are where they are. The
first of these grants to embrace the territory now in Mississippi was
that made by Charles I. to his Attorney General, Sir Robert Heath,
in 1629. This grant known as Carolina was possibly the largest ever
made to any one individual, covering as it did almost all that part of
the United States south of the present southern boundary of Virginia
and of Missouri. Mississippi was completely swallowed up in this
princely domain. Thirty years later (1659) soon after the death of
Oliver Cromwell and about the time of the restoration of the Stuart
kings to power in England, this charter for non-user was voided, and
in 1663 Charles II. gave to eight of his royal favorites, the Lords
Proprietors, a charter to Carolina, and by a supplemental charter
two years later (June 30, 1665) granted on the petition of the Lords
Proprietors, he extended the territory of Carolina so that its northern
boundary was 36 degrees thirty minutes north latitude and its southern
29 degrees north latitude.[81] All of Mississippi was in like manner
embraced in this grant. This charter was surrendered to the King by
seven of the proprietors, act of Parliament July 25, 1729.[82] It had
been one hundred years since the grant to Robert Heath. (The eighth
proprietor gave up his claim Sept. 17, 1744.) It was at this time that
Carolina was divided, South Carolina having remained a part of it until
this date. The western portion of the line separating the Carolinas,
now forms the northern boundary of Mississippi.[83]

Three years later June 9, 1732, George II., King of Great Britain,
granted a charter for the establishment of the Colony of Georgia in
America. The lands embraced by the provisions of this charter lay
within the royal province of South Carolina, between the Savannah
and the Altamaha rivers and the zone lying between parallels passing
through the head waters of these streams and extending to the Pacific

Now the line passing through the head waters of the Savannah left a
zone twelve or fourteen miles wide belonging to South Carolina, and
lying between said line and the southern boundary of North Carolina.
This strip east of the Mississippi embraced 4900 square miles and was
generously ceded by South Carolina to the United States in 1787, and
today forms the northern part of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.
South Carolina's right to this zone was not questioned nor was
Georgia's right to her western zone lying between the parallels
passing through the head waters of the Savannah and Altamaha rivers.
This zone became, as did the South Carolina zone, a part of the
Mississippi Territory, and together they constituted the lands added
to the original Mississippi territory on the north as above indicated.
But as to the original territory, viz., the zone lying between the
thirty-first and the thirty-second and one-half degrees of north
latitude, a number of disputes at different times arose. South Carolina
claimed it, Georgia claimed it, Spain claimed it, and the United
States claimed it. The contentions that arose in consequence of these
conflicting claims were protracted over a quarter of a century.

In 1752 the Georgia charter was surrendered, and by virtue of the
French and Indian war which soon followed, and the treaty of Paris
1763, Great Britian made good her claim, over France, to all lands east
of the Mississippi river and began at once to occupy this territory,
which prior to 1732 had been a "sort of free zone of doubtful
ownership." The King of Great Britain issued a proclamation, Oct. 7,
1763, creating the provinces of East Florida and West Florida and by
the same proclamation the Georgia territory according to the charter of
1732 was extended so as to take in the lands lying between the rivers
Altamaha and St. Mary's. This proclamation also settled temporarily a
dispute which had arisen between the provinces of South Carolina and
Georgia as to the right to the said territory. The provision is as
follows: "We have also, with the advice of our Privy Council aforesaid,
annexed to our province of Georgia, all lands lying between the rivers
Altamaha and St. Mary's." Thirteen years later the Colonies declared
their independence, and, as was natural, each claimed jurisdiction over
areas previously determined by royal charters, proclamations, &c. At
this time Georgia's claims were bounded on the east by the Atlantic
Ocean and the Savannah river; on the north by a line passing through
the head waters of said river to the Mississippi; on the west by the
Mississippi river; and its southern boundary was one with that of the
United States. Her title to all of this territory was the charter of
1732, King George III's proclamation of Oct. 7, 1763, extending the
area as provided by said charter, and a commission[85] to Governor
Wright Jan. 20, 1764, which gave him jurisdiction as far west as the
Mississippi and as far south as the thirty-first degree of north

Acting upon these claims, in 1785 the legislature of Georgia
established the County of Bourbon in the extreme southwestern limit of
her claim, and 1788 authorized the sale of large bodies of land lying
between the Tombigbee and the Mississippi rivers to certain companies
known as Virginia Yazoo, South Carolina Yazoo, and the Tennessee
Yazoo. These sales were made; but when the State Treasurer refused
to accept Georgia bills of credit in payment, the Virginia company
withdrew the moneys that she had previously paid and the South Carolina
Company brought suit against Georgia in the supreme court of the United
States; but the ratification of the eleventh amendment to the Federal
Constitution, privileging a state from being sued, cut short the

In 1795 another act was passed authorizing the sale of these lands, but
on investigation it was found that many members of the Legislature--in
fact all the members voting for the sale except one--were interested in
these sales in a pecuniary way and a third Legislature, 1796, declared
the act of the previous legislature null and void, because obtained by
fraud and corruption, and the records of all the sales and conveyances
made under it were blotted out and destroyed.

This, however, did not vitiate the titles of these companies to said
lands.[88] The supreme court of the United States decided that the act
of the Georgia legislature in repealing the prior act for the sale of
the land was unconstitutional and void, was in violation of a contract,
and that the titles of claimants were good and valid.[89]

In the midst of all this confusion the United States planted the
Mississippi territory with boundaries as given above, justifying
her right to do so in her belief that these lands did not belong to
Georgia or to any other state at the time of the signing of the peace
treaty in 1783, but to the United States in common as the result of
their combined effort in establishing independence. In deference,
however, to Georgia's claims, Congress in authorizing the establishment
of a government in the Mississippi territory provided, "That the
establishment of this government shall in no respect impair the right
of the state of Georgia, or of any person or persons, either to the
jurisdiction or the soil of the said territory; but the rights and
claims of the said state, and all persons interested, are hereby
declared to be as firm and available as if this act had never been

Section I. of this act is as follows: "That the President of the United
States be, and he hereby is, authorized to appoint three commissioners,
any two of whom shall have power to adjust and determine, with such
commissioners as may be appointed under the legislative authority of
the state of Georgia, all interfering claims of the United States and
that state, to territory situated west of the river Chattahoochee,
north of the thirty-first degree of north latitude, and south of the
cession made to the United States by South Carolina; and also to
receive any proposals for the relinquishment or cession of the whole or
any part of the other territory claimed by the state of Georgia, and
out of the ordinary jurisdiction thereof."[90]

To all this Georgia protested vigorously and asserted her right to the
land in question. Commissioners were, however appointed as provided.
They were not long in reaching an agreement, which led to the cession
of these lands to the United States. The terms were about as follows:
The United States gave Georgia in exchange for these lands, a strip
about twelve miles wide now forming the northern part of Georgia;
agreed to extinguish the Indian titles within her limits; to admit
the ceded territory into the Union as a state, when the population
should number sixty thousand souls; to confirm all grants recognized
by Georgia as legal; to set apart five million acres to satisfy claims
such as those of the Yazoo companies and other companies which Georgia
did not consider legal; and to pay a million and a quarter dollars
to the state of Georgia from the proceeds of lands sold in the said
district.[91] All this having been agreed to by Congress, the cession
was formally made in 1802 and two years later, together with the South
Carolina Cession lying just to its north, became the Mississippi
territory. But the contest did not end until Congress voted eight
million dollars in 1814 in land script to satisfy all claimants.[92]

The territory had not, however, reached its full growth, for there
was yet to be added the strip south of thirty-first degree of north
latitude and lying between the Perdido and the Pearl rivers. The title
to this land, and in fact all British West Florida, was a subject
of dispute between the United States and Spain. This dispute had
its origin in the indefiniteness of boundaries as provided by the
treaties given by Great Britain to said powers on Sept. 3, 1783. The
United States claimed the thirty-first degree of north latitude as
her southern boundary, while Spain claimed as far north as thirty-two
degrees and thirty minutes north latitude as her northern boundary. The
land here in dispute, it will be observed, was that of the original
Mississippi territory. To these lands Spain waived claim by treaty,
Oct. 27, 1795.[93]

On April 30, 1803, France sold to the United States Louisiana. This
purchase brought in question the title of the remainder of British
West Florida, i. e., that portion lying south of the thirty-first.
This question had its origin in the indefiniteness of the boundary
of Louisiana, and although the matter was not definitely settled
until 1819, when Florida was purchased of Spain, the United States
disregarded Spain's claim, and on April 14, 1812 added that portion
west of Pearl river to Louisiana, and on May 14, 1812 the remainder was
incorporated with the Mississippi territory.[94]

With this act the Mississippi territory reached its full growth. It
embraced all the territory which now makes up the states of Mississippi
and Alabama. It had been just fourteen years, one month and seven
days since the original territory was organized. It is estimated that
33,956 square miles were included in that territory. To the north
of it 54,622 square miles had been added, and to the south 10,482
square miles, (of which 4,482 square miles is water.)[95] In all the
Mississippi territory embraced 99,060 square miles. Clause four of
the act organizing the territory is as follows: "The territory hereby
constituted one district, for the purpose of government, may, at the
discretion of Congress, be hereafter divided into two districts, with
separate territorial governments in each, similar to that established
by the act. Congress exercised the right herein reserved, and on Dec.
10, 1817 the western portion of that territory embracing 46,810 square
miles became the State of Mississippi, and the proud commonwealth
joined the sisterhood of States."


[81] Public Domain, p. 51. (Extract charter, June 30, 1665.) "Know
ye, that at the humble request of the said grantees, etc., we are
graciously pleased to enlarge our said grant unto them according to the
bounds and limits hereafter specified, * * * all that province * * *
within our dominions in America aforesaid, extending north and eastward
as far as the north end of Currituck river or inlet, upon a straight
westerly line, to Wyonoak creek, which lies within or about the degrees
of thirty-six and thirty minutes northern latitude, and so west in a
direct line as far as the south seas; and south and westward as far as
the degrees 29, inclusive of northern latitude &c., &c."

[82] The Public Domain p. 52.

[83] Poore's Charters and Constitutions Vol. II. p. 1410.

[84] Extract from charter, June 9, 1732: "Know ye, therefore, that
we, greatly desiring the happy success of the said corporation, for
their further encouragement in accomplishing so excellent a work, have
of our special grace, certain knowledge, and mere motion, given and
granted, and by these presents, for us, our heirs, and successors, do
give and grant to the said Corporation, and their successors, under
the reservations, limitations, and declarations, hereafter expressed,
seven undivided parts (the whole into eight equal parts to be divided)
of all those lands, countries, and territories, situate, lying, and
being, in that part of South Carolina in America, which lies from the
northern stream of a river commonly called the Savannah, all along the
sea coast to the Southward, unto the most southern stream of a certain
other great river called the Altamaha, and westward from the heads of
the said rivers respectively, in direct lines to the South Seas."

[85] McMaster.

[86] Public Domain.

[87] McMaster Vol. III.

[88] McMaster Vol. III.

[89] Public Domain p. 84.

[90] Section 5 of the act. Poore's Charters & Constitutions Vol. II.

[91] McMaster Vol. III.

[92] McMaster Vol. III.

[93] Art. 2: "To prevent all disputes on the subject of boundaries
which separate the territories of the two high contracting parties,
it is hereby declared and agreed as follows, to wit: The southern
boundary of the United States, which divides this territory from the
Spanish Colonies of East and West Florida, shall be designated by a
line beginning on the river Mississippi, at the northernmost part of
the thirty-first degree of latitude north of the equator which from
thence shall be drawn due east to the middle of the river Apalachicola
or Chattahoochee," etc.

[94] The Public Domain.

[95] Public Land Commissioner Parts 1 & 4 pp. 88 and 105.


NATCHEZ, APRIL 20-21, 1899.


Probably no institution with which history deals has been the centre of
more momentous events, or the subject of more earnest and acrimonious
discussion than that of human slavery. To the study of whatever of
the states of civilization we may devote ourselves, we find that,
regardless of its present position of advancement, at some period of
its history the personal ownership of human beings was a recognized
feature of its social fabric. Nor is it true that the existence of this
institution at any certain period of a people's history can be taken as
an evidence of a low state of intellectual, moral or social development
during such period. Quite the contrary was often the case,--despite
the fact that we have heard so much of "the demoralizing and degrading
effects of slavery" and are told that it was ever a curse upon any
people who tolerated it,--for both biblical and secular history are
replete with testimony to the magnificent achievements of nations whose
most glorious epochs were those during which slavery flourished.

It is foreign, however, to our purpose to engage in a discussion of
slavery as a civil institution, or to question whether its toleration
was of good or evil effect, or yet to inquire whether it could ever
have justifiably existed. We propose to look at but one of its many
features,--and that merely from the standpoint of an investigator of
what has already passed into the realm of ancient history,--become
something "flat, stale and unprofitable" to all save the curiously

The bitter and often unreasoning hatred, on the part of many, of
the institution and those who upheld it in this country, and the
repugnance with which it came to be generally regarded by even
sincere and generously inclined people in a section in which it was
non-existent, were unquestionably largely induced by the constant
contemplation from a distance of an institution the softer aspects of
which could not be understood by strangers to its inner life,--but
of which the one dominant feature was the bare fact of the bodily
ownership of human beings,--the mere existence of the legal right
to barter, sell and trade in human-kind. Of the relations between
the master and his human chattels, and of the laws governing those
relations, except in rare instances, they seemed to be ignorant,--as
well, apparently, as of the safeguards with which a humane public
sentiment surrounded the treatment of the slave, both by the law and
the master.

It is a brief consideration of some of these laws, as they stood upon
the statute books of our own state during the earlier years of its
history, that we beg to invite your attention.

Under an old Federal ordinance, passed in 1787, for the government
of the Northwest Territory, it was provided that in that territory
there should be "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude," except of
course for the punishment of crime. As the Congressional act of 1798,
forming the Mississippi Territory, subjected it to the provisions of
this ordinance, we note the somewhat curious fact that in Mississippi,
in its incipient territorial organization, slavery was a prohibited
institution. However, in the act of 1802, which for the first time
provided for the establishment of a government in the Mississippi
Territory, this provision alone of that ordinance was excepted, and
slavery recognized as legal.

The first provision concerning slavery which we find in our books,
after Mississippi became a state, is contained in a clause in our first
constitution, adopted in the town of Washington, August 15th, 1817,
which provided that the Legislature might establish in each county a
Court of Probate, for the discharge of various enumerated functions
"and for the trial of slaves." This very first provision touching them
seems to look to establishing proper legal means for their control, and
in itself bears testimony to the falsity of the notion, which at that
time some pretended to entertain, that the whim of the master was the
sole law for the governing of the slave, and that the latter had no
legal status whatever.

A little further along in the same instrument we find the Legislature
delegated with authority to pass laws prohibitive of the introduction
into the State of slaves "as merchandise." This apparently evidences
the existence, even at that early date, of a spirit of opposition to
the business of "slave trading" as a common vocation which easily
accounts for the feeling with which the "nigger trader" was regarded
by the better classes--those among whom he would look for purchasers
of his goods. In this same clause the Legislature is empowered to pass
laws to oblige the owner of slaves "to treat them with humanity," to
provide for them necessary clothing and provisions, to abstain from
all injuries to them extending to "life or limb," and, in case of the
failure to comply with the directions of such laws, the slave might
be sold to some more humane master. By this instrument it was also
expressly provided that the Legislature should never have the power to
deprive the slave of the right to an impartial trial by a jury.

I think it proper that we should call to mind these provisions of our
first organic law--testifying as they do to the treatment which law and
society exacted of the master toward his slave;--but, while we can not
fail to be impressed with the spirit of justice and humanity manifested
in our early constitution, at a casual reading, some of the succeeding
legislative enactments might be regarded as extremely harsh.

But in considering laws of this nature, abhorrent as they may be to our
present sense of humane propriety, we must not lose sight of the time
in which they were effective, and our judgment must be tempered by a
remembrance of the fact that they were operative in a state of society
which, while no less refined or lower in its moral tone than our own,
yet looked upon criminal laws from a view point radically different
from that of today.

The debtor's prison still existed in England,--the stocks and pillory
were instruments of common use both here and there,--the public
whipping post claimed its daily victims,--the rack and thumb-screw were
still applied to refractory witnesses in some of the courts of the old
world and there was not yet in all Christendom a country in which women
had equal property rights with men,--which, by the way, Mississippi was
the first community in the civilized world to confer, and she had not
progressed thus far by some twenty odd years.

For all of the many petty offenses of which the slave might be
guilty the punishment was confined to "stripes,"--few or many in the
discretion of the justice of the peace, though for every offense the
maximum number was fixed by law. Nor could they be applied but by
authority of the magistrate, after due examination, though there was
almost invariably coupled with the designating of the number of stripes
the injunction that they be "well laid on." The mode of procedure in
all cases wherein the offense was punishable with stripes was for the
justice to summon "two respectable slave-holders to assist him,"--the
evidence for and against the accused being laid before them, the three
determined his guilt and fixed the punishment,--within the limits of
the law.

The extent of this punishment varied all the way from ten stripes for
"presuming to come upon the plantation of any person without leave from
his master," up to thirty-nine for grand and petty larceny, between
the punishment for which there was no difference, and for "buying or
selling without a written permission from his master." This latter
seems to have been regarded as quite an offense, as we have frequent
references to it,--the punishment fixed being as great as that attached
to misdemeanors which we would consider much graver. It merely
consisted in the slave buying or selling anything whatever without his
master's written permission,--such permission being necessary before he
could lawfully carry on even the smallest of commercial exchanges.

Even in our present state of boasted enlightenment it is questioned by
many thinkers and criminologists whether we have been wise in anywhere
substituting the jail for the whipping post for minor offenses. At
all events, as a deterrent to petty crime among our colored brethren
one sound thrashing, "well laid on," would most likely prove more
efficacious than any jail sentence imposed by a latter day justice of
the peace.

It was unlawful for a slave to leave his master's premises without
permission, and an offense for a negro, bond or free, to have in his
possession any weapons of any kind. The penalty for engaging in any
"riots, routs or unlawful assemblages" was the maximum thirty-nine
lashes, and the same act provided that if any white person should be
convicted in the Circuit Court of "being in company with slaves or free
negroes at any unlawful meeting" he should be fined twenty dollars, to
go to the informer, and, moreover, receive not exceeding twenty lashes
on his bare back, at the discretion of the court.

It was in defining such unlawful meetings or assemblages to include
"all assemblies of slaves, or free negroes or mulattoes, mixing and
associating with such slaves, above the number of five, at any place of
public resort, or at a meeting house, in the night, or at any school,
for teaching them reading or writing, either in the day or night,
under whatsoever pretext" that our slave holding law makers sinned so
grievously in the eyes of the abolitionist. While it may be observed
that this particular act contained nothing to legally prevent a master
from teaching his slave to read and write, yet the policy of the law at
that time is of course well known to us all to have been opposed to any
such education.

I shall not engage in any discussion of the question of negro education
nor seek to air my personal views in regard to it, but merely venture
the statement that the experience of a third of a century, involving
the expenditure of millions of dollars by the white race upon it,--the
moral, social and intellectual condition of the negro today calmly and
fairly considered,--have not demonstrated the unwisdom of the slave
holders position of seventy-six years ago, nor yet proven an adherence
to opposite views to be for the best interests of either race.

In this connection it was provided that nothing contained in any
of these enactments should be so construed as to prevent a master
from allowing his slave to go to places of religious worship, sagely
demanding, however, "that such worship be conducted by a regularly
ordained or licensed white minister, or attended by at least two
discreet and reputable white persons, appointed by some regular church
or religious society,"--it not being lawful for a negro to exercise any
of the functions of a minister of the Gospel,--though a master might
allow his slave to preach to his own slaves, but to none others.

It was unlawful for a white man to do any trading whatsoever with a
slave on the Sabbath, without the consent of the master in writing
first being had by the slave, and with a free negro it was unlawful on
that day under any circumstances,--our early fathers seemingly being at
all times possessed of a very high regard for the general efficacy and
saving grace of a written permission from the master.

The right of a slave to act in defense of himself when assaulted by a
white person was at all times recognized by the law, and while it was
an offense punishable by thirty-nine lashes for a slave to "use abusive
or provoking language to, or to lift his hand in opposition to a white
person" yet no punishment was to be inflicted where it appeared to the
justice that he was acting in self defense.

It was not lawful for a slave to possess horses, mules, sheep,
cattle, hogs or dogs, nor could he cultivate any cotton for his own
use,--the only penalty attached, however, being the forfeiture of
the property,--except as to dogs, for the keeping of which he might
be punished with not exceeding twenty-five stripes. Cruel or unusual
punishment, for various plantation or household offenses, could not be
inflicted on a slave by his master,--under penalty of a fine of five
hundred dollars for each offense, the fine to go to the state treasury,
for the benefit of the "literary fund."

The various misdemeanors enumerated here constituted the bulk of crimes
of which it was thought probable the slave would be guilty,--there
being but few others contemplated in our early criminal legislation.

For such others, however, much greater penalties were provided.

For an assault with intent to kill, by a slave upon a white person,
where express malice was clearly proven, the punishment was death. If,
however, only implied malice were shown the slave was to receive any
number of lashes,--not exceeding one hundred on each day, for three
days in succession. For all such offenses it must be borne in mind, the
law guaranteed to the slave the right to a fair and impartial trial by
a jury. The sheriff was required to summon "twenty-four good and lawful
men of the vicinage," of whom at least twelve should be slave holders
in their own right, from which number a jury of twelve was selected
and duly sworn for the trial of the case. On such juries neither the
master of the offending slave nor any person related to him, nor any
one related to the prosecutor could sit. No previous indictment was
essential, but in all other respects the trial was conducted just as
in the case of a white person. It was obligatory upon the part of the
court, where the owner failed to provide proper counsel for his slave,
to appoint counsel to defend him, charging the fee for such service to
the master. The regular right of a challenge of jurors for cause was
given the slave, and in capital cases six peremptory challenges were
also allowed him, as was also the usual right of appeal.

On a trial for a capital crime it was permissible for the jury to
convict of a crime under that degree, if the evidence justified such
a verdict--the punishment then being "by burning in the hand, or by
stripes," according to the magnitude of the offense,--"burning in the
hand" being prescribed for nearly all felonies not punishable with

The maiming or manslaughter of a white person, rape and arson were all
capital offenses,--as was also the "consulting, advising or conspiring
to make insurrection or rebellion;" while for any free persons to be
guilty of the latter offense with a slave the death penalty was also
provided. Whenever sentence of death was finally passed upon a slave,
he was always to be allowed at least twenty days before its execution,
except in case of insurrection or conspiracy.

At a much later date than that which we are considering an act was
passed providing for the payment to the owner of a condemned slave,
out of the state treasury, of an amount equal to one-half his assessed
value, to be paid as soon as he was executed.

Wherever it was found necessary to examine a free negro or slave, as a
witness in any trial, no oath whatever was administered. He was charged
by the court to declare the truth in the following words: "You are
brought here as a witness, and, by direction of the law, I am to tell
you, before you give your evidence, that you must tell the truth, the
whole truth and nothing but the truth; and if it be found hereafter
that you tell a lie, and give false testimony in this matter, you must,
for so doing, have both your ears nailed to the pillory, and cut off,
and receive thirty-nine lashes on your bare back, well laid on, at the
common whipping post."

It did not conclude "So help you God."

The crime of perjury has always been regarded as peculiarly heinous,
and we find it punishable here more severely than any other non-capital
offense. The penalty was as indicated in the charge, to "have one
ear nailed to the pillory, and there to stand for the space of one
hour, and then the said ear to be cut off, and thereafter the other
ear nailed in like manner, and cut off at the expiration of one other
hour," in addition to the thirty-nine lashes prescribed. However,
notwithstanding the mandatory language of the statute and of the
charge, this punishment would seem to have been discretionary, for
the act concludes, "or such other punishment as the court shall think
proper, not extending to life or limb." Be that as it may, it is safe
to conclude that no such punishment was ever inflicted, and we can find
nothing in any of the books tending to show that it was ever resorted

It was only permissible for an owner to emancipate a slave by and with
the consent of the Legislature, and then only by proving that such
slave had "performed some meritorious act for the benefit of the owner
or some distinguished service for the state."

The courts were always open to a negro held as a slave who claimed to
be entitled to his freedom,--though no person being a member of any
emancipation society could sit as a juror in the trial of such causes.

While one of the earliest slave laws of which we have any record was
that prohibiting the importing of slaves for sale, it was also made
unlawful for a free negro to come into the state to live; and in 1831
an act was passed requiring every free negro between the ages of
sixteen and fifty to remove from the state forever. But this was not
followed by a general exodus, for the act contained a clause which
allowed the negro to obtain from the Probate Court permission to
remain in the state, upon a showing made of "good character and honest
deportment,"--though it was always exacted that every free negro should
be duly registered in the county of his residence.

In connection with these acts it would be interesting to review the
earlier decisions of our Supreme Court,--as showing the spirit which
actuated our judges when called upon to adjudicate in matters wherein
the slave was involved, and the fairness and liberality displayed in
the construction and application of the laws concerning him. But it is
impossible in this brief paper to do more than glance at one or two.
Among the very first decisions is one rendered in 1818, in which the
learned judge held, in passing on an appeal for freedom from a number
of negroes, claiming to be unlawfully detained as slaves, that the
slaves in the Northwest Territory became free men by virtue of the
ordinance of 1787, to which we have referred, and, with true justice,
declared that, as such, they could "assert their freedom in the courts
of this state and be protected therein." In the same opinion he
observed that "slavery is condemned by reason and the laws of nature,
and can only exist through municipal regulation; therefore in a matter
of doubt, as between depriving an owner of a vested right, arising from
law, and depriving a human being of his liberty, a natural right, the
court would lean 'in favorem vitae et libertatis,'" and the petitioners
were declared to be free.

