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A generation which ignores history has no past -- and no future.

Robert Heinlein

History of Arkansas

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Ral City AR ca 1875

Local History Notes:

The First Arkansan

When Marquette and de Tonti visited Arkansas, the territory was occupied by two great tribes of Indians -- the Quapaws and the Osages. The Arkansas River separated them, the Quapaws living south, and the Osages, north of that stream. The Quapaws were known also by another name, Arkansas, which, as we have said, was early given by the French to the region around our largest river and to the river itself.

So the first Arkansan of history was the red man. He was copper-colored and had long, straight, jet-black hair, high cheek bones, a beardless face, and black eyes. He was swift-footed and quick-witted. He clothed himself in skins and furs in winter, but in summer went almost naked. He lived chiefly by fishing and hunting, spent most of his time in the open air, and knew the forest and its streams perfectly; he could hoot like an owl, bark like a wolf, and gobble like a turkey. He was a many-sided creature. His virtues were patience and fortitude; his vices, revengefulness, cruelty, cowardice, and treachery. He would never risk a fair or an honorable battle, for he preferred to fall upon his enemy unawares in the dead of night.

When Marquette and de Tonti found the Arkansas Indians, they were living in villages, usually on a river. Their houses were built of logs and covered with bark. Their beds were mats placed upon some rude contrivance to lift them above the dirt floor. Ularcinette in his journal tells us that these Quapaws raised each year two crops of corn, and they had a supply of peaches, apples, plums, and watermelons. Buffalo, deer, turkey, and bear abounded; but owing to the hostility of the tribes to the north, the Quapaws did not hunt buffalo beyond the Arkansas River.

These people had certainly taken some steps in civilization, for they had earthen pots, bowls, and dishes, Indian pottery has been found all along our rivers. It was made of clay intermixed with crushed shells and was either burnt or sun-dried.

Similar pottery, with tools and ornaments, has been found in mounds on our prairies. The pottery is unglazed and often painted; the tools and the ornaments are made of different metals and stones. As they show workmanship superior to that of the Indians, it is probable that another people lived here before the Indians. But these mound builders, as they are called, no white man ever saw; only the mounds that they left give evidence that they once existed. Some of the mounds near Toltec, about sixteen miles east of Little Rock, are seventy-five feet high. They are flat on top, and several of them are enclosed by a levee ten feet high. Because the mound builder left no better record of himself, and no one ever wrote of having seen him, we call him a prehistoric man and still regard the Indian as the first Arkansan.

Marquette and de Tonti found the Indians in Arkansas peaceable, kind, and hospitable. The historian of La Salle's party, speaking of these Indians, says, "The whole village came down to the shore to meet us, except the women, who had run off, I cannot tell you the civility and kindness we received from these barbarians, who brought us poles to make huts, supplied us with firewood during the three days we were among them, and took turns in feasting us. But this gives no idea of the good qualities of these savages, who are gay, civil, and free-hearted. We did not lose the value of a pin while we were among them."

On the other hand, de Soto found the Indians warlike, treacherous, and bloodthirsty; and he had constant trouble with them. This difference was due to the way the explorers treated the savages. Marquette and de Tonti were kind and considerate, but de Soto was cruel and treacherous.

Arkansas has indeed been fortunate in her dealings with the natives. Many of her sister states have suffered from the ravages of Indian wars; unsuspecting villages have been burned, the people tomahawked, and farms laid waste. But Arkansas has been practically free from such struggles. For this, perhaps, her thanks are due her first settlers, the French.

The French carried on friendly trade with the natives. They petted and flattered them, humored their whims and often married them. On the other hand, the English, in their dealings, were blunt, plain, and straightforward. They looked with contempt upon the Indians, as inferior beings. Therefore the Indians were usually allies of the French and enemies of the English.

Soon after the United States had purchased Louisiana, and settlers from the east had begun to make their homes in Arkansas, it was discovered that the red man was in the way of the white man. The red man wanted the land for hunting, and the white man wanted it for farming. Here was a conflict; and it would have given rise to war, had not tact been used to settle the difference. The United States saw the danger and treated with the Indians -- bought their lands and gave them lands farther west, in the Indian Territory.

