Historic Markers Across Alabama

Bridging Cultures

Marker ID:  
Location: Natchez Trace Parkway (at milepost 327.3), Cherokee, AL
County: Colbert
Coordinates: N 34° 45.631    W 088° 1.373
  34.76051666    -88.02288333
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


Bridging Cultures
Natchez Trace Parkway

Here, near the bubbling waters of Buzzard Roost Spring, Levi Colbert (Itawamba Minko,"Bench Chief”) built one of the many inns—called stands—along the Natchez Trace.

But it was Colbert's negotiating and language skills that sustained him as a tribal leader. Bilingual, with a Scottish father and Chickasaw mother, he took advance of opportunities in both cultures.

Across several decades, Colbert sat among the Chickasaw during treaty talks. Using his knowledge both white and Chickasaw society, he protected both the Chickasaw homeland and his own interest.

A dogged negotiator, at the time of his death in 1834, Colbert was trying to amend an 1832 treaty to gain better terms for the Chickasaw people.

A 2012 inductee into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame, Levi Colbert earned a reputation as a skilled negotiator.

Erected Natchez Trace Parkway, 
National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior

Photographs of the marker can be found on HMDB.org

End of Bridging Cultures