RAIN OR SHINE: Territorial Fair at Historic Arkansas Museum today from 10am to 4pm

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Come celebrate the Arkansas Territorial Bicentennial at this year’s Territorial Fair!

Through living history performances, live demonstrations and hands-on activities, the event is an opportunity for adults and children of all ages to experience what life was like during Arkansas’s Territorial era. Activities occurring throughout the day include:

• Pioneer games
• Living history performances
• Cooking demonstrations
• Blacksmith demonstrations with Master Blacksmith Lin Rhea
• Hand-cut silhouettes with Silhouettes By Hand
• Ice cream from Loblolly Creamery
• Quapaw history and pottery demonstrations with Betty Gaedtke
• Mother’s Day cards in the Old Print Shop with print blocks designed by Arkansas artist Perrion Hurd
• Beekeeping with Lake In The Willows Apiary
• Dance performances by the Arkansas Country Dance Society
• Live music by Mockingbird, Lark in the Morning, Arkansas,
Sugar on the Floor, Clark Buehling, and Ricky Russell
• Plenty of food and beverages, including Say Cheese Food Truck

This is a FREE event!

#TerritorialFair #HistoricArkansas #AuthenticArkansas #LittleRock #Arkansas

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2nd Friday Art Night – Bicentennial Bash at Historic Arkansas Museum

In conjunction with the 200th anniversary of the creation of the Arkansas Territory, Historic Arkansas Museum is hosting a Bicentennial Bash.

Join them from 5 – 8 pm, for 2nd Friday Art Night, with live music by Two Larks in the Morning and #ArkansasMade beer from 6 Mile Brewing of Ozark

Life in the Western Country: Arkansaw Territory from 1819-1836
This exhibit celebrates the 200th anniversary of the creation of “Arkansaw” Territory. Historical documents, like the deed to the first newspaper print shop west of the Mississippi, provide context for stories of opportunity and westward migration, while a needlework sampler stitched by a young Cherokee girl at the Presbyterian school known as Dwight Mission speaks to the displacement and cultural assimilation of Native Americans.
In the Theater
Celebrate 200 Years of Pulaski County with a talk in HAM’s Ottenheimer Theater at 6 pm, featuring Jim Metzger, a representative from the Pulaski County Historical Society, with an introduction by Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde.

#5WomenArtists
Through their social media campaign #5WomenArtists, the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) asks, “Can you name five women artists?” HAM is participating by exhibiting the work of five forward-thinking, female Arkansas artists: Martha Barber, Jenny Delony, Louise Halsey, Elsie Freund, and Natalie Henry.

200 Years of Arkansas

On March 2, 1819, the Arkansas Territory was authorized by an act of Congress, to take effect  on July 4, 1819.

The Arkansas Territory was created from the portion of the Missouri Territory. It originally encompassed all of what is now Arkansas and much of what is now Oklahoma. The westernmost portion of the territory was removed on November 15, 1824, a second westernmost portion was removed on May 6, 1828, reducing the territory to the extent of the present state of Arkansas.

The Territorial capital was Arkansas Post from July 1819 until June 1821. At that point in time it was moved to Little Rock. In 1819, there was no permanent settlement in Little Rock. It would not be until early February 1820 that a permanent settlement would be established.  On 1818, the Quapaw Treaty had anticipated a future settlement in Little Rock.

Celebrate Bicentennial of creation of Arkansas Territory

On March 2, 1819, the Arkansas Territory was created.  It was carved out of the Missouri Territory (which itself had been carved out of the Louisiana Territory).  The land consisted of what is now Arkansas as well as most of what is now Oklahoma.

Today (March 1) from 9am to 1pm, the Department of Arkansas Heritage is leading events to commemorate the bicentennial of the establishment of the Arkansas Territory. These will take place on the second floor of the rotunda at the Arkansas State Capitol.  At 10am, Governor Asa Hutchinson will make remarks.

