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Natchez has seen a lot in its day. With indigenous groups living here 12,000 years ago, the development of a strong culture and language that is fascinating to visitors and historians even today. This rich history meets up to the time the French came into the area and set up Fort Rosalie. The area has prospered with its cotton industry, suffered through hardships, and bounced back to become a tourist hostpot and host a National Historic Landmark. Reading up on this area's deep history can definitely enhance one's experience while here and make the places of interest much more meaningful.
Where else to start but the beginning, check out "Mississippi: A History" by Westley F., Jr. Busbee, or "The Emergence of the Cotton Kingdom in the Old Southwest: Mississippi, 1770-1860" by John Hebron Moore for some area enlightenment. To get more information on the Natchez Indians, the following are great reads: "The Natchez Trace: A Pictoral History" by James Crutchfield, "History of the Choctaw, Chickasaw and Natchez Indians" by H. B. Cushman and Angie Debo and, "The Natchez Trace: Indian Trail to Parkway" by Dawson A.
If you're traveling into or out of Natchez on the historic Natchez-Trace Parkway, a great guidebook to the road is Guide to the Natchez-Trace Parkway, by Lynne Bachleda . It's an easy-to-read, mile-by-mile guide to the many historic, natural and native american sites along the way, including many very near the city of Natchez.
A guidebook is a great idea for any destination and a good one for this region is "Insiders' Guide to Mississippi" by Sylvia Higginbotham, Lisa Monti, and Inc. Insiders' Guides.
A few more recent and relevant addendums to this list: The Natchez Indians: a History to 1735, by James F. Barnett Jr. Antebellum Natchez, by D. Clayton James. The Diary of William Johnson. The Black Experience in Natchez 1720-1880, by Ronald L.F. Davis. The Reshaping of Plantation Society: The Natchez District, 1860-1880, by Michael Wayne. Race Against Time: Culture and Separation in Natchez Since 1930, by Jack E. Davis.
Also for a unique take on slavery check out "The Barber of Natchez" it is a book about William Johnson, who was a former slave who owned his own slaves. There is also a national park musuem in Natchez on State st. that was his house and barbershop.