Going from Civil War to Civil Rights

Published 11:57 pm Saturday, April 13, 2013

The 2013 Historic Natchez Conference at the Eola Hotel Wednesday through Saturday will demonstrate once again the fascinating local stories that make this town a significant part of our nation’s history.

All conference lectures are free of charge, and CEUs are available. Registration begins at 3 p.m. Wednesday and at 10 a.m. Thursday.

The theme, “From Civil War to Civil Rights,” follows the National Park Service in emphasizing that the 150th anniversary of the Civil War does not happen in isolation but in context of the long thread of American history that continues through the simultaneous 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights movement.

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MDAH will make a presentation on Wednesday at 6 p.m. on the new Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.

At 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Aaron Anderson will speak on “Merchants, Capital, and the Remaking of Natchez,” and Justin Behrend will address “Rethinking Violence of the Civil War Era.”

The 3:30 p.m. session includes “The Goat Castle Murder, Jim Crow Justice, and the Saga of Emily Burns” by Karen Cox and “The Library of Rosedown Plantation” by Michael Taylor.

Civil War historian William C. Davis will make the keynote address at Temple B’Nai Israel Thursday at 6 p.m. A free cocktail reception will follow at the Historic Natchez Foundation highlighting the St. Catherine St. interpretive panels.

On Friday at 9 a.m., Christian Pinnen will address “Issues of Slavery and Empire in Colonial Natchez, 1779-1808,” and Kristen Vogel will discuss “The Boyce Decision and the Responsibility of Common Carriers toward Slave Cargoes (1829).”

The 11 a.m. session will include “The 1965 Natchez Boycott and its Impact on the Mississippi Freedom Movement” by Akinyele Umoga and “Marge Baroni, Catholicism, and the Natchez, Mississippi Civil Rights Movement” by Eva Walton.

At 2 p.m. Friday, Jeff Mansell will focus on descriptions of Natchez by the occupying forces in “‘One of the prettiest places on earth’: Yankees in Natchez, 1863-1865,” and Joseph P. Reidy will discuss “African American Sailors in the U.S. Navy’s Mississippi Squadron during the Civil War.”

At 4 p.m., there will be a screening of the Civil Rights documentary, “When I Rise,” with discussion.

Friday evening at 6:30 p.m., Bontura will host a ticketed dinner ($30).

The Saturday program begins with a student session at 9 a.m.: Karissa A. Basse, Chyna Bowen, Adrian Brettle and Nicholas Roland.

An archeology session follows at 11 a.m. with Daniel LaDu discussing “The Prehistory and History of the Mazique Mounds;” “The Mississippi Mound Trail” by John W. O’Hear and Vincas P. Steponaitis; and “Natchez Archaeology in the 1840s” by Steponaitis.

Saturday’s program continues with a student session at 1:30 p.m.: Kashia Arnold, Cheryl Wilkinson, Terra A. Palewicz, & Elizabeth A. Sadler.

At 4 p.m., the Rolland Golden Gallery will host a free reception featuring Civil War art.

The conference concludes at 6 p.m. with a ticketed cocktail buffet at Longwood ($30).

For more information, call 601-442-2500 or visit www.natchez.org.


Kathleen Jenkins is Superintendent of Natchez National Historical Park.