Wild Weather Wednesday: The Great Natchez Tornado of 1840

WildWeatherWednesdayOn May 7, 1840 a massive tornado tore through Natchez, Mississippi.  Just the night before the area on both sides of the river, Concordia Parish in Louisiana and Adams County in Mississippi, were drenched with over three inches of rain.  With all the rain in the area, farmers wouldn’t be planting that day.  Nevertheless, the area around Natchez and Vidalia (across the river on the Louisiana side) hummed with activity.

Historically, southwestern Mississippi had been inhabited by Natchez Indians, perhaps as early as A.D. 700 until the 1730’s.  Fort Rosalie was established by the French in 1716.  With a fort to provide protection from the Indians, permanent settlements began to spring up around the area.  There were, of course, conflicts with the Indians, primarily over land use and resources.


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