/10 things you should know about Natchez on its 300th birthday

10 things you should know about Natchez on its 300th birthday

We offer 10 facts about Natchez in honor of the city that is the birthplace Mississippi. 1. Natchez Indians built Fort Rosalie in France for the French, and then took it back. The Natchez story began Aug. 3, 1716 when French settlers set up Fort Rosalie on the Mississippi River, an area that was occupied by the Natchez Indian tribe. According to Kathleen Bond (superintendent of the Natchez National Historical Park), the original fort was constructed with Natchez Indian labor. The Natchez Indians attacked French colonists at Fort Rosalie in 1729. They killed between 200-300 people and captured a lot of children, women, and Africans. Lance Harris, director of the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, said that this led to the French colonists fleeing North America. 2. Commerce and the human cost According to the Mississippi Historical Society, Natchez was the most active state slave trading center in the decades prior to the Civil War. 3. Capital without a capitol. Since Natchez was already a significant settlement on the Mississippi River in 1798, the United States Congress chose it as their first capital. However, no official capitol was constructed. 4. The Mississippi Historical Society boasts that Natchez was the richest city in America before the Civil War. 5. Bond states that Natchez was the home to the largest number of people of color in Mississippi prior to the Civil War. Many of these people were children of plantation owners or enslaved African American mothers. William Johnson, who was 11 years old when he gained his freedom, bought a Natchez barbershop in 1830. He kept a diary between 1835 and his death in 1851. The National Park Service cites his diary as an important resource in the study of African American history and free blacks. 6. The Auburn mansion is a classic Southern antebellum façade. It was built in Natchez, in 1812. The mansion’s two-story porch, with its classical columns and front porch, was the first in Mississippi to be built. It is synonymous with antebellum architecture. 7. Not secessionists, but Southerners On January 9, 1861, Mississippi seceded form the Union. However, delegates from Natchez County and Adams County voted against secession at the state convention. Adams County was home to many planters who had moved from the northern states, but they retained familial and financial connections to the north. 8. Rev. Revels claims a first in Natchez for his race. After the 15th Amendment was passed to the U.S. Constitution, which protected the right of African Americans vote, Hiram R. Revels from Natchez became the first African American senator to be elected to Congress in 1870. Mississippi was re-admitted to the Union in February 1870. 9. History of historic preservation Miss Charlie Compton was one of the first preservationists in Natchez. In 1925, she protested against the demolition of Natchez’s historic city hall. They were not saved by her. Ron and Mimi Miller created the nonprofit Historic Natchez Foundation in 1974. This foundation helps to preserve local structures by requesting their designations as National Historic Landmarks or listing on the National Register of Historic Places. 10. Natchez displays its finery Natchez is perhaps most well-known for its annual pilgrimage. The annual tour of grand antebellum houses and their gardens was made an annual event in 1932.
In spring and autumn, thousands of people visit Rosalie Mansion and Stanton Hall, Melrose, and Longwood. To support this important work, you can make a regular donation to us today as part of the Spring Member Drive.