Natchez, Mississippi

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Natchez, Mississippi
Sole incorporated city
City of Natchez
The historic Melrose estate at Natchez National Historical Park is an example of Antebellum Era Greek Revival architecture.
The historic Melrose estate at Natchez National Historical Park is an example of Antebellum Era Greek Revival architecture.
Nickname(s): The Bluff City, The Trace City, The River City, Antebellum Capital of the World, Historic Natchez on the Mississippi
Motto(s): "On the Mighty Mississippi"
Location of Natchez in Adams County
Location of Natchez in Adams County
Natchez, Mississippi is located in Mississippi
Natchez, Mississippi
Natchez, Mississippi
Location in Mississippi
Natchez, Mississippi is located in the US
Natchez, Mississippi
Natchez, Mississippi
Natchez, Mississippi (the US)
Coordinates: 31°33′16″N 91°23′15″W / 31.55444°N 91.38750°W / 31.55444; -91.38750Coordinates: 31°33′16″N 91°23′15″W / 31.55444°N 91.38750°W / 31.55444; -91.38750
Country  United States
State  Mississippi
County Adams
Founded 1716 as Fort Rosalie, renamed by 1730
Louisiana (New France)
Established c. 1790 as the capital of the Natchez District
Spanish West Florida
Incorporated 1800s
Government
 • Mayor Darryl V. Grennell
Area
 • Total 13.9 sq mi (35.9 km2)
 • Land 13.2 sq mi (34.2 km2)
 • Water 0.7 sq mi (1.7 km2)
Elevation 217 ft (66 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 15,792
 • Estimate (2016)[1] 15,109
 • Density 1,100/sq mi (440/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes 39120-39122
Area code(s) 601
FIPS code 28-50440
GNIS feature ID 0691586
Website www.natchez.ms.us/1

Natchez /ˈnæɪz/ is the county seat and only city[2] of Adams County, Mississippi, United States. Natchez has a total population of 15,792 (as of the 2010 census).[3] Located on the Mississippi River across from Vidalia in Concordia Parish, Louisiana, Natchez was a prominent city in the antebellum years, a center of cotton planters and Mississippi River trade.

Natchez is some 90 miles (140 km) southwest of Jackson, the capital of Mississippi, which is located near the center of the state. It is approximately 85 miles (137 km) north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, located on the lower Mississippi River. Natchez is the 25th-largest city in the state.[4] The city was named for the Natchez tribe of Native Americans, who with their ancestors, inhabited much of the area from the 8th century AD through the French colonial period.

Historical overview

Established by French colonists in 1716, Natchez is one of the oldest and most important European settlements in the lower Mississippi River Valley. After the French lost the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War), they ceded Natchez and near territory to Spain in the Treaty of Paris of 1763. (It later traded other territory east of the Mississippi River with Great Britain, which expanded what it called West Florida).

After the United States acquired this area from the British after the American Revolutionary War, the city served as the capital of the American Mississippi Territory and then of the state of Mississippi. It predates Jackson by more than a century; the latter replaced Natchez as the capital in 1822, as it was more centrally located in the developing state. The strategic location of Natchez, on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, ensured that it would be a pivotal center of trade, commerce, and the interchange of ethnic Native American, European, and African cultures in the region; it held this position for two centuries after its founding.

In U.S. history, Natchez is recognized particularly for its role in the development of the Old Southwest during the first half of the nineteenth century. It was the southern terminus of the historic Natchez Trace, with the northern terminus being Nashville, Tennessee. After unloading their cargoes in Natchez or New Orleans, many pilots and crew of flatboats and keelboats traveled by the Trace overland to their homes in the Ohio River Valley . (Given the strong current of the Mississippi River, it was not until steam-powered vessels were developed in the 1820s that travel northward on the river could be accomplished by large boats.) The Natchez Trace also played an important role during the War of 1812. Today the modern Natchez Trace Parkway, which commemorates this route, still has its southern terminus in Natchez.

In the middle of the nineteenth century, the city attracted wealthy Southern planters as residents, who built mansions to fit their ambitions. Their plantations were vast tracts of land in the surrounding lowlands along the river fronts of Mississippi and Louisiana, where they grew large commodity crops of cotton and sugarcane using slave labor. Natchez became the principal port from which these crops were exported, both upriver to Northern cities and downriver to New Orleans, where much of the cargo was exported to Europe. Many of the mansions built by planters before 1860 survive and form a major part of the city's architecture and identity. Agriculture remained the primary economic base for the region until well into the twentieth century.