In another very old case we find it early judicially determined that,
in this state, the unjustifiable killing of a slave was murder.

This opinion, delivered in 1821, in the first years of our statehood,
so clearly enunciates the humane principles which then actuated our
courts, and to this good day continue to move them, in all their
dealings with the inferior race, that it is peculiarly worthy of a
place in the record of a society devoted to preserving the earlier
history of our state and its people, and we may be pardoned for quoting
its language at length.

It was by Justice Clarke, in reviewing an appeal by a white man who had
killed a slave in Adams county and been sentenced to hang therefor. He
said in part, "In some respects slaves may be considered as chattels,
but in others they are regarded as men. The law views them as capable
of committing crimes. This can only be upon the principle that they
are men and rational beings. The Roman law has been much relied on by
counsel for the defendant. That law was confined to the Roman Empire,
giving the power of life and death over captives in war, as slaves,
but it no more extended here than did the similar power given to
parents over the lives of their children.... At a very early period in
Virginia the power of life over slaves was given by statute, but ... as
soon as these statutes were repealed it was at once considered by their
courts that the killing of a slave might be murder.... In this state
the Legislature have considered slaves as reasonable and accountable
beings, and it would be a stigma upon the character of the state, and
a reproach to the administration of justice if the life of a slave
could be taken with impunity,--if he could be murdered in cold blood,
without subjecting the offender to the highest penalty known to the
criminal jurisprudence of the county. Has the slave no rights because
he is deprived of his freedom? He is still a human being, and possesses
all those rights of which he is not deprived by the positive provisions
of the law,--but in vain shall we look for any law passed by the
enlightened and philanthropic legislature of this state giving to the
master power over the life of the slave. Such a statute would be worthy
the age of Wraco or Caligula, and would be condemned by the unanimous
voice of the people of this state, where cruelty, even, to slaves, much
less the taking away of life, meets with universal reprobation....
Because slaves can be bought and sold it does not follow that they can
be deprived of life.... The right of the master exists not by force of
the law of nature or of nations, but by virtue only of the positive
law of the state,--and, although that gives to the master the right to
command the services of the slave, requiring the master to feed and
clothe the slave from infancy till death, yet it gives the master no
right to take the life of the slave, and if the offense be not murder
it is not a crime, and subjects the offender to no punishment.... A
distinction once existed in England between the killing of a Dane and
a Saxon, but even in Coke's time the killing of any rational being
was murder.... At one period of the Roman history, a history written
in the blood of vanquished nations, slaves were regarded as captives,
whose lives had been spared in battle, and the savage conqueror might
take away the life of the captive, and therefore he might take away the
life of the slave. But the civil law of Rome extirpated this barbarous
privilege, and rendered the killing of a slave a capital offense. When
the Northern barbarians overran Southern Europe, they had no laws but
those of conquerors and conquered, victors and captives, yet even by
this savage people no distinction was recognized between the killing
in cold blood of a slave or a freeman. And shall this court, in the
nineteenth century establish a principle too sanguinary for the code
even of the Goths and Vandals, and extend to the whole community the
right to murder slaves with impunity?

The motion to arrest the judgment must be overruled."

The defendant was sentenced to hang on July 27th, 1821.

I have endeavored as well as possible in the brief time allotted me,
to refer to the most important features of our early slave laws. It
has not been my purpose to attempt an exhausted research into such
legislation,--the object sought being merely to show, as a matter of
some historical interest, from an impartial mention of the early acts
concerning slavery, that the position of the slave in Mississippi
was not as it has sometimes been depicted; that so far from being a
creature with no legal status, subject to the whims and caprices of his
master,--a mere chattel, over which even the power of life and death
might be exercised at will,--he was surrounded by all the protection
which just laws, humanely administered, could afford,--that the courts
were ever open to him and that he could, and did appeal to them, and
not in vain.

If any unknown or forgotten facts of historical importance to us have
been brought to light, my purpose has been accomplished.

We have only touched upon the legislative enactments concerning
slavery,--and for us, who know that it existed, it is unnecessary to
revert to that higher law which controlled the relations between master
and slave, and compelled such conduct toward the latter as made of him
in countless instances the devoted friend.

Only an affection born of long years of treatment in the main
considerate and kind, could have furnished history with the spectacle
of the espousal by the slave of his master's cause, in a conflict the
end of which meant so much of difference to the two.

The four years of faithful devotion to which the women of the South
bear willing witness could never have been exhibited by an enslaved
people between whom and their masters the relations had been other than
those we know to have existed.

The society which made possible those relations was unique in the
history of civilization,--and in the annals of all the peoples who have
passed through bondage the conduct of the negro slave stands without a



The Mississippi Territory was created by Act approved April 7,
1798.[97] This Act, limited in its provisions, authorized the President
"to establish therein a government in all respects similar to that now
exercised in the territory northwest of the river Ohio," excepting
expressly the prohibitive provision respecting slavery.


The Ordinance of July 13, 1787, regulating the government of the
Northwest Territory, authorized the appointment by the President of
"a court to consist of three judges," "who shall have a common law
jurisdiction," their commission to continue in force during good
behavior. The governor and the judges were given a limited law making
power. On May 7, 1798, just one month after the act of formation,
the President commissioned the Governor and Secretary, and two
judges--Daniel Tilton and Peter Bryan Bruin. On June 28, 1798, the
third, Wm. McGuire, was commissioned as Chief Justice. Their law making
labors ended disastrously, the enactments being generally condemned by
the people as "repugnant to the established principles of jurisprudence
derived from the common law of England." So great was the clamor
against them that Congress advanced the Territory into the second grade
of government, May 10, 1800. These obnoxious laws were in a few years

The settled portions of the Eastern section of the Territory (now
Alabama) were so remote from the Mississippi settlements proper as to
make the duty of holding courts there very burdensome, and often courts
were not held at all. Superior Courts were held in the District of
Washington (now Washington County, Ala.,) on the 4th Monday in Sept.,
1802, by Seth Lewis, Chief Justice, and on the first Monday in May,
1804, by Judge David Ker, making two only in four years. Congress,
therefore, on March 27, 1804, passed a law providing an additional
judge for the Territory, to have jurisdiction in Washington District,
and to this position Harry Toulmin was appointed.

The "Great Bend of the Tennessee" having been thickly settled, and
formed into Madison County (now in North Alabama,) Congress provided,
March 2, 1810, a judge to have jurisdiction therein, and to this
position Obadiah Jones was appointed. Both Toulmin and Jones served
during existence of the territory.[99]

During the whole territorial period, 1798-1817 the _nisi prius_ courts,
and the appellate courts were held by these judges, three in what is
now Mississippi, and two in what is now Alabama.[100]

For the three groups of judges in the Mississippi section, the
following is the _probable_ order of succession:

  1. McGuire, Lewis, Rodney, Martin, Campbell, Poindexter.
  2. Tilton, Ker, Jones, Mathews, Leake.
  3. Bruin, Fitts, Simpson, Archer.


Until the Act of Congress, Feb. 27, 1813, providing for territorial
attorneys and marshals, all persons holding these positions in
Mississippi did so under local regulations. Following the passage of
the law, appointees were named who seem to have held office during the
remaining years of the territory.[101]


The Act of April 3, 1818 marks the establishment in the State of the
Federal Judiciary proper.[102] A judge, attorney and marshal were
authorized. The judge was given authority to appoint a clerk. During
its whole existence the number of judges has never been increased.

Natchez was appointed as the place for the sitting of the Court, twice
annually, and so continued until March 3, 1835, when there was a change
to Jackson, where sessions have since been held.[103]

From April 3, 1818, to June 18, 1838, the whole State constituted one
District. On the latter date it was divided into the Northern, with the
place of holding court fixed at Pontotoc, and the Southern District,
with Jackson as the place for holding the sessions.[104]

On May 16, the place of holding courts in the Northern District was
changed from Pontotoc to Oxford, where courts are now held.[105]

The subsequent changes, resulting in the present arrangement is as

By Act June 15, 1882, the Eastern Division of the Northern District was
created, with Aberdeen as the place for holding courts.

Feb. 28, 1887, the Western Division of the Southern District was
created, with Vicksburg as the place for holding courts.

April 4, 1888, Southern Division, Southern District, was created, with
Mississippi City as the place for holding courts.

July 18, 1894, Eastern Division Southern District, was created, with
Meridian as the place for holding courts.

On the secession of Mississippi in 1861, Judge Samuel J. Gholson
resigned. Mr. Lynch makes this observation on the court during the
civil war period:[107]

"When the Confederate Government was inaugurated Judge Clayton
was appointed to the bench of the Confederate District Court for
Mississippi, and held that position until the close of the war. There
was during this period, of course, but little civil business before his
court, and only one point of a general interest in the laws of war was
decided by him, which was, that when the Government was powerless to
protect, it had no power to punish."



Daniel Tilton, of New Hampshire, commissioned, May 7, 1798.[4]

Peter Bryan Bruin, of Mississippi, May 7, 1798.[108]

William McGuire, Chief Justice, of Virginia, June 28, 1798.[109]

Seth Lewis, of Tennessee, Chief Justice, May 13, 1800.[110]

David Ker, of Mississippi, temporary commission, Nov. 2, 1802,
permanent commission Jan. 25, 1803.[111]

Thomas Rodney, of Delaware, temporary commission, July 12, 1803,
permanent commission, Nov. 18, 1803.[112]

Ephriam Kirby, of Connecticut, temporary commission, April 6, 1804.[113]

Harry Toulmin, of Kentucky, Nov. 22, 1804.[114]

Obadiah Jones, of Georgia, Mar. 3, 1805.[115]

George Matthews, Jr., of Georgia, temporary commission, July 1,

Walter Leake, of Virginia, Mar. 2, 1807.[117]

Francis Xavier Martin, of North Carolina, Mar. 7, 1809.[118]

Obadiah Jones, of Georgia, Mar. 6, 1810.[119]

Oliver Fitts, of North Carolina, Apr. 18, 1810.[120]

David Campbell, of Tennessee, Mar. 3, 1811.[121]

Josiah Simpson, of New Jersey, Feb. 18, 1812; also Feb. 9, 1816.[122]

George Poindexter, of Mississippi, Mar. 3, 1813.[123]

Stevenson Archer, of Maryland, Mar. 6, 1817.[124]

_Federal District._

William Bayard Shields, of Mississippi, April 20, 1818.[125]

Peter Randolph, of Miss., temporary commission, June 25, 1823,
permanent commission, Dec. 9, 1823.[126]

Powhatan Ellis, of Miss., July 14, 1832.[127]

George Adams, of Miss., Jan. 20, 1836.[128]

Samuel J. Gholson, of Miss., Feb. 13, 1839.[129]

_Confederate District._

Alexander M. Clayton, ----, ---- 1861.[130]

_Federal District._

Robert Andrew Hill, of Oxford, Miss., May 1, 1866, resigned Aug. 1,

Henry C. Niles, of Kosciusko, Miss., temporary commission, Aug. 11,
1891, permanent commission, Feb. 15, 1892, oath taken, Feb. 15,


Thomas D. Anderson, July 29, 1813.

William Crawford, Dec. 10, 1814.[134]

Bela Metcalfe, Apr. 20, 1818.[135]

William B. Griffith, March 13, 1822, and also Dec. 22, 1825.[136]

Felix Houston, Jan 9, 1828.[137]

George Adams, March 3, 1830, and also May 12, 1834.[138]

Richard M. Gaines, Jan. 20, 1836.

_Northern District._

Samuel F. Butterworth, June 25, 1838.

Oscar F. Bledsoe, Jan. 13, 1841, and also Feb. 8, 1845.

Andrew K. Blythe, Dec. 18, 1848.

Woodson L. Ligon, Aug. 27, 1850.

Nathaniel S. Price, April 1, 1853.

Jehu A. Orr, May 31, 1854.

Flavius J. Lovejoy, March 12, 1857.

_Southern District._

Richard M. Gaines, July 9, 1840, March 13, 1844, and also March 22,

Horatio J. Harris, Aug. 10, 1850; Aug. 4, 1854, and also March 7, 1859.

Carnot Posey, temporary commission, Nov. 4, 1859, permanent commission,
Jan. 30, 1860.


John Hanes, of Mississippi, July 29, 1813.[140]

Henry G. Johnson, of Mississippi, April 20, 1818.[141]

Walter M. Leake, March 1, 1820.

Charles M. Norton, temporary commission, Nov. 22, 1823, permanent
commission, Dec. 9, 1823.

John H. Norton, Jan. 3, 1825, and also Jan. 2, 1829.

Anthony Campbell, May 28, 1830.

Samuel W. Dickson, temporary commission, Jan. 18, 1832, permanent
commission, Dec. 11, 1832.

William M. Gwin, temporary commission, Oct. 12, 1833, permanent
commission, June 30, 1834, and also June 26, 1838.[142]

_Northern District._

Adolphus G. Weir, June 25, 1838.

Alexander K. McClung, temporary commission, April 15, 1841, permanent
commission, Aug. 14, 1841.

Andrew A. Kincannon, March 12, 1845.

John Rayburn, Dec. 18, 1848.

William McQuiston, May 16, 1850.

Charles R. Jordan, April 6, 1853.

William H. H. Tison, temporary commission, April 21, 1857, permanent
commission, May 17, 1858.

_Southern District._

Fidelis S. Hunt, Jan. 13, 1841.

Anderson Miller, temporary commission, April 15, 1841, permanent
commission, July 22, 1841.

Thomas Fletcher, temporary commission, March 24, 1845, permanent
commission, Feb. 24, 1846.

Fielding Davis, March 20, 1850.

Richard Griffith, April 4, 1853, and also temporary commission, April
21, 1857, permanent commission, May 15, 1858.


[96] The lists of Judges, Attorneys and Marshals presented below were
compiled from the records of the State Department and the Department of
Justice, Washington, D. C. In the multiplicity of Mississippi books,
there is nothing of a special character relating to the above title,
and so far as is known this particular data has never heretofore been

The principal repository for early Mississippi history, Claiborne's
_Mississippi_ (1880), contains an account of the jurisprudence of
the Territory and State, Chapter XXXII, pp. 467-482. In Goodspeed's
_Memoirs of Miss._ (1891), Vol. I, p. 101, it is stated that Judge A.
M. Clayton contributed this chapter.

In James D. Lynch's _Bench and Bar of Mississippi_ (1881), there is an
imperfect account of the judicial establishment, with a large number of
valuable biographical sketches, and portraits.

Goodspeed's _Memoirs of Miss._ (2 vols., 1891), has a Chapter on "The
Legal and Judicial History" of the State, vol. I, pp. 100-131, with

The original materials are contained in the United States _Statutes_,
the Mississippi Codes and the Session _Laws_, and the _Reports_ of the
Supreme Court of the State.

[97] _U. S. Statutes at Large_, vol. i, pp. 549-550.

[98] U. S. _Statutes at Large_, vol. ii, p. 69. See Claiborne, for
account of laws passed by Governor and judges, second grade of
government, &c., pp. 209, 211, 212, 214, 217, 218, 223, 224, 530.

[99] U. S. _Statutes at Large_, vol. ii, pp. 301, 563.

[100] It is beyond the scope of this paper, which is almost purely
statistical, to enter into a review of the various territorial courts,
or "systems" of judicature projected, &c. For full discussion, see
Claiborne and Goodspeed.

[101] _U. S. Statutes at Large_, vol ii, p. 806.

[102] _U. S. Statutes at Large_, vol. iii, p. 413.

[103] _Ibid._ vol. iv, p. 773.

[104] _Ibid._ vol. v, 247. _See also Revised Statutes_ of the United
States (1878) Secs. 539, 552, and 572.

[105] _Ibid._ vol. xiv, p. 48.

[106] _Supplement Revised Statutes_, 1874-1891, pp. 344, 500, 547, 583,
584, 638, 639.

[107] _Lynch's Bench and Bar of Miss._, p. 506.

With the other Judges comprising the first court, he was quite
unpopular, and in 1802 he abandoned his office.--Claiborne, pp. 209,
223, 231.

[108] Resigned in 1810. He had held judicial office under the Spanish
government, and was an excellent man, but not a lawyer. Claiborne, p.
161., _note_, has a good sketch, with other references on pp. 152, 172,
209, 223, 283.

[109] He was the only lawyer on the first bench of Judges. He early
resigned.--Claiborne, p. 209.

[110] His appointment changed public sentiment toward the Court which
had hitherto been hostile. For sketches of, _see_ Claiborne, p. 108,
note, also p. 223. Gov. W. C. C. Claiborne speaks of him as "a learned

[111] He was highly esteemed and his appointment increased the respect
of the people for the Court. Claiborne, pp. 231, note, and 141, 238.
See Goodspeed, vol. i, p. 1073, for sketch. He died 1805, and not in
1810 as stated by Claiborne.

[112] Claiborne, pp. 242, 258, 283. He presided, with Judge Bruin, at
the trial of Burr.

[113] He was probably appointed for the Washington District, but
evidently never served. He was one of the Land Commissioners for the
District East of Pearl river, appointed under Act of Congress, of March
3, 1803--Pickett's _Alabama_, vol. ii, p. 196.

[114] Judge for Washington District, now in Ala. Born in Taunton,
England. He was the most prominent and the strongest of the early
public men in Alabama, and died in 1824. An excellent account of his
life is in Claiborne, p. 309, note. _See also_ Brewer's _Alabama_
(1872), p. 575; Lynch, p. 21-2; and Pickett's _Alabama_, vol. ii, pp.

[115] Evidently never accepted appointment, as on Mar. 7, 1809, still a
resident of Ga., he was appointed a Judge in Illinois. The latter place
he also appears not to have accepted, as in 1810 he became Judge for
Madison Co., M. T.

[116] Martin's _Louisiana_ (1882), p. xxiii. Never received a permanent
commission, but on Jan. 19, 1806, became a Judge in Orleans Territory.
Son of Gov. George Matthews, of Ga. _See also_ Gilmer's _Georgians_.

[117] Claiborne, p. 356; and Lynch, pp. 135-7.

[118] Resigned and became a Judge in Orleans Territory, March 21, 1810.
For excellent memoir, by Judge W. W. Howse, _see_ Martin's _Louisiana_

[119] _See_ note _supra_. He accepted this appointment, and presided
in the courts of Madison county, and later of other counties in the
Northern part of Alabama territory until 1818.

[120] Grandfather of James Harris Fitts, Tuscaloosa, Ala.--_Memorial
Record of Alabama_ (1893), vol ii, p. 1090. He has sometimes been
confounded with Gideon Fitz, of Va., who was a brother-in-law of Gov.
Robert Williams. Mrs. Sallie B. Morgan Green, so well known in Miss. as
a writer, but now of Calusa, Cal., is a grand daughter of Gideon Fitz,
_See_ Claiborne, pp. 161 _note_, 352; and Goodspeed, vol. i, p. 109.

[121] Goodspeed, vol ii, p. 109.

[122] Claiborne, p. 352.

[123] Claiborne, Chapter xxx, pp. 361-414, contains an elaborate
biography. In a _note_, p. 414, is a brief account of his literary
remains, now deposited with the Claiborne papers, in the University
library, Oxford, Miss. _See also_ Lynch, pp. 27-73. His portrait is in
Lowry and McCardle's _History of Miss. for Schools_, p. 101.

[124] Returned to Md. in 1819.--Goodspeed vol. i, pp 311-12.

[125] First Federal District Judge. Claiborne, p. 260, _note_.

[126] Goodspeed, vol. i, p. 130.

[127] Claiborne, pp. 358, _note_, and 470; Lynch, pp. 27-8. He is said
to have descended from Pocahontas.

[128] Claiborne, pp. 388-9, _note_; and Goodspeed, vol. i pp. 114, 285.
He was the father of Gens. Daniel and Wirt Adams, and father-in-law of
Gen. John D. Freeman.

[129] Lynch, pp. 497-500. The author, p. 499, comments on the failure
of President Davis to appoint him his own successor. _See also_
Goodspeed, vol. i, p. 787.

[130] Lynch, pp. 500-507; _steel portrait_.

[131] His sketch in Goodspeed, vol. i, pp. 922-929, contains an
elaborate presentation of his judicial career, and discusses many of
the questions which came before him when on the bench. Claiborne, p.
472, _note_, pays a splendid tribute to his character.

[132] Present incumbent.

[133] The list is not brought down later than 1860. Further detailed
annotation as to both attorneys and marshals is expressly omitted
except in a few instances.

[134] Appointed for and acted in Washington District. For sketch, _see_
Brewer's _Alabama_, p. 392.

[135] First Federal District Attorney in Miss. after formation of the

[136] Lynch, pp. 112-126.

[137] Claiborne, p. 431.

[138] Became Judge later; _see_ note _supra_.

[139] The list is not brought down later than 1860.

[140] Appointed for and acted in Washington District.

[141] First Federal Marshal in Miss. after the formation of the State.

[142] For elaborate memoir, and _portrait_, _see_ Claiborne, pp.



Within a month after the 1899 meeting of this association at Natchez,
the Alabama Historical Society will be celebrating at St. Stephens on
the Tombigbee River the centenary of the withdrawal of the Spaniards
below the line of 31°, which once separated the United States from
the Spanish possessions east of the Mississippi River. In connection
with this and our own meeting place a short study of the origin and
delimitation of this, Mississippi's original south boundary, will be of

It is an interesting question why the parallel of 31° was ever selected
as a boundary. It crosses rivers not far above their mouths and seems
singularly unsuitable. It makes one State own the source and another
the mouth of all streams. It was put in the treaty of 1782, whereby
Great Britian acknowledged American independence, for policy, because
it confined the Spaniards to the coast, which they could neither use
nor defend. Historically it was so selected because Great Britian
had made it by proclamation of October 7, 1763, the north line of
West Florida, and West Florida was captured from her by Spain in
1780. But why had it ever been made the boundary of Florida? The only
reason apparent is that Great Britain in 1763 wanted to get immediate
control only of the harbors and did not care to have her colonial
governments clash with the Indians. The territory above was by the same
proclamation made crown lands and reserved for the use of the savages.
This policy was reflected in the great Choctaw treaty at Mobile March
26, 1765, when a tract was ceded "the boundary be settled by a line
extended from Grosse Point, in the Island of Mount Louis, by the course
of the western coast of Mobile Bay, to the mouth of the eastern branch
of the Tombigbee River, and north by the course of said river, to the
confluence of Alibamont and Tombigbee Rivers, and afterwards along the
western bank of Alibamont River to the mouth of Chickianoce River, and
from the confluence of Chickianoce and Alibamont rivers, a straight
line to the confluence of Bance and Tombigbee rivers; from thence, by
a line along the western bank of Bance River, till its confluence with
the Tallatukpe River; from thence, by a straight line to Tombigbee
River, opposite to Atchalikpe (Hatchatigbee Bluff) and from Atchalikpe,
by a straight line to the most northerly part of Buckatanne River, and
down the course of Buckatanne River to its confluence with the river
Pascagoula, and down by the course of the river Pascagoula, within
twelve leagues of the seacoast; and thence, by a due west line, as far
as the Choctaw nation have right to grant." The twelve leagues from
the coast bring us to about this line of 31°, as closely as could be
determined without a survey. It is true that on the Tombigbee land was
ceded up to Hatchatigbee Bluff; but that was a reaching, in the only
way possible, towards the new north boundary of West Florida as already
fixed in 1764--an east and west line drawn through the mouth of the
Yazoo River.[143]

But while it is true that by the treaty of 1782 Great Britain thus
acknowledged the south boundary of her revolted colonies as the line of
31°, it is not less true that she did not then own so far south. Spain,
who was in possession, recognized the boundary through the Yazoo mouth,
and, in fact, Great Britain in this treaty proposed to do the same
thing if she re-acquired West Florida. Walnut Hills and Natchez on the
Mississippi, Fort Confederation and Fort St. Stephen on the Tombigbee
were strong Spanish posts and all above 31°.

The all-conquering Galvez was governor-general for a year after that
treaty and would certainly have maintained the Spanish rights by force
of arms if necessary. But his successor, the politic Miro, lived to see
a rapid American growth west of the mountains, and the death of the
active King Charles III. and the French Revolution wrought a change in
Europe. The weak Charles IV. let his wife and her notorious paramour,
Godoy, rule Spain.[144] It so happened that French successes led to
peace, but Godoy thought that Spain would soon be at war with England
and that therefore peace with the United States was important for
Spanish-America. At all events he suddenly assented to the demands of
Thomas Pinckney, the American envoy, and on October 27, 1795, signed
a treaty whose second article declared 31° as the boundary from the
Mississippi to the Chattahoochee, and thence east by a line from the
junction of the Flint and Chattahoochee to the head of the St. Mary's

The colonial authorities could never believe this agreement _bona fide_
and sought by delay to give the court a chance to undo the treaty. In
1797 the Spanish minister declared the United States guilty of bad
faith in making friends with England by Jay's treaty. A commissioner to
run the line had to be as much of a diplomat as of a surveyor.

Such, at least, was the opinion of Andrew Ellicott, whom President
Washington in the last part of 1796 sent by way of the Ohio and
Mississippi to act for the United States. Baron de Carondelet, the
governor general, was to represent Spain. Ellicott arrived at Natchez
on February 24, 1797, and until he left on April 9, 1798,[145] his
time was taken up in negotiations with commandant Gayoso de Lemos or
encouraging the dissatisfied citizens there to claim the rights of
Americans.[146] Among the prominent men there named by Ellicott were
those on the revolutionary committees,--Anthony Hutchins, Bernard
Lintot, Cato West, Isaac Gaillard, William Ratliff, Joseph Bernard,
Gabriel Benoist, Peter B. Bruin, Daniel Clark, Philander Smith and
Roger Dixon.

