110 episodes

How would you like to travel along one of the oldest roads in the world? Take two minutes a day and join Eddie and Frank Thomas (authors of the award winning Natchez Trace: a Road Through the Wilderness) as they walk you along a 440 mile journey up the Natchez Trace Parkway. Inspire your weekdays, peek at the beauty of nature, and gather gems of insight as you come to treasure your journey along one of the oldest roads in the world: the Natchez Trace.

Natchez Trace: A Road Through the Wilderness Eddie and Frank Thomas

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

How would you like to travel along one of the oldest roads in the world? Take two minutes a day and join Eddie and Frank Thomas (authors of the award winning Natchez Trace: a Road Through the Wilderness) as they walk you along a 440 mile journey up the Natchez Trace Parkway. Inspire your weekdays, peek at the beauty of nature, and gather gems of insight as you come to treasure your journey along one of the oldest roads in the world: the Natchez Trace.

    It's a Long Journey

    It's a Long Journey

    "How would you like to travel along one of the oldest roads in the world? 

    "It's a long journey -- a journey that reaches back in geologic time where you'll see hundreds of thousands of years of activity during the last ice age as loess the windblown soil carried from far to the west is deposited along the eastern banks of the Mississippi River, and you'll see the beauty of nature springing from its richness.

    "It's a long journey -- a journey that spans tens of thousands of years following the beasts of the wilderness and well over 10,000 years of human activity. You'll see Indian temple mounds, and Indian village sites that existed as long ago as 8000 BC and used not just for days or weeks or years. Their use spanned far beyond the decades or the centuries; some of theses sites were occupied by human beings long before the building of the ancient pyramids of Egypt and used over thousands of years.

    "It's a long journey -- a journey that will take you through the struggle of a colony to pull itself out of the wilderness to become a great nation.

    "In this radio series we'll be taking a look at the history and sights along the Natchez Trace, one of the oldest roads in the world.  For Natchez Trace: A Road Through the Wilderness, I'm Frank Thomas."

    For more about Natchez Trace: A Road Through the Wilderness, visit eddieandfrank.com

    • 2 min
    Jeff Busby

    Jeff Busby

    "Thomas Jefferson Busby, a Congressman from the state of Mississippi during the Great Depression, introduced a bill on February 15, 1934 calling for a survey of the historic old Indian trail, the Natchez Trace. This was a project to create much needed work and at the same time commemorate an early road from Nashville, Tennessee to Natchez, Mississippi. May 21, 1934 The Seventy-Third Congress of the United States appropriated $50,000. to make a survey with the idea of constructing what was to become known as the "Natchez Trace Parkway." Four years later, on May 18, 1938 the United States Congress designated the Natchez Trace Parkway to be an official unit of the National Park Service.

    "But what was this Natchez Trace, just an old road, an old Indian trail? Well, in the early days of the United States this was a road through the wilderness, a NATIONAL ROAD linking the new nation to its frontier, a frontier that stood beyond the Indian territories, in what is now the southern part of the state of Mississippi. The road spanned the 500 miles between Nashville and Natchez.

    "Join us next time when we'll look at the origins of the Natchez Trace in the realm of prehistory. For Natchez Trace: A Road Through the Wilderness, I'm Frank Thomas."

    For more about Natchez Trace: A Road Through the Wilderness, visit eddieandfrank.com

    • 2 min
    Origins of the Trace

    Origins of the Trace

    "The Natchez Trace's Historical significance to the United States comes from the fact that in 1801 president Thomas Jefferson decided the old Indian trail from Nashville to Natchez should become a national road. Traveling the Trace you'll find that during this national road era the Trace was quite active, and vital to the growth of the young United States in the early 1800s.

    "You'll also find the story of this road and the trail which preceded it didn't begin with the United States territories, it didn't even begin with the European explorers and colonists who came hundreds of years before. Even the Indians whose story along the trail reaches back over 10,000 years found animal traces through the woods as they, the first human beings, migrated into this "Paradise."

    "The origins of the trail date back into the darkness of prehistory and grew naturally out of the lay of the land. Hundreds of thousands of years ago some of the region's richest soil was carried in by the wind during the last ice age. The greatest hardwood forest in the world grew east of the Mississippi River and extended from the Gulf of Mexico up into Canada. It was home to many species of animals, many now extinct. Buffalo herds lived in the area and it's thought that the origins of the Natchez Trace began as buffalo trails.

