Skip to main content

Full text of "Publications of the Arkansas Historical Association"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on Hbrary shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http : //books . google . com/| 



Biniirtili' mmm 


Qeo. W. Norman 


The Arkansas 
Historical Association 

Edited by 




"- • • • 

J , • • • • • • ! ' 

< •• # • • •• • 

• •* 

• • • 

• •• • ' **- •'•• • •( 




> I 


Copyright 1917 
By the Arkansas Historical Association. 

Neither the editor nor the association assumes responsibility for 
the statements of contributors. 

• • w • 

• • • 

» • I •■ 

press of 
Democrat Printing & Lithographing Company 

little rock, ark. 


The delay in printing this volume is due to the inade- 
quacy of the printing fund in 1913 and to executive vetoes 
of later appropriations for this purpose. The expenses of 
issuing the publications are jointly borne by the state and 
by the sale of the volumes. The failure of either makes im- 
possible the printing and distribution of the publications. 
In the meantime, however, the state has provided the means 
for carrying on in an effective way the work of the Arkan- 
sas History Commission. Its secretary, Dallas T. Hemdon, 
for the last six years has done a classical piece of work in 
collecting, arranging and making available source material 
of the state's history. The editor is under obligations to 
Mr. Hemdon for his co-operation in editing this volume. 




Officers 5 

Constitutional Convention of 1868, by Eugene Cypert 7 

Clayton's Aftermath of the Civil War in Arkansas, by Mrs. U. M. 

Rose 57 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie, by Albert Pike 66 

Captain Valentine Merriwether McGehee, by Howard M. Ingram 140 
Letters of David O. Dodd and Biographical Sketch, by Dallas T. 

Hemdon 152 

Early Days in Sevier County, by W. S. Ray 170 

Murder of the Wright Family — Recollections, by J. F. Bates 204 

History of the Official Flag of Arkansas, by Willie K. Hocker... 207 
Constitutional Convention of 1874 — Reminiscences, by Joseph W. 

House '.. 210 

The Arkansas Baptists and Inter-National Religious Liberty, by 

Rev. J. B. Searcy 269 

The Arkansas History Commission — ^A Review of Its Work, by 

Dallas T. Herndon 272 

John Pope — An Unfinished Sketch, by U. M. Rose 284 

What Was DeSoto's Route Through Arkansas? by Ada Mixon... 293 
Breaking Up a Party of Arkansas River Gamblers, by William 

T. Heard 312 

When the Quapaws Went to Red River — A Translation, by Dallas 

T. Herndon 326 

Price's Campaign of 1861, by N. B. Pearce 332 

Arkansas and the Jesuits in 1727 — A Translation, by W. A. 

Falconer 352 

Michael Shelby Kennard, by George P. Kennard 379 

Early Days of Camden, by Mrs. A. A. Tufts 386 

Arkansas Mounds — Notes, by Edward Palmer 390 


Dr. a. G. Millar, Little Rock. 

Vice Presidents 

Judge J. M. Hill, Fort Smith. 

Judge Jacob Trieber, Little Rock. 

Gen. B. W. Green, Little Rock. 

Dr. J. H. Reynolds, Conway. 

Hon. R. J. Wilson, Fayetteville. 

Executive Committee 

Dr. a. C. Millar, Little Rock. 
Judge J. M. Hill, Fort Smith. 

Judge Jacob Trieber. 

Dr. j. H. Reynolds, Conway. 

Hon. R. j. Wilson, Fayetteville. 


Prof. W. 0. Wilson, 1903-1904. 

Hon. James K. Jones, 1904-1907. 

Col. V. Y. Cook, 1907-1908. 



Mr. William S. Mitchell, Little Rock. 
Col. V. Y. Cook, Batesville. 


(By Eugene Cypert.) ♦ 

The State of Arkansas had enjoyed comparative peace 
and quiet for three years succeeding the Civil War. Under 
the presidential method of reconstruction inaugurated by 
President Lincoln, the loyal people of the State had met in 
1864 and adopted a constitution which abolished slavery, 
but did not enfranchise the negroes.^ The constitutional con- 
vention of 1868 was the result of reconstruction acts of Con- 
gress, which had been vetoed by President Johnson, and 
passed by Congress over his veto. For the purpose of recon- 
struction in the Secession States under these various acts, 
all negroes and ail other persons who had been in the State 
twelve months were entitled to vote and hold seats in the 
convention, "Pi'ovided that no person who has been a mem- 
ber of the legislature of any State, or who has held any ex- 
ecutive or judicial office in any State, whether he has taken 
an oath to support the constitution of the United States or 
not, and whether he was holding such office at the commence- 
ment of the rebellion or not, or had held it before and who 
afterwards engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the 
United States, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof 
should be entitled to vote."^ 

*Note. — (Eugene Cypert was bom, reared and educated in White 
county, Arkansas; read law in the office of his father, the late Jesse 
N. Cjrpert; was licensed to practice his profession in 1884. From that 
time forward until the senior Cypert's death in September, 1913, father 
and son engaged in the practice of law as partners at Searcy. Mr. 
Cypert, the author of this account of the Convention of '68, has served 
three terms as County Judge of White county, 1898-1904. He has been 
elected a delegate to the Constitutional Convention called to meet 
November 19, 1917. 

His ability as a student of affairs and as a writer of local his- 
torical matters as well, is fully conceded by those who know him. 

^Presidential Reconstruction in Arkansas, page 352, Vol. 1, Ark. 
Hist. Ass'n Pub., Reynolds. 

^Debates and Proceedings Const. Convention 1868, p. 26. 

• • • b _ • • 

• ••••,• ---•••• 


8 Arkansas Historical Association 


The qualifications of all electors were to be passed on 
by registrars in the various counties who were appointed 
by the military authorities in the South. At that time Ark- 
ansas was in the same military district with Mississippi and 
Gen. Edward 0. C. Ord of the United States army was the 

The apportionment in Arkansas was unequal ; large ne- 
gro counties like Pulaski, Jefferson and Phillips were al- 
lowed four delegates in the convention, while large white 
counties like Benton, Sebastian and Crawford were allowed 
one each. Six counties were joined, two in a district, each 
district being allowed only one delegate. Some of these 
counties thus joined together were not even adjoining each 
other. The whole membership of the convention consisted 
of seventy-five delegates, though several counties were, for 
some reason, not represented at all.^ 

The convention met at Little Rock on the 7th day of 
January, 1868, and all the proceedings were had in the old 
House of Representatives, where the first legislature had 
convened, and was also the scene of the Secession Conven- 
tion in 1861. It was composed of two parties then known as 
Radical and Conservative. The radicals were largely in the 
majority. They elected Thomas M. Bo wen of Crawford 
president of the convention by a vote of 43, the conservatives 
at that time being able to rally only seven votes against him.* 

The radical wing of the convention was, in the slang of 
that day, further divided into three classes, "carpet bag- 
gers," "scalawags" and negroes. There were eight negroes 
in the convention, of whom W. H. Grey of Phillips was de- 
cidedly the ablest. If, in the course of this article, the terms 
"carpet bagger" and "scalawag" are employed, it is for the 
purpose of designating the faction to which the person 
spoken of belonged, and not for the purpose of casting re- 
proach, in any way, on the person to whom the term is ap- 
plied. The carpet baggers were men who came South about 
the close of the Civil War and who thought it their duty to 
join with the other two factions in the South in carrying 

^Debates and Proceedings Const. Convention 1868, p. 31. 
^Debates and Proceedings, page 49. 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 9 

out the reconstruction acts of Congress. The other faction 
was composed of southern radicals who saw proper to join 
with them and the negroes in "regenerating'' the South. 

These two classes were about equally divided in the con- 
vention, and they, together with the eight negroes, were 
largely in the majority, although the conservatives made 
some important accessions before the close of the conven- 
tion, mustering some 21 votes against the adoption of the 
constitution as finally reported. The radicals occupied seats 
on the right of the hall and the conservatives on the left. 

The president of the convention came from Iowa during 
the Civil War. He had been colonel of a Union regiment, 
and, being a lawyer by profession, located at Van Buren 
about the close of the war. He was small and slender, and 
a man of ability and quick perception, plausible speaker 
and good parliamentarian, though often charged by the con- 
servatives with unfairness to the minority. Soon after the 
convention adjourned he was elected judge of the Supreme 
Court, and when his term expired he went to Colorado, was 
elected United States Senator there, and died a few years 
ago reputed to be wealthy. 

Joseph Brooks, a delegate from Phillips County, was 
bom in Ohio, but I believe came to Arkansas from Iowa ; he 
had been in the State five years at the time the convention 
met, and was decidedly the ablest man on the radical side. 
He was a large, raw-boned man, angular in form, with large, 
irregular features, was a good debater and master of in- 
vective. He was a minister in the northern branch of the 
Methodist Church prior to the Civil War, and, it is reported, 
came within a few votes of election as one of its bishops. 
He was called in the slang of the day "Old Brindle Tail," 
which name was given to his faction of the Republican party 
afterwards, as opposed to the "Minstrels" or Clayton wing. 

John McClure, who was a delegate from Arkansas 
County, was the most imposing looking man in the conven- 
tion. He came to Arkansas with the Union army from the 
State of Ohio, was a man of legal ability, logical in debate, 
though rather prosy in style. He was afterwards associate 

10 Arkansas Historical Association 

justice of the Supreme Court of the State, and, in 1871, was 
appointed chief justice, succeeding Judge W. W. Wilshire.^ 
These two men, while belonging to the same party, were 
entirely different kind of men personally. Mr. Brooks, in 
all his numerous speeches in the convention, impresses one 
as being an honest bigot, belonging to that class spoken of in 
Hudibras, who 

"Compound for sins they are inclined to 
By damning those they have no mind to." 

He really believed that secession was treason, and that 
those who participated in it were traitors to the government. 
He honestly thought that the people of the South were not 
the best friends of the negro, and that the only way that 
they could be guaranteed ''life, liberty and the pursuit of 
happiness" was by giving them the ballot. 

On the other hand, Judge McCIure impresses one in his 
speeches before the convention as being a shrewd special 
pleader at the bar of public opinion, with whom, at all times, 
the end justified the means, and not always concerned as to 
the character of the means employed. 

Both of them were willing to see a large portion of the 
white people of the South disfranchised, and all the negroes 

W. H. Grey of Phillips County, a colleague of Mr. 
Brooks, was the ablest negro in the convention. He also 
was a minister, bom in Virginia, educated in his native 
State and in Washington City, and, I believe, had been free 
all his life. He had been a servant of Gov. Henry A. Wise of 
Virginia, and it is said in that capacity had attended on the 
sittings of the Congress of the United States, and was a man 
of unusual attainments as a speaker. Another delegate 
from Phillips County was James T. White, an educated ne- 
gro and also a minister. He was ten years younger than 
Grey, and took but little part in the debates. 

Among the conservative members there were but few 
that took part in the debates, for most of them were young 
men, who had not been disfranchised by the reconstruction 
acts. Among those who participated in the debates were 

{^Report Secretary of State 1899-1900, 92. 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 11 

Gantt and Hicks of Prairie, Moore and Norman of Ashley, 
and J. N. Cypert of White. The latter was, at that time, very 
slight in figure and not above medium height, with very 
black hair and dark beard. He had been a member of the 
Secession Convention and a major in the Confederate 
army,* and wais several times reminded of that fact during 
the sitting of the convention. He was afterwards a member 
of the constitutional convention of 1874 and circuit judge 
of the first judicial circuit from 1874 to 1882. 

His colleague, Thomas Owen, of White County, had 
never held any office prior to the Civil War, and by reason 
of that fact was not disfranchised. He was a small, schol- 
arly man, and was then a planter near West Point, though 
before coming to Arkansas prior to the war had been a 
school teacher. These two members boarded while the con- 
vention was in session at the same place where a number 
of students of St. John's College boarded, and Mr. Owen, 
in the evenings, sought recreation from the cares of state by 
teaching them their Latin and Greek. He was a fine, cour- 
teous gentleman, able and dignified, but took but little part 
in the discussion before the body. 

W. F. Hicks of Prairie County had never held office be- 
fore, but was a very useful member of the convention. He 
subsequently represented Lonoke County in the legislature 
several times. 

But the most unique character of the convention was 
John M. Bradley of Bradley County. He had been a Metho- 
dist preacher prior to the Civil War, and frequently spoke 
of himself as a ''back-slidden preacher.'' He had filled the 
stations at El Dorado and Pine Bluff, and had been presid- 
ing elder of the Washington District.* 

At the commencement of the war he raised a company, 
and rose to the rank of colonel of the Ninth Arkansas Regi- 
ment of Infantry.^ 

*Cook's officers Ark. Troops, C. S. A., Vol. 1, Ark. Hist. Pub., 414. 
«"Wachita Conference," Vol. 8, Ark. Hist, Pub., 229-231. 
7Ck)ok's "Officers Ark. Troops," C. S. A., Vol. 1, Ark. Hist. Pub.,415. 

12 Arkansas Histo^ncal Association 

At the close of the war he practiced law, and was elected 
to the convention as a republican or radical, and on the or- 
ganization of the convention he voted for Bowen for presi- 
dent, and later in the session voted with the radicals against 
the adoption of the ordinance declaring and affirming the 
constitution of 1864, in lieu of any other measure. This 
was a measure of the conservatives. 

Soon after this, however, he began to waver in his alle- 
giance to the radical wing, and, being twitted by them with 
being influenced by Mr. Cypert of White, who sat near him, 
retorted that it was the conduct of the gentlemen on the 
other side of the hall who were responsible for his change 
of front. They continued to jeer and sneer at him as a 
traitor and former rebel until toward the close of the ses- 
sion he turned savagely on his tormentors with such a storm 
of eloquence, mixed with scriptural quotations and denun- 
ciation, as has seldom been heard in a deliberative body in 
Arkansas. From the most conservative of radicals he grew 
to be the most radical of conservatives. He was a large man 
and while they must have felt his savage verbal assaults, 
they seldom resented it. After the adjournment of the con- 
vention he again joined the republican party, was elected 
circuit judge, and considered invincible before the people 
until finally he was defeated for that position by Judge Car- 
roll D. Wood, now a justice of the Supreme Court. So those 
masters of invective and sarcasm, Mr. Brooks of Phillips 


and Mr. McClure of Arkansas, were finally to meet their 
match, and from a source they little expected at the begin- 
ning of the session. 

Those who were in favor of the Reconstruction meas- 
ures of Congress called themselves Republicans, and per- 
sisted in calling the other side Democrats. The latter, how- 
ever, disclaimed any party alliance, as most of them had 
been Whigs before the war, by reasons of which fact they 
were not disfranchised by having held ofiice, as Arkansas 
had been a strong Democratic State prior to the war. A 
few of the conservatives, like J. H. Shoppach of Saline and 
Chas. W. Walker of Washington, were not old enough to 


Constitutional Convention of 1868 13 

vote before the Civil War, and consequently had no party 
affiliation, except with the conservative party afterwards. 

In the meantime the Gazette of Little Rock was dealing 
sledge hanmier blows at the reconstructionists in the con- 
vention. It dubbed that body ''The Menagerie/' a name 
which was adopted throughout the State, and clung to it and 
its members for long years afterward. The radical mem- 
bers resented the abuse being heaped upon them by this pow- 
erful journal, and were at times disposed to hold the con- 
servative members responsible for its utterances. The Ga- 
zette was frequently quoted by them, and the most bitter 
utterances the radicals made seemed to be provoked by the 
editorials in that journal. 

The secretary of the convention, John G. Priest, was 
editor of the Republican, but he was evidently no match for 
the Gazette, and the radical members frequently took occa- 
sion to reply to the Gazette, and charged that the utterances 
of the conservative members were "of a piece" with its edi- 
torials, though the stenographic report of the debates and 
proceedings does not seem to bear out this charge, as they, 
as a rule, were what their names indicated, rather conserva- 
tive. But the artillery fire from the Gazette office continued 
throughout the session. 

The radicals, who occupied the right of the hall, seemed 
to consider the negro members their special property, and 
were very sensitive as to any allusions to "race, color or pre- 
vious condition of servitude/' 

The first great contest occurred on the sixth day of the 
convention over the ordinance introduced by Mr. Cypert of 
White, adopting the constitution of 1864 as the organic law 
of the State. This, the conservatives advocated, and the rad- 
icals opposed, because it did not disfranchise white men (ex- 
cept in a few instances), nor did it enfranchise negroes, 
while it recognized their freedom. 

In opening the debate, the chair ruled Mr. Cjrpert had 
the opening and closing speeches. 

Mr. Cypert offered the ordinance as follows : 

Whereas, during the rebellion, at a time when there 
was no organized government in the State of Arkansas in 

14 Arkansas Historical Association 

harmony with that of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, 
president of the United States, issued his proclamation, of 
date December 8, 1863, for the formation of civil govern- 
ment in the insurgent states, on a basis which should accord 
with the allegiance due to the government of the United 
States ; and. 

Whereas, under said proclamation the present constitu- 
tion was founded, by loyal representatives of the people, and 
the same has been approved by President Lincoln, and has 
since been recognized by every department of the general 
government ; and. 

Whereas, the same is republican in form, and no mate- 
rial change in the same is demanded at this time by the peo- 
ple whom we represent ; 

Therefore be it ordained by the convention of the State 
of Arkansas, called in pursuance of an act of Congress, enti- 
tled "An act for the more efficient government of the rebel 
states," passed March 2, 1867, that we do hereby cheerfully 
adopt as the constitution of the State of Arkansas, in all 
respects the same now in force, being that adopted on the 
18th day of March, 1864 ; and that the same shall be sub- 
mitted to the people for their ratification.® 

Mr. Hinds moved that the ordinance be referred to the 
special committee on the penitentiary. 

Mr. Cypert said that this was an attempt to ridicule a 
serious matter. He had offered the ordinance in good faith, 
and thought it a poor subject for an attempt at wit. He be- 
lieved that the course he proposed would bring happiness 
and prosperity to the people. The constitution of this State 
had been agreed to by all the people, and under it the State 
was on the highway to prosperity, when a department of the 
United States Government had passed an act, the preamble 
of which, setting forth that these states were in rebellion, 
was a ridiculous falsehood. The government of the State 
of Arkansas had been pronounced republican by Abraham 
Lincoln ; it had been framed by honest, loyal men, and now 
an attempt was being made by men who have no interest in 
the State of Arkansas to set that government aside. Three 

^Debates and Proceedings, 88. 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 15 

years only have elapsed since its establishment, and now, 
under the inspiration of a revolutionary political party, 
which sends its orders to the club room at Little Rock, this 
constitution, framed by loyal men, is to be set aside in the 
name of "loyalty/* 

The Congress had perjured itself by legislating outside 
the constitution, and members of this convention, having 
sworn but lately to support that constitution, could not con- 
form to the demand. The highest judicial authority in the 
land has decided that the negro can not be a citizen. If 
these military governments and arbitrary measures of Con- 
gress were designed to punish rebels, they were unconstitu- 
tional, as that must be done according to law * * * 

For himself, his destiny was with Arkansas ; and he 
could not take up his carpet sack and leave if the country 
should be ruined by radicalism, as he firmly believed it would 
be. He had been in the South all his life. He knew the 
negro in all his attributes. That their people were now mis- 
led, he appealed to the negro members present. 

Mr. Brooks rose to a point of order. It was disrespect- 
ful to style gentlemen of the convention, negroes. 

Now note the common sense and true pride of race of 
the negro colleague of Mr. Brooks. 

Mr. Grey of Phillips said he took no exceptions to the 
appellation. His race was closely allied to the race which 
built the great Pyramids of Egypt. And mark the adroit- 
ness with which the president evaded the important point 
submitted to him as to whether a negro is a negro for the 
purpose of parliamentary debate: 

The president ruled that when there were two members 
or more of the convention from the same county, they should 

be addressed respectively as Mr from 


And now observe the true courtesy of the Southern man 
who was far from wounding the feelings of any one. 

Mr. Cjrpert resumed. He had intended no disrespect, 
and if any had been shown he was willing to retract it. He 
entertained respect for the member in question, and would 
treat him with all the courtesy due their comparative posi- 

16 Arkansas Historical Association 

tions in society. He had spoken of him as a negro because 
he was such. He would yield to the rules of the body.* 

He continued: There were many gentlemen present 
with whom he had long been associated ; he knew they must 
admit his sincerity. Seven years ago from this same place 
he had portrayed the ruin and desolation that would follow 
secession ; he had done all in his power to avert that fatal 
step and had failed. With the same foresight he felt as- 
sured that ruin and desolation would follow the rule of rad- 

He sought not to seek personal controversy with any 
one. He had been denounced by gentlemen on the other 
side of the house as a political trickster, but all he had said 
or done was with a view of endeavoring to render respect- 
able the proceedings of the body. He would appeal to the 
Arkansas men in the convention to set themselves right 
upon the record, against any change in the form of gov- 
ernment which suits the people. The present constitution 
was as republican in form as that of Ohio. * * * 

Under this constitution Arkansas was a state and had 
exercised all her prerogatives of a state. It had been so 
recognized by the United States. The writs issued by the 
United States marshal of the district are therein recited to 
be issued in the State of Arkansas. The Congress of the 
United States had so recognized Arkansas as a state, in 
declaring it to constitute a portion of a judicial circuit. 
Why, then, set to work to frame a constitution not in con- 
sonance with the constitution of the United States, but with 
the demand of Congress alone, a demand unauthorized by 
that instrument and made in violation of its provisions 7 

A gentleman (Mr. Hinds) had attempted to make a 
mere trifle of the present proposed ordinance, by referring 
it to the committee on the penitentiary, but to turn into 
ridicule that which appeals to the conscience of men would 
not always do, as gentlemen might yet live to learn. He 
asked that the gentleman withdraw this motion and let the 
issue be squarely met, and the ordinance be disposed of 
directly by its adoption or rejection. * ♦ * 

^Debates and Proceedings, 89. 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 17 

Under the present constitution the State of Arkansas 
had prospered, yet the state presents today the strange 
anomaly of a recognized state controlled by military force. 
Was this republican ? Was there any present rebellion ? Did 
armed opposition to the government exist in any county in 
the state? White County, which had been one of the most 
rebellious in Arkansas, was today the strong and earnest 
supporter of the National Government. The sheriff of the 
county was a staunch Union man, a man, too, as highly re- 
spected as any man within the county limits. He appealed 
to the convention not to force upon the State a measure 
which the people of Ohio, of Kansas, and of Minnesota had 
rejected. He was willing to live under the same laws as the 
people of the North. The constitution of Arkansas was 
closely similar to that of Ohio — let her have that constitu- 

Mr. Montgomery — ^The gentleman from Tennessee is 
out of order. He will please confine himself to the subject. 

Mr. Cypert replied that he had been a citizen of Arkan- 
sas for seventeen years ; that he came hither from Tennes- 
see not as a soldier, but as a matter of choice ; here to make 
his home. He had committed no crime and done no act 
which would prevent his return to Tennessee or his recog- 
nition there by his former neighbors as a gentleman. It was 
because he had a family here, and must be identified with 
the future of Arkansas that he was solicitous as to the form 
of government which she was to have. * ♦ * 

He was glad that the negro was free. But while he 
would have the negroes protected as they now are by law, 
in all their just rights, he could never consent to have them 
intrusted with the elective franchise, and made the rulers of 
white men. The negro had his rights guarded as sacredly 
as the whites. The right of franchise was not a universal 
right, but a class right. * * * Let it so continue. That it 
should thus remain the North had decided for itself. Let us 
do so here. Congress has no power to compel us to do other- 

18 Arkansas Historical Association 

He repeated his request that the convention would meet 
the question squarely.^® 

Mr. Grey of Phillips replied : I must confess my sur- 
prise at the action of the gentleman from White (Mr. Cy- 
pert) . I am here as the representative of a portion of the 
citizens of Arkansas; those rights are not secured by the 
ordinance introduced by the gentleman from White. * * * 
I am here, sir, to see those rights of citizenship engrafted 
upon the organic law of the State. * * * The gentleman says 
that a negro can not become a citizen. * * * As freemen we 
were not denied the rights of suffrage under the State laws 
on account of color. 

The speaker then quoted from the minority opinion of 
Judge Curtis in the Dred Scott case, taken from Greeley's 
"American Conflict," to prove his contention. In the course 
of his criticism of the majority opinion he spoke of Chief 
Justice Taney as the "American Jeffries." 

Continuing, he said : * * * We are told that the repub- 
lican form of government must rest on the intelligence and 
virtue of the masses, and that we have not those qualifica- 
tions. They are qualities which are, at least, susceptible of 
improvement in other races of men, and not largely dis- 
played when the Huns and Vandals and other tribes were 
laying waste the fair fields of Italy, or when the Danes and 
Normans were making sad havoc of your ancestral estates. 
* * * We are not far behind those who sold civilized women 
along the banks of the James for two hundred pounds of 
tobacco or less. * * * The Saxon civilization of the nineteenth 
century is the product of eight hundred years, and with 
this start ahead with all the wealth, intelligence, power and 
prestige of this great government, men pretend to believe 
that they are afraid of negro domination, afraid that four 
million negroes scattered over this vast country will rule 
thirty million of intelligent white people ! * * * Give us our 
rights as citizens before the law; the right of trial by a jury 
of our peers — admit us into the sanctum sanctorum of jus- 
tice — the jury box; give us a fair show in the courts. 

i^Debates and Proceedings, 91. 

I Constitutional Convention of 1868 19 

i The idea of giving a negro justice in a court whose 

I judge has sucked the milk of prejudice from his mother's 

I breast, where the lawyers, though they may be the most 

thorough radicals extant, honestly believe me immeasurably 
their inferior, and the jurors there assembled are imbued 
with the animus of the majority of the court in the case of 
Dred Scott, and do not believe that I have any rights to be 
protected from the encroachments of that class looked upon 
as my superiors ! * ♦ ♦ 

I But, sir, we have no fears of failing to secure those 

rights. We may be weak within ourselves, but liberty and 
justice must eventually prevail. 

I "Truth crushed to earth will rise again ; 

The eternal years of God are hers." 


The speaker closed with the following eloquent appeal 
! for the ballot : 

I have no antipathy against the white people of this 
country, and am not surpri3ed at their strenuous opposi- 
tion. History repeats itself ; they have been as hard on men 
of their own race, when struggling for their own freedom. 
The noblesse of England — ^the cavaliers — ^had as little use 
for the clouted yeomanry and puritanic followers of Crom- 
well as these gentlemen have for us. But time has a soften- 
ing influence on all human 'prejudices. I am willing to for- 
get the past, and to wrap the winding sheet of oblivion over 
the sod that contains the bones of my wronged and op- 
pressed ancestors for two hundred and fifty years. Oh, dis- 
turb not the sacred sarcophagus that contains the bitter, 
bitter memories of the past — ^we await the judgment day. 
Give us the franchise, the right to protect ourselves, our 
wives and children, and we are content. We are warned of 
the reaction in the North. I think, sir, if the question of 
negro suffrage had been stripped of deserters' bills, woman 
suffrage and everything that could be found that was un- 
popular, it would have been adopted ; and even carrying this 
weight, we obtained the largest vote upon the subject ever 
polled in Ohio. But at the same time I do not blame the 
people of the North for rejecting it. It was their proposi- 

20 Arkansas Historical Association 

tion to the South, and we had no right to place them in the 
position of the conquered instead of the conquerors. Strip 
the question of all outside issues ; let the people know that 
we do not wish white men to make themselves the pedestals 
upon which to place black statues or to elevate the negro 
to office. We desire, simply, the means and incentives to 
industry and education. We will carry them triumphantly 
from the snow-capped hills of New England to where the 
dark-eyed daughters of the sunny South bathe their tiny 
feet in the tepid waters of the Gulf of Mexico.^^ 

Ah, Mr. Grey of Phillips we yield you the palm for elo- 
quence. Had all the negroes of the South and of Arkansas 
been such men as you, their enfranchisement would not 
have been such a grievous mistake. 

Mr. Brooks of Phillips obtained the floor, and the con- 
vention adjourned until the next day. From this point the 
reporter states that the stenographic reports begin with that 

Mr. Brooks — I hope it may not be understood that I 
have any set formal speech to deliver upon the proposition 
pending before the convention. Yet as I did make a few 
passing notes of the remarks of the honorable gentleman 
from White (Mr. Cypert) yesterday, I have thought that it 
might not be amiss very briefly to call attention to some of 
the points presented by him. I hope I shall be excused from 
reciprocating the epithets which might perhaps be properly 
characterized as billingsgate that have come from the other 
side of the hall. Such epithets, applied to honorable mem- 
bers of this convention, and to members of the Congress of 
the United States, as "factious," "loafers," "carpet sack gen- 
tlemen," "interlopers," "perjurers," '^fools" and "liars" do 
not constitute the staple of argument. 

Mr. Cypert arose at this point (as he had occasion to 
do several times during Mr. Brooks' speech) to protest that 
he had used no such language attributed to him, concerning 
any member of the convention, and Mr. Brooks then con- 
tinued as follows : 

11 Debates and Proceedings, 98. 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 21 

* * * This * * * style of argument is not peculiar to the 
honorable gentleman, but is characteristic of the element of 
society in Arkansas which he has the honor to represent 
here. In this morning's issue — I believe it was — of the offi- 
cial organ of the party which he represents, in part, upon 
this floor, is language of this character — ^and it is such lan- 
guage as that class of papers is accustomed to employ ever 
since the assembling of this constitutional convention. 

(Reading from the Gazette.) "The bastard collocation 
whose putridity stinks in the nostrils of all decency, now in 
session at the capitol, has very conceited ideas of its impor- 
tance and pretentious opinion of the scope of its powers." 

Again : "As a matter of some trifling interest to those 
who have not witnessed the exhibition of the menagerie, we 
would state that the negro members, eight in number, oc- 
cupy seats on the western side of the Hall of Representa- 

* * * The words I have cited from the honorable mem- 
ber's speech and ♦ * * what I read from the newspaper is 
of a piece. 

Mr. Cypert — If the gentleman persists in that assertion 
I must denounce it as false. 

Mr. Brooks — It would be well for the gentleman at least 
to control his temper. I simply say that it is of a piece. I 
do not say that the gentleman quoted the precise language, 
but that it is characteristic of the gentleman's style, and of 
those whom he represents throughout the State and country, 
as every honorable gentleman very well knows." 

Here Mr. Bradley of Bradley put in his oar to protest 
in the name of the people of the State against such reflec- 
tions upon the people of Arkansas. 

The chair ruled that it was legitimate argument, and 
other members might have an opportunity to reply. Mr. 
Brooks then resumed. 

Mr. Brooks — ^We present no reflections with regard to 
the citizens of the State. * ♦ * The honorable member 
brought forward in his remarks yesterday the proposition 

i^Debates and Proceedings, 101. 

22 Arkansas Historical Association 

that the convention should adopt the existing constitution, 
the provisional government and the officers administering 
that government, * ♦ * this same class of gentlemen * * * 
who are now so enamored of it, and who are now so over- 
whelmed with admiration for the loyal executive of this pro- 
visional government of Arkansas, then denounced in un- 
measured terms this very provisional government, and these 
loyal men. * * * No doubt whatever that having been 
brought in contact with the loyal government they have 
come to a better mind. * * * 

We * * * trust ere long to hail them brothers beloved as 
loyal man, ready to sustain it, the flag and the interest of the 

Mr. Cypert again asked leave to interrupt the gentle- 
man, and said : * * * "No word or act of mine can be brought 
up derogatory to the constitution of Arkansas, its executive, 
or the state government under which he was elected." 

Mr. Brooks — Oh, the gentleman should not appropriate 
to himself, personally, those remarks which I make of the 
party at large (laughter) .^^ * * * The provisional government 
of Arkansas has not been recognized by the Congress of the 
United States, whatever may be said with respect to other 
departments. * * * But a little reflection reconciled in my 
thoughts. the attitude assumed with the doctrine professed 
by the gentleman. ♦ * * In the first place, we should have 
perhaps felt embarrassed amid such surroundings, while 
gentlemen whose previous habits have familiarized them 
with efforts to overthrow without authority of law estab- 
lished State government, have very little scruple in that 
direction — can much more easily reconcile their views of 
duty with such a position, a position "factional" and "revo- 
lutionary" in its character, to use the gentleman's own 
terms. We have not been accustomed to efforts of that kind. 
* ♦ * Again, there is another view of the subject on which 
the gentleman favored us with some perspicuous reflec- 
tions — recognizing his attitude as a member of this body as 
revolutionary, and without authority of law, and acknowl- 
edging that he and his friends might not be justified in tak- 

i^Debates and Proceedings, 103. 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 23 

ing their seats, but stating that they were here for the sake 
of imparting to the menagerie a shade of respectability — 
with no desire to occupy a seat except merely for the pur- 
pose of saving the body and the state from utter ignominy 
and disgrace; that they have engaged in this work, not to 
assist in framing an organic law, conformably to the act of 
Congress, and consistently with the interest of the people, 
but simply to rescue the reputation of the State from in- 
famy, and in some measure to mitigate the disreputable 
character of the convention. We present our grateful ac- 
knowledgments. * * * We might have saved this consump- 
tion of valuable time if we had simply referred to our con- 
sideration the veto messages and similar documents of the 
accidental president of the, United States. * * * 

But, sir, I do not desire longer to dwell upon the matters 
of explanation further than to notice a single remark. But 
for the position occupied by the honorable gentleman, and 
apparently assigned to him as the leader of the opposition, 
we might perhaps have passed the subject by. * * * Honor- 
able members of this convention are denounced as "carpet 
sack gentlemen" and are invited to return to their homes 
there to remain, and exhorted to refrain from "coming down 
here" to assist these other gentlemen in managing their own 
affairs. Why, sir, but for the surroundings here * * * i 
would have fancied for a moment that we had gone back for 
a few moments for a space of a few years, and that we were 
actually having our ears again saluted with the cry of '61, 
"Let us alone ; do not interfere." 