The permanent committee was composed of the last eight and Frederick
Kimball, who lived below the line. These were really the government
until the organization of the Territory. Gayoso admitted the neutrality
of the district even before the Spaniards evacuated the town on March
30, 1798. Hutchins was a disturbing factor for a time, organizing a
counter committee of safety and correspondence. Among his friends
were Thomas Green, James Stuart, Ashly, (a Baptist minister,) Messrs.
Shaw, (an attorney,) Davis, Justice King, Abner Green, Hocket, and Mr.
Hunter, afterwards member of Congress from the Territory. Ellicott
says that Gayoso declined to let Hutchins move below the line and that
he therefore remained, to be prominent in Mississippi.[147] Of the
299 pages of Ellicott's printed Journal, the first 176 are taken up
with events before beginning the survey. General Wilkinson accuses him
of officiousness with the Spaniards and of gross immorality on board
his boat on the river. It may be true, but Wilkinson is no reliable
authority, although he ought to have been a good judge of rascality.

Ellicott had been in public life before. He was a Quaker of
Pennsylvania, and about 1789 ran the western line of New York, and
afterwards the lines of the District of Columbia and the streets of
Washington. In 1791 he was commissioner to run the line between Georgia
and the Creeks.[148]

On the present occasion he had with the party an escort of soldiers,
at least part of the time under the gallant Captain John Boyer. The
plans annexed as an appendix to the Journal must largely be those of
David Gillespie, who did the actual surveying, and his report or
journal would have been of greater value than Ellicott's. Ellicott
acted as astronomer, but generally was the outside man. He was in New
Orleans, Mobile, Pensacola, St. Marks and circumnavigating Florida,
while Gillespie was quietly plodding the forests, running a guide line
and by offsets establishing the true latitude of 31°. But nothing from
Gillespie can now be found at Washington and even Ellicott's original
report seems to have shared the fate of so much else in the vandal
destruction of the capital by the enemy in 1814. For the Spaniards
Captain Minor acted as surveyor, with Patrick Taggert as assistant, and
Mr. Dunbar, (later of Mississippi Territory,) as astronomer.

The American side was better provided with instruments than the
Spanish, having fourteen kinds in all.[149] They consisted of two
zenith sectors (the larger one having nearly six feet radius), "both
principally executed by ____ Rittenhouse," a large achromatic telescope
made by Dolland of London, with terrestrial and celestial magnifying
pieces, besides two small telescopes for taking signals, a transit and
equal altitude instrument made by Ellicott and used in the New York
and Washington surveys, a regulator made by Ellicott, an instrument
of eight inches radius for taking horizontal angles, constructed by
George Adams of London, three brass sextants, one by Ramsden being of
"superior style," a surveying compass made by Benjamin Rittenhouse
"upon the newest and most approved style," two "excellent" stop
watches, two "excellent" cases of drawing and plotting instruments, two
four-sided copper lanterns for tracing the meridians and directions
during celestial observations, an apparatus to protect the water in
using an artificial horizon, consisting of covered cup, &c., and two
two-pole chains of common construction. On the Spanish side were only
an "excellent" sextant, graduated by the vernier to 10 seconds, an
astronomical circle executed by Traughton of London, itself "a portable
observatory," "executed in a masterly manner," and an old surveying
compass of poor construction. The sextant and circle had been the
property of Dunbar, and were acquired from him by Governor Gayoso.

Ellicott and party sailed from Natchez down the river and at
Clarksville began work. On April 11th, he says, they "set up the clock,
a small zenith sector, and proceeded to take the zenith distance of
pollux, for five evenings successively, the first three, with the
plane of the sector to the east and the others with the plane west.
From the result of those observations, it appeared that we were three
miles and two hundred and ninety perches too far north. This distance
my assistants, Messrs. Gillespie, Ellicott, Jr., and Walker, traversed
with a common surveying compass and chain, to the south, in order
to discover (nearly) a proper place to encamp, and set up the large
sector, to determine the first point in the line with accuracy. When
this traverse was completed it was found to be impracticable to convey
our instruments, baggage and stores directly from Clarksville to the
most eligible place, owing to the extreme unevenness of the country on
the one hand, and the banks of the Mississippi not being sufficiently
inundated on the other, to give us a passage by water through the
swamps and small lakes; it was therefore determined to descend the
Mississippi to the Bayou Tunica (or Willing's Bayou); from whence I
understood we could convey our instruments, stores and baggage, either
by land or water, almost to the place of beginning; though not without
some difficulty. The distance from Clarksville to the Bayou Tunica by
land is but eight and a half miles, but by the Mississippi more than

"On the 24th we left Clarksville, and arrived at the Bayou Tunica on
the 26th, being detained one day by head winds.

"On the 27th my assistants were sent to carry a line east from the
termination of the traverse already made, into the high land, and
on the 28th I went and examined the country over which the guide
line passed, and fixed upon a very elevated situation, about one
thousand four hundred feet south of it, for our first position; but
the difficulty of getting our instruments, baggage and stores to it,
appeared much greater than I first expected. A party of our men were
directed to open a road from the height already pitched upon, to
Alston's Lake; the distance was about one mile. The road was completed
on the 30th, and on the first day of May we moved and encamped on the
top of the hill. Our instruments, baggage, &c., were first carted from
the Bayou Tunica to Alston's Lake, into which I had previously taken
through the swamp two light skiffs: the articles were then taken by
water, up the lake to the point where our road from the hill struck
it, and from thence packed on horses to our encampment. The country
was so broken, and covered from the tops to the bottoms of the hills,
with such high, strong cane, (arundo gigantea,) and a variety of
lofty timber, that a road from the Bayou Tunica, to our camp, could
not be made by our number of hands, in less than a month passable for

"Our observatory tent being worn out by the military, who had no tents
when they arrived at Natchez, I was now under the necessity of erecting
a wooden building for that purpose; which I began on the 2d of May, and
with the aid of four men finished on the 4th, and set up the clock, and
large zenith sector; but the weather being unfavorable, the course of
observations was not began till the 6th, and was completed on the 16th."

On the 21st he was joined by Captain Minor and on the 26th by Dunbar.
June 1st Gayoso, who succeeded on the death of Carondelet, came with
his suite and examined the line as determined; but he then returned to
New Orleans, leaving Minor to represent him.

Ellicott in the 5th volume of the American Philosophical Society
Transactions (reprinted as an appendix to his Journal) quotes from
Dunbar the following account of the establishment of the point on the
Mississippi River:--

"On the 28th of July, the line then approaching the 10th mile, and
learning that the waters of the inundation were retired within the
banks of the Mississippi, so that the lands were become sufficiently
dry to give firm footing to the labourers, the astronomer for his
Catholic Majesty taking upon himself the extending of the line through
the river low ground to the eastern margin of the Mississippi. The
party allotted for this service did accordingly encamp at the point D,
pushing the line forward. Judging the present a convenient position
for verifying the direction of the line, the astronomer for His
Catholic Majesty established his observatory near the point D, and made
____observations with the circular instrument placed in the direction
of the tangent____.

"The line being extended to the margin of the Mississippi on the 17th
of August, the measurement from the point D, was found to be 2 miles
and 180 perches English measure, (or 2111.42 French toises.) At the
distance of 1 and 2 miles at the points X and Y, were erected square
posts surrounded by mounds of earth, and at a distance of 88 French
feet from the margin of the river, and in the parallel of latitude was
erected a square post 10 feet high surrounded by a mound of eight feet
in height. On this post is inscribed on the south side a crown with the
letter R underneath; on the north U. S., and the west fronting on the
river, Agosto 18th, 1798. Lat. 31° N. In erecting the mile post, due
regard was paid to the quantity of the offsets."

Their second camp was at Little Bayou Sara. Thence on their progress at
first was slow on account of the cane, twenty to thirty-five feet high,
matted with vines, and the many short, steep hills, besides the rainy
weather. They hardly averaged a quarter of a mile per day. The Choctaw
Indians, through whose country they passed, never disturbed the party,
however, therein contrasting with the Creeks beyond Mobile River the
next year.

While on Little Bayou Sara they learned of the formation of Mississippi
Territory and the appointment of Winthrop Sargent as governor.[150]
The new governor arrived in Natchez August 6th, and General Wilkinson
on the 26th, but Sargent's health did not permit him to organize the
government until the next month.

But Ellicott was now outside civil complications. He made new
encampments on the line at Big Bayou Sara (whence Dunbar returned to
his home near Natchez,) Thompson's Creek, Darling's Creek and Pearl or
Half Way River. At Thompson's the observations covered the satellites
of Jupiter by night, and the sun by day. After leaving Thompson's Creek
they had much trouble crossing swamps and rafting over deep streams.
Those named on his map are Comite, Beaver Creek, Amite, Ticfaw,
Tanchipahoe, and Boguechitoe, all easily recognized. The soil generally
was poor, covered with pines on the sandy uplands. He naively tells
us that while at Darling's a confidential letter from the Spanish
governor-general to a Spanish officer "fell into my hands for a few
hours." What right he had to open and read official correspondence
between officials of a power with whom his country was at peace does
not appear, but espionage went so far at this period that an American
commandant at Natchez had tried to intercept Ellicott's own letters.
Evidently Ellicott thought the end justified his own means. For he
discovered that improper correspondence had been carried on between
Spanish officials and "some gentlemen in the western part of the
Union," and that nearly $20,000 had been shipped from New Orleans in
that connection. Ellicott copied the "interesting parts" and dispatched
them to the Department of State. This may account for Wilkinson's

November 17-19 was occupied cutting a road through the cane brake,
building rafts and ferrying across Pearl River. Here they had trouble
getting provisions. Supplies and the large sector had arrived by
water at a bluff at the mouth of the river, but the boat could not
pass two natural rafts that blocked up the stream, as they often did.
Gillespie succeeded in cutting through, but provisions meantime ran
out except beef. Fortunately a small supply was secured by pack-horse
from Thompson's Creek, and after two weeks Gillespie came back from New
Orleans, bringing a few barrels of flour. After arranging for Gillespie
to correct back to Thompson's Creek, and Daniel Burnet to carry the
guide line on to the Mobile, Ellicott himself went down the river, and
thence through the Rigolets to New Orleans, where he arrived January
4, 1799. There he obtained supplies, conferred with Gayoso, and took
observations with his six feet sector.

Meantime the guide line was plodding eastwardly through the forests.
At 117 miles from the Mississippi the party passed the Hatcha-Lucha
(Black Creek) and about 168 miles they crossed the Pascagoula (now
Chickasawhay) a little above where the Slapacha (Leaf River) falls in.
This last is called Estopacha in other documents of the time. Thence on
nothing special occurred until they reached the Mobile River, where the
guide line had diverged 517.44 perches too far north.

The observatory had been erected before Ellicott's arrival from New
Orleans in his schooner by way of Mobile. Observations (solar and
lunar, of Castor and Pollux, &c.) were made from March 18 to April
9, 1799. Here the large sector was used, and the transit and equal
altitude instrument also. Finally a boundary stone was set up, marked
(according to the Journal) on the north "U. S. Lat. 31° 1799," and on
the south "Dominos de S. M. C. Carolus IV. Lat 31° 1799." This piece
of brown sand-stone, about three feet high is still in place near
the Southern Railway and is the basis of all surveys in south-west
Alabama.[151] During this time Gillespie went up the river to St.
Stephens. With a Haddley's sextant he determined the latitude of that
place, and he also made a sketch of the river. Ellicott himself
determined the latitude of Mobile and the point at the mouth of the Bay.

Among the most serious problems of the survey was carrying the line
across the Mobile River and adjacent swamps. The only feasible way was
found to be for parties on each side to make fire and smoke signals at
certain intervals on the high lands to the east and west.

While Ellicott was at Pensacola, with Colonel Hawkins, trying to
arrange with the Spanish commandant to secure the neutrality of the
Creeks, his party pushed the line forward from the Mobile to the
Escambia and Coenecuh Rivers above their junction. The matter of the
Indians was never satisfactorily arranged, but the survey proceeded.
On the Coenecuh, however, he notes that the more pressing enemies were
flies and "musquitoes," which made every observation a matter of great
pain. Among these was the transit of Mercury in May, 1799. Thereafter
they crossed the White Cedar Creek, Yellow Waters, and between the
321st and 334th miles crossed and re-crossed the larger Choctaw River,
now the Choctawhatchee, and its branch, the Pea River. Between that
and the Chattahoochee were a number of streams and lakes, but he names
only the Waters of Chapully (Chipola River.) In fact, little or no
account is given of this part of the survey, as Ellicott was not in
the party. He sailed from Pensacola and finally met the others on the

There he was surrounded by hostile Indians and had difficulty
establishing in September 1799 the mound at the junction of the Flint.
He then left the party and went by sea around Florida to the St.
Mary's, while Gillespie apparently worked overland to the sources of
that river. There, as at the beginning of the Mississippi, Ellicott
built a terminal mound.

But at the Chattahoochee, 381 miles from the Father of Waters, ended
Mississippi Territory. And there we must bid adieu to Ellicott and the
south line alike of Mississippi and of Alabama. Spain retired below
that line in 1798-9, and before 1820 the United States had acquired
the territory south of it even to the Gulf. As a boundary between
countries the parallel of 31° has become obsolete; but the Quaker's
work in running out the old British line still remains important, for
it separates much of Mississippi from Louisiana and much of Alabama
from Florida. The stone on Mobile River is only a point of departure
in surveying; but the mounds on the Mississippi, the Chattahoochee and
St. Mary's bound civilized States instead of savage hunting grounds, as
when they were made, and one at least still bears Ellicott's name.


[143] Colonial Mobile, pp. 185, 294; 7 Statutes at Large, p. 55.

[144] 4, Am. Hist. Rev. p. 62, &c.; 7 Stat. at Large, p. 140.

[145] Ellicott's Journal, pp. 40, 177.

[146] But at least he did not turn cannon on Gayoso and compel him to
evacuate, as stated (p. 45) in Jones' Introduction of Protestantism.

[147] Ellicott's Journal, pp. 141, 282.

[148] Winsor's Westward Movement, p. 266; Ellicott's Journal, App. p.

[149] Ellicott's Journal, App., p. 44, &c.

[150] Colonial Mobile, p. 342; Ellicott's Journal, p. 182.

[151] Picture in Colonial Mobile, p. 295, shows Ellicott to be
inaccurate as to lettering.



I believe that Mississippi can justly lay claim to the honor of having
established the first chartered institution for the higher education
of young women in the South, if not in the United States. Though
called an Academy, it did full collegiate work, had a high standard
of scholarship, and conferred degrees. The institution was located
at Washington, six miles east of Natchez. Washington had been the
brilliant and busy little Territorial Capital, and was then the center
of social and political influence.

A recent visit to the site of that venerable school enabled me to
gather much valuable information about its work, and heightened my
appreciation of its vast educative and spiritual influence upon the
history and destiny of the Southwest. The walls of the spacious
building still stand, but the merry voices that rang through its halls
only live in the sweet echoes of a distant past. Borrowing a style of
architecture from the Spanish of Colonial times, the structure was
two and a half stories high, the first of brick, the others in frame.
A fire consumed it twenty years ago, leaving only the solid masonry
as a memorial of the educational ambition and spiritual consecration
of Early Mississippi Methodism. Some of the grandest women of the
Southwest received their well-earned diplomas within those now charred
walls, and went out to preside over their own model and magnificent
homes. The early catalogues contain the names of fair daughters who
afterward became the accomplished matrons of historic families. For
many years the Elizabeth Female Academy was the one institution of
high grade in the entire South for the education of young women. All
others have been followers and beneficiaries of this brave heroine of

The grounds and buildings were donated to the Mississippi Conference
by Mrs. Elizabeth Roach in 1818, and in her honor the institution was
called the Elizabeth Female Academy. The year following a charter was
granted by the Legislature, of which this is a copy:

"_An Act.
             To Incorporate the Elizabeth Female Academy._

"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State
of Mississippi in General Assembly convened, "That an Academy be, and
is hereby established near the town of Washington, in the county of
Adams, to be known by the name of the Elizabeth Female Academy, in
honor of Mrs. Elizabeth Roach, the founder thereof, to be under the
superintendence of John Menifee, Daniel Rawlings, Alexander Covington,
John W. Briant, and Beverly R. Grayson, and their successors who are
hereby constituted a body politic and corporate, to be known by the
name and style of 'The Trustees of the Elizabeth Female Academy' and
they and their successors are hereby made capable of receiving real and
personal estate, either by donation or purchase, for the benefit of the
institution, _not exceeding one hundred thousand dollars_, of suing
and being sued, and of doing and performing all other acts, and shall
possess all other powers, incident to bodies corporate.

"Sec. 2.--And be it further enacted, That all vacancies that may happen
in the said Board of Trustees, either by death, resignation, refusal
to act, or removal from the State, shall be filled by the members of
the Methodist Mississippi Annual Conference: provided however, that all
such vacancies may be filled by the said Board of Trustees, to continue
until the meeting of the said conference next ensuing such vacancy, or
until they shall fill the same.

"Sec. 3.--And be it further enacted, That the said trustees and
their successors shall have the power to appoint their president,
vice-president, and other officers, to engage such teacher or teachers
as may be necessary for conducting the literary concerns of the
Academy, to hold stated meetings of the board and to make all by-laws
and regulations for the government of the institution and promoting
piety and virtue among the students, but no religious test or opinion
shall be required by the by-laws of the institution of the pupils
admitted or to be admitted into said Academy. The president, or in his
absence, the vice-president, may at any time call special meetings of
the board by giving to each member five days notice of such meeting:
the ordinary meetings shall be held on their own adjournment; Three
members shall constitute a quorum to do business: the president, or
in his absence, the vice-president shall preside, or in case of the
absence of both, any member chosen by a majority of the members present
shall preside.

                                    "E. TURNER,
                              "Speaker of the House of Representatives.

                                    "D. STEWART,
                             "Lieut. Governor, President of the Senate.
              "Approved the 17th day of Feb., 1918.

                                    "DAVID HOLMES,
                                "Governor of the State of Mississippi."

The "_announcement_" for the initial term appeared in the Mississippi
State Gazette, of Oct. 24th, 1818, a paper published in Natchez, and
was signed by B. R. Grayson, Secretary of the Board of Trustees.

The Academy opened its doors to pupils November 12th, 1818, under
the presidency of Chilion F. Stiles, and with Mrs. Jane B. Sanderson
as "Governess." Of the first President, and the first Lady Principal
of that first college for young ladies in all the Southwest, the
distinguished Dr. William Winans thus writes most interestingly in his
manuscript autobiography:

"Chilion F. Stiles was a man of high intellectual and moral character,
and eminent for piety. The Governess was Mrs. Jane B. Sanderson, a
Presbyterian lady of fine manners, and an excellent teacher, but
subject to great and frequent depression of spirits. This resulted, no
doubt, from the shock she had received from the murder of her husband a
few years previously by a robber____Though a Presbyterian, and stanch
to her sect, she acted her part with so much prudence and liberality as
to give entire satisfaction to her Methodist employers and patrons.
Some of the most improving, as well as most agreeable hours, of
relaxation from my official duties were at the Academy in the society
of Brother Stiles, who combined, in an eminent degree, sociability of
disposition, good sense, extensive information on various subjects, and
fervent piety, rendering him an agreeable and instructive companion. He
was the only person I ever knew who owed his adoption of a religious
course of life _to the instrumentality of Free Masonry_. He was
awakened to a sense of his sinfulness in the process of initiation into
that fraternity. Up to that time he had been a gay man of the world,
and a skeptic, if not an infidel in regard to the Christian religion.
But so powerful and effective was the influence upon him by somewhat in
his initiation, that from that hour he turned to God with purpose of
heart, soon entered into peace, and thenceforth walked before God in
newness of life, till his pilgrimage terminated in a triumphant death."

Mr. Stiles was succeeded in the presidency by Rev. John C. Burruss of
Virginia, an elegant gentleman, a finished scholar and an eloquent
preacher. The school greatly prospered under his administration, as it
continued to do under his immediate successor, Rev. Dr. B. M. Drake,
a name that will ever live among us as the synonym for consecrated
scholarship, perfect propriety, unaffected piety, and singular
sincerity. In 1833 Dr. Drake resigned the presidency in order to devote
himself entirely to pastoral work, and was succeeded by Rev. J. P.
Thomas; and in 1836 he gave way to Rev. Bradford Frazee of Louisville,
Ky. Rev. R. D. Smith, well known throughout the Southwest for his rare
devotion, was called to the president's chair in 1839.

Some of the by-laws adopted by the Board of Trustees for the government
and regulation of the Academy, recall in a measure the rigid and
elaborate rules prescribed by John Wesley for the school at Kingswood.
A few of these by-laws I here reproduce.

"The President of the Academy____shall be reputed for piety and
learning, and for order and economy in the government of his family. If
married he shall not be less than thirty, and if unmarried, not less
than fifty years of age____.

"The Governess____shall be pious, learned, and of grave and dignified
deportment____She shall have charge of the school, its order,
discipline, and instructions, and the general deportment and behavior
of the pupils who board in or out of commons____.


"On the last day of every academic year, the Board of Trustees shall
choose three respectable Matrons, who shall be acting patronesses of
the Academy.

"It shall be the duty of the patronesses to visit the school as often
as they think necessary, and inspect the sleeping rooms, dress, and
deportment of the pupils, and generally the economy and management of
the Academy, and report the same in writing to the Board of Trustees
for correction, if needed____.


"All pupils boarding in commons shall convene in the large school-room
at sunrise in the morning, and at eight o'clock in the evening for

"The hours of teaching shall be from nine o'clock in the morning until
noon; and from two o'clock in the afternoon until five; but in May,
June and July, they shall begin one hour sooner in the morning and
continue until noon; and from three o'clock in the afternoon until six,
Friday evenings excepted, when the school shall be dismissed at five


"No pupil shall be permitted to receive ceremonious visits.

"All boarders in commons shall wear a plain dress and uniform bonnets.

"No pupil shall be permitted to wear beads, jewelry, artificial
flowers, curls, feathers, or any superfluous decoration.

"No pupil shall be allowed to attend balls, dancing parties, theatrical
performances, or festive entertainments ____.


"____The studies of the Senior Class are:

"_First Session._--Chemistry, natural philosophy, moral philosophy,
botany; Latin, Aesop's Fables, Sacra Historia, Viri Romae illustres.

"_Second Session._--Intellectual philosophy, Evidences of Christianity,
Mythology, general history, Latin, Cæsar's Bella Gallica.

"Students who have completed the full course above, shall be entitled
to the honors of the institution, with a diploma on parchment, for the
degree of _Domina Scientiarum_____Those who have pursued with honor the
whole course of studies, shall be entitled to remain one academic year,
free of charge for tuition, and be associated in an honorary class,
to be engaged in the pursuit of science and polite literature, and
ornamental studies. After which they shall be entitled to an honorary
diploma ____."

The spiritual culture of the students was the supreme concern of the
faculty. The Bible was systematically taught and revivals of religion
were enjoyed. A notable one occurred in 1826.

The coming of Mrs. Caroline M. Thayer in the fall of 1825 was an
epoch in the history of the Academy, and her administration marked
an era. She was a remarkably accomplished woman with a genius for
administration. Of her Dr. Winans, President of the Board of Trustees
thus speaks:

                                       "MONDAY, JAN. 16, 1826.

"In the evening I returned to Brother Burruss's, where I met Sister C.
M. Thayer, who has come to take charge of Elizabeth Female Academy.
She is a woman of middle size, coarse features, some of the stiffness
of Yankee manners, but of an intelligent and pleasant expression
of countenance; free in conversation and various and abundant in
information. Rev. John C. Burruss, the President of the Academy, said:
'Mrs. Thayer is a most extraordinary woman; I have never seen such a

Again, under date of March 2d, 1826, in a letter to Rev. John Lane, Dr.
Winans says: "The Academy is in a very flourishing condition--Sister
Thayer is a tutoress of superior abilities, both as teacher and
governess. We are very sanguine of the future usefulness and
respectability of the Academy."

Mrs. Thayer was a niece of Gen. Warren, the hero of Bunker Hill,
educated in Boston, warmly recommended by Dr. Wilbur Fisk, and before
coming to Mississippi had made great reputation as an author and
teacher. She had taught for a while with Rev. Valentine Cook on Green
River, Kentucky, and had published a volume of essays and poems that
attracted wide attention.

The editor of the _Southern Galaxy_, a paper published in Natchez,
attended the semi-annual examinations at Elizabeth Female Academy in
the Spring of 1829, and highly commended the institution, especially
"the unquestioned capacity and superior accomplishments of the
Governess," Mrs. Caroline M. Thayer. The eloquent address delivered
on the occasion by Duncan S. Walker Esq., is published in full. In
the list of young ladies receiving special mention for scholarship is
found the name of "Miss Martha D. Richardson of Washita, La." That fair
daughter of the first college for young ladies in the South still lives
in California as the widow of the late Bishop H. H. Kavanaugh.

In that same issue of the paper, March 26th, 1829, is this


"Sir: The following lines are the production of a pupil in the
Elizabeth Female Academy at Washington. If you think them worthy
of a place in your paper, their insertion may aid the cause of
female literature, by awakening emulation among your young readers,
though their youthful author only intended them for the eyes of her

                                                             "C. M. T."

                            WHAT IS BEAUTY?

    'Tis not the finest form, the fairest face
      That loveliness imply:
    'Tis not the witching smile, the pleasing grace,
      That charms just Reason's eye.

