Up in the Sunken Lands

New Madrid earthquakes recast a land and a mindset

Posted: May 18, 2014 at 4:40 a.m.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/JOHN SYKES JR. - Angel in the Field AR Hwy. 149, Earle vicinity This National Register-listed memorial marks the grave of George Berry Washington, a former slave who became one of Crittenden County’s eight largest landowners by the time of his death in 1928. Located north of Earle on Highway 149, “Angel in the Field” is the only remaining structure associated with Washington, and notes his success as an African-American landowner, farmer, businessman, and preacher. It is also the only example in Earle and all of Crittenden County of a sculptural funerary monument. The 13-foot statue and a short wall surrounding it were erected as a memorial by his wife and two daughters. It is isolated in a cotton field about 100 feet from Highway 149 where it sits atop a 10-foot Indian mound. “Angel in the Field” earned the attention of regional painter Carroll Cloar – whose painting of the statue “Angel in the Thorn Patch” has been exhibited internationally.

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