Monmouth Historic Inn

Natchez "Nabobs" - MORE

May 29 2015 | News

I find this so interesting; how far we have come - or have we?  Read below and draw your own conclusions.  First, remember that the term "Nabobs" meant "man of great wealth"  and accurately describes the type of aristocrat bred at Natchez.  Here's more information on the "Nabobs" of Natchez, of which there were 3 groups of about 40 families that were "prominent in agricultural, professional aned commercial vocations."  In other words - the aristocracy of the new world - self-made men - who through their success and wealth were able to move into and through aristocratic circles, and create their own ones.  Below is an excerpt from "Antebellum Natchez," written by D. Clayton Jones.  If you'd like a copy - please be sure to call our Gift Shop to order one - 601.442.5852:

"Intermarriages among and within the three groups, as well as with the outlying families of gentility, occurred so frequently that the proverbial Philadelphia lawyer would have been baffled by the complex family relations. . . .During the territorial era when the town was passing through the transition from frontier to civilized community, social structures had been loose, and mobility was common on the basis of property.  By the 1830's, however, the growth of urbanization had produced not only some degree of order and sophistication at Natchez, but also a tendency toward class stratification.  The aristocracy was entering its second and third generations, and the urge for status among the aspirants for the genteel level could no longer be fulfilled merely by the acquisition of wealth.  Blood kinships and established family connections had become significant.  To European visitors, especially those of nobility, the claims of certain Natchez families to an aristocracy of heredity must have seemed rather artificially contrived.  But in the little world of the nabobs the sense of uniqueness and separateness grew until, by the late antebellum years, the aristocrats had recoiled within their restricted sphere, almost oblivious to the lower classes."