Arkansas History - the history of Arkansas
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Arkansas   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Arkansas History

   
 

Arkansas History


Prior to the westward movement of Native American people, Arkansas was inhabited by Quapaw, Caddo, and Osage Nations.

The first European to reach the region was the Spaniard, Hernando de Soto, at the end of the 16th Century. Early Spanish and French explorers gave the state its name which is probably a phonetic spelling for the French or Catalan word for "downriver people" - a reference to the Quapaw Native Americans.

Arkansas was part of the area acquired by the United States in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase from France. Prior to statehood, the region was known as the "Arkansaw Territory". In this territorial period, the five "civilized" tribes, namely the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Cherokee, and Seminole, inhabited Arkansas.

Arkansas was admitted to the Union on June 15th 1836 as the 25th state. Arkansas was a slave state, but initially refused to join the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War, although it did join later, and was the scene of several battles.

During the Civil Rights struggle, Arkansas was the site of a famous confrontation between the federal government and local whites, who were resisting the desegregation of Central High School in the state capital, Little Rock. During this period, President Eisenhower famously sent troops to escort nine African-American students who were trying to enroll in the school.

Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States (President from 1993 to 2001), was born in Hope, Arkansas, and served as Governor of the state (50th and 52nd Governor of Arkansas) for almost 12 years prior to being elected President.


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Arkansas: A Narrative History

By Jeannie M. Whayne & George Sabo III

University of Arkansas Press
Hardcover (600 pages)

Arkansas: A Narrative History
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  • University of Arkansas Press
Product Description:
Arkansas: A Narrative History is a comprehensive history of the state that has been invaluable to students and the general public since its original publication. Four distinguished scholars cover prehistoric Arkansas, the colonial period, and the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and incorporate the newest historiography to bring the book up to date for 2012. A new chapter on Arkansas geography, new material on the civil rights movement and the struggle over integration, and an examination of the state's transition from a colonial economic model to participation in the global political economy are included. Maps are also dramatically enhanced, and supplemental teaching materials are available.

An Arkansas History for Young People, Fourth Edition

By Shay E. Hopper & Jane Browning

Brand: University of Arkansas Press
Hardcover (525 pages)

An Arkansas History for Young People, Fourth Edition
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Adopted by the State of Arkansas for 2008 Once again, the State of Arkansas has adopted An Arkansas History for Young People as an official textbook for middle-level and/or junior-high-school Arkansas-history classes. This fourth edition incorporates new research done after extensive consultations with middle-level and junior-high teachers from across the state, curriculum coordinators, literacy coaches, university professors, and students themselves. It includes a multitude of new features and is now full color throughout. This edition has been completely redesigned and now features a modern format and new graphics suitable for many levels of student readers. The completely revised fourth edition includes new unit, chapter, and section divisions as well as five brand-new chapters: an introductory chapter with information on the symbols, flag, and songs of Arkansas; chapter 2, which covers the geography of Arkansas; chapter 3, on state and local government; chapter four, on economics and tourism; and a “modern” chapter on the Arkansas of today and the future, which completes the learning adventure. This edition also has two “special features”: one on the Central High School crisis of 1957 and another on the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. It also has new and interesting features for students like the “Guide to Reading” (at the beginning of each chapter, there is a list of important terms, people, places and events for the student to keep in mind as he or she reads [corresponding to blue vocabulary words in the text, which are define in the margin]), “County Quest,” “I Am an Arkansan,” “Did You Know?” “Only in Arkansas,” “A Day in the Life,” “Chapter Reflection” questions and activities, over forty-five new content maps, and a comprehensive new map atlas.

The Battle of Fayetteville Arkansas: April 18, 1863

By Russell Mahan

Historical Enterprises
Paperback (103 pages)

The Battle of Fayetteville Arkansas: April 18, 1863
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The Battle of Fayetteville, Arkansas, occurred on April 18, 1863. It was fought on Arkansas soil between Arkansas Confederates under Brigadier General William L. Cabell and Arkansas Union troops under Colonel M. LaRue Harrison. Union troops stationed in Fayetteville were attacked by Rebel troops seeking to re-take the town. Many of the men on both sides were from Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas. The complete Order of Battle for both sides is included. This battle vindicated the tarnished reputation of the First Arkansas Union Cavalry, which had behaved badly at the Battle of Prairie Grove. Other regiments in the battle included the First Arkansas Union Infantry under Elhanon J. Searle, James C. Monroe's First Arkansas Confederate Cavalry, Charles A. Carroll's First Arkansas Confederate Cavalry under Lee Thompson, William Hughey's Mountain Artillery, Caleb Dorsey's Missouri Squadron, and other Confederate units. Many of the names of the killed and wounded are identified. The chapters in the book are: (1) The Civil War in Northwest Arkansas; (2) The Arkansas Confederates; (3) The Arkansas Federals; (4) The Approach of Battle; (5) The Battle of Fayetteville; (6) The Aftermath of Battle; (7) Conclusions About the Battle; and (8) The Fate of the Participants.

