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Forks of the Road Enslavement Market Terminus

Forks Juncture allows the Network to address largely untold stories of slavery and the Underground Railroad in the Deep South, and their connection to the same in the Upper Old South. The Juncture is situated in the heart of the southern Underground Railroad routes shown on Charles Blockson’s map. It contained Deep South’s "2nd largest" enslavement market and was the destination terminus of major and minor enslavement dealers from Virginia, Georgia, Florida, the Carolinas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky. It was the land gateway to the Old Southwest. The Juncture’s Old Washington Road carried the migrant/coffle trails from Pennsylvania and Virginia; Liberty Road carried trails from Georgia and the Carolinas; St. Catherine Street carried land routes up from Florida and New Orleans and Mississippi River routes that landed at Natchez Under the Hill. These trails and river routes were the used as the "Overground Railroad" of the internal U.S. slave trade through which enslaved people were sold "down the river" into the Deep South. This trafficking in enslaved people was one motivation for freedom seekers in the Upper South to escape. The Forks of the Road site is connected with Franklin/Armfield, the founder of the Alexandria and Natchez Markets, and with other dealers. Forks of the Road was also the site of an encampment of self-emancipating "Colored Troops" at Fort McPherson.

Visitor Information: Currently open to public.

Location: St. Catherine Street, Liberty Road, Natchez, 39121

Website: Forks of the Road Enslavement Market Terminus

National Park Unit: Yes

Ownership: Hank Smith, Mayor

Location Type: Site