Treaties were made with the Osages in 1808 and in 1818, and with the Quapaws in 1818 and in 1824, by which they gave up all claims to lands in Arkansas. The names of the Quapaw chiefs through whom the United States made these treaties were "Dry Man," "Eagle's Bill," and "Tame Buffalo."

In 1817 the United States ceded to the Cherokees territory in northwest Arkansas in exchange for land owned by them east of the Mississippi; but this was not satisfactory to Arkansas, and in 1828 the Cherokees were given land in the Indian Territory in exchange for their Arkansas land. The Choctaws also once had their home in the western part of Arkansas. They were allowed to remain only five years, and in 1825 they too gave up their possessions there for land in the Indian Territory.

Although so many Indians on their way to the Indian Territory have made Arkansas a stopping-place, they have given her almost no trouble; and her dealings with them, as well as those of the United States, have been honorable and peaceable.

The story of the red man is a sorrowful one. His best lands have been taken from him, and by degrees he has been pushed back by the white man. He is gradually disappearing, and it is only a question of time when he will become extinct. The Indian clearly realizes this. Many pathetic stories are told showing his sorrow over the loss of his happy hunting-grounds, and over the disappearance of his people. In Arkansas history is this touching anecdote of the old chief, Saracen:

Saracen was chief of those Quapaw Indians who, in 1824, gave up their land in south Arkansas and moved to the Indian Territory. After a time he left them and came back to Arkansas; for he had been sad away from the land of his fathers, he asked Governor Pope for permission to pass the last days of his life at his home near Pine Bluff. The Governor assured him that no one would trouble him if he wished to return, and Saracen was grateful for this kindness. The old settlers of Pine Bluff welcomed him back, for he had always been a good friend and neighbor.

Soon after his return a roving band of Chickasaw Indians stole two children of a fisherman near Pine Bluff. The weeping mother besought Saracen to rescue her children, and he promised to do so. Alone, after night-fall, he overtook the marauding band near Arkansas Post. Waiting till they were asleep, he gave the war-whoop, and with tomahawk uplifted sprang upon the unsuspecting savages, and frightened them away. Then he rescued the children, and returned them at once to their mother. For this and other noble deeds, the Roman Catholics placed in their church at Pine Bluff a memorial window in honor of Saracen.

From: Makers of Arkansas History by John Hugh Reynolds, 1905.

The 1854 Gazetteer of the United States by Thomas Baldwin shows:

ARKANSAS, generally classed as one of the Western states, but having for the most part the soil and products of the Southern, is bounded on the N. by Missouri, E. by Missouri and the Mississippi river, (which separates it from the states of Tennessee and Mississippi,) S. by Louisiana and Texas, and W. by Texas and Indian territory. It lies between 33° and 36° 30´ N. lat., and between 89° 45´ and 94° 40´ W. lon.; being about 240 miles in length from N. to S., and 224 in breadth from E. to W.; and including an area of near 52,198 square miles, or 33,406,720 acres, only 781,531 of which were improved in 1850.

Population.-There were in Arkansas in 1820, 14,273 inhabitants; 300,388 in 1830; 97,574 in 1840; and 209,639 in 1850: of which 85,689 were white males, 76,369 were white females, 318 free colored males, 271 free colored females, and 46,982 slaves. There were also in 1850, 28,416 families occupying 28,252 dwellings. Representative population, 190,846. The number of deaths in the year ending June 1st, 1850, was 2987, or nearly fifteen in every one thousand persons. Of the population at the last census there were 63,286 born in the state, 97,139 in other states of the Union, 196 in England, 514 in Ireland, 71 in Scotland, 11 in Wales, 41 in British America, 516 in Germany, 77 in France, 202 in other countries, and 824 whose places of birth were unknown. The whole number of paupers who received aid in the year ending June 1st, 1850, was 105, 8 of whom were foreigners. Blind, 75 whites, 1 free colored, and 5 slaves-total, 81. Deaf and dumb, 83 whites, and 6 slaves.

