Natchez Historical Society to host night with 2 first ladies

Published 10:51 am Thursday, April 19, 2018

Think back to your youth. The bell has rung, and you are seated comfortably in the back row of your sixth-period history class. Nap time?

What could possibly be interesting in stuff that happened so long ago?

Well, fast forward to Tuesday evening, April 24, to experience an event that really will be interesting.

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The Natchez Historical Society invites you to attend the annual Grace McNeil lecture and enjoy something that sixth period did not have — refreshments served up with entertaining history.

Noted lecturer and re-enactor, Judy Wiggins will present “Two First Ladies: Varina Howell Davis and Mary Todd Lincoln.”

Wiggins wrote the following about her presentation “Tragedies and travails of the Civil War were conditions that both shared, but only one survived the ordeal.

“The wives of the presidents of the United States and the Confederacy led parallel lives in many respects.

“With the advent of the war, the old adage that a woman’s name should appear in the newspaper only three times: her birth, marriage and death was gone and both women were the fodder for malicious press coverage, jealousy and deceit.

“Both had admirable qualities: strength, loyalty to their husbands and their husbands’ causes and commitment to preserving their husbands’ legacies. Varina Howell Davis and Mary Todd Lincoln lived lives full of the joys and sorrows that only a president’s wife can understand.”

The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with refreshments served in the Trinity Church Parish Hall (305 South Commerce) and the program will begin at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary. As always, the event is free and open to the public.

The mission of the Historic Natchez Society is to assist in the preservation of the history of Natchez and Adams County, including the collection and dissemination of historical material.

Regular meetings feature programs of historical interest presented in an informative and entertaining manner. Come join us on the 24th and consider joining the NHS. Visit our website at or join us on Facebook by searching Natchez Historical Society.

Maria Bowser is Natchez Historical Society publicity chair.