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The Old South Frontier

Cotton Plantations and the Formation of Arkansas Society, 1819-1861
Narrated by: Randy Whitlow
Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this deeply researched and well-written study, Donald P. McNeilly examines how moderately wealthy planters and sons of planters immigrated into the virtually empty lands of Arkansas, seeking their fortune and to establish themselves as the leaders of a new planter aristocracy west of the Mississippi River. These men, sometimes alone, sometimes with family, and usually with slaves, sought the best land possible, cleared it, planted their crops, and erected crude houses and other buildings. Life was difficult for these would-be leaders of society and their families, and especially hard for the slaves who toiled to create fields in which they labored to produce a crop. McNeilly argues that by the time of Arkansas's statehood in 1836, planters and large farmers had secured a hold over their frontier home, and that between 1840 and the Civil War, planters solidified their hold on politics, economics, and society in Arkansas. The author takes a topical approach to the subject, with chapters on migration, slavery, non-planter whites, politics, and the secession crisis of 1860-1861. McNeilly offers a first-rate analysis of the creation of a white, cotton-based society in Arkansas, shedding light not only on the southern frontier, but also on the established Old South before the Civil War.

©2000 The University of Arkansas Press (P)2016 Redwood Audiobooks

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not What I Expected

I thought this book would be more about the settling of Arkansas, it's pioneer days, crops grown, etc. Instead it was a book almost totally devoted to covering chattel slavery as it affected the African who was taken there when the white man began to settle the state.
If your interested in the history of ante-bellum slavery in Arkansas complete with statistics, then this is the book for you.
I wish it had been given a more accurate title.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Wonderful Listen

History at its finest! An excellent way to understand a beautiful state and it’s fine people.

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great book on history

great work on the subject of ante bellum usa, rich with details and thought provoking conclusions