Melrose, (1845-49), designed by Jacob Byers, Natchez, Mississippi


Brazy, Martha. Stephen Duncan of Antebellum Natchez and New York. Louisiana State University Press, 2006.

Grier, Katherine C. Culture and Comfort: People, Parlors and Upholstery, 1850-1930. Rochester, N.Y.: Strong Museum, 1988.

Kolchin, Peter. American Slavery, 1619-1877. New York: Hill and Wang, 1993. 

Lane, Mills. Architecture of the Old South: Mississippi & Alabama. Savannah: Beehive Press, 1989. 

Oakes, James. The Ruling Race: A History of American Slaveholders. New York: Norton, 1988. 


1. What are some of the reasons that planters in the antebellum Cotton Belt so widely embraced the Greek Revival style? 

2. One of the remarkable things about this property is that the antebellum interiors and furnishings are intact. Discuss these interiors in the context of leisure and parlor culture in the antebellum period. Remember to include domestic slaves in your discussion. 

3. This house and its furnishings are a by-product of the enormous wealth produced by cotton. Discuss the impact of cotton on Natchez.

4. Contrast the experience of being a field slave on a sugar plantation and a cotton plantation.