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about Natchez

Natchez is a city located in Adams County, Mississippi. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 18,464. It is the county seat of Adams County. It was founded in 1716 and is the southern terminus of the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Natchez geography

Natchez is located at 31°33'16" North, 91°23'15" West (31.554393, -91.387566).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 35.9 km² (13.9 mi²). 34.2 km² (13.2 mi²) of it is land and 1.7 km² (0.6 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 4.62% water.

Natchez history

Natchez was founded by the French in 1716 as Fort Rosalie, an outpost in an area inhabited by the Natchez, a tribe of Native Americans. The inhabitants often found themselves in conflict with the Natchez and at one point wiped the entire Indian population. Subsequently, Fort Rosalie, which was later renamed after the tribe, spent periods under French, Spanish, and British colonial rule before being ceded to the United States in 1783 under the terms of the Treaty of Paris.

In the late 18th century Natchez became the starting point of the Natchez Trace overland route, which ran from Natchez through what is now Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee and terminated at Nashville. Flatboatmen and keelboatmen (often called "Kaintucks" because they were usually from what is now Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana) who floated their produce downriver often sold their wares at Natchez, including their boats as lumber, then made the trek back north overland. This route was dangerous and infested by bandits, insects, and snakes; like the trip downriver, it usually took weeks to reach Nashville.

In 1798, the Mississippi Territory was created by the Adams administration and Natchez became its capital. After 19 years as territorial capital, on 10 December 1817, Natchez became the first capital of the state of Mississippi, a post it would relinquish a few years afterwards in favor of the present capital, Jackson, which is more centrally located within the state. Over the course of the 19th century, however, Natchez became a town of strategic economic importance due to its location on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River. It developed into a bustling port for steamboats until the early 1900s, when railroad transport replaced steamboats. At Natchez, many local cotton plantation owners would have their cotton loaded onto steamboats at the landing known as "Natchez-Under-the-Hill" and transported downriver to New Orleans or sometimes upriver to Saint Louis, Missouri or Cincinnati, Ohio, where the cotton would be sold and transported to Northen markets for use as textiles.

The terrain around Natchez on the Mississippi side of the river is rather hilly. The city sits on a high bluff above the Mississippi river and in order to reach the riverbank one must travel down a steep road to the landing called Silver Street. This is in marked contrast to the flat lowland found across the river surrounding the city of Vidalia, Louisiana. Natchez is known for its many Antebellum mansions and estates, built by 19th century plantation owners who would often own farmland in Louisiana but locate their homes on the higher ground in Mississippi. The City of Natchez boasts that today it has more antebellum houses than anywhere in the United States, partly due to the fact that during the American Civil War Natchez was spared the destruction of many other Southern cities, such as Vicksburg. According to legend, the planter population, which has largely disappeared since the early 19th century, once made the city the wealthiest in the United States.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Natchez, Mississippi".

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