THE CAPITAL AREA 211 Rolling Fork where she built another Chapel of the Cross in 1894. A congregation was started in 1819. In addition to the new chapel, the couple eventually built another mansion called Mt. Helena, but it could not compared to the splendor of Annandale. After the passage of time, the Harris family moved to Memphis where George became the Dean of a Catholic school. It was there, in Memphis, that Helen’s mother, Margaret Johnstone, died in 1880. Subsequent to her mother’s death, Helen and her husband returned to Mississippi and reopened Annandale. However, in 1924, Annandale was consumed by fire. It has been said that when the home burned, the ghost of Annie Delvin was seen in her old room. George Harris returned to Rolling Fork and died in 1911, and Helen died in 1917. They were buried in Rolling Fork, but her mother, Margaret, was laid to rest behind the Chapel at the Cross in Madison County. Today, the Chapel at the Cross boasts an active congregation. The original structure and cemetery still stands in all its ancient glory. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, thousands of visitors visit the chapel each year, especially during the annual Day in the Country event that has been held on the church grounds each fall since 1979. The chapel serves as a historical marker to the Madison community and a connection to the distant past. Slavery and Disunion The wealth accumulated by the Johnstones and other planter families was a powerful lure for others who migrated to the region hoping to grow rich through the planting of cotton on a large scale. In the days before mechanized farming, such large scale planting was based on the labor of slaves, and the demographic patterns the Capital Area soon reflected the prominence of plantation farming in the local economy. In all but one county, the enslaved population grew to far outdistance that of whites. By the 1830s, the nation engaging in a growing debate over allowing slavery to expand into new territories and states in the west. As the federal government weighed the issue, increasing unrest among the slaves led to anxiety and sometimes paranoia among white southerners, especially in those areas where slaves outnumbered whites. Those fears escalated in 1831 when Nat Turner launched a violent slave revolt in Virginia that led to the murders of approximately sixty white men, women, and children. Four years later, fears of a slave insurrection became JUBILEE Margaret Walker was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1915, and grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. She went to Northwestern University in Illinois, and her first poem was published there in 1934. It was after she had moved to Mississippi in 1943, though, most of her novels and poetry were published. Walker was one of the youngest, most acclaimed African American writers in the twentieth century, authoring books about history, freedom, the Civil Rights Movement, and minorities. Her first book, Jubilee, is hailed as the “first truly historical black American novel.” One of her books of poetry, For My People, poignantly gives faces and character to forgotten and marginalized people. She was not only an award-winning writer, but also a beloved professor at Jackson State University and a wife and a mother to four children. While she was at Jackson State University, Walker founded the Institute for the Study of the History, Life, and Culture of Black People in 1968. The institute still exists, but now carries her name. The Margaret Walker Center seeks to continue to educate students and the public about the issues of equality and freedom Walker held so dear. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MARGARET WALKER CENTER, JACKSON STATE UNIVERSITY