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FHU Art Professor’s Article Published in Historical Society Papers

Henderson, Tenn. - Dec 07, 2016

An article by a Freed-Hardeman University art professor is included in the most recent volume of “The West Tennessee Historical Society Papers.” Laquita Thomson’s work is titled “Major William Stanley’s Path Through Tennessee.”

Stanley was the first person of European descent who can be documented in the West Tennessee counties of McNairy, Chester, Henderson and Benton. He visited in 1798. “This is significant because it places him in the interior of West Tennessee where no person of European descent had ever been recorded before,” Thomson wrote. He traveled an old buffalo and Indian trail on the Western Natchez Trace, identified on 1820s maps as the Road to Natchez.

Thomson, who is interested in local history, had seen a portrait of Stanley wearing a bearskin coat in the Cincinnati Museum Center. In the portrait, she said, he is depicted as “a middle-aged man, clear-eyed and confident, wearing a shaggy animal skin coat, the kind of covering used by packhorse men traveling the Natchez Trace.” The painting likely was completed after his time on the Trace was over, according to Thomson.

With degrees in painting and printmaking, Thomson teaches art and art history courses at Freed-Hardeman University.  She has presented numerous solo art shows in multiple states, and her art is permanently included in many museums across the South. Historical research is another of her interests.