From: Anne Ferguson <>

Dear List Members,
  I have just come back from a lovely vacation to Natchez, MS.
While there, I decided to take a ride along the Natchez Trace
Parkway. Along the parkway I stopped at the only remaining inn
left on the road -  a place called Mount Locust. To my surprise,
the man who owned this inn from 1784 until 1801 was named William
Ferguson. My oldest Ferguson ancestor was named William also, but
I knew this was not my family. Nevertheless, I drilled the park
ranger about William and he sold me a little book that talks
about him. It turns out that the ranger is a descendant of
William's wife and another husband that she married after
William's death. I want to include a few facts about this William
Ferguson in hopes that any of his descendants on the list will
respond to my post. I would like to email you and ask a few
   The little book says that William Ferguson was of Scottish
descent and from Virginia. The ranger said he was from
Williamsburg. William moved into the area of Natchez before 1776
and in 1778 was garrison clerk of the British fort at Natchez. 
  He married Paulina Burch in 1783. He moved back and forth from
the area of Cole's Creek to Natchez several times. Finally he
bought the property called Mount Locust in 1784. He held about
1,215 acres from his purchase plus land grants. He was a bit of a
public figure. He served as Spanish alcalde or magistrate of the
Cole's Creek district in 1797. In 1798 he was appointed first
sheriff of Pickering County (now Jefferson), Mississippi. He
became an innkeeper because men who floated their cotton, farm
produce and other products on wooden rafts down the Mississippi
River to sell couldn't paddle back up the river. They had to walk
back home. The Natchez Trace was the road they used. These men
would show up at Ferguson's door needing food, water and shelter.
In self defense, he opened up Mount Locust as an inn. He ran it
successfully until his death in 1801. His wife, Paulina, married
James Chamberlain one year later. the Ranger told me that Paulina
had 11 children. I think he said that Mr. Ferguson was father to
7 and Mr. Chamberlain, 4. Anyway, Chamberlain ran off and left
Paulina alone with all those kids, so she changed her name back
to "Ferguson". Wise decision, I'd say. The Ranger was named
Chamberlain so obviously some of the children kept that name. The
ranger also said that he was born in the house called Mount
Locust which was first built in 1779. The ranger was probably
about 45 years old. He would like to know of any of William
Ferguson's descendants that are on this list. 

Anne Ferguson (aka SweetShrub)