Counties.-There are in Arkansas 54 counties, viz. Arkansas, Ashley, Benton, Bradley, Carroll, Chicot, Clark, Conway, Crawford, Crittenden, Dallas, Desha, Drew, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Lafayette, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Mississippi, Monroe, Montgomery, Newton, Perry, Phillips, Pike, Poinsett, Polk, Pope, Prairie, Pulaski, Randolph, St. Francis, Saline, Scott, Searcy, Sevier, Union, Van Buren, Washington, Washita, White, and Yell. These three have been formed since 1850: Calhoun, Columbia, and Sebastian.

Towns.-There are but few large towns in Arkansas. The principal are Little Rock, the capital of the state, with a population of about 3000; Van Buren, the most commercial town in the state, with a population of 1500; Fort Smith, population 1500; Camden, population 1400; Batesville, population about 1600.

Face of the Country.-The eastern part of Arkansas for about 100 miles back from the Mississippi, is generally a vast plain covered with marshes, swamps, and lagoons, but occasionally interspersed with elevations, (some of which are 30 miles or more in circuit,) which, when the rivers are overflowed, form temporary islands. A plank-road is about to be made through a part of this region. A bill having recently been passed by Congress, giving to the Southern and Western States all the overflowed swamp-lands within their respective limits, the state of Arkansas is now constructing, along the whole eastern boundary, levees of great strength, by means of which extensive tracts, that have hitherto been entirely worthless, will be converted into cultivable land of extraordinary fertility. The Ozark mountains, which enter the N. W. part of the state, are of uncertain height; they do not, however, exceed 2000 feet, and are generally much below that elevation. These mountains divide the state into two unequal parts, of which the northern has the climate and productions of the Northern States, while the southern portion, in the character of its climate and productions, resembles Mississippi or Louisiana. The Black hills in the north, and the Washita hills in the west, near the Washita river, are the only other considerable elevations. The central parts of the state, as well as the regions north of the Ozark mountains, are broken and undulating.

Minerals.-Arkansas gives indications of considerable affluence in mineral resources, which are principally coal, iron, lead, zinc, manganese, gypsum, and salt. The coal field of Arkansas commences 40 miles above Little Rock, and extends on both sides of the river beyond the western boundary of the state. Cannel, anthracite, and bituminous coal are all found in the state. Gold is said to have been discovered in White county. Near the Hot Springs is a celebrated quarry of oil-stone, superior to any thing else of the kind in the known world: the quantity is inexhaustible: there are great varieties, exhibiting all degrees of fineness. According to a writer in De Bow's Resources of the South and West, there is manganese enough in Arkansas to supply the world; in zinc it excels every state except New Jersey; and has more gypsum than all the other states put together, while it is equally well supplied with marble and salt. The lead ore of this state is said to be particularly rich in silver.

Rivers, Lakes, &c.-Arkansas has no seaboard, but the Mississippi river (which receives all the waters of this state) coasts the almost entire eastern boundary, and renders it accessible to the sea from many points. Probably no state in the Union is penetrated by so many navigable rivers as Arkansas: owing, however, to the long-continued droughts which prevail in the hot season, none of these streams can be ascended by vessels of any size more than about nine months in the year. The Arkansas is the principal river that passes wholly through the state. It enters the western border from the Indian Territory, and sweeping almost directly through the middle of the state for about 500 miles, (the whole distance navigable for steamboats,) after receiving a number of small tributaries, discharges its waters into the Mississippi. The White river and the St. Francis, with their affluents, drain the N. E. part of the state. They have their sources in Missouri, and their outlet in the Mississippi river. The White river, which debouches by one channel into the Arkansas, and into the Mississippi by the other, is navigable for steamboats 500 miles, the Big Black for 60, and the St. Francis for 300 miles. The Red river runs through the S. W. angle of the state, and receives some small tributaries within its limits. It is navigable for steamboats beyond Arkansas. The Washita and its numerous affluents drain the southern portion of the state. The main stream is navigable for 375 miles, and its tributary, the Saline, for 100 miles. The Bayous Bartholomew, Boeuf, Macon, and Tensas are all tributaries of the Washita, and have an aggregate of 635 miles of navigable water. They all rise in the S. part of Arkansas and flow into Louisiana, where they join the Red river. The Little Missouri and Bayou D'Arbonne are western branches of the Arkansas, the former navigable 60, and the latter 50 miles, for light steamboats. There are no considerable lakes in Arkansas.

