The Institute for Humanities Research is proud to announce Edward “Noel” Smyth, IV and Surya Parekh as the winners of the Lisa and Ernest Auerbach graduate fellowships.
Noel Smyth is a second year History graduate student and is working on a history of the Natchez. Mr. Smyth recently finished his MA paper that focused on the colonial encounter between the French and Natchez in colonial Louisiana from 1682 to the 1730s. From 1729 to 1731 the French and Natchez fought a bloody war that resulted in the removal of the Natchez from their homeland. The French killed hundreds of Natchez people. They also caught and enslaved hundreds more and shipped them to Martinique. The surviving Natchez escaped to live with the neighboring and powerful Chickasaw. The Natchez exist today as a federally recognized Native American Nation. There is very little information about the Natchez from their dispersal from their lands in 1731 to the present day. His dissertation will work on filling this historical gap. This summer Mr. Smyth plans to begin his research at the Mississippi Provincial Archives in Jackson. This archive holds, in microfilm, all the French colonial Louisiana documents that are held in the Archives Nationales in Paris. In addition to doing archival research, he plans to visit the Natchez. His hope is to involve them as colleagues towards his work by inviting their active involvement in the project.