Monday, February 11, 2013

Married Sixty Five Years Ago ~ 1948

Here's my congratulations.... I'm treating my kin as if they were alive.... such that I speak in a present tense...   Truly ~ their lives and my love for them are alive today.

Greetings:  Marraige may be Celebrated, in the County of Cook and State of Illinois, between Howard Juggins Jr of Chicago in the County of Cook and the State of ILL at the  age of  20 years,  and Miss Helen Sipuel of Chicago in the County of Cook and State of ILL   at the age of 21 years.  

The MOTHER of the said Howard Huggins .....having given Her consent to said Marriage.

I would not have thought about who was standing next to my Mom and Dad as they went down to get their marriage license....  the application was dated 6-11-1948 in Chicago.   Naturally, My Big Mama (Martha Belle Sipuel) was in Chickasha, OK....  I wonder what was the time sequence to Ada Lois' Lawsuit???
So, My mother was listed as a resident of Cook County... I believe she told me she was living with Auntie Nan Bush....  going to COGIC and met my daddy.   
So, it was Mama Dooley ~ who was giving consent to her baby son to marry Helen Sipuel. 
Here - - Sixty five years later, I'm am in a first time situation of giving consent to my 31 yr old son into marriage (September 2013)!   May the heritage of trust and companionship continue.
Below is my first grandson born 6-16-2005 ~ Jalen Anthony Kirk