Objects of Interest to Tourists.-Under this head stand prominent the Hot Springs, situated in a county of the same name, about 60 miles S. W. of Little Rock. From a point or ridge of land forming a steep bank from 150 to 200 feet high, projecting over Hot Spring creek, an affluent of the Washita, more than 100 springs issue at different elevations, and of different temperatures, from 135° to 160° of Fahrenheit. A considerable portion of this bank consists of calcareous deposits, formed from the water as it is exposed to the air. These springs are visited annually by thousands of people. The waters are esteemed particularly beneficial to persons suffering from the chronic effects of mercury; also in rheumatism, stiffness of the joints, &c. &c. Near the top of the bank above alluded to, there is a fine cold spring so near to the warm springs, that a person can put one hand into cold, and the other into hot water at the same time. The creek below the springs is rendered warm enough to bathe in, even in the coldest season. Cane Hill, in Washington county, elevated about 1000 feet, is flat or rolling on the top, with exactly the same growth of trees, &c. (including the grapevine, papaw and gum trees) as on the river bottoms. It was originally covered with cane, hence the name. It is 4 or 5 miles wide, and perhaps 10 miles long, and densely populated. The mountains on the western border of the state, abound with picturesque and romantic scenery. There is in Pike county on the Little Missouri river, a mountain of alabaster, said to be of the finest quality, and white as the driven snow. In the same county also there is a natural bridge, which is regarded as a great curiosity.

Climate.-The climate of the northern and western parts of Arkansas is allied to that of the North-Western States, while the southern and eastern portion partakes of that of Louisiana. (See Face of the Country, page 50.) The lowlands are unhealthy, but the uplands will compare favorably with the most healthful regions of the Western States. The following extract from the letter of a gentleman of great respectability, residing at Little Rock, contains much interesting and valuable information in relation to this subject: "We never have very deep snows in Arkansas, though in the northern and mountainous parts it is sometimes a foot deep, but lasts a short time only. The peachtree thrives here beyond parallel. The fruit is as good as any in the world, and is indigenous. It blossoms in February ordinarily, although I have seen them bloom in January, with plenty of fruit the same year; the average time is the middle of February. We often eat corn here in June, though crops do not ripen so soon, because not planted soon enough. It ripens by the middle of August, and is often gathered in August. According to a meteorological table kept in Palaski county, near Little Rock, the mean temperature of the year from the 16th December, 1850, until the 15th December, 1851, inclusive, was 62° 66´. Mean temperature of the months of December, January, and February, for the years 1849 and 1850, 45° 82´. Mean temperature for the corresponding months for the years 1850 and 1851 44° 52´. Mean temperature for the months of June, July, and August, for the year 1850, 79° 66´. Mean temperature for the corresponding months, for the year 1851, 80° 26´. There were 47 days during the summer of 1850, when the mercury rose to 90° and upwards.; 51 days during the summer of 1851, when the mercury rose to 90° and upwards. The greatest elevation of the mercury, 1850, was the 24th August, when it rose to 99°. The greatest elevation for 185l, was the 16th August, when it rose to 99 1/3° The lowest depression of the mercury during the year 1850, was 8°, the 8th of December. The lowest depression during the year 1851, was 12°, the 19th January. From the 1st of March, 1850, until the 30th of November, 1851, inclusive, there fell in rain and snow 79.66 inches of water, making an average of about 3.79 inches per month, and 45.52 inches in 12 months. The greatest amount of rain during one month, was April, 1850, when there fell 7.93 inches of water; the least that fell in any one month was September, 185l, when there fell .02 of an inch."