* * * No, sir; we proposed in '61 * * * to come down 
here if need be — a portion of us — * * * and interfere with 
the proceedings of that part of society, so far and only so 
far as was necessary for the protection and maintenance of 
the government and the honor of the old flag. * * * 

I can say, Mr. President, that loyal men * * * have left 
their homes in Arkansas for the last time ! * * * We claim 
the right to be here. * * * They may confront us here and 
elsewhere with such slang as that which has been employed 
with regard to the odor of our members and our constitu- 
ents. I have only to say, sir, if I am to elect between the 

24 Arkansas Historical Association 

two— «ince honorable gentlemen and opponents resort to 
such a line of remark as this — if I am to choose between the 
odor of my constituents and the smell of treason, which 
"smells to heaven," I affiliate over this way to all eternity ! 
(Laughter and applause.) ^^ 

Mr. Cypert again protested that he had used no such 
language with regard to the negroes of the convention or 
relative to the political party to which they belonged, Mr. 
Brooks, as usual, paid no attention to the interruption, and 
proceeded with his remarks as though he had not been in- 

Mr. Brooks — * * * We intend to reconstruct, and we in- 
tend that these colored men upon this floor, who compare 
favorably with the average of the representatives of any 
quarter of the State, loyal or disloyal, white or black, shall 
enjoy the rights to which they are entitled as men — ^the "ig- 
norance" which the gentleman urged yesterday to the con- 
trary notwithstanding. 

* * * The other real source of hostility on the part of 
the opposition here and elsewhere to the policy which we 
support in the contest, though not openly avowed, or di- 
rectly presented, we know full well to exist; and we accept 
that also. It is that this reconstructed, reinaugurated dvU 
government will be administered by men true to the coun^ 
try and its flag. 

* * * If , in the progress of this movement, facts should 
be developed which shall defeat our hopes, and overthrow 
our purposes, in that particular we shall mourn any neces- 
sity that may arise to fix to any considerable extent, in the 
organic law of the State, a disfranchisement of any portion 
of its inhabitants beyond that imposed upon us by the au- 
thority under which we now proceed. We not only admit 
it but frankly proclaim it in this hall. * * * But we believe 
in so doing we shall place— or rather continue — in posses- 
sion of the State Government loyal men, men whom the 
honorable gentleman on the other side of the hall so much 
admires. If it be found necessary, in order to secure the 
approval of the honorable member and his constituents of 

i^Debates and Proceedings, 110. 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 25 

the loyal county of White, we might renominate the present 
incumbent of the executive chair (Governor Murphy) • Cer- 
tainly his SLge, his abilities, his tried patriotism, would jus- 
tify such a course ; and if the gentleman and his friends be 
sincere in their admiration of the loyal government of Ark- 
ansas and of the incumbents of the state positions — ^we 
might accommodate them, as far as we can consistently, at 
any rate, in order to secure reconstruction without opposi- 
tion. ♦ *.* We invite the gentleman and his associates to co- 
operation, and assure them that they shall not be treated, 
when they shall return to their fidelity, and to correct prin- 
ciples and policy, other than as men, honorable and faithful 
and true. (Applause.) " 

At the conclusion of Mr. Brooks' speech Mr. Hinds with- 
drew his motion to refer the ordinance to the committee on 

Mr. Hicks then followed, advocating the adoption of the 
ordinance. * ♦ * I do not rise to reply to the gentleman from 
Phillips (Mr. -Brooks) or to answer for the gentleman from 
White (Mr. Cypert). 

The speaker referred to the fact that President Lincoln 
had recognized and advised reconstruction in Arkansas, and 
that he had issued a proclamation, in which he excepted 
the states of Louisiana and Arkansas from any congres- 
sional action looking to the reconstruction of the Southern 
States. But he said that this was now an outside issue, and 
now the principal question before the convention was the 
enfranchisement of the negro. 

Continuing, he said : Among all the races of man no 
republican form of government lias ever been established 
except by the Caucasian race. * * * The gentleman from 
Phillips (Mr. Grey) said yesterday that we were eight hun- 
dred years educating ourselves up to our present position. 
* * * I am perfectly willing to concede that he and his race 
shall enjoy the same privileges when they have gone through 
the same ordeal. I accord to that gentleman more talent 
than any gentleman on that side of the house ; probably more 
than I have myself — ^he is certainly a talented gentleman, 

i<^Debates and Proceedings, 113. 

26 Arkansas Historical, Association 

and one who understands the question, because he has stud- 
ied it more than I have done; and there are many other 
honorable exceptions to the ordinary capacity of that race-r 
men of talent-^I may say men of genius, * * * I belong to a 
race * * * which in its first struggle for liberty wrested the 
Magna Charta from King John at the point of the sword. 
* * * That was the school through which the Anglo-Saxon 
race, the most gifted in intellect, the most favored in circum- 
stances of any division even of the Caucasian family has 
passed before it succeeded in the achievement of republican 
liberty. In those eight hundred years we have been slowly 
building the foundations of this mighty republic * * * What 
has the negro race done during all that time? * * * Or indeed 
during the whole period of its existence on earth? Where 
is its language? Where is its literature? Where are its 
arts and sciences? Where are its commercial interests, its 
ships, its flag? It has none! 

Continuing, the speaker referred to the many failures 
that had been made by the other races in Hayti, the Central 
American Republics, and Mexico. From reading his speech 
one might well suppose that he was describing conditions 
there at present, nearly a half century later. 

Hear this sage of "Old Brownsville" in Prairie County : 

I proclaim this principle, which I lay down as a political 
truth : No men on the face of the globe are capable of main- 
taining a republican form of government except those of 
the white race. As an evidence of that fact, I may refer to 
the numerous republics of South America, where the blood 
of other races is largely mixed with that of the whites. 
What are those republics? They are simply machines for 
effecting robbery. Their generals are men raised from ban- 
dits. The presidents today of a number of those republics 
were but a few years ago bandits in the mountains. They 
have a revolution there nearly every time the moon changes. 
They have not the first conception of the nature of a repub- 
lican government. Mexico — the "Sick Man" of North Amer- 
ica — look at her ! Why, sir, it would take a cyclopaedia to 
keep up with her revolutions. You would have to establish 
a steam press to publish her manifestoes! * * * I protest 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 27 

in all sincerity against granting to the negro race the elec* 
tive franchise. I will admit that there are a few of them 
who understand our political system. But they are very 
few. That they do not is their misfortune. It is no fault 
of mine. I do not feel that I have a right, with the respon- 
sibility of the oath that I have taken, to risk the lives and 
happiness of my people in their hands. I am, therefore, hon- 
estly and conscientiously opposed to the movement.** 

Mr. Bradley of Bradley, in replying to Mr. Cypert and 
Mr. Hicks, opened by saying : * * * As the waters have been 
very much troubled, I think it may, perhaps, be well to pour 
on a little oil. I regret exceedingly that so much bitterness 
and strife, so much animosity has been manifested on both 
sides of the house. ♦ * * I did not come here as a delegate to 
make war on anybody. * * * I came here because I endorsed 
the reconstruction plan as set forth by Congress ; I endorse 
it today. I came here because I believed that Arkansas had 
been taken out of the Federal Government, that she had 
never regularly been taken back. 

Pacific Mr. Bradley of Bradley ! But observe later on 
in the session how this same oil that he was pouring on the 
troubled waters caught fire and went up in smoke and flame 
fed by the gentleman's fiery eloquence ! 

The speaker, continuing, stated his various objections 
to the constitution of 1864, the principal one being that it 
was then what he styled a ''bogus constitution," made at a 
time when the State was in the throes of civil war, and the 
delegates to that convention representing only a small mi- 
nority of the people of the State. 

Continuing, he said : 

I do not like many things that have been said on both 
sides. I do not like this comparison of abilities. If any of 
the colored members are superior in talent to myself, please 
be modest enough not to throw it in my face in a public 
place. These comparisons are odious. (Laughter.) * * * I 
did not intend to make a speech ; but I do want to rebuke the 
style of argument which has been used here for the past two 
days. The questions discussed have not properly come be- 

i^'Debates and Proceedings, 117. 

28 Arkansas Historical Association 

fore us. When they do come it will be time enough to dis- 
cuss them, and you will find me at the right place. True, I 
sit by the side of my friend here (Mr. Cypert). Our rela- 
tion is personal and social. It is understood that he belongs 
to one political party and I to another ; and many men, I sup- 
pose, have thought we couldn't sit so close together without 
my making him a Republican or his making me a Democrat. 
Well, if the law of absorption is to obtain, I shall be certain 
to take him up and make a republican of him, for I have 
most capital to start on (referring to their relative size). 
(Laughter.) * * * I believe that slavery was a curse to the 
whites, just as I believe that freedom is going to prove a 
curse to the black race. * * * Gentlemen, in the name of 
everything that is good, cease from these epithets. * * * For 
one I intend to show respect in my remarks to every gentle- 
man, and if any shall then use remarks personally offensive 
to me I advise him that '^ * '^ I will hold him to a fearful 
account. I will give no insult, I will take none, and I will 
hold every man to the same course. I was sorry to hear the 
motion to commit this subject to the committee on peniten- 
tiary. Let the ordinance go to its proper committee. * * * 
I enter my solemn protest that my teeth shall not be shown 
tiger — or wolf like. Let us pursue a different course, one 
chosen with reference to the interests of the country and 
credit to ourselves. 

Mr. Bouldin Duvall of Lawrence was the next speaker 
to address the convention on the adoption of the constitu- 
tion of 1864 as the organic law of the State. He had been 
for four years a Union soldier in the Civil War, but be- 
longed to that class of northern men who opposed the con- 
gressional mode of reconstruction in the South. He had 
been voted for for president of the convention by the few 
conservatives in the convention. Throughout the sitting, 
from first to last, he voted with them. He began by saying : 
I wish to see peace and harmony restored to our country. 
And being one of those of whom my friend from Phillips 
(Mr. Brooks) has spoken that left home and family and all 
that was sacred and dear to man to follow the stars and 
stripes, that today floats from this capitol, I occupy a differ- 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 29 

ent position from that of any man on this floor. '^ '^ * I per- 
iled my life through four years of bloody warfare in defense 
of the Union and the constitution of the United States. I 
am here today asking for the maintenance of that for which 
I fought. * * * The gentleman from Phillips (Mr. Grey) 
asked for the rights of his race and refers us to Massachu- 
setts as one of the states of the Union that granted them 
their rights. * * * The colored race are not citizens of the 
United States. * * * How far has Massachusetts extended 
the franchise to his race? Were the members of that race in 
Arkansas transferred to Massachusetts, how many of them 
would under the constitution of that State be allowed to 
vote? It is well known that in Massachusetts, no man is 
allowed to vote unless he can read the constitution of the 
United States. 

Continuing, Mr. DuVall said that the fourteenth amend- 
ment had not yet been adopted, and if it should be then the 
negro would be accorded all the rights of a white man, but 
until that was done that Congress had no right to dictate the 
terms on which a state would be allowed representation; 
but that he had alw^ays contended that they had never been 
out of the Union. As a loyal man, I ask no protection from 
Congress. I think we are capable of taking care of our- 
selves if they will allow us to do so, and will cease this agi- 
tation about universal suffrage amongst us. Sir, when the 
war ended the rebel armies surrendered upon terms; they 
returned to their homes, and I am proud today to say to you 
that though they fought you and me manfully, up to the 
close of the struggle, we have since that time had a quiet 
and peaceable community, composed of honorable men, will- 
ing to submit to the laws of the country. Had they been so 
disposed to control this convention, my county has much 
abler men than I to represent them, and they would certainly 
have sent them here. But they are willing to be represented 
here by a loyal man, whom they knew could not be assailed 
by this slang of treason that has been so lavishly employed 
on this floor. * * * Where is the main spring of all these pro- 
ceeding? Men want office — ^they want the 8voils of office. 
* * * I entertained when in the service of my country the 

30 ArkaTiscLs Historical Association 

same views that I express today. * * * / come here for the 
principles I fought for. * ♦ ♦ I hold that no state ever was 
out of the Union, and it was for that principle I fought." 

Mr. Csrpert of White County closed the debate on the 
question. He said in part: In presenting this ordinance, 
Mr. President, I was actuated by the purest motives, and 
believed its adoption would conduce to best interests of the 
country. I have listened to the objections which have been 
urged against its passage, and I still affirm my belief that 
it should be accepted by this body. I will proceed to assign 
the reason in favor of its adoption. 

First, it disorganizes no department of the State gov- 
ernment. * * * For that reason, if for no other, in the pres- 
ent condition of the country, we should adopt the present 
constitution of the State. * * * We know how to govern the 
State under it, and have just begun to become accustomed 

to the new order of things established under its provisions. 
* * * 

The speaker then proceeded again to show how the 
State of Arkansas under the constitution of 1864 had al- 
ready been recognized by the highest judicial authority in 
the Nation, the Supreme Court, and by the executive de- 
partment, the truth of which had not been denied by Mr. 

He then proceeded to show that it had been recognized 
by the legislative department in three instances, and such 
recognition having been made in the most emphatic way : 

Sir, Congress has denied that we are possessed of a 
State government, not otherwise than by the refusal to re- 
ceive our representatives. But I will show you, on the other 
hand, that they have in more ways recognized us than they 
have disregarded us as a duly organized state. They have 
recognized us by apportioning to us our portion of the direct 
tax under the constitution of the United States, which pro- 
vides that such taxes shall be apportioned among the several 
states in the ratio of representation. Had they apportioned 
the tax to us on the basis of our representation, they would 
never have apportioned any, for we have no representation. 

I'^Debates and Proceedings, 128. 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 31 

But by apportioning to us our share of the direct tax, they 
have recognized us a State. The constitution authorizes no 
other basis upon which the apportionment can be made. 
They mtist have recognized our right to representation in 
Congress, in order to charge us with the tax. 

* ♦ ♦ Sir, they have recognized us in other ways. They 
have submitted to us the proposition to amend the constitu- 
tion of the United States ; the legislature called under this 
constitution, which I propose we shall re-enact, adopted the 
amendment so submitted, and that amendment ratified by 
such authority has been accepted by every department of the 
national government as validly adopted. I refer, of course, 
to the amendment abolishing slavery. 

The vote of Arkansas was counted, in making up the 
number of states necessary for the ratification of that 

Here, then, is the second instance of recognition. 

Again, Congress recognized us by submitting another 
proposition, * * * that of the fourteenth amendment, and its 
adoption has been recommended by the executive of this 
state. There is the third instance of congressional recogni- 

I return now to the second instance that I have cited. 
If the proposition be correct, that the State of Arkansas 
and other states, which have been in rebellion, were not at 
the time when the thirteenth amendment to the constitution 
of the United States was submitted to them for ratification 
states in the Union, then that amendment was not properly 
ratified, and has never been adopted. That amendment has 
been recognized by Congress and by all the departments of 
the government as duly ratified. * * * Upon the theory of 
Congress, therefore — if that be indeed their theory — ^that 
we have no state government, the negroes of the South have 
not been freed and are not free today. 

Sir, Congress simply stultifies itself. We contend that 
the negroes are free, and that they have been made free 
through the action of the states lately in rebellion. I pre- 
sume that no gentleman will say for one moment here that 
the negroes are still slaves. Nor will any contend that the 

32 Arkansds Historical Association 

proclamation of the president set them free. The highest 
judicial tribunals in the land have rendered their decision to 
the contrary effect. But even if the proclamation of the 
President had that effect in law of freeing the negroes, 
whom it assumed to emancipate, there were still localities — 
Kentucky and elsewhere — ^which were expressly excepted 
from the operation of that proclamation, by the terms of the 
instrument itself. * * * Assuming now that ours is not a 
stiate government de jure, it follows that the slaves in those 
parts have never been set free. Sir, gentlemen must accept 
one or the other horn of the dilemma. * * * This was the ex- 
ercise of the highest power known to the state government, 
that of amending or altering the constitution of the United 
States — I say it is the highest power which a state can exer- 
cise in its corporate capacity, to assist in amending the or- 
ganic law of this great, glorious and reverenced republic. 
* * * Sir, in my opening argument I asked gentlemen to 
show any authority upon their hypothesis, for the announce- 
ment of the ratification of that amendment, and not one has 
attempted to produce it. All the argument they have 
brought forward has consisted in the mere allusions to the 
general history of the country, and in the use of the phrases, 
"Rebellion," "Secession" and "Disloyalty" — the old cry in 
times of rebellion. This has comprised the beginning, mid- 
dle and end of the entire argument offered. * * * I turn from 
my partial digression to resume the consideration of the 
argument that we ought not to adopt the present constitu- 
tion, for the reason that it fails to extend the elective fran- 
chise to the negro race, whereas they are entitled to it as a 
portion of the inhabitants of the country. * * * The very 
word ''franchise," as every lawyer will bear me out in say- 
ing, means a particular and not a general right. It is not a 
right that belongs to everybody. * * * Under the doctrine of 
Jefferson the elective franchise has been awarded to classes 
for the purpose of perpetuating a republican form of gov- 
ernment and as indispensable to the attainment of that end. 
It was only reasonable that the privilege of the ballot should 
be withheld from negroes, or any other class, not citizens of 
the United States, destitute of the knowledge of the princi- 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 33 

pies of our government, and not by nature qualified to exer- 
cise, with sufficient judgment, the privilege of the ballot. 
That privilege was consequently restricted to white men, 
citizens of the United States, and twenty-one years of age. 
That is the class known to all the states as voters. * * * 
Every man in this house knows that, as a class, young men 
of the white race, from twelve to twenty-one, are more com- 
petent to exercise the right than the negro race of the South. 
* * * Then why do you propose to enfranchise the negro race 
as a class, and to keep unenfranchised the class of whites, 
from twenty down to twelve years of age, known to be more 
intelligent, and to be better informed concerning our form 
of government? * * * I will tell you, sir. I was told by one 
of the Republican members of this body yesterday morning. 
I asked him as a citizen of Arkansas, whose interests are 
identified with those of the State, * * * "why introduce an 
element the introduction of which you must know will tend 
to the ultimate dissolution of the government?" * * * "WE 

Mr. Wyatt (in his seat) — I am the man you were talk- 
ing to. That's what I want it for (laughter and applause) ; 
I want it to control just such men as you.^* 

Mr. Cypert — Is it a pure motive? / am not a rebel to 
the constitution of the United States, nor to the United 
States government, and never was. I am a rebel to fanat- 
icism (applause from the left of the house) . I am a rebel 
to oppression ! I am a rebel against the proscription of my 
race ! I am a rebel against tyrrany forever ! (Renewed ap- 
plause from the left.) * * * But I am loyal to the constitu- 
tion of the United States ; I am loyal to* all the powers of our 
government, and never would violate a law. I have never 
been; I have never felt otherwise. I rebel against certain" 
politicians; against politicians who have no benefits to ex- 
tend to their constituents. Is it a pure motive that leads us 
to seek the aid of ignorance, in order that we may overcome, 
put down and destroy men whom we consider rebellious? 
If you oppose Congress and the Republican party you are a 

^^Debates and Proceedings, 147. 

34 Arkansas Historical Association 

"rebel !" Loyalty, in the lexicon of some gentlemen, means 
fealty to the Republican party — ^nothing more, nothing less. 
* * * In radical parlance, if a man opposes the radical party, 
he is "disloyal." * * * Is the proposition of the gentleman 
from Searcy (County) a laudable one? Will he admit to 
the ballot a class universally admitted to be incompetent to 
exercise intelligently, the elective franchise, simply in order 
to vient his party spleen upon individuals ? Is it laudable or 
patriotic? Do you love your country better than yourself? 
Do you desire to perpetuate the institutions of our country 
to your posterity, or do you propose to keep up commotion 
and strife within its limits forever? If this is your wish, it 
is not a patriotic one. The sole desire of the patriot, in civil 
matters, is for the prosperity of his country — for the trans- 
mission to posterity of the institutions handed down to him 
by the founders of the government. * * * 

The speaker then called attention of the negro mem- 
bers of the convention to the unconstitutional cotton tax, 
and told them that while this was a blow aimed by Congress 
at the South, it really reached the negro, who raised the cot- 
ton, and said: * * * 

Since the time of which I have spoken, you have paid 
to the United States fifteen dollars on the bale, which is just 
about as much as cotton now is worth. And that very gov- 
ernment, which was unnecessarily imposing that exorbitant 
tax, pretended all the while to be your devoted friend. If 
voting costs you fifteen dollars on every bale you raise, don't 

The speaker then quoted from an English author, show- 
ing that wherever the African has attempted self-govern- 
ment, or has been admitted with the white man to equality 
of control in affairs of government, that the government has 
been a failure. The author was opposed to slavery, but said 
that whenever such government had been attempted that 
the negro was always "a thorn in the side of every such com- 

Continuing, the speaker said : * * * These are legitimate 
comparisons, and correspond with the result of my observa- 
tions of the negro race. The precocity of the negro child is 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 35 

greater than that of the white — ^I know it from having seen 
them play together. * * * But the mind of the Caucasian race 
expands, looks to the future; it leaves edifices behind it, it 
builds governments and kingdoms, it rears structures that 
stand forever as monuments to the race. When was that 
ever done by the African? Where has the negro ever so 
much as attempted this? Wherever he has made the effort 
it has been an egregious failure. * * * i speak of classes. 
The occasional exceptions are remarkable, but I speak of the 
race as class. 

The conclusion then at which I arrive is this : Let us 
afford to them the protection of the law, but let us not give 
them the privilege, the exercise of which would be their in- 
evitable destruction. Let us not, as Mr, Baker says, con- 
tinue that thorn in the side of the community. Let us afford 
them the same protection that our wives and daughters 
have — ^the right of liberty, the right of property, and of the 
pursuit of happiness. Let us accord them the same right 
enjoyed by the white man under the age of twenty-one. Let 
them be as minors. They are nothing but minors as yet ; and 
when they have proven to a dispassionate people that they 
constitute a fit element for incorporation in our political 
body, it will then be ample time to bring them in. Why ask 
the State of Arkansas to do that which has not been done by 
the states, where the resident negroes have not so recently 
been given their freedom ? In those states the negro is much 
more competent to exercise the elective franchise than with 
us. They are better educated. * * * Many of the most un- 
doubtedly loyal States of the Union have but recently, on an 
issue distinctly presented, refused to extend the franchise 
to a class of blacks decidedly more intelligent than those of 
Arkansas. Why ask us to do it? 

It can be from no motives other than those avowed 
by the gentleman from Searcy (County) . I have hoped that 
the majority of the convention were not ready to act from so 
impure and prejudiced a motive, a motive prompted by the 
worst passions of human nature. Sir, let us extend to these 
erring brothers who went into the rebellion the hand of for- 
giveness. Let us not do another wrong for the wrong they 


36 Arkansas Historical Association 

have done. * * * Let us not affix a punishment to a crime not 
known to the law when the law was made. If we do so we 
violate the constitution of the United States, and the oath 
imposed upon us to support that constitution. We took that 
oath. I took it gladly, for I love the constitution of the 
United States. I will not violate that oath by my consent to 
an ex post facto law. 

* * * I had intended to say more, but my physical 
strength is failing and I will have to desist. But I must ap- 
peal to the citizens of Arkansas, I must appeal to you for the 
sake of posterity, in the name of everything that is sacred 
to an American citizen, not rashly to allow your prejudices 
to run you into madness. I appeal to you in the name of our 
common country, in the name of God, who has set His stamp 
upon the different races of mankind — let us not do a thing 
which God himself in his revelation of nature has forbidden. 
Let us not attempt to render homogeneous races essentially 
dissimilar and unequal. Our fathers made a government 
for the white man. Let us govern it. * * * Let us not have 
forever a thorn in our own side — a bone of contention in our 
midst. ♦ ♦ * I want the negroes to prosper. But I know as 
long as we hold them among us, and keep them as a bone 
of contention in our political affairs, they will remain a 
thorn in our side. I do believe that the inevitable result of 
the rule of the radical party will be the devastation of our 
country and utter ruin to the African race among us.^** 

The question submitted by the ordinance of Mr. Cypert, 
to readopt the constitution of 1864, was defeated by a vote 
of 53 to 10, the following voting in the affirmative : Messrs. 
Cypert, Duvall, Gantt, Hicks, Hoge, Owen, Reynolds, Shop- 
pach, Walker and Wright.^^ 

I'-^Debates and Proceedings, 153. 

2oxhere was an election contest, from Ashley County, and Messrs* 
Norman and Moore had not been seated when this vote was taken. 
They were afterwards seated, and acted with the conservatives 
throughout the session. 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 37 


During the sitting of the convention, or, to be explicit, 
on January 30, 1868, Mr. J. L. Hodges of Pulaski, late of 
New York, lessee of the penitentiary, and representing Pu- 
laski County in the convention, desired to ''start something." 
He succeeded. He threw the bomb that started the trouble 
and it exploded at the feet of Col. J. M. Bradley of Bradley, 
late of the Confederate States Army. It was following tele- 
gram, which somehow had crept into the proceedings of the 
Secession Convention, in 1861, and was now read with ex- 
ceeding great relish by the gentleman from Pulaski, form- 
erly of New York. 


May 9, 1861. 
To Governor H. M. Rector : 

Steamboat Arago is owned by her papers in Pittsburg, 
Pennsylvania, and has one hundred tons provisions, belong- 
ing to owners. Shall we confiscate her here ? Plenty of good 
Southern steamboatmen here to take her where you want 
her, free of charge. 

Capt. Jno. M. Bradley.^^ 

Now be it remembered that from the date of the above 
message the State of Arkansas had just seceded from the 
Union, and was just three days old as a "Free and Independ- 
ent State," and from a Southern point of view the unfortu- 
nate owners of the steamer Arago were citizens of a foreign 
state with which we were supposed to be at war, and Cap- 
tain Bradley, as a zealous military officer of the State of 
Arkansas, was strictly within his belligerent rights in sug- 
gesting that she be confiscated in the name of the free and 
independent State of Arkansas. But it seems that Gov- 
ernor Rector and the Secession Convention thought more of 
the private rights of the owners than they did of their privi- 
leges as belligerents, and the boat was released and allowed 
to pursue her peaceful voyage back to Pittsburg and safety. 
However, Colonel Bradley of Bradley had no apologies to 

31 Debates and Proceedings, 406. 

38 Arkansas Historical Association 

offer Mr. Hodges or the convention of 1868 for his action 
or advice in the matter, but bluntly told them that in his 
opinion "Governor Rector and the convention acted very 
foolishly" in allowing her to escape. "If they had taken his 
advice they would have been a steamboat better off." But 
Colonel Bradley was not allowed to forget his connection 
with this steamboat episode during the session of the con- 
vention of 1868. A few days after the finance committee 
of which Mr. McClure of Arkansas County was chairman 
made a report which further widened the breach between 
the gentleman from Bradley and the radicals of the conven- 
tion. This report, which was very long and abusive, charged 
that those in authority in the State of Arkansas before the 
Civil War had been guilty of numerous derelictions in the 
management of the finances of the State, and denounced it 
as "a system of financiering known only to thieves and rob- 
bers without conscience." 

Now, as before stated in the beginning* of this article, 
the conservative members of the convention, as a rule, had 
been members of the minority party before the war, and 
doubtless had seen proper themselves to criticise the man- 
agement of the state finances, in those days, and very few 
of them seemed to care about what Mr. McClure's committee 
said, anyway, as the future finances of the State interested 
them more than what had transpired in the past. Not so 
with Colonel Bradley of Bradley, however. He championed 
the cause of the ante helium statesman of Arkansas. He at- 
tacked Messrs. Brooks, McClure and Hodges. Mr. Moore of 
Ashley entered a mild protest against the language of the 
report, saying in the conclusion of a very conservative state- 
ment : 

, * * * I had hoped that the gentleman who asks the adop- 
tion of this report would at least have declined to vote for 
its adoption, as it is, in point of fact, ridiculous. It is a 
burning shame to send out such a monstrous production. I 
repeat the expression of my hope, that gentlemen will reflect 
well before they commit themselves to its sanction. If they 
are going to stay in Arkansas, if they are going to become 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 39 

identified with us, for God's sake let us wipe out the inst, 
and do our present and pressing: duty.*- 

Mr. Brooks of Phillips replied to Mr. Moore in a very 
bitter speech, in which he charged that the leaders of the 
dominant party in Arkansas had brought on secession in the 
effort to conceal their mismanagement of the State finances, 
and in the course of his remarks said : 

Were it admissible here, sir, to employ the name of 
Deity so frequently as has been done upon the other side, 
we, too, might say — great God ! that a man has the brass — 
not the copper merely, sir, not the copper head nor the face 
alone, but the brass — ^to stand up in this hall and ask what 
party precipitated this debt upon the country — ^what portion 
of the people desolated the land. Who drenched it in blood? 
Who desolated these homes? Who destroyed this property, 
private and public? ^ ^ ^ Who consumed the heart and ate 
out the vitals of the material interests of this country? Was 
it the Union men of Arkansas ? Are they the party charge- 
able with all this ruin? New citizens or old citizens, ''car- 
petsack men" or ''brush-breakers," are they the ones who 
precipitated this condition of affairs? 

^ ^ ^ As to whether the Republican party in Arkansas 
or elsewhere — ^the Union party, the Union men of Arkan- 
sas — ^precipitated the national debt, and brought this condi- 
tion of financial ruin upon the State, let the people them- 
selves answer. We have not so understood it. * * * Or if 
these gentlemen here and now want to assume this load and 
attempt to. carry it — if they now, at this period, desire to 
come to the rescue, and do up the dirty work of the old de- 
funct dynasty of secession, rebellion and civil war, I wel- 
come them to the task, give them good cheer of their new 
afiiliations, and hope they will have a happy honeymoon! 
(Laughter and applause.) ^^ 

But if the conservative members were disposed to be 
mild in their defense of the conduct of affairs in Arkansas 
prior to the war, the gentleman from Bradley was not will- 
ing to allow such criticisms to pass without notice. He re- 

^^Debates and Proceedings, 547. 
^^Debates and Proceedings, 553. 

40 Arkansas Historical Association 

plied to them in language that more than matched them in 
invective and bitterness. In the course of his reply he said : 

* * * But, sir, I scorn with indignation and contempt, 
in the report of this beautiful committee or elsewhere, any 
insinuation upon the honor, the integrity, the intelligence of 
the people who live — ^who have lived — in the State of Arkan- 
sas. Ah, sirs, what citizen of Arkansas feels other emotion 
than that of pride in recalling the name that is found first 
upon the annals of your Supreme Bench (turning to Judge 
Ringo, who stood in the lobby) or of the present occupants, 
or of all the intermediate list of its honored judges? But, 
ah, that bench of the future! When I gaze upon its pros-* 
pects I blush ! When I see that audacity that does not hesi- 
tate to come forward and denounce the judicial proceedings 
of the State for thirty-two years, I ask — Modesty ! Modesty ! 
art thou banished ? hast thou left the land ? art thou a spec- 
tator in the convention hall? Echo answers. No! (Laugh- 
ter.) ♦ ♦ * 

For God's sake, be more modest and more respectful, 
and show that your strength lies in the force of facts and 
not in your terms of expression. You can not make me, you 
can not make Arkansas a thief by saying so. Lawyers rise 
and argue cases for hours, but you do not expect that the 
lawyer who argues the case will give the verdict. 

Mr. Hodges of Pulaski — Did not the gentleman state 
upon the floor that if the Confederate Government had taken 
his advice, they would have stolen another Northern steam- 

Mr. Bradley — Yes, I said that Governor Rector and the 
convention had acted very foolishly ; that if they had taken 
my advice they would have been a steamboat better off. 

But what figure does that cut in the case? If such 
taunts as that are taken for argument — 

Mr. Hodges of Pulaski — It was a suggestion that came 
to my mind — Shearing so much said about — 

Mr. Bradley — I would hate to be responsible for all the 
suggestions that came to your mind. (Laughter.) 

I resume my remarks. * * * Sir, I have traveled over 
the mountains of Arkansas; I know her people — the most 

CanstittUianal Convention of 1868 41 

generous, hospitable, noble-hearted people I ever saw, in any 
country, lived here within her borders and live here today. 
Society has been slightly adulterated, I confess ; but we can 
not help that. (Laughter.) We are told, sir, in this report 
that the system of financiering pursued in this State has 
been one that could be ^Imown only to thieves and robbers." 
Well, it was never known until that conunittee found it out! 
That is all that I have to say on that point.'* (Laughter.) 

I have almost given up my hopes for this country. As 
I have sat here and listened to the debates, and witnessed the 
proceedings, I have sometimes been ready to go to the wa- 
ter's edge — ^my friend G^ntt is missing — as the Gazette said 
of him, I have felt like exclaiming, "Oh, that my head were 
waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep 
day and night for the slain of the daughters of my people !" 

Mr. Brooks — Who slew them? As the gentleman is 
going to weep for the slain, I would ask him who slew them ? 

Mr. Bradley — (Pointing to Mr. Brooks' large features.) 
They were slain by the instrument that the Philistines fell 
by ! And, sir, their ranks are falling today as the weapon 

This last sally brought forth roars of laughter, in which 
Mr. Brooks joined. 

Continuing, the speaker said : ^ * * I want decency ob- 
served — ''Let all things be done decently and in order,'' and 
''Let us have charity one for another." I am a sort of apos- 
tatized minister of the Gospel (laughter), and expected to 
have been reinstated by the association of the gentleman 
from Phillips (Mr. Brooks). But the way he gnashes his 
teeth does not harmonize with the thirteenth chapter of 
Corinthians. (Renewed laughter.) It does not manifest 
the same charity that Paul says, "suffereth long and is kind, 
envieth not, vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not 
behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily 
provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but re- 
joiceth in the truth." 

^^Debates and Proceedings, 557. 

42 Arkansas Historical Association 

Continuing, Mr. Bradley urged the convention to throw 
aside party feeling and legislate for the good of the State. 
He said : 

Sir, let us not legislate for party. When the question 
comes up, for decision to save tiie party or the country, I 
would send the party to hell if necessary to save the country 
and save my people. * * * I never can sit quietly when the 
least insinuation or reflection comes from strange lips upon 
"the slain of the daughters of my people." 

