LAKEPORT LEGACIES — Absentee Masters of the Mississippi River

Absentee Masters of the Mississippi River

presented by

Dr. Kelly Houston Jones, Austin Peay State University
Thursday, June 25

Refreshments & Conversation @ 5:30 pm
Program @ 6:00 pm
Kenneth Rayner

Kenneth Rayner, a resident of North Carolina, purchased a 538 acre Chicot County plantation in 1845. Writing to a friend, he objected to the land being “in the state of Arkansas” and complained “I will never leave my wife so long again.” Two years later, visiting the plantation during the December harvest, he praised his overseer, “I think my overseer a first rate manager…he has, picked, and packed about 220 bales of cotton” despite bad weather. (Image by Matthew Brady; courtesy of East Carolina Manuscript Collection.)

Many masters along the Mississippi River did not reside on their plantations. Instead they relied on overseers to run the day-to-day operations. The absence of a white family in the “big house” could make the plantation a much different place than one with an owner-resident. Dr. Kelly Houston Jones will discuss her work on R.C. Ballard and other area plantation owners who resided away from their holdings, and what those arrangements would have meant for enslaved people living on those plantations.

Please RSVP to this FREE Event

Lakeport Legacies (LL) meets in the Dining Room of the Lakeport Plantation house. LL, held on one of the last Thursdays of the month at the Lakeport Plantation, features a history topic from the Delta. For more information, call 870.265.6031.