When Paris imitated Natchez
by Stanley Nelson - posted Friday, December 7th, 2012 @ 12:51 pm
European explorers and Mississippi River voyagers often wrote of Natchez as a paradise on earth. No wonder the Natchez Indians chose this land as home so many generations ago.
Survey the hedgerows and bramble thickets of Natchez country today — on both sides of the Mississippi — and watch the beautiful cardinal flit and flutter. This songbird's brilliant red color and black mask intrigued Europeans. When the explorers began to ship the native North American cardinals to Europe, the Old World inhabitants fell in love. For quite a while the cardinal was the number one caged bird in Europe, its chirpy whistles heard from open windows in London and Vienna and Rome.