After the American Civil War, the city's economy rapidly revived, mostly due to Natchez having been spared the destruction visited upon many other parts of the South. The vitality of the city and region was captured most significantly in the eighty years or so following the war by the photographers Henry C. Norman and his son Earl. The output of the Norman Studio between roughly 1870 and 1950 documents this period in Natchez's development vividly; the photographs are now preserved as the Thomas and Joan Gandy Collection in special collections of the library of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

During the twentieth century, the city's economy experienced a downturn, first due to the replacement of steamboat traffic on the Mississippi River by railroads in the early 1900s, some of which bypassed the river cities and drew away their commerce. Later in the 20th century, many local industries closed in a restructuring that sharply reduced the number of jobs in the area. Despite its status as a popular destination for heritage tourism because of well-preserved antebellum architecture, Natchez has had a general decline in population since 1960. It remains the principal city of the Natchez, MS–LA Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Geography

Natchez is located at 31°33'16" latitude, 91°23'15" longitude (31.554393, −91.387566).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.9 square miles (36 km2), of which 13.2 square miles (34 km2) are land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) (4.62%) is water.

Climate

Natchez has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) under the Köppen climate classification system.

Climate data for Natchez, Mississippi
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 83
(28)
85
(29)
91
(33)
92
(33)
99
(37)
102
(39)
102
(39)
105
(41)
103
(39)
98
(37)
87
(31)
83
(28)
105
(41)
Average high °F (°C) 58.3
(14.6)
63.0
(17.2)
71.3
(21.8)
78.5
(25.8)
84.3
(29.1)
89.6
(32)
91.5
(33.1)
91.4
(33)
87.3
(30.7)
79.6
(26.4)
69.7
(20.9)
61.7
(16.5)
77.2
(25.1)
Average low °F (°C) 37.5
(3.1)
40.4
(4.7)
47.9
(8.8)
55.4
(13)
62.1
(16.7)
68.7
(20.4)
71.7
(22.1)
70.8
(21.6)
66.0
(18.9)
54.4
(12.4)
47.5
(8.6)
40.6
(4.8)
55.3
(12.9)
Record low °F (°C) 4
(−16)
8
(−13)
18
(−8)
28
(−2)
30
(−1)
49
(9)
55
(13)
50
(10)
40
(4)
27
(−3)
18
(−8)
5
(−15)
4
(−16)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 6.44
(163.6)
5.03
(127.8)
6.74
(171.2)
6.07
(154.2)
5.49
(139.4)
4.68
(118.9)
4.03
(102.4)
3.89
(98.8)
3.73
(94.7)
3.97
(100.8)
5.58
(141.7)
6.44
(163.6)
62.09
(1,577.1)
Source #1: The Weather Channel[6]
Source #2: Intellicast[7]

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 1,511
1820 2,184 44.5%
1830 2,789 27.7%
1840 3,612 29.5%
1850 4,434 22.8%
1860 6,612 49.1%
1870 9,057 37.0%
1880 7,058 −22.1%
1890 10,101 43.1%
1900 12,210 20.9%
1910 11,791 −3.4%
1920 12,608 6.9%
1930 13,422 6.5%
1940 15,296 14.0%
1950 22,740 48.7%
1960 23,791 4.6%
1970 19,704 −17.2%
1980 22,015 11.7%
1990 19,535 −11.3%
2000 18,464 −5.5%
2010 15,792 −14.5%
Est. 2016 15,109 [1] −4.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
House on Broadway Street, Eidelweiss

As of the census[9][10] of 2000, there were 18,464 people, 7,591 households, and 4,858 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,398.3 people per square mile (540.1/km2). There were 8,479 housing units at an average density of 642.1 per square mile (248.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 54.49% African American, 44.18% White, 0.38% Asian, 0.11% Native American, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.18% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. 0.70% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 7,591 households out of which 29.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.6% were married couples living together, 23.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.0% were non-families. 32.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the city, the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 24.3% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 18.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 81.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,117, and the median income for a family was $29,723. Males had a median income of $31,323 versus $20,829 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,868. 28.6% of the population and 25.1% of families were below the poverty line. 41.6% of those under the age of 18 and 23.3% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Education

Natchez is home to Alcorn State University's Natchez Campus, which offers the School of Nursing, the School of Business, and graduate business programs. The School of Business offers Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and other business classes from its Natchez campus. The MBA program attracts students from a wide range of academic disciplines and preparation from the Southwest Mississippi area and beyond offering concentrations in general business, gaming management and hospitality management.[11] Both schools in the Natchez campus provide skills which has enabled community students to have an important impact on the economic opportunities of people in Southwest Mississippi.[12] The Natchez Campus is a modern facility with several technology-driven amenities, such as campus-wide WiFi and electronic whiteboards for e-delivery of lectures. The School of Business from its Natchez Campus also offers other continuing education courses and workshops for the benefit of the regional community and businesses. The Natchez Campus also operates a satellite campus library.

