By George Lipsitz
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Jones built the city's first streetcar line, and he owned the local fairgrounds, park, and Copyrighted Material PINE BLUFF 23 racetrack. He served as treasurer of the Annual Colored Industrial Fair held each October to display the accomplishments of local blacks. 23 During the Reconstruction era, a series of compromises between whites and blacks in the Pine Bluff Republican party organization divided local elective offices between the two races. Ferd Havis, a black man, was elected alderman in 1871, state legislator in 1872, and Jefferson County assessor in 1873.
But everything's goin' to work out right after a while. God's goin' to change this thing after a while. You can't rush him. He can handle these people. 1 3 These men, and their contemporaries, had witnessed enormous changes in a lifetime. Born as slaves, they remembered the promises of emancipation and the achievements of Reconstruction. They particiCopyrighted Material 20 PINE BLUFF pated in the economic and social system that replaced slavery, a system built around the imperatives of tenant farming.
After elaborate figuring, his white landlord informs him, "Welt welt you done putty good dis year too, Fred. " "The hell you did/' the white man screams as he tears up the paper on which he had been figuring. "Don't you never do nothin' like dat again, nigger. "16 Sharecropping enabled plantation owners to share the risks of farming with their tenants while keeping a disproportionate share of the benefits. The system secured a steady and inexpensive work force for wealthy landowners, but it also provoked resistance and rebellion among the workers.