The Natchez Trace

Improved Essays
Stretching over 440 miles, the Natchez Trace has been traveled by many. The original
Natchez Trace was a roadway that connected frontier settlements in Tennessee, Kentucky and the Ohio Valley with the lower Mississippi River. Sections of the original road, however, followed ancient Native American trails that had been in use for thousands of years before
European explorers arrived in North America. It once was an essential trade route for farmers,
Indians, and boatmen. The Natchez Trace links three of the largest water courses in the United
States; Cumberland River, Tennessee River, and Mississippi River. The earliest people known to use the trace were the Mississippi mound builders whose culture flourished from 800A.D. to
1500A.D.
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Before Joseph Hare was hanged in 1818 for all of his crimes, he spoke of seeing strange things on the trace like a phantom white horse. Gen. Andrew Jackson, Jefferson Davis, James Audubon, Meriwether Lewis (who died on the Trace in 1809), and Ulysses S. Grant are among the famous Americans to have traveled the
Natchez Trace. One of the most tragic events to occur along the Natchez Trace during its
“national” era was the death of Meriwether Lewis. Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, was on his way to Washington on the Trace when he rode up to Grinder’s Stand to spend the evening. Sometime during the night, the wife of the inn-owner entered Lewis’ room to find him in pain from a gunshot to the head. Lewis died shortly afterwards. It is still debated today whether his death was murder or suicide. In 1848, the state of Tennessee erected a monument in honor of Meriwether Lewis at the place of his death in Lewis County, Tn. Lewis County was also named after Meriwether Lewis. After the death of Meriwether Lewis, General Andrew
Jackson traveled on the trace with his troops during the war of 1812, where he earned the name
“Old Hickory.” Jackson Falls was named after General Andrew Jackson because he
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It was the first of several such memorials marking the route of the old trace which were placed throughout Mississippi. The DAR was one of several organizations responsible for a growing public awareness of the historical significance of the Trace. Cold blast furnaces were utilized along the Natchez trace in the days of iron production. There is one of these furnaces still in existence located on Cedar Creek in Perry
County. One popular stop along the trace is that of the birthplace of the King of Rock & Roll,
Elvis Presley. Sitting on fifteen acres in Tupelo, Mississippi, is a two bedroom shack where
Elvis was born and is now an official Mississippi landmark. Another famous landmark is the
Longwood Mansion. Longwood was built by Haller Nutt in 1860 as a home for himself, his wife and their eight children. This 19th century oriental style villa was to have been one of the grandest houses in Natchez, MS. Due to the outbreak of the Civil War the house was left unfinished in 1861. Nutt lost his fortune as a result of the war and died in 1864 from

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