Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Natchez, Mississippi

Marker ID:  26
Location: Mud Island River Park, 125 N Front Street, Memphis, TN
County: Shelby
Coordinates: N 35° 8.968    W 090° 3.507
  35.14946666    -90.05845
Waymark: None


Natchez, Mississippi
Panel #26 Mississippi Riverwalk

French settlers arrived in the early 1700’s establishing Fort Rosalie and a small plantation. The Natchez attacked in 1729, killing most of the settlers and French retaliation virtually destroyed the tribe. The British arrived in 1763, but Spain took advance of Britain’s preoccupation with the Revolutionary War and seized the town in 1779.

Natchez prospered under the Spanish. They made generous land grants, laid out the town, built lavishly, and established a tradition of gracious living.

The United States took possession of Natchez in 1798 and made it the first capital of the Mississippi Territory.

Settlers soon flooded into the Mississippi Valley, and Natchez became an important port for river and overland traffic.

The Natchez Trace, a 550-mile route to Nashville, TN, carried settlers south and flatboatmen utilized it to return north after selling their goods. Fertile soil and a mild climate gave rise to large cotton plantations in the Natchez area. During the steamboat era, the city became one of the greatest cotton ports in the world. Planters made large fortunes and spent them in gracious living. The impressive homes of the Natchez bluff became the focus of antebellum cultural and intellectual life. But on the waterfront, Natchez-Under-the-Hill was known as one of the roughest districts on the Mississippi River.

Undefended during the U. S. Civil War, Natchez, surrendered to the Union in 1863. The town suffered almost no physical damage during the war but its economy was slow to recover. The city became a regional industrial center in the 20th Century, as nearby timber, petroleum, and gas resources attracted a number of major companies. The town’s beautifully preserved old homes are open for the annual Natchez Pilgrimage.

Photo Credit: The Natchez Bridge, Mississippi Development Authority/Division of Tourist

A photo of this marker can be found on HMDB.org


AHP - Above Head of Passes, this is the distance from the mouth of a river when measured along the course (navigable channel) starting at zero.