Arkansas County Histories

Flag of ArkansasPrior to European settlement, Arkansas was inhabited by the Caddo, Osage, and Quapaw people. A variety of European explorers visited the region including Hernando de Soto in 1541, Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet in 1673, and Robert La Salle and Henri de Tonti in 1681.

Early settlers, including fur trappers, began moving into Arkansas in the early 1700s. During the colonial period, Arkansas changed hands between France and Spain but neither colonial power showed any real interest in the remote settlement.

Arkansas in 1847

Arkansas in 1847

Napoleon Bonaparte sold French Louisiana to the United States in 1803, including all of Arkansas, in the transaction known as the Louisiana Purchase. Following the purchase, the balanced give-and-take relationship between settlers and Native Americans began to change all along the frontier, including in Arkansas.

Following a decision to over allow slavery in the territory, the Territory of Arkansas was organized on July 4, 1819. Gradual emancipation in Arkansas was struck down by one vote, the Speaker of the House Henry Clay, allowing Arkansas to organize as a slave territory.

When Arkansas applied for statehood, the slavery issue was again raised in Washington DC. Congress eventually approved the Arkansas Constitution after a 25 hour session, admitting Arkansas on June 15, 1836 as the 25th state and the 13th slave state.

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Collection Details

  1. FAY HEMPSTEAD, A PICTORIAL HISTORY OF ARKANSAS FROM EARLIEST TIMES TO THE YEAR 1890: A FULL AND COMPLETE ACCOUNT, EMBRACING THE INDIAN TRIBES OCCUPYING THE COUNTRY; THE EARLY FRENCH AND SPANISH EXPLORERS AND GOVERNORS; THE COLONIAL PERIOD; THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE; THE PERIODS OF THE TERRITORY, THE STATE, THE CIVIL WAR, AND THE SUBSEQUENT PERIOD: ALSO, AN EXTENDED HISTORY OF EACH COUNTY IN THE ORDER OF FORMATION, AND OF THE PRINCIPAL CITIES AND TOWNS; TOGETHER WITH BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICES OF DISTINGUISHED AND PROMINENT CITIZENS: SUPERBLY ILLUSTRATED WITH RARE AND VALUABLE MAPS; A FULL COLLECTION OF PORTRAITS OF GOVERNORS AND OTHER DISTINGUISHED MEN; AND WITH NUMEROUS SKETCHES, DRAWINGS, VIEWS AND SCENES. , N. D. THOMPSON PUBLISHING COMPANY, 1890
  2. A REMINISCENT HISTORY OF THE OZARK REGION: COMPRISING A CONDENSED GENERAL HISTORY, A BRIEF DESCRIPTIVE HISTORY OF EACH COUNTY, AND NUMEROUS BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT CITIZENS OF SUCH COUNTIES. , GOODSPEED BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS, 1894
  3. BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF CONWAY COUNTY. , THE ARKANSAS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY, 1890
  4. BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF EASTERN ARKANSAS. , THE GOODSPEED PUBLISHING CO, 1890
  5. BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF NORTHEAST ARKANSAS. , THE GOODSPEED PUBLISHING CO, 1889
  6. BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF PULASKI, JEFFERSON, LONOKE, FAULKNER, GRANT, SALINE, PERRY, GARLAND AND HOT SPRING COUNTIES, ARKANSAS. , THE GOODSPEED PUBLISHING CO, 1889
  7. BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF SOUTHERN ARKANSAS. , THE GOODSPEED PUBLISHING CO, 1890
  8. BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF WESTERN ARKANSAS. , THE SOUTHERN PUBLISHING CO, 1891
  9. JOHN HALLUM, BIOGRAPHICAL AND PICTORIAL HISTORY OF ARKANSAS. , WEED PARSONS AND COMPANY PRINTERS, 1887
  10. DALLAS T. HERNDON, CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF ARKANSAS – VOL. 2. , S. J. CLARKE PUBLISHING COMPANY, 1922
  11. HISTORY OF BENTON, WASHINGTON, CARROLL, MADISON, CRAWFORD, FRANKLIN, AND SEBASTIAN COUNTIES, ARKANSAS. , THE GOODSPEED PUBLISHING CO, 1889
  12. HENRY GRADY MCCUTCHEN, HISTORY OF SCOTT COUNTY ARKANSAS. , H. G. PUGH & CO, 1922
  13. JOSIAH H. SHINN, PIONEERS AND MAKERS OF ARKANSAS. , LITTLE ROCK, 1908

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