Let me inform you, sir, that at the coming day, the 
prophet may shake his rod over the valley of dry bones — 
may yet say to these dry bones LIVE. And a voice from 
the North — ^f rom Ohio, and Connecticut, from Pennsylvania, 
and New York — ^may come rushing like the peals of thunder, 
and say, "Son of man, can these bones live?" And the dry 
bones shall stand forth and be covered with flesh, and shall 
breathe and speak! I anticipate, sir, that these extreme 
measures, this radical policy, shall arouse a feeling of sym- 
pathy in the North, for the people of their own race, flesh of 
their flesh and bone of their bone that shall come to our res- 
cue, and that, in the morning of the resurrection of the just, 
Arkansas — Thievish Arkansas, Robbing Arkansas — will 
rise and come forth clothed with the garment of righteous- 
ness — when she shall have been purged and purified from 
the political adventurers and invaders, who have desecrated 
the State and poured infamy and condemnation on her own 
citizens, her sons and daughters. * * * You insult Heaven — 
there is a recording angel that frowns and writes, and writes 
and frowns ; and you will remembeSi: when you come to judg- 
ment, the Scripture which says: "All things whatsoever 
that ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to 
them ; for this is the law and the prophets." I say I can not 
sit still and hear these things and be silent. I do not think 
that there is silence in Heaven this morning about them. 
(Some laughter on the right.) No, sir, the guardian angel 
which hovers over the graves of the sacred dead, whose 
ashes are slandered and insulted with the baseless and foul 
insinuations carries back the tidings to the upper skies, and 
proclaims that darkness still pervades the deep, and sinners 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 43 

inhabit the earth! (General laughter.) But Arkansas is 
destined to rise superior to her misfortunes. She will oust 
the radical wing. She is destined, sir to another and more 
glorious career. God has intended it. He has filled her 
bowels with boundless wealth ; he has striped her with riv- 
ers; He will check her with railroads, and He will people her 
with noble spirits who will represent and vindicate her 
honor, her integrity, and her int^igence. And if strangers 
and aliens and pilgrims, that know not God and obey not 
His gospel, shall desecrate her soil, shall insult her sons and 
daughters, her legitimate children, I believe that in the res- 
urrection of the just she shall yet reassert herself, and stand 
forth, purged of their slanders, a brilliant and honored 

(To Mr. Hodges of Pulaski) An3rthing more ''sug- 
gested'' to you about that steamboat? You have had it up 
now three times. Have it up again — 

Well, if the gentleman has no more to ofifer on that sub- 
ject I will close by saying that I hope this is the last time 
such a report as this will be brought in here. (To Mr. 
McClure, chairman of the committee of finance.) For 
Heaven's sake, never bring in one if you can't make it a bet- 
ter report — let Mason and White of Phillips (negroes) make 
it out for you! (Laughter.) They can do it — ^they have 
displayed statesmanship, they have displayed dignity, they 
have shown a promptitude in that minority report on the 
penitentiary that commends them to all good men. And if 
they had had the subject of finance under consideration I be- 
lieve we would have had a report which would not have con- 
sumed all this morning in discussion. I say that with all due 

Mr. Kyle — ^I have listened to the very able and warm 
speeches we have had from the two clerical gentlemen who 
have last addressed the convention (Messrs. Brooks and 
Bradley) (laughter), and I think it might have been well 
for them to have called mourners. (Renewed laughter.) 

Mr. Bradley (in his seat) — I will call yet if you say so. 

Mr. Kyle — I think we would have had a happy time, sir ! 

^Debates and Proceedings, 569. 

44 Arkansas Historical Association 

A few moments after Mr. Hodges of Pulaski asked 
leave to read a speech of Mr. Bradley of Bradley delivered in 
Little Rock the preceding September, in which he criticised 
the conservative party in rather severe terms. The con- 
servative members objected, but the speech was read, over 
their objections. Mr. Bradley denied the correctness of the 
report of the speech, and Mr. Brooks then offered to prove 
by the editor, Mr. Price, secretary of the convention, that 
the report was correct. Mr. Cypert objected to such an 
unprecedented proceeding, and Mr. Brooks withdrew his 
motion according the editor the privileges of the floor. 

This ended all connection that Mr. Bradley had with 
the majority side, and he came over to the conservatives on 
nearly every proposition. 

From this time on there were numerous other defec- 
tions among the "scalawag" wing of the radical party — none 
from the carpetbaggers or the negroes. But as the "scala- 
wags" remaining saw their comrades desert them, those who 
remained became more bitter, and of all members of the con- 
vention this class was most despised by a majority of the 

The committee who had in charge the arrangement and 
phraseology of the constitution made their final report, and 
the debate on its adoption proceeded. Messrs. Moore and 
Norman of Ashley County were the chief speakers against 
the adoption of the same and Mr. Brooks of Phillips and 
Mr. Hinds of Pulaski were its ablest champions. Lack of 
space will require that the report of the remarks made must 
consist of short extracts from the same. 

Mr. Norman — Nothing so pointedly distinguishes us 
from the brute as the desire to live in favorable memory of 
those who are to come after us. The man of noble instincts 
feels that "it is not all of life to live, nor all of death to die." 
How forcibly this truth ought to impress itself upon the 
mind of every member of this convention ! The work which 
we are doing is not for a party, nor for the fleeting life of a 
day. Possibly our children's children will bless us for our 
patriotic, wise, prudent, far-seeing statesmanship, or may- 
hap they may damn us through all the coming years of time. 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 45 

for our folly, our partisanship, our wilful disregard of the 
teachings of history and the lessons of our Creator, inscrib- 
ing upon our humble tombstones, "They gave to party what 
was meant for mankind." An intelligent and observing 
stranger from a remote country would be utterly astonished 
at the excitement, the turmoil, the angry and bitter conten- 
tions which agitate the public mind. * * * Uncertainty, de- 
spair, forebodings and "chimeras dire" hold their unwel- 
come revellings in all our bosoms, and, like Banquo's ghost, 
will not down at our bidding. 

"Why," asks this uninformed stranger "all this? Why 
is business prostrated ? Why this great financial crisis, 
while the issues of greenbacks are as thick as the 'leaves 
that strew the vale of Vallambrosa ?' * * * Why are ' Jere- 
miahs and prophets of evil everywhere, weeping over our 
disasters or warning us of the future ?" 

* * * Our unsophisticated stranger who makes all these 
pertinent inquiries will be astonished to know that the now 
dominant party, fishing in the broad ocean of chance, for a 
new lease of power and plunder, could have hooked a scheme, 
so falsely named, and so fatally pregnant with mischief. 
RECONSTRUCTION is the word— which is only to be ef- 
fected by the aid of African votes. This is the great sun 
before which all other issues and matters political and social 
"pale their ineffectual fire." The broad and startling propo- 
sition is announced to the world that no government can be 
made in these Southern States loyal and true without the 
aid of negro votes. Every white man who puts his fist to 
that clause of the proposed constitution signs a libel upon 
his race, and sanctions a wrong which he must know is un- 
warranted and unwarrantable. * * * They themselves know 
as well as they know that God is in Heaven and the Devil in 
hell, that if there had been no negro votes in the South to 
help lift to office and to plunder, we would have been long 
ago without any aid of theirs, the most beautifully recon- 
structed political fabric under the broad cerulean canopy. 
(Applause on the left.) 0, how fatal is the spirit of party! 
It is now seeking to tear down a beautiful Corinthian tem- 
ple, and erect in its stead a rude and disfigured fabric, with 

46 Arkansas Historical Association 

unhewn and shapeless material from Dahomey and the Nile ! 
<t * * 

I tell you today, Mr. President, this opposition will grow 
stronger and stouter, with the developments of each return- 
ing day, and the time is not distant when all those who have 
attempted to degrade their own race will call upon the rocks 
and the mountains to fall upon them, to hide them from the 
wrath and indignation of an injured people. * * * We are 
hourly told that the State must have reconstruction, in or- 
der that peace, prosperity and quiet should follow in its 
wake. Is there any sensible, honest Arkansas Republican 
longer to be deceived by so gross and patent a falsehood? 
Look at the horrid and wicked oath which the proposed con- 
stitution requires to be taken, and do you really believe that 
there is any honest desire to reconstruct the State govern- 
ment upon honorable and just terms?* 

Like Mr. Cjrpert of White and Mr. Bradley of Bradley, 
Mr. Norman now made his appeal to the '^scalawags" : 

How basely have the Union men of Arkansas been be- 
trayed ! How have all their assertions been belied and fal- 
sified. How have all their hopes been disappointed ! We be- 
lieve that Arkansas could not secede — ^that Arkansas, once 
a State was always a State; that rebellion had abolished 
slavery, but not all the rights and privileges of American 
citizens ; that to have been a slave and an African did not fit 
men for the high duties of statesmanship. Yet such are the 
dreadful teachings of the hour. Such are the solemn decla- 

*Mr. Geo. W. Norman, the delegate who delivered the above 
notable speech is yet living (August, 1917), at Hamburg, Ashley 
county, at the age of ninety years. Bom in the State of Georgia in 
1827, he was graduated from the State University of that State, in 
1849, with first honors of his class; admitted to the bar in Georgia in 
1851; emigrated to Arkansas in 1859, and has practiced law here 
since that time. In 1862 he was elected to the State Senate from Ash- 
ley, Drew and Chicot counties, but that Legislature did not convene 
because it was prevented by the Federal authorities. In 1874 he was 
again elected to the State Senate, at the same time that Garland was 
elected Governor. Has not since held office, but has served as Special 
Judge in Ashley and adjoining counties. 

The circumstances under which this speech was delivered were not 
very encouraging. For several days the weather had been dark, rainy 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 47 

rations, sous^ht to be incorporated in the fundamental law 
of one of the once proud states of the American Union ! * * * 

I must appeal to you again, men of Arkansas — ^men 
whose destinies, whose all, are identified with our young and 
noble state. Will you let passion and prejudice, and the bit- 
ter memories of the past, warp your better judgment and 
blind your minds? "Whom the Gods wish to destroy they 
first make mad." * * * By oaths, by gerrymandering, by 
means as detestable as they are unjust, three-fourths of the 
white people of Arkansas are deprived of voice in their own 
government. * * * You who can endorse that iniquity have 
stouter hearts than he who leads the forlorn hope or faces 
the booming cannon. For I assure you, the indignation, the 
frowns, the curse, the just and damning denunciation of 
a betrayed, hopeless and despairing people will haunt you to 
dishonored graves. 

Come out from among them, then, my brothers of Ark- 
ansas ! 

"For while the light holds out to burn. 
The vilest sinner may return." (Laughter.) 

The angry passion of the day must soon give place to 
reason, and the wicked purpose to plunder, wither before 
the sunlight of truth ! The people of the United States, and 
a coming Congress, will yet do us justice, and strike the 
manacles from our limbs. * * * I want us all to be brothers. 
I want that glorious old banner to be again the emblem of 
our national unity and brotherhood. 

and foggy, typical of the gloom that was settling over Arkansas; 
within the. Convention hall, the smoky kerosene lamps had been sup- 
plemented by a few flickering candles. The lobbies, galleries, and at 
times the aisles, of the hall were crowded with noisy negroes, who 
remained all during the night session to witness the triumph of their 
cause. On the floor of the Convention, he was confronted by a hostile 
and triumphant majority. There was little to inspire a great speech, 
but Mr. Norman rose to the occasion and delivered one of the greatest 
ever heard in the old State House. 

So full of classical allusions, and historical illustrations, as well as 
prophecies afterward fulfilled, and yet so free from the i>ersonalities, 
which too often marred the proceedings, it is small wonder that it won 
the applause of his friends, but even gained the support of several of 
those who had opposed him. 

48 Arkansas Historical Association 

But, sir, if that constitution upon your table becomes 
the law of the land, erase forever from the flag the star of 
Arkansas, and widen, and deepen, and lengthen the stripe, 
as a perpetual memorial of her degradation and her sor- 

Mr. Moore of Ashley, colleague of the last speaker, Mr. 
Norman, followed him. Though not so eloquent as Mr. Nor- 
man, he was more bitter. In the course of his remarks he 
had a colloquy with several of the radical members, ampng 
them Mr. Brooks of Phillips, who was decidedly the "whip" 
of the radicals throughout the session. He asked that gen- 
tleman the question : 

* * * Let me turn to my apostolic friends, who propose 
to live under the Bible, as the man of their counsel. Liet me 
ask them, in all good conscience, if they can do this thing? 
I imagine they would shirk it, unless they are the sort of 
people who do not know the Bible, nor its teachings. 

Mr. Brooks — Does the gentleman refer to that part of 
the Bible which says, ''An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a 
tooth?" (Laughter.) 

Mr. Moore — ^Yes, sir. I mean to refer to that part of 
the Bible, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," and 
I mean to refer to that other part of the Bible that forbids 
a lie. * * * I did not come here to swear a lie. And were I 
to assist in proposing to the people of Arkansas a constitu- 
tion that would enfranchise the African— -or emancipated 
descendant of Africans, in these Southern States, if you will 
have it that way — ^I would be doing violence to the obliga- 
tion I took, and every honest man would be doing violence to 
that obligation by taking such a course. * * * If we vote for 
the enfranchisement of the negro, we violate that sacred 
oath, for we violate the constitution of the United States. 

This closing debate on the adoption of the constitution 
had progressed far into the night. Mr. Bradley of Bradley 
had given notice that he wished to speak on the question; 
several of the "scalawags" had grown restless under the 
eloquent appeal of Mr. Norman to the "Men of Arkansas," 
and indicated that they intended to break the caucus pledge, 

26Debates and Proceedings, 629. 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 49 

and vote against the instrument. So a vote was ordered by 
the majority party in the convention, and each member was 
allowed five minutes to explain his vote. None of the con- 
servatives availed themselves of this opportunity, for the 
reason as given by Mr. C. W. Walker of Washington : 

Mr. Walker (when his name was called) — ^Were I to 
enumerate all the objectionable features in that instrument 
I should consume all the rest of the night — it is already far 
spent. I do not think that any explanation of my vote is 
necessary — at least not in this body. My constituents will 
demand no explanation from me why I voted against that 
constitution, for I consider it such a thing as no respectable 
white man could vote for. I therefore vote, NO (applause 
on the left) .^' 

The conservatives contented themselves with presenting 
the following protest offered by Mr. Gantt of Prairie : 

We, the undersigned delegates to the constitutional con- 
vention, do hereby protest against the above and foregoing 
constitution, and decline to endorse and sign it, as the same, 
in our opinion, is anti-republican, proscriptive, and destruc- 
tive of the rights, liberties, and privileges of the people of 
this State. 

This was signed by J. N. Cjrpert and Thomas Owen, 
delegates from White County ; W. W. Adams of Izard, C. W. 
Walker and J. N. Hoge of Washington, Geo. W. Norman and 
W. D. Moore from Ashley, W. W. Reynolds from Benton, J. 
A. Corbell from Sevier, R. S. Gantt and W. F. Hicks from 
Prairie, James H. Shoppach from Saline, Joseph Wright of 
Carroll, Bouldin Duvall of Lawrence and John M. Bradley 
of Bradley. 

Mr. Gantt asked that it be appended to the constitution, 
but the request was refused. 

It will be observed that the name of Colonel Bradley of 
Bradley is signed to the above declaration, but evidently the 
mild protest contained in these few lines did not fully accord 
with his lurid ideas. His recent conversion to the conserva- 
tive side had been a thorough, if not a happy one. His fiery 
soul refused to be quenched with any such mild declaration 

^''Debates and Proceedingrs, 680. 

50 Arkansas Historical Association 

as that. He sent to the secretary's desk the following burn- 
ing message to posterity : 

I ask to bequeath to my posterity no greater boon than 
to record my vote against that damnable engine of oppres- 
sion and ruin. I ask my language to be cut in a rock, and 
lead poured into the letters, to stand forever. I vote nay. 

John M. Bradley. 

He accompanied this declaration with a five-minutes 
speech, and surely no address of that length ever contained 
so much of invective, denunciation and scriptural quotations 
as the words he hurled at his former friends and recent foes. 
A few extracts are given : 

* * *l jnust, as a man who has spent his time and influ- 
ence^ and ever3rthing he had and was, in favoring a plan of 
reconstruction, under the military bill, and who came in 
good faith, expecting to assist in the compromise of all these 
great questions, growing out of the proposition for negro 
suffrage, say that now when I come to the last extremity, 
and find myself engorged with monstrosities — when I find 
a document which, if one could put on exhibition, through- 
out the United States, would make his fortune, as the rarest 
specimen of human production, ever known or heard of in 
all Christendom — I am compelled to oppose its adoption. 
* * * God and angels know that I am not trifling with this 
question! * * * But, gentlemen, after all this — in the name 
of God, in the name of your fathers and mothers, and of 
your sons who sleep in the graves of heroes, in the name 
of your children and those of your neighbors, I ask you if 
you propose to thrust in the same common school, with . 
your child and mine, the children of the negro? * * * You 
insult the unfortunate people of Arkansas ! I say it insults 
Heaven ! And I say tonight, before my God, that no honest 
man, be he black or white, advocates such a measure; and 
I am responsible for what I say. * * * 

I ask the gentleman (Mr. Brooks), who moved this 
evening the suspension of the rules, that this instrument be 
introduced here — ^have you ever read those passages of Holy 
Writ which says, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse 
you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 51 

despitefuUy use you and persecute you" — "Whosoever shall 
smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also"? 
Do you propose to trample under your feet the bone of your 
bone and flesh of your flesh ? Can you look upon the burn- 
ing throne before which you shall stand, not only as a min- 
ister of the Gospel, but as a representative of your race, and 
face the record you make in this hall? I blush — ^your wife 
and children will blush — to see your record and read it in 
the face of future generations. I claim to be a Christian 
man, I was bom in a Christian land ; I have read the Bible 
and subscribed to its doctrines. I love it ! I bind it with its 
teachings to my bosom — 

Mr. Williams — ^I call the gentleman to time. (Cries of 

Objection was made, and what further use the gentle- 
man proposed to make of the sacred volume is lost to history. 

Now, Mr. Brooks was a true sportsman, though a bad 
loser six years after. He asked leave as follows : 

Mr. Brooks — I hope the gentleman will be allowed, by 
consent, to proceed. 

But under objection the gentleman took his seat. 

Mr. Brooks, when he came to reply on the roll call to 
Mr. Bradley, dropped the sarcastic tone that he had so often 
indulged in during the session and replied in the most sol- 
enm manner to the attacks that had been made on him by 
the gentleman from Bradley : 

Mr. Brooks — I regret, and all gentlemen regret, that we 
were unable to reconcile all the conditions and conflicting 
views of the friends of reconstruction. (Referring to the 
desertion of some of the ''scalawags.") But I hope the coun- 
try at large will understand the position, assumed on this 
floor during the progress of the convention, and especially 
this evening, by the members of the opposition, in this body. 
The assaults which they have made, they have simply made 
because they are opposed to all reconstruction; as I might 
amply prove by the documents which I hold in my hand, and 
from which, did time allow, I would be gratified to read * * * 
while they appeal to the people against the civil and polit- 

^^Debates and Proceedings, 661. 

52 Arkansas Historical Association 

ical equality of the colored race with the white, with all the 
eloquence of the gentleman from Bradley (Mr. Bradley), 
who has given in recent adherence, in toto, to the opposition, 
and declared that he had been all the time with the "White 
Man's Party," the fundamental principle of whose doctrine 
is opposition to reconstruction, and who make such obliga- 
tion obligatory upon all the members of their party. 

Mr. Bradley — I never said any such thing. 

The President — The chair insists that gentlemen must 
not be interrupted. 

Mr. Brooks — I hope that every Republican member of 
this convention will vote with a distinct understanding, and 
with the issue distinctly presented to their minds, that gen- 
tlemen — Si portion of them — who vote against this constitu- 
tion, whatever may have been their professions, will vote 
as they have pledged themselves to vote, simply because they 
are opposed to all reconstruction. The position of other gen- 
tlemen, we, of course, understand, is taken on principle. 
They are opposed to the great cardinal principle upon which 
reconstruction and this constitution are based, namely, the 
equality of all men before the law. * * * I have not had the 
opportunity to address myself to that question, and I regret 
that none of us has had the opportunity to do so. But I do 
not blush to face my wife and daughters, nor the great judg- 
ment seat for my vote tonight, in favor of the freedom and 
equal privilege of all men. I vote aye. (Applause.) ^^ 

Notwithstanding this earnest appeal to the "scalawags" 
to stand to their guns, nearly every one of them who re- 
sponded by their votes for the constitution had some criti- 
cism to offer against the instrument. Several came over to 
the so-called opposition and cast their vote against it, being 
welcomed by hearty "Amens" from the gentleman from 

Mr. Grey, the eloquent colored member from Phillips, 
in casting his vote gained the good will of the Southern 
members by his mild demeanor, so different from the bitter- 
ness that marked the closing hours of the session. He said 
in closing : 

29Debates and Proceedings, 663. 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 . 53 



I was in hopes when I came to Little Rock that the time 
had dawned, so beautifully illustrated by the ladies in Co- 
lumbia, Mississippi, some months ago, when, in strewing 
flowers upon the graves of the dead heroes of the war, they 
made no distinction between those who had fought in the 
two opposing ranks. 

He then repeated two verses of Francis M. Finch's 
poem, closing with the lines : 

"Under the blossoms, the Blue, 
Under the garlands, the Gray." 

The poem was new at that time, although very familiar 
now, and doubtless this was the first time it had been quoted 
in a public address in Arkansas. 

The final roll call was ordered, under the rules, and the •:^ 

result was "for the constitution" 45 votes, and against the 
adoption, 21. Those voting against the adoption were as 

W. W. Adams, William A. Beasley, John M. Bradley, J 

Joseph H. Corbel, J. N. Cypert, Boldin Duvall, Robert S. /i 

Gantt, William F. Hicks, Anthony Hinkle, James M. Hoge, ;| 

Samuel J. Mathews, W. D. Moore, George W. Norman, James | 

P. Portis, R. G. Puntney, W. W. Reynolds, James H. Shop- 
pach, R. C. Van Hook, Charles W. Walker, Ira L. Wilson, . 
Joseph Wright. Total, 21. 

All of the above named refused to sign the constitution, j 

with the exception of Mr. Hinkle of Conway, who signed A 

afterward. The names of the members who voted for the *':< 

adoption can be found appended to the constitution of 1868. j 
Mr. Owen of White was unavoidably absent, so his name 
does not appear on either list.*^® 

As the result was announced, it was received with "loud 
applause on the floor and with vehement and prolonged 
cheers from the galleries and lobbies," which had been 
crowded with negroes during the long hours of the night. 
Mr. Brooks clinched the matter by moving to reconsider the 
vote and to table that motion, which was also carried and 
greeted with loud cheers from the galleries, whereupon, 


■ -.1 

soDebates and Proceedings, 657. 

54 Arkansas Historical Association 

Mr. Cypert remarked : I have had a little experience in 
revolutionary movements. Six years ago I heard just such 
a clamor from those galleries as I heard a while ago. It 
shocked me then — ^it shocks me now. 

Mr. Brooks — I am sorry for the gentleman's nerves, 
but I think he will feel better pretty shortly. (Laughter.)" 

And with this last tilt between those two, the constitu- 
tion of 1868 started out on its troubled voyage. 

The gentleman from White referred to the Secession 
Convention of 1861, of which he had been a member more 
than six years before. If Mr. Brooks could have looked for- 
ward another six years he would have realized in the full 
the forebodings of the other. He would have seen himself 
in the midst of a revolution of his own making, on this same 
spot — barricaded with his negro troops, in the Old State 
House,*^ and surrounded by hostile troops — ^when there was 
"mounting in hot haste" throughout Arkansas, and fast- 
flying trains were bringing other men of a race who came 

"With the fierce native daring which instills 
The stirring memory of a thousand years." 

And then came his call on the President for Federal 
troops (the last resort of the Southern carpet-bagger), the 
refusal, and then — surrender. 

These two met again for the last time during the ses- 
sion of the convention of 1874, when strange changes had 
come over the fortunes of both. 

The one was a member of that convention, again from 
White County, and was entering upon a new career of honor 
and usefulness little dreamed of in 1868 ; the other was pre- 
paring to prosecute his contest for the governor's office in 
Congress, doomed to failure, as it seems that all his under- 
takings in Arkansas were doomed. 

Of all the careers in Arkansas that of Mr. Brooks 
seems the most pathetic. He was a better man than Ames 
of Mississippi, Kellogg of Louisiana or Clayton of Arkansas ; 
it was not his fault that the times were so sadly out of joint 

s^ Debates and Proceedings, 685. 

32Johnson'8 Brooks-Baxter War, Vol. 2, Ark. Hist. Pub., 122. 

Constitutional Convention of 1868 55 

ssPoland's Speech in Congress, March 2, 1875; Vol. 3, p. 2108, 
Cong. Record. 

33Reynolds' Pope County "Militia War," Vol. 2, Ark. Hist. Pub., 

^Article 6, section 19, Constitution of 1868; Baxter-Brooks, 29 
Ark. 173; opinion Attorney General Williams, 190. 

.• -/.Hi' 

* V • , 

'.-•r », 

when he came to Arkansas; his mistake was in believing 
that he was bom to set them right 

He has done the State some service, though they know 
it not. In his campaign for governor in 1872 he "went 
through the State like a fiery cross, ♦ * ♦ denouncing Qay- 
ton and Dorsey, and all of them, telling the people if they 
would elect him governor he would fill the jail so full of them 
that their legs would stick out of the windows." ^^ 

He called the attention of the people, as no other man 
could have done, to the corruption that existed in State 
affairs at that time. And finally he precipitated a conflict 
that hastened by two years the awakening of the people 
from the long nightmare of reconstruction in Arkansas, a 
period filled with "Loyal Leagues" and "Ku Iflux Klans," | 

and "militia wars."*'' In doing this, he placed himself out- 
side the law, and those great lawyers. Garland and Rose, did 
not fail to avail themselves of it, and the people of Arkansas 
did not hesitate, when they knew that they had both law 
and right on their side. 

The question may be asked why so much space has 
been devoted to Mr. Brooks. The answer is that this is a 
history of the constitutional convention of 1868, and he was 
the convention. No one can doubt this who reads the de- 
bates and proceedings of that body. He stood sponsor for 
the constitution at its birth ; he was its ablest defender dur- 
ing the six years of its troubled existence, and was finally its 
victim, for it was a little clause of a section in that consti- 
tution, providing that the legislature should be the tribunal 
before which contests for governor should be tried that > 

proved his final undoing.'* 

He sowed to the wind in 1868 ; he reaped the whirlwind 
in 1874. 

So far as the writer is informed, there are only two men 
now living who were members of this convention — ^Mr, J. H. 





56 Arkansas Historical Association 

Shoppach, then a member from Saline County, who has for 
years been a familiar figure in the circuit court room at Lit- 
tle Rock, and Mr. C. W. Walker of Washington, an honored 
resident of Fayetteville. Loved and honored by the people 
among whom they have dwelled through long years, they 
are the survivors of a heroic age in Arkansas. 



(By Mrs. U. M. Rose.) 

I have read with regret mingled with indignation Powell 
Clayton's book, "The Aftermath of the Civil War in Ark- 
ansas" — ^regret that one should spend his last days in writ- 
ing a book that could do no good, but on the contrary only 
stir up bad feeling and indignation at the nature of the book, 
it being bitter in the extreme and in many things contrary 
to truth. Cla3rton had served in the Civil War, had been a 
member of the United States Senate, Embassador to Mexico, 
and had served many years as a member of the National 
Republican Committee, so he might have written a book 
that would have been of interest to many people; instead 
his Aftermath of the Civil War in Arkansas will be read 
by a very few people, as only those who lived during the 
days of Reconstruction — and they are few now — ^will feel 
any interest in it, and i>erhaps some of his personal friends. 
He evidently wrote it to justify his reign as Governor, but 
that could never be done, and it seems to me the book is 
very weak in defense of his course, besides being very bitter 
and very unfair to the people of our State. It is a very 
cunning book and to one who had known nothing of the con- 
ditions here it might seem that he gave us a very liberal 
government, but that is untrue. The one controlling motive 
with him seemed to be to humiliate the Southern people, and 

*Note. — Mrs. Margaret T. Rose, of Little Bock, wife of the late 
Judge U. M. Rose, is too well known on her own account — ^by the fruits 
of a lifetime spent in ceaseless ministering to the welfare of others — 
to need any chronicling here*of her many good works. This much is 
certain. Mrs. .Rose lived through the trying scenes of which she ven- 
tures to speak. Poise of judgment and freedom from bias qualify her 
in the highest sense to answer the indictments brought by the author 
of "The Aftermath of the Civil War in Arkansas." 

58 Arkansas Historical Association 

to make them feel he was their master, and so he was, for 
he was upheld by the Federal Govermnent and we could do 
nothing. He married a Southern woman and after the war 
— ^he had come to the State with the Federal army — ^he 
bought a plantation in Jefferson county and offered himself 
to the people as a candidate for Congress on the Demo- 
cratic ticket, but the Southern men scorned his offer, for 
the war was just over and feeling still ran too high for 
Southern men to take a Yankee soldier as a candidate. 

That refusal filled him with resentment and he came 
into office determined to show people what he could do. The 
Constitution adopted by his party gave the Governor almost 
absolute power and he was ready to take advantage of it 
and use his power to the utmost. He knew, and every one 
knew, he was elected by fraud, a specimen of which came 
under my own observation. We had an ignorant, rough 
negro hired as a yard man, and on the morning of the elec- 
tion he did not turn up, and we did not see him till the morn- 
ing of the fourth day — the election lasted three days. When 
he came I said, "Stever, where have you been all this time." 
He said, '1 was in dat place out dar, and they wouldn't let 
me out till de 'lection was ober." Three hundred negroes 
were camped out a little southwest of town and the first 
day they came in and voted the Republican ticket, the 
second day they marched in and voted, claiming to have 
been driven from the polls in Saline county. The third day 
they marched in and voted as negroes having been driven 
from the polls in Clark county. That is only one specimen 
of the election that put Clayton in, and such things were 
kept up all during the six years of reconstruction. It is a 
notorious fact that those in office during those six years 
stole everjrthing in sight, even to the slate roof off the 
penitentiary. They bankrupted the city, the State and 
many of the counties. 

Clayton tells nothing of that in his book. His inaug- 
ural promised very fair things, but he was false to all the 
fair promises made on that occasion. I do not think Clay- 
ton enriched himself as did those under him — ^perhaps he 
had a kind of pride that kept him from it ; but he did noth- 

Clayton's Aftermath 59 

inff to check those under him, and he signed all sorts of 
bills passed by the Legislature robbing the State and im- 
posing very heavy taxes on the people under the pretense 
of building railroads and levees, and had not those bonds 
been repudiated after we got control of things the State 
would still be laboring under an immense debt for which 
she received nothing. He says the public schools were 
stopped after reconstruction was over. So they were for 
a time, for the State was so entirely out of funds we had 
to take time to recover before we could keep up schools or 
do anything else. 

Clayton had not been long in power before he called 
out his militia to show what he could do, and to humble our 
people still further. He says they behaved beautifully, paid 
for all they had to take to subsist on, disturbed nobody, and 
killed nobody ; that is, he does not tell of the kilting of any 
one; all of which is most untrue. They paid for nothing, 
took what they wanted and killed men wherever they went. 
Take their raid in Woodrulf county for instance. Clayton 
says they paid for everything and behaved most orderly, 
and he says nothing about their having killed any one, when 
in fact they went into Augusta, took possession of the town, 
took twelve of the leading citizens, put them in jail as 
hostages for the good behavior of the people, drove wagons 
up to the stores and took all they wanted, and before they 
left — I have forgotten how long they stayed there — they 
had killed ten men, though there had been no armed re- 
sistance offered or anything done to justify such conduct. 

In some cases there was a pretense of a trial by court- 
martial; in other cases men were taken out of their beds 
and shot down without' any trial at all; but Clayton tells 
nothing of these things, but says his militia was most 
orderly. Clayton was said to be a very brave man, but 
"guilt makes cowards of us all." All through his book he 
speaks of Ku Klux — it is Ku Klux, Ku Klux, Ku Klux every- 
where. I think they must have haunted him by day and 
filled his dreams at night. I do not think the Ku Klux ever 
amounted to much in Arkansas. Colonel Harrell in his 
history of reconstruction says there was never but one 

60 Arkansas Historical Association 

meeting of Ku Klux in Little Rock, and that Clayton had a 
spy in that, and I presume he knew what he was writing 
about. Clayton pretends he had to be very severe to keep 
the Ku Klux down, but I am sure ''the wish was father to 
the thought." A few men left the State, feeling they were 
not safe under Clayton's rule, and they may have been 
Ku Klux, but I do not know the cause of their leaving. 
Colonel Shaver, General McRea, Colonel Frolich and perhaps 
some others left because, as I said, they did not feel safe 
under Clayton. Clayton, being a very arbitrary man, soon 
stirred up opposition in his own party, the leaders of which 
opposition were Joseph Brooks and James M. Johnson, Lieu- 
tenant Governor. Clayton wanted to go to the United 
States Senate, but he was not willing, to turn the State 
over to Johnson, who was not only opposed to him, but was 
suspected of being friendly toward the Southern people. It 
is said that every man has his price; time proved that 
Johnson at least had his, for after standing out some time 
against Clayton, he was won over, resigned as Lieutenant 
Governor, and was made Secretary of State, and Ezra Had*- 
ley, a puppet in Clayton's hands, was made Governor. So 
Clayton went to Washington, but he was as much Governor 
while there as when present in Little Rock, for he dictated 
to Hadley and the Legislature just what was to be done, and 
in fact as long as he lived he controlled the appointment of 
all government officers in the State under Republican presi- 
dents. Things became so bad here in Arkansas as to attract 
notice in the North and a great deal was said in the news- 
papers about the corruption in our State government; so 
Congress sent a deputation down here to investigate mat- 
ters. The men came, were lavishly entertained by the car- 
petbaggers, never spoke to a Southern man, and went back 
and reported that all was right down here; but the New 
York Herald sent a correspondent, Mr. Nordoff , who mingled 
freely with our people and went back and wrote a fair ac- 
count of things here, which did much to open the eyes of 
the Northern people to the true state of things under car- 
petbag rule. 

