. Dyess Colony
. Dyess Colony
Dyess Colony, is a brief overview of the political history of Dyess and introduces the more important bosses associated with the colony. New Deal projects were largely under the operational control of bureaucrats who also maintained a lively political affiliation. The manipulation and shrewd politics practiced by Floyd Sharp allowed him to rise from a mid-level Arkansas bureaucrat to, arguably, one of the most secure of all the New Deal bosses. As other chapters will argue, the selection of the proper clients for the two New Deal projects was, in the minds of the bosses, critical to the potential success of the community. The transition from client selection by the Arkansas officials to the Resettlement Administration proved to be efficient, yet ineffective. The actual creation of the farms in the midst of wilderness swamps is remarkable, and its construction is noted and described. In this chapter most of the letters are attempts to gain full-time employment, the writers were trying to get on. The paternalism and supervision at Dyess was much more intrusive and severe than that at Tupelo; suspicion of government men and the inability to nail down a price caused consternation.
Keywords: William R. Dyess, Arkansas Colonization Project #1, Floyd Sharp, Lawrence Westbrook, AAA production committees, Rural social workers, Resettlement Administration, Arkansas Rural Rehabilitation
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