Copiah-Lincoln Community College also operates a campus in Natchez.

The city of Natchez and Adams County operate one public school system, the Natchez-Adams School District. The district comprises eight schools. They are Susie B. West, Morgantown, Gilmer McLaurin, Joseph F. Frazier, Robert Lewis Middle School, Central Alternative School, Natchez High School, and Fallin Career and Technology Center.

In Natchez, there are a number of private and parochial schools. Adams County Christian School (ACCS) is also a PK-12 school in the city. Adams County Christian School is a member of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS). Cathedral School is also a PK-12 school in the city. It is affiliated with the Roman Catholic St. Mary Basilica. Holy Family Catholic School, founded in 1890, is a PK-3 school affiliated with Holy Family Catholic Church.

Economy

Adams County Correctional Center, a private prison operated by the Corrections Corporation of America on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, is in an unincorporated area in Adams County, near Natchez.[13]

Transportation

Highways

U.S. 61 runs north-south, parallel to the Mississippi River, linking Natchez with Port Gibson, Woodville, Mississippi and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

U.S. 84 runs east-west and bridges the Mississippi, connecting it with Vidalia, Louisiana and Brookhaven, Mississippi.

U.S. 65 runs north from Natchez along the west bank of the Mississippi. Louisiana 15 connects Ferriday with Clayton, at which Route 65 connects to Waterproof north to St. Joseph, Newellton, and Tallulah, Louisiana.

U.S. 98 runs east from Natchez towards Bude and McComb, Mississippi.

Mississippi 555 runs north from the center of Natchez to where it joins Mississippi Highway 554.

Mississippi 554 runs from the north side of the city to where it joins Highway 61, northeast of town.

Rail

Natchez is served by rail lines, which today carry only freight.

Air

Natchez is served by the Natchez-Adams County Airport, a general aviation facility. The nearest airports with commercial service are Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, 85 miles (137 km) to the south via US 61 and Alexandria International Airport, 82 miles (132 km) to the west via US 84 to LA-28W.

Media

A list of media in the Natchez metropolitan area (collectively known as the "Miss-Lou"):

AM

Channel Callsign Format Owner
1240 WMIS Blues Example
1450 WNAT News Talk Example

FM

Channel Callsign Format Owner
88.9 WMAU PBR Example
91.1 WASM AFR Example
91.9 WYFQ Example Example
95.1 WQNZ Country Example
97.3 WKSO Top 40 Adult Example
97.7 WTYJ Example
101.1 WWUU Classic Hits Example
104.7 KWTG Classic Country Example
107.1 KFNV Classic Hits Example

Suburbs

Natchez's surrounding communities (collectively known as the "Miss-Lou") include:

In popular culture

Various movies have been shot here, including The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974), Crossroads (1986), Raintree County (1957) and Horse Soldiers (1959).[14] and Rascals and Robbers: The Secret Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (1981)[15]

