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Timeline

Arkansas Post Established

Henri de Tonti (1649/50 - 1704), an Italian-born soldier, explorer, and fur trader in the service of France, establishes Arkansas Post as a French trading post on the Arkansas River approximately 35 miles from the confluence with the Mississippi River.
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Spanish Land Grant

Don Carlos de Villemont, commandant at Arkansas Post, receives a Spanish Land Grant along the Mississippi River, including Point Chicot.
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Point Chicot

Point Chicot becomes a fueling stop for steamboats seeking cordwood on the Mississippi.
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Joel Johnson Marries Verlinda Offutt

Joel Johnson (1790-1846) and Verlinda Offutt (1795-1831) marry in Scott, KY, on February 18, 1817. They have four children: Lycurgus L. Johnson (1818-1876), Julie J. Johnson (1819-Unknown), Betsy Johnson (1825-1841), and Cyrus Johnson (1829-1870). Verlinda dies in 1831 in Kentucky at the age of 36.
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The Missouri Compromise

The Missouri Compromise establishes slavery in the Arkansas Territory.
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The Trail of Tears

Military escorts move a band of Choctaw Indians through Lakeport on the Trail of Tears.
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Arkansas becomes the 25th state

Arkansas becomes the 25th state, a slave state. Michigan becomes a free state in 1837 to maintain a balance of free and slave states.
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Arkansas’ First Governor

James Sevier Conway, Ambrose Sevier’s cousin, is inaugurated Arkansas’ first governor on September 13, 1836.
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Lycurgus L. Johnson

Lycurgus L. Johnson, Joel Johnson's son, arrives in Chicot County from Kentucky.
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Richard Mentor Johnson

Richard Mentor Johnson, U.S. Senator from Kentucky and brother of Joel Johnson, is elected Vice President of the United States under President Martin Van Buren.
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Levee Laws

The State Legislature passes levee laws requiring Chicot planters to build levees for flood protection.
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Elisha Worthington

Elisha Worthington acquires the 2,215 acre Sunnyside Plantation just north of Lakeport for $60,000. The price includes not just the acreage, but also 42 slaves and several buildings.
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Florence Plantation

By 1841 Lycurgus Johnson’s Florence Plantation encompasses 690 acres.
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Lycurgus Johnson Marries Lydia Taylor

Lycurgus Johnson, age 24, marries Lydia P. Taylor, 19, on June 13, 1842 in Chicot, Arkansas. The marriage is officiated by Lycurgus' uncle, Benjamin Johnson, who was the Federal Judge for the District of Arkansas.
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Joel Johnson Dies

Joel Johnson dies at his Lexington, Kentucky residence on June 16.
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Robert W. Johnson

Robert W. Johnson, nephew of Joel Johnson, is elected to the U.S. House of Representative representing Arkansas. (Photo courtesy of the Arkansas History Commission)
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Cholera and Influenza

In the winter of 1848-1849, cholera and influenza sweeps through the Mississippi River Valley likely taking the lives of Lycurgus and Lydia’s first three children, Joel, Benjamin Taylor, and John Henry at the Florence Plantation in Arkansas.
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The Compromise of 1850

Compromise of 1850 passes the U.S. Congress allowing California to enter as a free state, abolishing slavery in the Washington, D.C. organizing Texas and New Mexico without reference to slavery, and passing a stronger fugitive slave law.
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Lakeport Estate

In 1850 the Lakeport estate contains 4,013 acres, 132 slaves, 20 horses, 34 mules, and 85 cattle and produces 4,000 bushels of corn, 475 bales of cotton, 300 bushels of potatoes, 300 bushels of sweet potatoes, and 20 bushels of peas and beans.
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Mount Holly

In ca. 1856 Mount Holly, an Italianate plantation home that influenced Lakeport’s design, is constructed for Margaret Johnson Erwin Dudley on Lake Washington in Washington County, Mississippi. The home is later used as headquarters for relief committees in the 1927 flood.
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Lycurgus Assumes Ownership over Lakeport

Lycurgus assumes ownership over Lakeport following the lengthy settlement of his father’s estate.
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Belmont Plantation Constructed

Belmont Plantation home is constructed across from Lakeport in Washington County, Mississippi for William W. Worthington. The Lakeport Plantation style will be deeply influenced by this Greek Revival home. The home is plundered twice in 1863--once in the early spring, and again in June.
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Lake Lee formed

Lake Lee is formed when land-owners and their slaves, using explosives, create a cut-off at American Bend.
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Willoughby (Wayside) Plantation Constructed

Willoughby (Wayside) Plantation home is constructed across from Lakeport in Washington County, Mississippi for Samuel Worthington. Many architectural elements of the Italianate style home resemble elements on Lakeport.
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Lakeport Plantation Home Constructed

Lakeport Plantation Home is constructed in the Greek Revival style.
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Flooding

In 1858 severe flooding hit the Lower Mississippi Valley. Levee building remained the dominant form of flood control along the river. By 1858 over 1,000 miles of levee stretched along the banks of both sides of the Mississippi River.
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The Johnsons Move into the Lakeport Plantation Home

In 1860 Lycurgus Johnson and his family move into Lakeport.
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The Lakeport Plantation

By 1860 Lakeport has 4,475 acres and produces over 1,300 bales of cotton and 10,000 bushels of corn with the labor of 155 slaves.
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Abraham Lincoln Elected President

