Now available online, Series 488: Administration Papers are loose documents related to all aspects of the administration of the Mississippi Territory (1798-1817). The series has been referred to as the correspondence of the territorial governors, including Winthrop Sargent, William C. C. Claiborne, Robert Williams, and David Holmes, but the scope is larger. The papers pertain to the workings of the territorial government (i.e., the duties of the governor, the legislature, the military, and the courts, as well as early county governments and individuals’ affairs), and touch upon most of the important themes in the government: Indian relations and lands, adjacent U.S. territories (particularly Louisiana), allegiance to the United States and duty to its service, and safe travel and trade for citizens.
The Mississippi Constitutions of 1817, 1832, 1868, and 1890 are now available to view online! Access them at http://www.mdah.ms.gov/arrec/digital_archives/constitutions/.
Black History Month
The Columbus-Lowndes Public Library is featuring local African American history in Ferbruary on its “Local History Announcements” blog.
The National Archives has photographs related to the Tuskegee Airmen. Find out more in this blog post from NARAtions.
Read about the 1942 Negro League World Series and the match up of two great African American baseball players in this post from the National Museum of American History’s “O Say Can You See?” blog.
This post from the “Picture This” blog surveys civil rights era photographs in the Library of Congress collection.
The Smithsonian Collections Blog uses a photograph of composer Duke Ellington to discuss issues related archival practice and digitization.
The National Museum of American History explores love stories in its collections in this post from the “O Say Can You See?” blog.
Explore historic Valentine’s Day cards on the “Picture This” blog of the Library of Congress.
Check out the “Official MissPres 101 Places to See Before You Die Map” on the Preservation in Mississippi blog.
What did Washington, D.C., look like in the 1860s? Find out in this post from the National Museum of American History’s “O Say Can You See?” blog.
Listen to audio clips from Monitor Records albums such as “Russian Cabaret” and “Vienna by Night” on the Smithsonian Collections Blog.
This broadside (OSXBroadsides/1900) was discovered within a larger collection of materials from the attic of the Elms in Natchez. The two sided broadside was recently scanned and made available online through the catalog (click here to access both sides). Many of the other materials from the attic are now in Z/1879 The Elms Papers at MDAH.
We will be exploring Mississippi’s rich aviation history in this series. From early flight photographs to the moon landing and beyond, MDAH collections document this exciting part of our past.
The story of the Flying Dutchmen has become a kind of legend in Jackson. It doesn’t show up in most history books, but if you ask any of our older residents, chances are they’ll tell you stories about them flying under power lines and the like. But what really happened in 1942? Who were the “Flying Dutchmen” of Jackson? Much of this information can be found in the MDAH collection! Here’s the story:
Near the beginning of World War II, Hitler’s Germany overran the Netherlands, and later its colony, the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia) was conquered by the Japanese as they attacked southeast Asia, the Philippines, and the Indonesian archipelago. The Dutch were without a home, and more importantly for the war effort, without training bases for their armed forces. This is where Jackson, Mississippi, comes into the story. The Dutch needed a base for a flying school, and General Henry Arnold (head of the U.S. Army Air Force) obliged, choosing Jackson as the new home of the Royal Netherlands Military Flying School.
The city was already home to the Jackson Army Air Base at Hawkins Field when the Dutchmen arrived in May 1942, many with their wives and children in tow. Jackson became an international city literally overnight, as the foreign-speaking Dutch and native Indonesians wandered the streets and explored their new home. They delighted in shopping and eating in restaurants, pleasures that were hard to come by in war-ravaged Europe and the Pacific.
The Dutch fliers trained here for nearly two years, and during that time formed warm attachments with the locals, who reciprocated in kind. Some of the Dutchmen married Jackson girls and settled down in Mississippi after the war. Over thirty Dutchmen who were killed in training accidents are buried at Cedarlawn Cemetery in Jackson. Several of airmen and one widow have been buried there in more recent years.
The monument at the Dutch plot reads: Voor Hen Die Vielen (For Those Who Fell) and lists the fliers killed in training accidents.
Their story has been somewhat forgotten in the annals of Mississippi history, but it is one of Jackson’s hidden treasures, documented here at the archives.
Barber (Bette E.) Photograph Collection. MDAH call number Z/0839.001/S.
The Clarion Ledger, 1942-44. On file at MDAH.
“Dutch in Jackson,” subject file, MDAH.
Jackson Army Air Base News, 1942-1944. On file at MDAH.
Lutgert, W.H., and R. de Winter. Voor Hen die Vielen. The Hague, Holland: Historical Section of the Netherlands Air Staff, 1992. MDAH call number 949.2/L973v/1992.
“Netherlands Flying School,” subject file, MDAH.
Remous: Organ of the Royal Netherlands Military Flying School. March-December 1943. MDAH call number OS/949.2/R81r/D.
Stubbs, Ben. The Dutch Fliers. Interview with Fred Streuding on January 17, 2000. MDAH call number 949.2/S932d/2000.
Van der Laan, 1st Lt. R., ed. Royal Netherlands Military Flying School in United States of
America. New York: E.W. Smith and Company, 1943. MDAH call number 949.2/R81.