Soil and Production.-There is a great variety in the soil of Arkansas; along the river intervals, it is of the richest black mould, (yielding from 50 to 80 bushels of Indian corn to the acre,) but much of it unfit for cultivation for want of a system of drainage. On the White and St. Francis rivers there is some land of especial excellence; while in the country back from the rivers there are some sterile ridges. Grand prairie, between White and Arkansas rivers, about 90 miles long and 30 broad, is badly supplied with water, but most of the other prairie lands are well watered. The region north of the Ozark mountains, including about two tiers of counties, is well adapted to grazing; it produces also abundance of excellent wheat, and, perhaps, the finest apples in the world. This section of the country is elevated, hilly, or rolling, interspersed with prairies, and abounds with fine springs of excellent water. Grain and stock are the staples. The tops of the hills and mountains are often fiat or rolling, and covered with a good soil and a heavy growth of timber, The staple products of Arkansas are Indian corn, cotton, and live stock, and considerable quantities of wheat, oats, tobacco, wool, peas, beans, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, fruits, garden vegetables, butter, hay, rice, beeswax, and honey, with some rye, barley, buckwheat, wine, cheese, grass-seeds, hops, hemp, flax, silk, and maple sugar. There were in Arkansas in 1850, 17,758 farms, occupying 781,531 acres of improved land, and producing live stock worth $6,847,969; 199,639 bushels of wheat; 8,893,939 of Indian corn; 656,183 of oats; 285,738 of peas and beans; 193,832 of Irish potatoes; 788,149 of sweet potatoes; 63,179 pounds of rice; 218,936 of tobacco; 23,038,400 of cotton; 182,595 of wool; 1,854,239 of butter; 3977 tons of hay; 192,338 pounds of beeswax and honey; orchard products valued at $40,041; and market vegetables at $17,150.

Forest-Trees.-In Arkansas the bottom lands are generally covered with a heavy growth of cotton-wood, ash, cypress, and gum. The mountains or hilly portions have hickory and the different kinds of oak. Pine is found in considerable abundance on the Arkansas river, near the centre of the state, and from this southward to Red river. Beech is said to be found in great abundance on the St. Francis river. Immense quantities of these different kinds of timber are sent down the Mississippi river to New Orleans. From the letter referred to on the preceding page, we extract the following passage:-"The principal forest-trees are the oak, (white,) found in remarkable abundance and of good quality: the other oaks are also abundant and very fine. White oaks, 5 feet in diameter and 60 or 80 feet without a limb, are common. Hickory, ash, black walnut, gum, cherry, pine, red cedar, dogwood, cypress, maple, beech, cotton-wood, poplar, sugar-maple in the north parts; bois d'arc, (pronounced bo dark,) sassafras, and black locust; all these are found in abundance, and are very valuable. The pecan is included in hickory, and is also very abundant."

Animals.-Arkansas is still the home of many wild animals, and the bear, buffalo, (a few of which are still found in the Mississippi swamp in Crittenden county,) deer, wolf, catamount, wildcat, beaver, otter, raccoon, and gopher yet infest its forests, prairies, and savannas. The gopher is a little animal found chiefly, it is said, west of the Mississippi. It is rather larger than a rat, and has pouches on each side of its head and neck, in which it carries out the dirt it makes while excavating its burrow. It is very destructive to trees by gnawing their roots. Of birds, there are found wild geese, turkeys, and quails. The streams abound in fish, particularly trout.

Manufactures.-This state is not extensively engaged in manufactures. According to the census of 1850, there were only 271 manufactories producing each $500 and upwards, annually. Of these 3 were engaged in the manufacture of cotton, employing $16,500 capital, and 13 male and 18 female hands, consuming raw material worth $8975, and producing 81,250 pounds of yarn, valued at $16,637; but no wooden or iron manufactories or distilleries reported. There were also fabricated in 1850, home-made manufactures valued at $646,938, and 51 tanneries, employing $42,100 capital, consuming raw material worth $35,230, and producing leather valued at $78,734.

Internal Improvements.-This young state has as yet made little advance in this respect, having full occupation in the preliminary steps of clearing and settling the country. Some plank-roads are in course of construction. But Arkansas is so well supplied with river navigation, she will scarcely feel the want of other means of communication till her back country is more settled.