Throughout the commemoration there will be family-friendly activities and opportunities to learn about the history of Arkansas. Many of the divisions of the Department of Arkansas Heritage will be on hand. And, of course, there will be birthday cake!

 

Legacies & Lunch today at noon – When Arkansas was part of Missouri

Survey marker erected in 1926 at what is now Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park, photo by Brandon Rush

Today (January 2) at 12 noon, the Central Arkansas Library System Butler Center for Arkansas Studies kicks off its programming for 2019. First up is the monthly Legacies & Lunch program. Today’s focus is on the creation of the Arkansas Territory. The year 2019 marks 200 years since Arkansas was separated from Missouri.

Author and professor S. Charles Bolton, who taught history at University of Arkansas Little Rock for over three decades, will discuss the early history of the geographical region that became the state of Arkansas.

The state was formed on land that was part of the Louisiana Territory for a time before becoming the Missouri Territory. The federal government eventually sent the Hunter-Dunbar Expedition up the Ouachita River, and designated a spot in eastern Arkansas as the starting point for land surveys west of the Mississippi River. The U.S. government also built a military installation on the future site of Fort Smith. These actions  led to the eventual creation of Arkansas Territory in 1819, followed by statehood in 1836.

About Legacies & Lunch

Legacies & Lunch is a free monthly program of the CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies that highlights Arkansas-related topics. Programs are held from noon to 1 pm on the first Wednesday of the month. Attendees are invited to bring a sack lunch; drinks and dessert are provided. A library parking discount is available upon request. For more information, contact 501-918-3030.

 

Little Rock Look Back: First Little Rock edition of ARKANSAS GAZETTE

First LR ArkGaz insideAfter months of planning, on Saturday, December 29, 1821, the first edition of ARKANSAS GAZETTE to be published in Little Rock came off the press.  Due to a shortage of paper supplies, it was only a two page edition, instead of the four pages which publisher William Woodruff had been customarily printing.

Because the capitol of the Arkansas Territory had moved from Arkansas Post to Little Rock earlier in 1821, Woodruff wanted to relocate as well.  Not only did it make sense for a newspaperman to be close to the seat of government for purposes of stories, there was a financial reason for the move, too.  Woodruff wanted to continue to be the contracted official publisher of government records.  If he stayed in Arkansas Post, someone else would certainly have opened up an operation in Little Rock to do the printing.

The first Little Rock edition featured the usual mix of national news (often culled from other newspapers once they arrived at Woodruff’s establishment), local stories, and advertisements.  One of the stories was a letter from General Andrew Jackson to the citizens of the Florida Territory.  There was also a dispatch from Pernambuco, Brazil.

Because it was the first issue from Little Rock, Woodruff took time to write about Little Rock.  He noted it was located on the south side of the Arkansas River on a “beautiful gravelly bluff” with picturesque views of the river and surrounding areas.  He noted the territorial and federal government offices which were located in Little Rock.

Though the Gazette ceased publication in 1991, the 1821 publication of that paper in Little Rock set the stage for more than just that one newspaper.  It marks a continual presence of newspaper and journal publication in Little Rock for 197 years.

187 years since Little Rock was chartered

With the stroke of Territorial Governor John Pope’s pen, Little Rock was officially chartered as a town on November 7, 1831. This followed approval by the Arkansas legislature a few days earlier.

As a chartered, officially recognized municipality, the Town of Little Rock was authorized to create a government and to plan for a Mayor and Aldermen to be elected. That election would take place in January 1832 with the initial council meeting later that month.

There are several earlier and later days which could be used to mark Little Rock’s official birth (La Harpe sighting in 1722, first settler in 1812, permanent settlement in 1820, selection of trustees in 1825, chartered as a City in 1835, chartered as a City of First Class in 1875) — but it is November 7, 1831, which has been the officially recognized and accepted date.

In 1931, Little Rock celebrated her centennial with a series of events.  Likewise, in November 1981, Little Rock Mayor Charles Bussey signed and City Clerk Jane Czech attested Resolution 6,687 which recognized the Little Rock sesquicentennial.