Friday, February 1, 2013

Still Learning and Quoting from AR Encyclopedia

Civil War through Reconstruction

Throughout the American Civil War, thousands of slaves escaped from bondage in Arkansas and made their way to the Union army encampments. The exact number has never been determined, but anecdotal reports indicate that hundreds, perhaps thousands, died from malnutrition and disease in fetid, unsanitary, hastily constructed “shanty towns” and settlements.
The escaped slaves in their midst created a dilemma and a headache for the Union commanders. One obvious and at least partial solution was to enlist able-bodied adult males into the military itself. In April 1863, Brigadier General Lorenzo Thomas, adjutant general of the U.S. Army, issued an appeal to the freedmen to volunteer for service, and many quickly flocked to the colors. The army immediately recruited three black companies in Helena (Phillips County), and they became the nucleus for the First Arkansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment (African Descent) Its new commander was Captain Lindley Miller, an abolitionist from a New York regiment. Eventually, over 5,000 former slaves in Arkansas joined the Union army.
White Confederates were incensed at the sight of black soldiers wearing blue uniforms. Even the notion of black men fighting for the Confederacy and donning the gray aroused intense ire. Throughout the Confederate States of America (CSA), slaves were sometimes used to help construct earthworks or other military fortifications and were used as cooks, servants to Confederate officers, or in similar capacities, but they were not permitted to enlist. Arkansas’s most brilliant Confederate commander, Major General Patrick Cleburne, learned to his own detriment how great was the opposition to the idea of slaves bearing arms, even if for the Rebel cause. In the winter of 1863–64, facing the Union’s overwhelming numerical superiority and the growing possibility of the Confederacy’s defeat, Cleburne recommended that slaves be recruited into the army and given their freedom in return. Historian Thomas A. DeBlack noted that Cleburne’s proposal, though quietly rejected, damaged his career. The CSA did adopt a similar policy in 1865, but by then it was too late.
The revulsion against the idea of slaves or former slaves bearing arms also affected Rebel attitudes and actions toward black soldiers serving in the Union army. Lieutenant General Edmund Kirby Smith, the Confederate commander in the Trans-Mississippi West, encouraged those serving under him to treat “armed negroes and their officers” not as regular soldiers protected by ordinary rules of civilized warfare but as runaways and armed insurrectionists. Smith’s policy led directly to the slaughter of captured black Union soldiers at the Engagement at Poison Spring in south Arkansas on April 18, 1864. Southern white savagery bred black savagery in turn. Soon after, at the Engagement at Jenkins’ Ferry, fought on April 30, 1864, soldiers of the Second Kansas Colored Infantry, the companion unit to the First Kansas Colored Infantry regiment whose survivors had been massacred at Poison Spring, executed a new command of their white officers to “take no prisoners as long as the Rebels…murder our men.”
When the guns of war finally fell silent in Arkansas in May 1865, the circumstances of black Arkansans had already undergone radical transformation. Slavery had not only collapsed as a practical matter but had been legally abolished in the constitution of a new Unionist state government established in Little Rock during the spring of the previous year. In some respects, however, the new constitution, largely the creation of white Unionists from the Ozark Mountain country of northwest Arkansas, left black Arkansans in a kind of legal limbo: they were no longer bondsmen, but they were not yet fully free men and women enjoying all the rights of American citizens. While the Unionist state constitution of 1864 eliminated slavery and repudiated secession, for instance, it did not extend the right to vote or hold public office to any black citizens, not even to those who were literate, owned property, or were soldiers in or veterans of the Union army. One provision in the constitution was reminiscent of the antebellum statutes against free blacks; it specified that no blacks not already living in Arkansas could establish residence in the state, except by authority of the government of the United States or under proclamation of the president of the United States.
Conditions worsened further insofar as black equality was concerned when ex-Confederates gained control of the Arkansas General Assembly following the August 1866 state elections. The new “rebel” legislature of 1866–1867 adamantly refused to ratify the proposed Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Moreover, the legislature proceeded to adopt a new “Black Code” that contravened the notion of equal protection. Although the code did extend to the freedmen some rights that they had never enjoyed as slaves—including the right to form legal marriages, to enter into legal contracts, to hold property, to sue and be sued, and to give evidence in court—it also imposed upon them special proscriptions: blacks could not vote or hold public office, serve on juries or in the militia, or attend schools with or intermarry with whites.
Similar actions occurred in other Southern states as well, and eventually these provocations brought about a Northern backlash. Between March and July 1867, Congress passed three new Reconstruction Acts. These new measures set into motion a process whereby the Southern state governments were dismantled and replaced by new, more radical state governments in which black men could vote, hold public office, and enjoy full political equality.
Former Arkansas slaves immediately seized these new opportunities. Most of the adult black males who were eligible participated in a new registration of voters conducted by the U.S. Army. Since many ex-Confederates boycotted the registration in protest against the Reconstruction Acts, at its conclusion, black men constituted thirty-five percent of the state’s new electorate, even though they made up twenty-five percent of the state’s population. Eight black men served as delegates to the new state constitutional convention of 1868 and actively participated in its deliberations. Under the new Reconstruction state government established by the 1868 constitution, black men exercised significant political power. Two black men held cabinet-level state positions. Joseph C. Corbin, a graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio, served as superintendent of public instruction from 1873 to 1874, while William H. Grey, a native of Washington DC, held the post of commissioner of immigration and state lands from 1872 to 1874. At the height of Reconstruction in 1873, twenty black men were serving in the Arkansas General Assembly, and numerous black county and local officials served in the black-majority counties of the east Arkansas Delta.
