A timeline of Dockery Farms history

Sources: Robert Palmer's definitive Deep Blues, Wikipedia, AllMusic, NPR's Take Five, The Mississippi Blues Trail, and Dr. David Evans.

1865
The Civil War ends when General Lee surrenders the Confederate Army to General Grant at Appomattox.
Abraham Lincoln is assassinated.
The 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, is ratified.
Will Dockery is born in Mississippi.
1870
Mississippi restored to the Union. Regains representation in Congress.
Henry Sloan, often cited as the original bluesman, is born in Mississippi. Not much is known about him, but he is named as a key influence by every delta blues musician.
1890
Mississippi ratifies a new constitution that disenfranchises most blacks and undoes gains forced by Reconstruction.
Willie Brown is born in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
1891
Charley Patton is born near Bolton, Mississippi.
1895
Will Dockery buys 40 square miles in the wild Mississippi Delta and establishes Dockery Farms. Offers fair contracts to laborers and even allows some to prosper.
Tommy Johnson is born in Mississippi.
1900
Mississippi state government effectively eliminates civil rights with Jim Crow laws, but northern delta plantations like Dockery continue to treat workers better.
Bill and Annie Patton move to Dockery Farms with young Charley Patton seeking the fairer treatment and better pay that the plantation offered.
1902
Son House is born near Riverton, Mississippi.
1905
Charley Patton learns to play from from resident bluesman Henry Sloan.
1910
Willie Brown and Tommy Johnson move to the Cleveland area and start playing with Charley Patton.
Chester Burnett, later known as Howlin Wolf, is born in White Station, Mississippi.
1911
Robert Johnson is born in Hazlehurst, Mississippi.
1915
Honeyboy Edwards is born in Shaw, Mississippi.
1917
U.S. Declares war on Germany and some blacks, including Patton’s brother Willie, fight for their country in segregated units.
1920
18th and 19th Amendments ratified. Prohibition becomes law and women gain the right to vote.
1925
Robert Johnson moves to the Cleveland area and starts playing with Willie Brown.
1926
Will Dockery retires. Joe Rice Dockery takes over the farm.
1927
The Great Mississippi Flood puts 27,000 sq miles underwater, leaves more than half a million homeless and kills at least 500.
Charley Patton writes High Water Everywhere Part 1 and Part 2 as a response.
1929
Charley Patton records 14 songs for Paramount Records. These are his first known recordings. Almost instantly, he becomes the best-selling blues artist.
1930
Howlin’ Wolf moves to the Cleveland area and starts playing with Charley Patton and Willie Brown.
1934
Charley Patton dies at age 42.
1935
Son House moves to the Cleveland area and starts playing with Robert Johnson and Willie Brown.
1936
Will Dockery dies at age 70.