Mississippi Archive Photos


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The following items are drawn from the photograph collections at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. (http://www.mdah.ms.gov/new/).
Click on any image to see an enlargement.

Photo Gallery: Mississippi Department of Archives and History Photographs

The first two images below are from the E. von Seutter Photograph Collection; the second two, from the Corinth, Mississippi, Collection. The Department of Archives and History description of the von Seutter Collection includes the following: "The E. von Seutter Photograph Collection consists of thirty-five (35) original stereocards and forty-eight (48) photographic prints collected by the Elisaeus von Seutter family of Jackson, Mississippi. The majority were taken by photographers Elisaeus and son Armine. . . . The stereocards feature images of downtown Jackson in the aftermath of the Civil War." "Stereocards" were used in connection with a stereopticon, a hand-held device that combined pairs of images to create a 3-D effect. The description of the Corinth Collection includes this: "The twenty black-and-white photographs in this collection were produced ca. 1920 by McCord's Studio in Corinth. The images are of commercial buildings, houses, fire fighting and farm equipment, and general street scenes (the city reportedly paved twenty-five miles of residential streets between 1922 and 1927)." Corinth, the seat of Alcorn County, is about 70 miles northeast of "Yoknapatawpha" (i.e. Lafayette County); in the 1920s its population was about 6000, around twice that of Oxford.

The Old Capitol and ruins of Bowman Hotel       Bridge across the Pearl River       Work crew repaving street       Unidentified men refuel fire truck

The first image in the two rows below is from the Coovert Photograph Collection: "Photographer J. C. (John Calvin) Coovert was born in Danville, Kentucky, in 1862 and arrived in Greenville, Mississippi, around 1887. His studio, Patorno and Coovert, won a gold medal from the Paris Exposition in 1889 for 'best state views.' He went into business for himself around 1891, operating as Coovert's Photograph Gallery in Greenville, Memphis, Vicksburg, and Yazoo City, among other locations. This collection consists of eight (8) black and white photographs, most of which are captioned, taken in the 1890s in Greenville and Vicksburg." The remaining seven photos are from the Hamilton Photograph Collection: "The Luther Hamilton Photograph Collection documents the life of a small southern town during the first half of the twentieth century through images of houses, stores, railroad stations, schools, sports teams, street scenes, parades, weddings, and more. A significant portion of the collection deals with agriculture, especially the farming and marketing of tomatoes and cabbage, and agrarian celebrations such as the annual Crystal Springs Tomato Festival. The nearly 1,000 photographs were taken or collected by Luther Myles Hamilton, Sr., (1869-1944) of Crystal Springs, Mississippi, and his son, Luther Myles Hamilton, Jr. (1912-1994)." Crystal Springs is in southwestern Mississippi; it was slightly smaller than Oxford at the time these pictures were taken.

Picking cotton       Barber shop       Interior of a cafe       Interior of a small market

Crystal Springs Methodist Church       Children of the American Revolution ceremony       Western Union staff members       Planting crop

These twelve photographs are from the Mississippi State Penitentiary (Parchman) Photo Collections at MDAH. According to the Collection description, the collections "document Parchman facilities and activities from 1914 to the early 1940s." The description adds: "In January 1901 the state of Mississippi purchased land in Sunflower County for a prison. The Mississippi State Penitentiary, also known as Parchman Farm or simply Parchman, became the main hub for Mississippi's penal system. Parchman Farm was in many ways reminiscent of a gigantic antebellum plantation and operated on the basis of a plan proposed by Governor John M. Stone in 1896. By 1917, Parchman was separated into twelve male camps and one female camp, and racial segregation was considered of paramount importance. The convicts worked ten hours a day, six days a week, and slept in long, single-story buildings commonly called 'cages' that were constructed of bricks and lumber produced on site. Most male prisoners were employed in farming, but some also worked in the brickyard, sawmill, cotton gin, and prison hospital. The female camp produced clothes and bed sheets for the entire farm. On Sundays, the convicts would attend religious services and often formed baseball games between opposing camps."

Superintendent's home       Housing for white prisoners       Housing for Negro prisoners       Male prisoners and guard with dogs

Female prisoners at Parchman post office       Female prisoners sewing       Female prisoners beside slaughtered hogs       Prisoners washing clothes

Prisoner plowing       Prisoners hoeing       Prisoner in front of mule cart       Cotton plants in bloom

      Citing this source:
"Photographic Re-presentations of Faulkner's World," Digital Yoknapatawpha, University of Virginia, http://faulkner.drupal.shanti.virginia.edu/content/mississippiarchivesph... (Date added to project: 2019)