Lakeport Legacies, a monthly talk focusing on history in the Delta will begin Thursday (April 26), with a presentation on “Rev. Green Hill Jones: From Slavery to the State House” presented by Dr. Blake Wintory, director of Lakeport Plantation. The Plantation is an Arkansas State University heritage site.
Featured speakers in the series will discuss a wide range of Delta topics including new archeological research investigating Hernando de Soto’s contact with Native Americans, an examination of antebellum Arkansas plantation life from the diary of a Connecticut plantation mistress, and the history of a lost downtown neighborhood in Greenville, Mississippi.
Wintory will tell the story of Rev. Green Hill Jones (1842-1924), a minister and politician in Chicot County, who was one of a dozen African American men in southeast Arkansas to serve in the Arkansas General Assembly between 1868 and 1893. At age four, Jones was brought from Tennessee to Grand Lake in Chicot County as a slave on the Rayner Plantation. After escaping slavery, he served in the Union Army during the Civil War. Following the war, he moved north, where he was educated and ordained in the Free Will Baptist Church. Upon his return to Chicot County in 1873, he organized several churches, served as county treasurer and assessor and two terms in the Arkansas General Assembly in 1885 and 1889.
Wintory’s talk is based on his research on Jones and Arkansas’ 86 other 19th century African-American legislators. His essay on the subject will be published in May 2018. It’s titled “A Confused and Confusing Affair: Arkansas and Reconstruction.”
The event gets underway at 5:30 p.m. at the Lakeport Plantation with refreshments and conversation, and the program starts at 6 p.m. The program is free and open to the public. For more information and to register, contact Wintory at 870-265-6031.
Lakeport Legacies is a monthly history talk held on one the last Thursdays at the Lakeport Plantation during the spring and summer. Each month a topic from the Delta region is featured. Constructed in 1859 in Lake Village in Chicot County, Lakeport is one of Arkansas’ premier historic structures and still retains many of its original finishes and architectural details.
The 2018 Lakeport Legacies schedule includes:
April 26 — “Rev. Green Hill Jones: From Slavery to the State House”; Dr. Blake Wintory (Lakeport Plantation, Arkansas State University Heritage Sites)
May 24 — “Growing Up on Yellow Bayou Plantation: A Conversation with Mr. Robert Fulford”; Robert Fulford (Dermott)
June 21 — “Yankee Mistress of the Old South: Plantation Life in the Arkansas Delta, 1847-1866”; Dr. Gary Edwards (Arkansas State University)
July 26 — “Old Houses of Blanton Park: Greenville’s Lost Downtown Neighborhood”; Princella Nowell (Washington County, Miss.)
August 23 — “Fixed and Fleeting: Some Arkansas State Symbols and Why They Matter”; Dr. David Ware (capitol historian for Arkansas Secretary of State)
September 27 — “Casqui and Hernando de Soto’s Cross: Is Parkin the Place?”;Dr. Jeffrey Mitchem (Parkin Archeological State Park/Arkansas Archeological Survey)
Open to the public since 2007, Lakeport researches and interprets the people and cultures that shaped plantation life in the Mississippi River Delta, focusing on the antebellum, Civil War and Reconstruction periods.