Jessica Fleming Crawford to discuss ‘Natchez Massacre’ and ‘Ground Zero for Slavery’ at May 23 meeting of Natchez Historical Society

Jessica Fleming Crawford to discuss ‘Natchez Massacre’ and ‘Ground Zero for Slavery’ at May 23 meeting of Natchez Historical Society

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Jessica Fleming Crawford

NATCHEZ, Miss. — Jessica Fleming Crawford, southeast
regional director for The Archaeological Conservancy, will talk about an
archeological site related to the “Natchez Massacre” and chattel slavery at the
meeting of the Natchez Historical Society on Tuesday, May 23, at Historic
Natchez Foundation, 108 S. Commerce St.

Crawford’s presentation is titled, “Ground Zero for
Slavery: The Importance of the Terre Blanche Concession at Natchez,
Mississippi.” The social will begin at 5:30 p.m., and Crawford’s presentation
will start at 6 p.m. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Crawford will discuss the 1729 massacre, or as some call
it, the uprising, in which the Natchez Indians attacked and killed most of the
French who were here. She will also talk about the “1719 Terre Blanche
Concession, a plantation that had 300 acres in cultivation and at least 86
enslaved people who were taken directly from their homes in Africa or were of
the first generation to be born the Province of Louisiana.”

Archaeologists with the Lower Mississippi Survey
discovered the Terre Blanche Concession in 1971 on property owned by the
International Paper Company. The site is located on Lower Woodville Road on the
south side of St. Catherine Creek.
The Terre Blanche site, said Crawford, “is one of two
that are arguably ‘ground zero’ for chattel slavery in the Natchez District,
and archaeologically, very little of it remains.” Crawford noted her
presentation will focus on the importance of this site.
Crawford is no stranger to Natchez. In fact, she has made
many visits to the city. Over the years, she has worked with Concord Quarters
and served as a guest speaker for the NHS and the Grand Village of the Natchez
Indians. She is also involved with ongoing research projects in Natchez.
“Ms. Crawford is an expert on the history surrounding the
Terre Blanche Conservancy and what its archeology tells us about Natchez’s
early history,” said Alan Wolf, a director of NHS and its program chair. “She’s
not to be missed by anyone interested in our native and colonial past.”

Crawford is a graduate of the University of Mississippi,
where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. She holds a master’s degree in
Anthropology with an emphasis in Archaeology.
Crawford’s organization, The Archaeological Conservancy,
is considered “the only national non-profit organization dedicated to acquiring
and preserving America’s most important cultural sites,” according to the
agency’s website. In addition to identifying and acquiring “the most
significant archaeological sites in the United States,” the Conservancy helps
to preserve these sites.
As regional director, Crawford manages Conservancy properties
in eight southeastern states from her office in Marks. She oversees research
and works to acquire additional properties, which is made possible by purchase,
donation or by holding easements, Crawford said.
Additionally, Crawford plans and guides a week-long
educational tour of Southeastern archaeological sites.
For more information, call 601-492-3000 or send email to

1 Comment

  • Reply May 26, 2023


    William DeArteaga

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