Lakeport Plantation

Last updated
Lakeport Plantation
Lakeport Plantation, Lake Village, Chicot County, Arkansas.jpg
Lakeport Plantation, 2008
USA Arkansas location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Usa edcp location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Nearest city Shives, Arkansas
Coordinates 33°15′24″N91°9′19″W / 33.25667°N 91.15528°W / 33.25667; -91.15528 Coordinates: 33°15′24″N91°9′19″W / 33.25667°N 91.15528°W / 33.25667; -91.15528
Area5 acres (2.0 ha)
Builtca. 1859
Architectural styleGreek Revival
NRHP reference # 74000466 [1]
Added to NRHPNovember 20, 1974

Lakeport Plantation is a historic antebellum plantation house near Lake Village, Arkansas. It is on the west side of the Mississippi River and across from Greenville, Mississippi.

Lake Village, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Lake Village is a city in and the county seat of Chicot County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 2,575 at the 2010 census. It is located in the Arkansas Delta. Lake Village is named for its location on Lake Chicot, an oxbow lake formed by the Mississippi River.

Mississippi River largest river system in North America

The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. Its source is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and it flows generally south for 2,320 miles (3,730 km) to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. The main stem is entirely within the United States; the total drainage basin is 1,151,000 sq mi (2,980,000 km2), of which only about one percent is in Canada. The Mississippi ranks as the fourth-longest and fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

Greenville, Mississippi City in Mississippi, United States

Greenville is a city in, and the county seat of, Washington County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 34,400 at the 2010 census. It is located in the area of historic cotton plantations and culture known as the Mississippi Delta.


In the early 21st century, five acres of land remain associated with the mansion. Restored between 2003 and 2008, it is operated as a museum and Arkansas State University Heritage Site.

Arkansas State University public university in Arkansas, United States

Arkansas State University is a public research university in Jonesboro, Arkansas. It is the flagship campus of the Arkansas State University System and the second largest university in Arkansas by enrollment. It was founded in 1909 and is located atop 1,376 acres (5.6 km2) on Crowley's Ridge. Arkansas State has Sun Belt rivalries with all West Division schools. Their primary Sun Belt rivals are Little Rock, Louisiana-Monroe, and Louisiana.


The plantation was established in 1831 by Joel Johnson, from a prominent planter family in Scott County, Kentucky. He developed it with slave labor as a cotton plantation. He died in 1846, leaving the plantation's ownership in legal dispute; his son Lycurgus Johnson acquired clear title in 1857. [2] By 1860, Johnson held more than 150 enslaved African Americans at Lakeport and his other Arkansas properties.

Scott County, Kentucky County in the United States

Scott County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 47,173. Its county seat is Georgetown.

Lycurgus Johnson (1818-1876) was an American cotton planter and large slaveholder in the Arkansas Delta during the antebellum years. Born to the powerful political and planter Johnson family in Scott County, Kentucky, he became the owner and developer of the Lakeport Plantation in Chicot County, Arkansas. It bordered the west bank of the Mississippi River.

The plantation's mansion was built circa 1859 for Lycurgus Johnson. [3] [4] It was designed in the Greek Revival architectural style. [5]

The plantation was highly profitable as cotton prices increased with European demand, though the Civil War took a toll on Johnson's fortunes. Confederate forces burned 158 bales of the plantation's cotton in 1862 to prevent its capture by Union forces. By 1864 tax records show the number of people enslaved at Lakeport had declined to 24, as many people left after the Emancipation Proclamation freed them. Some joined Union lines or gathered in contraband camps.

Cotton plant fiber from the genus Gossypium

Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus Gossypium in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. Under natural conditions, the cotton bolls will increase the dispersal of the seeds.

American Civil War Civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865

The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The most studied and written about episode in U.S. history, the Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.

