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Natchez was founded in 1716 when Fort Rosalie was established on bluffs above the Mississippi River, although the area had originally been settled in 1716. In 1729, members of the Natchez tribe killed the garrison troops. The area passed to England in 1763 and to Spain in 1779. The United States gained control in 1798. Natchez was capital of the Mississippi Territory from 1798 to 1802. It became a great river port and the cultural center of the planter aristocracy before the Civil War and from 1817 to 1821 it was the state capital of Mississippi. During the Civil War, in 1863, the city was taken by Union forces.

Natchez has preserved its antebellum charm and many historic homes can be visited during the festival period in March and April. The city once housed a large, prosperous Jewish community and it is home to the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience. Also in town are the prehistoric Grand Village of the Natchez tribe and Jefferson College, Mississippi's first chartered educational institution and now a museum. Natchez is an important trade, shipping and processing center for a cotton, livestock and timber area. It has lumber and cotton mills and manufactures include tires, paper and pulp products.

There are several hotels and restaurants in Natchez. The city is in the southwest of Mississippi, 140 km southwest from Jackson and 1550 km southwest from Washington D.C.


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