Black officeholders used their influence to advance the interests of their people. Those who served in the constitutional convention of 1868 were able to enshrine in that document provisions guaranteeing black voting and office-holding and creating a system of public schools; they also succeeded in blocking provisions prohibiting interracial marriages. Subsequently, African Americans serving in the General Assembly helped obtain ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment. Further, they also worked successfully for two new state civil rights statutes in 1868 and 1873. The 1873 measure required owners or proprietors of businesses providing public accommodations, including those involving transportation and entertainment, to provide services to all without unequal treatment. Failure to comply could result in stiff fines and possible imprisonment. Another section of the act required that school districts furnish black children facilities equal to those given white children. The civil rights laws were infrequently enforced, but their presence slowed the development of segregationist practices.
Post Reconstruction through the Gilded AgeThese gains continued after Reconstruction ended in Arkansas in 1874. The various rival political alignments that emerged in Arkansas between 1872 and 1874 may have been bizarre, but Arkansas at least managed to avoid the intense racial and political polarization that characterized the collapse of Reconstruction in many other Southern states.
When white conservatives convened a new state constitutional convention on July 14, 1874, to bring Reconstruction in Arkansas to an end, eight black delegates attended, and the final document included provisions that allowed for the continuance of black suffrage, black office-holding, and the new black school system. In addition, the document even contained a “Declaration of Rights” that was reminiscent of the “equal protection” clause of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment.
The first governor elected under the new constitution in 1874, white Democrat and “Redeemer” conservative Augustus H. Garland, promised during his gubernatorial campaign that, if elected, he would retain the Civil Rights Act of 1873 and protect black citizens’ access to the ballot and to free public schools. In his first proclamation as governor, he struck a conciliatory note, asking the different races to unify for the continuing greatness of the state. Garland even encouraged white Democrats in the predominantly black counties of the Delta to share offices with African Americans through an arrangement known as the “fusion principle.” By this device, political party county committees met before the day of voting and allotted each other places on the ballot. Each party agreed not to contest those positions assigned to the other, and a “compromise ticket” would then be presented at the forthcoming election. Thanks to the operation of this system, black men continued to vote and hold many local county offices and seats in the state legislature until the early 1890s.
This measure of political equality helped some black men to realize a degree of economic and social mobility. This was particularly true in the state’s rapidly developing cities and towns, especially in Little Rock, where the population increased from 3,727 in 1860 to 38,307 in 1900. During this same time span, the city’s black population increased from twenty-three to thirty-eight percent of the city’s total. Most of Little Rock’s black populace, refugees from the plantations, had limited education and few advanced skills. Toiling as day laborers, porters, and domestic servants, they earned bare subsistence incomes. Even so, a number of factors in Little Rock’s urban milieu opened avenues for potential advancement. These included a more cosmopolitan population possessing at least a modicum of “urbanity” and tolerance for difference; a vigorous multi-party system in which Republicans, Democrats, and members of third parties vied for black votes; a well-financed public school system that offered a full nine-month school term, a high school program, and a more diverse curriculum for children of both races; and a white business establishment that prized enterprise, initiative, bustle, and ability, particularly the ability to raise capital and make money, and that was willing to accord a degree of recognition to individual African Americans who demonstrated these qualities.
Thanks to these various factors, urbanization facilitated the appearance of something entirely new in the history of Arkansas race relations: an authentic black bourgeoisie. By the turn of the century, a thriving black commercial district had emerged along Little Rock’s West Ninth Street, where a small class of independent black artisans, craftsmen, and merchants operated their places of business. Similar districts emerged in several other large towns scattered across the state. Above the tradesmen and the shop owners, at the head of black society, were thriving entrepreneurs and professional men, some of whom had acquired substantial wealth. One notable example was businessman Wiley Jones of Pine Bluff. By the early 1890s, he owned the city’s racetrack, one of its two streetcar systems, extensive rental properties, and was a partner with several prominent whites in one of Pine Bluff’s major real estate development companies; his net worth at that time was estimated to be approximately $300,000.
Education and religion were two spheres, greatly intertwined, in which black Arkansans were rapidly developing their own institutions. The first state-supported black institution of higher education in the state was Branch Normal College in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB), which was established in 1873. Following it, black religious groups created three other colleges in the following few years: Philander Smith College, established as Walden Seminary in Little Rock in 1877 for the training of black Methodist ministers; Arkansas Baptist College, founded as Minister’s Institute by the Colored Baptists of the State of Arkansas in 1884, also in Little Rock; and Shorter College, originally Bethel University, established in Little Rock in 1886 by the African Methodist Episcopal Church but later moved to North Little Rock (Pulaski County). Within the Methodist and Baptist circles, African Americans often organized their own denominations separate from whites, and a few ministers in Arkansas rose to positions of prominence within their respective groups. Elias Camp Morris of Helena, for instance, was elected president of the National Baptist Convention in 1895.

