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The McNutt House

The McNutt House

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  • Date Posted: Apr 30, 2014
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  • Address: Vicksburg, MS, USA

The McNutt House was built in 1826 and is among the oldest antebellum homes in Vicksburg’s Historic Downtown District. It was acquired by Governor Alexander Gallatin McNutt (Mississippi’s 12th Governor) in 1830 , purchased for $900.00, the rear wing was added in 1832.
McNutt is best remembered for his staunch, but unsuccessful battles to regulate banking as well as for having signed into legislation the right of women to own property in Mississippi. Over the centuries the house has had many owners to include the Vick family, for which the city is named.
MSSPI spoke with the current owners of the property related to the Vick family ownership and they reported to us that to their knowledge the lot #8 was originally owned by the Vick family but they had no confirmation that the Vick family ever resided in the house.
At one point The McNutt House was sold at public auction to settle back taxes. The main floor contains coal burning fireplaces with their original cast iron mantles now serving host to business meetings and special occasion events. McNutt’s living quarters, his personal office and a guest bedroom now accommodate guests as Suites with full kitchens and private bath. Renovations are currently in progress at the McNutt House, currently owned and operated by Pam & Elvin McFarin.
The McNutt House is located in the Historic Downtown District on the History Walking Tour just minutes from the National Military Park, museums, casinos, riverfront, numerous eateries, city events and entertainment. The McNutt House is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.To learn more about the McNutt House, accomadations and tours visit :
Alexander Gallatin McNutt was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, in 1802. Father: Alexander McNutt b: 10 DEC 1754 in Augusta County, VA Mother: Rachel Grigsby b: 1771
He was educated at old Washington College and in the early 1820’s moved to Jackson, Mississippi. With the intention of practicing law, McNutt soon moved to Vicksburg, where he opened a law office and also worked for a retired merchant collecting accounts. He became partners with a planter Joel S. Cameron, who was murdered in 1833 by his slaves. McNutt subsequently married Cameron’s widow, Elizabeth Lewis Cameron.
McNutt’s political career began in 1835 when he was elected to the state Senate. His greatest cause was reforming the banking system in Mississippi. In 1837 he was elected president of the Senate and as president signed the bill that established the Union Bank. During McNutt’s term of office which began in 1838, he continued his reform plans. Unfortunately, the Union Bank failed, causing the collapse of Mississippi banks and leaving the state with a five million dollar debt.
McNutt retired from political life for a few years after his second term as governor ended in 1842 then in 1847 he waged an unsuccessful campaign for United States Senator against his lifelong nemesis, Henry S. Foote.
McNutt published humorous sketches of sporting life in the wilderness from 1844 to 1847 in William Trotter Porter’s Spirit of the Times. His tales, written under the pseudonym “The Turkey Runner,” usually involve two characters, both of whom work for the “Captain” (McNutt) on a plantation in Mississippi. Though his tales today are recognized as no more than a representative of Southwestern Humor, during his day Porter recognized McNutt in his collection The Big Bear of Arkansas as a “formidable rival” of Thomas Bangs Thorpe, considered one of the pre-eminent authors of that genre.
In 1848 McNutt again campaigned state-wide to become a presidential elector. While at Cockrum’s Crossroads, in Desoto County, he became ill and died on October 22, 1848. . He is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Jackson Mississippi.
Other History related to the McNutt Family
Elisha Paxton (1785-1867) married Margaret McNutt Paxton (1792-1856) who was the sister of Alexander Gallatin McNutt, Elisha and Margaret Paxton raised and gave college educations to seven sons. One of these sons and most noted is
General Elisha Franklin Paxton. He was born on March 4, 1828. He attended the classical school of his cousin, James H. Paxton, and later graduated from Washington College in 1845, at the age of 17, from Yale in 1847 and completed a law course at the University of Virginia in 1849. He worked in the prosecutions of land claims in the state of Ohio after graduation. He began practicing law in Lexington in 1854 and in that same year married Elizabeth Hannah White (1831-1872) the daughter of Matthew White. Their children were Matthew W. Paxton, John G. Paxton and Frank Paxton. Matthew Paxton was the editor of the Rockbridge County News. In 1860, owning to an eye disease, he gave up law and bought Thorn-Hill, a valuable estate near Lexington. In giving up the practice of law, he turned his attention to farming and was very prosperous. He was a states right Democrat, and felt a deep interest in political affairs. When the first call for volunteers for the south was made in 1861 he marched as a lieutenant of the “1st Rockbridge Rifles” to Harpers Ferry. In the first battle of Manassas he was commended for gallantry on the field, in bearing the colors of a Georgia Regiment whose standard-bearer had been shot down. A short time, later he was promoted to major of his regiment, the 27th Virginian and was placed on Stonewall Jackson’s staff. Because he was such a strict disciplinarian as a major, he was relieved of command on a vote of confidence by his men. He then became a voluntary aid for Stonewall Jackson, with no pay, and paid his own expense. Jackson cited him many times for his distinguished service and in the fall of 1862, he was promoted to Brigidaire General on Jackson’s recommendation and took command of the “Stonewall Brigate”. He led the “Stonewall Brigate” in some of the most memorable conflicts on Virginia soil. During the war, his thoughts turned to God and a premonition warned him he would never return home. He united himself with the Presbyterian Church, and arose each morning with prayer and carried the bible next to his heart. The night before the battle at Chancellorsville he expressed an assurance he would be killed the next day. In the morning he arose as usual for his private devotions before going into battle and he was shot leading his men. General Paxton died at the head of his troops at Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863. It is not known if Gen. Paxton ever visited the McNutt House but I thought I would include this information for those with an interest in Civil War history.

Ghostly Experiences Reported :
The sighting of a small girl on the grounds, footsteps and unexplained voices in the main house. Feelings of being watched, The sighting of an apparition of a lady who came down the stairs and walked throught the wall where a door use to be.

MSSPI had the pleasure of investigating the McNutt, Magill and Chapel buildings on two occasions in the spring of 2010. We did not record anything on our IR Video or our still photos, however we did record several EVP as well as having several team members who had personal experiences, unexplained EMF fluctuations were also documented. We appreciate the owners in allowing us to investigate their property and we would recommend a stay at the McNutt B & B should you ever have the occasion to visit the City of Vicksburg.


Vicksburg, MS Mississippi, USA

Vicksburg, MS Mississippi, USA

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