Historic Markers Across Alabama

Safe Crossing

Marker ID:  
Location: in Natchez Trace Parkway Colbert Ferry Park, Cherokee, AL
County: Colbert
Coordinates: N 34° 50.277    W 087° 56.536
  34.83795    -87.94226666
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


Safe Crossing
Natchez Trace Parkway

In the early 1800s, ferries like the one George Colbert ran near here on the Tennessee River linked segments of the Natchez Trace. Ferries carried people across the river—for a fee. Post riders, Kaintucks, military troops, casual travelers, slave traders, and enslaved people took the ferries.

The Chickasaw had the title to the land in this region, and Chickasaw leaders like George Colbert understood the value of safe river crossings. In 1801, in one of their first treaties with the US, the Chickasaw allowed the US to develop the Natchez Trace into a road. The Chickasaw retained the right to operate a ferry across the Tennessee River.


US General Andrew Jackson and his veterans of the Battle of New Orleans marched homeward after the War of 1812. George Colbert's ferry carried them across the Tennessee River here. Although the river was not as wide and deep then, ferries made crossing safer and easier.

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 Safe Crossing