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Yoknapatawpha County

Yoknapatwpha County, Mississippi is a fictional locale which was the setting for novels by William Faulkner.

A fictional county in northwestern Mississippi. Its county seat is Jefferson. It is bounded on the north by the Tallahatchie River and on the south by the Yoknapatawpha River. It consists of 2,400 square miles. It was originally Chickasaw country. Most of the eastern half is pine hill country, and there is a small section of pine hill country in the southwest corner also. The county was settled by whites around 1800. In 1936 the population was 15,611, of which 6,298 were whites and 9,313 were black. Before the Civil War the country consisted of several large plantations: Louis Grenier's in the southeast, McCaslin's in the northeast, Sutpen's in the northwest, and Compson's and Sartoris' in the immediate vicinity of Jefferson. Later the county became mostly small farms. The name Yoknapatwpha is derived from two Chickasaw words - Yocona and petopha, meaning "split land." That was the original name for the actual Yocona River which runs through the southern part of Lafayette County, Mississippi, of which Oxford is the county seat. The compound word, however, according to Faulkner, means "water flowing slow through the flatland." The word is pronounced Yok'na pa TAW pha.