Ferdinand de Soto in Arkansas

Ferdinand de Soto, the discoverer of the Mississippi, was the first civilized white man to put foot upon any part of what is now the State of Arkansas. He and his band of adventurous followers had forged their way over immense obstacles, through the trackless wastes, and in the pleasant month of June, 1541, reached the Mississippi River at, as is supposed, Chickasaw Bluffs, a short distance below Memphis. He had sailed from San Lucan in April, 1538, with 600 men, twenty officers and twenty-four priests. He represented his king and church, and came to make discoveries for his master

Early English Settlers in Arkansas

The first English speaking settlers were Tennesseans, Kentuckians and Alabamians. The earliest came down the Mississippi River, and then penetrating Arkansas at the mouths of the streams from the west, ascended these in the search for future homes. The date of the first coming of English speaking colonists may be given as 1807, those prior to that time being only trappers, hunters and voyagers on expeditions of discovery, or those whose names cannot now be ascertained. South Carolina and Georgia also gave their small quotas to the first pioneers of Arkansas. From the States south of Tennessee the route was

Proprietary Change of Louisiana Territory

The Jesuits and fur-traders were the founders of Illinois; Louis XIV and privileged companies were the patrons of Southern Louisiana, while the honor of beginning the work of colonizing the southwest of our republic belongs to the illustrious Canadian, Lemoine D’ Iberville. He was a worthy successor of La Salle. He also sought to find the mouth of the Mississippi, and guided by floating trees and turbid waters, he reached it on March 2, 1699. He perfected the line of communication between Quebec and the Gulf; extended east and west the already boundless possessions of France; erected forts and carved

Arkansas Territory

The act of 1812, changing the District of Louisiana to Missouri Territory, provided for a Territorial legislature consisting of nine members, and empowered the governor to lay off that part where the Indian title had been extinguished into thirteen counties. The county of New Madrid, as then formed, extended into the Arkansas territorial limits, “down to the Mississippi to a point directly east of the mouth of Little Red River; thence to the mouth of Red River; thence up the Red River to the Osage purchase,” etc. In other words it did not embrace the whole of what is now

Arkansas Reconstruction

The constitution of 1868, as a whole, was not devoid of merit. It opened the way for an age of internal improvements, and intended the establishment of a liberal public free school system, and at the same time provided safeguards to protect the public treasury and restrain reckless extravagance. Then the legislatures elected under it, the State officers, and the representatives in the upper and lower Congress, were in political accord with the dominant party of the country. Gen. Grant was president; Powell Clayton, governor; Robert J. L. White, secretary of State; J. R. Berry, auditor, and Henry Page, treasurer.

Arkansas Mounds

In the long gone reaches of time perhaps only to be measured by geological periods, races of men have been here, grown, flourished, declined and passed away, many not even leaving a track behind; others transmitting fossil traces, dim and crumbling, and still later ones, the successors of the earlier ones, who had no traditions of their predecessors, have left something of the measure of their existence in the deftly cut flints, broken pottery, adobe walls, or great earth-works standing in the whilom silent wilderness as mute and enduring monuments to their existence; man, races, civilizations, systems of religion passing

Arkansas Indians

When the white man discovered and took possession of North America, he found the red man and his many tribes here, and under a total misapprehension of having found a new continent, he named this strange people Indians. The new world might have been called Columbia, and the people Columbians. Again, instead of being sparse tribes of individuals fringing the shores of the Atlantic Ocean there were 478 tribes, occupying nearly the whole of the north half of this western hemisphere; some in powerful tribes, like the Iroquois; some were rude agricultural and commercial peoples, some living in houses of