Arkansas Trails To The Past
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Admitted to the Union
June 15, 1836

Your Host for Arkansas
Trails To The Past
Billie Walsh

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The first European to reach Arkansas was the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, a veteran of Pizarro's conquest of Peru who died near Lake Village on the Mississippi River in 1542 after almost a year traversing the southern part of the state in search of gold and a passage to China. Arkansas is one of several U.S. states formed from the territory purchased from Napoleon Bonaparte in the Louisiana Purchase. The early Spanish or French explorers of the state gave it its name, which is probably a phonetic spelling of the Illinois tribe's name for the Quapaw people, who lived downriver from them. Other Native American tribes who lived in Arkansas before moving west were the Quapaw, Caddo, and Osage nations. In their forced move westward (under U.S. Indian removal policies), the Five Civilized Tribes inhabited Arkansas during its territorial period.
    The Territory of Arkansaw was organized on July 4, 1819. On June 15, 1836, the State of Arkansas was admitted to the Union as the 25th state and the 13th slave state.
    The name "Arkansas" derives from the same root as the name for the state of Kansas. The Kansas tribe of Native Americans are closely associated with the Sioux tribes of the Great Plains. The word "Arkansas" itself is a French pronunciation ("Arcansas") of a Quapaw (a related "Kaw" tribe) word "akakaze" meaning "land of downriver people" or the Sioux word "Akakaze" meaning "people of the south wind". The pronunciation of Arkansas was made official by an act of the state legislature in 1881 after a dispute between the two U.S. Senators from Arkansas. One wanted to pronounce the name [ar-kænzəs] ar-KAN-zəs and the other wanted ['arkənsɔː] AR-kən-zis.


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County List


Judge Isaac Charles Parker
And the United States District Court of Western Arkansas 1875 – 1896

Trail Of Tears In Arkansas

Ghost Towns of Arkansas

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Federal Writers Project
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Arkansas in the Civil War

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Banner (Top) : Petit Jean State Park
Middle : Prairie Grove Battlefield
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