Commerce.-This state has no foreign commerce, though it has considerable boating trade with New Orleans, engaged in the export of its productions. The rivers of Arkansas afford an interior navigation of more than 1000 miles, bringing a large portion of the state within the reach of navigable water. According to De Bow the White river is more easily navigated than the Ohio; in addition to this the Arkansas is navigable the entire breadth of the state, the St. Francis for 300, and the Big Black river for 100 miles. The S. and S. W. portion of the state may be approached by steamboats through the Red river, the Washita, and their branches. Lumber, cotton, slaughtered animals, and Indian corn are the great articles of export.

Education.-This state has no colleges, nor has she yet organized a system of public schools.

Religious Denominations.-Of the 185 churches in Arkansas, the different sects of Baptists owned 73; the Episcopalians 2; the Free Church 1; the Methodists 73; the Presbyterians 25; the Roman Catholics 6; and the Union Church 7.

Public Institutions.-As yet Arkansas has no institutions for the insane, or for the deaf and dumb, or blind. There is at Little Rock one state penitentiary, which has been once or twice burned down by the convicts.

Government-Finances, &c.-The governor is elected by the people for 4 years, and receives a salary of $1800 per annum and the use of a house. The senate consists of 25 members, elected for 5 years, and a house of representatives of 75 members, elected for 2 years, both by the people. The members of both these bodies receive $3 per diem during the session, and $3 for every 20 miles travel. The Judiciary, Consists, 1st, of a supreme court, composed of a chief justice and two associates, elected by the legislature for 8 years, and receiving a salary of $1800 each per annum; and, 2d, of six circuit courts, held twice a year in each circuit. The circuit judges are elected by the people for 4 years, and the prosecuting attorney for two years. The circuit judges receive $1250 per annum. Arkansas sends two members to the national house of representatives, and is entitled to four electoral votes for president of the United States. The national debt in 1852 was $1,506,562; school fund, none; annual expenditures, inclusive of debt and schools, $35,000. The assessed value of real and personal property in 1850 was $35,428,675. There were no banks in Arkansas in January, 1852.

History.-Arkansas was settled by the French at Arkansas Post as early as 1685, and formed a part of the great tract purchased from France in 1803, under the name of Louisiana. It made little progress until after its formation into a territory of the United States in 1819. It became a member of the American Union in 1836.


Biography of James Sevier Conway

James Sevier Conway, governor of Arkansas, was born in, the Nalocuchy river valley, in Greene county, Tenn., in 1798; second son of Thomas and Ann (Rector) Conway. The family consisted of the parents, seven sons and three daughters. James removed to Arkansas Territory in 1820, where he became a lawyer. He was surveyor-general of the territory, 1829-33; a member of the Arkansas constitutional convention of 1836 from Hot Springs, and first governor of the new state from Sept. 13, 1836, to Nov. 4, 1840. He died at Walnut Hill, Lafayette county, Ark., March 3, 1855.

From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Johnson, Rossiter, editor

Biographical Sketch of Hugh Anderson Dinsmore

Hugh Anderson Dinsmore, representative, was born in Benton county, Ark., Dec. 24, 1850; son of Alexander W. and Catherine (Anderson) Dinsmore. After acquiring a common school education he became a travelling salesman. He later studied law and in 1873 was clerk of the circuit court of his native county. He was admitted to the bar in 1874 and practised in Bentonville until 1875, when he removed to Fayetteville. In 1878 he was chosen prosecuting attorney of the fourth judicial district of Arkansas, to which office he was twice re-elected. In 1884 he was a presidential elector and in January, 1887, he was appointed U.S. minister-resident and consul-general in Corea, serving three years. He was a Democratic representative from the fifth district of Arkansas in the 53d, 54th, 55th, 56th, 57th and 58th congresses, 1893-1903.

