@Book{ weaver1945,
    author = {Herbert Weaver},
    title = {Mississippi Farmers, 1850-1860},
    address = {Nashville},
    publisher = {Vanderbilt University Press},
    year = 1945,

Weaver argues that “evidence of planter prosperity in late ante-bellum Mississippi is overwhelming” (107), reasoning that indebtedness and desertion of property most frequently resulted from overoptimism rather than lack of prosperity" (107).

He also describes the role played by cotton factors in supporting the plantation economy, on p. 107:

Plantations were productive enterprises for which favtors acted as marketing and purchasing agents. Planters shipped their cotton downriver to New Orleans or Mobile where it was taken in charge by the factors. If there were a pressing need for cash, the cotton was sold immediately at the current price, but in many cases the factors were instructed to hold at least a part of the crop for a rise in price. While the factor waited for a better price, he often advanced money or supplies to the planter. If the amount advanced were more than the cotton ultimately brought, there was a debt which the planter had to settle with the factor the following year. On the other hand, if prices were good and the cotton of a high grade, the planter would have a balance due him. Such cash surpluses were sometimes left with the factor, and when supplies were needed, the factor bought and shipped them, taking money from the surplus in payment. If the planter needed cash, he could make a draft on the factor.

Weaver also shows that many planters in Natchez owned land in neighboring Louisiana parishes, including Gerard Brandon, who owned 1,450 acres of improved and 2,310 acres of unimproved land in Louisiana, worth a total of $245,000, which was not the largest amount in the area. “That part of Louisiana across the river from Adams County, particularly Concordia Parish, was an integral part of the Natchez region” (110). Planters elsewhere in Mississippi were not as interested in landholdings in Louisiana partly because there was fertile land still to be exploited at home, especially in the Yazoo delta.