Though it’s among the oldest in the county, there’s no historical marker.
He frowns instead of smiles and his eyes are dark with some secret disappointment.Yet the people in Franklin’s coffle are also sick and afraid. C., and they’ll keep walking all the way to Natchez, Mississippi. They all know about the women he keeps trapped on his farm outside of town.From historical accounts of such marches, notably George William Featherstonhaugh’s “Excursion Through the Slave States” and Edward Baptist’s “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism,” the picture comes into focus. The haunted-looking women try to keep the spirits of the children up, but every night brings new horror. Franklin and the three other white men traveling with him take women off into the brush. And they all know that, when Franklin’s captives get to Natchez, whatever hell they’ve faced on the road — the beatings, the rapes, the forced marches — will seem like the good old days.Most people are related or married into each other’s families.Gossip, drinking and duels provide most of the town’s entertainment.