Photo Essay- Antebellum Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi, is one of the oldest settlements with European roots in the South. The former capital of the Mississippi territory, it sits scenically overlooking the Mississippi River from the bluff above. It’s strategic location at the southern end of the Natchez Trace, an inland Native American and Pioneer Road, combined with the commercial port for paddle-boats and steam-wheelers, meant that Natchez’ early history was one of economic success. The early half of the 19th Century was especially good for Natchez, as local farmers made a fortune growing and exporting cotton and sugar cane. It was during this period that many of these wealthy families built large Antebellum homes in and around the city. While many of these homesteads were leveled after the Civil War, there are many more that survived and today are open for tours, either by private societies of by the National Park Service, which administers Natchez National Historic Park. 

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