This year, the Civil War Sesquicentennial efforts in the Old Natchez district focus on the onset of the Civil War in 1861, and on the institution of slavery as the primary cause of that war. This symposium provides an opportunity to examine several aspects of that pivotal point in time. Co-sponsors of the event include Natchez National Historical Park, the Historic Natchez Foundation, the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi, the City of Natchez Division of Tourism, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and the Mississippi Historical Records Advisory Board.
Noted speakers include:
· Prof. James Wiggins of Copiah-Lincoln Community College, "War & Rumors of War: The Historical Context for Conspiracy and Repression"
· Dr. Robert Gudmestad of Colorado State University, "River Slaves: Steamboats and the Resistance of Enslaved Americans"
· Dr. Edward L. Bond of Alabama A&M University, "Resistance to Slavery: From Africa to Mississippi"
· Dr. Ronald E. Davis of California State University-Northridge, "Slave Runaways, Slave Resistance, and Black Soldiers"
· Dr. Elizabeth Boggess, historic archeologist & social historian, "Second Creek in 1861: People & Places"
Some of the slave examinations and some of hangings occurred on the Cherry Grove plantation, owned by the Surget family. The fact that the Surgets, one of the most affluent of Southern planter families, were parishioners at Trinity Episcopal Church in Natchez links this affair directly with the ongoing efforts by the Episcopal Church to examine how the Church was connected to and benefited from the institution of slavery.