    No, 'tis the sunshine of the spotless mind,
      The warmest, truest heart,
    That leaves all lower, grosser things behind,
      And acts the noblest part--

    That sunshine, beaming o'er the radiant face,
      With virtue's purest glow,
    Will give the plainest lineaments a grace
      That beauty cannot show.

    This face, this heart alone can boast a charm
      To please just Reason's eye,
    And this can stern Adversity disarm
      And even Time defy.


The annual commencement in the early summer was a great occasion. An
elaborate notice of the same, which embraced Aug. 21st, 1829, was
published in the papers of the young state--"_the first detailed
account_ of such an event in Mississippi." The essay of Miss Anna W.
Boyd, who graduated with the honors of her class, appears in full. It
will be interesting to many yet living for me to give the names of the
graduates, and those distinguished in the several classes:

  Miss Anna W. Boyd           Ireland.
  Miss Susan Smith            Adams County
  Miss Mary C. Hewett         Washington, Miss.
  Miss Mary J. Patterson      Port Gibson, Miss.
  Miss Sarah R. Chew          Adams County
  Miss Eliza A. Fox           Natchez, Miss.

Honorary distinctions were conferred on the following pupils for
proficiency in study and correct moral deportment:

_First Class._

  Miss Ellen V. Keavy         Pinckneyville, La.
  Miss Martha D. Richardson   Washita, La.
  Miss Mary A. Fretwell       Natchez, Miss.
  Miss Maria L. Newman        Washington, Miss.

_Second Class._

  Miss Martha Cosby          Wilkinson County
  Miss Sarah M. Forman       Washington, Miss.
  Miss Catharine O. Newman   Washington, Miss.
  Miss Susan C. Robertson    Port Gibson, Miss.

_Third Class._

  Miss Mary Scott            Alexandria, La.
  Miss Charlotte C. Scott    Alexandria, La.
  Miss Mary E. Gordon        Alexandria, La.
  Miss Emily Vick            Vicksburg, Miss.
  Miss Emily Smith           Adams County

_Fourth Class._

  Miss Charlotte Walcott          Vicksburg, Miss.
  Miss Mary A. B. Chandler        Pinckneyville, La.

_Fifth Class._

  Miss Mary E. Roberts            Washington, Miss.
  Miss Matilda J. Nevett          Adams County

_Sixth Class._

  Miss Laura J. A. King           Adams County
  Miss Martha B. Brabston         Washington, Miss.

In that list of young ladies will be recognized a few honored matrons
in the Southwest yet living, and many others will recall their
grandmothers who have long been among the redeemed in heaven.

A Board of Visitors, consisting of such distinguished men as Robert
L. Walker, J. F. H. Caliborne and Dr. J. W. Monette, attended that
commencement, and made report as follow:

"____The most unqualified praise would be no more than justice for
the splendid evidence of their close attention and assiduity, as
exhibited on this occasion; and we take pleasure in giving it as our
opinion, that such honorable proof of female literary and scientific
acquirements has seldom been exhibited in this or any other country.
And while it proves the order and discipline with which science and
literature are pursued by the pupils, it proves no less the flourishing
condition and the merited patronage the institution enjoys. Nothing
reflects more honor upon the present age than the liberality displayed
in the education of females; nor can anything evince more clearly
the justness with which female education is appreciated in the South
than this exhibition, and the interest manifested by the large and
respectable audience during the whole of the exercises. The literary
and scientific character of the Governess, Mrs. Thayer, is too well
known to admit of commendation from us ____."

On account of the removal of the Capitol to Jackson, the shifting of
the center of population, several epidemics of yellow fever and other
causes, after varying fortunes, the Academy suspended. Ex-Chancellor
Edward Mayes says of this institution: "In the decade from 1819 to
1829 its boarders amounted in number annually from 28 to 63." Mrs. John
Lane, Mrs. C. K. Marshall, Mrs. H. H. Kavanaugh, Mrs. B. M. Drake, the
mother of the late Col. W. L. Nugent, the mother of the Rev. T. L.
Mellen, and many other elect ladies were educated at that mother of
female colleges.

The noble school continued its splendid work for more than twenty-five
years, and laid broad and deep the foundations on which others have
wisely builded.



Jefferson College was incorporated by the Legislature of the
Mississippi Territory on the thirteenth of May, 1802. The act of
incorporation was entitled: "An act to establish a College in
Mississippi Territory." The following named gentlemen attended a
meeting of the Trustees of this institution, held January 3, 1803, viz:
Wm. C. C. Claiborne, John Ellis, Wm. Dunbar, Anthony Hutchins, David
Lattimore, Sulton Banks, Alexander Montgomery, Daniel Burnet, David
Kerr, D. W. Breazeale, Abner Green, Cato West, Thos. Calvit and Felix

John Ellis was appointed President _pro tempore_ and Felix Hughes,

The Board then proceeded to elect their officers by ballot. His
Excellency, Wm. C. C. Caliborne, was elected President, Sir Wm. Dunbar,
Vice-President, Felix Hughes, Secretary, and Cato West, Treasurer. For
some reason the last named officer declined to serve.

It was next moved that the following address be submitted to the
National Government:

"To the Honourable Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States in Congress assembled:

"We, the Trustees of Jefferson College assembled, agreeable to a law
of this Territory, at our first meeting, beg leave to address the
Honourable Legislature of the United States. The duty we owe to our
Infant Institution, to the community of the Mississippi Territory, and
to the United States calls on us to lay before you our wants and our

"Education in every state of the union has required, and we believe,
met in some degree the fostering hand of public support. Every
enlightened society, has been willing to contribute in some way to the
cultivation of the minds of their rising generation, from whence so
many public as well as private benefits have been found to flow.

"This society has laboured under peculiar Impediments to the pursuit
of this object; lately emerged from the lethargic influence of an
arbitrary government, averse from principle to general information
our citizens have hardly as individuals yet become sensible of the
necessity, and usefulness of Education; unaccustomed to act in concert
their individual efforts have never aimed at more than private schools.

"The first attempt to institute a place of general education for the
youth of this territory, has by a law of our Legislature, devolved
on us. We are sensible of the usefulness of the design to ourselves
and to our children. We are aware of the peculiar necessity of Public
Education and general information, to enable us to maintain that
Character we are called on to support, the Character of citizens of a
Republic. Our insulated situation demands the means of education at
home, and the infancy of our community and the circumstances already
mentioned demand Patronage from our parent government.

"At a time when the true principles of Republicanism are more generally
than ever diffused over the United States, when philosophy and
Patriotism are so happily united in promoting the public good, we hope
we shall not ask in vain. Our citizens may be tardy in learning the
necessity of affording effectual support by voluntary contributions;
our local government has no lands to bestow on us. But we trust the
Legislature of the United States, in whom the right of our soil
is vested, will give aid to an institution which will establish
republicanism in the minds of the youth of this territory, and be the
firmest bond of an attachment to the Union.

"In the Northwestern Territory, the general government acting on the
ordinance of Congress has been attentive to the support of public

"Having a similar claim from a similitude of constitution, and such
pressing inducements peculiar to ourselves, we rely with confident hope
on your Honourable Body for such aid as you may judge proper."

The following resolution was also adopted:

"That a committee of the following members, viz: Messrs. Wm. Dunbar,
Cato West, David Kerr, John Ellis, and Daniel Burnet be appointed to
make inquiry as to the most convenient site for Jefferson College; to
receive proposals from individuals of any donations of lands for that
purpose and to report to the Board at their next meeting."

On motion the following address to the citizens of the Territory was

"To the People of the Mississippi Territory:

"The Trustees of Jefferson College assembled at their first meeting
embrace the opportunity of addressing you, our fellow-citizens of the
Mississippi Territory, we are sensible of the difficulty of the Task to
which we have been called by your representatives. A place of public
education is to be created at a considerable expense without any public
funds. The economy of our Legislature has not as yet suffered them
to lay a tax on the community, to aid an Institution, which we hope
will ultimately conduce to our public as well as private happiness.
We are called on, therefore to supply the want of public funds by the
liberality of private patriotism.

"Indeed when we look forward to the consequence of a successful attempt
to raise a respectable school for the education of the youth of this
Territory, we trust the enlightened citizens will not be wanting in
furnishing the means essentially necessary.

"Our situation far remote from foreign schools, where a liberal
education may be procured prevents our young fellow citizens generally
from acquiring the advantages which a good school affords. If in a few
instances parents send their children far from the inspection of their
parental eye, great sacrifice must be made of parental solicitude and
great hazard of the morals of the youth, and when these difficulties
shall be overcome, young men having finished their education return
among their fellow citizens perhaps with the power and inclination
to serve them, but too much strangers for some time to gain their
confidence. Having procured a distant education, they will enjoy
little advantages over strangers who may emigrate to this territory
from foreign countries or from some parts of the United States. Our
citizens will not enjoy the advantage of a long personal acquaintance,
to enable them to choose with judgement those whom they ought to
encourage, as teachers of youth and preachers of religion and morality,
as physicians, as lawyers, or as law-givers.

"But should the liberality of the public enable the patrons of
Jefferson College to establish it as a public school for the Territory
these evils would be succeeded by important Benefits. We should see
our youth growing up under our own observation in habits of virtue
and improvement. Those who should acquire public approbation by
early talents and good behavior would be rewarded with the merited
confidence of their fellow citizens on the entrance to public life,
while strangers of merit would obtain a just share of public favors,
our citizens would not be forced to employ persons unknown to them, to
conduct their most important interests. Our young men living together
while the social affections are yet untarnished by selfish views or
party spirit would contract such firm attachments as would conduce
gradually to obliterate that party rage which is the bane of our
community too small to make divisions tolerable.

"From Jefferson College as a central school would emanate the taste and
the knowledge necessary to make even a common education more reputable
and more useful. In fine, our children being educated in the knowledge
and Love of Republican Liberty would grow up to be the firm supporters
of our Republican government.

"We do not pretend to undertake an enumeration of all the advantage,
either public or private which the success of the present undertaking
promises; but being deeply interested as well as yourselves in the
event, we beg leave to offer you one more observation.

"Bountiful Providence has given to the citizens of this territory the
means of procuring a Superabundance of wealth. It is an awful Truth,
that it will depend on the education of the growing generation, whether
a sudden increase of wealth will be the cause of a rapid increase in
knowledge and rational refinement, or of luxury and unmeaning expense.
As your growing riches then will furnish you with the happy means of
forming the growing minds of your children to a rational love of good
learning and virtue.

"So the danger of leaving your property to those who might not know how
to use it usefully and innocently, shows the necessity of devoting a
part of it to their Education.

"Such are our views, Fellow Citizens, of the importance of our present
undertaking. We call on you then to lend your aid to an Institution,
which will be devoted to increase the common happiness. All are
interested, let all contribute something to the public stock, let the
rich give liberally and all others show their public spirit according
to their abilities, Parents will meet their reward in possessing the
means of promoting the real happiness of their children. Those who are
not parents will enjoy the Benefit of living, in a society increasing
in civilization and those arts and pursuits which are the ornaments of
human nature."

A committee consisting of the following members, Messrs. Sulton Banks,
David Lattimore and Wm. Dunbar was appointed to prepare the plan of
a lottery for raising a sum not exceeding ten thousand dollars and
to make a report to the next meeting of the Board of Trustees. This
meeting was held at Selsertown. The committee appointed for the purpose
of preparing a lottery scheme reported as follows:

That 2,000 tickets at $5.00 a piece be sold, $10,000.

No. of prizes:

    1  of  $2,000  is    $2,000

    2  of     500  each  $1,000

   10  of     100  each  $1,000

   20  of      50  each  $1,000

  200  of      25  each  $5,000

The above prizes to be paid deducting 15% for the College.

A committee appointed to select a suitable location recommended one on
the lands of Mordecai Throckmorton near old Greenville, in Jefferson
county. The Board at its meeting agreed on this site recommended, and
ordered their next meeting to be held at old Greenville, on the 11th of
April following.

At this meeting the resolution proposing a site for the location of the
college was repealed. The next meeting was held at Selsertown. At this
meeting the Board on the 25th of July, 1803, accepted a donation of
lands offered by John and James Foster, and Randall Gibson, adjoining
the town of Washington, and embracing Ellicott's Springs.

The appeal to the public for aid was unproductive; that to Congress was
responded to by a grant of a township of land and some lots of ground
in and adjoining the city of Natchez.

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees was held in Natchez, on the
28th of January, 1804. Colonel Cato West, at that time the acting
governor of the Territory, reported "that the lots in the city of
Natchez, and an out-lot adjoining the same, granted to the college
by Congress, had been only located, and that upon these lots were
several valuable buildings." But a private individual and the city of
Natchez laid claim to these buildings and an act was passed in Congress
regranting them to Natchez.

Appeals were made to the public but were not responded to. A loan from
the Legislature was prayed for but all the efforts on the part of the
trustees amounted to nothing.

The Trustees were reassembled in April, 1810, having had no meeting
since December 21, 1805.

In the meantime the Washington Academy had been established and
conducted by Rev. Jas. Smylie. Subscriptions were raised and frame
buildings erected on the college grounds.

A meeting of the two Boards was held and the building of the Academy
and the subscriptions which had been raised for its support were
transferred to the Board of Trustees of the prospective College.

The Board of the Washington Academy also had lottery tickets on sale,
but found great difficulty in disposing of them.

Few of the tickets were sold, and fortunately for the institution the
tickets calling for the largest prizes remained unsold. There was
nothing gained from this and the next year the Board directed suits
against some of the purchasers of tickets who had failed to pay for

The Academy buildings were placed in order and it was published that
"an academy under the superintendence of Dr. Edwin Reese, assisted by
Mr. Sam'l Graham would open on the first of January."

Nine years after the chartering of Jefferson College, it started as an
academy, and as an academy it continued several years.

Soon afterwards the Trustees resumed their efforts to secure an
endowment for the proposed College. The titles to the lots in Natchez
were examined. In order to adjust the claims between the corporation
of Natchez and Jefferson College, the matter was carried to law. In
1812 commissioners were appointed for the recovery of such escheated
property as belonged to the College, the Legislature having granted
to it all escheated property for ten years. The authority of the
Legislature was questioned in this matter, and it was carried before
Congress. The Legislature was upheld in this and the College realized
five or six thousand dollars, but lost heavily prosecuting their claims.

The Secretary of the Treasury, under the authority of an act of
Congress passed the 20th of February, 1812, located on the 5th of June
the township of land granted in 1803. The land selected was situated on
both sides of the Tombigbee River. But nothing was realized from this
until 1818.

In 1816, six thousand dollars to be paid in annual installments was
granted by the Legislature. This money was for the purpose of hiring an

Mr. M'Allister, who was teaching at the time in Kentucky, was employed,
and took charge of the Institution in 1817. In the August following the
contract for the last building was let out.

In 1818, the rapid immigration to Alabama caused an increase in the
value of the Tombigbee lands. An agent was sent to Alabama, who leased
the lands owned by the College for ninety-nine years. About eight
thousand dollars was received as the first payment, and the remaining
installments amounting to more than twenty-five thousand dollars were
to be paid in two, four and six years. With such an improved state
of affairs the Board deemed it wise to borrow money to hasten the
completion of the buildings then in progress. Nine thousand dollars was
obtained from the bank and four thousand from the state.

The trustees were disappointed, however, in the expected revenues from
the Tombigbee lands. The government in 1820 found it necessary to adopt
measures for the reduction of the enormous debts of those who had
contracted for lands in more prosperous times.

Liberal discounts were offered to its debtors, also the privilege of
giving up the lands they had purchased. There was a great depreciation
in the value of the lands at this time, and the purchasers were glad to
surrender them to the government.

The trustees offered an abatement of one-half. But all, with one
exception, gave the land to the government, as the greater portion of
it was found to be of no value. This source of revenue to which the
trustees had looked forward with such sanguine expectations had been
destroyed, heavy debts had been contracted, and there were no means
of discharging them. So the trustees and friends of the Institution
assumed the debts individually.

The college had a difficulty from another source. In 1818 there was an
assembly of the clergy of all denominations in Washington. Some of the
clergy, believing Mr. M'Allister's opinion to be unorthodox, publicly
denounced the Institution.

This did the College an injury that the trustees could not repair. Rev.
R. F. N. Smith, an associate of Mr. M'Allister, was placed at the head
of the Institution, but this helped matters very little.

The source of revenue having been exhausted, Mr. Smith resigned. From
1821, an academy was kept up under various instructors on a small scale.

In 1825, a measure was introduced into the Legislature to institute
suit for the recovery of the money loaned, but the majority voted
against it.

To afford the Legislature an opportunity of placing the institution
more immediately under its control and management and to give to it
that patronage and support to which it would be entitled as a State
Institution, the Trustees voted to give the power of filling vacancies
in their body to the Legislature. The act was passed in January, 1826.
This right was exercised for many years.

In May, 1826, the Trustees were notified that the selectmen of the
city of Natchez were going to make an appeal to the Supreme Court of
the United States in the suit commenced in 1813, for the property given
by Congress and claimed by the city of Natchez. The Trustees not being
able to bear the expenses of a suit appointed a committee to compromise
with the city, which they succeeded in doing.

About this time the Legislature was considering the idea of
establishing a State Institution, and its executive committee at its
session in Feb. 1829, was ordered to appoint three agents to inquire
into all the means and resources in the state applicable to the
purposes of general education; to confer with the Trustees of Jefferson
College and ascertain the condition and prospects of the Institution
and whether it was practicable for the Trustees to surrender the
charter to the State, and on what terms it would be done.

A meeting of the two committees was held on the 27th of October, 1829.
Questions were asked the committee from Jefferson College concerning
the college buildings; the endowment; the number and character of its
Professors; its future prospects; the expediency of surrendering the
charter; and concerning the money loaned to the Institution by the

It was found that the charter could not be surrendered to another
Institution erected in its stead.

This agreement was not made with the Legislature, so it was decided to
put forth greater energies than ever to build up the Institution.

It was decided to adopt a system of Education similar to that of West
Point and a contract was made with E. B. Williston and Major Halbrook.

They assumed all responsibilities, and hired a number of competent
instructors, and depended upon their success to pay the salaries of

The College under this management opened on the first Monday of
December, 1829. This plan was eminently successful and for the first
time since the establishment of the Institution it was a success. A
large number of students was attracted to it and it was viewed with
pride and gratification.



Twenty-three years have passed into history since Adelbert Ames, the
last of the "Carpet Baggers," was driven from his high position as
governor of Mississippi by the representatives of an outraged and
indignant people. A new generation has grown to manhood and womanhood
since those stirring times that led up to and culminated in the
exposure and condemnation of the most reckless and profligate political
combination and blighting curse that has ever burdened a free people.
As we have just passed the twenty-third anniversary of that great
event it is fitting that its memories be revived in the minds of those
who took part in it, that its lessons may be impressed upon those who
are to complete and affirm its results. The uprising of the people
of Mississippi against Negro rule was a most magnificent example of
that spirit of Southern patriotism that animated the hearts; first of
such men as Walthall, Lamar, George, Featherston, Stone, Lowry and
Harris, and then spread to the hearts of every true man in Mississippi.
The young men of the State, the rising generation, have the greatest
reverence and love for the brave men who fought such a gallant fight
for the preservation of white supremacy in Mississippi.

The social, industrial and political conditions existing in Mississippi
two years after the close of the civil war can only be properly
appreciated by taking a backward view of what had gone before. From
1817 to 1860 Mississippi was a garden for the cultivation of all that
was grand in oratory, true in science, and enlightened and profound
in law and statesmanship. Those were years of a golden age, an age of
chivalry in which she vied with her sister States in the lists of that
grand tournament that was to decide the fate of a nation. That period
of the State's history produced a roll too tedious to read of noble
spirits, bright wits, and elegant scholars, whose names and deeds are
preserved in the records of an admiring people. Mississippi takes
special pride in the character of Jefferson Davis, whose name will be
forever enshrined in fame's proudest niche, as the representative of
Southern honor, chivalry and manhood.

    "And he will live on history's page,
      While cycling years shall onward move,
      A victim of a senseless rage,
      Now idol of his people's love;
    When hate is buried in the dust,
      When party strife shall break its spear,
    When truth is free and men are just,
      Then will his epitaph appear."

Mississippi was enriched by the power and ability of George Poindexter,
her brilliant governor and United States senator; she points with pride
to the executive ability and constructive statesmanship of Robert J.
Walker, Polk's great minister of finance, and author of the Walker
Tariff Bill; she looks back with wondering admiration to that king of
orators and eccentric genius, S. S. Prentiss, who thrilled the American
heart with his god-like eloquence; she holds sacred the memory of the
gifted and peerless Lamar, who stood, unawed and alone, as defender and
protector, in her darkest and most trying hour; and no stone that marks
the last resting place of the great of earth can be worthier of the
Roman legend:

"_Clarus et vir fortissimus._"

The year 1861 brought ruin and desolation upon the State. The signal
gun fired from Fort Sumter was the beginning of a bloody fratricidal
strife, and was the first act in the greatest drama of political and
social revolution known to history. That revolution brought political,
industrial and financial ruin upon Mississippi. When peace came, it
found a race of ignorant slaves, masters of her political destiny.
Then came the days of reconstruction, and of devilish animosity and
hate; days when ignorance and vice reigned supreme, and the law of
brute force was terribly triumphant. During that time a brave people
were condemned to all the suffering and oppression which crime and
corruption could invent, and tyranny inflict.

The political party then in power stands before the bar of an
intelligent public sentiment of today a confessed and convicted author
of the greatest and most criminal mistake of all time. The experiment
of negro suffrage was a most stupendous blunder. Under that vicious
system society was depressed to a greater degree than could be borne.
For ten long years was Mississippi ruled by the adventurer, who filled
the mind of the negroes with a spirit of misrule, prejudice and hatred
against their former masters. He found a people impoverished by the
loss of millions in slave property, and made penniless by a long and
protracted war.

The State was turned over as so much prey to the hungriest and cruelest
flock of human vultures that ever cursed mankind and the pathway
towards better things was stained with the life blood of her best and
noblest. Under such a reign property was insecure. There was open and
notorious plunder without the hope of redress. Ignorance, crime and
hatred had enthralled the white people of the state. No greater burden
has ever been put upon a suffering people, and while it lasted in
Mississippi the state was overwhelmed by a horde of ignorant, immoral
and degraded vagabonds.

The blighting curse of negro rule was patiently borne by the people
of Mississippi until 1875, when a halt was called, and every white
man in the State took a solemn oath before high heaven that he would
free himself and his posterity from such a disgrace, or die in the
attempt. That idea was the battle-cry under which the campaign of 1875
was fought. That campaign was the supreme effort of a brave people to
save themselves and their posterity from the blighting ruin of black
supremacy. It was the most remarkable demonstration of courage ever
shown to an admiring world; it was the courage that dared death and
defied the world in its struggle against infamy and dishonor. The
struggle was begun by a well attended mass-meeting of leading men
from every county in the State. Lawyers left their books, doctors
their patients, preachers their sermons, merchants their stores, and
farmers their fields, and formed themselves into a mighty force for
the overthrow of misrule. These brave and determined men met together
at the State capitol in Jackson, Jan. 4th, 1875, and organized what
is known to history as the Taxpayers' Convention of Mississippi. The
convention was called to order by Hon. W. L. Nugent, one of the great
lawyers of the Jackson bar. Gen. W. S. Featherston, of Holly Springs,
was called to preside over the deliberations of the meeting, and his
pure patriotism and great influence gave force to a gathering that was
prepared to call the people of the State to arms if need be, in defense
of their rights and liberties. To Gen. Featherston and Judge Wiley P.
Harris all honor is due for the brave stand they took at that time.
They were both remarkable men of fearless courage and sound judgement.
The labors of the convention resulted in a petition being drawn up
for presentation to the legislature setting forth the desperate
condition of the State, demanding reform and economy, and appealing to
the people to rise up in their might and overthrow their oppressors.
An extraordinary increase in taxation was shown to be almost equal
to confiscation. The convention of taxpayers claimed and showed
conclusively that in 1869 the State levy was 10 cents on the dollar of
the assessed value of lands. For the year 1871 it was four times as
great and for 1874 fourteen times as great. Such a condition of affairs
could only result in general ruin and bankruptcy. After the adjournment
of the taxpayers' convention the delegates returned to their homes and
organized local taxpayers' leagues in every county in the State. The
property-holders determined to reduce taxation or refuse to pay their
assessments, and, if necessary, to resist the collection of all taxes
for the support of the State government.

A new legislature was to be elected in November, 1875, and the only
hope of property holders to save their lands from confiscation was
to elect a legislature composed of white men pledged to economy. The
Democratic State Convention met in Jackson on August 3d, 1875, and was
made up of the best men in every walk of life. Gen. Charles Clark was
made chairman. He was an ex-governor of the State and was reverenced
and loved for his patriotic devotion to his adopted State. Hon. L. Q.
C. Lamar was a delegate to the convention from Lafayette county, and
was the leader in every movement. He made the greatest speech of his
life on the floor of the convention, and it served as a bugle call to
action to the white people to throw off the ruin and dishonor that
threatened them. The campaign was placed under the guidance of Gen. J.
Z. George, as chairman of the Democratic State Executive Committee,
and such men as Lamar, Walthall, Barksdale, Lowry, Money, Featherston,
Singleton and Chalmers took the stump and aroused the people to action.
The people laid aside their business for three months and worked
for the protection of their homes and for the preservation of free
institutions. The popular heart was fired with enthusiasm as never
before. Public feeling found utterance in the following resolution that
became the slogan of the campaign, and was passed by the people of
every county in the State:

"_Resolved_, That without equivocation and without mutual reservation,
we intend to carry out the principles enunciated in the platform of the
Democratic party at Jackson, on the 3d day of August, 1875, and to this
we pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our most sacred honor."