Alluvial Plains of Arkansas

Mississippi Alluvial Plain
aka: Mississippi Delta, Arkansas Delta, Delta, Mississippi River Delta
The Mississippi Alluvial Plain (a.k.a. Delta) is a distinctive natural region, in part because of its flat surface configuration and the dominance of physical features created by the flow of large streams. This unique physiography occupies much of eastern Arkansas including all or parts of twenty-seven counties. The Alluvial Plain, flatter than any other region in the state, has elevations ranging from 100 to 300 feet above sea level. In Arkansas, the Alluvial Plain extends some 250 miles in length from north to south and varies in width from east to west from only twelve miles in Desha County to as much as ninety-one miles measured from Little Rock (Pulaski County) to the Mississippi River.

....terrain and soil suitable for large-scale farming. In fact, the Mississippi Alluvial Plain is one of the most agriculturally productive regions in the world.
Alluvial (stream-deposited).

Slaveholding and cotton plantations were especially concentrated in the fertile river bottom lands of eastern Arkansas’s Mississippi River Delta and in southern Arkansas’s Gulf Coastal Plain,
(The Gulf Coastal Plain is an area of relatively gently sloping terrain extending across the southern portion of the United States from Texas to Georgia. It was covered by the waters of the Gulf of Mexico until about 50 million years ago)

This region of East and Southern ARKANSAS... accounted for and held about 74% of the state’s SLAVE POPULATION by 1860.

Small to Medium sized Plantations in this particular areas of AR ---  which may have been like the James A Anderson plantation. 

In 1860, there were 12,131 slaves (eleven percent) belonged to white families owning from one to four slaves

Notably, a larger number of slaves, about 48,000 slaves (forty-three percent) belonged to owners who held from five to twenty-four slaves.

For such slaves -- Like Lucinda Smith b. 1948.... who would have been child-bearing 1860.  Her last of 14 children was Bell Smith b. 1895 in Chicot, AR....   She as a slave resided on maybe such a small or medium-sized farm/plantation.   Her work as a cook, like the other slaves..... a work regimens and physical circumstances may not have differed radically from those of their white owners.

Again, in 1860, there were over 51,000 slaves (forty-six percent) working on the large estates --  (funny how this website denotes household... a slave is a slave, a plantation is a plantation...) 
There were over 51,00 slaves being owned by the nine percent of Arkansas White slaveholders who possessed from twenty-five to over 500 slaves.

In this case, slaves generally had less direct contact with their white owners, and the disparity in living conditions was much greater.

While slaves working on large plantations had less opportunity to develop individual ties with their masters, they also had more autonomy. It was on these larger units that true slave communities began to develop and flourish, including African tribal-influenced religious services, traditional folk medicine, and West African folk stories involving animals such as the famous “Brer Rabbit.” The plantation slave communities functioned as extended families. There was no such thing as legal marriages for slaves, and the immediate family could be shattered at any moment by slave sales or estate distributions. Under such circumstances, the personal ties that could develop within the slave communities and the system of mutual practical and emotional support that the slave communities could offer were invaluable.

Oh Well..

Now let's talk POLITICS in this Alluvial Delta area of Arkansas!  vs the Northwestern part of AR

Between 1890 and 1968, thousands of towns across the United States drove out their black populations or took steps to forbid African Americans from living in them. Thus were created “sundown towns,” so named because many marked their city limits with signs typically reading, “Nigger, Don't Let The Sun Go Down On You In Alix”—an Arkansas town in Franklin County that had such a sign around 1970. By 1970, when sundown towns were at their peak, more than half of all incorporated communities outside the traditional South probably excluded African Americans, including probably more than a hundred towns in the northwestern two-thirds of Arkansas. White residents of the traditional South rarely engaged in the practice; they kept African Americans down but hardly drove them out. Accordingly, no sundown town has yet been confirmed in the southeastern third of Arkansas that lies east of a line from Brightstar (Miller County) to Blytheville (Mississippi County), and only three likely suspects have emerged.

