Benjamin Huston was the son of William Huston and Mary Burk who were married in Philadelphia on November 4, 1775. The 2 youngest children, Benjamin (October 14, 1786) and Joseph (1784), were born there. Mary Huston (widow) and the family moved to Augusta County, VA by about 1800. Mary's father, John Burk, and brother, Joseph, lived in the area of Greenville. On March 21, 1805, Joseph Huston married Sarah Brownlee, sister of Andrew and James Brownlee. In early 1808, Benjamin Huston married Mary Templeton in Rockbridge County. In late summer 1819, the Huston brothers sold their property near Greenville and with their uncle, Joseph Burk, and his son, William Burk, made the long wagon journey to the Missouri Valley frontier. They settled in the Arrow Rock community in Cooper and Saline Counties. Newspaper accounts describe the influx of settlers over the Boon's Lick Trail from St. Louis to Franklin. The "Missouri Intelligencer" stated on November 19, 1819: "The immigation...almost exceeds belief...Immense numbers of wagons, carts, etc...have been daily arriving. During the month of October...no less than 271 wagons and 4-wheeled carriages and carts passed near St. Charles, bound principally for Boon's Lick... with wealthy and respectable immigrants...no section of our country presents a fairer prospect to the emigrant." The "Missouri Gazette" reported from St. Charles on June 9, 1819 that the immigrants were: "flowing through our town with their maid servants and men servants...[with] throngs of hogs and cattle, [and] white-haired children and curly-headed Africans." The Missouri River counties of central and western Missouri came to be known as "Little Dixie". Slavery was a pervasive and entrenched institution. Plantation owners, small farmers, commodity processors (hemp, cotton, flour, tobacco, whiskey), and mechants owned and rented slaves. In 1860, the Arrow Rock area was the political and economic center of the ante-bellum Saline County plantation culture.