Arkansas, 1800-1860: Remote and Restless (Histories of Arkansas)

By S. Charles Bolton

Brand: University of Arkansas Press
Paperback (224 pages)

Arkansas, 1800-1860: Remote and Restless (Histories of Arkansas)
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Often thought of as a primitive backwoods peopled by rough hunters and unsavory characters, early Arkansas was actually productive and dynamic in the same manner as other American territories and states. In this, the second volume in the Histories of Arkansas, S. Charles Bolton describes the emigration, mostly from other southern states, that carried Americans into Arkansas; the growth of an agricultural economy based on cotton, corn, and pork; the dominance of evangelical religion; and the way in which women coped with the frontier and made their own contributions toward its improvement. He closely compares the actual lifestyles of the settlers with the popularly held, uncomplimentary image.

Separate chapters deal with slavery and the lives of the slaves and with Indian affairs, particularly the dispossession of the native Quapaws and the later-arriving Cherokees. Political chapters explore opportunism in Arkansas Territory, the rise of the Democratic Party under the control of the Sevier-Johnson group known as the Dynasty, and the forces that led Arkansas to secede from the Union. In addition, Arkansas’s role in the Mexican War and the California gold rush is treated in detail.

In truth, geographic isolation and a rugged terrain did keep Arkansas underpopulated, and political violence and a disastrous experience in state banking tarnished its reputation, but the state still developed rapidly and successfully in this period, playing an important role on the southwestern frontier.

The First Arkansas Union Cavalry: 1862-1865

By Russell Mahan

Historical Enterprises
Paperback (112 pages)

The First Arkansas Union Cavalry: 1862-1865
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This book is the history of the First Arkansas Union Cavalry from its formation in 1862 to its mustering out in 1865. It is the story of Arkansas men who favored the Union and fought for its preservation against the Confederate tide. They were stationed at their home ground of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and fought a rough war against Rebel guerrillas for two and a half years. The commander of the regiment throughout the War was Colonel Marcus LaRue Harrison. The chapters of the book are: (1) The Persistence of Arkansas Unionism; (2) Humiliation at the Battle of Prairie Grove; (3) A True Civil War Among Neighbors; (4) Vindication at the Battle of Fayetteville; (5) Life in the First Arkansas Union Cavalry; (6) Hardy Duty in the Saddle; (7) The Post Colony System; and (8) Peace from the East.

A History of the Ozarks, Volume 1: The Old Ozarks

By Brooks Blevins

University of Illinois Press
Released: 2018-06-30
Hardcover (312 pages)

A History of the Ozarks, Volume 1: The Old Ozarks
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Geologic forces raised the Ozarks. Myth enshrouds these hills. Human beings shaped them and were shaped by them. The Ozarks reflect the epic tableau of the American people―the native Osage and would-be colonial conquerors, the determined settlers and on-the-make speculators, the endless labors of hardscrabble farmers and capitalism of visionary entrepreneurs. The Old Ozarks is the first volume of a monumental three-part history of the region and its inhabitants. Brooks Blevins begins in deep prehistory, charting how these highlands of granite, dolomite, and limestone came to exist. From there he turns to the political and economic motivations behind the eagerness of many peoples to possess the Ozarks. Blevins places these early proto-Ozarkers within the context of larger American history and the economic, social, and political forces that drove it forward. But he also tells the varied and colorful human stories that fill the region's storied past―and contribute to the powerful myths and misunderstandings that even today distort our views of the Ozarks' places and people. A sweeping history in the grand tradition, A History of the Ozarks, Volume 1: The Old Ozarks is essential reading for anyone who cares about the highland heart of America.

Arkansas: A Concise History

By Jeannie M. Whayne & George Sabo III

University of Arkansas Press
Released: 2019-04-26
Paperback (415 pages)

Arkansas: A Concise History
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Distilled from Arkansas: A Narrative History, the definitive work on the subject since its original publication in 2002, Arkansas: A Concise History is a succinct one-volume history of the state from the prehistory period to the present. Featuring four historians, each bringing his or her expertise to a range of topics, this volume introduces readers to the major issues that have confronted the state and traces the evolution of those issues across time.

