Natchez, Mississippi

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Adams County Mississippi Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Natchez Highlighted.svg
Location in Mississippi
Basic data
Foundation : 1716
State : United States
State : Mississippi
County : Adams County
Coordinates : 31 ° 33 ′  N , 91 ° 23 ′  W Coordinates: 31 ° 33 ′  N , 91 ° 23 ′  W
Time zone : Central ( UTC − 6 / −5 )
Residents : 15,792 (as of 2010)
Population density : 461.8 inhabitants per km 2
Area : 35.9 km 2  (approx. 14 mi 2 ) of
which 34.2 km 2  (approx. 13 mi 2 ) is land
Height : 66 m
Postcodes : 39120-39122
Area code : +1 601
FIPS : 28-50440
GNIS ID : 0691586
Website :
Mayor : Darryl V. Grennell

Natchez is a city in the southwest of the US state Mississippi and has an area of ​​35.9 km². It is the county seat of Adams County and is located directly on the Mississippi River . The city is located 277 km north of New Orleans . In 2000, Natchez had a population of 18,464.

The city is the oldest in the state and was Mississippi's economic, political, and social center before the Civil War . The Natchez Trace also begins here . The city is famous for its grandiose mansions of antebellum architecture in the Greek Revival style, comparable to Charleston (South Carolina) .


Natchez in the pre-war period

View of the Mississippi

Natchez is considered to be the oldest settlement on the Mississippi. The first French settlers settled in the area around the future city in 1716. On November 28, 1729, the colony was completely destroyed in the Natchez uprising . More than 200 French people, the entire adult male population, were killed. When Great Britain took over the east of the Louisiana colony in 1763 , the area around Natchez also became British.

Founded in 1776, Natchez is the oldest city in Mississippi and was also the largest, richest and, according to most contemporaries, most beautiful city in the state before the American Civil War . The city received its fame and fortune primarily from a group of plantation owners who owned the largest and most valuable cotton plantations in the southern states. These planters served plantation owners and farmers throughout the western southern states as a model in the Cotton Kingdom .

The impetus for founding the city was given by the British Governor of West Florida , Peter Chester , who offered land for sale in the area - in the hope that the administrative center of the settlements on the Mississippi River would form there. By 1777 four shops and about a dozen houses were built here. The owner of the largest estates, Anthony Hutchins, took the post of justice of the peace , while he lived mainly from his activity as an agent of a London trading house.

After the American Revolution , the country briefly fell to Spain , the city slowly grew beyond its 100 inhabitants, as trade with New Orleans, also Spanish, was now much easier. The city's upswing began around 1795: among other things, the invention of the Egrenier machine by Eli Whitney ensured that the entire southern states and especially Mississippi switched from tobacco to cotton at that time . The area around Natchez was ideal for this. In 1798 Natchez became part of the United States, and by 1800 individual traders in the city were already making $ 50,000 a year from the cotton trade.

In 1809 Natchez was recognized as a city. At that time it owned about 300 houses, and by 1812 almost thirty stores and a branch of the Bank of Mississippi had opened in Natchez . At that time there were eight doctors and seven lawyers, three elementary schools, two churches, a Masonic lodge and a craft association. There were six pubs in town, garbage disposal was not yet in place, but water was already regularly brought into houses by carts.

In 1817 it became the capital of Mississippi.

While it lost its political pioneering role at the beginning of the 19th century and its economic dominance was impaired by the increasing importance of the central and northern Mississippi, this was the social center of the state until the Civil War. Natchez had the largest population of the prewar period in 1837 with 3,737 white inhabitants, from other surveys it can be estimated that almost half of them came to slaves and just under a tenth to free blacks. There were around 600 buildings in the entire city at that time, including a court, the City Hall, the county prison, three churches (Presbyterians, Methodists and Episcopalian - the Baptist and Roman Catholic denominations also represented did not yet have a church), a building for the Freemasons (two boxes), a theater, a hospital, an orphanage, eleven hotels, three banks, two large cotton presses, two steam-powered sawmills and three printing plants. Two daily newspapers, the Courier and the Free Trader , were published in the city, as well as the two-week Southwestern Journal . In addition to religious communities, Freemasons and craftsmen, there was also a Scottish, Irish and German community. 26 doctors and 24 lawyers practiced in and around the city. On May 7, 1840, the Great Natchez Tornado struck the city. At the time, Natchez was largely living near the economic center of the western southern states, New Orleans . In its economic heyday, 75,000 bales of cotton worth £ 400 each were shipped here every year.

Civil War (1861-1865)

Natchez survived the war relatively unscathed. As early as May 1862, after conquering New Orleans, the Union was able to take the city. David G. Farragut was the commanding officer of the United States.


In Natchez is the historic William Ailes House , which was built in the 19th century.

Nine structures in Natchez have National Historic Landmark status . 109 structures and sites in the village are registered in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) (as of September 21, 2018).

sons and daughters of the town

Web links

Commons : Natchez, Mississippi  - Collection of pictures, videos, and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. List of NHL by State . National Park Service , accessed September 21, 2018.
  2. Search mask database in the National Register Information System. National Park Service , accessed September 21, 2018.