Clayton's Aftermath 61 

Horace Greeley, the able editor of the New York Trib- 
une, had been an ardent abolitionist and had done much to 
bring on the war, and had been cordially hated by the South- 
em people. But having carried his point in freeing the 
negroes, he seemed to lose his bitterness and really to feel 
kindly toward the South, and it was greatly through his 
agitation that President Davis w^s released from prison 
after having been held two years a prisoner without a trial, 
Horace Greeley going on his bond. A portion of the Repub- 
licans of the North came to feel with Greeley that the 
South had suffered enough, and they joined with the Demo- 
crats and nominated Greeley as candidate for the presidency 
in 1872. Their slogan was, ''Honest men for office, thieves 
to the rear, and the enfranchisement of the Southern whites'* 
— ^for you must remember that a very large part of the 
Southern men were disfranchised by Congress, and it was a 
notorious fact that under carpetbag rule but few Southern 
men were £dlowed to vote, or if they voted, their votes were 
not counted. Grant headed the regular Republican ticket 
and was elected by a very large majority, and it was said 
that Greeley was much pained by the fact that the negroes 
whom he had striven so hard to free nearly all voted against 
him. The Clayton faction were for Grant, while the Brooks 
faction declared for Greeley. Brooks had been most bitter 
against the South and almost seemed to think a negro bet- 
ter than a white man, but he declared for Greeley and came 
to the Southern people — ^there was to be an election for Gov- 
ernor and State officers that year — and told him if they 
would vote for him for Governor he would give them, if 
elected, a fair registration and an honest election. That was 
all the Southern people wanted, for that would turn the State 
over to its own people ; so as much as they disliked Brooks 
they promised to support him, which they did, and he was 
elected but counted out by the Clayton crowd. Brooks went 
over the State making speeches declaring if he were elected 
he would fill the penitentiary so full with the thieves then in 
office their arms and legs would stick out the windows, and 
more of such talk. The corruption of officeholders had be- 
come so flagrant that it was deemed best to get new material 

62 Arkansas Historical Association, 

for Governor, so they selected Elisha Baxter of Batesville 
as candidate for Governor. Baxter was an honest, good 
man, a Union man from principle, and respected by all who 
knew him. Brooks was elected by a good majority, but Bax- 
ter was counted in ; but he had not been Governor long be- 
fore Clayton found he could not control him and friction be- 
gan. My husband had known Baxter while we lived in 
Batesville, and while he differed from him in politics he re- 
spected him and met him kindly when he came here as Gov- 
ernor, and the friendship between them was unbroken. 
Baxter told him soon after he entered upon office that 'lie 
meant to do right and would be the tool of no man or party 
— ^he had a name to make for himself and family and he 
intended to be honest and act the man.'' 

That was more than Clayton could stand, and he must 
get rid of him. Brooks went before the Legislature and 
claimed to have been elected, but they refused to hear his 
case. He then applied to the Supreme Court, but they de- 
cided that the Legislature alone had jurisdiction in the 
matter ; but by some trickery that decision was not recorded 
and Brooks filed suit in the Circuit Court. 

Great pressure was brought to bear on Baxter to get 
him to approve a bill passed by the Legislature granting 
the issue of bonds for railroads for several millions of dol- 
lars, but he positively refused to sign the bill. Dorsey, our 
other Senator, was deeply interested in the issuing of the 
bonds, as they were for his railroad, and perhaps Clayton, 
too, was interested in the railroad, though I am not sure 
of that. The break between Baxter and Clayton grew wider 
and Clayton apd Dorsey came home from Washington in 
the spring of 1874. We knew something was brewing that 
meant no good to Arkansas, but we got no hint of what it 
was till the 15th of April, when it all came out. Brooks 
had gone over to Clayton and Dorsey, and they had made 
an agreement with Whitock, Circuit Judge, to decide for 
Brooks as Governor, and circumstances favored their 
scheme. Judge Dillon, then United States Circuit Judge, 
had come, as he did twice a year, to hold court, and he 
had called the bar together and told them he was much 

Clayton's Aftermath 63 

pressed for time and asked them to give him their time so 
as to expedite business as much as possible, so the bar agreed 
that all business of importance in the other courts should 
be suspended during the few days Judge Dillon would be 
here. In the face of that agreement Brooks, with his attor- 
ney, went before Whitock — Baxter, not knowing this, had 
no representative present — and got a decision in Brooks' 
favor, and Brooks took some of his friends and went over 
to Baxter's office, showed him the order of the court and 
required him to vacate, and Baxter seeing no help for it 
left at once. It was pouring rain, and it poured all day; 
there were few people on the streets, the lawyers were in 
the United States Court, so it was not known till late in the 
day what had taken place as to Governors. Had Baxter 
made known what had been done and appealed to the peo- 
ple, the matter would have been settled at once by ejecting 
Brooks from the State House, but he made the mistake of 
going out to St. John's College, in the southastem part of 
town, and telegraphing to President Grant to reinstate him 
as Governor. That practically put it out of the power of 
the people to settle the matter, for President Grant ordered 
the troops then at the arsenal in the City Park to see that 
there was no engagement between the parties. We had a 
weary, hard month of it. Brooks men, mostly negroes, were 
in the State House, and Baxter's in the east of town, with 
headquarters in the Anthony House. There were one or 
two slight engagements and several men were killed and 
great fears were felt as to what might happen, as many 
negroes left the plantations and came to town and were 
loitering around idle and boasting of what they would do 
when Brooks triumphed — I do not suppose they had any 
doubt as to that — and so a whole month wore on, a month 
of the greatest anxiety, but at last, on the 15th of May, 
Grant decided in favor of Baxter, and the great cloud was 
lifted and we could breathe freely again. 

Clayton treats the matter very lightly in his book, gives 
but few words to it and ridicules the idea of calling it a 
war, and says no one was killed and but one man wounded. 
But though the Brooks-Baxter war was a hard ordeal, it 

64 Arkansas Historical Association 

proved to be a great blessing, for it ended carpetbag rule. 
Baxter realized, no doubt, the injustice of keeping up Re- 
publican rule over a Southern people and probably was 
disgusted with holding office, so he soon called a Constitu- 
tional Convention, an election was held and Mr. Garland 
was inaugurated Governor, I think in November, so the 
scheming of Clayton and Dorsey turned to our advantage 
and Clayton's rule in Arkansas was at an end. 

The book gives such a false impression of Clayton's 
administration that I felt I did not want anyone who was 
not familiar with Reconstruction to read it, so I thought I 
would burn it, but Mr. Herndon said he would like to have 
it as he was trying to collect everything he could relating 
to the history of the State, and he hoped' someone would 
be found who would answer it. 

There are but few living now who went through that 
trying period, and the younger generation are busy with 
the present, so I fear the falsity of it will never be exposed, 
but there is comfort in the thought that it will be read 
by few and will soon be forgotten. I have written this for 
the enlightenment of our Memorial Chapter, for most of 
you have never known anything of Reconstruction days in 

Margaret T. Rose. 

P. S. I had forgotten to say that where Clayton states 
facts that are true — ^and he sometimes does — ^he puts them 
in such a light as to make them appear to the disadvantage 
of our people, and that is where the cunning of the book 
lies, and that was why I did not want any one who was not 
familiar with those times to read the book. 

Mrs. U. M. Rose, 

Little Rock, Ark. 

Augusta, Ark., August 14, 1915. 
My Dear Mrs. Rose: 

Replying to yours of recent date in regard to Powell Clayton's 
Memoirs, will say that almost a half century having clasped since 
this band of marauders visited our county, and in the course of nature 
all the men and women who were then in active life having been 
called over the Great Divide, I find it difficult to procure informa- 
tion from other sources, so will give you in a brief way what I re- 

Clayton's Aftermath 65 

On the morning of December 8, 1868, there rode into Augusta, 
under command of D. P. Upham, about one hundred mountaineers 
that had been recruited from tiie counties of Sharp and Independence, 
and to which was added floaters from everywhere attracted by the 
possibility of pillage. I happened to be in Augusta and saw them. As 
soon as they had taken charge of the town, drove their wagons to 
the front doors of the stores and loaded them with whatever they 
found, while each individual heloed himself to anything of value 
which attracted' his attention, and you can imagine that it was not 
difficult to satisfy the taste of this bunch, dressed in butter-nut and 
coon skin caps. 

One of the first military strokes was to arrest and imprison in an 
old two story brick store in Augusta, about ten or twelve of the most 
substantial citizens in and near Augusta who were held as hostages 
and the threats scattered broadcast, that if harm should come to tihis 
bunch of free-booters these citizens would pay the penalty with their 
lives, which we afterwards discovered was no idle threat, as a part 
of these men were afterwards taken from this improvised prison under 
cover of darkness and shot to death, although no harm had been done 
to this bunch of guardians of the peace (who were paying for every- 
thing, as Mr. Clayton's Memoirs say). 

Now, to be brief, they took any and everything they could lay 
their hands on, and paid for nothing. They murdered about ten of 
our citizens, one of tjiem my uncle, Mr. James Bland. Going to his 
home under cover of darkness, and taking him to within a short dis- 
tance of his gate and within hearing of his family, shot him to death. 
Also add to this list Dr. McKenzie, a prominent physician; John Tharp, 
the sheriff of the county, and an officer of the English Navy in uni- 
form, whose name I do not recall, and who was a visitor in the coun- 
try, and of course not a citizen, was murdered and left on the road- 
side and afterwards buried by us. They black-mailed my father for 
a large sum of money to secure the release of my brotiier, and this, 
was only one of many instances. 

To sum up, the war had only been over three years and a proud 
race of people had been asked to do what no other nation on earth 
ever attempted. Two utterly dissimilar races on the same soil with 
equal political and civil rights, almost equal numerically, but ter- 
ribly unequal in intelligence and responsibility. One for a century 
in tiie servitude of the other and freed at last by a desolating war 
that trailed in the dust the fla^ of this same proud people, and yet, 
smarting under the sting of defeat, stripped of everything, our homes 
burned, we were yet expected to meet this race of newly enf ranchished 
citizens who were yesterday our servants without friction; and, be- 
cause we failed, our county was placed under martial law, our best 
citizens murdered, our civil offices filled by a horde of adventurers and 
carpet-baggers, outcasts at home and most of them thieves every- 
where. This, for the Memoirs, without gloss of romance, but the plain 

Hoping that this may be of service to you in learning the true 
facts, I am, 

Your friend, 



(By Albert Pike.) 

His breast was armed 'gainst Fate, his wants were few; 

Peril he sought not, but ne'er shrank to meet; 

The scene was savage, but the scene was new; 

This made the ceaseless toil of travel sweet, 

Beat back keen winter's cold and welcomed summer's heat. 

— Byron. 

The world of prairie which lies at a distance of more 
than three hundred miles west of the inhabited portions of 
the United States, and south of the river Arkansas and its 
branches, has been rarely, and parts of it never trodden by 
the foot or beheld by the eye of an Anglo-American. Rivers 
rise there in the broad level waste, of which, mighty though 
they become in their course, the source is unexplored. 
Deserts are there, too barren of grass to support even the 
hardy buffalo ; and in which water, except in here and there 
a hole, is never found. Ranged over by the Cumanches, 
the Pawnees, the Caiawas, and other equally wandering, 
savage, and hostile tribes, its very name is a mystery and a 
terror. The Pawnees have their villages entirely north of 
this part of the country, and their war parties — always on 
foot — are seldom to be met with to the south of the Cana- 
dian, except close in upon the edges of the white and civilized 
Indian settlements. Extending on the south to the Rio del 
Norte, on the north to a distant unknown, eastwardly to 

Note. — Mrs. Frederick Hanger, in a chapter entitled "Art and 
Literature in Arkansas/' volume 1, page 475 of Hempstead's "History 
of Arkansas," writes as follows: 

"Arkansas' first great writer has never lost the prestige of being 
considered Arkansas' greatest writer. Albert Pike, journalist, lawyer, 
linguist, archaeologist, prose and poetical writer, was a native of Mas- 
sachusetts. In very early manhood he became a resident of Arkansas. 
His wonderful poem, 'Hymns to the Gods,' was written in 1831 and 
sent in 1839 from Arkansas to Edinburgh, to the editor, critic and 
reviewer, Christopher North, who published this poem of six hundred 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 67 

within three or four hundred miles of the edge of Arkansas 
Territory, and westwardly to the Rocky Mountains, is the 
range of the Cumanches. Abundantly supplied with good 
horses from the immense herds of the prairie, they range, at 
different times of the year, over the whole of this vast coun- 
try. Their war and hunting parties follow the buffalo con- 
tinually. In the winter they may be found in the south, en- 
camped along the Rio del Norte, and under the mountains ; 
and in the summer on the Canadian and to the north of it, 
and on the Pecos. Sometimes they haunt the Canadian in 
the winter, but not so commonly as in the summer. 

It is into this great American desert that I wish to con- 
duct my readers — ^first solemnly assuring them that what I 
am about to relate is perfectly the truth, and that nothing 
is exaggerated or extenuated in the narration. 

In the month of September, 1831, Aaron B. Lewis re- 
siding at the time near Fort Towson, on Red river, in the 
territory of Arkansas, was induced to undertake a journey 
to the province of New Mexico, allured by the supposed im- 
mense riches in that country and the opportunity which he 
imagined there was iii making a fortune there. He looked 
upon New Mexico as a sort of Utopia, a country where gold 
and silver were abundant and easily obtained. In short, his 
ideas of it were precisely such as the word Mexico generally 
suggests to the mind. Neither has he been alone in his de- 
lusion. With a blindness unaccountable, men still continue 
rushing to Santa Fe, as if fortunes were to be had there for 

lines in 'Blackwood's Magazine/ with the introductory notes of his 
own, in which he said: 'These fine hymns entitle this author to take 
his seat in the highest orders of his country's poets.' It was a far 
cry from Arkansas to the British Isles in those days, but Albert Pike's 
pen voice was heard, and many of his poems appeared in English 
periodicals. In 1834 the poet published Trose Sketches and Poems.' In 
1854 he had privately printed for distribution among his friends a 
beautiful edition de luxe of his poems entitled 'Nugae.' A few of these 
copies are still in the possession of descendants of the person to whom 
they were given, with the name of the favorite friends of the poet em- 
boiised in gold letters on the cover of the book." 

In 1835 General Pike published the "Narrative of a Journey in the 
Prairie" as a serial in the columns of his paper, "The Arkansas Ad- 
vocate," whence it is resurrected and reproduced here. 

68 Arkansas Historical Association 

the asking. .Men who by hard and incessant labor have 
amassed a little money, laying that out to the last farthing, 
and in addition, mortgaging perhaps their farms to obtain 
farther credit, convey the goods thus obtained to Santa Fe, 
hoping thus and there to gain a fortune, notwithstanding 
they have seen numbers returning poor and impoverished, 
after starting, as they are doing, with high hopes and full 
wagons. Here and there an individual, by buying beaver 
or trading to Sonora and California for mules, returns home 
a gainer, but generally the case is far otherwise.^ 

Lewis, however, was far from knowing all this, and ac- 
cordingly on the 3d of September, 1831, with a good horse, 
ammunition and blankets he left the United States, and bent 
his course to the mountains. He left Arkansas in company 
with two other Americans and eleven Cherokees, who were 
headed by a chief commonly called Old Dutch, and whose 
object was hunting and trapping on the Fausse Washita. 
Besides these, there was a young doctor by the name of 
M6nro, and his wife, who were to accompany Lewis to New 
Mexico. Chambers, one of his companions, was a middle- 
sized young man, a very good fellow -on the prairie, but of 
very little use there. George Andrews, the other, was a big, 
obstinate cowardly Dutchman, of no use to himself or any- 
one else, and of no character except a bad one. Lewis him- 
self is a large, very large and tall man, red-faced, of un- 
daunted bravery, coolness, and self-possession, an excellent 
hunter, and of constant good humor. 

The course which they intended to pursue was then to 
follow the Fausse Washita to its head and then to cross the 
Canadian, and follow it to the wagon road. As I shall have 
frequent occasion to speak of these rivers, I may as well at 
once give a description of them. No maps describe the Red 
river and the Colorado correctly. The Canadian fork of 
the Arkansas rises near the head of the Arkansas itself, 
runs south to within seventy miles of Taos, and then takes 
a course a little south of east. It is there called Red river 
by the Spaniards and traders. The North Fork of the 
Canadian heads about fifty miles to the northeast of Taos, in 
two hills, which are called by the Spaniards Las Ore j as, and 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 69 

by the Americans, the Rabbit Ears. The North fork itself 
is called there Rabbit Ears creek. The Faussee Washita 
heads about three hundred miles to the east of Taos, in some 
prairie hills, and a man can travel in half a day from the 
head of the principal branch of it to the Canadian, at a large 
bend of the latter. Red river rises in the prairie not far 
south of Santa Fe, and between one and two hundred miles 
east of it. The h^ds of it are salt, and, as well as the Colo- 
rado, it has a wide sandy bed, and but little water, until it 
reaches nearly to the Cross Timbers, within three hundred 
miles of the settlements of the whites. I shall describe the 
Colorado or the Brazos hereafter. 

I have never seen the Fausse Washita far above the 
Cross Timbers. It is above them, a small clear stream of 
water, always running. Where I crossed it, it was perhaps 
one hundred yards wide, deep and with not very bluff banks. 
Above this it is bordered by a strip of timber, generally from 
one eighth to a quarter of a mile wide, and on the outside of 
this, a prairie bottom half a mile, and in some places a mile 
wide, of exceedingly rich land. These bottoms extend to the 
distance of more than a hundred and fifty miles above the 
Cross Timbers. It is indeed the best hunting ground of the 
west for deer, buffalo, and bear, and the trees are abundantly 
stored with delicious honey. The timber is chiefly oak, wal- 
nut, and pecan, and close to the bank cottonwood and syca- 

Of the early part of this route — that is, from Fort 
Towson to the Cross Timbers — Lewis can give but a vague 
and confused account. Most of the time he was sick, and in 
addition to this, the Cherokees, whose purpose was hunting, 
loitered along so slowly — killing deer as they went and ac- 
commodated their course so constantly to this pursuit — that 
there could be but little possibility of remembering the route 
distinctly. What I know about it is derived rather from my 
own passage through the same part of the country than 
from that of Lewis. Leaving Fort Towson, as before stated, 
on the 3d of September, they took the road, which crossing 
the Kiamiche, goes on to the ford of Boggy — a branch of 
Red river, running into it below the Washita. The country 

70 Arkansas Historical Association 

is beautifully diversified — Chills covered with oak and hick- 
ory, rolling prairies with their tall swarthy grass waving 
in the wind, and here and there creek bottoms, flush with 
greenness. In parts, however, the country has a bleak and 
barren appearance, which becomes much more marked when 
the sun scorches up the prairies, and the hot fire runs over 
them leaving only bleak, black and barren wastes, undulat- 
ing in gloomy loneliness, atod here and there spotted with a 
clump of trees, leafless, grey and gnarled, perhaps scorched 
with the fire which has gone over the prairie. 

As they proceeded farther to the west, the prairies be- 
came larger, and bore in a greater degree that look of stern 
silence which hardly ever fails. to impress itself on anyone 
who first enters a plain to which he can see no bounds. Cross- 
ing Boggy at the ford below the Forks, just beyond which 
the road lost itself in the prairie, they kept on to the ford of 
the creek called Blue, or Blue-Water — crossed it, and in a 
few days entered the hills of the Fausse Washita, on the 
north side of that river—^high, broken, and precipitous 
elevations, in which they were entangled for the space 
of two or three days. Where I afterward passed through 
these hills, they are devoid of timber ; but where Lewis went 
through on his outward trip, they were, generally, thickly 
covered with low scrub oaks and briers, forming, as it 
seemed, a portion of the Cross Timbers, into which they en- 
tered as soon as they left the hills. Passing through the Cross 
Timbers — in width there, about fifteen miles — they struck 
for the first time the Fausse Washita. 

These Cross Timbers are a belt of timber, extending 
from the Canadian, or a little farther north, to an unknown 
distance south of Red river. The belt is in width from fif- 
teen to fifty miles, composed of black-jack and post-oak, with 
a thick underbrush of small bushy oak, and briers, in places 
absolutely impervious. About this time Lewis lost his horse, 
which wandered off one night and was never found again. 
He was now, like Andrews and Chambers, on foot. Just be- 
yond the Cross Timbers, Monro and his wife left him and re- 
turned to the white settlements, weary of the journey. It 
was well that they did so.^ 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 71 

Fifty miles above the Cross Timbers, upon the Washita, 
and on the morning of the 12th of October, Lewis and 
his two companions parted from the Cherokees, though 
with the utmost reluctance on the part of the latter, who 
were urgent for th^m to remain and trap with them. ^Thus 
far there had been to them, and there is to any man, but lit- 
tle danger. The Pawnees are sometimes, but very seldom, 
found t)elow the Cross Timbers — ^the Cumanches never. 
Now, however, commenced the danger. The heads of the 
Washita and the western part of the Canadian are the homes 
of the latter tribe. It was not the nature, however, of either 
Lewis or Chambers to fear, and they, encumbered by 
Andrew^, pushed boldly up the river. The country was now 
changed. On each side of the river, after leaving the bottom, 
there was a high, level, and dry prairie, where grass grows 
only to the height of two or three inches, and, by the month 
of October, is scorched, curled and grey, affording little or 
no sustenance to anjrthing but the buffalo. 

No man can form an idea of the prairie, from anjrthing 
which he sees to the east of the Cross Timbers. Broad, level, 
grey and barren, the immense desert which extends thence 
westwardly almost to the shadow of the mountains, is too 
grand and too sublime to be imaged by the narrow con- 
tracted, undulating plains to be found nearer the bounds of 

Imagine yourself, kind reader, standing in a plain to 
which your eye can see no bounds. Not a tree, nor a bush, 
not a shrub, not a tall weed lifts its head above the barren 
grandeur of the desert ; not a stone is to be seen on its hard 
beaten surface; no undulation, no abruptness, no break to 
relieve the monotony; nothing, save here and there a deep 
narrow track worn into the hard plain by the constant hoof 
of the buffalo. Imagine then countless herds of buffalo, 
showing their unwieldy, dark shapes in every direction as 
far as the eye can reach, and approaching at times to within 
forty steps of you ; or a herd of wild horses feeding in the 
distance or hurrying away from the hateful smell of man, 
with tfieir manes floating, and a trampling like thunder. 
Imagine here and there a solitary antelope, or, perhaps, a 

72 Arkansas Historical Association 

whole herd, fleeing off in the distance like the scattering of 
white clouds. Imagine bands of white, snow-like wolves 
prowling about accompanied by the little grey prairie 
wolves, who are as rapacious and as noisy as their bigger 
brethren. Imagine, also, here and there a lonely tiger-cat, 
lying • crouched in some little hollow, or bounding off in 
triumph, bearing some luckless little prairie dog which 
it has caught straggling about at a distance from its hole. 
If to all of this you add a band of Cumanches, mounted on 
noble swift horses, with their long lances, their quiver at the 
back, their bow, perhaps their gun, and their shield orna- 
mented gaudily with feathers and red cloth, and round as 
NorvaFs or as the full moon ; if you imagine them hovering 
about in the prairie, chasing the buffalo or attacking an 
enemy, you have an image of the prairie, such as no book 
ever described adequately to me. 

I have seen the prairie under all its diversities, and in 
all its appearances, from those which I have described to the 
uneven, bushy prairies which lie south of Red river, and to 
the illimitable State Prairie, which lies from almost under 
the shadow of the mountains to the heads of the Brazos and 
of Red river, and in which neither buffaloes nor horses are 
to be found. I have seen the prairie, and lived in it in sum- 
mer and winter. I have seen it with the sun rising calmly 
from its breast, like a sudden fire flushing in its sky with 
quiet and sublime beauty. There is less of the gorgeous and 
grand character, however, belonging to them, than that 
which accompanies the rise and set of the sun upon the ocean 
or upon the mountains ; but there is beauty and sublimity 
enough in them to attract the attention and interest the 

I have seen the mirage, too, painting lakes and flres and 
groves on the grassy ridges near the bounds of the Missouri 
in the still autumn afternoon, and cheating the traveler by 
its splendor and deceptions. I have seen the prairie, and 
stood long and weary guard in it, by moonlight and starlight 
and storm. It strikes me as the most magnificent, stern, and 
terribly grand scene on earth — a storm in the prairie. It is 
like a storm at sea, except in one respect — ^and in that it 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 73 

seems to me to be superior. The stillness of the desert ami 
illimitable plain, while the snow is raging over its surface, is 
always more fearful to me than the wild roar of the waves, 
and it seems unnatural — ^this dead quiet while the upper 
elements are so fiercely disturbed ; it seems as if there ought 
to be the roll and the roar of the waves. The sea, the woods, 
the mountains, all suffer in comparison with the prairie — 
that is, on the whole — although in particular circumstances 
either of them is superior. We may speak of the incessant 
motion and tumult of the waves, the unbounded greenness 
and dimness, and the lonely music of the forests, and the 
high magnificence, the precipitous grandeur and the summer 
snow of the glittering cones of the mountains ; but still, the 
prairie has a stronger hold upon the soul, and a more power- 
ful if not so vivid an impression upon the feelings. Its sub- 
limity arises from its unbounded extent, its barren monotony 
and desolation, its still, unmoved, calm, stern, almost self- 
confident grandeur, its strange power of deception, its want 
of echo, and in fine, its power of throwing a man back upon 
himself and giving him a feeling of lone helplessness, 
strangely mingled at the same time with a feeling of liberty 
and freedom from restraint. It is particularly sublime, as 
you draw nigh to the Rocky Mountains and see them shot 
up in the west, with their lofty tops looking like white clouds 
resting upon their summits. Nothing ever equaled the in- 
tense feeling of delight with which I first saw the eternal 
mountains marking the western edge of the desert. But 
let us return to Lewis. 

After leaving the Cherokees, he and his companions 
kept up the Washita for eight days, until it became so small 
that they could step across it, and branched out into a num- 
ber of small heads, coming down from different parts of the 
prairie. In those eight days they traveled two hundred and 
fifty miles. Lewis was loaded with his heavy gun, his saddle 
bags full of clothes, and generally from ten to forty pounds 
of buffalo meat. Game was abundant thus far, and they 
suffered nothing but fatigue. 

Oct. 20 — On this day, in the morning, they left the main 
Washita, now very small, and struck a course nearly west 

74 Arkansas Historical Association 

two degrees north, through the prairie. After traveling in 
a treeless and broken prairie until midnight, they came upon 
a deep hollow, near the head of it, in which water was run- 
ning towards the main Washita, and encamped under a big 

Oct. 21. — Started again, and traveled all day towards 
the dividing land between them and the waters of the Cana- 
dian, and at midnight came to the head of another hollow, 
similar to the one the night before. This Lewis takes to be 
the head of the longest branch of the Fausse Washita. From 
this head of the Washita, to the Cross Timbers is probably 
three hundred and forty miles, not calculating the bends of 
the river, but keeping a course nearly straight. 

Oct. 22. — This morning they left the headwaters of the 
Washita, and after traveling about twenty miles in a course 
west two degrees north, they came upon a hollow, from which 
a little branch ran into the Canadian. All this day it rained. 
The country between the headwaters of the Washita and 
this part of the Canadian, is a high, broken, uneven prairie. 
Here they killed a bear, cut up the meat, and built a fire 
under it to dry and preserve it. This day I was traveling 
upon the Semaron, a branch of the Arkansas to the south, 
between it and the Canadian. I was in a company of thirty 
men guarding ten wagons.^ 

Oct. 23. — This morning the adventurers left their camp, 
and kept their course for about four miles, when they struck 
the Canadian and crossed it, and in the evening, thinking 
that they would obtain no water, they altered their course, 
turned to the southwest, and, crossing the river again to the 
south, encamped on the bank. Lewis computes this' day's 
travel at eighteen miles. 

Oct. 24. — Left camp, and traveled about six miles up the 
Canadian on the south side, then crossed it to the north and 
left it, keeping their regular course west, two degrees north. 
They soon came into high sand hills, and encamped at night, 
finding no water. About midnight Lewis insisted on start- 
ing and finding water, and they did so, and in the morning 
came upon a large creek running into the Canadian. 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 75 

Oct. 25. — ^After staying an hour or two at the water, 
left it, and kept their course all day, and at night, owing to a 
large bend in the Canadian, they came upon it again, and 
encamped on the river. It had snowed all day, but ceased 
at sunset This day our company reached the middle spring 
of the Semaron, and the last watch this night of eight hours 
belonged to me. Stood it without fire for three hours, and 
then built me a fire of the buffalo ordure which we had 
gathered for mess fuel. During my watch a horse froze to 

Oct. 26. — They traveled all day again, and encamped at 
night on a small creek half a mile from the main river. The 
weather was very cold in the morning, but moderated to- 
ward night. Country as before, broken uneven prairie, 
covered with oak bushes, about a foot and a half high. 

Oct. 27. — They traveled all day and encamped in the 
prairie, and melted snow in a tin kettle which Chambers 
carried. Still kept their course west, two degrees north. 

Oct. 28. — Traveled all day, and encamped again in the 
prairie, at a hole where buffalo had been rolling, called by 
hunters, a buffalo wallow, and containing water. 

Oct 29. — Traveled all day and encam|>ed on a little fork 
of clear water to the north — a branch probably of the 
Semaron or perhaps of the north fork of the Canadian. 

Oct. 30. — Traveled all day, and at night encamped on 
another little fork running north. 

Oct. 31. — Traveled all day in a high, barren, undulating 
prairie; found water once or twice during the day, but at 
night slept in the prairie without a drop. This is the be- 
ginning of what Lewis calls the water scrape. 

Nov. 1. — Started in the morning early, and traveled all 
day without water; likewise traveled all night without rest 
or cessation. 

Nov. 2. — High, barren prairie ; all day no water. They 
traveled constantly and eagerly until about two of the after- 
noon on their course, and then changed it and traveled a due 
south course. Night came, but did not delay them, and it 
was not till the morning star rose, that, weary and tormented 
with thirst, they lay down and slept. 

76 Arkansas Historical Association 

Nov. 3. — ^Towards day they arose, and started again, in 
a course still due south. About 10 in the morning, Lewis 
threw away his saddle-bags, pistols, blankets, and about 
forty weight of buffalo meat. Chambers had thrown his 
meat down the evening before, and Lewis had added it to 
his load. Early in the morning Chambers went ahead 
promising to keep the course, and whenever he reached 
water to return with a bucket full to Lewis and Andrews. 
After leaving them he saw an antelope, and went out of his 
course to kill it for the sake of drinking the blood. He thus 
lost the course and his companions. Towards evening Lewis 
killed an antelope and drank the blood. It drank like new 
milk, but increased the thirst ten fold. All night they kept 
slowly along the dry prairie without water, till about two 
hours before day, when they lay down and slept. Lewis had 
now become so weak as to be unable to shoulder his gun ex- 
cept by placing one end on the ground and getting under it ; 
and he went staggering along through the prairie like one 
who had long been sick. 

Nov. 4. — Started again at daylight, and proceeded 
slowly along the plain, and about the middle of the forenoon 
descried the high, broken country of the Canadian. About 
two of the afternoon they reached the river, almost ex- 
hausted. As Lewis drank he forced himself to vomit, and 
the water came from his stomach as cold as it entered it. He 
tells me that he is certain of having drunken at least three 
gallons of water. This day, after seeing the river, they fired 
the prairie, as a signal to Chambers. He saw it, but suppos- 
ing it to proceed from Indians, was afraid to approach it. 
He struck the river early in the morning, about ten miles 
above the place where Lewis and Andrews came upon it. 

Nov. 5 and 6. — Lay at the same place, in order to gather 
strength for traveling. Killed a fat cow. 

Nov. 7. — They made preparations for going back to find 
the articles which they had thrown away. Lewis took four 
gallons and a half of water in a cased deerskin, which he 
had been carrying, and as Andrews insisted on going ahead 
and keeping the course, he allowed him to do so. In the after- 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 77 

noon, finding that they had lost their course, they returned 
to their camp again. 

Nov. 8.— Started again this morning, Lewis going ahead 
and bearing the water. They traveled all day, and at night 
encamped in the prairie, with no water except what they 
bore with them. 

Nov. 9. — Traveled still north until about noon, when, 
despairing of finding their property, and fearing to suffer 
again from thirst, they turned their course to the south- 
west and at night encamped on the head of a large creek 
running toward the main Canadian. 

Nov. 10. — Followed the creek down for about ten miles, 
and encamped in a grove of cottonwood, on the same creek. 

Nov. 11. — Left the creek and traveled west all day, 
until late in the evening; they struck the Canadian again, 
and saw Chambers track on the river bank. They had sup- 
posed him to be dead. 

From this to the sixteenth they kept up the river slowly, 
and Lewis has but a confused remembrance of this part of 
the trip. On the sixteenth it commenced raining in the 
morning, and finding a cave in the bluff bank, in which they 
could be sheltered, and rolling a large pine root to the mouth 
of it, they were very comfortable all night, though but poorly 
clad, and with no blankets. Lewis' dress consisted of a pair 
of linen pantaloons and a shirt, with a pair of deerskin 
moccasins. It hailed towards night severely, and about mid- 
night cleared off very cold. 

Nov. 17. — Started very late, and went down the creek 
about half a mile, and encamped again in a cottonwood 
grove, where Andrews killed, for the first time, something 
to eat, viz. a little "puck.'' All this day the cold was intense. 

Nov. 18. — Started in the morning in a snowstorm, and 
traveled nearly all day. In the evening they encamped in a 
bleak place, and made a fire with cedar, which was thinly 
scattered about on the bluff banks of the river. The snow 
round the fire melted, and the mud was soon knee deep. 
When, during a lull in the storm, Lewis saw up the river 
about half a mile a grove of cottonwood, and proposed going 
and encamped there, George answered that " 'py cot,' it was 

78 Arkansas Historical Association 

petter here as there, and he would not co/' "Stay, then/' 
was the answer of Lewis, and taking his gun and a brand of 
fire, he went on, but had not proceeded more than a hundred 
yards, when looking back he saw Andrews puffing along be- 
hind him. They soon made a large fire, raked away the 
snow and sat out the night by their fire — comfortable — as 
Lewis says. 

