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In 1716 the French built a fort on the bluffs of Natchez. It was named Rosalie in honor of the Duchess of Ponchartrain. In 1820 Peter Little, a native of Pennsylvania, purchased a portion of that land on which to build his home. He decided to keep the name Rosalie in honor of the fort and its settlers. He also purchased large areas of land in Louisiana.

Peter Little arrived in Natchez in 1798 when he was only 17 years old. His family background is impressive. His grandfather, Colonel Peter Little, was a physician to George Washington and a pallbearer at his funeral. Another close relative represented Maryland in the United States Congress. However, why Peter came to Natchez at such an early age is a mystery.

He frequently used the ferryboat at Natchez under the Hill to cross the Mississippi River to check on his Louisiana property. He developed a strong friendship with the ferryboat owner, Jacob Lowe, and his family. In 1806 an outbreak of yellow fever quickly took Jacobís life. Soon his wife contracted this dread disease. Knowing her death was near, concern for her daughter, Eliza, consumed her. She sent for Peter Little and pleaded with him to take care of Eliza. He promised her he would.

Peter did what he thought best for defenseless Eliza: he married her. At the time Peter was 25, Eliza 14, so the marriage was in name only. Peter immediately sent her to school in Baltimore. Even though they were separated by many miles, a deep love blossomed and grew between them. We do not know how long Eliza remained in Baltimore. However we do know she came home a very educated, sophisticated young lady.

Construction on Rosalie was completed in 1823. Peter and Eliza moved into their new home. Even though they never had children of their own, the sound of children filled their home for many years. Back in 1816 Eliza helped found the Natchez Childrenís Home; many of those children found a loving home at Rosalie. They also raised Peterís niece after his sisterís death. By all accounts, Peter and Eliza remained deeply devoted to each other throughout their 45 year marriage. Eliza Little died in 1853 of yellow fever. Three years later Peter died without a valid will, forcing an auction of the estate.

In 1857 Mr. And Mrs. Andrew Wilson acquired the house. The Wilsonís had never had any children of their own and, like the Littles, they took orphaned children into their home. They became especially close to one of the girls, Fannie McMurtry. To the Wilsons she was their true daughter. Fannie married Capt. Stephen Rumble in the parlors of Rosalie on August 2, 1866. Rosalie became their home for the rest of their lives. All 6 of their children were born at Rosalie. In 1938 Miss Annie, daughter of Stephen and Fannie McMurtry, sold Rosalie to the Mississippi State Society DAR. Miss Rebecca and Miss Annie continued to live at Rosalie and give daily tours. In 1958 after 101 years of life at Rosalie for the Wilson/Rumble families, Miss Annie, the last of the descendants, passed away.

Owned, operated, and maintained since 1938 by the Mississippi State Society Daughters of the American Revolution
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