In November 1860, Republican Abraham Lincoln is elected president of the United States, taking the oath of office on March 4, 1861.
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James W. Mason

James W. Mason (1841-1874) was the son of Elisha Worthington (1808-1873) and an unknown African American enslaved laborer. In 1867 he becomes the first documented African-American postmaster in the United States. He later serves as a delegate to the 1868 Arkansas constitutional convention and is a state senator.
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Elisha Worthington Leaves for Texas

Elisha Worthington takes most of his slaves and livestock to Texas and leaves his children, James W. and Martha W. Mason, both born to a slave he maintained a relationship with, in charge of his plantations.
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Order to Burn Cotton

In March 1862 Maj Gen Thomas C. Hindman, military commander of Confederate Arkansas, orders “cotton adjacent to the enemy’s lines should be burned immediately.”
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Emancipation Proclamation

In January 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation goes into effect. The Emancipation Proclamation declares that all people held as slaves in the states still in rebellion are free.
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Victor M. Johnson Born

Victor M. Johnson is born to Lycurgus and Lydia Johnson at Lakeport.
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Lakeport Raid

In the winter of 1863-4, 1st Regiment Mississippi Marine Brigade (U.S.) raids Lakeport leaving “one mule for Mrs. Lydia Johnson...to haul wood for the children.”
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Battle of Ditch Bayou

The Battle of Ditch Bayou, approximately 6 miles from Lakeport, is fought. The battle is a Union victory, but Confederate strategy inflicted high Union casualties. The battle is part of a Federal effort to drive Confederate forces away from the Mississippi River and cease attacks on Union shipping.
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Freedmen's Bureau

In March 1865 the Freedmen’s Bureau is created to help former slaves adjust to freedom. In July 1866 5,000 freedmen work plantations along the Mississippi River and Lake Chicot according to the Freedmen’s Bureau.
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Johnson Children Deaths

Cable Johnson (March 15, 1865 - August 5, 1867) dies at 2 1/2 years old on August 5. Julia J. Johnson (July 12, 1860 - November 1, 1869), Cable’s 9 year old sister, dies on November 1. Both are buried in the children’s cemetery behind Lakeport.
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William Starling Purchases Sunnyside

In 1868 the William Starling Company purchases the Sunnyside Plantation. Laura "Lollie" Starling (1854-1946), William's daughter, describes details of the Lakeport home and the marriage of her brother, Charles, to Annie Taylor Johnson at Lakeport in October 1878 in "Memories."
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Wage and Sharecropper Contracts

From 1867-8 the Lakeport employs both wage and sharecropper contracts. In 1867 African American farmers, businessmen, and soldiers were also allowed to vote for the first time.
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John Calhoun and Linnie Adams Marry

Linnie Adams, niece of Lycurgus and Lydia Johnson and daughter of David and Betsy Adams marries John Caldwell Calhoun, grandson of the South Carolina senator and Vice President, on December 8, 1870 in Chicot, Arkansas.
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Issac Worthington, Jr. Marries Mary (May) Johnson

In November 1870 Mary (May) Johnson (1848-1910) marries Isaac Worthington, Jr. (1847-1913) in Chicot, Arkansas.
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Murder of Walthal G. Wynn

A black attorney, Walthal G. Wynn (also referred to as "Walthall G. Wynn"), is stabbed to death by a white man, John Sanders, in Curtis Garrett’s Lake Village store, while a third white man, Jasper Dugan, guards the store entrance to prevent Wynn from escaping the stabbing.
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Unrest Among Black Citizens

After word spreads about Wynn’s murder, black citizens become angry and request that Judge James W. Mason allow Wynn’s body to be viewed in public. Judge Mason grants this request and Wynn’s body is put on display in the County courthouse.
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Chicot County Massacre

The public display of Wynn’s body feeds anger over the murder and incites a violent racial clash. Many white Chicot County residents flee to nearby river towns. A mob of black men take the three white men accused of Wynn’s death from the jail by force and shoot them to death.
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Arkansas General Assembly

In 1874 Lycurgus Johnson is elected to the Arkansas General Assembly.
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Lycurgus Johnson Dies

Johnson suffers from a severe gastrointestinal disorder that eventually takes his life. He dies on August 1, 1876, in Wilmington, Delaware, where he had gone for medical treatment at 58 years old.
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Mississippi Floods

Mississippi River floods Chicot County.
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Lydia Johnson Dies

Lydia Johnson dies at Lakeport. The property is divided among the children with Linnie Johnson receiving the Lakeport home and its furnishings.
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Flood of 1927

The Flood of 1927 was the most destructive and costly flood in Arkansas history. (Lakeport is pictured in the background.)
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Lakeport Sold

Following the flood of 1927, Victor Johnson sells Lakeport to Sam Epstein for $30,000; Victor and his family move to Memphis. Upon Epstein's death in 1944, his son-in-law, Ben Angel, served as estate trustee and oversaw management of the estate. Neither Sam Epstein nor any of his descendants ever live in at Lakeport.
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National Register of Historic Places

On November 20, 1974, the Lakeport is added to the National Register of Historic Places.
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Sam Epstein Angel Donates Lakeport

Sam Epstein Angel, Ben Angel's son, donates the Lakeport Plantation Home to Arkansas State University.
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Restoration Begins

Arkansas State University’s restoration of Lakeport begins.
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Grand Opening

Lakeport opens to the public.
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