I met this storm at the Point of Rocks, about sixteen 
miles to the northeast of the Canadian, at the crossing of the 
wagon road under the mountain. This Point of Rocks is a 
high ridge of mountain, which, dividing at this place, and 
jutting out into the prairie in three spurs, ends abruptly, 
making a high and imposing appearance in the boundless 
plain in which they stand. Between these three points two 
canons run up into the bosom of the ridge — (by which word 
canon the Spaniards express a deep, narrow hollow among 
the mountains). We arrived here on the eighteenth^ after 
the first storm, and seeing indications of another approach- 
ing, we encamped early, running our wagons in a straight 
line across the mouth of the northern canon. Our mess* 
pitched our tent on the south end of the line — ^fronting the 
line — and we then employed ourselves all the afternoon in 
cutting and bringing from the sides of the mountain the 
small, rough cedars, which grow there in abundance, and we 
soon gathered huge piles on the outside of the wagons. Our 
oxen and the one or two horses yet left were driven far up 
the hollow, and about ten of the evening I ascended the side 
of the hollow and stood guard two hours — ^which standing 
guard consisted in wrapping myself in a blanket and lying 
down under the lee of a rock. When my guard was off, 
Schench and myself retired to our tent, and I slept out the 
night under two buffalo robes and two blankets. He, poor 
fellow, is since dead. 

Two or three hours before daylight, the storm com- 
menced with terrific violence, and I never saw a wilder or 
more terrible sight than was presented to us when day came. 
The wind swept fiercely out of the canon, driving the snow 
horizontally against the wagons, and sweeping onward into 
the wide prairie, in which a sea of snow seemed raging. 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 79 

Objects were not visible at a distance of twenty feet, and 
when now and then the lull of the wind permitted us to look 
farther out into the plain, it only gave us a wider view of the 
dim desolation of the tempest. There was small comfort at 
the fires, immense though they were ; for as gust after gust 
struck the wagons, the snow blew under them and piled 
around us, while the cold seemed every moment to increase 
in intensity. For some time in the morning we were crowded 
together in our tent, but while eating our breakfast in it 
the pins gave way and we were covered with snow. 

We then pitched it again in the lee of the wagons, with 
its mouth to the prairie. In the evening we all turned out, 
although the cold was hardly supportable, and cut and car- 
ried wood to a sheltered place on the side of the mountain, 
where our sapient captain had directed us to stand guard. 
We then stuffed boughs of cedar under the wagon, in the lee 
of which our mess fire was built, and also built us- a shelter 
at each end of the wagon, and managed to enjoy some small 
degree of comfort. 

Nov. 19. — ^We left the Point of Rocks, in spite of the 
deep snow and the intense cold, leaving also some six or 
eight oxen frozen to death, and although I ran backward and 
forward in the track of the wagons all day, still I froze my 
feet before I stopped at night. Such was the weather in 
which Lewis and Andrews lay without a blanket or coat by 
the fire in the open air. There is but small comfort in the 
prairie in such a storm, even when a man has blankets and 
clothes in abundance ; but when he is nearly naked, and sits 
all the long night shivering by the fire which is the only 
barrier between him and death, it requires the greatest-for- 
titude to bear the feelings of utter misery and desolation 
which throng upon the heart. 

Lewis and Andrews traveled this morning four or five 
miles, and stopped in a grove of cottonwood. After making a 
fire, Andrews shot a turkey, and called to Lewis to run and 
catch it. Lewis did so, and was hotly engaged in pursuit of 
the turkey, when he came upon an old buck, and shot him. 
Andrews, however, was enraged, and "would rather have 
his turkey as fifty pucks." 

80 Arkansas Historieal Association 

Nov. 20. — ^This day Lewis left the Canadian, and fol- 
lowed a small southern branch of it which heads within five 
miles of the junction of the Demora and Sepellote (branches 
likewise of the Canadian) , which junction takes place on the 
wagon road, within fifty miles of San Miguel, and within 
fifteen miles of the Gallinas branch of the Pecos, which is 
itself a branch of the Del Norte. 

The progress, of Lewis was now slow, owing to Andrews 
who pretended great fatigue and incapability of walking. 
They traveled this day about six miles, and encamped in a 
cliff of rocks on the creek. 

Nov. 21. — This day they ascended the first bench of 
mountain, and came into prairie again ; traveled about ten 
miles in the whole, and found water in a hollow rock. 

Nov. 22 — They started, aiming to go to a. long mountain 
covered with timber, which lay in the course. In the after- 
noon Lewis saw a piece of timber to the left, and thinking it 
impossible to reach the timbered hill, proposed going and 
encamping in the nearest timber. Andrews was, as Lewis 
expressed it, "for fooling along, and killing antelope." They 
held a long confab, and at length Andrews agreed to go to it. 
But after turning towards the timber and proceeding a short 
distance, they saw a smoke in it, and Andrews again, refused 
to go thither, alleging that it was Indians ; and Lewis, en- 
raged, went on without him, saying that he would go thither 
if there were five hundred Indians in the timber. Andrews 
followed. On arriving at the edge of the timber Lewis 
stopped, primed his gun anew, and picked the flint. Andrews 
by this time had come up, and observed with some surprise, 
*'that Lewis did allow to fight.'* A little further and they 
saw a track. It was that of Chambers. They were within 
five steps of him before he knew it. He had always supposed 
them dead, but they had seen his track along at intervals, 
and even that day, going to the right of them. Reader, you 
can imagine their joy at meeting. 

Chambers, as Lewis says, "never expected to get no 
place, and had only concluded to keep going till he died." He 
had killed a panther that night — after being encamped here 
a day or two — and all three now feasted on panther meat. 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 81 

Nov. 23. — ^Lay by, in a snow storm. 

Nov. 24. — ^Moved camp about half a mile to better tim- 
ber, and encamped again. Our wagons in the meantime 
had crossed the Canadian, and were encamped about twenty 
miles beyond in a grove of pine timber, within seventeen 
miles of the foot of the first high mountain on the road to 

Nov. 25. — The storm ceased, and Jthe weather was in- 
tensely cold. This day Lewis and his small party moved two 
miles, and stopped for fear of freezing, encamping on the 
same little creek which I have mentioned before. This day 
a party of us left the wagons and went into Taos. The blue 
mist hung about the mountains, and gathered into icicles on 
our beards and blankets, and the snow was knee deep. The 
climate in which I was born is cold enough, but I never ex- 
perienced anjrthing equal to the cold of this day. All our 
party, except one or two froze their feet. This was the kind 
of weather in which Lewis traveled with a pair of linen 
pantaloons, a shirt, a deer skin on his breast with the hair in, 
and one on his back with the hair out, and a pair of thin 
moccasins. We this day traveled twenty-five miles, a part 
of which was up one of the highest mountains to be seen 
around us, and encamped in a grove of hemlock and pine, 
which the reader will hereafter find mentioned as the en- 
camping ground of Lewis. There were two pack mules 
ahead of us, and we walked all day in their steps, which was 
the only path. It was no strange thing that Lewis could not 

Nov. 26. — Lewis this day traveled about four miles, 
and encamped in the snow on the head of a hollow in pine 

Nov. 27. — Our adventurers traveled this day about nine 
miles and came upon the waters of the Demora — ^that is, 
upon a small branch running towards this creek. This day 
our party from the wagons reached the foot of the last 
mountain on the road to Taos. 

Nov. 28. — Lewis this day traveled all day, and gained 
about four miles. In the evening they killed an old buffalo 
and, finding his flesh too poor to be eaten, they cleansed and 

82 Arkansas Historical Association 

ate the entrails, encamping at night on the same branch of 
the Demora. This day, about ten in the evening, our party 
reached the still-house in the valley, within three miles of 

Nov. 29. — ^This day they traveled about eight miles, and 
in the middle of the afternoon stopped on the main Demora, 
where, in a few minutes, Lewis killed two blacktailed deer. 
I have often mentioned these deer. They are larger than the 
deer which are found in the United States, and in fact, their 
skin is sometimes so large that it might be mistaken for an 
elk skin. They are of a darker color than our deer, more 
clumsily made, and not so fleet, neither is their flesh so good, 
but their skins are much better. 

Nov. 30. — This day they lay by. 

Dec. 1. — Directly after starting, they came upon the 
road at the junction of the Demora and Sepellote, which the 
reader will flind mentioned hereafter as the place whence I 
went into San Miguel. Had Lewis continued on the Demora 
to the old village, and thence through the pass of the moun- 
tains, he would have found a broken trail, and would have 
gone in with much more ease. He wished to do so ; Andrews, 
however, who had been in Taos before, and in fact had a wife 
there, assured him that they could not go in that way for the 
snow, but that they must go to a timbered hill which lay to 
the right and can be seen from the junction of the roads, 
and that beyond this they would find a mule path leading 
from the ford of the Canadian to San Fernandez. They ac- 
cordingly traveled three or four miles in the direction of the 
timbered hill, and encamped. 

Dec. 2. — Traveled this day three or four miles, and en- 
camped on the timbered hill. 

Dec. 3. — ^Traveled this day about the same distance 
upon the hill, and encamped on it again in a deep 
canon. While sitting in camp this morning, ready to start, 
two deer came running up towards them, and stopped. Lewis 
shot and brought one down, and was followed by Andrews 
who killed the other. Chambers and Andrews then insisted 
on stopping and eating, to the great anger of Lewis, who 
hated to lose time. 


Narrative of a Jou^mey in the Prairie 83 

Dec. 4. — ^Traveled all day and encamped on the upper 
end of the mountain. 

Dec. 6. — ^This morning Lewis issued the last meat, being 
a piece for each man about as large as bis two fingers. The 
reader will remember that though they killed two deer, they 
were too weak to pack much of them. Andrews this morn- 
ing alleged that he could carry his gun no farther, and that 
they must stop till he could rest a day or two and gain 
strength. What was to be done ? Lewis was forced to lay by 
and starve, or carry his own gun and that of Andrews like- 
wise. Either gun is extremely heavy. Andrews had long 
been burdensome by delaying his companions, and once 
Lewis had threatened to throw him into the fire, and would 
have .done so had he not, as Lewis calls it, ''backed out.'' 
This day they reached a small creek within six miles of the 
foot of the mountain, which I have said we ascended on the 
twenty-fifth. The road goes by the creek, but the snow 
which had fallen after we went in had erased the tracks 
completely, and there was no vestige of a road. 

Dec. 6. — ^Left Cache creek, and traveled toward the 
mountain. After ascending it about half way and coming 
upon a small platform on the side of it, Andrews insisted 
on encamping, and they did so. A fire was made, and they 
were standing by it, when Lewis observed that he still had a 
great mind to go on. "I wish that you would,'' observed 
Andrews, ''for then you could tell them to send for me." A 
word was enough for Lewis, and shouldering his giin and 
taking a brand of fire, he went on up the mountain alone. 
He had a day or two before given his thin moccasins to 
Andrews, who complained bitterly of his feet, and he was 
himself now equipped with a pair made of the raw hide of a 

The few days' journey which are left now, I shall give 
in his own words ; that is, as far as the words of an unlet- 
tered man can be written without giving the world cause for 
supposing that one is aiming at burlesque. If I retain his 
own peculiar phrases, it will be because he can express him- 
self by them more forcibly than I can by any language of 
my own. Henceforward, then, the reader will understand 

'.V * 



J ! 







84 Arkansas Historical Association 

him as speaking in the first person, and any remark which 
I have to make for the purpose of explanation, will be placed 
in parentheses. 

After reaching 1±ie top of the mountain, I saw before me 
the wide prairie through which I had to travel about six 
miles to timber. My thin pantaloons were torn into strips 
everywhere, and there was hardly a place where you could 
put your finger down without touching flesh. Added to this, 
about ten inches of my legs above my moccasins were, en- 
tirely bare. The snow through the prairie was generally 
about to my middle, and whenever I missed the road, which 
was beaten hard underneath, though covered with soft snow 
above, then I took it plumb to my neck, and had all sorts of 
kicking to get out of it at all. The air kept growing colder 
as I went, and I thought that the timber receded. I was sure 
that some power or other was holding back my feet. My 
heart leaped when I got into the timber and heard the tall 
trees singing above me. I turned in and blowed up my 
chunk of fire, packed big logs and made a pretty good fire. 
Then I took off one of my raw deer-skins, spread it out and 
sat down upon it, and there I sat all night, turning every now 
and then, as some side of me would get to freezing. I had 
nothing else to do but to watch the stars, whenever the snow 
ceased blowing on me from the mountains, except making 
the old pines and hemlocks smoke. 

Dec. 7. — Just after daylight the wind began to blow. It 
knows exactly how to blow, and where to hit or cut deepest. 
But it was death or victory, and I was obliged to start any- 
how. I gathered my chunk, looked at my fire awhile, and 
started. I used to hate to leave my fire in the morning, not 
knowing where the next fire was to be. After traveling about 
three hundred yards, I came upon a little hollow, where I 
could see mule sign. (They had been out to our wagons). 
I could see where they had sunk to their bellies, and as they 
raised their knees, had pushed up the big pieces of crusted 
snow on end. But I was glad to see any sign of the road for 
I never knew whether I was in it or out of it. Andrews had 
given me all directions he could about the road, but he could 
not find the way in himself, much less tell me. I had not got 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 85 

fifteen steps across the hollow, when I came to a big hem- 
lock, which was lying in the edge of a thicket of mountain 
Cottonwood and hemlock. I found I was freezing to death, 
and had to stop. I tumbled old br indie (his gun) to the 
ground, and tried to drop my chunk, but could not do so for 
some time my fingers were so froze. I got it down at last, 
and tried to straighten out my fingers by rubbing them up 
and down my legs, but I could not do it and had to pick up 
chunks between my two fists, and pack them to my fire along- 
side of the hemlock. There like to have been no calling of 
the dogs that time. I laid there till I got thawed out a little, 
and then moved further down among the hemlock, where I 
made me a real comfortable place to stay in all day. I had 
not been there long before I shot a white wolf, intending to 
eat him, but he went tumbling over and over till he got out 
of the way. I did not care much about it, though, for I was 
not hungry at all. I had other things to think of than get- 
ting hungry. It clouded up toward morning, and just after 
the sun rose it began to snow. 

Dec. 8. — I was right glad to see it turn warm enough 
for snow to fall; so I shouldered old brindle, gathered a 
chunk and started. In traveling about eight miles I came to 
the edge of what Andrews had described to me as the Black 
Lake. It is a hollow prairie where water is sometimes. I 
do not know how far it is across it, for I took no notice of the 
distance. When I got into it I never expected to see any 
other place. It heads all cold places I ever saw, at any rate ; 
and I think it is about six miles across it. Just as I entered 
it, I found I was freezing, and stopped in a cliff of rocks, and 
made a little fire of choke-cherry bushes. I could have put 
the whole of it in my hat. I pulled off my moccasins, and 
began to thaw them ; but before they were half thawed, my 
feet began to swell and I was obliged to put on my hard 
moccasins again. I stayed here about an hour, and then I 
took a few sprigs of choke cherries and lighted them. It 
was snowing violently. I had got so as not to care much 
about life now, and I did not take any particular pains to 
keep my sprigs alive as I walked, and had they gone out, I 
never should have struck fire again. I had not gone more 

86 Arkansas Historical Association 

than half a mile, when I reached a clump of eight or ten pine 
trees, and determined on stopping here. I gathered a few 
pieces of pine, and blowed up my sprigs, now almost ex- 
tinguished. After setting my pieces of wood afire, I had 
ten minds not to put anything to it, where I had one to do so. 
All that I could see about me was two big logs on the side of 
the little rise, and I concluded to give them a try. I carried 
my fire to the side of the lower one, and then turned in to 
rolling the upper one down along side of it. I made half a 
dozen trials, and then gave it up. I did not believe then that 
half a dozen oxen could have stirred it. I went and laid my 
gun on a high stump, so that Andrews and Chambers might 
see it, and sat down by the fire again. I would have died 
then willingly. After a while, I thought that I would take 
another try, and went to the log again. I gave one lift, but 
it was in vain. Rage and despair urged me on again, and I 
lifted with a strength which seems astonishing to me now, 
and I felt it move. I tried again, and out it came ; and as I 
raised this last time, I saw the fire flash out of my eyes, and 
felt the joints of my back snap together. I rolled it down 
along side of the other, and they made a most glorious fire, 
which was burning when Chambers and Andrews came by 
the next day. Here I lay, that is to say, sat upon a deerskin 
about as big as the brim of a hat, all night. It cleared off in 
the night, but did not grow so much colder as I expected. 

Dec. 9. — ^This morning I took my chunk of fire, and put 
out again. I had not taken my moccasins off here, for fear 
of never getting them on again ; and in half an hour they 
were froze stiff again. I thought, just after starting, that 
I never would get across the Black Lake, and turned back 
and went half a mile, intending to lay at my fire until 
Chambers and Andrews came up ; for there was no kind of 
track in the lake, and I did not know whether I was going 
right or wrong. I again summoned up resolution, turned my 
face to Taos again, and by good luck kept the right course. 
I made three fires this day before I stopped at night, and 
after all came nigh giving up the ghost several times. I 
wished heartily to die, but hated to kill myself and so kept 
moving. When I got into the narrow canon beyond the Black 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 87 

Lake, I saw a mule track or two again, and again thought 
I might get some place. After leaving the canon I encamped 
on the head of a spring not many miles this side of the 
last mountain, and was more comfortable here than any- 
where in the mountains. There was an old pine fallen, and 
I stripped some big pieces of the bark off, put one under me, 
one edgewalys at my back, and one at my head, as well as one 
at my feet, and lay down. This was luxury. Still I felt no 
hunger, and still I kept my moccasins on. 

Dec. 11. — This morning I gathered me a chunk and 
started, concluding this would be the last day I could hold 
out. I soon reached the foot of the mountain, and in the 
way, and during the ascent, I sat down several times, never 
intending to rise again. It seems a pretty bold thing to say, 
and hard to believe, but so it is. The thoughts of turning 
coward would raise me again, and I kept on until I reached 
the top of the mountain. You know what a dark, black-look- 
ing place it is on the other side, away down, down in the 
depths of the valley. When I looked off from the summit of 
the mountain, and saw it, the thought flashed into my mind 
that this must be the Black Lake. No man in the world can 
jexpress the feelings which came over me then. I still kept 
moving down the mountain, and when about halfway down, I 
threw away my chunk of fire, and gave myself up to die ; still, 
however, resolving to move as long as I had life. I had sat 
by my fire and wept at night, and had prayers in my heart, 
though I did not utter them ; but I shed not a tear now. I 
kept on through the valley, and towards noon reached the 
canon, which I knew to be twelve miles from the still house. 
I knew where I was now, and found mule tracks here. Now 
I determined to go in or die ; and in fact, as I had thrown 
away my fire, I had no other chance, for I could not have 
made fire. I could not use my hands a bit. I had gone but 
a little way in the canon, when I found a beaten track, and 
soon got to the places where wood had been cut. My feet 
were now all cut to pieces by my hard moccasins, and I could 
hear the blood splash in them as I walked, as though they 
were full of water, while the snow would gather in the heels 
of them until the hinder part of my foot would be four inches 

88 Arkansas Historical Association 

sometimes from the moccasin. After a while, I saw a cow ; 
it was the pleasantest sight I ever saw in my life, and just as 
I had concluded not to walk more than half an hour longer, 
and as I went staggering along, so sleepy that I could hardly 
move, I heard a chicken crow. How it waked me up! and 
I soon after came in sight of the old mud still house. I went 
round to the lower end of it, and two or three dogs came out 
and began upon me. In a minute, I could see two men look- 
ing through the hole in the door. I could have shot both 
their eyes out with one bullet. ''Hallo!'' said I; and they 
pushed the door partly open and stood looking at me. They 
took me, as they said afterwards, to be a Cumanche, who had 
come in ahead of a party, to take the still house — and no 
wonder, for the pine smoke had made me as black as you 
please, and my hair was perfect jet. Long was the best 
soldier, and he stepped out and walked round me, keeping a 
good distance though, and with his eye fixed upon the door. 
The dogs were still baying me; and I, at length enraged, 
spoke in good plain English : ''Call off your dogs, or I will 
put a bullet through one of them.'' Hearing me speak, they 
soon drove away their dogs and told me to come in. I did so, 
sat down by the fire, and after thawing out my hands, began 
ripping open my moccasins with my knife. In the mean- 
time Conn and Long, who are both the best fellows in the 
world, began to recover the power of speech. They stood 
and looked at me awhile, and then Conn inquired : 

"Where, in the name of heaven are you from ?" 

"From the United States." 

"What company did you come with ?" 

"I came with a company of my own, of two men." 

"Where are they?" 

"Behind in the mountains." 

"Are these all the clothes you have got?" 

"Yes, they are so." 

'What ! and you have no blankets ?" 

'No, not one." 

'Have you eaten anything today ?" 



"No, not for five days." 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 89 

'*What ! are you not hungry ?" 


They drew me about half a pint of whiskey, which I 
barely tasted, and Conn brought me a bit of meat, about as 
big as my two fingers, and a like bit of bread. In vain I told 
them I would not thank them for that little and begged for 
more. When it touched my stomach, my hunger became 
ravenous, but finding I could not get more, I submitted, and 
turned in to ripping my moccasins again. In ten minutes 
after the moccasins were off, my feet were swelled as big 
as four feet ought to be. I could have cried with the pain, 
and while I sat bearing it as well as I could, an old Spaniard 
came in — old Senor San Juan. The old fellow started back 
when he saw me, lifted up his hands with a stare of terror 
and surprise on his dried-up face, and uttered the ejacula- 
tion, Adios ! In two minutes, he had half a bushel of onions 
in the ashes and as soon as they were roasted, he swathed 
my feet up with a parcel of them. I could not have lifted 
one of my feet with both hands. They were bigger than a 
bull's head. The old man stayed with me all night, changing 
the onions for fresh ones at intervals, and I have no doubt 
that it was old Mr. St. John who saved my feet for me. Dur- 
ing the night Conn gave me a little bit of meat and bread at 
intervals, and in the morning he was about serving me the 
same way ; but I uptripped him this time, and declared my 
resolution of eating breakfast with him and Long. I ate all 
I could get, though it was not half enough, and during the 
day I ate about fifteen times. I thought while I was there 
that I never would get out of the sound of a chicken's voice 
again. This day I sent word to Kincaid and old Chambers 
that Andrews was in the mountains, and they informed his 
father-in-law, who immediately went out for him, and found 
him and Chambers at the forks of the canon. They were 
both better dressed than I and had thin moccasins ; in con- 
sequence they froze their feet but very little. In fact, 
Andrews said that "he pelieved he could have come in petter 
as I." And sure enough, the rascal had only been possuming 
the whole time, and was better able to travel than I was, but 
wanted me to break the way and pack his gun. 

90 Arkansas Historical Association 

Lewis lay at the still house six weeks before he was 
able to go to San Fernandez, a distance of three miles. While 
there, he was visited frequently by the Indians of the Pueblo 
of Taos, and presented by them with cakes and dried fruit, 
etc. They wished to convey him to their village, but he could 
not go. At length, at the expiration of six weeks, he was 
lifted on a horse and taken to the Rio Hondo, as it is called, 
a little settlement four or five miles from San Fernandez, in 
the same valley of Taos. In the meantime, the skin had peeled 
off from the whole of his body, and the flesh had come 
from parts of his feet, so that the bones and sinews were 
bare. He was soon after attacked with the pleurisy; and, 
to use his own expression, the thing was near dead out with 
him. He recovered, however, although it was not until 
April that he became perfectly well. After that he was the 
terror of the Spaniards, for he could have demolished them 
rapidly with his powerful arm, had they ever given him 
cause. He is not quarrelsome, however, even when he gets 
caught in what they call in the west, "a spree." 

In the month of May, Lewis joined himself to a party of 
five men, including himself, headed by Tom Smith, the 
'^Bald Hornet," for the purpose of trapping in the moun- 
tains, between the forks of Grand river, that is the Colorado 
of California, and there commenced trapping. The first 
night that Lewis set his traps, he had entered a little narrow 
canon, which had never been trapped, because a man could 
not ride up it. He on foot, with his six traps on his 
back, obtained a seat for all of them, and went back to camp, 
about fifteen miles. He there borrowed all the spare traps, 
returned the next morning, and, finding four beaver in his 
traps, set out ten which he had brought, and went back to 
camp again with four beaver. On returning again the next 
morning with a companion, he found eight more beaver in 
his traps, and was sure of making, as he says, an independent 
fortune. The whole party of five then moved there, and 
trapped the creek. I am almost afraid to describe the man- 
ner of catching this animal, but it may be new to some of my 
readers You find the place where the animal comes out of 
the water — ^that is, if you can — ^and set your trap in his path. 



Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 91 

about four inches under the water, fastening your chain to 
a stake, which you put as far out in the water as its length 
will allow ; sometimes you cover it with moss or something 
else. This depends on the nature of the settlement of the 
beaver, whether it has been often trapped or not. You then 
dip a little twig in your bait, (that is, in dissolved castor), 
and stick this twig sometimes just outside of them. The 
beaver goes to the smell of the castor and is generally 
caught by the fore feet, and flouncing over, is drowned in the 
water. If the place has been long trapped, they are too old 
to be caught by bait. Lewis once set his traps five nights for 
an old beaver, and for four nights the old fellow took away 
his bait-stick without springing the trap. On the fifth night 
Lewis placed his trap still deeper under the water and 
covered it with moss, placing no bait-stick. He then washed 
away all trace of himself, and in the morning he had the 
beaver. He was an immense old fellow, and had got out on 
the bank, where he lay puifing and shaking the water. Lewis 
laid down his gun and pistols and then creeping up to him 
caught him by the hind leg. The beaver tried to bite him, 
but was unable to do it, until Lewis, putting his knee on the 
trap, loosened his paw from it, and dashed his brains out 
with it. 

It is no uncommon thing to see trees, three and four 
feet in diameter, cut down by these animals, cut up into 
lengths of about eight feet, and taken lengthwise to their 

They had only caught about forty beavers in this moun- 
tain, when the Eutaws came upon them, in number about 
three hundred, and wished to rob them. They are in the 
habit of doing so to the Mexicans ; but they, to use another 
western phrase, "barked up the wrong tree" when they got 
hold of Tom Smith. The Bald Hornet is not easily frightened, 
if he has a wooden leg. The old chief sat down in their 
camp, and after various threats, shot his gun at the ground 
as a sign that they would kill all the party immediately. 
Tom was undaunted; he told the chief that he might kill 
them, but could not rob them ; that his heart was big as the 
sky, and defied the old chief to attack them. All this time 

■ . V.' 

92 Arkansas Historical Association 

he was keeping Lewis off who had drawn his pistol when the 
chief shot his gun into the ground, and would have killed 
him, had not Tom interfered. The consequence of their 
boldness was that the Eutaws went off without molesting or 
robbing them. They then immediately moved camp. 

While upon the Elk Mountain, they killed several moun- 
tain sheep and white bear. The former animal is larger 
than a deer and is like a common sheep in appearance — of a 
dirty light color — and a great lover of rocks and precipices, 
in which, as well as in its speed and faculty of smell, it equals 
the chamois. Their horns are like those of the domestic 
sheep, but much larger and stronger. They will often fall 
thirty or forty feet, strike upon their horns, and rise and 
go off as if nothing had happened to them. You may see 
them standing with all their feet together, and that in a 
place where they scarcely have foothold. Lewis was out, 
after leaving the Elk Mountain, in company with Alexander, 
one of his companions, and an excellent hunter. They came 
upon a flock of perhaps sixty or seventy of these sheep. 
Lewis shot, struck one, and he fell. Alexander likewise 
fired, but missed entirely. They then ran about thirty yards 
farther and stopped again. Being now about one hundred 
and fifty yards from them, Alexander was for creeping 
nearer, but Lewis determined to shoot from the place in 
which they were. "Shoot then," said Alexander. "I cannot 
hit one at this distance." "Do you see that bunch of heads 
together?" said Lewis, "I will shoot at the upper head." He 
did so, and the sheep fell and lay kicking. Alexander ran 
and cut his throat, and then went to the first one which 
Lewis had shot and was busy doing the same office for him, 
when the former rose and made off over the rocks. Alexan- 
der rose also, and was hardly off the sheep, when it likewise 
rose and followed its companion, and they lost both. The 
party laughed heartily at Alexander, for acting the doctor 
and bleeding mountain sheep. The meat of these animals 
is excellent, and their skins are thin, when dressed, and 
soft as velvet. 

From the Elk mountain they crossed to the main branch 
of Grand river and came within a few days' journey 


Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 93 

of the heads of the Columbia. They then left this branch, 
after trapping a time upon it, and crossed to the head of 
Smith's fork of the same river, and thence to the heads of 
the. Arkansas, where they trapped again, and then crossed 
to the heads of the Del Norte, and came in to Santa Fe. 
The last forty days they had only one bag of dried meat to 
live on, and it was during this time that they shot and lost 
the two sheep. They killed nothing at all in that time. They 
bought a dog or two in the time from the Eutaws, and ate 
them. Grand river, on which they mostly trapped, has 
been, and still is, excellent hunting ground. It has been sup- 
posed that there is much beaver below the place where 
Lewis trapped, and in a canon through which the river runs 
for a distance of two or three hundred miles. I think that 
the trappers compute the length of the canon at three hun- 
dred. The river where it emerges is half a mile wide, and 
yet you may stand on the edge of the fissure in the solid 
rock which forms the canon, and the river a hundred feet 
below, looks like a thread. It is a terrible place, and once in 
it, there is no egress except at the lower end of it. Some 
Spaniards unwittingly entered it once in a canoe, and were 
carried violently down it about forty miles. There they 
fortunately reached an eddy, produced by a bend in the 
sides of the canon, stopped the canoe, and climbed up the 
sides of the canon, which were there less precipitous than 
usual, leaving canoe, beaver, guns, etc., all in the canon to 
find a way through it. 

It was on the heads of the Del Norte that General Pike, 
then a lieutenant, was taken by the Mexicans. Has it ever 
been satisfactorily known why he was there? I think not. 
He could have been mistaken in the river. He knew it not 
to be the Arkansas, and he knew himself to be in the Mexi- 
can territory. Was he not seeking a place for the army of 
Aaron Burr to enter and subdue Mexico ? He was no traitor, 
I know; and neither, in my opinion, was Aaron Burr. 
Neither ever aimed to raise a hand against our own country. 
I find some proof of Pike's intentions in his book. 

After Lewis had returned to Taos from his trapping 
expedition in the mountains, I first became acquainted with 




94 Arkansas Historical Association 

him. In the month of August I heard that Mr. John Harris 
of Missouri was collecting a party for the purpose of enter- 
ing and trapping the Cumanche country, upon the heads of 
Red river and Fausse Washita, and I was induced by the 
prospect of gain, and by other motives, to go up from Santa 
Fe to Taos and join him. After my arrival, however, I 
thought it best to buy an outfit of Mr. Campbell, who was 
going into the same country, and to join him, and did so. 
The only Americans in our party were Mr. Campbell, a 
young man who came with me from Santa Fe, and myself. 
There was likewise a Frenchman. I bought my outfit— one 
horse, one mule, six traps and plenty of powder, lead and 
tobacco — and went out to the valley of the Picuris, a dis- 
tance of about thirty miles over the hills and among the pine 
woods. Here and there was a little glade, among the hills, 
grassy and green ; but generally it was all a bleak and un- 
productive country. The pine trees were stripped of bark 
to the height of six or eight feet by the Apaches, who pre- 
pare the inner coat of the bark in some manner, and eat it ; 
and I observed that it was only one particular kind of pine 
which they used, viz., the rough yellow pine. My friend and 
myself were alone, and in consequence we soon lost our way ; 
we traveled until nearly night, and then retraced our steps 
for about four miles, to a place where we bad seen remains 
of an Indian fire. Here we kindled a large fire, tied our 
horses, and lay down with our guns by our sides. We were 
awakened early in the morning by the howling of wolves 
close to us, which, however, was of short duration. We 
then mounted and proceeded again towards Taos, but meet- 
ing a Mexican, who was going to our camp to recover a 
horse, which he said he had lost, we turned back again, and 
about noon arrived at camp, where we stayed four or five 
days, lounging about and quarreling with the New Mexi- 
cans, for whom we had killed several oxen and who disliked 
the idea of going to San Fernandez to receive their pay. On 
the fourth of September those of our party and Harris' for 
whom we had been waiting came out from Taos. Both par- 
ties joined, made up between seventy and eighty men, of 
whom about thirty were Americans. One was a Eutaw, one 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 95 

an Apache, and the others were Mexicans. Among the men 
who came out on the fourth was Lewis, who belonged to the 
party of Harris. 

The readers need not expect much delineation of char- 
acters. Trappers are like sailors — ^when you describe one 
the portrait answers for the whole genus. As a specimen of 
the genuine trapper, Bill Williams certainly stands fore- 
most. He is a man about six feet one inch in height, gaunt 
and red-headed, with a hard, weather-beaten face, marked 
deeply with the smallpox. He is all muscle and sinew, and 
the most indefatigable hunter and trapper in the world. He 
has no glory except in the woods, and his ambition is to kill 
more deer and catch more beaver than any other man about 
him. Nothing tires him, not even running all day with six 
traps on his back. His horse fell once, as he was galloping 
along the edge of a steep hill, and rolled down the hill, while 
his feet were entangled in the stirrups, and his traps dash- 
ing against him at every turn. He was picked up half dead, 
by his companion, and set upon his horse, and after all he 
outwitted him, and obtained the best set for his traps. 
Neither is he a fool. He is a shrewd, acute, original man, 
and far from illiterate. He was once a preacher, and after- 
wards an interpreter in the Osage nation. 

There was Tom Banks, the Virginian, with his Irish 
tongue, and his long stories about Saltee, as he called Sal- 
tillo, and the three tribes of Indians, the Teuacanas, Wequas 
and Toyahs, whose names were never out of his boasting 
mouth. He claimed to have been prisoner among the 
Cumanches three months but he lied, for he could not utter 
a word of their language. 

