Paulina <I>Burch</I> Chamberlain


Paulina Burch Chamberlain

Brunswick County, Virginia, USA
Death 19 Jan 1849 (aged 80)
Jefferson County, Mississippi, USA
Burial Cannonsburg, Jefferson County, Mississippi, USA
Memorial ID 80216942 View Source
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Paulina “Polena” Burch married William Ferguson in 1783 in Uniontown, Jefferson Co., Mississippi. Children: Anderson Ferguson, George W. Ferguson, James Ferguson, John Ferguson and Samuel Ferguson there were a total of ten children.
William Fergusoon had purchase "Mt Locust" property in 1781 from John Blommart.

In 1800, he was sheriff of Pickering County (changed its name to Jefferson County in 1802).

William and Paulina's land on which the house stands was originally part of a 1779 land grant, to Thomas Harmon, by the British Government of West Florida. Harmon transferred the property to Swiss-born John Blommart, who probably initiated the first construction, in order to meet the conditions of the grant, which included,
" good Dwelling House to contain at least twenty feet in length, sixteen feet in Breadth."
In 1781, Blommart relocated to the Old Natchez District, where he became a merchant, fur trader, land speculator, and planter, and eventually became one of the wealthiest men in Natchez. Eventually, Blommart became a prisoner of the Spanish. His property was confiscated, and he was sentenced to death. However, he was later released, and he went into exile in the British West Indies.

After Blommart's banishment, William Ferguson from Virginia, and of Scottish descent, acquired the property. Fergurson had migrated to the Natchez area before 1776, and had served as garrison clerk of the British fort at Natchez, in 1778.
Shortly after marring Paulina Burch, Ferguson was forced to leave the Mount Locust area, and move to a farm. However, Ferguson later returned, purchased the land and acquired an additional 1,215 acres. Ferguson and his family, remained on the land, developing it into a plantation.

By the time Ferguson died, in 1801, the house had become a successful inn. Paulina Ferguson remarried to James Chamberlain, and three more children were born to Paulina.
Their children: Ferdinand Chamberlain, Louis Bonaparte Chamberlain (1802-1844), and Thomas Jefferson Chamberlain (1807-1854).

It is told James left around 1810. Pauline continued to run the inn and plantation. By about the mid 1820 travelers were using the steamboats. Pauline then ran her inn as a getaway for Nachezeans seeking the quiet of the country until she died in 1849 at the age of 80.

On the south side of Cole's Creek is Mount Locust, a four-room, furnished farmhouse built in 1780. Located a day's walk from Natchez, the farm served as an inn for travelers before the steamboat era. A meal of corn mush and milk. They slept overnight on the porch or grounds. The price for this accommodations was reported to 25 cents.

The first Baptist church in Jefferson County was established by Rev. Richard Curtis, Jr., near the south fork of Coles creek in 1798. Uniontown, Jefferson County Mississippi.

The trace preserves the general route travel by American Indians. Later explores, soldiers, post riders, and frontier pioneers. Traders floated goods down from the Ohio river Valley down the Mississippi River. They sold their boats and walked homeward on the Natchez Trace.

The house and the cotton field plantation is a significant heritage site. A cemetery on the property holds the remains of workers, and a marker lists the name of 43 workers that may be buried there.

Of the 50 inns that dotted the Natchez Trace at the height of its foot-and-horseback traffic in the late-1700 to mid-1800's, only Mount Locust remains.  It's located about 15 miles from Natchez, in Jefferson County, Mississippi, and is one of the state's oldest structures.

The following brief history is from the Library of Congress and was written by Stuart Barnette, an architect with the National Park Service, in 1937:
"Mound Plantation (Chamberlain House) - built to be used as a tavern, for William Ferguson.
Ferguson built a one-room tavern in 1778 on what is supposed to be an Indian Mound, and what was, also,
the site of a Spanish Fort, near Uniontown (now extinct).  A room at each end, then later, three rooms
across the back, were added after 1783.  Other buildings on the plantation of 1830-40 which have disappeared included:  (1) a kitchen (2) a guest house ('Sleepy Hollow') -- a 2-story log or brick house of
four rooms, with double chimney (3) slave quarters (4) overseer's quarters (5) brick walks (6) the fort's
stockade (7) the fort's moat.

William Ferguson came to the Natchez District in 1776-77 and settled shortly thereafter on the Mound Plantation property.  The grant of the Spanish Government to Ferguson to 500 arpents of land bears the
date of March 15, 1783.  The Spanish deed was confirmed by the U.S. Board of Commissioners in 1803.

Mrs.Pauline Burch Chamberlain lived until 1843.  Her descendants continued to live on the property until it was
acquired by the state of Mississippi for the Park Service in 1937. Restoration on Mount Locust began around 1956. Part of the original framing was uncovered, and it was determined that the original structure consisted of a large room, 16 by 20 feet, and three galleries. The south portions formed small rooms, while the main room conformed to the British West Florida land grant regulations. The building materials had been locally obtained, a major portion of the frame being constructed from Sassafras's. The walls were of poplar, although later additions were constructed from cypress. The brick was fired in a kiln located on the property, just south of the house.
The furnishings are not original, but are of the period.

In the year 1798, Dibdal Holt, since decd., came to live on the said land now in controversy...."
William Ferguson gave possession to Dibdal Holt, grandfather of Paulina, to live and reside on land....

Washington Burch resided on same land learning the trade of a cabinet maker from Dibdal.
July 25, 1803:- Bill of Complaint of Washington Burch. Another disposition: Sept. 5, 1810: -- "


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