Ryan and I met Dorsey Carson at the Mississippi Book Festival recently. Dorsey is an attorney in Jackson who has also acted in a good number of movies. We were chatting about Death Along the Natchez Trace, and Dorsey said he had acted in a movie about the Natchez Trace, the Wilderness Road, by Travis Mills.
Dorsey said he had played a character named John Swaney, a real historical figure who carried mail between Natchez and Nashville around the year 1800. I said, “Hot dang, we wrote the story of John Swaney in this book.” Swaney is the reason we know details about Samuel Mason’s banditry along the Trace — Swaney knew the man, and sometimes found his victims, robbed of all their possessions.
We had to get a picture with Dorsey. It was such a funny coincidence. So here’s to John Swaney, a tough man who lived a tough life and did his job well over 200 years ago.