Emancipation Proclamation executive order issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 that freed Southern slaves

The Emancipation Proclamation, or Proclamation 95, was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. It changed the federal legal status of more than 3.5 million enslaved African Americans in the designated areas of the South from slave to free. As soon as a slave escaped the control of the Confederate government, by running away or through advances of federal troops, the former slave became free. Ultimately, the rebel surrender liberated and resulted in the proclamation's application to all of the designated former slaves. It did not cover slaves in Union areas that were freed by state action. It was issued as a war measure during the American Civil War, directed to all of the areas in rebellion and all segments of the executive branch of the United States.

The end of the Civil War resulted in the emancipation of the remaining slaves. Within a few years, many of the freedmen worked for Johnson either as paid laborers or as sharecroppers, as other jobs were few in the agricultural delta. [6]

See also

Related Research Articles

Chicot County, Arkansas County in the United States

Chicot County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,800. The county seat is Lake Village. Chicot County is Arkansas's 10th county, formed on October 25, 1823, and named after Point Chicot on the Mississippi River. It is part of the Arkansas Delta, lowlands along the river that have been historically important as an area for large-scale cotton cultivation.

Jarrell Plantation cotton plantation and state park in Juliette, Georgia, United States

The Jarrell Plantation State Historic Site is a cotton plantation and state park in Juliette, Georgia, United States. Located in the red clay hills of the Georgia piedmont, the site stands as one of the best-preserved examples of a "middle class" Southern plantation. The Jarrell Plantation's buildings and artifacts all came from one source, the Jarrell family, who farmed the land for over 140 years. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. It is a Georgia state park in Jones County.

Ward Hall (Georgetown, Kentucky) human settlement in Kentucky, United States of America

Ward Hall is a Greek Revival antebellum plantation mansion located in Georgetown, Kentucky. The main house covers 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2), with 27-foot (8.2 m) high Corinthian fluted columns.

Louisiana in the American Civil War

Antebellum Louisiana was a slave state, where enslaved African Americans had comprised the majority of the population during the eighteenth century French and Spanish colonial period. By the time the United States acquired the territory (1803) and Louisiana became a state (1812), the institution of slavery was entrenched. By 1860, 47% of the state's population were enslaved, though the state also had one of the largest free black populations in the United States. Much of the white population, particularly in the cities, supported southern states' rights and slavery, while pockets of support for the U.S. and its government existed in the more rural areas.

The history of Arkansas began millennia ago when humans first crossed into North America. Many tribes used Arkansas as their hunting lands but the main tribe was the Quapaw, who settled in Arkansas River delta upon moving south from Illinois. Early French explorers gave the territory its name, a corruption of Akansea, which is a phonetic spelling of the Illinois word for the Quapaw. This phonetic heritage explains why "Arkansas" is pronounced so differently than "Kansas" even though they share the same spelling. What began as a rough wilderness inhabited by trappers and hunters became incorporated into the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and became Arkansas Territory in 1819. Upon gaining statehood in 1836, Arkansas had begun to prosper under a plantation economy that was heavily reliant on slave labor. After the Civil War Arkansas was a poor rural state based on cotton. Prosperity returned in the 1940s. The state became famous for its political leadership, including President Bill Clinton, and as the base for the Walmart Corporation.

Arkansas Delta

The Arkansas Delta is one of the six natural regions of the state of Arkansas. Willard B. Gatewood Jr., author of The Arkansas Delta: Land of Paradox, says that rich cotton lands of the Arkansas Delta make that area "The Deepest of the Deep South."

Evergreen Plantation (Wallace, Louisiana) human settlement in Louisiana, United States of America

Evergreen Plantation is a plantation located on the west side of the Mississippi River in St. John the Baptist Parish, near Wallace, Louisiana, and along Louisiana Highway 18. The main house was constructed mostly in 1790, and renovated to its current Greek Revival style in 1832. The plantation's historical commodity crop was sugarcane, cultivated by enslaved African Americans until emancipation.

Oakland Plantation (Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana) human settlement in Louisiana, United States of America

Oakland Plantation, originally known as the Jean Pierre Emmanuel Prud'homme Plantation, and also known as Bermuda, is a historic cotton plantation in unincorporated Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. It is one the nation's best and most intact examples of a French Creole cotton plantation complex It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2001, and is now owned by the National Park Service as part of the Cane River Creole National Historical Park.