There were various others, better at boasting than at 
fighting, and a few upon whom a man might depend in an 

We left the valley of the Picuris on the sixth day of 
September, taking the pass which, following the river up, 
led out to the large valley of the Demora, at which we ar- 
rived on the same day, and encamped near the Old Village— 
in it, in fact. These New Mexicans, with a pertinacity 
worthy of the Yankee nation, have pushed out into every 

96 Arkansas Historical Association 

little valley which would raise half a bushel of red pepper — 
some of them like this on the eastern side of the mountains — 
thus exposing themselves to the Pawnees and Cumanches, 
who, of course, use them roughly. The former tribe broke 
up the settlement in this valley about fifteen years ago, and 
the experiment has never been repeated, though this valley, 
and that of the Gallinas, are great temptations to the Span- 
iards. The sole inhabitants of the Old Village now are rat- 
tlesnakes, of which we killed some two or three dozen about 
the old mud houses. The third day brought us by a round- 
about course, to the junction of the creeks Demora and Se- 
pellote, about fifty miles from San Miguel, and on the Mis- 
souri wagon road. Buffalo are frequently found in the win- 
ter not far from here, namely, at the springs called "Los 
Ojos de Santa Clara," "The Eyes of Saint Clara," distant 
a day's journey beyond. While at the Old Village the night 
before a consultation had been held to determine what course 
we should pursue. Lewis advised to cross to the main fork 
of the Canadian branch of the Arkansas, or, as it is com- 
monly called. Little Red river, and then following his trail, 
to go on to the Washita, trap it, and then to the heads of 
Red river. But, acting under a wrong impression and a 
radical mistake, this advice was rejected. It was supposed 
by all of us that Red river and all its main branches headed 
into the mountains, and that it was only necessary to keep 
under the mountains, and we should necessarily find beaver. 
It was determined, then, to obtain an old Cumanche, who had 
been converted, and was married in San Miguel, as our 
guide, and to go directly to the rivers which we supposed 
lay not far to the southwest of us, and contained beaver. 
Accordingly, on arriving the next day at the wagon road, it 
was agreed that the party should go down the Gallinas a day 
or two, and cross over to the Pecos, where I was to find them. 
For at the time we supposed that the Gallinas creek ran into 
Red river, while, on the contrary, it runs into the Pecos. 
While they, therefore, followed the course of the Gallinas, I, 
in company with three of our Mexicans, went into San 
Miguel to bring out the Cumanche. 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 97 

The country is rolling prairie for a part of the way be- 
tween the Demora and San Miguel. About noon we reached 
the Gallinas, where we rested and fed our mules. We then 
struck into the hills, crossed the little creek called the Teco- 
lote (Owl) and slept at night at the Ojo de Bernal, within 
seven miles of San Miguel, where we arrived the next morn- 
ing. That day and the next we spent there, waiting the re- 
turn of a messenger from Taos, and purchasing a horse; 
and on the third day, late in the morning ; we left again the 
village of Saint Michael. Various prophecies were uttered, 
all boding ill to us. The Cumanches were described as biab- 
los and infieles, and the women in particular seemed to take 
a great interest in our well-being. In fact, while we were 
at the old village of the Demora there came in some dozen 
Mexicans, who had gone from Taos to Red river, having 
hard bread and other "notions" to trade with the Cum- 
anches. The Indians wisely concluded that it was better to 
get it all for nothing than to give in return their buffalo 
robes and horses, and they accordingly took violent posses- 
sion of the mules and horses of the luckless peddlers, drove 
them off, and kept their hard bread in spite of their bows and 
arrows. Besides this, a new story had come in that a man 
had been shot by the Ciawas, about four days' journey out 
of San Miguel, and found by some of the Pueblos. Accom- 
panied by many good wishes, prayers and benedictions, how- 
ever, we left the village on the 12th, and reached that night 
a little village below, on the Pecos (whose course we fol- 
lowed), where we slept. The next morning we bought a 
sheep, and started again. At noon we heard that our party 
was about fifteen miles distant down the river. We were 
then at the last settlement, about forty miles from San 
Miguel. Beyond there are some deserted ranchos, as they 
are called — that is, sheep pens and shepherd huts. At night 
we reached the party^ and right glad I was to be delivered 
from the peril of riding about in a dangerous country, ac- 
companied only by four Mexicans (for an old man who had 
been sent from Taos to bear a letter to the Cumanche went 
out with us) and an old faithless Indian, of a tribe to which 
a white man is like a smoke in the nostrils. A lone Ameri- 

98 Arkansds Historical Association 

can has no mercy from them, and little aid from the Mexi- 
cans who may chance to be with him. Not long ago one 
Frenchman went out from Taos, in company with a hundred 
and fifty Mexicans, and was by them given up to half their 
number of Cumanches to be murdered. It was even said 
that the Spaniards danced round his scalp in company with 
the Indians. One of these fellows was with me, and another 
one was with the party. I knew it not at the time, or the 
Senor Manuel Leal should not have accompanied me. The 
Cumanches have killed several of our countrjrmen when 
alone. Mr. Smith was out hunting antelope, when a body of 
them came upon him ; he killed one woman and two men be- 
fore they dispatched him. They have his scalp now, and 
sold his saddle, gun, pistols, etc., to the Spaniards. They 
killed another man the year before in the same way — ^blow- 
ing off his head with a f usse. This winter, two hundred and 
fifty of them attacked a party of twelve men on the Cana- 
dian, killed two and wounded several of them. Nor, though 
at peace with the Spaniards, do they serve them any better. 
On the fifth of July last (1832) they killed the nephew of 
the Commandant Viscara, while out alone and unarmed, 
with the oxen of his uncle, about three miles from Little 
Red river, and with thirty or forty troops in sight. They 
gave him thirteen wounds, took off all his hair except the 
f oretop, and still left him alive. 

When Mr. Flint, in his Francis Berrian, described these 
Indians as noble, brave and generous, he was immensely out 
in the matter. They are mean, cowardly and treacherous. 
Neither (since I am correcting a gentleman for whom I have 
a great regard) is there any village of the Cumanches on the 
heads of the Arkansas.* Neither is the Governor's palace 
in Santa Fe anything more than a mud building, fifteen feet 
high with a mud covered portico, supported by rough pine 
pillars. The gardens and fountains and grand staircases, 
etc., are, of course, wanting. The Governor may raise some 
red pepper in his garden, but he gets his water from the 
public spring. But to return. 

The next day, after my arrival, we kept on down the 
Pecos, agreeably to the direction of our guide, intending to 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 99 

follow the river as far as Bosque Redondo, or Round Grove. 
This river Pecos, which derives its name from the Pecos 
tribe of Indians, rises in the same lake with the river of 
Santa Fe, and, passing by San Miguel, keeps a southeasterly 
course. At a distance of about 120 miles from San Miguel, 
it being there a deep stream about thirty yards wide, it bends 
to the south, and runs into a deep, narrow and rocky canon, 
in which it can not be followed. I know not how far it goes 
in this canon, but, emerging from it below, it keeps on its 
course southwardly and runs into the Del Norte near San 
Antonio. It is a long but narrow river, and, however impor- 
tant it may be to the people of San Miguel, it is of no great 
consequence in any other way. 

On the 15th we started, all together, down the Pecos, 
but early in the morning a dispute arose between Harris and 
Campbell, which ended in a separation. Harris was now for 
going on to Little Red river through a dry prairie. We 
were for following our guide and the Pecos. We turned 
down to the river and Harris kept on ahead, but soon fol- 
lowed our example by turning to the river. Campbell and 
myself were delayed, recovering a mule which had joined to 
those of Harris, and in the meantime our party had en- 
camped on the river. Harris went into the canon of the 
river and followed it down, and the next morning we turned 
to the hills above the canon and came upon the river below, 
leaving him struggling in it among the rocks. He was 
obliged at last, finding egress below impossible, to ascend the 
precipitous sides of the canon and come out upon the hills. 
After this, we never encamped together till we reached the 
Bosque Redondo, the point where we were to leave the river 
and strike into the prairie. We were six days in reaching 
the Bosque, including the 15th, and during the time we trav- 
eled in a southeast direction. The country along the river 
was hilly, red and barren, devoid of timber, except on the 
river. At the Bosque we encamped near some lodges of 
poles, the remains of an old Cumanche camp, and Harris en- 
camped half a mile or more above us. 

The Spaniards who composed our party were now get- 
ting frightened. We had already had two alarms of Indians, 

100 Arkansas Historical Association 

which, although unfounded, still tended to discourage the 
cowardly pelayos ; and, added to this, the name of the Llano 
Estacado, on whose borders we then were encamped, and 
which lay before us like a boundless ocean, was mentioned 
with a sort of terror, which showed that it was by them re- 
garded as a place from which we could not escape alive. 
This Stake Prairie is to the Cumanche what the desert of 
Sahara is to the Bedouin. Extending from the Bosque Re- 
dondo on the west, some twenty days' journey on the east, 
northward to an unknown distance, and southward to the 
mountains on the Rio del Norte, with no game and here and 
there a solitary antelope, with no water except in here and 
there a hole, and with its whole surface hard, barren and 
dry, and with the appearance always of having been 
scorched by fire — the Cumanche alone can live in it. Some 
three or four human sculls greeted us in our passage through 
it, and it is said that every year some luckless Spaniard 
leaves one of these mementos lying in the desert. It is a 
place in which none can pursue. The Cumanches, mounted 
on the best steeds which the immense herds of the prairie 
can supply, and knowing the solitary holes of water, can 
easily elude pursuit. 

Just before encamping at the Bosque Redondo, some 
of our Spaniards were met by a party of their countrymen, 
who had just returned from the Canon del Resgate, in the 
Stake Prairie. They had been there to trade hard bread, 
blankets, punche, beads, etc., for buffalo robes, bear skins 
and horses, and were returning with the avails of their 

After night, Campbell and myself were called upon to 
attend a council of the Spaniards of our party. We accord- 
ingly went and found Manuel, the Cumanche, acting as chief 
counselor in the matter, and Manuel Leal and another of the 
fraternity officiating as spokesman. They informed us that 
the traders had brought bad reports from the Cumanches ; 
that they and the hostile Caiawas were gathered in great 
strength in the Canon del Resgate ; that they had defeated 
the American wagons, taking fifteen hundred mules and one 
scalp, and lost several men in the contest; that they were 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 101 

much excited against the Americans, and had determined 
that none of us should trap in their country, and that they 
had sent word to Manuel, the Cumanche, that if he entered 
their country guiding us they would sacrifice both us and 
him. They likewise told us that there were no buffalo in the 
prairie ; and, though all the rest was a lie, this was indeed 
the truth. Manuel, the Cumanche, then declared that he 
would not enter the Stake Prairie, if one American remained 
in the company ; and all the Spaniards seconded him. Find- 
ing thus that they would leave us to the mercy of the Cum- 
anches, or perhaps give us into their hands, it was deter- 
mined to leave them on the next morning ; and thus went my 
last good opinion of New Mexican character. I had tried 
these men for the last ; had put confidence in them, and knew 
that if they were not worthy of it there were none in the 
country that were; and I found this last, best specimen of 
character as treacherous, as cowardly, as any other portion 
of the province. A man does not like to be made a fool of, 
and I felt ashamed of myself for ever thinking again (after 
repeated proofs to the contrary) that any New Mexican 
-could be a man. I think I never felt so badly as I did the 
next morning when I stood a four hours' guard in company 
with four Mexicans, and in a camp of them where I knew 
that not one would fight for me. 

The next morning I went to the camp of Harris, and 

joined his party. R and Pierre accompanied me, and 

Campbell returned to Taos. That day we lay by, and the 
next we entered the Stake Prairie. I think it was the 21st 
of September that we left the Pecos, leaving the party of 
Campbell waiting for oxen on which to subsist. The Bosque 
Redondo is about 120 miles from San Miguel, or perhaps 
it may be nearer 150. As I kept no journal, and am writing 
merely from memory, I can not certainly say ; but I am not 
far from the true distance. 

We entered the Llano Estacado by the road of the Cum- 
anches, and the Cumanche traders. We had been given to 
understand that in the course of fourteen days we should 
arrive at a descent, or falling off of the prairie to the east, 
and that there (rising out of this ceja, or eyebrow, as they 

«• • • • . • • 

• ••• • V :.v:. . 

• • Z • •! •*! ••••••• • • •'• 

• • • • ••• • * • •.• 

102 Arkansas Historical Association 

call it) , we should find the rivers Azul, which we took to be 
Red river, San Saba, Javalines, Las Cruces, and one other, 
whose name I have forgotten. We had with us one man who 
had trapped on some of these rivers, and who said that 
there was beaver on them. We never were on the Rio Azul, 
to my knowledge, but I am inclined to think that it is the 
main branch of the Colorado; the San Saba is a southern 
branch of it, the Mochico is another, north of the San Saba, 
and Javalines and Las Cruces are branches of the San Saba. 
They all head near the same degree of longitude. 

September 21. We left the Pecos, taking a course to 
the northward, in search of the road which was to lead us to 
the Canon del Resgate. Our route lay, for about ten miles, 
across an uneven, dry, barren plain towards the edge of the 
Stake Prairie, which seemed like a low ridge before us. 
Reaching this about noon, we discovered that two of our 
Mexicans were missing, intending, as we supposed, to join 
the party of Campbell, through fear of entering the desert. 
Two or three of the party . went back accordingly, and 
brought them up; We then proceeded three or four miles, 
passing, on our way, a good sweet spring of water, where 
we first came into the road ; and following the branch which 
ran down by this spring, we encamped in a grassy meadow 
to the east of the stream. This day Bill Williams killed an 
antelope, which was divided among the whole party of forty- 
five men. Here we saw plenty of sign of wild horses. 

Sept. 22. Left camp early, and followed the road, which 
now took a southeasterly direction. The day was exceed- 
ingly hot, and we were frequently tantalized by seeing at a 
distance ponds which appeared to be full of clear, rippling 
water. The deception would continue until we were within 
a dozen rods of the place, and it would then be found to con- 
sist of merely a hollow, encrusted over with salt. About 
noon, thirst becoming excessive, two or three of us rode 
ahead. The prairie was still uneven and rugged. We passed 
through a body of sandhills, and then, descending from 
them, came upon a hollow where the earth appeared damp, 
and there were two or three old holes which had been dug 
either by the traders or by the Cumanches. We here stopped 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 103 

and dug for water , obtaining enough to satiate our thirst. 
It was warm, but fresh. The eagerness with which our 
men drank, as they came up one by one, and threw them- 
selves upon the ground, was amusing. Some of the party 
were for encamping here, but we overruled them, and went 
on. After traveling four or five miles, we came upon a large 
lake, and, turning to the right of it, we found a spring by 
which we encamped. No antelope was killed today. Some 
of the party tried to kill cranes, and Bill Williams succeeded 
towards night in bringing one to camp. This day we saw 
two skulls bleaching in the sun. Traveled this day about 
eighteen miles. 

Sept. 23. Started early again, and hunted the road an 
hour or two ; in the meantime crossed a piece of marshy 
ground. Some of us here went ahead to hunt ; killed nothing. 
Towards night we thought we saw buffalo at a distance upon 
a ridge ; we went to it accordingly, but found it to be only 
weeds looming up in the distance; turned down to a piece 
of low ground, where there was water in holes, and en- 
camped; found here the remains of a defeated party of 
Spaniards — old blankets, saddles, etc. Here, finding our- 
selves in danger of starving, Harris killed an old mare, of 
which our mess refused to be partakers. We had deter- 
mined to starve two days longer before eating any of it. 
This day we traveled on the road about twelve miles. This 
road was now broad and plain, consisting of fourteen or 
fifteen horse trails side by side ; its course still southeast. 

Sept. 24. Early this morning Bill Williams killed an an- 
telope, which was divided among the whole party. After eat- 
ing, we started again, still keeping the road, still very hot, 
and no water on the road. Stopped at noon on a hill, and 
lay in the sun ; saw horse tracks here. About the middle of 
the afternoon we reached a low place fed by a spring which 
came out under limestone rocks ; this was very good water. 
Here were plenty of Cumanche lodge poles, sites of lodges, 
half burnt sticks, etc., and piles of buffalo bones. Wherever 
the Cumanches kill buffalo they make piles of the bones, for 
the purpose of appeasing the offended animals, and have 
ceremonies performed over them by their medicine men; 

104 Arkansas Historical Association 

and no matter how poor a fire they have, or how wet and cold 
it may be, they will not bum a bone, alleging that it would 
make them unlucky in hunting. A son of Harris killed an 
antelope here, and our mess still ate no horse meat. We 
traveled this day about twelve miles, and still toward the 
southeast, following the road. 

Sept. 25. Six of us this morning kept to the right of the 
party for the purpose of hunting. About noon we reached 
a hole of water, at which wie found the track of a buffalo 
bull. We separated accordingly, three to the sandhills on 
the left and the others of us to those which lay to the right, 
along on the edge of a large dry salt lake. The idea of get- 
ting buffalo inspired us, 'and we pushed on cheerily with 
our jaded animals, now weary with running antelope. After 
traveling among the hills to the distance of a mile and a half 
from the place where we separated, we saw five bulls below 
us in a wide hollow, lying down. One of us went back then 
to the party, to bring more men and better horses, with 
which to run the buffalo, and in the meantime my compan- 
ion and myself dismounted and lay awaiting his return. In 
the course of an hour we were joined by some thirteen, in- 
cluding the three from whom we had separated. We ap- 
proached warily to within a hundred yards of the animals, 
and then rushed upon them; and had I been mounted on 
anything but a slow mule, the chase would have been more 
exciting. As it was, I was soon distanced, for though a buf- 
falo appears, both standing and running, to be the most un- 
wieldly thing in the world, I can assure my readers that they 
get along with no inconsiderable degree of velocity; and, 
strange as it may seem, no matter how old and lean a buffalo 
may be, no matter if he can not run ten steps after he is up, 
still you can never see more than one motion when he rises ; 
he is up and running in an instant. Shot after shot and 
shout after shout told the zeal of the hunters, and in a short 
time one buffffalo fell about three, miles from me. Thither I 
went, and while the hunters were busy cutting up the ani- 
mal, Lewis and myself went in pursuit of another, which 
was wounded. Our expedition was unsuccessful; we ac- 
cordingly followed the party, now in motion, and after trav- 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 105 

eling about eight miles through a dry plain, covered with 
scrub oak bushes, very small, we encamped at a spring near 
the road, and in the course of two hours the other hunters 
came in, having killed two more buffalo. Here was nothing 
to bum, not even the ordure of horses, which had hitherto 
never failed us ; we could only make a blaze of tall weeds, 
and throw in our meat. I can conceive of nothing so dis- 
gusting. Lean, tough and dry, blackened with the brief 
blaze, impregnated with the strong, filthy smoke of the 
weeds — and only half cooked — it required the utmost influ- 
ence of that stern dictator, hunger, to induce us to eat it. 
The reader is not to imagine that the meat of the buffalo is 
all good. Oh, no ! The meat of the cow is, of a certainty, 
superior to any meat on earth ; but even horse meat is better 
than the flesh of a lean old bull. To add to our comforts, the 
ground here was covered with sandburs, which easily 
pierced through our thin moccasins, and kept us continually 
employed in picking them out of our feet. Traveled today 
about eighteen miles. 

Sept. 26. This day I mounted my horse, determining not 
to be left behind again in a chase. Very windy. I have for- 
gotten this day's journey entirely. We traveled, however, 
nearly all day, and must have made fifteen miles in a south- 
east direction. 

Sept. 27. This day the road turned first north and then 
nearly northwest, leading through a deep, soft sand. About 
the middle of the afternoon we came in sight of trees. These 
were the first we had seen since leaving the Pecos, and they 
were merrily hailed by all the party, as though they had 
been old friends. There is nothing adds so much to the lone- 
liness of the prairie as the want of timber. Bill Williams, 
a Frenchman by the name of Gerand, and myself, were now 
ahead, pushing on to reach water and timber, for we were 
both tired and hungry. It was likewise very cold and windy, 
and the sand was continually blowing in our eyes. We had 
entirely lost the road, and when we at length ascended the 
highest sandhill near us and saw an even plain extending in 
front of us, we found that we were not yet near the water. 
Antonio, our guide, indicated a place where he said h6 had 

106 Arkansas Historical Association 

once encamped, and where there was water, and while look- 
ing towards it, we saw buffalo in the distance. We accord- 
ingly pushed on, leaving Antonio to wait for the pack mules, 
hoping ourselves to kill a cow before night. Arriving within 
half a mile of them, we found that they were horses, and at 
the same time that we were close upon a camp of the Cum- 
anches, around which horses were feeding. We stood look- 
ing at the lodges until we were joined by half a dozen more 
of the party, who informed us that a young squaw was with 
the party. We all then returned to meet the pack mules and 
to take measures for any emergency. On arriving at the 
party, Bill Williams insisted on shooting the woman, who 
was riding towards the camp leading a horse packed with 
wood. Bill was actually senseless with fear, or he would not 
have done it. He drew his pistol, and was only deterred 
from shooting her by a threat of instant death if he did so. 
I do not think that we would have shot him for her, but he 
supposed we would do it, and it answered our purpose. The 
girl went on and we held a consultation on the course to be 
pursued. Bill declared that he would sooner sleep three 
nights without water than go to the village, and the silence 
of several others gave assent to what he said. But the rest 
of us overruled him, and we determined on proceeding and 
encamping at the water. Our Spaniards commenced firing 
off and reloading their guns ; and in the meantime the Cum- 
anches began to come out, mounted, towards us. Three of 
them, including an old chief, first met us. We directed our 
interpreter to ask them if they were friends. They an- 
swered that they were — that they had shaken hands with 
the Americans, and were friends. Bill was again protesting 
that he would kill the chief, but was again hindered by the 
same significant threat as before. As they now began to 
come in greater force from the village, we directed the chief 
to order them to keep to their distance, and we moved for- 
ward, agreeably to the request of the chief, who wished us 
to encamp near the village. Notwithstanding our former 
order, the Indians pressed upon us, all armed with spears 
and bows ; and, seeing that Antonio hesitated, through fear, 
to interpret for us, I directed the chief in Spanish (at which 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 107 

I was only linguist) to send back his men, or we would ftre 
upon them. This threat produced the desired effect, and we 
were molested no more until we reached the place .for en- 
camping, upon the edge of a marshy spot of ground, with 
here and there a hole of water. Just above us was the vil- 
lage, consisting of about twenty lodges, together with some 
additional minor edifices. A good Caiawa, or Cumanche 
lodge, is about fifteen feet high, made with six or eight poles, 
and in the form of a cone, covered with dressed buffalo 
hides, which, when new, are perfectly white, but gro^y brown 
and smoky with age. Inasmuch as these Cumanches are 
wandering Indians, and as it is seldom that they find them- 
selves in a place where they can obtain lodge poles, they are 
obliged to carry them wherever they go. Thus you may 
know their trail by the marks which the poles make as they 
are dragged along, suspended on each side of their horses. 
They likewise carry an abundance of stakes for securing 
their horses. 

The Cumanches are a nation entirely distinct from th^ 
Pawnees, with whom they are often confounded, because a 
part of the western desert is common ranging ground for 
both nations. Generally speaking, westwardly from the de- 
gree of longitude distant 400 miles from the border of Ark- 
ansas territory, and extending to the Rocky mountains, and 
bounded on the north by the upper branches of the Arkan- 
sas, and on the south by the Rio del Norte is the country of 
the Cumanches. Still, as I have mentioned before, the Paw- 
nees do rob and murder along the mountains to a consider- 
able distance south, and, as well as the Caiawas and Arape- 
hoes, are to be found on the main Canadian and to the south 
of it. 

The Cumanches are a part of the Snake or Shoshone 
nation, and speak nearly the same language. They have no 
settled place of abode, and no stationary villages. They fol- 
low the buffalo, and are most commonly to be found, in the 
winter, along the Pecos and Del Norte ; and in the summer, 
on the Canadian and Semaron; but even to this there are 
exceptions. This last winter they were upon the Canadian, 
as they were likewise in July, 1832. In the winter of 1831-2, 

108 Arkansas Historical Association 

they were not on that river at all, but were gathered in num- 
bers along the Del Norte below the pass. As to their num- 
ber of warriors, I doubt if any one knows much about it. 
The country through which they range i6 so large, and they 
are so liable to be confounded with other tribes, that we are 
not likely to have any certain idea of their numbers. I have 
heard the whole nation estimated at 10,000 warriors, but I 
am mistaken if they have more than five thousand. As we 
knew that the part of the Cumanches living to the south 
along the Presidio del Norte, and bordering on the Indians 
of Texas, were, for all our purposes, entirely distinct f rohi 
the northern Cumanches, we took great pains to find out to 
which our present acquaintances belonged. We knew that 
those in the south were more friendly to the Americans, and 
less treacherous than those in the north, who, although 
speaking a different language from the Caiawas, are still 
always allied with them, and are, like them, the deadly ene- 
mies of the Americans. They uniformly asserted that they 
were from the Del Norte, and were friendly. In corrobora- 
tion of this, they had a few red and green American blank- 
ets, which we thought they must have obtained from San 
Antonio in Texas. They might, however, have obtained 
them of the Snakes, as they do their guns ; while the Snakes 
are supplied by the trappers and traders. Seeing but few 
warriors about, we inquired where they all were ? They an- 
swered, "To the north, hunting," and this induced us to be- 
lieve only that they were with the Caiawas on the track of 
the returning wagons. The old chief told us, too, that when 
he was in Santa Fe, just before, he went thither for the pur- 
pose of making peace with the Americans there as he had 
done in San Antonio. If he was in Santa Fe he and his 
party were the Indians who killed the nephew of Viscara. 
On the whole, we concluded to believe them to be hostile and 
northern Cumanches, whom fear, and not their own good 
will, forced to keep peace with us. Soon after our arrival, 
the few young men who were in the village mounted and 
went off in different directions, as the chief said, for the 
purpose of hunting — but, as we believed, to give intelligence 
to the other villages and to the scattered warriors — and none 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 109 

were left in the village, except the old men, women and chil- 
dren. The people of this village appeared to be extremely 
poor. They had few blankets, no buffalo robes — no meat — 
and were dressed shabbily, and without any of that gaudi- 
ness which some Indians exhibit. A dirty and ragged dress 
of leather and part of a ragged blanket was the common 
apparel. They were, in fact, a very common looking Indian, 
much inferior in person to the Osages, the Shawnees, the 
Delawares, or any of the Mexican tribes, except the Apaches. 
I saw few of them possessing that acute and at the same 
time dignified look common to the aboriginal. They are of 
middle height, and, like all Indians, have good limbs, and 
long black hair, which they leave uncut. Some of them had 
their hair joined behind to buffalo or horse hair, and a rope 
of the latter depending from it, which nearly reached the 
ground. The old women, particularly, were hideously ugly. 
I imagine that there is no being on earth who would be as 
valuable to a painter desirous of sketching his satanic maj- 
esty as an old Cumanche woman. They reminded me 
strongly of Arab women, whom I have seen painted out in 
divers veritable books of travels. The same high cheek 
bones, long black hair, brown, smoked, parchment-like skin, 
bleared eyes and fiendish look, belong to the women of both 
nations. While looking at them I could hardly help shud- 
dering as the thought would strike me that possibly they 
might ere long have an opportunity of exercising the infer- 
nal ingenuity of their nature on me. Several of us went to 
their village, distant from us perhaps three hundred yards, 
and bought wood and a little dried buffalo meat of them, 
with tobacco and vermillion. The young man, in particular, 
who was the only intelligent looking Indian among them, 
took especial pains to obtain me some meat, and likewise 
offered me a good horse for red cloth enough to make him a 
pair of leggins, I had no such article, however. Horses 
are their only riches. There were about a thousand of them 
round this village and a few mules. I particularly observed 
one mule in the mark of Agustin Duran, custom house officer 
at Santa Fe. In the evening the same young fellow came 
down and invited Harris and his clerk. Bill Williams and 

110 Arkansas Historical Association 

myself to go up and eat with him. Taking our guns, we 
went accordingly. We found the old chief and his family 
outside of the lodge, seated round a fire, over which a small 
brass kettle was hanging. On our arrival we were mo- 
tioned to our seats with true Indian gravity and something 
of respect. The contents of the brass kettle were then emp- 
tied into a wooden bowl, and placed before us. It was the 
boiled flesh of a fat buffalo cow, perfectly fresh, having been 
killed that day, and a most delicious meal it was to us. Ket- 
tle after kettle was filled and emptied between us and the 
family of the chief ; for it takes but five minutes to boil this 
meat. A man never knows how much meat he can eat until 
he has tried the prairie, but I assure the reader that four 
pounds at a meal is no great allowance, especially to a hun- 
gry man. On ending the supper, we paid them with tobacco 
and a knife or two, and returned to our camp — not, however, 
without that indispensable ceremony, a general smoke, in 
which my pipe went out once or twice, round the whole 
party, women and all. The next morning the chief wished 
us to lay by a day or two, and hunt buffalo. He assured us 
that there was an abundance of buffalo cows on a lake about 
nine miles to the northeast, and that his young men should 
accompany our hunters there. We declined remaining, 
chiefly through apprehension of treachery. Finding that we 
would not remain, he promised us that at the next village 
his son and daughter-in-law should join us and conduct us to 
the beaver. He said that we should find beaver in nine days. 
Sept. 28. Gathered up our horses and left the camp of 
the Cumanches, directing our course nearly due east, and fol- 
lowing the trail by which the chief and his party had come 
a day or two before. Our route at first lay through sand- 
hills, just before emerging from which we found two or 
three hackberry trees, and several of us delayed, picking 
the berries. From the sandhills we now came again upon 
the prairie, and found much difficulty in tracking the marks 
of the lodge poles along its hard surface — and in addition it 
began to rain. Just at night, followed the path into a break 
in the prairie which opened into a long hollow, in which we 
encamped by the side of a pond, which is the head of one of 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 111 

the chief branches of the Colorado or the Brazos de Dios 

Lest I may be misunderstood, I will explain why I use 
both these names in speaking of this river. The reader, by 
consulting the map, will find two rivers running through 
Texas, of which the longer one is called (in most maps, if 
not in all) the Colorado. But I have been informed that not 
long since the names were changed, and that the long river 
is now called the Brazos. The reason given me for the 
change is this: Some years ago there was a drought in 
Texas; the short river (Brazos) became dry, and the only 
water came down in the long river (or the Colorado) . The 
pious Spaniards accordingly changed names, and called the 
long river the Brazos de Dios (or the Arms of God), on ac- 
count of the especial care which it took of them, and of the 
benefits which they received from it. We were now in the 
Canon del Resgate, and supposed ourselves to be on the 
heads of Red river, but we began to question the probability 
of finding the immense quantities of beaver which we had 
anticipated. Still, however, we had abundance of hope, 
though it was at times mingled with a little distrust. Our 
beef, too, was nearly gone, but Bill Williams, fortunately, 
killed an antelope, which was divided as usual. Ducks were 
abundant in this pond, and one or two were killed. Yester- 
day we traveled about twenty miles northeast and today 
twenty more, a little south of east, making in both days 
about forty miles. 

Sept. 29. This day we followed the valley down for some 
distance. There was the bed of a stream, but water was not 
running. Here and there it stood in ponds and holes. The 
day was cold and windy, with a little rain. We then went 
out of the valley to the left, and traveled in the prairie, for 
the canon was merely a break in the plain of the width of 
two or three hundred yards, and as soon as you ascended the 
low sides of it you were again on the illimitable plain ; and, 
like a well in the desert, the valley can not be seen until you 
are close upon it. About the middle of the afternoon we 
saw in the valley another encampment, and descended to it, 
for the purpose of procuring wood and water. On our ap- 

112 Arkansas HistoHcal Association 


proach, the women mounted their horses and took to the 
hills. A boy, whom they had taken prisoner from the Mexi- 
cans, came out and talked with us, and we sent him to assure 
the fugitives of our friendship. They soon returned, and as 
it was raining hard, we commenced trading for wood, and 
with difficulty bought enough to make fires. Bill Williams 
then went over and obtained part of a lodge cover, and two 
of the ugliest old women I ever saw brought the lodge poles 
and put it up for him. One of our party was lame with the 
rheumatism, and we managed to keep him out of the rain in 
the lodge. We bdught some more dried meat, some dried 
grapes and acorns, paying tobacco, as usual. The rain 
poured upon us all night, and almost every gun in the camp 
was wet. We traveled this day about fifteen miles in a 
southeast direction. 

Sept. 30. Left the valley and traveled in the prairie to 
the right of it. Late in the afternoon we turned down to tim- 
ber, and found no water in the valley. Some of the party 
went to the distance of two miles above and below. Several 
of the party, among whom was myself, brought in terrapins 
hanging to their saddles. Our meat was gone, and these ani- 
mals cost no ammunition. Some, likewise, had killed prairie 
dogs. The little plot of hackberry and bitter cottonwood, 
where we encamped, appeared to have been a great haunt 
of the buzzards and crows, and just after sunset the hawks 
began to gather in and we commenced shooting them, and 
thus, by means of hard labor, managed to satiate our hun- 
ger. Hawks and prairie dogs do very well, but there is too 
little meat upon a terrapin. Traveled eighteen miles today. 

October 1. This day we again followed the road, which 
now kept down the valley, and after going about three miles 
we found rainwater standing in small holes. Soon after we 
came to a miry branch, and gave our animals drink. Early 
in the day Bill killed an antelope, and about noon, as we 
ascended a hill upon the edge of a valley (to the left of it) 
we saw two or three Indians on the other side of the prai- 
rie. Some of our party were behind. Bill gave the sign of 
Indians, by riding four or five times round in a circle of 
about ten feet in diameter, and when they rejoined us we 

Na7*rative of a Journey in the Prairie 113 

all turned down to the valley again — still hunting terra- 
pins — and at night we encamped on the creek at a large hole 
of water. Traveled this day about fifteen miles. 

Oct. 2. About noon of today reached the site of an old 
encampment of the Indians ; found some remnants of wood 
and a few acorns. We went, perhaps, a hundred yards be- 
yond and encamped at a clear pond of water. Towards 
night a Cumanche came to us, armed with bow, arrows, 
spear and shield, the latter ornamented with feathers and 
red cloth. For his viaticum he bore the mane-piece of a 
horse. He remained with us all night, and informed us that 
there was beaver below on the river; he said the water 
would run soon. Another antelope was killed this day. 
Traveled this day about twelve miles. 