The State executive committee met in Jackson, August 15, and organized
for the campaign, and its first act was to issue the ablest and most
stirring address that ever came from such a body. The address was
prepared by Gen. George, the chairman of the committee, and is a
masterpiece of political literature, and closes with this appeal: "In
this contest Mississippi expects each of her sons to do his duty; brace
up old age to one more effort, nerve, manhood, to put forth all its
strength, and invite youth to its noblest enthusiasm."

In the very beginning of the campaign it became evident to Governor
Ames and the Republican boodlers that the election would result in
their defeat. Ames, in his desperation over impending disaster, applied
to the Federal government at Washington for United States troops to be
used in terrorizing the people on election day. He boldly declared that
the death of a few thousand negroes would make sure the success of the
Republican party, and did everything in his power to bring about an
armed conflict between the two races. Bloody riots occurred at Clinton,
Yazoo City and Vicksburg, in which hundreds of negroes were killed.
President Grant refused to send Federal troops into Mississippi, and
his refusal was based on the report of Mr. C. K. Chase, an agent
of the attorney-general of the United States, who had been sent to
report on the application of Gov. Ames for troops, his report being
that there was no legal excuse for the presence of armed men. The
Democratic orators, on every stump in the State, declared that the
negro had proven himself unworthy of the right of suffrage, and should
be deprived of it. They showed that wherever the negro controlled,
depression and ruin were evident on every side. They proclaimed aloud
that the honest, intelligent and decent white people should and would
control the State. Negro suffrage had been tried for ten years with
terrible results. They pointed to the ominous fact that the Southern
States were behind in the road for progress, just in proportion to the
number of negro voters in each. The right of manhood suffrage was daily
denounced as a doctrine that was ruining the State by making it a prey
to the worst and most depraved elements of society. Bitter experience
had taught that freedom could not, in a moment, transform an ignorant
slave into a good citizen. The most dangerous experiment in modern
times in government had proved to be a most colossal blunder. The negro
had slavishly surrendered his vote to the dictation of a band of petty
thieves and plunderers, who were interested in nothing but gain. Where
was the State, under such control, that showed even a trace of honest,
intelligent government? The appeals to the people were effective.
After the most remarkable of political campaigns a legislature, with
an overwhelming Democratic majority, was elected. The legislature met
in Jackson, January 4, 1876, and organized by the election of Hon.
H. M. Street, of Prentiss county, speaker, and Hon. George M. Govan,
clerk. It had among its members, such men as W. S. Featherston, W. A.
Percy, H. L. Muldrow, W. F. Tucker, W. R. Barksdale, I. T. Blount, J.
S. Bailey, J. G. Hall, G. B. Huddleston, G. D. Shands, George H. Lester
and Thomas Spight, in the house; and J. M. Stone, R. O. Reynolds, John
W. Fewell, R. H. Thompson and T. C. Catchings, in the senate.

At the time the legislature assembled, the executive and judicial
departments of the government were under the control of the Radical
party, made up of and dominated by negroes, disreputable adventurers
and carpet baggers. Adelbert Ames was seated in the executive chair. At
the close of the war he was in Mississippi as a colonel in the Federal
army, and after the State government set up by the white people was
overthrown by Federal bayonets he was made military governor. After a
new constitution was adopted and Mississippi was re-admitted to the
Union, Ames was elected by the legislature to represent the State in
the United States Senate. James L. Alcorn was his colleague, and fierce
conflict arose between the two over the control of the Republican
party in the State. Alcorn was a man of admitted ability. He had been
a lifelong Whig before the war, but became a moderate Republican after
its close. When the constitution of 1868 was adopted the military
government of Ames gave way and was succeeded by Alcorn as the first
governor elected by the people after the new organic law went into
force. Gov. Alcorn was a large property holder and really desired
the peace and prosperity of the State. His plan was to unite the old
followers of the Whig party for the control of the negro element,
and save the white people from the ruin that would result from negro
control. The new governor was soon found to be in the way of the
negroes and carpet baggers, and he was sent to Washington as a senator
of the United States.

Ex-Gov. Robert Lowry thus writes of Alcorn and Ames as Senators from
Mississippi, in his history of the State:

    "Governors Alcorn and Ames were occupying their seats in the
    United States Senate. The former, a man of high bearing,
    wealthy, full of courage, proud and imperious, had a supreme
    contempt for the pretensions of the latter, and asserted in
    substance, on the floor, of the Senate, that Ames was a fraud,
    that his poverty of intellect was only equalled by his arrogant
    assumption of unauthorized powers; that he was not, and never
    had been a citizen of Mississippi."

Ames made the best reply he could, but he was no match in debate for
his opponent. The estrangement and breach between them culminated in
both declaring themselves candidates for governor of the State. Ames
gained the negro support and was elected, and ruled the State with
all the autocratic power of a czar. The public scandals of the Ames
administration soon became notorious throughout the State, and the
legislature stood pledged to a full investigation of all executive acts.

Early in the session a resolution was introduced by Gen. Featherston
providing for the appointment of a committee of five to investigate
and report whether or not Ames had been guilty of high crimes and
misdemeanors in office. The resolution was passed and Speaker Street
appointed Gen. Featherston, Gen. Tucker, W. A. Percy, H. L. Muldrow
and Fred Parsons. After an investigation, lasting thirty-eight days,
the committee made a report recommending that Ames be impeached and
removed from office for high crimes and misdemeanors. The report of
the committee was adopted by the house, and W. S. Featherston, W. F.
Tucker, W. A. Percy, H. L. Muldrow, W. R. Barksdale, and Thomas Spight
were appointed managers to conduct the impeachment trial before the bar
of the senate. Twenty-one articles of impeachment were presented by the
committee, to the house and adopted. They contained specifications and
charges, involving high crimes and misdemeanors in office. The senate
proceeded to organize as a high court of impeachment, and summoned
Gov. Ames to appear for trial. Chief Justice Simrall, of the Supreme
court, appeared in the senate March 16, 1876, and after having the oath
administered according to law by Associate Justice Peyton, announced
that the trial of Adelbert Ames, governor of Mississippi, for high
crimes and misdemeanors in office would begin the next day. It was a
time of great excitement in Jackson, and that feeling spread all over
the State.

Governor Ames tried every known means in his power to intimidate the
legislature. He decided at one time to attempt to disperse the body
with Federal troops, but President Grant would not furnish them for
such a purpose. The next plan was to collect an army of negroes in
Jackson and incite them to riot and bloodshed against the whites, but
the cowardice of the negroes prevented its accomplishment. One of the
most corrupt and colossal schemes of public robbery ever devised by
a band of plunderers was being laid bare to the eyes of an indignant
people, and every effort was made by the guilty officials to hush up
the investigation of their delinquencies. At the beginning of the
investigation the governor and his partners in crime assumed a bold
front and defied the legislature to do its worst, but when they found
that the investigation was backed by a public opinion that knew no
turning, they began to weaken and plead for mercy. It was brought out
in the investigation that the State was full of defaulting county
treasurers and sheriffs who were partisan friends of the governor, and
were allowed to retain their positions. The investigation developed
that the office of State Treasurer was being filled by an official
who had never given bond for the faithful performance of his duty. It
was found to be the custom of the governor to remove judges from the
bench when they made decisions against his friends, and one public
official, the sheriff of a county, was removed by force of arms. Ames
was employing the same methods that he put in force during his right
as military governor, and was applying the rules of arbitrary martial
law in times of peace. Incompetency and rascality reigned supreme. All
legislation had been in the hands of ignorant negroes who for years,
were intent upon nothing but public pilfering. On March 29th, 1876, the
court of impeachment was opened, and the managers of the House appeared
and announced themselves ready for trial. In the meantime Ames had
become panic stricken over the certainty of conviction and offered to
resign and leave the State if the impeachment articles were withdrawn.
The one great object of the trial was to rid the State of Ames and
his gang of corrupt officials, and the managers of the proceedings
agreed to allow him to resign and the following order was made by the
impeachment court: "That articles of impeachment heretofore preferred
by the House of Representatives against his Excellency, Adelbert Ames,
be and the same are hereby dismissed, in pursuance of the request of
the House of Representatives, this day presented by the managers in
their behalf." After that order was entered, counsel for Ames offered
the following from their client:

                                            "EXECUTIVE OFFICE,

                                       "Jackson, Miss., March 29, 1876.

"To the People of the State of Mississippi:

"I hereby respectfully resign my office of governor of the State of
Mississippi." "ADELBERT AMES."

After the reading of the resignation, Mr. Pryor, attorney for the
resigning governor, spoke as follows:

"Mr. Chief Justice and Senators--At the instance of my learned
associates, I rise merely to return to the chief justice and the
senators the expression of our grave sense of the courtesies and
kindness which we have received, both from the learned chief justice
and senators, and especially from our honorable adversaries, the
managers on the part of the house."

By his resignation Ames practically admitted his guilt, and soon after
left the State in disgrace. Hon. John Marshall Stone became governor
of the State by virtue of his position as president pro tem. of the
senate, one day after Ames' resignation. A better man was never made
governor of any State, and with his administration commenced an era of
peace and prosperity that continues to this day.



From my youth up "Historical Mississippi" has possessed a never failing
charm__ books, papers and manuscripts I have faithfully searched, and
my gleaning has brought me sheaves from many a field, where stronger
hands have wrought.

I shall leave chronology and statistics to the members of the
Association who are more capable of dealing with them, and shall give a
few current events that interested our ancestors some sixty years ago.

In one of Irwin Russell's inimitable dialect poems, he makes an old
negro preacher say:

    "An' when you sees me risin' up to structify in meetin';
    I's just clumb up de knowledge-tree an' done some apple eatin'."

My "knowledge-tree" proved to be an old file of newspapers published
from 1836 to 1843.

As far back as 1838 an active interest was taken in Historical
Mississippi, and this Association, is not the first to try and preserve
records and deeds, facts, traditions and legends of our beloved state.

A Lyceum flourished in the Natchez district, with Mr. Dubuisson as
president. A notice of a meeting that was to be held in Washington,
Miss., June 2d, 1838, says: "There is a proposition before the Lyceum
to change its name to that of 'The Mississippi Philosophical &
Historical Society.' It should be incorporated, as it bids fair to be
the nucleus around which the taste and talent of this section of our
state may rally."

Besides literature and history, an interest was taken by the men and
women of this period in many other things. Realizing that Mississippi
was an agricultural state, they formed an "Agricultural-Horticultural
& Botanical Society," and one meeting was held April 28th, 1843, in
the Methodist Church in Washington, President B. S. C. Wailes in the
chair. There was no public dinner, but every planter had enough along
with him to supply a dozen more than his own family. Col. Wailes, Mr.
Affleck and many others, we are told, kept open house; Mrs. Shields,
Miss Rawling, Miss Newman and Miss Smith were appointed to examine and
report on needle-work and other articles of feminine industry. They
made their report through Mr. Joseph D. Shields, and awarded prizes
to Mrs. Dr. Broome, Mrs. Anna D. Winn, Mrs. Sarah West, Miss Virginia
Branch, Miss Eliza Magruder, Miss Julia Cashell, and Miss Mary McCaleb.

The women of the thirties had never heard of the "new woman" yet they
were fully alive to their own interest. It is said that when the
"married woman's property right" bill was up for discussion in 1839,
it was passed mainly through the exertions and influence of Mrs. T.
B. J. Hadley, who kept the most popular boarding house in Jackson.
She had become enamored of the civil law principle in Louisiana,
and was determined to have this statute in our state. How did she
accomplish it? From the day that Adam ate the apple, women have had
firm convictions as to the best way of bringing men to their "point
of view." If any of Mrs. Hadley's boarders opposed this bill, she
put them on short rations and they had no comfort until they gave
in. By the way, it is believed that our Mississippi Statute on this
subject--property rights of married women--was the first which was
passed in any state in the Union, which was governed by the principles
of common law.

Politics ran high; Whigs and Democrats were ready at all times to give
reason for the faith within them, to fight for it, yea, even to die for
it at need. But through it all ran an intense loyalty to the state.
Prentiss was once on a boat coming to Natchez, when some one remarked
that the Governor of Mississippi was a dog. "Sir," said Mr. Prentiss,
rising, "you cannot call the Governor of Mississippi a dog in my
presence; it may be that he is a dog, but he is _our_ dog."

In 1843, the burning question was the payment of the state bonds issued
by the Union & Planters' Bank. Feeling ran high, it was made an issue
in the canvass, and the repudiators were successful. Even to this day
we are made to feel the sting of that act, which was a blunder,--and
Talleyrand tells us that "a blunder is worse than a crime." Many were
the reasons given for the nonpayment, and in a speech delivered in
1843, at the Court House in Natchez, Governor Tucker told his audience
not to think for a moment that the _real_ great seal of the state
was affixed to those "fictitious and unconstitutional bonds." The
Governor goes on to say that when the time came to affix the great
seal, no seal was to be found, so "a Vicksburg artist was employed as
a Vulcan to forge the seal, which was to make bondsmen of the proud
and chivalrous people of Mississippi; he did his best, probably, but
as the fates would have it, his eagle turned out to be a buzzard. We
cannot but think," goes on the Governor, "that an over-ruling destiny
controlled the hiding away of the state seal, so that its broad and
honest face should never be seen on a badge of servitude to European
note-shavers--and the Union Bank bonds no more have the seal of the
state upon them, than the figure of the bond seal looks like an eagle."

On May 28th, 1838, a number of literary and scientific gentlemen,
belonging to Natchez and vicinity, went to Selsertown for the purpose
of making an excavation in the large Indian Mound, which was evidently
a fortress and strong-hold of power in the olden times. The mound is
an immense mural pile, with a watch-tower elevated many feet above
the level surface of the mound at one side. It had a subterranean or
covered way leading to its centre,--the traces of which still remained
in 1838. The large mound is most admirably situated for defense,
being based on a summit, from which there is a gentle declivity for
many hundreds of yards in every direction, commanding a sweeping
view of the horizon. It was said by the oldest inhabitants that when
they first settled near the Selsertown mounds, there were traces of
great roads more worn by apparent travel than any roads in existence
in this part of the State now (1838), leading in different directions
from the principal mound. This must have been a great central point
of aboriginal power, the great metropolitan and kingly residence of
the sun--descended dynasty of the Natchez Kings--a dynasty embalmed
in story and song, and descended to us on the wings of legend and
romance. The gentlemen were: Rev. Messrs. Charles Tyler and Van Court,
Doctors Monette, Merwin, Benbroke, Inge, Hitchkock and Mitchell, Judge
Thatcher, Prof. Forshey, C. S. Dubisson, J. A. Van Hosen, Thomas
Farrar, Col. B. S. C. Wailes, Maj. J. T. Winn and others.

One of the great orators in 1838, was Rev. J. N. Maffett. He was
much in demand for lectures and speeches, and was one of the most
extraordinary men of the age. It is said that for imagery, enunciation,
intonation and a deep knowledge of the human heart, Mr. Maffett stood
without a peer.

About 1843, Mr. Thomas Fletcher, of the Natchez bar, was quite a
favorite public speaker. His style was said to be smooth, musical and

Mississippians, in the years that are gone, were as generous and
open-hearted as they are today. They gave presents, not valued by
dollars and cents, but into which they put time, labor and love, as the
following letter proves. It was sent with the cradle to a friend in
Charleston, S. C.

"The body or frame of the cradle, is manufactured out of the shell of
what we call the snapping turtle, that weighed 135 pounds caught by
myself out of my own waters. The railing is constructed out of the
horns of bucks, killed with my own rifle by my own hands. The rockers
were made from a walnut tree that grew on my sister's plantation
adjoining mine. The spring mattress, or lining, is stuffed with wool
from my own sheep. The loose mattress is also filled with domestic
wool, manufactured and lined by my own wife. The pillows are filled
with feathers from our own wild geese, and have also been manufactured
by my own hands, after having been slain by my own steady aim. The
pavilion, which you will perceive is to be thrown over the canopy, was
fabricated, fitted and contrived by my own right thrifty, ingenious and
very industrious 'better half.' Accompanying the cradle is a whistle
which was made by a friend residing with me, and out of a tusk of an
alligator, slain by my own hand, as well as a fan, made also by the
same friend out of the tail of a wild turkey killed by me; accompanying
the whole is the hide of a panther, dressed after the fashion of the
Chamois, the animal having been slain by my own hands, and with my
trusty rifle. This is for the stranger to loll and roll upon when tired
of his cradle."

It is to be hoped that these unique gifts into which the Mississippi
planter, his wife, and friend, put hours of love-labor, are today the
cherished heir-looms of some old South Carolina family.

So in a minor key I have told of the past. As I read these old files
I lived over the lives of our ancestors. I could see the crowds and
hear them cheering some favorite speaker--the audiences gathered to
hear the words of eloquence from gifted tongues--the Indians stepped
for me his "sun dance," I discussed with famous housewives the value
of the articles made by deft fingers, and sat with the planter by his
fireside, forgetting that "the tender grace of a day that is dead" will
never come back.

And may love for Mississippi,--her Past, Present, and Future grow ever
in our hearts.

"Mississippi! what bright visions, what pleasant reflections, are
associated with thy name! It is the land of flowers, of beauty, of
natural wealth, of chivalry and unbending energy; The nursery of
native genius and eloquence; The home of hospitality, the generous and
confiding Patron of the unknown and friendless stranger! Thy majestic
river, thy broad prairies, thy snow-white fields the very air we
breathe--gladdens the heart, enlarge the soul, and stimulate to noble



In the dim ages of the past, when our wondrous bluffs emerged from the
inland sea which geologists tell us once swept over the alluvial lands
of the Mississippi Valley, it would seem that the Great Spirit with
special favor smiled upon and blessed that portion of his fair domain
which is now embraced within the present limits of "Historic Adams
County," as if to make of it an Eden for the Western World.

Perhaps no section of so limited an area has been more productive
of the fossil remains of pre-historic animals, or has furnished so
much to the collection of the geologist. It was largely from Adams
County that Wailes, the geologist, obtained his collection which was
afterwards purchased by the University of Louisiana. Mammoth Bayou,
just beyond the limits of the City of Natchez, is so called on account
of its so often returning to the light, remains of this gigantic
animal, and it still continues to render its contributions. Indeed,
there is scarcely a creek or water-course in the county that has not,
at some time, contributed its share. Here also dwelt pre-historic
man, the mound-builder, who has left in Adams County many of the
monuments of himself, and notably the celebrated Emerald Mound, near
old Selsertown,--one of the largest, loftiest, and most remarkable in
the whole Valley of the Mississippi. And so, in later days, when the
first of the white race came to this favored spot, they found here
in the greatest beauty, abundance, and perfection, all the flora and
fauna of the South. Chateaubriand, who during his exile visited the
"Natchez Country," found here the inspiration and theme for writings
which have made him immortal, and in his "Attala," "Rene," and in his
great epic "The Natchez," has given us the impressions made upon his
poetic imagination by the beauties of the landscape. And while the
hand of the spoiler, man, has robbed the landscape of so many of its
robes of natural beauty, there still remains enough to touch the fancy
and impress the mind. We can still view the wondrous "Devil's Punch
Bowls," in and just beyond the northern limits of Natchez, which, while
the exact reverse of mountain scenery, presents a view almost as wild
and grand. The view from our lofty bluffs, of our mighty river, of the
green plains of Louisiana beyond, of the sun as he sinks beneath the
Western horizon, and of the moon as she silvers the river with her
parting beams, are worthy of any painter's brush. The fertile valleys
of the St. Catharine and Second creeks still present some remains of
their former beauty and fertility, which made the Natchez Country, in
its palmy past, the promised land for so many brave and adventurous

It was in this favored section that lived the celebrated Natchez
Indians, whose name is perpetuated in that of our historic city, and
who have left behind them a history of which a Spartan would have been
proud. Their civilization was higher than that of the surrounding
tribes, and their customs and religion were similar to those of the
ancient Mexicans. Like the Mexicans, Peruvians, and ancient Persians,
their god was the sun, and in the temple built for his worship the
priests kept burning, day and night, the sacred fire. To the sun they
sacrificed the first fruits of the chase and of war, and sometimes,
(as did the Mexicans), offered human sacrifices, even of their own
children, to appease their angry deity. They honored their chiefs with
the title of "Suns," and their king was the "Great Sun."

Such were the Natchez Indians, as portrayed to us by history and
tradition, in the year 1700, when first visited by Iberville, the great
French pioneer. The tribe then had about twelve hundred warriors: but,
according to their own account, had been much more powerful; being
then reduced in numbers by constant wars with surrounding tribes.
So impressed was Iberville by the beauty and natural advantages of
the location, that he decided to plant a colony here. This design was
not carried into execution however, until June, 1716, when Bienville,
the brother of Iberville, built a fort within the present limits of
Natchez, and called it "Rosalie." But peaceful relations with the
Indians were of short duration, and a few preliminary murders on both
sides were followed, in 1723, by the first general outbreak of the
Indians. This was quelled by Bienville with characteristic cruelty and
severity, which inflamed the fires of hatred and revenge in the breasts
of the savages. Nor did the French adopt a policy which might have
averted a catastrophe that was soon to come; but persisted in their
course of treachery, aggression and oppression.

The Indians finally matured a plot to rid themselves of their enemies
by a general massacre. The execution of the design was doubtless
hastened by the requirement of Chopart, commandant of Fort Rosalie,
that White Apple Village, on Second Creek about twelve miles from
Natchez, should be abandoned, so that it, with its surrounding fields,
might be converted into a French plantation. On November 28th, 1729,
the Indians, by stratagem gained admission into the fort, and the
historic massacre began.

The governor general, Perrier, at New Orleans, as soon as the news was
received, at once dispatched Chevalier Lubois, with a large force from
that city to exterminate the Natchez. After a fierce but indecisive
conflict, a truce was arranged, by which the Indians surrendered the
prisoners in their hands. During the night the whole tribe crossed
to the West of the Mississippi, and entrenched themselves near the
junction of the Washita and Little rivers. Thither the vengeance of
the French still pursued them, and the destruction of this interesting
tribe is a matter of history.

It appears from the statements both of Monette and of Claiborne,
in their respective histories, that the forts in which the Indians
entrenched themselves, when attacked by Lubois after the massacre
at Fort Rosalie, were near the junction of the St. Catherine creek
with the Mississippi river. Both historians unite in stating that
after their retreat to the West of the Mississippi, Lubois erected at
Natchez near the brow of the bluffs, the terraced Fort Rosalie,--the
remains of which were plainly visible when Monette wrote, but which,
when Claiborne's history was written, had been largely effaced by the
great landslide. But some traces still remain along the front a little
distance below the Natchez compress. The name of this second Fort
Rosalie, when occupied by the English, was changed to Panmure.

Both Monette and Claiborne clearly state that this second fort was
not upon the same site as the original fort of the same name erected
by Bienville, and where the massacre took place. Monette states that
the first fort was remote from the bluffs, probably near the eastern
limits of the city. Claiborne practically confirms him, stating that
the original fort was some six hundred and seventy yards from the
river. But its exact location is not known. Local tradition, however,
erroneously points out the remains of the fort below the compress as
those of the fort where the massacre occurred. This error is doubtless
the result of confusion in the minds of persons not familiar with the
historical facts, and arising from an identity of names. Tradition was
certainly of more value years ago, when Monette and Claiborne lived,
and they must certainly have had the benefit of it.

With the destruction of the Natchez Indians, the French colony located
in their fertile country grew with great rapidity, but without
events of more than passing historical interest. But the line of
the Latin-French, claiming from the lakes to the gulf, and of the
Anglo-Saxon, claiming from ocean to ocean, had crossed, and at the
close of the great French and Indian Wars, by the treaty of Paris,
Feb. 16th, 1763, the banner of France was lowered at Fort Rosalie, and
instead the flag of England floated there, with the name changed to
Fort Panmure.

Attracted by the fertility of the country, settlers in great numbers
now began to pour in from Georgia, the Carolinas, and other English
colonies. This remote settlement was not subject to the influences
of the great American Revolution, and hither came many loyal to
the British government, or wishing to be neutral in the war of
independence. Consequently a strong English sentiment prevailed here
during that period, as evidenced by the attack on Col. Willing, in 1779.

But the English regime was of short duration. War with Spain was begun,
and in September, 1779, Galvez captured the British post at Baton
Rouge, and in its surrender Fort Panmure was included. But so strong
was the British sentiment, that the people of the Natchez district did
not quietly submit to a change of rulers, and in 1781, there was a
revolt against the Spanish power, which, however, Galvez very promptly
suppressed. By the treaty of Paris, in 1783, Great Britain ceded to
Spain all of the Floridas south of the 31st., parallel, all north of
that line being recognized by her as within the limits of the United
States, then acknowledged by her as an independent nation. But, under
the British regime, the whole front along the Mississippi River, as far
north as the mouth of the Yazoo, had been included in West Florida,
and had passed to Spain with the surrender of Baton Rouge, in 1781.
Thus being in possession by force of arms the Spaniards were loath
to evacuate in favor of the United States, and with characteristic
pertinacity retained possession till 1798, notwithstanding the treaty
of 1783, and their recognition of the 31st., parallel as the boundary
line by the treaty of Madrid in 1795.

During this period of wrongful possession, Spain dealt with this
section as if it were really a Spanish province, plainly indicating
her intention not to surrender possession except under duress. These
seventeen years form one of the most interesting chapters in the
history of Adams County. Roman Catholicism was the state religion,
and its church was the centre from which the city of Natchez was laid
out. This church was built on the spot where the store of the Natchez
Drug Company now stands. Whilst Protestants were tolerated, they were
not free in the practice of their religion. Parson Cloud, the first
Episcopal minister in this section, was persecuted and driven away,
and many interesting accounts are extant illustrative of the spirit
of Spanish bigotry and persecution. That portion of Natchez between
the church and the bluffs was reserved for residences of the Spanish
grandees,--the English, Irish, and American settlers being assigned to
other portions of the town.

