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Natchez, Mississippi
City of Natchez
The Convention Center in Downtown Natchez
The Convention Center in Downtown Natchez
Flag of Natchez, Mississippi
The Bluff City, The Trace City, The River City, Antebellum Capital of the World, Historic Natchez on the Mississippi
"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 United States
Natchez, Mississippi
Natchez, Mississippi
Location in the United States
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
 • Total 16.41 sq mi (42.49 km2)
 • Land 15.81 sq mi (40.96 km2)
 • Water 0.59 sq mi (1.53 km2)
217 ft (66 m)
 • Total 15,792
 • Estimate 
 • Density 924.12/sq mi (356.80/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 601
FIPS code 28-50440
GNIS feature ID 0691586

Natchez ( NATCH-iz) is the county seat and only city of Adams County, Mississippi, United States. Natchez has a total population of 15,792 (as of the 2010 census). 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. 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.


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 steamships 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 riverfronts 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.

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.



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

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.


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
Average high °F (°C) 58.3
Average low °F (°C) 37.5
Record low °F (°C) 4
Precipitation inches (mm) 6.44
Source #1: The Weather Channel
Source #2: Intellicast


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%
2019 (est.) 14,615 −7.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
Historical House - Natchez
House on Broadway Street, Eidelweiss

2020 census

Natchez Racial Composition
Race Num. Perc.
White 5,156 35.51%
Black or African American 8,729 60.12%
Native American 16 0.11%
Asian 73 0.5%
Pacific Islander 2 0.01%
Other/Mixed 343 2.36%
Hispanic or Latino 201 1.38%

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 14,520 people, 6,026 households, and 3,149 families residing in the city.




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. 425 runs north from Natchez after crossing the Mississippi, connecting Ferriday with Clayton, at which point U.S. 65 follows the west bank of the Mississippi, connecting 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.


Natchez is served by the Natchez Railway, which interchanges with Norfolk Southern.


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.


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


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.


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. 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.

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 ten schools. They are Susie B. West, Morgantown, Gilmer McLaurin, Joseph F. Frazier, Robert Lewis Magnet School, Natchez Freshman Academy, Natchez Early College@Co-Lin, 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 was founded as a segregation academy and 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.

Notable people

  • Robert H. Adams, former United States senator from Mississippi
  • William Wirt Adams, Confederate States Army officer, grew up in Natchez
  • Philip Alston, prominent plantation owner and early American outlaw
  • Glen Ballard, five-time Grammy Award-winning songwriter/producer
  • Pierre A. Barker, former Mayor of Buffalo, New York
  • Campbell Brown, Emmy Award-winning journalist, political anchor for CNN; grew up in Natchez and attended both Trinity Episcopal and Cathedral High School
  • John J. Chanche, first Roman Catholic bishop of Natchez, buried on the grounds of St. Mary Basilica, Natchez
  • George Henry Clinton, member of both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature in the first quarter of the 20th century, born in Natchez in the late 1860s
  • Charles C. Cordill, Louisiana state senator from Concordia and Tensas parishes, interred at Natchez City Cemetery
  • Charles G. Dahlgren, Confederate brigadier general during American Civil War
  • Olu Dara, musician and father of rapper Nas
  • Varina Howell Davis, first lady of the Confederate States of America; born, reared, and married in Natchez
  • Bob Dearing, longtime member of the Mississippi State Senate
  • Ellen Douglas, novelist, author of Black Cloud, White Cloud and Apostles of Light, nominated for the National Book Award
  • A. W. Dumas (1876-1945), physician
  • Stephen Duncan (1787-1867), planter and banker
  • Robert C. Farrell (born 1936), journalist and member of the Los Angeles City Council, 1974–91
  • Je'Kel Foster, basketball player
  • Terry W. Gee, member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1980 to 1992 from suburban New Orleans; born in Natchez in 1940, died in Baton Rouge in 2014
  • Jimmie Giles, NFL Tight End & four-time Pro Bowl selection in the 1980s while with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Mickey Gilley, country music singer, born in Natchez
  • Hugh Green, All-American defensive end at the University of Pittsburgh, two-time Pro Bowler, Heisman runner-up
  • Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, noted black concert singer and Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame inductee, was born in Natchez in 1824.
  • Cedric Griffin, Minnesota Vikings cornerback born in Natchez but raised in San Antonio, Texas
  • Bishop Gunn, rock and roll band whose members were born in Natchez and hold 'The Bishop Gunn Crawfish Boil' in the city every May.
  • Abijah Hunt, merchant during the Territorial Period who owned a chain of stores and public cotton gins along the Natchez Trace
  • Von Hutchins, former NFL football player for the Indianapolis Colts 2004-2005 Houston Texans 2006-2007Atlanta Falcons 2008
  • Greg Iles, raised in Natchez and a best-selling author of many novels set in the city
  • Wharlest Jackson, Sr. (1929–1967), civil rights activist
  • Rosa Vertner Jeffrey (1828-1894), poet and novelist
  • William Johnson, "The Barber of Natchez", freed slave and prominent businessman
  • Nook Logan, former Major League Baseball player for the Washington Nationals
  • John R. Lynch, the first African-American Speaker of the House in Mississippi and one of the earliest African-American members of Congress
  • Samuel Abraham Marx, architect, was born in Natchez
  • George Mathews, former governor of Georgia, lived in Natchez in the late 1790s.
  • Lynda Lee Mead, Miss Mississippi in 1959 and Miss America in 1960. A Natchez city street, Lynda Lee Drive, is named in her honor.
  • Marion Montgomery, singer
  • Anne Moody, civil rights activist and author of Coming of Age in Mississippi, attended Natchez Junior College
  • Alexander O'Neal, R&B singer
  • Col. John Joseph "Jack" Pitchford, USAF Ret. Among the first USAF "Wild Weasel" combat pilots, imprisoned 7 years in Vietnam returning home in 1973.
  • General John Anthony Quitman, Mexican War hero, plantation owner, governor of Mississippi, owner of Monmouth Plantation
  • Clyde V. Ratcliff, member of the Louisiana State Senate from 1944 to 1948, lived in Natchez
  • Rico Richardson, NFL player
  • Stevan Ridley, NFL running back for the Denver Broncos
  • Pierre Adolphe Rost, a member of the Mississippi State Senate and commissioner to Europe for the Confederate States, immigrated to Natchez from France
  • Billy Shaw, Pro Football Hall of Fame member, born in Natchez
  • Chris Shivers, two-time PBR world champion bull rider, born in Natchez
  • Carter Smith, film director and fashion photographer
  • Abdulrahman Ibrahim Ibn Sori, African nobleman sold into slavery and sent to work a plantation in Natchez, Mississippi for thirty-eight years before being freed at the request of Abd al-Rahman, the Sultan of Morocco
  • Hound Dog Taylor, blues singer and slide guitar player
  • Fred Toliver, former pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Minnesota Twins
  • Don José Vidal, Spanish governor of the Natchez District, buried in the Natchez City Cemetery
  • Joanna Fox Waddill, Civil War nurse known as the "Florence Nightingale of the Confederacy"
  • Samuel Washington Weis (1870–1956), painter
  • Marie Selika Williams, first black artist to perform at the White House
  • Richard Wright, novelist, author of Black Boy and Native Son, born on Rucker plantation in Roxie, twenty-two miles east of Natchez; lived in Natchez as a child

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