If any place embodied the “moonlight and magnolias” mythology of the Old South, it was Natchez, Mississippi. Perched on a bluff over looking the Mississippi River, Natchez’s small size (only 4, 680 inhabitants in 1850) belied its economic importance, In 1838 Natchez-area growers sent forty thousand bales of cotton doenriver to New Orleans. Moreover, the city’s forty most prominent families, referred to as the “nabobs” included the largest and wealthiest cotton planters in the entire South and some of the biggest slave owners in the world.
No one could accuse the Natchez nabobs of hiding their wealth. At least forty large mansions graced the streets of the town or the wooded lanes of adams Country. Their names slid smoothly off the tongue—“Concordia” and “Melrose” In conscious imitation of the English landed gentry, families like the Duncans, Surges, and Quitmans furnished their homes with the best furniture, drapes, and marbles, and then used these stages to play out their self-appointed roles as patriarchs of the Cotton Kingdom. Gracious entertainment was the order of the day, as evidenced by John Quitman’ Journal entry recording a visit to a friend’s plantation: “Mint-juleps in the morning are sent to our rooms, and then follows a delightful breakfast in the open veranda… we hunt, ride, fish… read or lounge until dinner” followed by a siesta and then more of the same until the evening meal. “In fine weather,” Quitman continued, “the tea-table is always set before sun set, and then, until bed-time, we stroll, sing, play whist, or croquet. It is an indolent yet charming life, and one quits thining and takes to dreaming”
Source: Louisiana State University
This begins a series of posts about our two days in Natchez, Mississippi , a place we visited with mixed feelings. Having visited Dachau, the concentration camp near Munich and the old slave forts in Ghana where slaves were held before boarding the Portuguese slave ships , we have experienced the heaviness of spirit that still remains in these places of great suffering. Natchez was the same, but it is a part of our history and should not be denied. We both wanted to see the antebellum plantations and decided to go.
We stayed in this beautiful Monmouth Historic Inn. Our two nights were in celebration of big milestone birthdays and anniversary and the experience was most memorable.