Little Rock Look Back: City Government Closes Up

Final 1863 minutesOn September 21, 1863, the City of Little Rock government shut down.  Following the occupation of Little Rock by federal troops (on September 10, 1863), the city was now under control of the United States Army.

The City Council met on September 21 and voted to disband the police force and to suspend the collection of taxes.  Mayor William E. Ashley was not present.  The five aldermen present were Charles P. Bertrand (a former mayor and stepson of Little Rock’s first mayor Dr. Matthew Cunningham), S. H. Tucker, W. B. Wait, I . A. Henry, and Louis George.  Following the actions regarding the police and taxes, the council adjourned.

The month before, on August 24, 1863, the City’s funds were “placed in the hands of a reliable party that was well known to the Council.”  Records in City Hall do not indicate who that was or if those funds were ever returned following the war. (Or if those funds were in Confederate dollars which would have been rendered useless.)

Following the September 21, 1863 meeting, there was not a City Council meeting until January 8, 1866.  I. A. Henry, who had been at the final 1863 City Council meeting was also an alderman on January 8, 1866.