Join us for significant historical program

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Natchez Historical Society will present an illustrated lecture by Max Grivno titled “The American Revolution in the Gulf South” as part of Society’s 61st annual Membership Banquet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27 at the Grand Hotel located at 111 Broadway St. The cost is $35 per person for dinner and dessert, with a cash bar.

Grivno completed his doctorate in history at the University of Maryland. He joined the faculty of the University of Southern Mississippi in 2007. His talk will examine how the American Revolution transformed the Gulf South. American, British and Spanish forces vied for control over the Mississippi River and Gulf seaports, while the Choctaws and Chickasaws struggled to preserve their homelands. The lecture will describe James Willing’s disastrous raid on Natchez and the Choctaw occupation of Natchez.

Before coming to the University of Southern Mississippi, Grivno served as historian for the National Park Service, working on the “Freedmen and Southern History Project.” Established in 1976, project historians transcribe, organize, and annotate thousands of documents about the transition from slavery to freedom. Grivno’s first book, “Gleanings of Freedom: Free Labor and Slavery along the Mason-Dixon Line,” published in 2011 by Illinois University Press, examines free and slave labor systems that coexisted along the border of Maryland and Pennsylvania.

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About the book, the journal American Historical Review wrote: “’Gleanings of Freedom’ shines light on an important, underappreciated site in the history of slavery and makes a lasting contribution to the study of racial complexity of the rural labor force.”

Grivno is currently completing work on a book titled “From Bondage to Freedom: Slavery in Mississippi, 1690-1865.”

The book is part of the Heritage of Mississippi Series commissioned by the Mississippi Historical Society and published by University Press of Mississippi to commemorate Mississippi’s 2017 bicentennial. He is also researching a third book, tentatively titled “Bandits, Klansmen, Rioters and Strikers: Violence in the Alabama-Mississippi Black Belt, 1830-1917.”

During his tenure at Southern Mississippi, Grivno has received numerous research fellowships and grants, including the Fink-Reed Award from the Southern Labor History Archives at Georgia State University, a Bell Fellowship from the Forest History Center, a Slavery, Abolition and Resistance Fellowship from the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale University, a Lynn E. May Study Grant from the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archive, and an Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellowship from the Virginia Historical Society.

In 2010, Grivno received the Faculty Senate/University President Junior Faculty Research Award.

The following year, he received one of the University’s Lucas Awards for faculty excellence. His teaching interests include the Old South, slavery, labor history and Mississippi History.

The Natchez Historical Society is committed to providing a forum for presentations by history scholars like Max Grivno. The Society hosts monthly meetings, except during June-August, with informative programs by guest speakers on a variety of historical topics.

The Society is also developing a scholarship that will be made available to high school seniors who plan to study history or a related field in college.

The scholarship will be available for the first time in 2016 in conjunction with the Natchez Tricentennial and will continue to be offered in subsequent years.

For information about the Natchez Historical Society and the Society’s 61st annual Membership Banquet, call 601-446-5742.


Jim Barnett is the publicity chairman for the Natchez Historical Society.