Freedman's Fourth of July Celebration at Longwood

On July 4, 1867, the Longwood property, with the permission of owner Julia Nutt, was used as a “picnic grounds” for a large Freedman’s celebration. Following a parade from Broadway Street, up Main Street, to Pine Street, the crowd descended on Woodville Road to Longwood. The Natchez Democrat estimated, “that there were not less than nine thousand people on the picnic grounds during the day.”Although rains, “temporarily checked the proceedings,” the celebration was widely recognized as a successful event. Several speeches were given including one by a Mr. Langston of Ohio on land ownership. No records of other events in Natchez the size of this celebration have been discovered.

This information was researched and compiled as part of an ongoing project to document and share the history of enslavement at historic house museums in Natchez. HNF is in the process of creating panels with this information for tourists and locals. These panels are funded by Visit Natchez through the Natchez Convention Promotion Commission Tourism Economic Recovery Stimulus Program aimed at providing finanical aid for the development of COVID-19 compliant programs.

Natchez Democrat - July 6, 1867


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