There are still to be found here several old houses built during the
Spanish regime. They are recognizable from having a low brick basement
surmounted by a wooden upper story,--built as if in anticipation of
an earthquake,--a combination of residence and fortification. The old
Postlethwaite house on Jefferson street is such a one. The Spanish made
many grants of land, as though Spain were the lawful sovereign, which
grants were, however, afterwards usually recognized by the American
authorities when followed by possession. The old Spanish records in
the office of the Clerk of our Chancery Court, are a treasure store
for the antiquary and historian. These records are not quite complete,
a portion having been carried away, (it is said to Havana) by the
Spaniards when they evacuated Natchez.

But the United States would recognize no title by adverse possession
on Spain to this fair land, and finally began to vigorously assert her
rights. About Feb. 24th, 1797, Andrew Ellicott arrived at Natchez,
accompanied by a sufficient military escort and clothed with power
as commissioner of the United States to meet the representative of
Spain, to mark out the 31st parallel as the boundary between the two
dominions. He first camped near the present intersection of Wall and
Jefferson streets and there hoisted the American flag.

The Spanish governor, Gayoso, resorted to various subterfuges and
evasion to delay the fixing of the boundary line and the evacuation
of Natchez. It was not till March 29th, 1798, that the Spaniards,
after exhausting every excuse for delay, and under the influence of a
popular uprising supported by the military forces of the United States,
finally evacuated Fort Panmure. And then they left, not by the light of
day, with military honors and with martial music and banners flying;
but like thieves, at midnight they stole silently away. It was only
after this that Governor Gayoso, from New Orleans, issued commissions
to Sir William Dunbar and Capt. Stephen Minor, as commissioners for
Spain and in May, 1798, the work of surveying the 31st parallel was

The State of Georgia had all along claimed as her own a large portion
of the present State of Mississippi, including what is now the county
of Adams. This territory she had organized as the county of Bourbon in
1785, and she attempted alone to assert her rights against Spain. There
thus arose a conflict of claims between Georgia and the United States,
which was finally adjusted and Mississippi Territory organized by Act
of Congress, approved April 7th, 1798.

Natchez was made the first territorial capital, and Winthrop Sargent
was appointed the first territorial governor. Sargent, by proclamation,
on April 2d, 1799, formed the Natchez District into the two counties
of Adams and Pickering,--the latter name being afterwards changed to

Under the new regime, population and wealth increased with amazing
rapidity. Treaties were made with the Indian tribes, and great public
roads were opened up,--notably the Indian trail known as the 'Natchez
and Nashville Trace.' This was the great government mail and overland
stage route from New Orleans to the North and East, in the early days
before steamboats plied the water or railroads traversed the land.
As a natural consequence it was infested in the vicinity of Natchez
by daring highwaymen, noted among whom were the celebrated Mason and
Murrel,--heroes of bloody deeds that would have made Dick Turpin pale
with envy.

Along this route, at six mile intervals, were relay stations for
change of horses and for refreshments. The first of these was the old
town of Washington,--now a veritable deserted village. This town was
laid out and named by Ellicott, who, during the delays incident to the
evacuation of Natchez by the Spaniards had removed his camp hither to
the banks of the St. Catherine creek. He camped by a beautiful spring
that still bears his name, and which is now within the grounds of
Jefferson College. Many years ago it was arched over, and a bath-house
was supplied with its crystal water. But even the ruins of this have
all disappeared. The old town of Washington almost rivals Natchez
in its historic associations. Here in 1803 was founded Jefferson
College,--the oldest endowed institution in the Southwest, and from
whence such men as A. Gratz Brown and Jefferson Davis were sent forth
to fight the battles of life. Here also was the celebrated Elizabeth
Academy for girls. The old building was destroyed by fire nearly twenty
years ago, but its brick walls are still standing.

Washington was made the territorial capital of Mississippi by act of
the legislature on Feb. 1st, 1802. Within my memory the old brick
church (founded by the celebrated Lorenzo Dow), and which was also
used as the state-house, and in which the constitutional convention
of 1817 was held, was still standing, just within and to the right of
the entrance to the campus of Jefferson College. The ruins were sold
for old brick, and thus this interesting relic passed away. It was in
this building that the preliminary investigation of the charges against
Aaron Burr was held. He was arrested in January, 1807, near the mouth
of Coles creek, some twenty miles above Natchez, brought to Washington,
and released on bond (which he broke), with Lyman Harding and Benijah
Osmun as sureties. The room occupied by him is still pointed out in the
old Osmun residence on the "Windy Hill" plantation, now owned by Miss
E. B. Stanton. It is about five miles from Natchez.

In its day, the town of Washington was a veritable literary centre,--no
doubt due to the influence of Jefferson College and of the Mississippi
Society. Monette, the historian, and Wailes, the geologist, lived,
died and are buried here, and their old homes still remain. Ingraham,
the author of the "Pillar of Fire," at one time was a professor in
Jefferson College. A few miles distant was the home of Claiborne, the
historian, the rival and compeer of Prentiss.

At Washington Andrew Jackson was encamped in 1813, when he disobeyed
the order to there muster out his soldiers, and instead of doing so,
marched them back to Tennessee for the purpose. And here, a few days
later, were brought some of the British prisoners captured at the
great battle of New Orleans. Two miles from Washington was the home of
General Felix Huston. Within its limits is the grave of Judge Thomas

In the early days, before the institution of slavery had assumed its
subsequent gigantic proportions, resulting in the concentration of
great landed estates in the hands of a few wealthy slave-owners, Adams
county was divided into a great number of small farms, owned by white
settlers. This is evidenced by a study of the titles of the great
plantations, the records showing them to consist of consolidated farms,
in many instances. This is further evidenced by the great number of
private burying grounds scattered throughout the county adjacent to
Natchez and Washington, in which are found tombs with inscriptions
often a century old, and names without a living representative here.

But if slavery produced decadence in one way, it produced growth in
another. Adams county, and especially the suburbs of the city of
Natchez, became the home of wealthy families, owning broad acres, not
only in this but in many other counties, and in the neighboring State
of Louisiana. The beautiful description by Mrs. Hemans, of "The Stately
Homes of England," would have applied almost without change to the
ancestral residences occupied in ante-bellum days, by veritable lords
of the manor, surrounded by all the luxury and refinement which wealth
and slavery could produce. Some of these relics of an unforgotten
past, still remain, such as "Elmscourt," "Gloster," "Llangollin,"
"Longwood," "Auburn," "Inglewood," "Monmouth," "Melrose," "Arlington,"
"Somerset," "Oakland," "Manteigne," "Richmond," "Devereux," "Concord,"
"Sweet-Auburn," "Brandon-Hall," "Selma," "Green-field," "Coventry,"
"The Forest," and others. Many more have been destroyed by the
fire-fiend, and only ruins now remain. "The Forest" the home of Sir
William Dunbar, and "Selma," the original residence of the Brandon
family, were indigo plantations, in the days before cotton was king.
"Concord" is of special interest, as an old Spanish house, and the
residence of Governor Gayoso.

However, with the rapid increase in the population of the other
portions of Mississippi, the controlling influence at first exercised
by Adams County gradually disappeared. This was further affected by the
jealousy of our wealthy land owners which was felt by the inhabitants
of the newer and poorer interior counties. Finally by Act of Nov. 28th,
1820, the General Assembly gave to the present city of Jackson its name
in honor of our great Democratic warrior and statesman, and made it the
future capital of our State.

Thus the sceptre departed from Adams County; and while she has ever
maintained a position in the State of which her citizens are proud,
yet from this time she has ceased to be the political centre of
Mississippi, and the place where its history is made.

Yet hither must Mississippians ever come, as to the cradle in which
the infant State was rocked. Hither will pilgrims journey to visit our
historic shrines and to drink from the primal springs of a glorious

The immortal Prentiss won his first laurels here; and here his ashes
rest (side by side with those of Governor Sargent); while in our city
cemetery sleep Judge Joseph D. Shields, his pupil and biographer,
and the historian Claiborne, his great political antagonist. Vidal,
the last governor of despotic Spain in Louisiana, here sleeps his
last sleep in the land of the free; as does also Alvarez Fisk, the
benefactor of the schools and libraries of both Natchez and New Orleans.

Upon the rolls of our distinguished dead, besides those already
mentioned, are the names of Thomas B. Reed, Edward Turner, Gerard C.
Brandon, Christopher Rankin, Cowles Mead, Wm. B. Shields, S. S. Boyd,
John A. Quitman, John T. McMurran, Robert J. Walker, Anthony Hutchins,
George Poindexter, Lyman Harding, W. C. C. Claiborne, Adam L. Bingaman,
Dr. Cartwright, Dr. Duncan, Dr. Jenkins, John I. Guion, Andrew
Marschalk, and many others.

But it is not her public or professional men alone, who have made the
Historic Adams County of the past. "Her merchants were princes," in
the olden time, when ships from the ocean were moored at the wharves
of Natchez, bringing and taking in exchange the treasures of the
old world and the new. Here one of the first cotton compresses was
established. The old Mississippi Railroad, built in 1836, but completed
only as far as Hamburg, was the earliest in the South and one of the
oldest in the Union. Its old road-bed and massive embankments still
remain,--monuments of the enterprise of our forefathers.

Thus, even after her political supremacy had departed, Natchez still
remained the financial and commercial centre of this State. But the
great financial panic of 1836 and 1837 came, and like a cyclone swept
our prosperity away. This was followed by the terrible tornado of May
7th, 1840, which laid our city in ruins, and numbered its victims
by the hundred, and which is even yet recalled with dread upon each
recurrence of its anniversary.

I have thus endeavored to present, in epitome, an outline of the
history of Adams County, from its earliest settlement to within times
too recent to require research by the historian. I have endeavored
likewise to indicate a few of the most interesting spots which may be
visited by the student of history coming into our midst.



A writer truly and forcibly says that Americans have been much
readier to do great deeds than to record them--to make those signal
achievements that are worthy of remembrance than to be troubled with
the tediousness of writing them. If this is true anywhere, it has in
the past been unquestionably true of Southern people and Mississippians.

In a recent number of the _American Historical Review_, Albert Bushnell
Hart discussed the "Historical Opportunity of America;" and this led me
to think of the Historical Opportunity of Mississippi.

If anything great and systematic in the line of historical research
and production is to be done in Mississippi we must have organization.
The State Historical Society must have local co-operation; this can
be best effected by Auxiliary Historical Societies co-operating with
the Central Organization.[152] The local Society is the natural centre
of historical activity. We are highly gratified to report a decided
revival of interest in history-writing since the organization of
our State Society; at least there has been a revival as far as the
production of monographs and brief biographies.

The following suggestions are presented with a hope that they will
promote still further the historical work in the State:

1.--The educated young ladies of a locality can be interested in the
finding, classifying, and development of historical material; the
advanced pupils of High Schools and Colleges can be induced to prepare
monographs as a part of their literary work, and all this material
should be carefully calendared. We find as a general rule that the
editors and proprietors of our newspapers are among the most public
spirited of our citizens; they will gladly publish all local material
of historical interest. In this way duplicate printed copies of all
local material can be easily had and copies furnished for the archives
and publications of the Mississippi Historical Society.

2.--An important auxiliary to history is picture-making. Experts with
the Camera and amateur 'Kodakers' can facilitate greatly the work of
the historian by making and cataloguing pictures of important objects
and persons and depositing them in the archives of the local Society
and of the State Society, so that the future historian who may not
be able to visit the localities may yet have satisfactory knowledge
of them. By these means and others we will cultivate a spirit that
actively fosters history; we will cause search to be made for old
Manuscripts, for files of old papers and every thing that will throw
light on our past history. As the author, previously referred to,
states, valuable manuscripts ought as naturally and as readily to find
their way to the archives of history as the meteorite reaches the
Mineralogical Museum.

3.--In the past history of Mississippi, a great many very valuable
papers have been lost and destroyed because there was no known, safe
depository for them. It need not be so any longer, as the State
Historical Society has safe depositories. If we will all search for old
historical material, write up facts and incidents of importance that
have come under our observation, or otherwise to our knowledge, we will
be doing a work creditable to our own names and we shall make possible
the writing of a history that will represent in truthful aspect that
noble race of Southerners to which we are proud to belong, and we shall
show to the world the kindliness of those domestic institutions under
which have grown up the fairest and most attractive women who ever
graced human homes and the highest refinement and honor that have taken
up abode among men.

4.--I have already referred to the public spirit of the press, to
the important service it has rendered to our cause and the confidence
with which we can continue to rely upon its co-operation. In addition,
we _need_ a fund for printing the Society's transactions and those
important articles which receive the Society's endorsement. The
State Legislature would do well to make an annual appropriation of a
few hundred dollars to cover the cost of such publications and thus
encourage the interest and pride of its citizens in that history which
so intimately concerns them and their ancestors. Other states have
set us a worthy example in this important matter. We hope the next
legislature will give this matter favorable consideration.

5.--The marking of historical sights and buildings with marble or
bronze, bearing appropriate inscriptions is a matter of the liveliest
importance. To some this may seem needless, but the more we study and
observe it the more we are convinced of its educational and patriotic

One who goes to England and Scotland, and notes in their great cities
such as London and Edinburgh the numerous monuments, mural tablets and
other devices which commemorate events and characters and deeds will
understand better than ever why the Englishman and Scotchman each is
proud of his race, his government, his country.

In 1896, I visited the old town of Portsmouth, Va., and as I passed
along the main street I saw a marble slab inserted flush with the
pavement, and it told that on that spot the honored and loved Lafayette
stood when he revisited the old Commonwealth and received the grateful
greetings of a people for whom he had put his life into the perils of

The preservation of historical buildings and grounds and the devotion
of them to public and patriotic uses is of the same character and

The Ladies Association, aided by the eloquence of Edward Everett,
purchased Mt. Vernon and donated it to the sacred purposes of
patriotism. The preservation of the old church at Williamsburg, Va.,
of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, of Monticello as Jefferson left
it--all these and other things of like character not only keep alive
our interest in the great events of the past but sustain and justify
our civic pride.

Is there nothing of this kind in Mississippi that is worthy of loving
care and devotion to public use? Upon the extreme southern border of
the State, where the Magnolia blooms in its native perfection, where
the crested waves of the gulf work the sunbeams and the moon's silvery
sheen into forms of laughing beauty that suggest the noble womanly
character of the wife and the "daughter of the Confederacy," where the
roaring sea, that cannot be hushed, tells of the unconquerable spirit
of devotion to our people and their cause, that stood erect amid all
the indignities and wrongs put upon it by a vindictive and cruel foe;
here we have Beauvoir that is worthy of the care of all Mississippians,
of all Southerners, nay of all American patriots. This property
suitably marked, will furnish one of the grandest of object lessons,
pointing to a man who bravely fought for his country on foreign soil,
who stood as an embodiment of incorruptible principle and splendid
ability on the floor of the United States Senate and who headed a great
popular movement which produced the most philosophic, as well as the
most thrilling period of the history of this country and who shows us
how a great man can maintain his manliness and command respect and
admiration even in defeat and direst disaster.

Let us cultivate the spirit of history. Every intelligent citizen of
our State should take an interest in the Mississippi State Historical
Society and actively promote its objects. Let local Societies be formed
and enthusiasm in their work be engendered; let every item of historic
interest be put in typewritten or printed form and let copies be sent
to the Secretary of the Mississippi State Historical Society and other
copies lodged with the local Society. Let us be careful to mark and
preserve every object of historic interest and to emphasize its value.
Thus we shall show that we are justly proud of our race, our State and
the achievements of our ancestors.


[152] For the general plan of such organizations, see "Suggestions to
Local Historians" in the _Publication of the Mississippi Historical
Society for 1898_.--_Editor._



As Nanih Waiya is so often referred to in the folklore and traditions
of the Choctaws, the writer of this paper has deemed it not amiss to
give some account of this noted mound and, in connection therewith,
some of the legends with which it is inseparably associated.

Nanih Waiya is situated on the west side of Nanih Waiya Creek, about
fifty yards from it, in the southern part of Winston County, and about
four hundred yards from the Neshoba County line. The mound is oblong in
shape, lying northwest and southeast, and about forty feet in height.
Its base covers about an acre. Its summit, which is flat, has an area
of one-fourth of an acre. The mound stands on the southeastern edge of
a circular rampart, which is about a mile and a half in circumference.
In using the word "circular," reference is made to the original form
of the rampart, about one-half of which is utterly obliterated by the
plow, leaving only a semi-circle. This rampart is not or rather was
not, a continuous circle, so to speak, as it has along at intervals,
a number of vacant places or gaps, ranging from twenty to fifty yards
wide. According to Indian tradition, there were originally eighteen
parts or sections of the rampart, with the same number of gaps. Ten
of these sections still remain, ranging from fifty to one hundred and
fifty yards in length. All the sections near the mound have long since
been leveled by the plow, and in other places some of the sections
have been much reduced. But on the north, where the rampart traverses
a primeval forest it is still five feet high and twenty feet broad
at the base. The process of obliteration has been very great since
1877, when the writer first saw Nanih Waiya. Some of the sections that
could then be clearly traced in the field on the west have now utterly
disappeared. About two hundred and fifty yards north of Nanih Waiya
is a small mound, evidently a burial mound, as can be safely stated
from the numerous fragments of human bones that have been exhumed from
it by the plow and the hoe. The great number of stone relics, mostly
broken, scattered for hundreds of yards around Nanih Waiya, shows that
it was the site of pre-historic habitations. In addition to this,
the bullets and other relics of European manufacture evidence the
continuity of occupancy down within the historic period. The magnitude
of these ancient works--the mound and the rampart--together with the
legendary traditions connected with them, leads one irresistibly to
the conviction that this locality was the great center of the Choctaw
population during the pre-historic period. It should here be stated
that the symmetry of the mound has been somewhat marred by a tunnel
which was cut into it in the summer of 1896 by some _treasure-seekers_,
who vainly hoped to unearth some wonderful bonanza from out the deep
bosom of Nanih Waiya.

The name Nanih Waiya signifies Bending Hill. _Warrior_, the absurd
spelling and pronunciation should be repudiated by the map and the
history maker. The adjective _Waiya_ signifies "bending," "leaning
over," but it is difficult to see the appropriateness of the term as
applied to the mound. According to the conjecture of the writer, the
term was originally applied to the circular rampart, which the Choctaws
may have considered a kind of _bending hill_. And in process of time
the name could have become so extended as to be applied to the mound
and rampart conjointly, and ultimately restricted to the mound alone,
as is now the case in popular usage.

According to the classification of the archæologists, Nanih Waiya is
a pyramidal mound, which kind of mounds is found almost exclusively
in the Gulf States. The chroniclers of De Soto's expedition speak
constantly of the mounds, and of these writers, Garcilaso de la
Vega tells us exactly how and why they were made. According to his
statement, in building a town, the natives first erected a mound two
or three pikes in height, the summit of which was made large enough
for twelve, fifteen or twenty houses to lodge the cacique and his
attendants. At the foot of the mound was laid off the public square,
which was proportioned to the size of the town. Around the square the
leading men had their houses, whilst the cabins of the common people
stood around the other side of the mound. From the "lay" of the land,
the writer is satisfied that the public square at Nanih Waiya was on
the north, between the mound and the small burial mound. In regard to
the rampart, it was, no doubt, surmounted by palisades, as De Soto's
writers particularly describe the palisaded walls, which surrounded the
Indian towns. As to the gaps in the rampart, the writer is convinced
that these gaps were left designedly as places for the erection of
wooden forts or towers, as additional protections to the town. The
Knight of Elvas describes the town of Pachaha as being "very great,
walled, and beset with towers, and many loop-holes were in the towers
and the wall." La Vega mentions the towers made at intervals of fifty
paces apart in the stockade wall of Maubila, each tower capable of
holding eight men. Dupratz describing the circular stockade forts which
he had seen among the Southern Indians, expressly states that "at every
forty paces a circular tower juts out." Other statements from early
writers could be given showing that wooden towers were built along at
intervals in the stockade walls that surrounded the ancient towns of
the Southern Indians. These statements, no doubt, give us the correct
solution to the mystery of the gaps in the earthen rampart at Nanih

While there can be no doubt but Nanih Waiya was the residence of the
cacique and his attendants, in accordance with the statements of La
Vega, other statements induce the belief that the summit of this mound
was sometimes used as a place of sun-worship. Sun-worship, it should
here be especially noted, was not performed as an isolated ceremony,
so to speak, but came in as part of the programme in the transaction
of all tribal business, both civil and military. The Choctaws were
sun-worshippers, as were all the other branches of the Choctaw-Muscogee
family. They regarded the sun as the type or essence of the Great
Spirit. And as the Sun, or rather Sun-God, warms, animates and vivifies
everything, he is the Master or Father of Life, or, to use the Choctaw
expression, "_Aba Inki_," "the Father above." In like manner, according
to their belief, as everything here below came originally from the
earth, she is the mother of creation. Sun-worship, it may here be
stated, prevailed to some extent, though in a much attenuated form, as
late as seventy years ago among the Choctaws, as is evidenced by the
actions of the Choctaws of that day during an eclipse of the sun. Even
at the present day some faint traces of this sun-worship may be seen
in the antics of a Choctaw prophet at a ball play. The chroniclers
of De Soto's expedition give us frequent hints as to the prevalence
of sun-worship among the Indian tribes of the countries which the
Spanish army traversed. Two centuries later, William Bartram, in his
description of the Creek rotunda, which was erected upon an artificial
mound, gives an elaborate account of the ceremonies in the rotunda
connected with partaking of the black drink. He states that the chief
first puffed a few whiffs from the sacred pipe, blowing the whiffs
ceremoniously upward towards the sun, or, as it was generally supposed,
to the Great Spirit, and then puffing the smoke from the pipe towards
the four cardinal points. The pipe was then carried to different
persons and smoked by them in turn.

Imagination, perhaps, would not err, if going back a few centuries,
we could depict scenes similar to this as often enacted upon the flat
summit of Nanih Waiya. And, perhaps, the superstitious reverence
which the Choctaws have ever manifested towards this mound may be a
dim traditionary reminiscence of its once having been a great tribal
center of solar worship. The aboriginal mind, in sun-worship, from
viewing the sun as the Father of Life, as without the light and warmth
of the sun nothing would spring into existence, no doubt instinctively
turned to the earth as the Mother of Creation. If there was a father
there must be a mother. In the course of time, what more natural that
the pre-historic villagers living at the base of Nanih Waiya, with its
tremendous pile ever looming up before their eyes, should finally come
to regard it as the mother of their race. As far back as history and
tradition run, Nanih Waiya has ever thus been regarded by the untutored
Choctaws of Mississippi. During the various emigrations from the State,
many Choctaws declared that they would never go west and abandon their
mother; and that just as long as Nanih Waiya stood, they intended to
stay and live in the land of their nativity.

There is another evidence that Nanih Waiya was a great national center
during the pre-historic period. The ravages of civilization have
still spared some traces of two broad, deeply worn roads or highways
connected with the mound, in which now stand large oak trees. The
remnant of one of these highways, several hundred yards long, can be
seen on the east side of the creek, running toward the southeast. The
other is on the west side of the creek, the traces nearest the mound
being at the northeastern part of the rampart, thence running towards
the north. Many years ago this latter road was traced by an old citizen
of Winston county full twenty miles to the north until it was lost in
Noxubee swamp, in the northeastern part of Winston County. These are
the sole traces of the many highways, that no doubt, in pre-historic
times, centered at Nanih Waiya.

Nanih Waiya is a prominent feature in the migration legend of the
Choctaws, of which there are several versions. While the versions all
agree, to some extent, in their main features, as the immigration
from the west or northwest, the prophet and his sacred pole, and the
final settlement at Nanih Waiya, there is still much diversity in the
respective narratives in regard to the details and other minutiae.
The most circumstantial narrative is that of the Rev. Alfred Wright,
published in an issue of the _Missionary Herald_ of 1828. The version
given in Colonel Claiborne's "_Mississippi_," pages 483, 484, is a
very unsatisfactory version. The writer of this paper wrote this
version in 1877, and sent it to Colonel Claiborne, who inserted it in
his history. It was taken down from the lips of Mr. Jack Henry, an
old citizen of Okitibbeha County, he stating that he had received it
in early life from an Irishman, who had once lived among the Choctaws
and who had heard the legend from an old Choctaw woman. As will be
seen, the legend was transmitted through several memories and mouths
before being finally recorded in printer's ink. It came not direct from
Choctaw lips, and no doubt, was unconsciously colored, or its details
imperfectly remembered in its transmission through the memories of
the two white men. The version which is given below came direct from
the lips of the Rev. Peter Folsom, a Choctaw from the nation west,
who was employed in 1882 by the Baptists of Mississippi to labor as a
missionary among the Mississippi Choctaws. Mr. Folsom stated that soon
after finishing his education in Kentucky, one day in 1833, he visited
Nanih Waiya with his father and while at the mound his father related
to him the migration legend of his people, which according to Mr.
Folsom, runs as follows:

In ancient days the ancestors of the Choctaws and the Chickasaws
lived in a far western country, under the rule of two brothers, named
Chahta and Chikasa. In process of time, their population becoming very
numerous, they found it difficult to procure substance in that land.
Their prophets thereupon announced that far to the east was a country
of fertile soil and full of game, where they could live in ease and
plenty. The entire population resolved to make a journey eastward in
search of that happy land. In order more easily to procure subsistence
on their route, the people marched in several divisions of a day's
journey apart. A great prophet marched at their head, bearing a pole,
which, on camping at the close of each day, he planted erect in the
earth, in front of the camp. Every morning the pole was always seen
leaning in the direction they were to travel that day. After the lapse
of many moons, they arrived one day at Nanih Waiya. The prophet planted
his pole at the base of the mound. The next morning the pole was seen
standing erect and stationary. This was interpreted as an omen from
the Great Spirit that the long sought-for land was at last found. It
so happened, the very day that the party camped at Nanih Waiya that a
party under Chikasa crossed the creek and camped on its east side. That
night a great rain fell, and it rained several days. In consequence of
this all the low lands were inundated, and Nanih Waiya Creek and other
tributaries of Pearl River were rendered impassable.

