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Clarksdale is a city in Coahoma County, Mississippi, United States, and the county seat.
The western boundary of the county is formed by the Mississippi River. Located in the Mississippi Delta region, Clarksdale is an agricultural and trading center. It has been home to many blues musicians. Clarksdale is named after John Clark, who founded the city in the mid-19th century.
Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians occupied the Delta region prior to the arrival of European settlers. Clarksdale was developed at the former intersection of two Indian routes: the Lower Creek Trade Path, which extended westward from Augusta, Georgia, to New Mexico; and the Chakchiuma Trade Trail, which ran northeastward to the former village at present-day Pontotoc, Mississippi.
The first removal treaty carried out under the Indian Removal Act was the 1830 Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, by which the Choctaw people were robbed of 15 million acres in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). A similar forced removal of the Chickasaw Nation began in 1837; once in Indian Territory, the Choctaw were forced out of the westernmost part of their land.
Following the removal of the Indians, European-American settlers migrated to the Delta region, where the fertile soil was excellent for growing cotton. They brought or purchased African-American slaves to work the several cotton plantations developed in the county, always locating these on the riverfront for transportation access. John Clark founded the town in 1848 when he bought land in the area and started a timber business. Clark married the sister of James Lusk Alcorn, a major planter who owned a nearby plantation.
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