William Johnson House, Natchez – (1840-41) (National Register) The William Johnson House is a fairly typical Greek Revival townhouse in Natchez. Constructed between August 1840 and November 1841 by its African American owner, William Johnson, the house suffered inappropriate alterations and neglect; but was saved from destruction by the Natchez Garden Club in the 1970s, who acted as caretakers for 15 years before the National Park Service restored the house from 1990 to 2005. The house, since the restoration, is probably the best preserved Greek Revival townhouse in Natchez; but its importance lies with its builder, owner, and first resident, William Johnson. William Johnson (1809-1851) was born a slave, granted his freedom as a child, then lived as a free, slave-owning black in Natchez. Most importantly, he recorded his life as a free black in diary form, becoming, in the words of historian Allen Nevins, “one of the most remarkable and interesting American diarist[s].” William Johnson’s diary covers Natchez life from 1835-1851 and gives modern readers an insight into life for free blacks and Natchez culture during the antebellum period.