After the subsidence of the waters, messengers were sent across
the creek to bid Chikasa's party return, as the oracular pole had
proclaimed that the long sought-for land was found and the mound was
the center of the land. Chikasa's party, however, regardless of the
weather, had proceeded on their journey, and the rain having washed all
traces of their march from off the grass, the messengers were unable to
follow them up and so returned to camp. Meanwhile, the other divisions
in the rear arrived at Nanih Waiya, and learned that here was the
center of their new home, their long pilgrimage was at last finished.
Chikasa's party, after their separation from their brethren under
Chahta, moved on to the Tombigbee, and eventually became a separate
nationality. In this way the Choctaws and the Chickasaws became two
separate, though kindred nations.

Such is Mr. Folsom's version of the Choctaw migration legend. This
national legend is now utterly forgotten by the modern Choctaws living
in Mississippi. All, however, look upon Nanih Waiya as the birthplace
and cradle of their race. She is "ishki chito," "the great mother."
In the very center of the mound, they say, ages ago, the Great
Spirit created the first Choctaws, and through a hole or cave, they
crawled forth into the light of day. Some say that only one pair was
created, but others say that many pairs were created. Old Hopahkitubbe
(Hopakitobi), who died several years ago in Neshoba County, was wont to
say that after coming forth from the mound, the freshly-made Choctaws
were very wet and moist, and that the Great Spirit stacked them along
on the rampart, as on a clothes line, so that the sun could dry them.

Soon after the creation, the Great Spirit divided the Choctaws into two
"iksa," the "Kashapa Okla," and the "Okla in Holahta," or "Hattak in
Holahta." Stationing one iksa on the north and the other on the west
side of the sacred mound, the Great Spirit then gave them the law of
marriage which they were forever to keep inviolate. This law was that
children were to belong to the iksa of their mother, and that one must
always marry into the opposite iksa. By this law a man belonging to the
Kashapa Okla must marry a woman of the Okla in Holahta. The children
of this marriage belong, of course, to the iksa of their mother, and
whenever they marry it must be into the opposite iksa. In like manner
a man belonging to the Okla in Holahta must marry a woman of the
Kashapa Okla, and the children of this marriage from Kashapa Okla must
marry into the Okla in Holahta. Such was the Choctaw law of marriage,
given, they say, by Divine authority at Nanih Waiya just after the
creation of their race. The iksa lived promiscuously throughout the
nation, but as every one knew to which iksa he belonged, no matrimonial
mistake could possibly occur. This iksa division of the Choctaws still
exists in Mississippi, but is slowly dying out under the influence of
Christianity, education, and other results of contact with the white

The Choctaws, after their creation lived for a long time upon
the spontaneous productions of the earth until at last maize was
discovered, as they say, on the south side of Bogue Chito, a few
miles distant from Nanih Waiya. There are several versions of the
corn-finding myth, in all of which a crow and a child are main factors.
Some of the versions state particularly that the crow came from the
south, "Oka mahli imma minti tok." Other versions are silent on this
point. The version here given is a translation by the writer of a
version which was written down for him in the Choctaw language by
Ilaishtubbee (Ilaishtobi), a Six Towns Indian. It is as follows:

A long time ago it thus happened. In the very beginning a crow got a
single grain of corn from across the great water, brought it to this
country and gave it to an orphan child, who was playing in the yard.
The child named it _tauchi_, (corn). He planted it in the yard. When
the corn was growing up, the child's elders merely had it swept around.
But the child, wishing to have his own way, hoed it, hilled it, and
laid it by. When this single grain of corn grew up and matured, it
made two ears of corn. And in this way the ancestors of the Choctaws
discovered corn.

"The great water" referred to in the above myth is the Gulf of Mexico.
"Okachito," "great water," is the term invariably applied by the
Mississippi Choctaws to the Gulf. If there are any traces of historic
truth in the myth, we may infer that it contains a tradition of the
introduction of corn into the Choctaw country across the Gulf of
Mexico, from South America or from the West Indies. Professor J. W.
Harshberger, in his monograph on the nativity and distribution of maize
concludes that its earliest home was in Central America, whence it
spread north and south over the continents of America. In his map in
which he gives the lines of travel by which maize was distributed, he
has two lines in South America. One of these lines extends southward
between the Andes and the Pacific as far down as Chili. The second
line, after leaving the Isthmus of Panama, goes eastward along the
north coast of South America until it enters Venezuela. From Venezuela,
it goes to the West Indies and from the West Indies to Florida. This
line of maize distribution harmonizes with the Choctaw tradition
embodied in the myth that maize came into the Choctaw country from
across "the great water," that is, from across the Gulf of Mexico. We
learn from the early Spanish writers that there was intercommunication
between the natives of Cuba and those of Florida. This being the case,
corn could have been introduced among the pre-historic peoples of
the Gulf states, across the Gulf, directly or indirectly from South
America. To add completeness to the matter, according to Professor
Harshberger's map, maize was introduced among the ancient peoples of
the States lying north of the Gulf States by a line of distribution
running from northern Mexico. It may be still further added that maize
was certainly introduced into the Gulf States and into the Mississippi
Valley before the beginning of the mound-building era, for only a
sedentary agricultural people were capable of building the mounds.

Returning from this digression, the question may be asked, when was
Nanih Waiya built, who were its builders, and how long was it in
building? As to the last question, it would be a moderate estimate
to say that it would take two Irishmen, equipped with spades and
wheelbarrows, full ten years of constant toil to build Nanih Waiya
and its rampart. The evidence shows that the earth used in making the
mound was carried at least one hundred yards--an additional amount of
toil that must be taken into consideration in making an estimate of the
time consumed in building Nanih Waiya. Furthermore, it can be safely
stated that the two supposed Irishmen could accomplish as much in one
hour in the way of dirt-piling as three pre-historic natives with their
rude tools of wood and stone, and baskets or skins for carrying the
earth, could accomplish in one day. Nanih Waiya then must have been a
long time in building. There must have been frequent interruptions of
work to allow its builders time to raise crops, or in some manner to
procure their supplies of food. The probabilities are, that while the
work of building the rampart and the towers was carried on continuously
until they were completed, so as to have the people of the place
well protected from their foes, the work of building the mound was
a gradual one. A small or moderate sized mound may first have been
built for the cacique and his attendants. In course of time, perhaps
by his successor, the mound may have been made larger and higher, each
succeeding cacique adding to its size until it attained its present
dimensions. In short, the mound may have been the successive work of
two or three generations.

As to the builders of Nanih Waiya, all the evidence shows that they
were Choctaws. There is no evidence that any race preceded the Choctaws
in the occupancy of Central Mississippi. And it is not at all probable
that the Choctaws would have held this mound in such excessive
reverence if it had been built by an unknown or alien·race.

During the decadence of the mound-building custom, the mounds were
gradually made smaller and many of these small mounds reveal relics
of European manufacture, thus giving indisputable evidence of their
modern age. From these facts it can be safely assumed that the larger
the mound, the greater, presumably, is its antiquity. Nanih Waiya then,
being the largest mound in Central Mississippi, may possibly date back
to about fifteen hundred years ago, as the fifth century is given by
the archæologists as the beginning of the mound-building age, which
age lasted about one thousand years. It may be sufficient to say that
Nanih Waiya is very old and was built by the Choctaws themselves, or
possibly, granting it a very remote antiquity, by the primordial stock,
from which, by subsequent differentiation, the various branches of the
Choctaw-Muscogee family were formed.

In regard to the modern history of the mound, one event may be placed
on record. At some time in 1828, at the instance by Colonel Greenwood
Leflore, a great national council of the Choctaws convened at Nanih
Waiya. The object of this council was the making of new laws so as to
place the Choctaws more in harmony with the requirements of modern
civilization. On this occasion severe laws were enacted against
drunkenness and against the practice of executing women as witches.
This assembly is remarkable as being the only known national Indian
council held at Nanih Waiya within the historic period. How many
Indian councils similar to this the mound may have witnessed in the
pre-historic past can never be known.

This imperfect sketch of the Choctaw sacred mound is brought to a close
with a hope, that, as long as Mississippi stands, so long may Nanih
Waiya stand, steadfast and immovable, the greatest of Mississippi's
pre-historic monuments.



  Aberdeen$1 $20

  Aberdeen Cathedral, 85n

  Abou Ben Adhem, 30

  Abraham, 70

  Adams, 49

  Adams County, 142, 170, 176, 177, 207, 218

  Adams, George, 152, 153, 161

  Adams, Daniel, 162n

  Adams, Wirt,    162n

  Addison, 19

  Affleck, 202

  Africa, 86

  Agricultural & Mechanical College, 124

  Alabama, 72, 113, 127, 131, 148, 151n, 152n, 168, 185

  Alabama Historical Society, 157

  Alabama History:
    Brewer's, 151n, 153
    Colonial Mobile, 158n
    Memorial Record, 152n
    Picket's, 151n

  Alabama River, 158

  Alcorn, Gov. J. L., 121, 196, 197

  Alexandria, 176

  Allan-Bane, 71

  Allan, James Lane, 8

  "Alone," a poem, 33

  Alston's Lake, 163

  Altamaha, 127, 128

  America, 113, 125, 126

  American, 17, 20, 159, 212, 219

  American fiction, Library of, 66

  American Historical Association, Publication of, 94n

  American Historical Review, 159n, 219

  American Philosophical Society, 93, 95, 105, see _Transaction_

  Ames, Gov. Adelbert, 122, 189, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199

  Amite River, 86, 165

  Anderson, Mrs. Albert, 67

  Anderson, Thomas D., 153

  Animalculæ, Account of, 98

  Annalen of Physics, 98

  Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 86n

  Archer, Judge Stevenson, 149, 162

  Archives, 94

  Aristotle, 16

  Arkansas River, 105

  "Arlington," 216

  Arthur's Home Journal, 31

  Ashly, 160

  Asia, 101

  Astronomy, 26

  Atlantic Monthly, 38, 67

  "Attala," 207

  Attorneys, Federal in Mississippi, 153, 154

  "Auburn," 216

  Augustan Age of literature, 15, 16

  Austin, Mississippi, 66

  Bailey, 86

  Bailiff, J. S., 196

  Bance River, 158

  Banks, Sir Joseph, 102

  Banks, Sulton, 179, 183

  Bantam River, 25

  Baptist, 160, 228

  "Bard of the Quarters," 20

  Barksdale, E., 121n, 194

  Barksdale, W. R., 196, 197

  Burnet, Daniel, 166

  Barton, Dr. Benjamin Smith, 99

  Barton, 'Squire, 65

  Bartram, 91, 101, 110, 226

  Baton Rouge, 86, 87, 88, 100, 211

  Bayou Tunica, 162, 163

  Beacon Hill, 49

  Beaver Creek, 165

  Beauvoir, 72

  Beechers, The, 24, 25

  Beers, Prof., 17

  Bedford's Magazine, 75

  Bell, Mrs. Helen D., 5, 201

  "Bellman," The of, '76 27

  Benbroke, Dr., 204

  "Bench and Bar of Mississippi," 147n, 150n, 151n, 152n, 153n

  Benjamin, Judah P., 73

  Benoist, Gabriel, 160

  Benson, 77

  Berkeley, Governor, 12

  Bernard, Joseph, 160

  Beverly Farm, 39

  Bienville, 209

  Big Bayou Sara, 165

  Bingaman, Adam L., 217

  Black Creek, 166

  Bledsoe, Oscar F., 154

  Blount, I. T., 196

  "Blue and the Gray," The, 32, 38

  Blythe, Andrew K., 154

  Bogue Chito, 165, 230

  Boileau, 16

  Bondurant, Prof., A. L., 5, 43

  Bonner, Dr. Charles,   43, 44, 45

  Bonner, Ruth Martin, 45

  Bonner, Samuel Wilson, 45

  Bonner, Sherwood, 43-68

  Borneo, 101

  Boston, 48, 49, 51, 52, 56, 174

  Boston Courier, 66, 67

  Boston Ploughman, 47

  Boundary line (31 degree), 92, 93, 111, 125, 157, 168, 212

  Bourbon County, 128

  Boyer, Captain John, 160

  Boyd, 43

  Boyd, Miss Anna W., 176

  Boyd, S. S., 217

  Brabston, Miss Martha B., 177

  Branch, Miss Virginia, 202

  Brandon, Gerard, Esq., 5, 207

  Brandon, Gov. Gerard C., 210

  "Brandon-Hall," 216

  Breazeale, D. W., 179

  "Breer Rabbit," 45

  Brewer's History of Alabama, 151n, 153n

  Briant, John W., 170

  Briggs, 107

  Bristol, 21

  Broome, Mrs. Dr., 202

  "Brotherhood for the Diffusion of Light," 83

  Brough, Prof. C. H., 3, 5, 113

  Brown, Gov. A. G., 214

  Browne, 107

  Bruin, Judge Peter Bryan, 148, 149, 150

  Bryant, W. C., 17

  Buckatanne River, 158

  Bunker Hill, 174

  Burnet, Daniel, 179, 180

  Burns, Robert, 9, 16

  "Burning Casque," a poem, 37

  Burr, Aaron, 151n, 214

  Burruss, Rev. John C., 172, 174

  Bush, 82

  Butterworth, Samuel F., 153

  Byron, 16, 39, 41, 70

  Cable, George W., 8, 55

  Calhoun, John C., 24

  California, 152n, 175

  Calusa, California, 152n

  Calvit, Thomas, 179

  Campbell, Anthony, 154

  Campbell, Judge David, 149, 152

  Cane, Account of, 96, 97

  Capen, Nahum, 47, 48

  Carolinas, The, 211

  Carolinians, 24, 126

  Carondelet, Baron de, 159, 163

  Carpet-bag government, 121, 122, 189, 192, 196

  Cartwright, Dr., 217

  "Case of Eliza Blelock," The, a sketch, 57

  Cashell, Miss Julia, 202

  Catchings T. C., 196

  Catholicism, 211

  Cavalier, 24

  Centennial Hymn, 32

  Chahta, 228, 229

  Chalmers, George, 86

  Chalmer, 194

  Chalmette, 12

  Chapman, 18

  Charles I, 126

  Charles II, 126

  Charles III, 159

  Charles IV, 159

  Charleston, South Carolina, 18, 19, 204

  Charlotte County, 87

  Chase, C. K., 195

  Chateaubriand, 207

  Chattahoochee, 125, 130, 159, 167, 168

  Chatterton, Thomas, 16, 17, 21

  Chaucer, 9, 11

  Chester, Gov. Peter, 86, 87

  Chew, Miss Sarah R., 176

  Chickianoce river, 159

  Chickasawhay, 115, 166

  Chikasa, 228, 229

  Chinese History, 81

  Chipola river, 167

  Choctaws, see _Indians_.

  Choctaw River, 167

  Choctawhatchee, 167

  Chopart, 209

  Christmas,   29

  "Christmas Night at the Quarters," 9

  Civil War, 13, 20, 118, 190

  Claiborne, Wm. C. C., 179, 217

  Claiborne, Col. J. F. H., 86n, 89, 91, 177, 209, 210, 215, 217, 228

  Claiborne's "Mississippi as a Province, Territory and State,"
    86n, 87n, 88n, 89n, 147n, 148n, 150n, 151n, 152n

  Clarke, Doctor, 83

  Clarke, Gov. Charles, 194

  Clarke, Daniel, 94, 160

  Clarke, Justice, 142

  Clarksville, 162

  Clayton, Judge A. M., 147n, 150, 153

  Clinton, 195

  Cloud, Parson, 212

  Coenecuh, 167

  Coleridge, 16, 17

  Coles Creek, 214

  "Colonel Dunwoddie, Millionaire," 55

  Colonial Mobile, 158n, 165n

  Columbian Exposition, 23

  Columbus, 26, 28

  "Come to the South," a poem, 31

  Comite, 165

  Commissioner, American, 93

  Commissioner, Spanish, 213

  Common School Fund, 123

  Companies, Land, 128, 129

  Comus, Queen of, 71

  "Concord," 216

  Conant, 53

  Confederacy, Daughter of, 69, 84

  Confederacy, Taxation in, 113

  Confederate currency, 120

  Confederate government,   150

  Confederate soldiers, 119

  Confederate treasury notes, 119

  Congress, 91, 105, 107, 113, 125, 129, 148, 149, 179, 183, 185, 187, 213

  Congress, Library of, 86n, 87n

  Connecticut, 24, 36, 42

  Constitutional Conventions, 118n, 120, 121n, 214

  Cook, Rev. Valentine, 174

  Cosby, Miss Martha, 176

  Corn-finding Myth of the Choctaws, 230, 231

  "Cotter's Saturday Night," a poem, 9

  Cotton bale, 88, 111

  Cotton culture, 88

  Cotton press, 88, 89, 111

  Cotton-seed oil, 89

  Cotton tree, account of, 96

  County indigent fund, 119

  "Coventry," 216

  Covington, Alexander, 170

  Dabney, Thomas, 45

  Darlings' Creek, 165

  "David Copperfield," 11

  Davis, 160

  Davis, Fielding, 155

  Davis, Jefferson, 72, 75, 153n, 190, 214

  Davis, Mrs. Jefferson, 69n, 70, 71, 75, 81

  Davis, Mrs. M. E. M., 12

  Davis, "Miss Winnie," 69-84

  Dearborn, 106, 107

  Debtor's prison, 136

  Decameron, 51

  Delaware, 151

  Demarcation, Line of, 92, 93, 95n, 111, 125

  Democrat, 29

  Democratic Campaign of 1875 in Mississippi,   194, 195

  Democratic Party, 202, 216

  Derblay, Philippe, 78

  "De Soto and his Men in the Land of Florida," 12

  De Soto's expedition, 224, 225, 226

  "Devereux," 216

  "Devil's Punch Bowls," 208

  Dexter, Colonel, 64

  "Dialect Tales," 57n

  Dickens, 11, 19, 39

  Dinsmore, 107

  Dickson, Samuel W., 154

  Direct Taxes, 120

  District of Columbia, 160

  Dixon, Roger, 160

  Dodo, 77

  Dolland, 161

  Doric, 10

  Dow, Lorenzo, 214

  Drake, Rev. B. M., 172

  Drake, Mrs. B. M., 177

  Dryden, 15, 16

  "Dukesborough Tales," 10

  Dunbar family, 85n

  Dunbar, Sir Archibald 85

  Dunbar, Sir William, 85-111, 161, 162, 163, 165, 180, 183, 213, 216

  Dubuisson, C. S., 201, 204

  Duncan, Dr., 217

  Dupratz, 96, 225

  Durale, Martin, 102

  "Dying Year," The, a poem, 35

  East Florida, 128

  Education in Mississippi, 179, 180

  Education, Female, in Mississippi,
   169, 170, 177

  "Egean," The, a poem, 27

  Eggleston, 56

  Egypt, 56, 102

  Elizabeth Female Academy, 169-178, 214

  Elgin Cathedral, 85

  Ellicott, Andrew, 93, 94, 95-98, 159, 163, 165-168, 212, 214

  Ellicott's Journal, 93, 94n, 159n, 160, 161, 165n

  Ellicott's Springs, 183, 214

  Ellis, John, 179, 180

  Ellis, Roger, 44, 64

  Ellis, Powhatan, 152

  Elmscourt, 216

  Elvas, Knight of, 225

  Ely, Prof., 118

  Emancipation in Mississippi, Law regulating, 141

  Emerald Mound, 203, 204, 207

  Emerson, 10, 47, 49

  Emmet, Robert, 74

  England, 8, 9, 17, 18, 75, 113, 126, 136, 148, 151n, 159, 215

  English, The, 16, 19, 70, 210, 212

  English poetry, 13, 16, 17

  English Romantic Movement, 21

  Epidemic, yellow fever, 39

  Episcopal clergyman, 26, 30, 212

  Escambia River, 167

  "Essay on Self-Reliance," 10

  Europe, 56, 98, 103, 144

  Eurycleia, 57

  Evacuation of Natchez by the Spaniards,   160, 213, 214

  Everett, Alexander, 96

  Exemption from taxation, 119, 120

  "Experiment in Chinese Money," An, 81

  Exposition, at New Orleans, 71

  "Exposition on one of the Commandments," An, 47

  Farrar, Thomas, 204

  Featherston, Gen. W. S., 190, 193, 194, 196, 197

  "Federal Courts, Judges, Attorneys and Marshals in
    Mississippi," 147, 155

  Ferrell, Prof. C. C., 5, 69

  Ferrer, Jose Joaquin de,   98

  Fewell, John W., 196

  Fielding, 19

  "Fight of Coilantogle Ford," 71

  Fisk, Alvarez, 217

  Fiske, Dr. Wilbur, 174

  Fitts, Judge Oliver, 149, 152

  Fitts, James Harris, 152n

  Fitz, Gideon, 152n

  Fletcher, Thomas, 155, 204

  Flint River, 167

  Florida, 131, 161, 167, 168

  Floridas, 211

  "Flowers of the South," A, 47

  "Flush Times," 43

  Folsom, Rev. Peter, 228

  "Forest," The, 88, 98, 100, 109, 110, 216

  "Forge Master," The, 77

  Foreman, Miss Sarah M., 176

  Forshey, Prof., 204

  Fort Adams, 107

  Fort Confederation, 158

  Fort Panmure, see _Panmure_.

  Fort Rosalie, see _Rosalie_.

  Fort St. Stephens, 158

  Fort Sumpter, 191

  Foster, James,    183

  Foster, John, 183

  Fox, John, Jr., 8, 12

  Fox, Miss Eliza A., 176

  France, 51, 128, 131

  Frank Leslie's Journal, 47

  Frazee, Rev. Bradford, 172

  Freedman's' Savings Bank, 122

  Freedman, John D., 152n

  French, 9, 16, 71, 90, 209

  French and Indian War, 127, 210

  French Revolution, 11, 159

  Fretwell, Miss May A., 176

  "From '60 to '65," 56

  "Frosted Pane," The, a poem, 38

  Fulton, Chancellor R. B., 3

  Gaillard, Isaac, 160

  Gaines, Richard M., 153, 154

  Galileo, 104

  Galloway, Bishop Charles B., 5, 169

  Galvez, 87, 158, 211

  Garcilaso de la Vega, 226

  Garrison, William Lloyd, 49

  Gayoso, Governor, 91, 92n, 159, 160, 162, 163, 166, 212, 213, 216

  George II, 126

  George III, 128

  George, Sen. J. Z., 190, 194

  Georgia, 72, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 151, 152, 160, 211, 213

  "Georgia Scenes," 10

  Goethe, 16, 78

  German, 50, 98

  Germany, 71, 75

  "Gettysburg" a poem, 32, 33

  Gholson, Judge Samuel J., 150, 153

  Gibson, Randall, 183

  Gilbert's "Annalen of Physics," 98

  Gillespie, David, 160, 161, 162, 165, 166, 167

  Gilmer's Georgians, 151n

  Glasgow, 86

  "Glimpses of the Past," 201-206

  "Globe Trotter," The, 82

  "Gloster," 216

  Godoy, 159

  Goodspeed's Memoirs of Mississippi, 147n, 151n, 152n, 153n

  Gordon, General, 72

  Gothic, 10, 45

  Govan, Hon. George M., 196

  Government aid to science, 104, 105, 107

  Graham, Samuel, 184

  "Gran' Mammy Stories," 51, 55, 57, 62

  Grant, Gen. U. S., 195, 198

  "Grave of Hale," The, a poem, 27

  Gray, 17

  Grayson, Beverly R., 170, 171

  Great Britain, 125, 126, 128, 131, 157, 158, 211

  Greece, 18

  "Greece," a poem, 27

  Greek tragedy, 81

  Greeks, The, 13, 16

  "Green-field," 216

  Green, Abner, 160, 179

  Green, Mrs. Geo. F., 92n, 105n

  Green, Mrs. Sallie B. Morgan, 152n

  Green, Thomas, 160

  Greenwich, 100

  Greenville, in Jefferson county, 183

  Grenada, 39, 52

  Griffith, Richard, 155

  Griffith, William B., 153

  Grosse Point, 158

  Grub Street, 47

  Guion, John I., 217

  Gulf Coast, Storms of the, 100

  Guthrie, 82

  Gwin, William M., 154

  Haddley, 166

  Hadley, Mrs. T. B. J., 202

  Halbert, H. S., 5, 223

  Halbrook, Major, 187

  Hale, E. E., 108

  "Hale," The Grave of, a poem, 27

  Hall, J. G., 196

  Hamburg, 217

  Hamilton, Peter J., 5, 157

  Hamlet, 75

  Hanes, John, 154

  Harding, Lyman, 214, 217

  Harpel, 52, 38

  Harper's Library of American Fiction, 66

  Harper's Monthly, 56, 62, 67

  Harper's Weekly, 53

  Harris, Horatio J., 154

  Harris, Joel Chandler, 8, 20

  Harris, Wiley P., 190, 193

  Hart, Albert Bushnell, 90n, 219

  Harte, Bret, 11

  Hatchatigbee Bluff, 158

  Havana, 212

  Hawkins, Colonel, 167

  Hawthorne, 47, 77

  Hayne, Paul H., 18, 66

  "Heart of the War," The, a poem, 38

  Heath, Sir Robert, 126

  Hemans, Mrs., 215

  Henry, Jack, 228

  Herndon, Blythe, 44, 64

  Herndon, Mrs., 64

  Herschel, Sir William, 91

  Hewett, Miss Mary C., 176

  "Hieronymus Pop and the Baby," a sketch, 57

  Hill, Judge R. A., 153

  "Historic Adams County," 207-218

  "Historical Element in Recent Southern Literature," 7-14

  Historical Material, Classification of, 219

  Historical novels, 7, 8, 11

  "Historical Opportunity of Mississippi," The, 219, 222

  "History of Democracy," 47

  History of Mississippi, 13,
    see also _Mississippi History_.

