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Ask Rufus: The First Trail Of Tears

Posted 10/19/2019 in Local Columns

In September 1830, President Andrew Jackson dispatched commissioners Gen. John Coffee and Secretary of War John Eaton to Mississippi to negotiate a treaty with the Choctaw Indians, whereby the Choctaws would sell their homeland and move west of the Mississippi River.


Ask Rufus: The Sugar Famine of 1919

Posted 10/12/2019 in Local Columns

Few people have heard of the sugar famine of 1919 and its impact on Columbus, but 100 years ago a headline in the Columbus Dispatch read, "Sugar Famine Strikes Columbus."


Ask Rufus: Outline of Early Columbus History

Posted 10/5/2019 in Local Columns

As we approach the upcoming bicentennial of the official recognition of the Town of Columbus on December 6, 1819, I realized that a revised timeline of early Columbus history would be in order.


Ask Rufus: Sam Houston's Columbus Visit

Posted 9/28/2019 in Local Columns

"Gen. Houston, Late President of the Republic of Texas ... arrived in this city on Saturday evening last, in the steamer Victoria, from Mobile." So began a newspaper article in the May 21, 1839, Southern Argus of Columbus.


Ask Rufus: Aberdeen and its beginnings

Posted 9/21/2019 in Local Columns

It's often the unrelated and unexpected finds made while researching a topic that turn out to be the most interesting.


Ask Rufus: The Long Ride of Samuel Edmondson

Posted 9/14/2019 in Local Columns

Last week marked 206 years since Samuel Edmondson, riding "hellbent for leather," passed this way spreading a warning of death and destruction.


Ask Rufus: Columbus' Literary Heritage

Posted 9/7/2019 in Local Columns

This weekend's Tennessee Williams Tribute in Columbus brought to mind the many talented literary figures that have at times called Columbus home.


Ask Rufus: Charles Ford's Gilmer "Blues Magazine"

Posted 8/31/2019 in Local Columns

Though little known in Columbus today, in 1929 21-year-old Gilmer Hotel cafe cashier Charles Henri Ford was publishing Blues Magazine at the Gilmer. It was a small magazine which only lasted a year but it set the stage for Ford to become a leader in international Avant-garde art and literary circles. When he died in 2002 he was described in a lengthy New York Times obituary as; " a poet, editor, novelist, artist and legendary cultural catalyst whose career spanned much of 20th-century modernism."


Ask Rufus: From river chants to blues

Posted 8/24/2019 in Local Columns

When blues is mentioned most people think of the Delta, Memphis, St. Louis or Chicago blues, but blues music has deep roots in the Black Prairie.


Ask Rufus: Dancing Under a Green Corn Moon

Posted 8/17/2019 in Local Columns

Last week there was a spectacular full moon. It was known as the Green Corn Moon.


Ask Rufus: A Flag and a Single Star

Posted 8/10/2019 in Local Columns

Of Mississippi's historic flags I have always thought the prettiest was the Magnolia Flag.


Ask Rufus: John Daves and the Forlorn Hope of Stony Point

Posted 8/3/2019 in Local Columns

Writing my column last week on the Washington medallion passed down through Sallie Govan Billups, I told of the Revolutionary War record of John Daves, her great-grandfather.


Ask Rufus: Looking for Lafayette

Posted 7/27/2019 in Local Columns

This fall marks the 195th anniversary of the return to America of Lafayette in 1824. In Columbus there is a rare medallion presented by Lafayette on that return visit. However, as is often the case with historic relics, it is unclear as to exactly who Lafayette gave it to.


Ask Rufus: The 1842 Tombigbee Bridge

Posted 7/20/2019 in Local Columns

It's always rewarding when research confirms an earlier educated guess.


Ask Rufus: A Photo and a Hurricane

Posted 7/13/2019 in Local Columns

It's odd how sometimes two seemingly different events suddenly merge into a single story.


Ask Rufus: A Howling Wilderness and a Misnamed Road

Posted 7/6/2019 in Local Columns

In northeastern Lowndes County there is an old road now named Wolfe Road. That name is another example of people not knowing their own history.


Ask Rufus: Stories to Treasure

Posted 6/29/2019 in Local Columns

I was planning on writing today about the 1830s homes of Columbus that are rapidly being destroyed without even an attempt to salvage valuable materials out of them. However, the last two days I have had several people ask me about family stories.


Ask Rufus: 'To All Those Fond of Flowers'

Posted 6/22/2019 in Local Columns

"To all those fond of flowers..." So began an advertisement in an 1841 issue of The Southern Argus, a 19th Century Columbus newspaper. We all enjoy the gardens and flowers of spring and summer, but have we ever thought about what gardens were like in Columbus 175 years ago?


Ask Rufus: The Beginning of a Town, June 1819

Posted 6/15/2019 in Local Columns

The founding of Columbus involved a series of settlements and events stretching from 1810 to 1819.


Ask Rufus: Allison's Wells, A Grand Mississippi Resort

Posted 6/8/2019 in Local Columns

On Friday I was at the Duncan Gray Episcopal Conference Center for a Gray Center board meeting. Located at Way, Mississippi, nine miles north of Canton, it is not only a beautiful setting but a historic one as well.



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