Colbert’s Stand and Ferry Site: Natchez Trace Parkway MP 327.3

Date Visited: 4/5/2019

Just up the road from Levi Colbert’s stand at Buzzard Roost is the stand of his brother George Colbert. George was also a Chickasaw Chief.

We took the short trail to the top of the hill were the stand once stood, but nothing remains there today except for this marker showing a picture of one of the outbuilding called Wilderness Haven.

It is said that compared to other buildings along the trace Colbert’s stand was quite grand having many glass windows and doors.

George Colbert was a true entrepreneur. In addition to the stand he was also a successful planter, growing cotton and raising cattle. He was a slave owner who depended on 150 slaves for labor on his plantation.

As if that were not enough, George owned and operated a ferry across the Tennessee river at this strategic location between 1800 and 1819 after having secured the rights during treaty negotiations between the US government and the Chickasaw nation regarding the development of the Natchez Trace in 1801.

Ferries such as these were vital links between segments of the Natchez Trace and many paying customers depended on these ferries for safe passage across the river.

George Colbert was known to be a “shrewd” businessman. Be it fact or folklore, it is said he once charged Andrew Jackson $75,000 to ferry his troops across the river.

There are no remnants of the ferry or stand at this stop. There are a few informational signs and for travelers biking the Natchez Trace primitive camping is allowed.

At our next stop we finally get to see a beaver dam and we have our first real health scare on the road.

Until then…

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