John's Journal...

Mississippi’s Lenoir Plantation – Ghosts, Deer, Hogs, War-Between-the-States History, Thoroughbreds and Quarter-Horse Training and Much More

After the Civil War

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: I was fortunate enough to attend the first outdoor writer hunt ever held on Lenoir Plantation in Prairie, Mississippi, during December, 2009. This privately-held land never has been opened to the public, but it will be open in the fall of 2010 to a limited number of guests and offer hunting for deer, hogs, coons and ducks as well as fishing. But the story of Lenoir Plantation is as interesting as the game that abounds there. At this lovely antebellum home, two-different families lived and worked – the white side and the African-American side of the Lenoir family. Even today, descendants from both sides still live in the area. The Patterson family recently has purchased Lenoir Plantation, and this week, Beau Patterson will tell us about Lenoir Plantation’s history and what it will offer guests when it opens to the public in the fall of 2010.Click to enlarge

When I asked Beau Patterson, “What happened to the Lenoir Plantation after the Civil War?” he explained, “Like many southern planters and plantation owners who had slaves before the war, the Lenoirs allowed their previous slaves to stay on the plantation, live in their houses and become sharecroppers. The records of each slave’s and later sharecropper’s work were meticulously kept in the plantation’s ledgers. Each sharecropper was valued and paid according to his or her production. We still have some of those old books containing these old records. What’s amazing is that each day, whoever was keeping the ledger would document the work of each slave and/or sharecropper and that determined that individual’s value.” I next asked how many slaves the Lenoirs had before the Civil War. Patterson answered, “I’ve been told around 200. The number may be inflated or deflated, depending on who you ask. There once were slave quartersClick to enlarge close to the mansion. However, when the doctor from Georgia purchased the land, he sent a group of workers from Georgia here to clean-up the grounds. Apparently, because they didn’t know exactly what the doctor wanted them to do, they tore-down the slave quarters, which was unfortunate, because I think there’s real value in preserving the history of the South.”

When I asked about the reunion of the African-American Lenoirs in 2008 and how many families attended, Patterson replied, “I don’t know exactly how many, but I do know that there are a lot of Lenoirs still living nearby. The road that the plantation house is on is known as the Lenoir Loop. It makes a big circle. If you continue down the Lenoir Loop and turn west, and turn back north and then east, you’ll find a large number of African-American families named Lenoir who still live on the land that was once the Lenoir Plantation. There’s also a cemetery about 1/4-mile up the road from the plantation house known as the Lenoir Cemetery. It’s still maintained and is the final resting place for many of the African-American Lenoir side of the family. The Lenoirs were not unlike many southern plantation owners. If you study the history of many of the South’s old plantations, you’ll see that plantation owners often had two families – a African-American family and a white family. Much of this history has never been written. Most of the African-American Lenoirs have stayed fairly close to the plantation throughout the generations.” Click to enlarge

One of the real treats when you hunt all across the nation like I do is to learn the history about the people who once lived and hunted at these places where you now hunt. This brings a richness to our sport that’s rarely found in other sports. When hunting for deer or hogs on the Lenoir Plantation, I realized that I walked the same ground and hunted the same woods that the early settlers of this country once did. Much of the game, especially the feral hogs on these lands, have as rich, an illustrious and possibly even a longer history than the men and women who lived here.

Lenoir Plantation will be open to guests in the fall of 2010. For more information about the hunting, the fishing, the house and the old plantation, contact Beau Patterson at or (662) 202-4888.

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Tomorrow: Why the Pattersons Bought the Plantation and the Land

Check back each day this week for more about "Mississippi’s Lenoir Plantation – Ghosts, Deer, Hogs, War-Between-the-States History, Thoroughbreds and Quarter-Horse Training and Much More"

Day 1: The Haunting
Day 2: After the Civil War
Day 3: Why the Pattersons Bought the Plantation and the Land
Day 4: The Wildlife at the Lenoir Plantation
Day 5: Lenoir Plantation Today – Contrast in History


Entry 540, Day 2