Oct. 3. Traveled for a time in the valley, and were re-, 
joiced at finding the water begin to run; it was a shallow, 
clear stream of sweet water, about twenty yards wide, and we 
began to have hopes of beaver. About noon we ascended the 
hills to the right (following the road), and traveled in the 
prairie. We here found a few bushes of the mesquite, the 
first we had seen. In the afternoon we saw below, in the 
valley, horses feeding, and we descended the hills with much 
difficulty into the canon, and found another village. The 
valley was here wider, and was full of small hills inter- 
spersed with mesquite bushes, that is, a kind of prickly 
green locust bush, which bears long narrow beans in 
bunches, of a very pleasant and sweet taste. In this village 
were about fifty lodges, much handsomer, too, than those 
in the other villages ; and, as in the two former, there were 
multitudes of horses. I think that around the three camps 
there could not have been less than five thousand horses, 
and some of them most beautiful animals. Here, too, there 
was a medicine lodge of black skins, and closely shut up. 
We bought some meat and mesquite meal, made by grinding 
the beans between two stones. Here, also, there were no 
warriors. Several of the women had their legs cut and man- 
gled by knives, as in the first village, where they had dis- 
turbed us all night by their lamentations. I know not how 
they had lost the men for whom they were mourning, but at 

114 Arkansas Historical Association 

the time I supposed that it had been done in the attack on 
the wagons. This day we traveled about sixteen miles, per- 
haps more. 

Oct. 4. About two miles below the village we came to a 
large lake, and here Antonio wished us to leave this river 
and go to the south, until we struck the Mochico, crossing 
which, he assured us that in four or five days we would come 
upon the San Saba. Harris, however, who seemed destined 
always to go wrong, determined on following down the river 
on which we then were, and which he very wisely took to be 
the south fork of the Canadian. We traveled this day about 
fifteen miles, and encamped on the creek. The water was 
still fresh and running. Course still southeast. 

Oct. 5. This day we killed another antelope, and en- 
camped early upon the creek. While I was on the first guard, 
the hunters brought in a Cumanche horse which they had 
found, blind of one eye. At their approach almost every 
animal in company broke their ropes or drew their stakes. 
Had a yell been raised then we should not have saved one 
animal. Traveled this day about ten miles. 

Oct. 6. This day we passed an old camp of the Cum- 
anches, and followed their trail down the bed of the river, 
which here was dry. Encamped at night in a thicket of mes- 
quite bushes near a large pond of water and where, for the 
first time, the river water was salt. It likewise began to wind 
around, keeping, however, its general course to the south- 
east. Traveled this day about fifteen miles. 

Oct. 7. Started late, crossed the fork we had been so long 
traveling on, went over to the other, and encamped. These 
two forks are of the same size. In going from one to the 
other, we passed through a large level prairie, covered with 
tall mesquite bushes ; and finding some very large, deep pur- 
ple prickly pears, Lewis and myself ate of them, and the 
consequence was a terrible ague all night. The river bottom 
where we encamped was wide and grassy, and shaded with 
large cottonwood. Traveled this day near twenty miles, in a 
due southeast course. At night killed the Cumanche horse 
which had been brought in. Of this I partook, but just be- 


Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 115 

fore dark two or three deer were killed close to camp. En- 
camped at the junction of the two forks. 

Oct. 8. — Lay by this day. 

Oct. 9. — Left early in the morning, crossed the river, 
and struck into the hills. The valley and the prairie had 
now disappeared, and we were in a country of broken, red, 
barren hills and deep gullies, then dry, but which must, in 
the spring, carry the whole water of the prairie into the 
branches of the Brazos and Red river. Lewis, Irwin and 
myself lost the company. We were on the right of the river. 
After waiting for the party for some time, we turned down 
to the river, but found no trail. We then went into the hills 
again, and followed the river up, and met with Bill Williams 
and seven or eight others, all lost. We traveled up the river 
till night, and then encamped together. We had plenty of 
meat, however. The next morning we separated again from 
Bill, took to the hills on the right, and followed down the 
river, nearly to a high hill which we had seen the day be- 
fore. Finding still no trail, and imagining that the party 
had been farther from the river than we had, and had struck 
in again between us and the hill, we turned back and went 
up nearly to our old camp. Here we struck the trail and fol- 
lowed it till dark, and encamped within about four miles of 
the party, without water or food, having traveled that day 
nearly forty miles, through the worst country upon earth. 
We could hardly go five rods at a time without crossing a 
gully, and were often obliged to dismount, and sometimes 
we lost an hour in going up and down one of them, to find 
where to cross it. Just after dark we heard three guns fired 
in the direction of the river, and answered them by three 
more. This day we had seen a large signal smoke rise to 
the right behind a mountain, and another still farther below 
and answered it. 

Oct. 11. — ^Went down to the river and found the party, 
got breakfast, scolded a while with Harris and started. We 
still kept down the river — ^though not following all its wind- 
ings — and encamped on the southern bank of it. Traveled 
this day in a southern direction, about eighteen miles. 

116 Arkansas Historical Association 

Oct. 12. — This day we crossed the river several times in 
the course of the forenoon; dug for water, which was, as 
usual salt. About noon five of us left the party, turned into 
the hills on the northeast side of the river, and left this fork 
of the Brazos forever. Striking our course for a hill which 
we saw at a distance, we traveled about twelve miles after 
leaving the party, and encamped by a hollow of water and 
among some mesquite bushes. Traveled today, in the whole, 
about twenty-two miles. 

On reviewing our route thus far, it will appear that 
about 260 miles to the southeast of San Miguel, or 310 from 
Santa Fe, is the head of the branch of the Brazos upon 
which we had been traveling ; that, keeping down this river 
to the distance of seventy-eight miles, still southeast, and 
then striking a due south course from the pond below the 
last Cumanche village, we should have reached the small 
creek Mochico in three days — ^that is, in the distance of forty 
miles ; that, crossing this branch, which also runs a south- 
east course, we should have reached, in five days more (sev- 
enty miles) the Rio Azul, a river of clear running water, 
running also to the southeast and which is, without any 
doubt, the main branch of the Brazos; that keeping down 
this six or eight days, we should have reached the point 
where the San Saba joins it, turning up which river we 
should have passed the mouths of three branches running 
into it. Thus much we were informed by Manuel the Cum- 
anche, before we left him, and it was corroborated by An- 
tonio. One hundred and forty-six miles below the head (on 
the Del Resgate) another fork came in from the north and 
joined it; and 184 miles from the head of it, or 494 miles, 
nearly southeast of Santa Fe, we left the Del Resgate. It 
was here about fifty yards wide, containing water only here 
and there in holes. 

The country upon which we entered after leaving the 
river was hilly, red and barren, thinly covered with mes- 
quite bushes, and in the hollows with hackberry trees. At 
almost every step you could see marks of water, although 
at this time it was perfectly dry and hard. These general 
marks of inundation, the numerous gullies at every step, and 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 117 

the rough, washen appearance of the red hills, all prove that, 
in the spring the rush of water through this country must 
be tremendous, and travel, in any way, impossible. We sup- 
posed that we were about two days' journey from the Cross 
Timbers and on the waters of Red river. I had a horse and 
each of my companions a mule, and although we were in 
the midst of enemies we had little fear of not reaching the 
United States in safety. Besides Lewis and myself, our lit- 
tle party consisted of Irwin, Ish and Gillet. Irwin was an 
Englishman, who had just come by land from California — 
a brave, good-humored man, and not much afraid of any- 
thing save wild animals. Ish and Gillet were young men 
from Missouri, who had been hired by Harris in Santa Fe. 

The latter was a mere boy — ^the former was much of a 
man, brave as a lion, active and industrious in the woods. 
Each man had a gun, and, with the exception of Irwin, a 
pistol or two. He, however, made up for this deficiency by 
bearing a double-barreled English fowling piece. We had, 
likewise, a plenty of ammunition and Spanish blankets. 

I can not wonder that many men have chosen to pass 
their life in the woods, and I see nothing overdrawn or ex- 
aggerated in the character of Hawk-eye and Bushfield. 
There is so much independence and self -independence in the 
lonely hunter's life — so much freedom from law and re- 
straint, from form and ceremony, that one who commences 
the life is almost certain to continue in it. With but few 
wants, and those easily supplied, a man feels none of the en- 
thralments which surround him when connected with so- 
ciety. His gun and his own industry supply him with fire, 
food and clothing. He eats his simple meal, and has no one 
to thank for it except his Maker. He travels where he 
pleases, and sleeps whenever he feels inclined. If there is 
danger about, it comes from enemies, and not from the false 
friends, and when he enters a settlement, his former life 
renders it doubly tedious to him ; he has forgotten the forms 
and ceremonies of the world ; he has neglected his person, 
until neatness and scrupulous attention to the minutiae of 
appearance are wearisome to him; and he has contracted 
habits unfit for polished and well-bred society. Now, he can 

118 Arkansas Historical Association 

not sit cross-legged upon a blanket ; instead of his common 
and luxurious lounging position, he must be confined rigidly 
to a chair. His pipe must be laid aside and his simple dress 
is exchanged for the cumbersome and confined trappings of 
the gentleman. In short, he is lost, and he betakes himself 
to the woods again for pure ennui; and the first night on 
which he builds his fire, puts up his meat to roast and lies 
down upon the ground, with the open sky above him, and the 
cool, clear, healthy wind fanning his cheek, seems to him like 
the beginning of a better and freer life. 

Oct. 13. — ^We started this morning early, and at noon 
we reached another and still larger branch of the Brazos, 
running the same course (to the southeast) . We crossed it, 
and rested on the north bank, near a large hole of water in 
the bed of the river, but which was so immensely salt that 
our animals would not drink it. I tasted some of it from the 
tip of my finger, and it is no exaggeration when I say that it 
was as salt as the water of the ocean. It was, in fact, per- 
fect brine, of a deep yellow color, so deeply was it impreg- 
nated with salt. After stopping two hours, we went down 
the river a short distance among the mesquite bushes, and 
Lewis shot a young doe and Ish an old buck. We cut up and 
packed the meat, crossed the river, and kept on towards the 
southeast, which course we had pursued all day. Just at 
night we came upon the river again, crossed it, and en- 
camped on the other side of it, in a small thicket of bushes. 
This afternoon we, had seen an abundance of horse tracks, 
and marks of lodge poles, and we concluded that there must 
be a village of Cumanches not far above where we encamped. 
Here we dug several holes in the bed of the river, which was 
a hundred yards wide, and contained water in holes. It was 
all alike salt, and we found it impossible to drink it. We 
foolishly cooked part of our deer and ate it ; and more fool- 
ishly still, some of us added salt, of which I had a little in 
my pocket. At dusk we put out our fire and would have 
slept well had we not dreamed of drinking huge draughts of 
water. Once in the night I conceived myself lying flat by 
a river, with the water touching my lips, but entirely unable 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 119 

to get a drop out of it into my mouth. Traveled east about 
eighteen miles. 

Oct. 14. — Left the river early and bore to the northeast. 
About 10 in the forenoon we came in sight of the river again 
to the right of it ; descended into a deep, narrow valley run- 
ning into the river at the right angles, and containing the . 
bed of a little stream, which we followed up for two miles 
partly searching for water, and partly because we were un- 
able to cross it. Found no water; crossed it high up, and 
took our course again. About 2 in the afternoon we came 
upon the river again, still to the right, and turning a course 
parallel with us, bore down towards it, and came upon a 
deep, rocky hollow, running into it, and containing water in 
holes. Tormented with intense thirst, and with the heat of 
the day, we were rejoiced at finding water, and not more for 
ourselves than for our animals, who were trembling under 
us with weakness, and wearing that dim, glassy look in their 
eyes which they always have when suffering from thirst. 
Drove them down the canon, at the risk of breaking their 
necks, and followed them. We found the water very salt, 
but we could drink it. It seemed as if our animals would 
never become satiated with the water; they returned to it 
again and again, and stood pawing in it whenever they were 
allowed to get to it, until after dark. The quantities which 
we ourselves drank of it were immense. The large wooden 
Cumanche bowl, which Irwin bore, and which held about a 
pint and a half, was but a single draught for either of us 
and for half an hour it was hardly out of the hands of one 
of us before it was in those of another ; and so salt was the 
water that it had hardly passed down our throats before we 
were as thirsty as ever. Before we slept that night I hesi- 
tate not to say that we each drank three gallons of this 
water. After smoking, eating and drinking, we slept, only 
disturbed by the noise of a bear, which came tumbling down 
the side of a hollow, close to us. We traveled this day about 
twelve miles to the northeast. 

Oct. 15. — This morning we turned to the east, and left 
this river, which we there named the Salt Fork of the 
Brazos, or, in good Spanish, the "Brazo Salado." Part of 

120 Arkansas Historical Association 

the morning we traveled in a high prairie or table land, and 
we then eame to a place where this table sunk down ab- 
ruptly into a lower country. Here we descended into a long, 
narrow valley between the abrupt sides of the upper table 
land, which seemed to look back upon them, to be mountains 
rising out of the plain. The country ahead, too, was very 
hilly and broken. About 10 we arrived at a large, clear, 
limestone spring of water, where we stopped and drank 
plentifully; from this spring a small stream of water ran 
down the valley, in a course nearly northeast. We followed 
the valley down, and crossed this hollow about forty times. 
The valley was full of horse tracks and signs of Indians, 
and still, the temptation of a large catfish or two which we 
saw in the spring under the shelving rocks, was enough to 
induce us to fire a shot or two at them, which, however, was 
unsuccessful. About two miles below the spring, we en- 
camped on the edge of the branch, in green, heavy grass, and 
close to an abundance of hackberry trees, with good, fresh 
water. The valley was here running a course nearly north- 
east — and after dinner we continued that course, until 
weary of crossing the creek ; we bent more to the east and 
left it to our left ; crossed the point of a hill, and left a high 
and conspicuous conical hill to the right, about six miles be- 
yond which we emerged from the broken hills into the mes- 
quite, covering the bottom on the edge of another river, 
about as wide as the Salt Fork, and of the same character. 
Just on the descent to the river was an old enclosure, which 
had been built by the Cumanches of brush, and a circle sur- 
rounded with converging poles, which reminded me of the 
threshing floors of the New Mexicans. Passing through the 
mesquite, we reached the river, and found water, but Salter, 
if possible, than the former. While we were sitting on our 
animals, watching them put their mouths to the water and 
refuse it, Lewis raised a laugh by observing that if Tom 
Banks reached that river he would have salt tea enough — 
alluding to his verbiage about Saltillo. This branch ran the 
same course as the former, and we supposed joined it not 
far below. Crossed it and went up to the high mesquite 
prairie on the other side of it and encamped without water. 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 121 

We now supposed ourselves to be on the north side of Red 
river, but we were immensely out of the matter. Traveled 
this day eighteen miles ; gained perhaps twelve east. 

Oct. 16. — Our route this day lay in the forenoon through 
a level prairie covered with mesquite bushes. We now began 
to hope that we should soon arrive at the open prairie. But 
at noon we came upon a break of the prairie into low, uneven 
ground, and saw away in front of us what appeared to be a 
large river. Here Lewis went out, killed a deer and brought 
it in whole. After dinner, I delayed in camp until the party 
were two miles ahead. About three miles from camp we 
passed a small hill with a pile of stones on the summit — 
probably the fruits of the superstition of the Cumanches. 
At night we encamped on a small branch of salt water, 
which runs into the river. Here we saw a bear, but could 
not get a shot at him. Today traveled about fifteen miles 

Oct. 17. — Crossed the river, which is about twenty 
yards, or perhaps thirty, wide — sandy, and with little water, 
like all the rest ; and like them, too, running to the southeast. 
After crossing the river, we continued on about three miles, 
and crossed a branch of the same stream, running with 
clear but very salt water through a grassy valley. After 
crossing, we kept up the branch for some distance, and as- 
cended into the prairie, which was still clothed with mes- 
quite bushes. Here we tried in vain to kill a deer, and 
stopped at noon on a deep hollow with brackish water. In 
the afternoon we kept on through the prairie and towards 
night came upon a hole of muddy water, beat up, as well as. 
surrounded by innumerable horse tracks. Here we con- 
cluded to pass the night ; and immediately on stopping, Ish 
pointed out to us four or five wild horses very quietly feed- 
ing not far from the water. Lewis and he accordingly went 
out with the intention of killing one ; and after several shots 
succeeded, and returned to camp bearing a portion of the 
animal. Fire had been made in the meantime, and every 
man was soon busily employed in roasting horse meat. Be- 
fore we had time to eat, however, a sudden trampling was 
heard approaching, and we stood to our arms, when sud- 

122 Arkansas Historical Association 

denly about a hundred horses came careering down towards 
the water. They had approached within thirty yards of us 
before they discovered us, when, with a general snort, they 
galloped swiftly by us. As they passed, Ish discharged his 
big guji, which added wings to their terror, and they were 
soon out of sight and hearing, and we returned to our cook- 
ing. Upon eating our meat, we found it far from unpleas- 
ant. It was tender, sweet and very fat; and on the whole 
is far preferable to the meat of a lean deer. The choice 
piece in a horse is under the mane ; and this we left roasting 
under the coals, wrapped in the skin, until morning. After 
this, two or three of us went out on the track of the horses, 
and about two hundred yards from camp we found a beau- 
tiful roan filly dead — ^the effects of Ish's big gun. Of this 
animal we took a small portion and returned to camp, and, 
for the sake of satisfying my curiosity, I took with me the 
tongue. This part of the beast I found not very palatable. 

It seems astonishing that from the few horses intro- 
duced so short a time since into America by the Spaniards, 
there should now be such immense herds in the prairie, and 
in the possession of the Aboriginals. Hardly a day passed 
without our seeing a herd of them, either quietly feeding or 
careering off wildly in the distance. They are the most 
beautiful sight to be met with in the prairie. Of all colors, 
but most commonly of a bay, and with their manes floating 
in the wind, they form a most beautiful contrast to the 
heavy, unwieldly herds of buffalo, which seem, even at their 
best speed, to be moved by some kind of clumsy machinery. 
Some old patriarch always heads the gang and takes the 
command over them. We were witnesses oh one particular 
occasion to an example of communication between these, ani- 
mals which proves them possessed of something nearly al- 
lied to the power of speech. We had seen a herd feeding at a 
distance, and we watched them to see what effect would be 
produced upon them, when they should receive our smell in 
the air, or, as hunters say, the wind of us, which was blow- 
ing across our path in their direction. On feeling it, they 
started in a slow trot, headed, as usual, by a noble-looking 
old patriarch. Three only of the whole herd were bold 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 123 

enough to separate and take another direction. On diseov- 
ering the defection of his troops, the old chief turned back, 
and the whole herd halted. Trotting briskly to the three 
deserters, he communicated with them for a moment or two, 
and, probably finding remonstrances unavailing, started 
back and put his followers in motion, quickly accelerating 
their gait to a gallop. You may see the leader sometimes 
before, and sometimes behind his troops, biting them and 
urging them on by every means in his power. As to the 
tale of their keeping one of the number as sentinels, I be- 
lieve nothing of it. Their acute smell gives them sufficient 
warning and does away the need of a sentry. We traveled 
today about fifteen miles in a course nearly east-northeast. 

Oct. 18. — ^Left camp in the morning, after a hearty meal 
of horse meat, and traveled through a high mesquite prai- 
rie. The bushes, however, began to grow thinner and 
smaller, and we now hoped to reach speedily to the high open 
prairie, an event which we anxiously looked for. About 
noon we fell off from the prairie into a bottom of good land 
covered with thick hackberry trees, and in a short distance 
came upon a creek about twenty yards wide, running clear 
water, but salt. This is a branch of the Red river. Here 
we nooned, and for the first time saw a flock of wild turkeys, 
out of which we killed one. Leaving our camping ground, 
we crossed the creek and kept down it some distance and 
then turned to the east. Towards night we struck another 
branch, and followed the bed of it to the mouth, where it 
joined the creek on which we nooned, and here we encamped. 
The water of the creek which ran rippling over the stones, 
reminding us of the clear streams of our own country and 
the mountains, was very salt, but there was a small tide of 
good water (that is, not too salt to drink) in the bed of the 
creek. Here we ate our turkey, with the addition of a little 
horse meat to relieve the dryness of it. This day we trav- 
eled perhaps fifteen miles east-northeast. 

Oct. 19. — This morning we finished our horse meat, and 
followed the course of the creek two or three miles and 
found sweet water under a bluff rock in the bed of the river. 
We had for several days been tormented by constant thirst. 

124 Arkansas Historical Association 

for salt water satisfies a man only while he is drinking it. 
We now drank enough to satiate us, and took a general 
smoke upon the occasion. We then struck into the prairie, 
and Lewis killed a fat buck. We then turned down to a 
branch of standing water and nooned ; and in cooking our 
dinner, we set the long grass of the bottom on fire and had 
a noble blaze and smoke. We ate our dinner and left it 
burning, not without apprehensions of its being observed by 
Indians. We still kept on our course through the mesquite 
prairie, and towards night descended into a hollow and 
hunted water, but were driven out by the gnats and mosqui- 
tos without finding any. On emerging again from the hol- 
low we came upon an old Cumanche village, which must have 
contained, when occupied, at least five hundred souls. After 
traveling through the prairie until nearly night, we found 
a hollow of good, and, for a rarity, perfectly fresh water. 
Here we encamped, and in the night we were awakened by 
the snorting of one of our mules. After gathering our arms 
and waiting some time for an attack we discovered that the 
cause of the alarm was simply a deer or two whistling at a 
distance. Traveled this day about eighteen miles east- 

Oct. 20. — ^Af ter traveling about five miles in a broken 
prairie country, we discovered two or three buffalo ahead 
of us, and Lewis and Ish went on and wounded two of them, 
one of which, an old cow, ran up into the prairie and fell. 
She was too poor for us to touch, and we left her lying there. 
We were now fairly in the broad open prairie, and among 
the buffalo ; and, to the wanderer in the prairie, nothing is so 
inspiring as the thought of the immense herds of these ani- 
mals which are found on its broad bosom. Their numbers 
are truly astonishing. You may see them for whole days 
on each side of you as far as your sight will extend, appar- 
ently so thick that one might walk for miles upon their 
backs, listlessly feeding along until they take the wind of 
you, and then moving off at a speed of which the unwieldly 
animals seem hardly capable. Wherever they have passed, 
the ground looks as if it had been burnt over. 

Nan'ative of a Journey in the Prairie 125 

Except in their faculty of smelling, the buffalo is the 
most stupid animal in the world ; and if you will creep to- 
wards them and obtain two or three shots at them, before 
you are seen, you may then rise and fire half a day at them ; 
they will only look stupidly at you out of their little eyes 
and now and then utter a grunt. But when they have once 
bmelled the blood of a companion, they are apt to abscond. 
When an old bull is shot in any vital part, and the hunter 
remains unseen, he will run a little way, and then stand and 
bleed to death ; but let him once see the hunter, and become 
enraged, and it seems impossible to kill him. I have seen 
them live for a length of time which seemed astonishing 
when ball after ball had been shot into their heart and lungs. 
A cow will commonly stand when shot yntil she bleeds to 
death. The enraged old bull, making fight, has rather a for- 
midable appearance, shaking his huge head, matted over 
with hair, and glaring with his little twinkling eyes. A large 
herd of them would make a tremendous charge upon a body 
of horses if they could be brought up to it. Nothing could 
stand against their hard heads, which a rifle bullet will not 
enter at a distance greater than ten steps. Like all other 
animals, they take especial care to defend their young, and 
you may frequently see in the prairie rings, perhaps fifteen 
or twenty feet in diameter, made by the buffalo. They place 
their calves in the center and tramp round them during the 
night, to protect them from the wolves. 

The flesh of an old bull is the worst meat in the world 
during the summer and autumn; and that of the fat cow 
is undoubtedly the best. I know of nothing edible which I 
would not exchange for the hump ribs of a fat buffalo cow. 

After leaving the old cow, we went on to a small hollow 
bordered by cottonwood and willows, and encamped in the 
bottom of the hollow. We had traveled this forenoon in a 
course nearly east-northeast thirteen miles, and we now de- 
termined to change our course and turn to the north. We 
supposed ourselves to be on the north side of Red river, and 
were desirous of reaching the Washita. Accordingly, in the 
afternoon we traveled in a north course about eight miles, 
and encamped in the open prairie on the edge of a hole of 

126 Arkansas Historical Association 

wiiter. We saw in the evening plenty of scattering bulls, all 
with their faces turned to the south, and we knew that the 
cows could not be far behind them. We likewise saw a herd 
of elk trotting off at a distance, and at night we made a fire 
for the first time of the dry ordure of the buffalo, which is 
the common fuel in the prairie. It makes an excellent fir.e 
and has saved me from freezing to death several times. 
Here we heard also for the first time the buffalo grunting 
about us in the night. Traveled this day, in the whole, about 
twenty-one miles. 

Oct. 21. — Early in the morning we came suddenly upon 
a broad river with bluff banks, running in a course nearly 
east. Here, then, was Red river at last, which we thought 
was far behind us. Now, however, there could be no dis- 
pute. Here it ^as a broad sand bed more than a mile wide, 
with not a drop of water visible, and with a high prairie on 
each side, while the only thing to relieve the monotony was 
a few hackberries growing under the bluffs. We crossed the 
river and found a thread of salt water just under the oppo- 
site bank. Here were plenty of new roads, made by the 
buffalo in crossing the river. On ascending the bluff, we 
came again upon a high prairie covered by numerous villages 
of prairie dogs, who sat chattering at us from their holes. 
This singular little animal, which has no resemblance to a 
dog except in the name, is to be found in villages throughout 
the whole prairie, and always in the highest part of it, where 
they must dig to an immense depth to reach water. They 
are about as large as a grey squirrel, of a brown color, and 
shaped nearly like a woodchuck. They are always found in 
villages, and there is commonly one hole which has five 
times the quantity of earth piled around it that any other 
house in the village can boast of. They have many enemies. 
The rattlesnake lives in the same hole with them and de- 
vours them, and the little brown prairie wolf and the tiger- 
cat lie in wait for them at their very doors. You will fre- 
quently, too, find owls nestled in their holes. We stopped at 
noon in a small, low place full of buffalo wallows. There had 
been water here, but it was here no longer. We found a 
hole, at length, about as large as my body, and scraped a 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 127 

small hole, from which I obtained a draught or two of mud 
and water, which left my throat plastered over with the 
former substance. We ate our last venison and went on. 
In the afternoon we saw some cows, and towards night my 
horse began to fail, and we turned down to a small creek, 
timbered with hackberry, for the purpose of encamping, arid 
Lewis and Ish killed three cows and a yearling calf. The 
water on which we encamped was both muddy and salt. 
Traveled this day about fifteen miles in a direction nearly 

Thus it will be seen that from our departure from the 
Del Resgate branch of the Brazos river, we had traveled 
about 140 miles when we reached Red river, in a course 
generally northeast. 

Oct. 22. — Traveled generally this day in the prairie, 
now and then crossing a small creek, and encamped at night 
in an open place near a deep hole of water. This day we 
saw an abundance of cows, and heard them grunting about 
us at night. We were now in all the glory of a prairie life, 
with an abundance of buffalo, good water and plenty of tim- 
ber ; and we lay down at night with a feeling of freedom and 
independence which man does not always enjoy in a city. 
Traveled today about fifteen miles north. 

Oct. 23. — Early this morning a band of buffalo came 
about us, and we lay in camp and killed two; took the 
tongues and the hump meat, and went on. About noon we 
saw the first pecan tree which had greeted us, and we hailed 
it as something peculiar to home. You would have supposed 
that we had reached a house or a city. We likewise found 
some scattering oak glades, and began to feel out of danger. 
Just after noon we came upon a creek of good water, bor- 
dered with excellent grass, and determined to stop and re- 
cruit our horses. We turned down and encamped accord- 
ingly, after traveling this day about nine miles nearly north. 
Moccasin making and mending clothes occupied the remain- 
der of the day; and not only at this time, but often after- 
wards, we had reason to rejoice that Irwin was with us to 
play the part of tailor, in which he was an adept. 

128 Arkansas Historical Association 

Oct. 24. — ^Lay by today, and in the evening Lewis and 
Ish killed one cow and a yearling, and wounded a barren 
cow ; feasted upon marrow bones and hump ribs, and threw 
fear to the winds, very piously handing over the Cumanches, 
with our good wishes to his Satanic Majesty. 

Oct. 25. — Left camp, and after proceeding about a mile, 
found our wounded cow, yet alive, and able to make fight; 
killed her and took the fleece. She was, to use a western ex- 
pression, powerful fat. Plenty of meat packed now, every 
horse bearing a whole buffalo fleece ; that is, all the meat on 
the outside of the backbone, hump ribs and side ribs. We 
crossed several creeks this forenoon, none of which were 
running, all, however well timbered, and with good bottoms. 
Just before stopping at noon, Lewis shot an excellent buck, 
from his horse, and killed him in his tracks. We took his 
fleece likewise. Soon after he killed a badger, and at the 
place where we encamped, we killed three raccoons. We 
stopped at a pond of water on the bank of a small creek, and 
I never enjoyed any experience in epicurism so well as I did 
the mixture of buffalo and deer meat which we had here, 
and for several days after, in abundance. I have f orgotton 
where we encamp>ed this night, but I think we made, this 
day, about fifteen miles, in a course, as usual, nearly north. 

Oct. 26. — Traveled this day through the same kind of 
country as yesterday. Nooned on a creek of running water, 
after crossing one or two creeks in the forenoon. Directly 
after setting out again, we crossed another creek, and were 
keeping down it to the east, when we descried a range of 
hills to the north, and determined to keep our course until 
we reached them. We accordingly kept on across the prairie, 
and encamped at night on another small creek, where we 
hunted turkeys unsuccessfully. Traveled this day about fif- 
teen miles north. 

Oct. 27. — This day we passed through immense herds 
of buffalo, and, about three in the afternoon, ascending a 
table hill which lay in front of us, saw that there wer-e no 
buffalo ahead. We kept on until the middle of the afternoon, 
and encamped near a pond of water, and not far from a deep 
creek. It soon commenced raining, and during the storm 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 129 

Lewis killed a cow, and we brought the meat into camp. 
Here we lay two days, when the storm ceased. 

Oct. 30. — Moved this morning about six miles, to the top 
of a hill to the north of us, and stopped again, our animals 
being worn out by the storm. We encamped in a grove of 
oak, and made our first oak fire. Towards evening Lewis 
killed four buffalo cows, and we were again kept from 

Oct. 31. — Lay by this day, killed three turkeys and had 
a change of diet. 

Nov. 1. — This day we again turned our course to the 
north, through the prairie. For a mile or two I rode, but 
was obliged to dismount and drive my horse before me. At 
noon we encamped on a small creek, and at night in the 
Gross Timbers on the edge of a deep hollow. This day, for 
the first time, we saw a few grapes. Traveled about twenty- 
one miles, northeast by north. 

Nov. 2. — This morning I left my horse and went for- 
ward on foot, packing a blanket upon my back. From this 
day until the seventh there was little variety in our travel- 
ing ; sometimes in the open prairie and sometimes for miles 
in a tangled wilderness of scrub-oak, grapes and briers, 
which hardly allowed our mules to force a way through 
them. My ankles were frequently covered with blood, and 
nothing but my strong pantaloons of leather saved my legs 
from being served in the same manner. 

Nov. 7. — On i;he seventh, towards night, we heard a gun 
fire to the left of us, and knew, by the crack, that it was a 
fusse or a musket. We accordingly supposed it to proceed 
from a Cumanche. Proceeding on, however, we came, about 
three of the afternoon, upon a deep river of running water, 
which We all took to be the Washita, but which Lewis con- 
cluded, from its size, it could not be. He supposed it to be 
Red river, and finding it impossible to cross it, we turned 
back sadly, and encamped about four miles from it. The ex- 
pression of despair upon the countenance of some of the 
party was ludicrous. 

Nov. 8. — This morning we turned down the river, de- 
termined to go in upon the river and cross it. We had not 

130 Arkansas Historical Association 

proceeded far when we saw an Indian at a distance of about 
five miles in the prairie. We still, however, kept on down 
the slope of the prairie towards the river at a slow gait, ex- 
pecting his approach, and in about half an hour he appeared 
within a quarter of a mile of us, coming through a small 
point of timber. When within two hundred yards of us he 
stopped. We motioned to him to come on, and after some 
hesitation, he did so. I asked him in Spanish if he could 
speak that language, supposing him to be a Gumanche, for 
they generally speak that language. Thinking that I wished 
to know his nation, he answered, "Wawsashy" (Osage). It 
was a pleasant sound to us, and seeing it confirmed by his 
single point of hair upon the top of his head, we shook hands 
with him, and inquired of him by signs where his camp was. 
He pointed to the top of the hill, and wished us to go there 
and eat, to which we agreed, being desirous of finding out 
where we actually were. Seeing me afoot, he gave me his 
horse to ride, and kept ahead of us on foot, chattering to us, 
and accompanying his orations with an abundance of signs. 
We soon knew for a certainty that he was an Osage by the 
frequent garnishing of his discourse with the word "Waw- 
sashy," and by the terminations "iginy" and "oginy," as 
well as the emphatic adjective "tungah." After riding 
about three miles, we stopped upon the summit of the prairie 
and kindled a small fire; and in the course of a half hour 
were joined by about a dozen more of the tribe, all armed 
with fusses, except one, who bore a rifle. Before they joined 
us, however, we saw them run two or three wild horses, 
which they do by taking stations, and pursuing the wild 
animals in turn until some one comes near enough to the 
prey to place a noose over his head, which noose is carried 
attached to the end of a long and light pole or wand. After 
joining us, and before we started again, some of them man- 
aged to steal all our tobacco except one small piece, and then 
offering me another horse to ride, we moved towards their 
camp. It was past noon when we reached it, for it was at 
least thirteen miles from the river. As we approached, the 
inhabitants of the village, who had been warned of our ap- 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 131 

proach, not only by various strange shouts, but also by mes- 
sengers, came out to meet us in great numbers ; and after 
crossing a branch of the river, we entered the camp with our 
arms nearly shaken off at the elbows by the rough, but 
friendly greetings of our new friends. Entering the village, 
which consisted of about thirty lodges, we were conducted to 
the chief's tent where we found a young Frenchman who 
could speak very good English. He informed us that this 
was the tent of the principal chifef , and that our property 
would be very safe in it. We entered and shook hands with 
the chief and his subordinates, who occupied the interior. 
We bestowed ourselves in various positions upon his buffalo 
robes which were laid about the fire, and maintained true 
Indian gravity until they should see fit to address us. The 
young Frenchman then asked us where we were from. We 
told him, and he interpreted it to our hosts, who uttered the 
common exclamation, "huh!" and listened till we should 
speak again. Give me an Indian for a listener always. We 
gave them some details of our route, to which they listened 
with surprise, and perhaps with incredulity. If so, they 
were too polite to show it. They had, as it appeared, been 
at our old camps, and taken us for Pawnees, for they know 
no other name for any wandering Indian, than Pawnee. 
After the conference was over I produced my pipe and -be- 
gan to fill it. A half dozen pipes were immediately shown, and 
requests were made for tobacco, to which I was, of course, 
bound to respond, and we had a general smoke. We passed 
the remainder of this day and the next with them, and were 
called upon every hour in the day to go to some lodge and 
eat. In the course of the second day and evening we ate 
fifteen times, and were obliged to do so, or affront them. 

