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Clarksdale, Mississippi is the county seat of Coahoma County, its western boundary formed by the Mississippi River. The city was founded along both sides of the Sunflower River, at the intersection of two Indian trails. After the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians were removed from the area in the 1830s, European-American settlers came into the Mississippi Delta region, bringing African-American slaves to work the cotton plantations that they developed along riverfront areas in the county. John Clark founded the town that was named for him in 1848, and married the sister of James Lusk Alcorn, a wealthy local cotton planter and plantation owner, who was later elected governor of the state. When slavery was abolished, many black families remained as sharecroppers. Up until the 1940s, when mechanized field work began to dominate, a large portion of the field work was performed by African-American workers. The Louisiana, New Orleans and Texas Railway came through Clarksdale in 1879, and the city was incorporated in 1882. The Riverside Hotel in Clarksdale is a site along the Mississippi Blues Trail, and the Delta Blues Museum is housed in the former Illinois Central Railroad passenger depot. Interstate Highway 49/61/278 runs along the east, southeast, and southern portions of the city, while Business Highway 161 passes through the center of town. Nearby communities include Alligator, Barksdale, Beverly, Claremont, Clover Hill, Dickerson, Dublin, Friars Point, Green Grove, Lyon, Mattson, Sabino, and Stovall. Memphis, Tennessee is about seventy-five miles to the northeast.


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