People might be surprised to learn America’s richest city in 1800 wasn’t New York, Boston or even Philadelphia. My own Charleston couldn’t claim the crown, either.
Natchez, Mississippi beat
everyone to the money.
Situated on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, Natchez is chock-full of mansions.
Some pristine. Some not. Its culture blends Cajun with Old South, uptown with frontier. On its restored riverfront, visitors can time travel while they nosh of fried pickles. They can gamble and imagine the boatmen, just over there. Dismantling their wooden barges. Stuffing their pockets with cash. Walking past ostentation with HOME on their brains.
Mansions couldn’t hold them.
Society failed to entice.
They craved open spaces, beyond porches and piazzas. At the rim of plantation lines. In swamps and forests, dirt and sky.
The boatmen looked at the riches of Natchez, and they embraced the American Dream. They didn’t know what to call it. Yet. But they knew if they worked harder, walked further, made it home……..it would one day be within their grasp.
There’s no better time to visit Natchez than during Pilgrimage. Spring and Fall. Mark your calendars. If you’re the spontaneous sort, Spring Pilgrimage runs from 7 March to 7 April 2015. Fall 2015 Pilgrimage dates have yet to be announced, but it usually runs from late September to early October. Click HERE to learn more about Pilgrimage.