There was a whole lot of unlucky in Natchez again when. You didn’t must be murdered by a grasping neighbor or shelled by a Union gunboat to die earlier than your time, as one other marker close to Louise’s attests: It commemorates Joseph Eisley’s spouse and 5 kids, all of whom died of yellow fever inside one week in 1853. When Eisley himself handed away, 39 years later, somebody chiseled his title, in a humbler font, on the backside of that lengthy listing.
As for Louise, she labored down by the river, the place unlucky dwelt in abundance. Whereas most of Natchez rests atop a bluff overlooking the Mississippi, one neighborhood, at its base, is called Natchez-under-the-Hill. Immediately it’s only a few blocks of present outlets and fun-but-not-too-raucous pubs; again within the day, although, it was a lot bigger, with a moderately colourful repute. As Joseph Holt Ingraham, a New Englander who visited Natchez within the early 1830s, wrote in his 1835 account “The South-West, by a Yankee”:
“Just like the celebrated “5 Factors” in New-York, ‘Natchez underneath the Hill,’ because it has been aptly named, has prolonged its fame all through the USA, in wretched rhyme and viler story. For a few years it has been the nucleus of vice upon the Mississippi.”
Steamships had been always docking at and delivery out from the landings at Natchez-under-the-Hill. The streets had been lined with grog outlets, playing dens and bordellos, and teemed in any respect hours with stevedores, sailors, gangs and thieves. And prostitutes.
Nobody is aware of the place Louise got here from or how she ended up in Natchez, however sooner or later, she fell gravely unwell — doubtless with consumption — and a lot of her co-workers implored a Presbyterian minister, Joseph Buck Stratton, to pay her a name. “I might have shrunk from it,” Mr. Stratton wrote in his diary in Might 1849, “however the associates wished me to be with them and I stayed for his or her good and my very own, to see the Prostitute die … it was a demise that provides no tangible floor for hope.”
Mr. Stratton buried Louise and commissioned her stone. It’s not recognized what number of others like her are interred all through the cemetery. Most, it’s presumed, haven’t any marker in any respect.