    "Next time we'll look at the early Indian Cultures that used this ancient road. For Natchez Trace: A Road Through the Wilderness, I'm Frank Thomas."

    For more about Natchez Trace: A Road Through the Wilderness, visit eddieandfrank.com

    • 2 min
    Archaic Period -- Mississippians

    Archaic Period -- Mississippians

    "8,000 BC, the beginning of the Archaic Period, was marked by men having improved hunting techniques, and fish in their diets and the beginnings of agriculture. The Archaic period lasted about 7,000 years until 1,000 BC, the beginning of the Woodland Period -- the time of the "Mound Builders" who buried their dead under mounds of earth. This culture used bow and arrow and is marked by a greater use of agriculture which caused an increase in village life and the use of pottery.

    "By 700 AD the Mississippian Culture covered the region around and along the Mississippi River Valley. This culture built huge mounds as temples. Emerald Mound is the second largest temple mound in the United States, and is one of the stops along the Trace near Natchez. It dates from the Mississippian Period and was built by the Indians of the Mississippian Culture. These Indians also built earthworks to protect their villages. The Mississippian Culture's trade network was elaborate, and the Old Natchez Trace was part of that network. These people had a high degree of organization. They were not primitives.

    "Join us next time and witness the decline of the Mississippian Culture as European explorers enter the lower Mississippi River Valley. For Natchez Trace: A Road Through the Wilderness, I'm Frank Thomas."

    For more about Natchez Trace: A Road Through the Wilderness, visit eddieandfrank.com

    • 2 min
    European Contact

    European Contact

    "By the time the first Europeans made contact in this region the Mississippian Culture was already fading. The Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto made a three year journey through the region with his army from 1539-1541. They crossed the Indian trails and made their way west and became the first Europeans to discover the mighty Mississippi River.

    "The declining Mississippian Culture was replaced by the Historic Indian Tribes, the largest three of these in the region were the Chickasaws, in what is now Northern Mississippi and the western part of the state of Tennessee; the Choctaw tribe in central Mississippi and the Natchez tribe in Southern Mississippi. The Natchez Indians were the closest to being direct descendants of the Mississippian Culture.

    "Over a hundred years after De Soto died and was buried in the Mississippi River the Frenchmen, Marquette and Joliett, came down the same river from the French settlements in Canada in 1673. They came down as far as the mouth of the Arkansas River. La Salle followed in 1682 and explored the river all the way to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico.

    "Join us next time when we'll learn of the Natchez massacre at Fort Rosalie. For Natchez Trace: A Road Through the Wilderness, I'm Frank Thomas."

    For more about Natchez Trace: A Road Through the Wilderness, visit eddieandfrank.com

    • 2 min
    Natchez Massacre

    Natchez Massacre

    "D'Iberville reinforced the French claim upon the Mississippi River valley in 1699 by landing along the Gulf Coast and trading with the Natchez Indians. D'Iberville came with his younger brother, Bienville, who founded New Orleans and served as governor of the French province of Louisiana. There was a trading post set up at the Natchez Capitol and later Fort Rosalie was built in 1716.

    "In 1724 Bienville was recalled to France, and in 1729 Sieur de Chopart was commander at Fort Rosalie. The Indians heard rumors that the French wanted them to abandon their villages and their land following the orders of Chopart. During the Indian's annual harvest celebration in November of 1729, the Natchez Indians rebelled against the French and massacred practically the entire French Garrison at Fort Rosalie.

    "The shocking news soon reached New Orleans. The French immediately and mercilessly annihilated the entire Natchez Indian Nation, only a few survivors escaped up the Old Trace to join their friends in the Chickasaw Nation.

    "Join us next time when we'll see how the French pursued the remaining Natchez Indians and planned to attack the Chickasaws. For Natchez Trace: A Road Through the Wilderness, I'm Frank Thomas."

    For more about Natchez Trace: A Road Through the Wilderness, visit eddieandfrank.com

    • 2 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

AlyHousey ,

Great for listening to on the Trip

I was a little confused by why all of the episodes were only 2 minutes long and then it all just fell in place. You can listen to the episodes in between stops on the Natchez Trace so you know about what is coming up on the next stop. Perfect! We were going North to South so it was all backwards but still extremely helpful!

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