Location Information
(for the "Richmond")
Name:"Richmond"
Address:Canal Street, South
City/County:Natchez, Adams County
Architectural Information
Construction Date:c.1785
Architectural Styles(s):Federal, Greek Revival
No. of Stories:2
Remodeling Date:c.1832
Registration Information
NR Listing Date:16 Nov 1978
View National Register Nomination Form
Context/Comments
Since 1832, Richmond has been the residence of the Marshall family, whose patriarch, Levin R. Marshall (1800-1870), is a significant figure in the economic history of Natchez. His vast fortune was made from banking and commerce and from the extensive agricultural investments he made in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Although powerful through wealth, Marshall never held political office, and his only recorded civic activity took place in 1825 when he led a group of children to welcome the Marquis de Lafayette to Natchez. His contribution to the architectural history of Natchez is impressive. The construction which Marshall undertook c.1832 to transform his vernacular "raised cottage" into a fashionable villa not only created one of the nation's most significant Greek Revival residences, but given its early date, may have been responsible for the introduction of the Greek Revival into Natchez.

The following was compiled by Mimi Miller, Historic Natchez Foundation, c.1986:

"The center section of Richmond is one of the earliest dwellings in the Mississippi Territory. Matilda Gresham, wife of General Walter Gresham, commander of the Union occupation of Natchez, dined with the Levin Marshall family and later wrote that construction has begun on the house in 1784, a date presumably told her by her hosts (Matilda Gresham, LIFE OF WALTER QUINTIN GRESHAM, 1832-1895, 1919). The first owner of Richmond's center section may have been Juan St.Germaine, an Indian interpreter, who died in 1786 (Spanish Record Book A:273).

"The early central section of Richmond, as originally constructed, was a one-and-a-half story frame house with a raised-brick basement that may or may not be original. Like other early Natchez houses, the frame portion may have later been raised for the construction of the brick first story (see Coyle House, Governor Holmes House, and the Griffith-McComas House). The front galleries are not an original feature, and they obscure massive, hewn wood gutters that originally carried rain water from the roof. The small panes of the gable-end windows, which have been protected since the addition of the front and rear sections before the Civil War, and the construction details of window and door frames and the stairway newel and handrail are further indications that the center section of Richmond may be one of the earliest buildings in the Natchez area. The basement story is partitioned by wide cypress boards arranged vertically and held in place with a shoe and ceiling molding.

"The interior details of the principal story, particularly the central hall, and the turned columns that survive on the eastern gallery (portions remain as pedestals on a lower gallery) are all indicative of a Federal style remodeling dating to the territorial or early statehood period. Richmond achieved its final form after it was purchased in 1832 by Levin Marshall, whose descendants still own the house."