William Johnson was a rarity in antebellum Natchez – a free black man who had a business and owned property and slaves. Johnson’s mother was a slave as were her children William and Adelia. By 1820 they had all been freed by their owner, who was most likely the father of the children. Johnson started keeping a diary in 1835 and although much has been learned of his daily life, he wrote little about his feelings on owning slaves after having been a slave himself. Johnson was murdered in 1851 during a dispute over land boundaries.
The house has exhibits on the first floor. The second floor, which was the family home of Johnson, his wife Ann Battle, and their 11 children, is furnished with pieces from the time period including some owned by the family.
Both floors are accessible. The elevator was being replaced during our visit so we did not get to see the second floor exhibits.