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Davis to speak at historic conference

NATCHEZ — Noted Civil War historian and television personality William C. Davis will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming Historic Natchez Conference, April 17-20, which will present a full program of free lectures focusing on the history of the Natchez region.

Topics related to antebellum culture set the stage for the conference focus on the Civil War, extending through Reconstruction and the Jim Crow era and culminating with the Civil Rights Movement. The conference also includes a special archaeological session on Saturday. All lectures except the keynote address by Davis will be presented at the Natchez Eola Hotel.

Davis will speak at 6 p.m. on Thursday night, April 18, at historic Temple B’Nai Israel at 213 S. Commerce St. The title of his address is “America, the Civil War, and Natchez at 1850.”

The opening cocktail reception, which is also free to the public, will follow at the Historic Natchez Foundation headquarters in the Natchez Institute, 108 S. Commerce St. The Eola Hotel will be the location of all other presentations during the conference.

William C. Davis is the author or editor of more than 50 books in the fields of Civil War and Southern history, as well as numerous documentary screenplays. Davis has twice been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

He was the on-camera senior consultant for 52 episodes of the Arts & Entertainment Network/History Channel series “Civil War Journal.” Davis is Director of Programs for the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies and is a professor of history at Virginia Tech.

Conference co-sponsors are California State University, Northridge; Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin; Historic Natchez Foundation; Louisiana State University, Special Collections; Mississippi Department of Archives and History; Natchez National Historical Park; and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Please contact the Historic Natchez Foundation at 601-442-2500 or hnf@natchez.org for more information and a conference program. The full program is available on the foundation’s Facebook page and website at natchez.org. Participants who pre-register will have a printed name tag at the registration desk.