201 years of the Quapaw Line

Stones placed in Riverfront Park denote where there Quapaw Line started from La Petite Roche

On August 24, 1818, the Quapaw Line was drawn.  Starting at La Petite Roche and heading due south, this line formed the boundary between the Quapaw tribal lands and public lands available for settlement.  (In the 1810s and 1820s, the Quapaw alternated between Central Arkansas and Northwest Louisiana depending on preferences of the tribal leadership.)

Though by 1824, the Quapaw were forced by the federal government to give up all of their lands in the area, the line continued serve as an important marker.   In the ensuing six years, the first permanent settlement of Little Rock took place and streets were planned.

The 1818 treaty referred to La Petite Roche as the Little Rock.  Some have speculated that this is the first official use of “Little Rock” to designate the outcropping and to name the area.  When the U.S. Post Office was established in March 1820, it was given the name Little Rock.

There is a marker commemorating the beginning of the Quapaw Line located at La Petite Roche in Riverfront Park.  The first segment of the line is also noted in the park.  There are also sunken markers place along the line at various points.  In MacArthur Park, at the corner of 9th and Commerce Streets, there is a marker noting that the line passed through at that location.  A few years ago, engineers from Garver retraced the line using modern technology. They found the original surveyors’ work to be extremely accurate.

A good account of walking the Quapaw Line through downtown Little Rock can be found on this website.

Most of what is now called the Quapaw Quarter was located to the west of the Quapaw Line.  However, it did take its name from the fact that the tribe had once lived in that area and was later sequestered to lands near it.  The name for the area was chosen by a committee composed of David D. Terry, Peg Newton Smith, Mrs. Walter Riddick Sr., Dr. John L. Ferguson, and James Hatcher. They had been appointed to a Significant Structures Technical Advisory Committee to advocate for preservation of important structures as a component of the City of Little Rock’s urban renewal efforts.

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Latest Quapaw Quarter Association Preservation Conversation focuses on Quapaw Tribal Pottery

1c2d437f 4244 41b6 b953 0d7bf560b583Join the Quapaw Quarter Assocation for their next Preservation Conversation which features a lecture about Quapaw Tribal Pottery by Betty Gaedtke, a member of the Quapaw Nation. The program is supported, in part, by the Arkansas Humanities Council.

It is tonight, August 8, at the Mixing Room at the Old Paint Factdory, 1306 East 6th Street.  The 6pm lecture is preceded by a 5:30pm reception.
5:30 pm (reception), 6:00 pm (lecture)

RSVP: The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Please RSVP .

Parking: There is parking directly in front of the doors that are marked “live”, “print”, “meet.” If those spots are taken. park in the parking lot to the right. There is also street parking in front of the building.

Entrance: Enter the event space through the door facing 6th Street marked “Meet.”

Questions? Call 501-371-0075 ext. 3 or email qqa@quapaw.com

Betty Gaedtke Artist’s Statement:

“My interest in making pottery began decades ago, but since I had a full time job with the US Postal Service, it was nearly impossible for me to dedicate the time for it. When I retired early, my husband and I bought property near Yellville, Arkansas. In 2010 we built a house there and moved to our getaway in the Ozark Mountains. I was very fortunate that in our local area there are numerous potters, many whom studied and taught all over the country and the world. I soon became friends with many of them and began personal one on one lessons and monthly group workshops with experienced potters.

I was mentored by Helen Phillips, a world renowned potter and teacher, Robin MacGrogan, a lifelong potter and professor in pottery and the arts, Sue Whittington, an experienced potter, and Marian Yancey, an experienced potter. As I became more comfortable making my own pottery, in 2012 I decided to dive into where my real passion was, pottery made by my Quapaw tribal ancestors. I took personal one on one lessons with Lisa Crews, experienced in Mississippian pottery, who taught me how to make head pots and animal & human effigy pots in Quapaw and Mississippian styles.

I have since made about 300 Quapaw and Mississippian pots making them in the styles and decorations unearthed in Quapaw villages. My inspiration comes from my many visits to museums that display Quapaw pottery and twice viewing hundreds of Quapaw pots stored at the University of Arkansas. I have read many books that are dedicated to some of the best Quapaw and Mississippian pottery ever found. I have pots displayed at several museums around the country. “

The Revolutionary War in Arkansas? Yes. Sort of. 18 months after Yorktown. News Traveled Slow.

Because Arkansas was part of the Louisiana Territory, and under the Spanish flag, one does not think about there being any Revolutionary War battles being fought on Arkansas soil.

But on April 17, 1783, the British and Spanish skirmished at Arkansas Post.  Sometimes known as Colbert’s Raid, this was part of a four year campaign of intermittent efforts by the British to stop the Spaniards from funneling money and supplies to the colonists via the Mississippi River.

James Colbert, a former British Army captain, led a loose group of British mercenaries as well as anti-Spanish members of the Chickasaw tribe on a series of raids in Louisiana and the lower Mississippi area.  He targeted Fort Carlos at Arkansas Post because of its proximity to the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers.

The Fort had 33 Spanish soldiers and four members of the Quapaw tribe.  Colbert had over 80 men with him.  After an initial attack on the Post, several residents made it to the Fort which was then attacked.  Expecting surrender (and indeed there had been a brief truce), instead a Spanish sortie of 14 faced the 82. Shouting Quapaw war cries and firing their muskets, under the cover of darkness, this sortie surprised and confused the Colbert party.  Convinced that a large collection of Quapaw was attacking them, they scattered and retreated.

Today, the National Park Service at Arkansas Post offers information on this battle, one of the last of the Revolutionary War (and a full 18 months after Cornwallis surrendered to Washington at Yorktown).

