Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Needles In The Haystack:..."..

My first comment is on point number 5 - it has been done before: bricking bodies, or even live people up behind walls. There are cases where remains have been found like this, but - and this is a pretty big but - as Mike pointed out, in the days before Home Depot and Lowes, you couldn't just go out and buy the bricks, mortar, ect ect., bring'em back to the house and have the job done by the end of the day. I would think that if bodies were found there, and were, in fact bricked up behind the fireplace, then it was probably more a crime of an opportunistic nature, rather than a pre-meditated one; Something happens to precipitate the deaths of these 3 people, and the person or persons responsible are left wondering what to do with them. Maybe there was construction or renovation going on at the time, and they simply seized upon the opportunity. If it was a crime at all. There's no proof that these people died of anything other than natural causes - maybe some kind of outbreak took them, although if they were placed behind a wall afterward, that does raise a few questions in my mind.
The article from 1949 - is that entitled "Fondly I Roam" by Edith Wyatt Moore? I retrieved a copy of it from the Natchez Historical Society on my trip there last week, and it's also from 1949. Mimi Miller stated that she was fairly sure that if anything had been found like what the legend describes, then Mrs Wyatt Moore would have written about it. It's not there. Then again - and there are two sides to every coin - maybe they didn't want that kind of thing getting out in those days. I know at the turn of the century Spiritualism and "ghost hunting" were all the rage in Europe and along the Eastern seaboard, but I'm not so certain what the mainstream reception would have been for that kind of thing here in the south. You have to take into consideration that maybe bodies in the wall just wasn't the kind of talk one wanted over afternoon tea, and so no one talked.
In my humble point of view, we can dig and search as much as we want, for as long as we want - personally, I love uncovering the little tidbits of history that time has forgotten, like putting  the pieces of a puzzle back together - but, there comes a point when you must stop, look at all the information you've gathered around, and ask yourself, "What do I really know about this?"
In the case of the King's Tavern, I can tell you every time that property changed hands, to whom, and when from 1794 - 1976, according to the tax records of the time - BUT - can I tell you if those tax records are 100% accurate? No. I can tell you that there is no record of a building standing on that land before 1805, according to historical documents - BUT - can I tell you what happened on that land before there was anyone there to keep what we consider to be historical documents? No. I can tell you that the building was used as a tavern and a stop for the postal service along the Trace, and that more than one or two people have passed through its doors over the past two hundred years - BUT - can I tell you if anyone has ever died, much less been murdered within its walls? No.
The fact is, I can tell you nothing about the people of the King's Tavern. I haven't the faintest idea who they really were, how they really lived, what they believed in, what they feared, how they loved, or how they met their end. You see, research will only take you so far. As for the rest, well we can only speculate. And maybe, that's how it should be.
Just my thoughts :)
Written by Summer

1 comment:

  1. Hey Summer, good stuff! I just got a book in today - an old , well-worn out-of-print one, by Edith Wyatt Moore entitled, "Natchez Under-the-Hill." It was published in 1958, and I see where she signed it inside the front cover. She is considered a very serious historical writer on Natchez. Can't wait to read it - maybe you'll want it when I'm done.