Much of this area had been Unionist during the Civil War. Until 1890, white residents had maintained fairly good relations with their small African-American populations, partly because African Americans and white non-Democrats were political allies. Then, election law changes and Democratic violence made interracial coalitions impractical. Now, it would not pay to be anything but a Democrat. Allied with this Democratic resurgence, a wave of neo-Confederate nationalism swept Arkansas: most Ozark county histories written after 1890 tell of the war exclusively from the Confederate point of view. More than ever, it was in the interest of white populations to distance themselves from African Americans. Precisely in counties where residents had been Unionists, white residents now often seemed impelled to prove themselves ultra-Confederate and manifested the most robust anti-black fervor

Sundown Towns.... Black in AR 1860-1900's

Arkansas' Ozark Mountain Blacks: An Introduction

Gordon D. Morgan and Peter Kunkel
Phylon (1960-)
Vol. 34, No. 3 (3rd Qtr., 1973), pp. 283-288
Published by: Clark Atlanta University
Article Stable URL:
Smokey Crabtree, longtime resident of Fouke (Miller County), wrote in 2001:
As far back as the late twenties colored people weren’t welcome in Fouke, Arkansas to live, or to work in town. The city put up an almost life sized chalk statue of a colored man at the city limit line, he had an iron bar in one hand and was pointing out of town with the other hand. The city kept the statue painted and dressed, really taking good care of it. Back in those days colored people were run out of Fouke, one was even hung from a large oak tree…. As of this date there are no colored people living within miles of Fouke, so the attention getter, the means to shake the little town up isn’t “the Russians are coming,” it’s someone is importing colored people into town.

Sundown reputations persist. “Never walk in Greenwood or you will die,” a black Arkansas college student said in 2002. The 2000 census showed two African-American households in Greenwood (Sebastian County), however, so his information may be out of date. But such reputations can be self-maintaining.

For additional information:Crabtree, Smokey. Too Close to the Mirror. Fouke, AR: Days Creek Production, 2001.
Dougan, Michael. Arkansas Odyssey: The Saga of Arkansas from Prehistoric Times to Present. Little Rock: Rose Publishing Company, 1994.
Froelich, Jacqueline, and David Zimmerman. “Total Eclipse: The Destruction of the African American Community of Harrison, Arkansas, in 1905 and 1909.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 58 (Summer 1999): 131–159.
Harper, Kimberly. White Man’s Heaven: The Lynching and Expulsion of Blacks in the Southern Ozarks, 1894–1909. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2010.
Jaspin, Elliot. Buried in the Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America. New York: Basic Books, 2007.
Lancaster, Guy. “The Cotter Expulsion of 1906 and Limitations on Historical Inquiry.” Baxter County History 38 (April, May, June 2012): 26–29.
———. “‘Negroes Are Leaving Paragould by Hundreds’: Racial Cleansing in a Northeast Arkansas Railroad Town.” Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies 41 (April 2010): 3–15.
———. “‘Negroes Warned to Leave Town’: The Bonanza Race War of 1904.” Journal of the Fort Smith Historical Society 34 (April 2010): 24–29. Online at (accessed August 8, 2011).
———. “‘There Are Not Many Negroes Here’: African Americans in Polk County, Arkansas, 1896–1937.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 70 (Winter 2011): 429–449.
———. “‘They Are Not Wanted’: The Extirpation of African Americans from Baxter County, Arkansas.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 69 (Spring 2010): 28–44.
Loewen, James W. Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism. New York: The New Press, 2005.
———. “Sundown Towns and Counties: Racial Exclusion in the South.” Southern Cultures 15 (Spring 2009): 22–47.
Morgan, Gordon D. Black Hillbillies of the Arkansas Ozarks. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Department of Sociology, 1973.
Nichols, Cheryl Griffith. “Pulaski Heights: Early Suburban Development in Little Rock, Arkansas.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 41 (Summer 1982): 129–145.
Pickens, William. “Arkansas—A Study in Suppression.” In These “Colored” United States: African American Essays from the 1920s, edited by Tom Lutz and Susanna Ashton. New Brunswick, CT: Rutgers University Press, 1996.
“Possible Sundown Town in Arkansas.” The Homepage of James Loewen. (accessed March 1, 2011).
Rea, Ralph R. Boone County and Its People. Van Buren, AR: Press-Argus, 1955.
“The Real Polk County.” The Looking Glass: Reflecting Life in the Ouachitas 5 (January 1980): 16.
Research Collection. Rogers Historical Museum, Rogers, Arkansas.
Robles, Josh. “Amity’s Lost Black Community.” Clark County Historical Journal 33 (2006): 8–16.
Shiloh Museum of Ozark History. Springdale, Arkansas.

