A History of Linden Plantation and Gardens
was established in 1827 by John Wesley Vick, the son of the Rev. Newitt
Vick, who founded Vicksburg. He married Ann Marie
Brabston who was living with her parents, near Washington,
Mississippi. The Vicks had secured vast land grants from the U. S.
Government. The land on which Linden was founded was deeded
to John Wesley Vick and his uncle Burwell Vick in the early
original house was built in 1827, two years after the founding of
Vicksburg and 10 years after Mississippi became a state.
The final treaty with the Choctaw tribe was not signed until 1830.
The eastern boundary of Linden today is the Choctaw Treaty
Marie died in childbirth and John Wesley moved into Vicksburg.
Anne Marie's brother, James, and his wife, Roche, assumed
ownership of Linden about 1840.
was the first great gardener of Linden. She created 12 acres
of formal gardens on the grounds. The magnolias she planted
in 1847 still flank the entrance to the present house.
Eastern Red Cedars planted during the same period now form the
nucleus of a 1/4 acre botanical garden.
most Warren County planters, including Jefferson Davis, the
Brabstons did not support secession. The Brabstons, also
like most planters, were Whigs.
Nonetheless, war came. The battle of the Big Black River
took place about 6 miles NE of Linden. The Confederates
retreated into the fortification of Vicksburg and the union Army
swarmed over the rural countryside of Warren County. The
first group that overran Linden established a field hospital in
the school building and a Union surgeon, Dr. Joyceline, and his
wife resided in the house at Linden. Since armies of that
day survived by foraging, the store houses of Linden were soon
empty. Wagons were loaded with flour and other food supplies; the
cotton gin and other buildings were torn down for the lumber.
All of the farm animals were also taken.
the siege of Vicksburg, James became ill in Madison County,
Mississippi while attending to other business interests. As
Madison County was still controlled by the Confederacy, it was
considered "enemy" territory. Roche appealed to
General Sherman to allow her to leave "occupied" Warren
County to visit James, and bring him home. Sherman denied
her request and accused her of being a spy. After spending
the night and visiting with Mrs. Sherman, she had Dr. Joyceline
intervene and permission was granted.
the war, James paid his insurrection taxes ($33.54) and reclaimed
Linden. He also signed his Oath of Allegiance. Roche
filed claims with the U.S. Government in the amount of $9,375 for
the damages done during the siege. The claim was denied.
The next generation's mistress, Agnes Willis Brabston, (the
present owner's grandmother), continued the claim into the 1900's.
No settlement has ever been made.
Linden survived, the economy of the South, especially the
"hill country", was wrecked. The soil was worn out
and at the turn of the century, the boll weevil arrived.
Even worse, the present owner's grandfather, William H. Brabston
and husband of Agnes, died in 1889 at the age of 32, leaving a
widow and five small children. Roche died in 1895. They
survived by selling land and when all the land was gone, except
Linden, they borrowed and heavily indebted it.
service in WWI,
Bryan Willis Brabston, Sr., the present owner's father and
namesake, was single and secured what was considered a plum of a
job-rural mail carrier. He spent his life paying off
the debt on Linden.
died in 1943 and Linden was abandoned and heavily vandalized
in the following years. Fortunately, some of the furniture,
silver, china and other things were saved before the house burned
in 1956. Some are on display in the present home.
retirement in 1994, Bryan and his wife Joy returned
to Linden, converting the then cow
pastures into eight acres of formal gardens. Realizing the
importance of the land, the Brabstons have opened the home and
gardens to the public, so that others may share in its beauty.