After a brief review of Arkansas’s natural history, readers will learn about the state’s native populations before exploring the colonial and plantation eras, early statehood, Arkansas’s entry into and role in the Civil War, and significant moments in national and global history, including Reconstruction, the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, the Elaine race massacre, the Great Depression, both world wars, and the Civil Rights Movement. Linking these events together, Arkansas: A Concise History offers both an understanding of the state’s history and a perspective on that history’s implications for the political, economic, and social realities of today.

Arkansas Off the Beaten Path®: A Guide to Unique Places, Tenth Edition (Off the Beaten Path Series)

By Delano

Gpq
Released: 2015-11-18
Paperback (272 pages)

Arkansas Off the Beaten Path®: A Guide to Unique Places, Tenth Edition (Off the Beaten Path Series)
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Arkansas Off the Beaten Path features the things travelers and locals want to see and experience––if only they knew about them. From the best in local dining to quirky cultural tidbits to hidden attractions, unique finds, and unusual locales, Arkansas Off the Beaten Path takes the reader down the road less traveled and reveals a side of Arkansas that other guidebooks just don't offer. In addition to the text being fully revised and updated, the 9th edition features a new cover treatment.

Remembering Ella: A 1912 Murder and Mystery in the Arkansas Ozarks

By Nita Gould

Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Released: 2018-10-01
Paperback (380 pages)

Remembering Ella: A 1912 Murder and Mystery in the Arkansas Ozarks
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In November 1912, popular and pretty eighteen-year-old Ella Barham was raped, murdered, and dismembered in broad daylight near her home in rural Boone County, Arkansas. The brutal crime sent shockwaves through the Ozarks and made national news. Authorities swiftly charged a neighbor, Odus Davidson, with the crime. Locals were determined that he be convicted, and threats of mob violence ran so high that he had to be jailed in another county to ensure his safety. But was there enough evidence to prove his guilt? If so, had he acted alone? What was his motive?

This examination of the murder of Ella Barham and the trial of her alleged killer opens a window into the meaning of community and due process during a time when politicians and judges sought to professionalize justice, moving from local hangings to state-run executions. Davidson’s appeal has been cited as a precedent in numerous court cases and his brief was reviewed by the lawyers in Georgia who prepared Leo Frank’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1915.

Author Nita Gould is a descendant of the Barhams of Boone County and Ella Barham’s cousin. Her tenacious pursuit to create an authoritative account of the community, the crime, and the subsequent legal battle spanned nearly fifteen years. Gould weaves local history and short biographies into her narrative and also draws on the official case files, hundreds of newspaper accounts, and personal Barham family documents. Remembering Ella reveals the truth behind an event that has been a staple of local folklore for more than a century and still intrigues people from around the country.

 

Calling The Wild: The History of Arkansas Duck Calls - A Legacy of Craftsmanship and Rich Hunting Tradition

By Mike Lewis

Susan Schadt Press
Released: 2017-10-11
Hardcover (408 pages)

Calling The Wild: The History of Arkansas Duck Calls - A Legacy of Craftsmanship and Rich Hunting Tradition
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Few possessions are as highly prized by duck hunters as their favorite calls. Enabling the hunter to attract waterfowl by mimicking their sounds, the skillfully crafted and highly individualized calls are revered for the craftsmanship and rich history associated with this uniquely American art form.

In Calling the Wild: The History of Arkansas Duck Calls -- A Legacy of Craftmanship and Rich Hunting Tradition, avid Arkansas duck call collector and author Mike Lewis chronicles the history of Arkansas duck call making and captures the spirit of over fifty renowned call makers with enthralling, evocative historical profiles. He recounts how Arkansas artisans dominated the early market and continued to influence the design and refinement of the modern duck call through the vivid combination of images and stories. The four-hundred-page book traces the evolution of call design from 1890 to 2017, featuring the work of call makers whose contributions of handcrafted duck calls are highly regarded as among the most prized in the world. Lewis includes over three hundred call makers and over seven hundred photographs that facilitate identification of the calls in this highly collectable legacy publication.

This photographic journal is an invaluable reference book and collector’s guide, a treasurable accessory to waterfowling, woodworking and folk art enthusiasts and a must for collectors who will assuredly pore over its pages time and time again.



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