This pictorial history of Natchez Trace illustrates the people, places, and events that have shaped the area's cultural and natural history.
The Natchez Trace is one of the oldest trails in North America. In 1801, President Jefferson ordered the Army to build a road along the trail to provide a route for moving troops and delivering mail. Jefferson dispatched soldiers down the road in 1803 to protect the Louisiana Purchase, and Andrew Jackson and his troops followed it to battle the British in the War of 1812. As an 1800-era link between Nashville, Tennessee, and Natchez, Mississippi, the road served as a pathway for settling much of what we now know as the South. Twentieth-century writers such as Eudora Welty later embellished its lore of heroes, bandits, and spies, inspiring Southern leaders to revive the Natchez Trace.
About the Author
The Natchez Trace Parkway Association formed in 1934 to promote the development of a federal parkway commemorating the old road. Through its efforts, President Roosevelt approved the parkway as a New Deal project. The paved road was finally finished in 2005. The Natchez Trace Parkway Association continues to work toward completing the interpretive facilities and amenities to help visitors understand, appreciate, and enjoy the parkway and the story of the old Natchez Trace.