Well toward the head of the vast Yazoo-Mississippi Delta, the richest region on the face of the whole earth, the Big House ruled over these wide acres as of immemorial right. Its owner, Colonel Calvin Blount, was a king, an American king, his right to rule based upon full proof of fitness.

On J.W. Fowler's plantation in the Yazoo-Mississippi delta from which we have seen in a preceding chapter such excellent records of cotton picking, the preamble to the rules framed in 1857 ran as follows: "The health, happiness, good discipline and obedience, good, sufficient and comfortable clothing, a sufficiency of good, wholesome and nutritious food for both man and beast being indispensably necessary to successful planting, as well as for reasonable dividends for the amount of capital invested, without saying anything about the Master's duty to his dependents, to himself, and his God, I do hereby establish the following rules and regulations for the management of my Prairie plantation, and require an observance of the same by any and all overseers I may at any time have in charge thereof."

It was not until the middle thirties that the broadest expanse of the bottoms, the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta, began to receive its great influx. The rest of the western cotton belt had soils varying through much the same range as those of Georgia and the Carolinas.