Date of Award


Document Type




First Reader

Professor Lavell Cole

Second Reader

Dr. S. Ray Granade

Third Reader

Dr. Tom Greer


A great number of general works on American Negro slavery have been published, but most are based upon records from the plantation belt. With the notable exception of Orville Taylor's Negro Slavery in Arkansas, these works almost entirely ignore Arkansas. Although slavery had certain uniformity throughout the South, the study of these previously untouched areas add to, and may eventually modify, our knowledge of the Old South's "peculiar institution."

A relatively new concept among historians is the study of slavery at the local, or county, level. Alfred North Whitehead has written, "We think in generalities, but we live in detail. To make the past live, we must perceive it in detail in addition to thinking of it in generalities." Within each county, the Old South's basic community, were towns, villages, plantations and farms. Here resided the full spectrum of ante-bellum society: planters, farmers, professional men, artisans, landless whites, slaves and free Negroes. To varying degrees, all interacted on social, economic and political levels.

This thesis examines the history and development of Hempstead County in Arkansas and discusses slavery in the county to the Civil War.



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