The History of Arkansas Culture (linked)

tells me a great deal more at Slaves living during this time in this area of the South.

1843, Arkansas denied free blacks entry into the state, and in 1859, Arkansas required such persons to leave the state by January 1, 1860, or be sold into slavery. Moreover, in 1864, the loyalist Arkansas faction passed a new state constitution that abolished slavery but excluded African Americans from moving into the state. However, that constitution never went into effect, and during Reconstruction, African Americans participated politically across the state. In 1890, every county had at least six African Americans, and only one had fewer than ten.

Then, between 1890 and 1940, white residents forced African Americans to make a “Great Retreat” in Arkansas and across the North. During this “Nadir of Race Relations,” lynchings peaked, and unions drove African Americans from such occupations as railroad fireman and meat cutter. Democrat Jeff Davis ran for Arkansas governor in 1900, 1902, and 1904, and then for the U. S. Senate in 1906; his language grew more Negrophobic with each campaign. “We have come to a parting of the way with the Negro,” he shouted. “If the brutal criminals of that race…. lay unholy hands upon our fair daughters, nature is so riven and shocked that the dire compact produces a social cataclysm.” White people responded with violence. By 1930, three Arkansas counties had no African Americans at all, and another eight had fewer than ten, all in the Arkansas Ozarks. By 1960, six counties had no African Americans (Baxter, Fulton, Polk, Searcy, Sharp, and Stone), seven more had one to three, and yet another county had six. All fourteen were probably sundown counties; eight have been confirmed.
Much of this area had been Unionist during the Civil War. Until 1890, white residents had maintained fairly good relations with their small African-American populations, partly because African Americans and white non-Democrats were political allies.

Then, election law changes and Democratic violence made interracial coalitions impractical. Now, it would not pay to be anything but a Democrat. Allied with this Democratic resurgence, a wave of neo-Confederate nationalism swept Arkansas: most Ozark county histories written after 1890 tell of the war exclusively from the Confederate point of view. More than ever, it was in the interest of white populations to distance themselves from African Americans. Precisely in counties where residents had been Unionists, white residents now often seemed impelled to prove themselves ultra-Confederate and manifested the most robust anti-black fervor.


Its name was thought to have come from the French word "chicot" (stumpy) for the many cypress knees along the river. Lake Village is the county seat. Chicot County is the state's southeastern-most county

Population: 14,117   Three school districts: 
Lakeside - Chicot County

Railroad in Lucinda's Chicot, Arkansas area

The first actual railroad in Arkansas was laid from what is now West Memphis (Crittenden County) to Madison (St. Francis County), which is on the St. Francis River, in 1858. This was the first section of what would become the Memphis and Little Rock Railroad, and it was the only functioning railroad completed by the end of the decade.
Town of Eudora in Chicot County, Arkansas
The city of Eudora is located in Chicot County approximately 39 miles south of McGehee... hmnnnnnnn

Again, these are neighboring counties....
 The 2000 census shows the town of Eudora  to be a smaller town whose population was 2819 -- with a total land area of only 3.1 square miles. The census data reports 2,189 people, 1,047 households, and only 731 families: population density was 912.7 people per square mile.
Today's racial makeup of the city is about 13.9% white, LARGELY -- 84.5% Black, 1.38% Hispanic, then under 1% for Native American, Asian, Pacific Islander, others and those from two or more races.
 The History of Arkansas Culture (linked)

tells me a great deal more at Slaves living during this time in this area of the South.

