On the southern terminus of the Natchez Trace Parkway is the city of Natchez, Mississippi. It was established by French colonists in 1716 and is one of the oldest European settlements in the lower Mississippi River Valley. It served several important purposes in the history of the state of Mississippi, as well as the entire country. It was the capital of the Mississippi Territory, and when Mississippi gained statehood, it became the capital of the state until the City of Jackson was named capital in 1822. It contains many antebellum homes, and is noted for its historic district, "Natchez-Under-The-Hill," which in its early days was considered the most notorious town on the Mississippi River.
As our travel begins up the Natchez Trace, we reach milepost 5.1, where it is believed the very first college degrees were given women in the United States. The college was Elizabeth Female College, and all that remains of the original buildings is the photo in the slideshow.
Traveling north on the Trace, you will find a section of the old Natchez Trace. Its worn condition, which was caused by many footsteps and wagon wheels of old, make it appear as a ditch instead of a road.
Emerald Mound, one of the largest ceremonial mounds in the United States, is a flat-topped earthen structure that rises 35 feet high on eight acres along the Natchez Trace Parkway. Emerald was built and occupied between 1250 and 1600 AD by the ancestors of the Natchez People, an Indian Tribe.
In the beginning of growth of the United States, Natchez was the center of trade and exchange of goods between Native American, European, and African-Americans. It was considered to be part of the original old Southwest.
Be sure and watch the slideshow in this article. It depicts the areas described above. Please continue to read about the Natchez Trace Parkway, as we travel north towards its northern terminus at Nashville, Tennessee. Be sure an click on the subscribe link at the top of this page. You will receive an email each time a new article is published. They are absolutely free.