Notable people

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Natchez city, Mississippi". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  4. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): All places within Mississippi". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  6. ^ "Monthly Averages for Natchez, MS". Weather.com. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2010.
  7. ^ "Intellicast – Natchez Historic Weather Averages". Intellicast.com. Retrieved 8 April 2010.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  10. ^ "Censtats" (PDF). Censtats.census.gov. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-05-25. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-07. Retrieved 2012-06-09.
  12. ^ [1] Archived 2012-04-18 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ "Adams County Correctional Center." Corrections Corporation of America. Retrieved on June 28, 2016. "20 Hobo Fork Road, Natchez, MS 39120"
  14. ^ Barth, Jack (1991). Roadside Hollywood: The Movie Lover's State-By-State Guide to Film Locations, Celebrity Hangouts, Celluloid Tourist Attractions, and More. Contemporary Books. Page 170. ISBN 9780809243266
  15. ^ http://www.movielocationsplus.com/bts/th.htm
  16. ^ a b Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963. ISBN 1-299-64851-7.
  17. ^ James Matthew Reonas, Once Proud Princes: Planters and plantation Culture in Louisiana's Northeast Delta, From the First World War Through the Great Depression (PDF). Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Ph.D. dissertation, December 2006, pp. 263-264. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 21, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  18. ^ "113. Charles C. Cordill". homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  19. ^ James Matthew Reonas, Once Proud Princes: Planters and plantation Culture in Louisiana's Northeast Delta, From the First World War Through the Great Depression (PDF). Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Ph.D. dissertation, December 2006, pp. 245-246. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 21, 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
  20. ^ "Terry Wayne Gee, Sr. Obituary". New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  21. ^ A Guide to the Abijah Hunt Papers, 1800-1821, 1880, The University of Texas at Austin: Briscoe Center for American History
  22. ^ "The Barber of Natchez - Natchez National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service)". Nps.gov. 2016-03-16. Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  23. ^ Mildred Methvin. "Myrtis Lucille Gregory Methvin". Lafayette, Louisiana: genealogy.com. Archived from the original on October 12, 2014. Retrieved October 11, 2014.
  24. ^ Maude K. Barton (1915-03-14). "Historic Cemeteries of Natchez". Natchez Democrat. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2009-11-03.

Further reading

  • Anderson, Aaron D. Builders of a New South: Merchants, Capital, and the Remaking of Natchez, 1865-1914. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2013.
  • Boler, Jaime Elizabeth. City under Siege: Resistance and Power in Natchez, Mississippi, 1719–1857, PhD. U. of Southern Mississippi, Dissertation Abstracts International 2006 67(3): 1061-A. DA3209667, 393p.
  • Brazy, Martha Jane. An American Planter: Stephen Duncan of Antebellum Natchez and New York, Louisiana State U. Press, 2006. 232 pp.
  • Broussard, Joyce L. "Occupied Natchez, Elite Women, and the Feminization of the Civil War," Journal of Mississippi History, 2008 70(2): 179–207.
  • Broussard, Joyce L. Stepping Lively in Place: The Not-Married, Free Women of Civil War-Era Natchez, Mississippi. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2016.
  • Cox, James L. The Mississippi Almanac. New York: Computer Search & Research, 2001. ISBN 0-9643545-2-7.
  • Davis, Jack E. Race Against Time: Culture and Separation in Natchez Since 1930, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2001.
  • Davis, Ronald L. F. Good and Faithful Labor: from Slavery to Sharecropping in the Natchez District 1860-1890, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1982.
  • Dittmer, John. Local People: The Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994.
  • Gandy, Thomas H. and Evelyn. The Mississippi Steamboat Era in Historic Photographs: Natchez to New Orleans, 1870–1920. New York: Dover Publications, 1987.
  • Gower, Herschel. Charles Dahlgren of Natchez: The Civil War and Dynastic Decline Brassey's, 2002. 293 pp.
  • Inglis, G. Douglas. "Searching for Free People of Color in Colonial Natchez," Southern Quarterly 2006 43(2): 97–112
  • James, Dorris Clayton. Ante-Bellum Natchez (1968), the standard scholarly study
  • Libby, David J. Slavery and Frontier Mississippi, 1720–1835, U. Press of Mississippi, 2004. 163 pp. focus on Natchez
  • Nguyen, Julia Huston. "Useful and Ornamental: Female Education in Antebellum Natchez," Journal of Mississippi History 2005 67(4): 291–309
  • Nolan, Charles E. St. Mary's of Natchez: The History of a Southern Catholic Congregation, 1716–1988 (2 vol 1992)
  • Umoja, Akinyele Omowale. "'We Will Shoot Back': The Natchez Model and Paramilitary Organization in the Mississippi Freedom Movement"], Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 32, No. 3 (Jan., 2002), pp. 271–294. In JSTOR
  • Way, Frederick. Way's Packet Dictionary, 1848–1994: Passenger Steamboats of the Mississippi River System Since the Advent of Photography in Mid-Continent America. 2nd ed. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1994.
  • Wayne, Michael. The Reshaping of Plantation Society: The Natchez District, 1860–1880 (1983).

External links

  • City of Natchez official website
  • Official travel and tourism website
  • Natchez Democrat, the city's daily newspaper
  • "History of Natchez's Jewish community", Institute of Southern Jewish Life
  • History of the Catholic Community of Natchez, St. Mary Basilica Archives
  • Natchez Library Institute Accounts (MUM00328), University of Mississippi.
  • Natchez City Cemetery
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