The city of Eudora is located just 3 miles west of the Mississippi River... it is in the southeastern corner of Arkansas, and was built on land rising twenty-five feet above the surrounding Delta flatlands. It came about as a result of antebellum plantations and an early twentieth-century railroad.  Eudora calls itself the “Catfish Capital of Arkansas.”

Early 1836 - - 1856   --- a twenty year span
Louisiana Purchase through Reconstruction
The rich fertile land on which Eudora was established was still only sparsely settled when Arkansas became a state in 1836. A Presbyterian church was built on the ridge in the 1840s, and a Masonic lodge opened at that location in 1848.

E. C. Jones owned 700 acres of Chicot County land, including the ridge; he named his homestead Eudora Plantation for his daughter, Frances Eudora Jones, who died at the age of four in 1858. The same name was given to the post office on the ridge, which opened on December 4, 1856, but closed in 1867, opened again in 1871, closed a second time in 1876, and reopened in 1888.

Slave labor helped to build levees, which protected the farmland on and near the Eudora Plantation. The first house built within the borders of what today is Eudora was constructed by a family named Sweet around 1858; it later became known as the W. H. Stephenson house.

The site also was used for the landing of a ferry that crossed Bayou Macon beginning in 1856. The same location was just a few miles from a Mississippi River port variously known as Barnard and Grand Lake.

 First Baptist Church, one of the first African-American churches in the area, was established in 1860.

Quite a Timeline

After the Civil War  Census timeline 1870-1800-1900

The end of slavery after the Civil War had a major impact upon the cotton plantations of the region.

In 1866, Ferdinand Weiss arrived from Germany and, with his brother Herman, opened a store they called H. Weiss and Co. Competing stores were opened in 1868 and 1870.

The Bayou Macon ferry was replaced by a wooden bridge in 1886. By 1895, four white families lived on the ridge, as well as several black families. Farming of cotton and of corn, as well as timber operations, continued. Doctor Samuel Augustus Scott had built a house around 1883; he served families in southern Chicot County and also in much of northeast Louisiana.

Learning about my Family name: McGehee

Town of McGehee, in Desha County, in Arkansas
The neighboring county of Chicot AR is Desha County in the state of Arkansas
Wickpedia tells me that

The 2000 census shows McGehee as a city that has a total area of 6.4 square miles.  The census data showd 4,570 people, 1,836 households, and 1,259 families: population density was 711.7 people per square mile.  Today's racial makeup of the city is about 56% white, 42% Black, 1.5% Hispanic, then under 1% for Native AmericanAsianPacific Islander, others and those from two or more races.

Checkpoints for me:   1860 census family name, 1870 census for son Abner?

Looking back...Wickpedia reports the history of the town of McGehee is the McGehee family which came to the area from Alabama in 1857. Benjamin McGehee, his wife, Sarah, a son, Abner, and daughters Laura and Mary settled on land that is now a part of McGehee.
The son as a twenty yr old adult - Abner McGehee purchased 240 acres of land on July 1, 1876, on which the town of McGehee was later to be located.  He was no doubt prosperous... within 3 years a post office bore his name... as the young man was the town postmaster for a town of about  4-500 persons..... maybe I can check on this 

Records report Railroad history as about 1870 in the constructed of the railroad which ran from Pine Bluff southeast AR -- through Varner, -- to Chicot.  When the railroad came into McGehee in 1878 and continued south and southwest, people began to move into the area. This son.... Abner McGehee constructed a large commissary building and entered the mercantile business to accommodate the new arrivals; a sawmill was constructed which handles cutting lumber that was used to build shotgun-type rent houses.

Hmnnnnnn..... WHERE"S MY SLAVE HISTORY???   Slave huts... or rent houses???

Playin' the Race Card via US CENSUS DATA

I'm interested in "SO MANY NAMES..... that have been assigned to US / Black Folk!!!

