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to fit the cradle, as when Milanich introduces Santa Isabela de Utinahica on the Altamaha River as one ofthe Timucuan missions in existence in 163 3, then omits the town from the accompanying map because it lies within eastern Georgia. Historians may object that altar supplies for priests of the mass came in the form of allocations ofwax, olive oil, and wine, not money, or that the 1763 maps produced to register Spanish land claims with the incoming British prove nothing more than the relative location ofranches long since abandoned. They may be disturbed by the hasty checking and copyediting, as revealed in occasional references without a citation or citations without a date and in a startling number of unruly accents and unconventional spellings. Weighed against the work's ultimate value, these will transform themselves into minor peculiarities. Milanich's masterpiece ofhistorical archaeology will be consulted often and with gratitude. A New Plantation South Land, Labor, and Federal Favor in Twentieth-Century Arkansas ByJeannie M. Whayne Carter G. Woodson Institute Series in Black Studies University Press ofVirginia, 1996 324 pp. Cloth, $39.50 Reviewed by Gilbert C. Flte, Richard B. Russell Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Georgia. Fite is the author or coauthor of fifteen books and some fifty scholarly articles including Cotton Fields No More: Southern Agriculture 186j—1980 (1984),American Farmers: The NewMinority (1981), and The Farmer's Frontier (1966). Few aspects ofagricultural and rural history have been more thoroughly studied than plantations. Planters and plantations have not only drawn the detailed attention of scholars, but of novelists and popular writers as well. This special interest may be explained because over time plantation agriculture has been associated with slavery, racism, large-scale production of staple crops, vast wealth, and political and social domination oflocalities and entire regions by planters. Some authors have romanticized the plantation and its way of life, while others have condemned it as an economic and social unit that exploited workers and bound them to a life of poverty. Some writers have looked at the role ofplanters and plantations in an entire re92 Reviews gion, such as the American South. Others have viewed it in micro terms, studying a single plantation or development in a particular locality. InA NewPlantation South: Land, Labor, and Federal Favor in Twentieth-Century Arkansas, Jeannie M. Whayne has chosen to look at the rise and development ofplantation agriculture in a relatively limited geographic area, mainly Poinsett County in northeast Arkansas. The principal theme of the book is to show how large-scale, specialized agriculture—plantations—developed in the delta area of that county, although the author also includes farms in the county that operated outside the delta. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the delta section of northeast Arkansas was a wild, mosdy unsetded country. Lumbering was the main industry in the area, and much of the land was not suitable for commercial agriculture until it was drained. The delta portion ofPoinsett County took up about half of the county's land surface. To the west ofthe delta was an area known as Crowley 's Ridge, a hilly, rolling section, and farther west lay the prairie. In the first two decades of the twentieth century, several businessmen, including Ernest Ritter of Marked Tree, moved to establish cotton plantations in the eastern part ofPoinsett County. First they had to gain control ofthe land, which they did by winning out over the homesteaders who sought to establish small farms. Then they gained control of the St. Francis Levee District and other drainage projects to open up the land for cultivation. The small farmers were no match for the businessmen-planters in the contest for land. By 1 920 the trappings of plantation agriculture in eastern Poinsett County were in place—large scale cotton production, sharecropping and tenancy, the crop lien system, and extreme poverty for most of those laboring in the fields. While the planters gained sway in the eastern part of the county, small farmers maintained control of farming in Crowley's Ridge. They had diversified operations with livestock and specialty crops. In the prairie area farther west small farms also prevailed, and after about 191o...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1488
Print ISSN
1068-8218
Pages
pp. 92-94
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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