Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and Her Circle at Melrose Plantation
A National Historic Landmark with a complex and remarkable two-hundred-year history, Melrose Plantation near Natchitoches, Louisiana, was home to many notable women, including freedwoman and entrepreneur Marie Thérèse Coincoin and artist Clementine Hunter. Among that influential group, Cammie Henry, the mistress of Melrose during the first half of the twentieth century, stands out as someone who influenced the plantation's legacy in dramatic and memorable ways. In Cane River Bohemia, Patricia Austin Becker provides a vivid biography of this fascinating figure.
In addition to hosting well-known guests, Henry began a collection of history books, nineteenth-century manuscripts, and scrapbooks of clippings and memorabilia that later brought her attention from the wider world. Researchers and writers contacted Henry frequently as the reputation of her library grew, and today the Cammie G. Henry Research Center at Northwestern State University houses this impressive collection that serves as a lasting tribute to Henry's passion for the preservation of words as well as for the South's material culture, including quilting, spinning, and gardening.