Pine Bluff is a part of the metropolitan area of Little Rock, the capital city of the state of Arkansas. It is the seat of Jefferson County. Geographically, Pine Bluff is a flat area filled with creeks, streams, and bayous, and it makes for the southeastern section of the Arkansas Delta. The numerous pine trees populating the area (hence the name of the place) give a special charm to the surroundings. 

Throughout its history, Pine Bluff has had a mixed fate. Times of economic prosperity were rapidly followed by times of distress like natural disasters (flood). In the mid-nineteenth century, during the Civil War, Pine Bluff had an already established cotton trade. In the 1860s, it was the area having the most numerous slave population in the state. Interestingly enough, the well-to-do of the city at the time asked for protection from the Union army against the Confederate guerrilla fighters. As a result, the troops of Colonel Powell Clayton occupied Pine Bluff until the end of the Civil War. On 25th October 1863, the federal army rejected the Confederate attack of General John S. Marmaduke. This was to be known as the Battle of Pine Bluff. 

In the twentieth century, Pine Bluff became the stage of fierce debates around the liberation movement of the African-American citizens. With this occasion, the founding principles of the state of Arkansas itself came into the discussion; the colonial and the cultural heritage were assessed, as well as the non-native influences. Connected to this, it is important to mention that the originator of the flag of the state of Arkansas was a Pine Bluff born inhabitant.

Miss Willie K. Hocker was a member of the Pine Bluff Chapter of the National Society ‘Daughters of the American Revolution’. As the flag in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse shows, the 25 stars around the diamond field signify that Arkansas was the 25th state admitted to the Union. The three large stars below the word ‘Arkansas’ symbolize Spain, France, and the US (Arkansas belonged to these states successively). The stars also signify that Arkansas was the 3rd state formed from the Louisiana Purchase. The large star commemorates the Confederacy. Last but not least, the diamond field refers to Arkansas being the only state that produces diamonds.  

Below there are some instances of the Commercial Historic District of Pine Bluff in one Sunday of August when the storm was close.

2 thoughts on “A Deserted Place on a Stormy Afternoon: Pine Bluff (South-Eastern Arkansas, USA)

  1. True the city has certainly has it’s ups and downs. But it’s been in a downward spiral for quite a while now. But for the first time in decades I have seen some signs of progress. So hoping this city can finally make a bit of a comeback and not simply disappear. Lots of history here.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s