Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Barber of Natchez


Review of The Barber of Natchez (LSU, 1954, 1973) edited by Edwin Adams Davis and William Ransom Hogan.

Author’s Note: In 1938 a trove of documents dating from 1793 -1937, “over 60 volumes of account books, “nearly 1400” financial and legal documents, bound and unbound volumes of “rare antebellum newspapers” including 2 editions unknown before, “over 400” sheets of 19th century music, “, innumerable personal and business letters … in a word, the entire known recollections of the family of William Johnson, were found unharmed, at rest in the attic of 210 State St, Natchez, Mississippi. Today it is a National Historic site. William Johnson built the home in 1840-41. He was a man of comfortable wealth and social status in Natchez. Among the organized clutter was Mr. Johnson’s daily diary, a singular monument to his intelligence and accomplishments. It detailed his bon vivre as a free Negro in our antebellum South.

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