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Natchez Historical Society awarded $2,400 grant



Danny Heitman lectures
Danny Heitman, a nationally recognized writer on John James Audubon, was the featured speaker at the January 2023 annual dinner meeting of the Natchez Historical Society. His topic was, “John James Audubon in Natchez: How a Fabled River Town Shaped His Life and Art.” (Visit Natchez)

From Visit Natchez:

Mississippi Humanities Council recently awarded a $2,400 grant to the Natchez Historical Society in support of the society’s monthly speakers’ program.

Specifically, the funding will cover the speakers’ honoraria of $2,400, said Alan Wolf, who serves as a director of the society and chair of its program committee. Wolf said that the society’s board of directors is all grateful to the council for the grant.

“It’s an endorsement of the importance and value to civic life of the NHS’s programing about Natchez’s history,” Wolf said. “The idea is that by understanding the circumstances, people, and issues of our past we can better address the challenges and opportunities of the present.”

Jessica Crawford

Jessica Fleming Crawford, southeast regional director for The Archaeological Conservancy, spoke at the May 23 meeting of the Natchez Historical Society. She talked about an archeological site related to the “Natchez Massacre” and chattel slavery in Natchez. (Visit Natchez)

In other words, he added, “the award recognizes the NHS’s seriousness of civic purpose.” Wolf said the recent grant application was the first one submitted to the council.

“The Mississippi Humanities Council is excited to support the Natchez Historical Society’s outstanding programming,” said Dr. Stuart Rockoff, executive director of the council. “This year’s series offers speakers on a diverse array of topics that explore the richness and complexity of Natchez history.”

Danny Heitman

Danny Heitman, author of “A Summer of Birds: John James Audubon at Oakley House” (LSU Press, 2008), was the featured speaker at this year’s annual dinner meeting of the Natchez Historical Society. (Visit Natchez)

The society was organized in 1954 to collect and disseminate historical material about Natchez and Adams County. The nonprofit is dedicated to the historical study of Natchez and the surrounding area.

“The local history spans an exceptionally long timeline from the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians to the present day city atop the high bluffs of the Father of Waters, the mighty Mississippi River,” the society notes on its website. “The contributions of Native Americans, African-Americans, and European settlers, have combined to form a rich local tapestry important to the understanding of the larger regional and national historical record.”

The society meets twice a month at the Historic Natchez Foundation. A formal meeting of its board of directors is held on the second Monday; on the fourth Tuesday, a public forum is held where recognized experts and historians give lectures and lead discussions on diverse topics related to Natchez’s history.

Since the creation of the program, speakers have included authors, university professors, independent scholars, community leaders, and elected officials.

The society also hosts an annual dinner in January that includes a speaker and presentation of its Historic Preservation Award. The award honors individuals or organizations who have made a significant contribution to historic preservation or the study of history within the Natchez area.

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