THE ANCIENT NATCHEZ TRACE

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cover new england

This is an extract of the article, with small photos. You will find the complete article with full-sized photos in my e-book View America: South East

In the travel series View America, South East covers Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee. It is not a traditional travelogue, but a non-commercial and more or less objective chronicle of an in-depth exploration of these states. Each state is described with its own brief historical background and its main sights, tourist attractions and points of interest.

This e-book does not describe directions, lodgings, restaurants, casinos or entertainment, except where these may interact with the narrative. It is illustrated with more than 80 full-sized photos.

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The Natchez Trace

Natchez, Mississippi, is where the ancient Natchez Trace begins.

At first it was no more than a series of Indian hunter trails through the virgin forests of Mississippi. But over the years, it would develop into a 440-mile long road over the hills, through Mississippi and Alabama, that ended up in Nashville, Tennessee.

By 1733 the French knew the area well enough to make an accurate map. This map featured an Indian trail, that ran from Natchez to the northeast. By 1785 farmers from present-day Tennessee and Kentucky, in the fertile Ohio Valley, started transporting their agricultural products with rafts over the Mississippi river to Natchez, and from there to New Orleans.

Since they couldn't return upstream, they sold their rafts for its wood value and had went home walking or riding. The Natchez Trace was the most direct route, and an ever growing number of travelers developed it into to a well-defined trail.

Around 1810 successive improvements had turned it into the most traveled road through the wilderness. It was the only reliable link over land between the new eastern States and the ports of Mississippi and Louisiana.

the Mississippi river
the Natchez Trace 1 map

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