From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Johnson, Rossiter, editor

A Biography of George Izard

George Izard, governor of Arkansas Territory, was born in London, England, Oct. 21, 1776; son of Ralph and Alice (De Lancey) Izard. He was brought to America by his parents in 1780, and was prepared for college in South Carolina. He was graduated at the College of Pennsylvania in 1792; studied military science in England and on the continent, 1792-94; entered the U.S. army as lieutenant in the engineer corps, serving 1794-96; served as lieutenant in the engineer corps of the French army at Metz, as a student, 1796-97; was captain in the engineer corps, U.S.A., 1799-1802, and captain U.S. artillery, 1802-03, when he resigned his commission. He was secretary of legation at the court of Lisbon, Portugal, through the request of Thomas Sumter, U.S. minister, 1809-11. He re-entered the U.S. army in 1812 as colonel of the 2d artillery, and was made a brigadier-general in 1813 and major-general in 1814. He commanded the Department of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware in 1812; the 3d military district, with New York as headquarters, 1813; a brigade under Gen. Wade Hampton at Chateaugay river, Lake Champlain, N.Y., in October, 1813, and in the retreat of Hampton's army was commended for the skill with which he handled his brigade. On May 4, 1814, he took command of the Division of the Right, with headquarters at Plattsburg, N.Y. He had in August about 7000 raw recruits, which he drilled and had under so good discipline as to make the place safe against the British army of 30,000 men under Prevost, all regulars and veterans of European wars. He was ordered to Sacket Harbor and Niagara with 4000 of his men and marched them 400 miles over bad roads and joined Gen. Jacob Brown. With their combined forces they crossed the Niagara river and found General Drummond entrenched behind the Chippewa. He offered battle on the plain, which was declined, and fearing the approach of winter and being weak in artillery, he declined to attack the entrenched army. After destroying Fort Erie, he evacuated the peninsula and his action was approved by the war department and by the President, while Generals Armstrong and Ingersoll criticised his military judgment. He resigned from the army in 1815, and on March 4, 1825, President Adams appointed him governor of Arkansas Territory, which office he held till his death. He was elected a member of the American Philosophical society in 1807. He was married to Elizabeth Carter, daughter of James Parke Farley, of "Antigua," Va., and widow, first of John Banister, of Virginia, and secondly of Thomas Lee Shippen, of Philadelphia. He is the author of: Official Correspondence with the War Department, 1814-15 (1816). He died in Little Rock, Ark., Nov. 22, 1828.

From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Johnson, Rossiter, editor

Biography of Daniel Webster Jones

Daniel Webster Jones, governor of Arkansas, was born in Bowie county, Texas, Dec. 15, 1839; son of Dr. Isaac N. and Elizabeth W. Jones, and grandson of Daniel Jones, who emigrated from Scotland, settled in Granville county, N.C., and was a soldier in the Continental army under General Washington. His father was educated at the University: of North Carolina, practised medicine in his native county and removed with his family to Texas about 1840, where he was a representative in the Texas congress, and subsequently to Washington, Hempstead county, Ark. Daniel was educated at Washington academy, and commenced the study of law with John R. Eakin. He entered the Confederate army in April, 1861, as 1st lieutenant; became captain in December, 1861; was promoted major, July, 1862; and colonel of the 20th Arkansas infantry, December, 1862, for gallantry on the field, and was in command of a brigade of infautry at the close of the war. He was admitted to the bar in 1865; was elected prosecuting attorney of Arkansas in 1874; was a district presidential elector in 1876, and for the state at large in 1880; attorney-general of Arkansas, in 1884 and again in 1886, and was governor of Arkansas, 1897-1900. He favored expansion, and in February, 1900, announced himself as a candidate for U.S. senator in opposition to Senator Berry, anti-expansionist, whose term would expire, March 3, 1901.

From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Johnson, Rossiter, editor

Elias Nelson Conway Biographical Sketch
William Meade Fishback - A Biography
A Short Biography of Simon P. Hughes

Local History and Genealogy Links:

Arkansas Facts:
Tree: pine
Bird: mockingbird
Flower: apple blossom
Nickname: The Natural State, Land of Opportunity
Motto: Regnat Populus (The People Rule)
Area (sq. mi.): 53,104
Capitol: Little Rock
Admitted: 15 Jun 1836

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