Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Memo: Historical Research into King's Tavern


From: Mike
To: All Team Members

Just a quick reminder to dig deeply into historical research before our upcoming Paranormal Investigation at King's Tavern in mid to late November.  I have been talking with Kim F, Chris J, Mike and Kim DeLorenze.  What we are running into (surprise, surprise) is the notorious and often recurring issue of sparse real and factual historical data that is source cited versus heaps and mounds of romantic stories and fanciful tales...in other words Recorded History versus Folklore.  Make sure you focus on Recorded History, but get copies and info on the folktales as well.  Cite ANY AND ALL sources in both categories.  If we say something as factual, we want to be able to say where we got that, or we will not use it as factual.  Folklore sells tourism tickets and people love it, but we need to get beyond all that and say what really happened, and is happening - whatever that is.  As far as we are concerned we aren't taking anyone's word that any murder ever happened there - until we see something that backs it up, much less a ghost.  Anyone can tell a story, but not many can give a history.  We want to present King's Tavern from a historical standpoint.  That's the attitude we must take as objective investigators.  So, let's go and get some facts.  Again, collect the folklore, cite it and bring it with you, but go after the real data and evidence.

If it is a book:  get the title, author, pages cited, year the book was published and publisher.
Magazine article: same kind of thing - name of magazine issue and volume, date, author of article, pages, etc.
Even online articles: list website url , author, date if any, etc.

Main (and much needed) Sources & Targets:
Adams County Courthouse
Armstrong Library (especially archives section)
Historic Natchez Foundation (Ron & Mimi Miller)
Natchez Historical Society
Garden Clubs (likely have knowledgeable people)
Historians (such as Jim Barnett at Grand Village; historians at Jefferson College)
Bookstore Owners (such as Mary Emerick)
Coroner's Office
Mississippi Department of Archives & History
National Archives

Deeds, land records, directories, reverse directories, death records, marriage licenses & records, census data; maps, photos, letters, books, articles, coroners reports, etc...

Actual Info We Need Most:
Who built the house and why
What the house has been used for
Who were the Kings, and where did they come from
Who were the Bledsoes and where did they come from
Any additions added on to the house, and when
Any historical proof at all that any murder truly occurred there
Any historical information on alleged murderers and/or victims (such as: if they found three bodies in 1930, then we should have graves and records of them in the newspaper - surely that would have made the paper - was coroner called?, etc.)
Any record of actual real name of Madeline, and where did Madeline as a name originate?
Any evidence of fraud or embellishment in some of these ghost stories in order to attract business
Pilgrimage Garden Club's involvement and/or ownership at any period of King's Tavern - what was done and when

Plus, anything else you can think of.  Thanks for working so hard!

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