  Hitchcock, Dr., 204

  Hocket, 160

  Holland, J. G., 39

  Holly Springs, 45, 47, 48, 52, 124, 193

  Holmes, David, 171

  Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 39, 49

  Homer, 13, 18

  Hong Kong, 82, 83

  Hooks, Dr., 100

  Hopahkitubbe, 229

  Hooper, Parson, 77

  "Hope," Lines on, 30

  Horace, 16, 78

  "Horse-Shoe Robinson," 11

  Hot Springs, Account of, 106, 111

  Houston, Felix, 153

  Howe, W. W., 152n

  Huddleston, G. B., 196

  Huguenot, 24

  Hunt, Fidelis S., 155

  Hunter, 86, 91

  Hughes, Felix, 179

  Hutchins, Anthony, 160, 179, 217

  Huston, Gen. Felix, 215

  "Hymns to the Gods," 9

  Iberville, 208, 209

  "Idylls of the King," The, 41

  "If Tongues Were Steel," a poem, 34

  Ilaishtubbee, 230

  Iliad, 30

  Illinois, 56, 151n

  Impeachment of Gov. Ames, 197-199

  Indians, 56

    Chickasaw, 229
    Choctaw, 157, 164, 223
    Choctaw-Muscogee, 226, 233
    Creek, 160, 164, 167
    Natchez, 205, 208-210
    Osage, 105

  Indian language of signs, 99

  Indian titles to land, 130

  Indian trade, 86

  Indigo culture, 88, 216

  Industrial Institute and College, 124

  Inge, Dr., 204

  "Inglewood," 216

  Ingraham, Rev. J. H., 215

  "In Memoriam," a poem, 30

  Inoculation, 101

  Ireland, 43, 74, 176

  Irish, 212, 228

  "Irish Knight of the Nineteenth Century," 74

  Irving, Washington, 47

  Isabel, 76, 78

  Italy, 9, 47

  Italian, 9

  Jackson, Gen. Andrew, 215

  Jackson, Gen. "Stonewall," 12

  Jackson, Mississippi, 149, 177, 193, 194, 196-198, 202, 216

  Jamaica, 86

  James I, 75

  Jay's treaty, 159

  Jefferson College, 91, 179-188, 214, 215

  Jefferson County, 183, 213

  Jefferson, Thomas, 12, 90, 91, 94, 95, 99, 100-106, 108, 109

  Jenkins, Dr., 217

  Jenkins, Major William Dunbar, 85n, 93n

  Johnson, 19

  Johnson, Henry G., 154

  Johnston, Colonel Richard Malcolm, 10

  Johnston, Colonel William Preston, 18, 75

  Johnston, Miss Mary, 12

  Jones, Judge Obadiah, 148, 149, 151, 152

  Jones, Prof. R. W., 3, 5, 219

  Jordan, Charles R., 155

  Judges of Mississippi,
      Territorial, 150-152
      Federal District, 152, 153
    Confederate District, 153

  Justice, Department of, 147n

  "Just Twenty-Two," a poem, 36, 37

  Kansas, 82

  Karlsruhe, 71

  "Katie Did," a poem, 36, 37

  Kavanaugh, Bishop H. H., 175

  Kavanaugh, Mrs. H. H., 177

  Keats, 17

  Keavy, Mrs. Ellen V., 176

  Kempe, Colonel James, 74

  Kennedy, John Pendleton, 7, 18

  "Kentuckians," The, 12

  Kentucky, 88, 151, 172, 174, 185, 228

  Kerr, Judge David, 148, 149, 151, 179, 180

  Kimball, Frederick, 160

  Kimbrough, Judge B. T., 3

  Kincannon, Andrew A., 154

  King, Miss Grace, 8, 12

  King, Justice, 160

  King, Miss Laura J. A., 177

  Kingswood, 172

  Kirby, Ephraim, 151

  Kirk, Dr. William, 67

  Kosciusko, 153

  "Lake of the Golden Isle," The, a poem, 36

  Lamar, Senator L. Q. C., 50, 190, 191, 194

  "Lame Gerry," 57

  Lanier, Sidney, 8, 19

  Lane, Rev. John, 174

  Lane, Mrs. John, 177

  Latrobe, Benj. Henry, 99

  Lattimore, David, 179, 183

  "Laura Capello," 47, 51

  La Vega, 225

  Laws of marriage among the Choctaws, 230

  Leaf River, 166

  Leake, Judge Walter, 49, 152, 154

  Lee, Gen. Robert E., 7, 73

  Lee, Gen. S. D., 3

  Leflore, Col. Greenwood, 233

  Legare, 18

  "Legend of Good Women," 11

  Leipzig, 98

  Lester, George H., 196

  Lewis, Chief Justice Seth, 148, 149, 161

  Ligon, Woodson L., 156

  "Like Unto Like," a novel, 43, 53, 56, 56, 63-66

  Lintot, Bernard, 160

  Lippincott's Magazine, 56n, 67

  Lipscomb, Prof. Dabney, 5, 23

  Litchfield, 24

  Literature, 13, 15-20, 26

  Little Bayou Sara, 164, 165

  Little River, 209

  "Llangollin," 216

  Local taxation, 114, 115, 118

  London, 21, 86, 95, 100, 107, 161, 162

  "Longed-for Valentine," A, 54

  Longfellow, 47, 48, 51, 55, 63, 65

  Longstreet, A. B., 7, 10

  "Longwood," 216

  "Look Up," a poem, 34

  Lottery, 183, 184

  Louisiana, 86, 91, 98, 100, 102, 111, 125, 131, 168, 175, 176,
    202, 206, 215, 217

  Louisiana, University of, 207

  Louisiana History, see _Martin_.

  Louisville, 172

  Lovejoy, Flavius J., 154

  Lowell, 17, 18, 47

  Lowry, Gov. Robert, 190, 194

  Lowry and McCardle's History of Mississippi, 113n, 121n, 152n

  Lyceum, 201

  Lynch, James D., 23, 147n, 150, 151n, 152n, 153n

  M'Allister, 185, 186

  McCaleb, Miss Mary, 202

  McClelland, 65

  McClung, A. K., 28, 154

  McClure, 81

  McDowell, Edward, 47

  McDowell, Miss Lillian, 51, 56

  McDowell, Mrs. David, 45

  McGuire, Chief Justice Wm., 148, 149, 151

  "McMahon at Sedan," a poem, 33

  McMaster, 128n, 129n, 130n, 131n

  McMurran, John T., 217

  McQuiston, William, 155

  Macaulay, 19

  Mackay, Charles, 25

  Macon, 23, 28, 30

  Macon Beacon, 27, 29, 41

  Madison County, Alabama, 148, 151n, 152n

  Madrid, 96, 211

  Maffett, Rev. J. N., 204

  Magruder, Miss Eliza, 202

  Magnolia tree, Account of, 87

  Maiblume, 81

  Malay Peninsular, 82

  Malcolm, Ralstone, 82

  Mallory, Stephen R., 73

  Mammoth Bayou, 207

  Manschack, 87

  Marcella, 77

  Marschalk, Andrew, 217

  Martin's History of Louisiana, 151n, 152n

  "Marse Chan," 8

  Marshall, Mrs. C. K., 177

  Marshals, Federal in Mississippi, 154, 155

  Martin, X. F., 149, 152

  Maryland, 152

  "Master Thought," The, a poem, 33

  Matthews, Judge George, 149, 151

  Maubila, 225

  Mayes, Prof. Edward, 177

  Mead, Cowles, 217

  Mellen, Rev. T. L., 178

  "Melrose," 216

  Memoirs of Mississippi, see _Goodspeed_.

  "Memory," A, a poem, 33

  Memphis Avalanche, 49

  Menifee, John, 170

  Meridian, 150

  Merwin, Dr., 204

  Metcalfe, Bela, 153

  Meteorological Observations, 99, 100, 103, 111

  Methodism in Mississippi, Early, 169, 170

  Methodist Church, 202, 214

  Microscopic examination of water, 98

  Migration legend of the Choctaws, 227-229

  Miller, Anderson, 155

  "Minister's Black Veil," The, 77

  Minor, Capt. Stephen, 213

  Minor, Capt., 161, 163

  Miro, Vov., 159

  Missionary Herald, 227

  Mississippi Agricultural-Horticultural etc., Society, 212

  Mississippi City, 156

  Mississippi, Female education in, 165 et seq.

  Mississippi Historical Society, 13, 94n, 157, 201, 219, 220

  Mississippi History, see
    _Lowry and McCardle_
    _Mississippi Historical Society_

  Mississippi, Newspapers and Periodicals of, see
    _Mississippi State Gazette_
    _Macon Beacon_
    _Natchez Democrat_
    _Philadelphia Courier_
    _Southern Galaxy_
    _University Magazine_

  Mississippi Philosophical & Historical Society, 201

  Mississippi Railroad, 217

  Mississippi River, 12, 86-88, 94, 96, 100, 102, 108, 111, 115,
    125, 128, 158, 159, 162, 163, 164, 167, 168, 209, 210, 211

  Mississippi Society, The, 107, 108, 215

  Mississippi State Gazette, 171

  Mississippi Valley, The, 90, 111, 207

  Missouri, 126

  "Miss Willard's Two Rings," a story, 56

  Mitchell, Dr., 204

  Mobile, 26, 87, 157, 161, 166, 167

  Mobile Bay, 158, 167

  Mobile River, 164, 168

  Monette, Dr. J. W., 177, 204, 209, 210, 215

  Money, Sen. H. D., 194

  "Monmouth," 216

  "Manteigne," 216

  Montgomery, Alexander, 179

  Morayshire, 85

  Morrison, J. K., 5, 179

  Muldrow, A. L., 196, 197

  Murder of Slaves in Mississippi, 143, 144

  Murfree, Miss, 8, 12, 56

  Murrel, 213

  "Nanih Waiya, the Sacred Mound of the Choctaws," 223-232

  Natchez, 74, 86, 87, 88, 91, 92n, 101, 102, 106, 109, 110, 115,
    133, 149, 157, 158, 162, 163, 165, 169, 171, 174, 176, 184,
    185, 187, 201, 203, 204, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213,
    214, 215, 217

  Natchez Indians, see _Indians_.

  Natchez Drug Company, 212

  Natchez and Nashville Trace, 213

  Natchez Democrat, 86n, 89n, 91n, 96n, 107n

  "Nebulae," a poem, 34

  Negro dialect, 9, 20, 21

  Negro Education, 138

  Negro Rule in Mississippi, 189-200

  Negro Suffrage, 191, 192, 195

  "Neophyte," The, a poem,   37

  Neshoba County, 223

  Nevett, Miss Matilda J., 177

  New Hampshire, 150

  New Jersey, 152

  Newman, Miss, 202

  Newman, Miss Maria L., 176

  Newman, Miss Catharine O., 176

  New Orleans, 74, 90, 92n, 94n, 107, 161, 163, 165, 166, 209,
    213, 215, 217

  New Orleans Times-Democrat, 41, 74

  New Richmond, 86

  Newton, Sir Isaac, 97, 104

  New York, 21, 26, 160

  "Night Storm," The, a poem, 35

  Niles, Judge H. C., 153

  Nolan, Philip, 108, 109

  North Carolina, 127, 152

  North West Ordinance, 134, 142, 147, 180

  Norton, Charles M., 154

  Norton, John H., 154

  Nugent, Col. W. L., 177, 193

  "Oakland," 216

  Oglethorpe, Mrs., 64

  Ohio, 86

  Ohio River, 159

  Ohnet, Georges, 77

  Okitibbeha County, 228

  "On the Nine-Mile," a dialect story, 56

  Opelousas, 102

  Orleans Territory, 151n, 152

  Orr, Jehu A., 154

  Osmun, Benijah, 214

  Owen, Thomas McAdory, 5, 147

  Oxford, 124, 150, 152n, 153

  Pachaha, 225

  Page, Bettie, 64

  Page, Thomas Nelson, 8, 12, 20, 55

  "Pangnostics," 74

  Panmure, 210, 211, 212

  Pascagoula River, 158

  Patterson, Miss Mary J., 176

  Peabody, George, 38

  Pea River, 167

  Pearl River, 131, 165, 229

  Pennsylvania, 43, 75, 160

  Pensacola, 86, 161, 167

  Percy, W. A., 196, 197

  Perdido River, 131

  Permanent Committee, 160

  Peyton, 198

  "Phantom Train," The, a poem, 37, 38

  Philadelphia, 86, 87, 94, 95, 110

  Philadelphia Courier, 27, 28, 41

  Phillips, Wendell, 49, 50

  Philosophical Magazine, 100

  Philosophical Society, American, 93, 95, 98

  Pickering County, 213

  Pickett's Alabama, 151n

  "Pillar of Fire," 215

  Pittsburg, 86

  Pinckney, Thomas, 159

  Pinckneyville, La., 176

  Poe, E. A., 18, 19, 37, 41

  "Poems of Places, Southern States," 48

  "Poets' Homes," 48

  Poindexter, Gov. Geo., 149, 152, 190, 217

  Pontotoc, 149, 150

  Port Gibson, 21, 176

  Posey, Carnot, 154

  Postlethwaite, 212

  Power, Col. J. L., 118n

  Powers, 121

  Prentice, George D., 7

  Prentiss County, 196

  Prentiss, S. S., 43, 191, 203, 215, 216

  "Press Poem," The, 23

  Price, Nathaniel S., 154

  Priestly, Dr. Joseph, 99

  "Printerdom," Poets and Poetry of, 25, 38

  "Prisoners of Hope," The, 11, 12

  Protestants, 212

  Protestantism, Jones' Introduction of, 159n

  Pryor, 199

  Quitman, Gov. John A., 217

  Rainbow, Account of, 97, 98

  Ramsden, 161

  Randolph, Peter, 152

  Rankin, Christopher, 217

  Rawling, Miss, 202

  Rawling, Daniel, 170

  Rayburn, John, 155

  Reconstruction, 113, 120, 121n, 123

  Redding, Wyatt M., 39, 40

  Red River, 105, 106

  "Red Rock," 12, 55

  Reed, Thomas B., 217

  Reese, Dr. Edwin, 184

  Republican Party, 29, 196

  "Revolution in the Life of Mrs. Balingall," a story, 56

  Reynolds, R. O., 196

  Rhode Island, 75

  Richardson, Miss Martha D., 175, 176

  Richmond, Va., 69, 72

  "Ride of the Ku-Klux," a poem, 38

  Riley, Prof. F. L., 1, 3, 5, 85

  "Ring and the Book," a poem, 41

  Rittenhouse, 91, 161

  Roach, Mrs. Elizabeth, 170

  Roberts, Miss Mary E., 177

  Robertson, Miss Susan C., 176

  Rodney, Judge Thomas, 151, 215

  "Rodolph," 9

  "Romance of Summer Seas," 81, 82

  Romanticism, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 21

  Rosalie, Fort, 209, 210

  "Rosine's Story," 52

  Ross, Clinton, 12

  Ross, John, 86, 88, 89

  Rowland, Dunbar, Esq., 5, 189

  Roy, Mrs., 65

  Royal Society, 102

  "Running Mississippi's South Line," 157-168

  Russell, Irwin, 7, 9, 10, 15, 22, 201

  Sanderson, Mrs. Jane B., 171

  Sargent, Winthrop, 113, 115, 165, 213, 216

  Savannah River, 127, 128

  Scott, Miss Charlotte C., 176

  Scott, Miss Mary, 176

  Scott, Sir Walter, 10, 16, 18, 19, 24, 41

  Scribner's Monthly, 198n

  Secession, Ordinance of, 118

  Second Creek, 208, 209

  "Selma," 216

  Selsertown, 183, 203, 204, 207

  "Serpent Myths," 75

  Shakespeare, 15, 39, 71

  Shands, G. D., 196

  Sharkey, Gov., 120

  Shaw, 160

  Shields, Joseph D., 202, 217

  Shields, Judge W. B., 152, 217

  Shields, Mrs., 202

  Simms, William Gilmore, 8, 18, 19

  Simpson, Judge Josiah, 149, 152

  Simrall, Judge H. F., 198

  Singleton, O. R., 194

  "Sister Weeden's Prayer," a dialect story, 56

  Spight, Thomas, 196, 197

  Stanton, Miss E. B., 214

  Slave Laws, 133-145

  Slavery in the South, 13, 20, 215

  Smith, Prof. C. Alphonso, 5, 7

  Smith, Miss Emily, 176

  Smith, Philander, 160

  Smith, Rev. R. D., 172

  Smith, Rev. R. F. N., 186

  Smith, Sidney, 17, 19

  Smith, Miss Susan, 176

  Smollet, 19

  Smylie, Rev. Jas., 184

  "Somerset," 216

  "Sorrows of Werther," 78

  South Carolina, 125, 126, 127, 128, 130, 205

  Southern Galaxy, 174, 175

  Southern History, 8, 12

  Southern Literature, 7, 8, 9, 12, 15, 17, 18, 19, 42

  "Southern Literature," Historical Element in, 7-14

  Southern Railway, 166

  Southern Romantic Movement, 10, 12, 21

  "South Wind," The, a poem,   35

  Spain, 95n, 127, 131, 159, 211, 217

  Spanish architecture, 169, 212

  Spanish conquest of West Florida, 87, 211

  Spanish provinces, 98, 211

  Spanish rule in West Florida, 91, 211, 212

  St. Catharine Creek, 208, 210, 214

  St. Mary's, 128, 157, 167, 168

  "St. Nicotine, a Christmas Phantasy," a poem, 36

  St. Stephens, 157, 158, 166

  State, Department of, 90n, 91n, 94, 147n

  Starkey, Edwina, 83

  Stephens, Alexander H., 73

  Stevenson, Robert L., 52

  Stewart, D., 171

  Stiles, Chilion F., 171, 172

  Stone, Alfred H., 5, 133

  Stone, Gov. J. M., 190, 196, 199

  "Story of Old Fort Loudon," 12

  Stowe, Harriet Beecher, 8, 25

  Street, H. M., 196

  Stuart, James, 160

  Stuart, Ruth McEnery, 8

  "Suicide Club," The, 52

  Survey of the 31 degree, 92, 93

  "Suwanee River Tales," 56, 57n

  "Sweet-Auburn," 216

  Taggert, Patrick, 161

  Tanchipahoe, 165

  "Tar Baby Story," 56

  "Taxation in Mississippi," History of, 113-124, 193

  Taxpayers' Convention, 193

  Tennessee, 12, 56, 151, 152, 215

  "Territorial Growth of Mississippi," 125-132

  Texas, 12, 48

  Thatcher, Judge, 204

  Thayer, Mrs. Caroline M., 174, 175, 177

  Thomas, Rev. J. P., 172

  Thompson, R. H., 196

  Thompson's Creek, 165, 166

  Throckmorton, Mordecai, 183

  Ticfaw, 165

  Tilton, Judge Daniel, 148, 149, 150

  Timrod, 18, 19

  Tison, William H. H., 158

  Tobacco culture, 88

  Tombigbee River, 115, 128, 157, 158, 185, 229

  Toulmin, Judge Harry, 148, 151

  Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, 93, 98, 99,
    100-104, 163

  Transactions of the Royal Society, 102

  Traughton, 162

  Trist, Mrs., 90

  Tucker, Gov. T. M., 203

  Tucker, W. F., 196, 197

  Tugaloo, 124

  Turner, Edward, 171, 217

  Tuscaloosa, Ala., 152n

  "Two Storms," a story, 56, 62-63

  Tyler, Rev. Charles, 204

  "Unconventional Experiment," 82

  "Under Two Flags," a poem, 32

  Union and Planters' Bank, 203

  Union Hill, 93, 103

  United States, 90, 91, 95, 107, 226-131, 159, 169, 195, 211-213

  University of Mississippi, 75, 124, 152n

  University of Mississippi Magazine, 75n

  "Valcours," The, a novelette, 56

  Van Court, Rev., 204

  Van Hosen, J. A., 204

  Vaughan, John, 101, 104, 105

  "Veiled Doctor," The, 75-78

  Vick, Miss Emily, 176

  Vicksburg, 150, 176, 195, 203

  "Victory of Peace," The, a poem, 32

  Vidal, Joseph, 217

  Virginia, 126, 143, 151, 152, 172

  "Volcano Interlude," a story, 56

  "Voyage to the Moon," 9

  Wailes, B. S. C., 202, 204, 207, 215

  Walcott, Miss Charlotte, 176

  Walker, Duncan S., 175

  Walker, Robert J., 191, 217

  Walker, Robert L., 177

  Walnut Hill, (Vicksburg), 158

  Walthall, Sen. E. C., 190, 194

  Ward family, 24-25

  Ward, Henry, 25

  Ward, William, 23-42

  Warner, Chas. Dudley, 73, 74

  Warren, Gen., 174

  Warton, Joseph, 17

  Washington Academy, 184

  Washington City, 94n, 122, 160, 161, 195, 197

  Washington County, Ala., 148

  Washington, District of, 148, 151n, 153n, 154n

  Washington, Mississippi, 134, 169, 171, 175, 176, 177, 183,
    186, 201, 202, 214, 215

  Washita, La., 175, 176

  Washita River, 106, 209

  Watts, Theodore, 17

  Weber, Prof. W. L., 3, 5, 15

  Weir, Adolphus G., 154

  West, Cato, 160, 179, 180, 183

  West Florida, 86, 87, 91, 128, 131, 157, 158, 211

  West, Mrs. Sarah, 202

  West Point, 23

  Whiffen, Miss E. A., 28

  Whig Party, 196, 202

  Whipping-post, 136, 137

  White Apple Village, 209

  White Cedar Creek, 167

  White, Prof. J. M., 3, 5, 125

  Wickford, 75-78

  Wilde, Richard Henry, 9

  Wilkinson County, 176

  Wilkinson General, 109, 160, 165

  Williamson, Miss Mary, 44

  Williams, Robert, 152n

  Willing, Capt. James, 87, 211

  Willing's Bayou, 162

  Williston, E. B., 187

  Wilson, Alexander, 109, 110

  Winans, Dr. William, 171, 174

  "Windy Hill" Plantation, 214

  Winn, Mrs. A. D., 202

  Winn, Maj. J. T., 204

  Winston County, 223, 227

  "Wire Cutters," The, 12

  Wistar, Dr., 95

  Witnesses, Slaves as, 140, 141

  "World," The, a story, 81

  Wright, Gov., 128

  Wright, Rev. Alfred, 227

  Yale College, 24

  Yariba, 64, 65

  Yazoo City, 195

  Yazoo Land Companies, 128, 130

  Yazoo River, 125, 152, 211

  Yellow fever, 39, 52, 53

  Yokohama, 82



                  _Volume I_, (1898)      _Price_, $1.00


    1. Mississippi's "Backwoods Poet,"

                       Prof. Dabney Lipscomb, University of Mississippi.

    2. Mississippi as a Field for the Student of Literature,

                                    Prof. W. L. Weber, Millsaps College.

    3. Suffrage in Mississippi, Hon. R. H. Thompson, Jackson, Miss.

    4. Spanish Policy in Mississippi After the Treaty of San

                           Prof. F. L. Riley, University of Mississippi.

    5. Time and Place Relations in History with Some Mississippi
    and Louisiana Applications, Prof. H. E. Chambers, New Orleans.

    6. The Study and Teaching of History,

                       Prof. Herbert B. Adams, Johns Hopkins University.

    7. Some Facts in the Early History of Mississippi,

                           Prof. R. W. Jones, University of Mississippi.

    8. Pre-Historic Jasper Ornaments in Mississippi,

                     Chancellor R. B. Fulton, University of Mississippi.

    9. Suggestions to Local Historians,

                           Prof. F. L. Riley, University of Mississippi.

    10. Some Inaccuracies in Claiborne's History in Regard to

                                      Mr. H. S. Halbert, Crawford, Miss.

    11. Did Jones County Secede?

                       Prof. A. L. Bondurant, University of Mississippi.

       Address all communications to
                   FRANKLIN L. RILEY, Sec. and Treas., Miss. Hist. Soc.
                                                University P. O., Miss.

_Blue Mountain Female College_


  Noted for Solid Work and good care of girls.
  Pure Air! Pure Water!
  Pure Moral Influence!

Over one hundred pupils EVERY DAY of the last nine annual session; over
one hundred music pupils each session. Now enrolling from one hundred
and seventy to one hundred and eighty-five boarders per session.

A thorough training course for public school teacher.

Excellent advantages in

                       _Music, Art and Elocution_

All departments in hands of experienced specialists.

For catalogue and other information, address

                                         LOWREY & BERRY, Proprietors,
                                            Blue Mountain, Mississippi.

    Transcriber's Notes:

    Simple spelling, grammar, and typographical errors were

    Punctuation normalized.

    Anachronistic and non-standard spellings retained as printed.

    Missing footnote anchors added.

    Italics markup is enclosed in _underscores_.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society, Volume 2 (of 14), 1899" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.