Census 1790
In 1790, first official year of the U.S. Census, the following questions were asked, four of which had racial implications:
  • Number of fee White males under 16 years
  • Number of free White males aged 16 years and upward
  • Number of free White females
  • Number of other free persons
  • Number of slaves[9]

In 1800 and 1810, the age question regarding free white males was more detailed.

Census 1820
The 1820 census built on the questions asked in 1810 by asking age questions about the slaves who were formerly owned. Also the term “colored” enters the census nomenclature. In addition, a question stating “Number of foreigners not naturalized” was included.
Census 1830
For the 1830 census, a new question which stated “The number of White persons who were foreigners not naturalized” was included.[9] This reflected the growth of Nativist movements in American society at this time - as well as combining the number and age question of both slaves and free colored individuals

Census 1850
The 1850 census saw a dramatic shift in the way information about residents was collected. For the first time, free persons were listed individually instead of by head of household. There were two questionnaires: one for free inhabitants and one for slaves. The question on the free inhabitants schedule about color was a column that was to be left blank if a person was white, marked "B" if a person was black, and marked "M" if a person was mulatto. Slaves were listed by owner, and classified by gender and age, not individually, and the question about color was a column that was to be marked with a "B" if the slave was black and an "M" if mulatto

Census 1870
For the 1870 census, the color/racial question was expanded to include “C” for Chinese, which was a category that included all east Asians, as well as “I” for American Indians.

Census 1890
For 1890, the Census Office changed the design of the population questionnaire. Residents were still listed individually, but a new questionnaire sheet was used for each family. Additionally, this was the first year that the census distinguished between different East Asian races, such as Japanese and Chinese, due to increased immigration. This census also marked the beginning of the term “race” in the questionnaires. Enumerators were instructed to write "White," "Black," "Mulatto," "Quadroon," "Octoroon," "Chinese," "Japanese," or "Indian."

Census 1900
For 1900, the “Color or Race” question was slightly modified, removing the term “Mulatto”. Also, there was an inclusion of an “Indian Population Schedule” in which “enumerators were instructed to use a special expanded questionnaire for American Indians living on reservations or in family groups off of reservations.” This expanded version included the question “Fraction of person's lineage that is white.”

Census 1910
The 1910 census was similar to that of 1900, but it included a re-insertion of “Mulatto” and a question about the respondent's "mother tongue.” “Ot” was also added to signify "other races", with space for a race to be written in. This decade's version of the Indian Population Schedule featured questions asking the individual’s proportion of white, black, or American Indian lineage.

Census 1920
The 1920 census questionnaire was similar to 1910, but excluded a separate schedule for American Indians. “Hin”, “Kor”, and “Fil” were also added to the “Color or Race” question, signifying Hindu (South Asia Indian), Korean, and Filipino, respectively.[9]

Census 1930
The biggest change in this year’s census was in racial classification. Enumerators were instructed to no longer use the "Mulatto" classification. Instead, they were given special instructions for reporting the race of interracial persons. A person with both white and black ancestry (termed "blood") was to be recorded as "Negro," no matter the fraction of that lineage (the "one-drop rule"). A person of mixed Black and American Indian ancestry was also to be recorded as "Neg" (for "Negro") unless he was considered to be "predominantly" American Indian and accepted as such within the community. A person with both White and American Indian ancestry was to be recorded as an Indian, unless his American Indian ancestry was small, and he was accepted as White within the community. In all situations in which a person had White and some other racial ancestry, he was to be reported as that other race. Persons who had minority interracial ancestry were to be reported as the race of their father.

For the first and only time, "Mexican" was listed as a race. Enumerators were instructed that all persons born in Mexico, or whose parents were born in Mexico, should be listed as Mexicans, and not under any other racial category. But, in prior censuses and in 1940, enumerators were instructed to list Mexican Americans as white

Census 1940 (Population)
The 1940 census was the first to include separate population and housing questionnaires  The race category of "Mexican" was eliminated in 1940, and the population of Mexican descent was counted with the White population.