Original master of the house returned
with force during restoration, ready to hunt bear.
When General John Quitman bought Monmouth Plantation for his bride, he wanted this plantation to create “an atmosphere of performance and peace amidst a changeable world.” This 2 story, Federal Style, stately brick mansion has been a labor of love for current owners Lani and Ron Riches who have worked hard to transform Monmouth Plantation from its 1977 sorry state of deterioration into a highly rated luxurious, beautiful and elegant top notch Bed and Breakfast, offering 16 suites and 15 guest rooms both inside the mansion itself and in the 8 out buildings situated around the estate.
Tom and I stayed at Monmouth Plantation during our summer 2006 road trip and know from first hand experience why this Bed and Breakfast has earned so many accolades as it is truly superb in all aspects. It is one of the few historical homes which is even more beautiful and glorious after being fully restored than the original dream home retreat. It is no wonder that among other awards, Monmouth received a Four-Diamond rating from AAA and even the often critical New York Times has said that Monmouth is Natchez’s “most elegant hotel.”
All guest suites and rooms have been decorated with the elegant style of the antebellum period, making them a retreat into a peaceful atmosphere. The rooms inside the mansion envelope the visitor into a “full immersion of the antebellum experience.” A suite in the Carriage House which overlooks the croquet lawn or a room in the Pond Cottages which overlook a serene lake are other choices.
American Historic Inns have declared that Monmouth is ‘One of the Top Ten Most Romantic Inns of the Year.” Both Glamour Magazine and USA Today agree with this, claiming that Monmouth is one of the 10 most romantic places. Many couples have been married here, in the romantic atmosphere of the “rolling lawns, flower gardens, fountains and ancient oak trees” found on its 26 acre estate.
Southern hospitality reigns supreme here. Guests are treated graciously with respect and friendliness. A five course gourmet dinner is offered for a basic price of $45 a person, served in the mansion’s main dining room. Also, quite impressive is the complete Southern breakfast served to its overnight guests by waiters, who ask for preferences.
Monmouth Plantation is a wonderful place to stay and enjoy a holiday, or a special event.
This beautiful and elegant large antebellum mansion first came into existence in 1818 through John Hankison, who built this 2 story, Federal Style brick Mansion. In 1826, General John A. Quitman, a hero of the Mexican War bought Monmouth for $12,000 just after the birth of his first child.
General John A. Quitman was born in New York, but made his fortune in Mississippi. He was a recognized hero of the Mexican War, and served as a Congressman in the United States Congress, among other things. He was a courageous man of principle, dearly loved his family and gave much of his life to serving others. He was away a lot from his family, his beloved wife and Monmouth Plantation. He took the Southern position about slavery, and argued before Congress that the South should be allowed to leave the Union. Right after this session in Congress he and a bunch of other Southerners came down with a mysterious illness, which sickened and killed many of them. Two year later, General John A. Quitman died also, just before the Civil War started.
Despite the persecution his family suffered during and after the Civil War, his family held onto Monmouth Plantation until 1914 when his youngest daughter, Rose passed away. A series of owners lived at Monmouth over the years. By the time 1977 rolled around, Monmouth Plantation was a great fixer-upper opportunity which was rescued by its present owners who fell in love with the place and dedicated their time, money and effort into restoring Monmouth Plantation.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
General John A. Quitman was a victim of a painful, drawn-out death.
It is thought that General John A. Quitman died as a result of being poisoned two years earlier by abolitionists in Washington D.C. when he and others from the South made the case for letting the South leave the United States.
His family was treated harshly by the occupying union troops and the reconstruction government who remembered John Quitman’s stand on the South leaving the Union, conveniently forgetting his bravery in the Mexican War and his years of public service.
His family members were forced to renounce the South and proclaim allegiance to the Union, under duress of having their home burned to the ground.
Though their home wasn’t destroyed, they still had troubles to overcome.
Right after the end of the Civil War, it was decreed that Southern land owners and home owners must pay a hefty tax or be forced to sell their property at auction. In order to meet the tax burden, the Quitman family had to sell a very valuable immense, wood carved German made piece of beautiful furniture which had been a family heirloom. It wasn’t until the beginning of 2006 that this magnificent piece of furniture became available for sale in Europe, and it was repurchased and put back where it belonged at Monmouth Plantation, the family home!
Considering the size of Monmouth Plantation, it would take a lot of money, time and TLC to keep the place looking up to General John’s standards over the years.
What a bunch of dolts the living had turned out to be! Former owners let his prized retreat home slip into disrepair and shabbiness, a disgrace!
The restoration process further stirred up this entity, who didn’t have much confidence in this effort at first.
The entity of General John A Quitman
He began to make his presence strongly known when the new owners Lani and Ron Riches bought Monmouth Plantation in 1977, and began to carefully restore the mansion and property, which wasn’t in very good shape, in a state of deterioration.
Restoration workers felt a strong presence watching what they were doing closely.
Being brave and courageous in life, the entity of General John A Quitman would boldly stomp around the hallways and areas around the inside of the mansion at all hours of the day.
Everyone in the owners’ family heard the stomping except the wife. The restoration workers, the staff and even the police heard the heavy footfalls which seem to begin in the attic area, and spread downward into the mansion.
On occasion, guests have been treated to a late night inspection by the good general himself, checking up on his visitors to his home, perhaps trying to help the owners keep an eye on the visitors to Monmouth Plantation.
A patron in room 30 awoke to see the entity of General John Quitman, dressed in his blue, pre civil War military uniform walking toward his bed, his boots making a clicking sound on the room’s brick floor. Satisfied with the guest, the entity disappeared.
Although the stomping around has stopped, the entity of General John A Quitman still does check up on his guests on occasion, quietly keeping a fatherly eye on the living, perhaps because he couldn’t protect his own family like he wanted to do.
However, the entity of General John A Quitman has found some peace in that his beloved home is now in better shape than when he lived there so long ago. He is extremely happy with his restored home! He has accepted the new owners and the visitors as guests in his home.
The owners also had every room blessed and prayed over, which also helped to calm this entity down as well, no longer quite as disturbed about all the injustice done to himself and his family.
36 Melrose Avenue
Natchez, Mississippi 39120.
(at the John A Quitman Parkway)
- Monmouth Plantation Brochure
- Haunted Inns of the Southeast, by Sheila Turnage, pg. 45-46, John F. Blair, Publisher, 2001
- Haunted Places: The National Directory, by William Dennis Hauk, The Penguin Group, 2002
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr