Nathan was an enslaved man owned by University of Mississippi Chancellor Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard.
Sometime prior to Nathan’s death on Sunday, January 15, 1860, Nathan secretly buried a stash of valuables in the earthen floor of the cellar beneath the chancellor’s house on the University’s campus. On the night of Nathan’s funeral someone with whom Nathan had entrusted the whereabouts of his collection entered the cellar and retrieved the stash from the cellar floor. The next day the chancellor discovered that Nathan’s “little hoard” had been dug up from beneath his house. Frustrated that someone had “feloniously” entered his cellar under the cover of darkness, the chancellor confessed, “Until the thing was done, I had not heard, myself, where he [Nathan] had placed it.”
See Hilgard Collection, Folder 5, Archives and Special Collections, J. D. Williams Library, University of Mississippi.
Profile written by Chet Bush and Anne Twitty