On Anne Frank’s birthday – a look at the Anne Frank trees in Little Rock

Ninety years ago today, on June 12, 1929, Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt, Germany.  Through her diary, she has inspired generations with her courage as her family was in hiding from the Nazis.  During the two years she and her family were in seclusion, she looked out and saw a white horse chestnut tree from her window.

In 2009, the Anne Frank Center USA announced an initiative to place saplings from the tree at various locations throughout the United States.  Little Rock became the only city to receive two saplings.  One to be placed at Central High School, the other to be placed at the Clinton Presidential Center.

The Clinton Foundation and the Sisterhood of Congregation B’nai Israel, in conjunction with the Anne Frank Center USA, joined together to create a powerful exhibit, The Anne Frank Tree, located on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Park.  The permanent installation, which surrounds the Anne Frank Tree sapling, was dedicated on October 2, 2015.

Anne’s tree would outlive her by more than 50 years before being weakened by disease and succumbing to a windstorm in 2010. But today, thanks to dozens of saplings propagated in the months before its death, Anne’s tree lives on in cities and towns around the world.

The Anne Frank Tree installation at the Clinton Center consists of five framed, etched glass panels – arranged to evoke the feeling of being inside a room – surrounded by complementary natural landscaping. The two front panels feature quotes from Anne Frank and President Clinton. The three additional panels convey the complex history of human rights in Arkansas through descriptions of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and the Little Rock Central High School desegregation crisis of 1957. These panels feature quotes from Chief Heckaton, hereditary chief of the Quapaw during Arkansas’s Indian Removal; George Takei, Japanese-American actor who was interned at the Rohwer Relocation Center in Desha County, Arkansas, in 1942; and Melba Pattillo Beals, of the Little Rock Nine.

In collaboration with the Clinton Foundation, Little Rock landscape architect Cinde Bauer and Ralph Appelbaum Associates, exhibit designer for both the Center and The National Holocaust Museum, assisted in the design of the exhibit. The installation has been made possible thanks to the support of the Ben J. Altheimer Charitable Foundation, TRG Foundation, and other generous partners.

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.

This weekend at the Clinton Center – Fusion 2019: Arts+Humanities Arkansas looks at “The Mighty Mississippi: A Mosaic of America’s Growth”

Fusion: Arts + Humanities Arkansas The third edition of FUSION: Arts + Humanities Arkansas takes place on February 10 and 11 at the Clinton Presidential Center.

There is a Fusion public symposium, The Mighty Mississippi: A Mosaic of America’s Growth, on Sunday, February 10, at 5:30 p.m. The program will include a keynote address featuring nationally-recognized photographer, filmmaker, and folklorist Tom Rankin; a Delta Blues musical performance by Grammy Award-winning musician David Evans; and special performances by the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra Jazz Ensemble and North Little Rock High School theater students.

While flowing more than 2,300 miles through ten states and defining eight state borders, the Mighty Mississippi River is an imperative physical aspect that continues to play an integral role in the shaping of our nation’s economics, politics, geography, and culture.

An accompanying exhibit will take you on a journey down the Mississippi River as you view dozens of artifacts and ephemera, including first editions of Mark Twain’s novels, The Prince and the Pauper and The Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court; original Norman Rockwell lithographs from Twain’s works; the Epiphone guitar and playing knife of Helena native and famed blues guitar player Cedell Davis; and more.

RSVP for the Fusion Public Symposium

Fusion: Arts + Humanities Arkansas
The Mighty Mississippi: A Mosaic of America’s Growth
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Doors Open: 5 p.m. | Program Begins: 5:30 p.m.

Reception and exhibit tours to follow the program
Clinton Presidential Center, Great Hall
Fusion 2019 is made possible because of the generous support of the Quapaw Tribe, Centennial Bank, and the Little Rock Port Authority.

Two Centuries of the Quapaw Line

Stones placed in Riverfront Park denote where there Quapaw Line started from La Petite Roche

On August 24, 1818, the Quapaw Line was drawn.  Starting at La Petite Roche and heading due south, this line formed the boundary between the Quapaw tribal lands and public lands available for settlement.  (In the 1810s and 1820s, the Quapaw alternated between Central Arkansas and Northwest Louisiana depending on preferences of the tribal leadership.)

Though by 1824, the Quapaw were forced to give up all of their lands in the area, the line continued serve as an important marker.   In the ensuing six years, the first permanent settlement of Little Rock took place and streets were planned.

The 1818 treaty referred to La Petite Roche as the Little Rock.  Some have speculated that this is the first official use of “Little Rock” to designate the outcropping and to name the area.  When the U.S. Post Office was established in March 1820, it was given the name Little Rock.

There is a marker commemorating the beginning of the Quapaw Line located at La Petite Roche in Riverfront Park.  The first segment of the line is also noted in the park.  There are also sunken markers place along the line at various points.  In MacArthur Park, at the corner of 9th and Commerce Streets, there is a marker noting that the line passed through at that location.  A few years ago, engineers from Garver retraced the line using modern technology. They found the original surveyors’ work to be extremely accurate.

A good account of walking the Quapaw Line through downtown Little Rock can be found on this website.

Most of what is now called the Quapaw Quarter was located to the west of the Quapaw Line.  However, it did take its name from the fact that the tribe had once lived in that area and was later sequestered to lands near it.  The name for the area was chosen by a committee composed of David D. Terry, Peg Newton Smith, Mrs. Walter Riddick Sr., Dr. John L. Ferguson, and James Hatcher. They had been appointed to a Significant Structures Technical Advisory Committee to advocate for preservation of important structures as a component of the City of Little Rock’s urban renewal efforts.