Natchez is the county seat and only city of Adams County, Mississippi, United States. Natchez has a total population of 15,792 (as of the 2010 census). Located on the Mississippi River across from Vidalia in Concordia Parish, Louisiana, Natchez is some 90 miles (140 km) southwest of Jackson, the capital of Mississippi, and 85 miles (137 km) north of Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana. It is the 25th-largest city in the state. It is named for the Natchez tribe of Native Americans who inhabited much of the area through the French colonial period.
In the late 18th century, Natchez was the starting point of the Natchez Trace overland route, a Native American trail that followed a path established by migrating animals, most likely buffalo, which ran from Natchez to Nashville through what are now Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. Produce and goods were transported on the Mississippi River by the flatboatmen and keelboatmen, who usually sold their wares at Natchez or New Orleans, including their boats (as lumber). They made the long trek back north to their homes overland on the Natchez Trace. The boatmen were locally called "Kaintucks" because they were usually from Kentucky, although the entire Ohio River Valley was well-represented among their numbers. The Trace was traveled heavily until the production of steamboats in the 1820s allowed northward navigation (against the current) on the River.