Nottoway Plantation human settlement in Louisiana, United States of America

Nottoway Plantation, also known as Nottoway Plantation House is located near White Castle, Louisiana, United States. The plantation house is a Greek Revival and Italianate-styled mansion built by John Hampden Randolph in 1859, and is the largest extant antebellum plantation house in the South with 53,000 square feet (4,900 m2) of floor space.

Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site human settlement in South Carolina, United States of America

Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site is a historic site in Union County, South Carolina, that preserves the home of William H. Gist (1807-1874), the 68th governor of South Carolina. Gist helped instigate a Secession Convention in South Carolina, which led to the creation of the Ordinance of Secession that preceded the Civil War.

Springfield Plantation (Fayette, Mississippi) human settlement in Jefferson County, Mississippi, United States of America

Springfield Plantation is an antebellum house located near Fayette in Jefferson County, Mississippi. It has been associated with many famous people throughout its history.

Antebellum architecture

Antebellum architecture is the neoclassical architectural style characteristic of the 19th-century Southern United States, especially the Deep South, from after the birth of the United States with the American Revolution, to the start of the American Civil War. antebellum architecture is especially characterized by Georgian, Neo-classical, and Greek Revival style plantation homes and mansions.

Franklin, Mississippi Unincorporated community in Mississippi, United States

Franklin is an unincorporated community located in Holmes County, Mississippi. Mississippi Highway 17 passes through Franklin, which is approximately 7 miles (11 km) south of Lexington and approximately 12 miles (19 km) north of Pickens.

Plantations in the American South aspect of the history of the American South

Plantations are an important aspect of the history of the American South, particularly the antebellum era. The mild subtropical climate, plentiful rainfall, and fertile soils of the southeastern United States allowed the flourishing of large plantations, where large numbers of workers, usually Africans held captive for slave labor, were required for agricultural production.

Wyolah Plantation human settlement in Church Hill, Mississippi, United States of America

The Wyolah Plantation is a historic Southern plantation in Church Hill, Jefferson County, Mississippi. It is located off the Mississippi Highway 553.

Lansdowne (Natchez, Mississippi)

Lansdowne is a historic mansion that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi. It was originally built as the owner's residence on a 727-acre antebellum plantation, and is still owned and occupied by the descendants of the builder.

Belmont Plantation (Wayside, Mississippi)

The Belmont Plantation is an Antebellum plantation in Wayside, Mississippi.

The Sunnyside Plantation was a cotton plantation near Lake Village in Chicot County, Arkansas, in the Arkansas Delta region. Built as a cotton plantation in the Antebellum South, it was farmed using the forced labor of African American slaves. After the American Civil War of 1861-1865, freedmen farmed it. From the 1890s to the 1910s, it used convict laborers and employed immigrants from Northern Italy, many of whom were subject to peonage. They were later replaced by black sharecroppers. The plantation was closed down and it was broken up in the 1940s. Nowadays, only a historical marker reminds Lake Village residents and visitors of its history.

History of slavery in Louisiana

Following Robert Cavelier de La Salle establishing the French claim to the territory and the introduction of the name Louisiana, the first settlements in the southernmost portion of Louisiana were developed at present-day Biloxi (1699), Mobile (1702), Natchitoches (1714), and New Orleans (1718). Slavery was then established by European colonists.


  1. National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service.
  2. DeBlack, Thomas. "Lycurgus Leonidas Johnson (1818–1876)". The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  3. Matthew D. Therrell and David W. Stahle, "Tree-Ring Dating of An Arkansas Antebellum Plantation House," Tree-Ring Research 68(2012): 59-67
  4. Thomas A. DeBlack, A Garden in the Wilderness: The Johnsons and the Making of Lakeport Plantation (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Arkansas, 1995).
  5. "NRHP nomination for Lakeport Plantation" (PDF). Arkansas Preservation. Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  6. "Lakeport Plantation timeline". Lakeport Plantation. Arkansas Heritage Sites, Arkansas State University. Retrieved 20 February 2019.