“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Natchez in Adams County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)

The William Johnson House

The William Johnson House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, April 2, 2002
1. The William Johnson House Marker
Inscription.  The house to your left, completed in 1841, was built by William Johnson. Born a slave in 1809 in Natchez and freed in 1820, Johnson learned the profession of barbering from his brother-in-law. At an early age, he owned a barbershop and later prospered by investing in real estate.

Johnson was killed in 1851 over a land dispute. His murderer, Baylor Wynn, eventually went free. Even though several black men witnessed the crime, under Mississippi law they could not testify against Johnson’s killer, a white man.

Johnson’s diary provides a complete account of his life as a “free man of color” in the antebellum South. Published in 1951, his diary documents and provides a unique perspective on Natchez during its heyday as a center of the slave-based cotton economy.

In 1976 the Preservation Society of Ellicott Hill purchased and stabilized the William Johnson House and restored its street façade. In 1987 the house became the first project of the Historic Trust Fund of Mississippi’s Department of Archives and History. The City of Natchez purchased the house and the adjacent Lancashire Building
The William Johnson House image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, April 2, 2002
2. The William Johnson House
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(ca. 1837) and donated both properties to the National Park Service in 1991. Plans are underway to convert the house to a museum dedicated to interpreting Johnson’s life and other aspects of the African-American heritage of Natchez and the surrounding region.

Photo above is of the William Johnson House prior to restoration of the street façade.
Erected by Natchez National Historical Park, Mississippi, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansIndustry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1841.
Location. 31° 33.599′ N, 91° 24.329′ W. Marker is in Natchez, Mississippi, in Adams County. Marker can be reached from State Street east of South Canal Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 210 State Street, Natchez MS 39120, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named William Johnson House (here, next to this marker); Intersection of State and South Wall streets (a few steps from this marker); Adams County Confederate Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Intersection of State and South Canal streets (within shouting distance of this marker); Texada
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(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Intersection of Washington and South Wall Streets (about 400 feet away); Intersection of Main and Wall streets (about 500 feet away); Commercial Bank Building (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Natchez.
Also see . . .  Natchez National Historical Park, Mississippi. National Park Service (Submitted on March 7, 2016.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on March 4, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 387 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 4, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 5, 2022