These Osages were generally fine, large, noble-looking 
men supplied with immense Roman noses. Young Clair- 
more, the chief of the party, in particular, was a very fine, 
noble-looking fellow. They are much more generous and 
friendly, too, than the Choctaws or Cherokees in their treat- 
ment of strangers, and fed us bountifully on the meat of the 

132 Arkansas Historical Association 

buffalo, bear, deer and polecat ; the latter of which, however, 
we partook merely out of compliment. 

Their lodges, unlike those of the Cumanches, are round 
and not conical, and are not more than eight feet in height. 
The tops of them were formed of thin fleeces of buffalo meat, 
which was drying in the smoke, supported by the bent sap- 
lings of which the lodges were built. We found, that on the 
contrary to our fears, we were upon the Washita, and in the 
edge of the Cross Timbers, a consummation we had long 
been very devoutly looking for. 

Nov. 10. — ^Left the camp in company with the Osages, 
and traveled in a southeast direction about twelve miles, and 
encamped again with them. 

Nov. 11. — This morning, left the Osages. They had 
solicited us strongly to go on with them, and we would have 
been wise had we done so. Lewis, Irwin and Gillet exchanged 
their mules for horses this morning, but Ish kept his mule. 
Lewis and Irwin obtained young and unbroken wild horses 
(or as the hunters call them, mestangs), and Gillet got an 
old worn-out hack. At parting, the chief presented us with 
an abundance of good meat, and in return we gave him a red 
and gaudy Mexican blanket, and after lingering behind his 
men, and shaking hands with us, he left us. 

* From this time till the night of the thirteenth, our route 
lay through the Cross Timbers and the Washita hills, and on 
that afternoon we turned down from the hills to the river, 
crossed it and encamped on the north bank of it. These three 
days were the worst part of the route. The gravel wore our 
feet to the quick, even through our moccasins, and the 
bushes and briers offered almost insurmountable obstacles 
to our progress. Probably in these three days, we traveled 
fifty miles and gained, upon a straight line, thirty. 

Nov. 14. — Left the Washita and struck out from it. 
From this day till the twentieth, we traveled nearly an east- 
erly course; sometimes in burnt prairie. On the 19th we 
had a snow storm. We had crossed two running creeks 
about twenty yards wide besides several small ones — all 
branches of Blue. On the twentieth in the morning, we 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 133 

came upon a Delaware, who was hunting deer. He conducted 
us part of the way to his camp, and then left us to hunt dee^ 
a while, as he said ; but we never found his camp. I do not 
suppose that he intended us to do so. We obtained a small 
piece of tobacco of him, however, of which we had had none 
for six or seven days. Both of these days (the nineteenth 
and twentieth) , we were without meat, not even a mouthful. 

Nov. 21. — This day, at noon, killed a small deer, and ate 
ravenously — eating the whole animal except one ham and 
one shoulder. From this day to the 23d we kept nearly the 
same course (east), and about noon of the 23d we struck 
Blue, and kept down it, as we did also on the twenty-fourth, 
till about noon, we found ourselves in the bottom of Red 
river, at the mouth of Blue. Here we encamped, and laid 
by this day and the next, the 25th. From the crossing of 
the Washita to the mouth of the Blue, we had traveled, I be- 
lieve, nearly one hundred and sixty miles, perhaps more. 
The distance, upon a straight line, is not more than one 
hundred and twenty miles. 

On the 14th we killed four old bulls. They were the last 
we saw; the same day we killed and ate an opossum. 

Nov. 22. — On the 22d Gillet killed his horse and became 
my companion on foot. During these last days the prairie 
had been on fire all around us, and I assure the reader that 
there is not the least danger of a person getting caught and 
burnt up by it. I can outwalk it two to one, even in a good 
wind ; and I think I could save myself by running through 
the fire. The most serious calamity which had befallen me 
of late was the loss of my last knife, which I left behind me 
on the 23d, and of course I had a fair chance to discover the 
true value of fingers in the woods. 

The country was, as before, at times prairie, covered 
with long grass, or, where the fire had been, hard, black and 
dry. At times we passed through spots of oak timber, and 
now and then a small patch of briers and scrub oak. The 
water was now all sweet and clear, and there was an abund- 
ance of it. 

134 Arkansas Historical Association 

On the 25th we lay by in the bottom of Red river, and 
Lewis killed an old bear and cub. Some turkeys, also, were 
unroosted by some of us, and we could have killed plenty of 
deer had we wished. There can be no better place for hunt- 
ing than this bottom, but for briers and vines, I take it to be 
the worst place on earth. 

From this day until the 28th, we had every variety of 
traveling, except that which wai3 pleasant and easy. We 
crossed Blue on the morning of the 25th, and then took a 
nearly north course. That night I felled a tree about a foot 
in diameter with a tomahawk for the sake of grapes. On the 
27th we encamped early, and cut a bee tree, obtaining a good 
quantity of honey to eat with out bear meat, and the next 


morning we struck the road which goes in to Fort Towson, 
Owing to our making a slight mistake, and taking the wrong 
end of it, however, we did not manage to reach that place. 
There is a conical bare mound called the Cadeau Hill, near 
this place in the road, and also a timbered hill, both of which 
Lewis thought we would know, but did not. We followed the 
road about six miles in a southwest direction, and concluding 
we were not getting homeward, we stopped and ate on the 
edge of the timbered hill ; followed the road a little farther 
until it vanished, and then we again struck an east course. 
Had we taken the other end of the road, we should have 
been spared some trouble. 

On the morning of the 29th, our northward course 
brought us to the first fork of Boggy, where we cut a syca- 
more and crossed on it ; part of the log was under water, and 
it was an altogether slippery business, especially for Irwin, 
who had received a kick a day or two before, and was obliged 
to straddle the log, and as they quaintly call it in the west, 
"coon it across." A lame leg is no great accommodation in 
the prairie. After crossing, we kept to the eaat, but soon 
found ourselves getting entangled in a bottom, and turned 
to the north again, and on the 30th, about noon, we reached 
the other fork of Boggy. Here we heard a dog baying and 
the cries of Inaians, and while we remained on the bank, 
Lewis went to find the Indians. He returned just at night. 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 135 

and, of course, we deferred crossing until the morning. 
Killed some turkeys, and contented ourselves. The next 
morning we cut a wiKow and crossed on it, and were then 
obliged to cut a road through the cane with knives. At noon 
we ate nothing, and at night we finished our turkeys. 

Dec. 1. — In the morning we met a Choctaw who in- 
formed us that there was a road not far ahead. We nooned, 
however, before reaching it, and after starting again, turned 
off of our course to the sound of an axe, and found five or 
six Choctaws cutting a bee tree. We offered to buy some of 
the honey, but they refused to sell it, but tried to beg powder 
and balls. A Choctaw is, without exception, the meanest 
Indian on earth. About the middle of the afternoon, we 
reached the road which runs from Fort Smith to Red river. 
We, however, not knowing that there was any such road, 
supposed it to run from the ford of Boggy to Fort Towson, 
on Red river, to which we wished to go, and we accordingly 
took the north end of the road, being then twenty-three 
miles from Red river, and the weather too cloudy and wet 
for us to see the sun, or to know our course. We traveled 
about sixteen miles after striking the road, and encamped 
in the rain, without food. From this time we traveled from 
thirty to thirty-five miles a day, driving the wearied animals 
before us. 

On the 2nd, I sold my rifle to the Choctaws for about a 
dozen pounds of meat, and Ish disposed of his in the same 

On the 4th we encamped with two or three Delawares, 
and Irwin sold his double-barreled gun for meat likewise. 
Upon leaving the Delawares the next morning, and striking 
across to the road, we took the wrong end of it, and follow- 
ing it eight or ten miles, came to the Kiamesia. Here we en- 
camped, and the next morning took the road again, and on 
the 9th we reached, about noon, the houses of a certain sub- 
agent for the Choctaws, an acquaintance of Lewis', but 
whose heart was not quite big enough to allow him to invite 
us to dine with him. We accordingly went on to the ferry on 

136 Arkansas Historical Association 

the Porteau, where we arrived after dark, and found a little 
Frenchman there, who had nothing to eat but pounded com, 
and nothing to cook it in but a kettle that held about a pint 
and a half. It took us about half the night to cook three 
kettles full of said com, from each kettle of which each man 
got perhaps six spoonsful. 

On the 10th we reached Fort Smith, and we must have 
made a most ludicrous appearance. Falstaff 's ragged regi- 
ment was nothing to us. I had a pair of leather pantaloons, 
scorched and wrinkled by the fire, and full of grease ; an old 
greasy jacket and vest, a pair of huge moccasins, in mending 
which I had laid out all my skill during the space of two 
months, and in so doing, had bestowed upon them a whole 
shot-pouch, a shirt, which, made of what is commonly called 
counterpane, or a big checked stuff, had not been washed 
since I left Taos ; and, to crown all, my beard and mustachios 
had never been clipped during the same time. Some of us 
were worse off. Irwin, for example, had not half a shirt. 
In short, we were, to use another western expression, "as 
pretty a looking set of fellows as ever any man put up to his 

From the crossing of Blue to the first crossing of Boggy, 
we traveled about fifty miles ; thence to the second crossing, 
about twenty-eight ; thence to the. road about twenty-seven, 
and on the road, about two hundred miles. In the whole 
then, we traveled from Taos about fourteen hundred miles, 
or about thirteen hundred from San Miguel, out of which 
I walked a distance of about six hundred and fifty miles. 

I have been less exact in describing our route after 
crossing the Fausse Washita, because Washington Irving, 
who was at the Cross Timbers on the Washita, not far from 
the time at which we crossed it, will describe that portion of 
the western world in a manner which would do shame to any 
poor endeavors of mine to convey an idea of it. ! I can 
only regret that we did not meet him in the prairie, for 
in such case we could have given him more material for a 
description of the "far west;" and I should probably have 
had our journey laid before the public by better hands than 
my own. 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 137 

And now, in leaving this portion of my work, I beg to 
assure the reader that if there are any errors to be corrected 
thus far, they are by no means intentional. He will please 
recollect that I have written entirely from my own memory 
aided by that of Mr. Lewis. I find also another difficulty in 
writing. After living in the west, where many things which 
are peculiar to a wild life are common and uninteresting, one 
is apt to hurry over the minutiae of them in laying them be- 
fore a part of the public to whom they are strange and new. 
One can hardly realize that what is so common to him and 
everyone around him, can be interesting to any portion of 
the public, and for fear of bdng tedious and prolix, he is, 
perhaps, brief and unsatisfactory. With this brief apology, I 
leave the recital of our edventures in the Western Desert. 

The reader may wish to know what became of the party 
which we left. In the month of April Mr. J. Scott, whom we 
had left with the party upon the Del Resgate fork of the 
Brazos, came into Fort Smith in company with two others 
of the party ; and the account which he gives me of the route 
of the party after we left it is as follows : "They kept down 
the river for about twelve days after our departure, and 
then struck a due north course to the Fausse Washita, cross- 
ing on the way only one more branch of the Brazos, but hav- 
ing passed the mouths of three branches which put into the 
Del Resgate from the north. They crossed the Red river 
near the mouth of the branch which I mentioned as the only 
branch of Red river crossed by us. After striking the 
Washita, they kept up it nearly to its head, then crossing to 
the Canadian, and followed it down nearly to its junction 
with the Arkansas. They passed the whole winter upon the 
Canadian, and Harris was into Fort Bigson in the month of 
January. In the spring they left the Canadian, and took 
a south course, crossed Red river, and about one hundred 
and fifty miles south of it Scott and his companions left 
them, after Harris had in vain attempted to persuade them 
to remain. Some half dozen of the party, including Bill 
Williams, turned back soon after we left them, and went 
back on foot towards Taos. Thus much for Caesar and his 

138 Arkansas Historical Association 

In the month of December, 1832, a party of twelve men 
left Taos, to come into this country by way of the Canadian. 
They had proceeded only ^bout two hundred miles from 
Santa Fe when they were attacked by the Cumanches ; two 
men were killed and several wounded ; all their animals were 
killed, and they left their money and baggage and kept on 
down the river on foot. Five of them soon after left the 
river and struck for Missouri, where they arrived safely; 
the other five still kept on down the river, and three of them 
went ahead of the others and came in. One of the two who 
were left behind was named Mr. R. Schenck, a native of 
Ohio. He had been wounded in the leg, and as nothing has 
been heard of him or his companion, the probability is that 
they died in the prairie. 


1. For example — I know one honest and excellent man from 
Missouri; he had been a hard-working mechanic and farmer, and had 
raised sufScient money and credit to obtain a stock of goods to take 
to Santa Fe. The St. Louis cost of his goods was (1,750; the duties 
at the custom house were $2,104, and a gratuity to the interpreter of 
$250. His stock of goods was sold in the course of a year at 30 cents 
per yard, measuring and including domestic, cloth, silks and, in fine, 
his whole stock, except ribbons. The result was, after paying the cus- 
tom house, $1,500 with which to pay the cost of his goods and his 
expenses in transporting them. 

The duties on common domestic — ^in fact, on domestic of all quali- 
ties, is 21 cents per yard. Those who take in shoes, silks, coffee and 
tobacco, which are contraband, are almost the only men who make 

I have given elsewhere a description of the character of a few 
of the New Mexicans. As a circumstance, I may mention that the 
regular duties for the year 1831, which ought to have been paid to 
the Mexican government from Santa Fe, were nearly $200,000. Only 
$30,000 was forwarded from Santa Fe; the rest found a way into the 
pockets of individuals. 

Perhaps the reader is at a loss to imagine how such a result is 
produced. Reader, the bills are reduced to one-third (generally) of 
their original amount, and thus passed through the custom house; 
and the interpreters and custom house officers share the gratuity paid 
the merchants for this favor and service. 

2. It has been asserted that there is danger from the Pawnees 
and Cumanches to the Cherokees and Choctaws in their new country. 

Narrative of a Journey in the Prairie 139 

Now, reader, the case is far otherwise. The Pawnees came into the 
bounds of the Osage nation at times, but even they, the cowardly 
Osages, whip them. As to the Gumanches, there is no earthly dahger, 
for they never come within the Gross Timbers. 

3. The river Semaron is a branch of the Arkansas on the south. 
It is a singular river. You z^ay see it one day running flushly in one 
place, and sinking, just below, entirely in the sand; and the next day 
the case will be reversed. The dry place will then run water, and the 
place which was before running will be as dry as a desert. The bed of 
the river and its banks are covered with salt; not like the salt of the 
Brazos, pure muriate of soda, but bitter and nauseous, like the sul- 
phate of soda. I believe it would produce precisely the same effect 
as the latter substlmce. This river is a great haunt of the Gumanches, 
heads in the mountains, and has beaver at its heads. 

4. The Gaiawas live near the heads of the Arkansas, but they 
are as far from being brave, faithful, etc, as the Gun^nches. Bill 
Williams says that no man on earth can talk their language. He says 
that it is all like dropping stones in the water; punk I punk I punk! 
The Gumanche tongue and Shoshones were formerly the same tribe; 
also the Eutaws. 


(By Howard M. Ingham, Rector St. John's Episcopal 

Church, Camden, Arkansas.) 

General Joseph A. Reeves of Camden, Arkansas, says : 
"I knew Capt. McGehee quite well. He was a young man 
about 22 to 25 years of age. He was well educated, active 
and bright, about 5 feet or 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighed 
from 165 to 175 pounds. He was a handsome, fine looking 
gentleman. His father was Madison Tate McGehee, a 
wealthy farmer on the Arkansas River. His mother was 
Lucy Meriwether. An elder brother fell at Shiloh, but in 
another regiment from the one in which Valentine served. 

'^A station and junction point on the Iron Mountain R. 
R. in Desha' County is named after Capt. McGehee." 

McGehee enlisted in Co. "G,'' Second Arkansas Infantry 
which was raised by Col. Thos. Hindman of Helena. Six 
companies of this regiment were raised in Eastern Arkan- 
sas. Co. "G" was organized by Captain Ben B. Talaiferro 
and mustered into service June 3, 1861, at Pine Bluff, with 
Capt. Talaiferro in conunand and young McGehee as first 
lieutenant. In Nov. 1862, Cap. Talaiferro died of pneu- 
monia. McGehee succeeded to the command of the company 
and continued in that position until the war ended. 

The position of first lieutenant vacated by McGehee's 
promotion was filled by J. M. Hudson who now lives at Pine 
Bluff. Capt. McGehee was in the battle of Shiloh and saw 
service in all the encounters of his company. 

Note. — Rev. Howard M. Ingham was bom at Keene, New Hamp- 
shire; was graduated from Bexley Theological Seminary, Kenyon Col- 
lege. He founded and served St. Luke's Church, Cleveland, Ohio, 1885- 
1890. From 1892 to 1896 he was rector of St Paul's, East Cleveland, 
Ohio, and likewise Trinity Church at Jefferson, Ohio, from 1897-1901. 
In 1902 he removed to Arkansas and became rector of St. John's Church 
at Camden. 

The Rev. Mr. Ingham is the author of several articles or mono- 
graphs on church and religious affairs. 

Capt. Valentine Merriwether McGehee 141 

He was three times wounded. On July 20, 1864, he re- 
ceived a wound in the face which for a time disabled him. 
In Sept., 1864, he was severely wounded in the right hip 
which necessitated his removal to the Kingston Hospital at 
Booneville, Ga. On the way to the hospital the train was 
wrecked and many were killed. Capt. McGehee escaped 
death, and was seriously bruised and his shoulder blade frac- 
tured. He recovered, however, and served at the head of 
his company till the end of the war. 

After the conflict closed he removed his home from 
Warren, Arkansas, to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where he prac- 
ticed law until his death, Nov. 14, 1876. 

J. H. Hudson of Pine Bluff, who was McGehee's first 
lieutenant, writes, "Both Capt. McGehee and myself were 
three times wounded. I never knew a braver man. After 
the war he and I married sisters, the daughters of John H. 
Marks of Mark's Mill. Then he died leaving a wife and four 
children. I looked after them till Mrs. McGehee died and 
the children were grown and cafing for themselves. 

The children are : Madison Tate McGehee of Pine Bluff, 
Mrs. Barbara Russell of Pine Bluff, Mrs. Noble, Star City, 
Ark., and Mrs. R. M. Atchley, Dalark, Arkansas. 

By General Joseph A. Reeves, Camden, Arkansas. 

Arkansas Brigade. 

2nd. ; 5th. ; 6th. ; 7th. ; 8th. Regiment 3rd. Confederate. 

We returned from trip with Gen. Bragg into Kentucky, 
reaching Knoxville in November, rested a day or two at Hol- 
stein river, near Knoxville to wash up our clothes. We took 
cars for Tulahoma, Tenn. ; left cars and marched two days, 
went into winter quarters about Dec. 1, 1862. 

It snowed on us the first day. We cleared the ground 
of snow, cut limbs from bushes and trees to spread out 
blankets on to keep us off the cold, wet ground. We stopped 
at a place called College Hill ; made the best tents and camps 
for the winter. 

142 Arkansas Historical Association 

The enemy moved down from Nashville to Stone river 
near Murf reesboro. We left our winter quarters about the 
20th of December ; began to make ready for battle of Mur- 
f reesboro. After maneuvering for several days we chose a 
position in front of the enemy about five miles north of Mur- 
f reesboro on the 29th of December. 

Our line was about two miles long; Gen. Polk's corps 
on left ; Hardee's on right, with Breckenridge in reserve. On 
the morning of the 30th, Gen. Bragg learned from cavalry 
that the enemy was forming on our left to menace Gen. Polk. 
Hardee was ordered to change his position to Polk's left. We 
marched all day and until near 12 o'clock at night before we 
could form any line. About twelve we were ordered to make 
no noise, all go to rest. The commissary came along and 
gave each man a small drink of whiskey. 

The line now was probably three miles long, Brecken- 
ridge on right ; Polk in center ; Hardee on left. At daylight 
we were up in line, made a forward move, drove the enemy 
from their first and second line, many men left their guns, 
coats and ran ; some few shots came to us from second line, 
but all fled. Many prisoners were taken while cooking 
their breakfast. 

On and on we moved,* but soon met a terrible line of 
men behind a fence, we halted, lay down and began to return 
the fire. We soon charged them out and moved on, captured 
four 12-pound cannon. After going about a half mile, I 
looked just ahead, saw a full line of the enemy behind a 
fence. I ordered a charge and we all gave the Rebel Yell in 
force, to scare the enemy before they should fire, for there 
was nothing to hinder them from taking deliberate aim and 
killing all of us. To our great delight they never fired a gun, 
but broke and ran away. We fired at them as they ran; 
covered the ground with the dead and wounded. On we went, 
but found ourselves clear ahead of the army to our right and 
endways to the enemy. Our brigade commanded by Gen. 
L. Liddell had to fall back on line. 

(Earlier pages unfortunately lost). 
♦ ♦ ♦ ordered a charge, which was responded to, in a most 
glorious way, the enemy were driven in confusion from this 

Capt. Valentine Merriwether McGehee 143 

stronghold. We took a battery of six pieces of artillery at 
this place ; but we did not stop to lord over our prize ; we pur- 
sued the enemy nearly a mile, pouring into his flying and 
demoralized columns a most deadly fire. The Federal officers 
were entirely unable to rally their cowardly and defeated 
soldiers. Gen. Liddell, finding that he was pursuing too fast, 
halted us to rest, and allow the slower moving Tennesseans, 
who were on our right, to catch up. All being in readiness, 
we moved forward for about a half mile, where we found the 
enemy in greatly superior numbers and in a strong position. 
We encountered him and the most deadly conflict ensued for 
about three quarters of an hour I ever witnessed. We suc- 
ceeded in driving the enemy for about half a mile, where 
they met reinforcements and were formed to give us battle 
again. We assailed them without hesitation and drove them 
before us. At the last encounter, I think we fought at least 
eight to one. We got nearer to them here than ever before. 
We were whipping two regiments back, when we suddenly 
came up to a regiment of Yankees, ambushed behind a fence. 
We were in 20 yards of them before we were conscious of 
their whereabouts. It seems to me only a providential oc- 
currence that kept them from killing every man in our regi- 
ment. As soon as they were discovered, we charged them 
and routed them entirely. We advanced about three-quar- 
ters of a mile further, but met with little more opposition, 
for I have never before seen men so easily whipped as these 
Yankees were. Our supplies of ammunition having been 
exhausted, we were ordered to fall back. We fell back about 
a quarter of a mile and were halted. Here we were supplied 
with ammunition and were in readiness to move forward, 
when Gen. Bragg ordered the pursuit stopped. It was then 
about 3 o'clock p. m. and we had driven the enemy about 
three miles and a half. He was in perfect consternation and 
the worst whipped army I have ever seen. Why Gen. Bragg 
did not follow up the victory by vigorous pursuit I never 
expect to know. We lay where we had been stopped during 
the remainder of the evening. At night we were withdrawn 
about a quarter of a mile, back behind a hill, where we could 
build fires without attracting the fire from the enemy's bat- 

144 Arkansas Historical Association 

teries. We slept as soundly as if lying in a feather bed at 

The next morning, our brigade was ordered forward to 
develop the enemy's position and plans. Nothing satisfac- 
tory resulted. Only a little artillery duel ensued. About 12 
o'clock, m. we were ordered to the position we occupied in 
the morning. The enemy kept up a continual bombardment, 
which rendered rest impossible. Our fight was on Wednes- 
day and the whole line remained perfectly dormant until 
Friday evening, when Gen. Breckenridge, whose division 
occupied the center, was ordered forward, drove the enemy 
about half a mile, and charged a strongly fortified place, de- 
fended by nearly one hundred pieces of artillery and four 
. times Gen. Breckenridge's infantry. Of course. Gen Brecken- 
ridge was repulsed. The incentive that prompted this move, 
I am not general enough to see, unless Gen. Bragg ordered it 
on purpose to be defeated at this point in order to have an 
excuse for evacuating Murfreesboro. If our victory on 
Wednesday had been followed by a vigorous pursuit, we 
would have gained the most signal victory tiiat ever was won 
by Southern arms. Twice Gen Bragg has had the independ- 
ence of the Confederacy and a glorious peace in his grasp, 
but both times, by bad management, he has opened his hands 
and let the prize fly. 

On Friday night, we were ordered to the right. I have 
never seen a more gloomy night in my life. Our soldiers 
were worn out, wet and sleepy, for it had been raining slowly 
for 24 hours. A march of six or seven miles placed us in the 
position we had first occupied after reaching Murfreesboro. 
The rain fell in torrents the remainder of the night and all 
the next day. Saturday night we began our retreat from 
Murfreesboro. I thought, when we started that it would be 
impossible for me to march more than five miles, for it had 
been three days and two nights since I had slept a wink. We 
marched all night and I frequently found myself walking 
along asleep, indeed I was so sleepy, that next morning I did 
not know half the events that happened during our night's 
march. At day-break, we were halted and allowed to rest 
for one hour. When the bugle sounded for us to start, I felt 

Capt Valentine Merriwether McGehee 145 

that I would little rather have heard Gabriers trumpet. I 
had been quite unwell during the fight, had not been able to 
eat anything for several days, for my stomach rejected 
everything I swallowed. Only excitement kept me up dur- 
ing the fight. The regiment started and I kept up for about 
five miles when I felt that it was impossible to go any 
farther. I was hit by a spent ball during the fight, which 
left a^ considerable bruise on my thigh. This had swollen 
considerably, and was very painful. After resting for an 
hour or two and having slept a little, I felt some better, and 
determined to go as far as possible, by resting every mile, 
for a half hour. I continued on my slow journey all day. 
At night on inquiring, I learned that I had traveled about 
12 miles and that the regiment was encamped about 5 miles 
ahead. I found a blanket that some weary soldier had left 
and just spread myself on the ground for the night when a 
clever cavalryman offered me his horse to ride to camp. I 
accepted this kind offer and reached the regiment about 10 
o'clock p. m. I had a very good sleep which refreshed me 
very much, but the next morning I was too weak to walk. 
The surgeon of the regiment placed me in a wagon and pro- 
ceeded on our march to Manchester, which we reached about 
12 o'clock m. 

We rested for the evening and night. All seemed to be 
much refreshed and I felt nearly well. The next morning we 
started for Alisonia, about 15 miles, which we reached that 
night. We were to rest here for several days. Here Mr. 
Brady met us and I got my valise. The next morning after 
arriving at Alisonia, I was taken quite sick. The second day, 
our brigade was ordered to Wartrace (its present place of 
rendezvous), and all the sick were ordered to the hospital 
at Chattanooga. I was sent to Chattanooga and remained 
in the hospital there for two or three days and was then or- 
dered to the hospital at Atlanta. I went to Atlanta and re- 
mained there for two or three days and then I went to Pal- 
metto and remained at Aunt Rebecca White's for three 
weeks. I had every attention bestowed on me. Uncle Tom 
was kind and clever. Aunt Rebecca treated me with as much 
affection as if I had been her own son. Cousin Sarah was all 

140 Arkansas Historical Association 

smiles, Cousin Lucie a perfect angel and Cousin Collie a piece 
of perfection. Palmetto proved to me a perfect elysium. 
Cousin Babbie is one of the best and smartest women I ever 
saw, and Mr. Arnold is extremely clever. He is a perfect 
srentleman. Aunt Rebecca made me a present of a suit of 
the finest jeans I ever saw. I was offered one hundred and 
fifty dollars for the coat and pants. While at Palmetto I met 
many pleasant young ladies which added much to my pleas- 
ure. After I entirely recovered I returned to camp — ^found 
our regiment at our present camp. Since I have been in 
camp, my health has been perfect. I am heavier now than I 
ever was in my life. I weigh 175 pounds. My flesh is really 
burdensome. I have applied for a furlough of 60 days for 
Jimmie Talaiferro on the plea of Uncle Zack taking his 
place. But I fear that it will be refused. Gen. Bragg has 
refused several in our brigade who have applied for fur- 
loughs in the same way. But I went to Gen. Liddell and got 
him to recommend it, therefore I have a little hope of the 
furlough being granted. I forwarded the application six 
days ago. It is about time that it was being returned. As 
it will be several days before I will have an opportunity of 
sending this letter home, I will defer finishing it, and will 
write a little every day until I have an opportunity of start- 
ing it. Goodbye for today. 

March 25, 1863. — I never in all my life experienced 
such a change in the weather as was last night ; yesterday it 
was warm and pleasant ; this morning it is snowing consider- 
ably, and is quite cold. Since the battle of Murf reesboro, I 
have given out all idea of ever quitting my company during 
the war. The conduct of my company in the battle was such 
as could not fail to make any captain proud of his company. 
My company was complimented by all who noticed them 
during the engagement. I have never seen demonstrations 
of more deliberate bravery and cool courage than was dis- 
played by most members of my company. The most daring 
were Mat. Hudson, Billie Marks, Wm. Teague, John Pucket, 
Bedford Hall, Wm. R. Brewster, Pink Tolson, Wm. Mat- 
thews, and Jas. Morgan and Sam Scudder. All of these were 
complimented for their bravery, Wm. Matthews was highly 

Capt. Valentine Merriwether McGehee 147 

complimented on the battlefield by Gen. Liddell. I had five 
wounded. Sam Scudder was wounded in the arm and side as 
soon as we engaged the enemy. John McLean was bruised 
by concussion of the bursting of a bomb in first engagement. 
Mat. Hudson and Wm. Furgerson were wounded about 12 
o'clock m. and Billie Marks was wounded as we were falling 
back after getting out of ammunition. Mat. Hudson was 
shot through the thigh, has entirely recovered and is now on 
duty in the company as orderly sergeant. Sam Scudder's 
wounds have nearyy healed but are very tender yet ; he re- 
turned to camp from the hospital about a week ago, but I 
have never had him put on duty yet, as his side is too tender 
to admit of his wearing a belt. All the wounded have re- 
turned to the company except Billie Marks, he is at Vameirs 
Station, Ga., with some friends of his. I received a letter 
from him three days ago. He wrote that his arm had entirely 
healed, but his wrist was perfectly stiff, and he could not 
use his fingers in the least. I hope his hand will finally be- 
come all right again. It is evident that the surgeons think 
so, as they refused to discharge him. My company is in bet- 
ter health than they have been since they have been in ser- 
vice ; it has been two months since I have had a sick man in 
my company. 

My entire company would be in fine soldierly condition 
if they all had shoes. This gives me a great deal of trouble, 
for it is impossible, in these hard times, to keep them well 
shod all the time. Five or six now almost entirely bare- 
footed, but they do not seem to mind it, as I do not allow 
only those tiiat have good shoes to go on duty. The quarter- 
master has promised to get shoes for all in a few days. 

Tell Mr. Gunn that MacAdams' clothing did not reach 
the company. The bundle was lost by Mr. Brady. I have 
never been able to find out the way to draw a deceased sol- 
dier's dues. I have tried on several powers of attorney, but 
have failed on all. I have sent a power of attorney from J. 
H. Adams' father and the amount due him on to the War 
Department. When I hear from that I can advise Mrs. Sant- 
ford the course to pursue relative to the dues of Mr. Sant- 

148 Arkansas Historical Association 

ford. I know that the dues of no deceased can be paid by a 
disbursing oflScer, only by order of the War Department. I 
have found all the paymasters with whom I have conversed 
on the subject, entirely ignorant of this portion of their duty. 
As soon as I am advised from the War Department, I will 
inform Mrs. Santford. 

Thursday, March 26, 1863. — The weather continues 
cold and blustery. We had a little snow this morning. I 
think, Father, that the future will prove that your prophe- 
sies relative to the war closing July next are incorrect. 
There has been a lull in the storm of war for three months, 
but it is the portentious calm that precedes the outburst of 
the tempest. Whatever hopes may have been transiently 
entertained for an easy and honorable peace on the basis of 
the independence of the Confederate States have been dis- 
sipated by the action of the Yankee Congress, and the weak- 
ness and dishonesty of the politicians north, such as John 
VanBuren, James T. Brady and others. The storm of oppo- 
sition to Lincoln and his measures that we thought we saw 
rising in the northwest has vanished into thin air, since Con- 
gress had empowered Lincoln with the unlimited use of the 
purse and sword. It is true that a few men like Valiandig- 
ham, Voihees and others of that stamp will fight against 
the Federal administration, but it is vain for them to breast 
the storm. They will reel under it and finally be engulfed 
in their noble efforts to save the ship of State from wreck. 
Lincoln has the power to crush out all opposition and that 
he has the will, no one doubts. He is like Macbeth, he ''has 
waded so deep in blood, that to return were as tedious as to 
go on." Intervention is a cheat and a snare and the time for 
the delusion has passed. We must fight, and fight long 
and bravely. Our only hopes of peace are in the determined 
efforts and endurance of our noble and brave soldiers. The 
lurid glare of war will soon break on the horizon and extend 
to the zenith in all the horrors of a civil war. I believe that 
great and mighty events are near at hand. But who fears to 
meet the issue. Between us stands the protecting arm of 
the God of right ; let the issue come. 

Capt. Valentine Merriwether McGehee 149 

March 27, 1863. — Last night the weather cleared and 
this morning is pleasant. This is the day appointed by 
President Davis for fasting and prayer. It is being observed 
more than any Thanksgiving day I have ever seen in the 
army. I received a box of nice edibles from Cousin Lucie 
White yesterday and I assure you that it is a trial to fast 
with eversrthing that is nice before me. Cousin Lucie is as 
near perfection as mortals can get. If it were not for the 
existing ties of consanguinity, she would have the offer to 
become Mrs, Meriwether McGehee, but the opinion of my 
father relative to first cousins marrying is remembered too 
distinctly to allow me to think of addressing a cousin. You 
need have no fear on that score. Our principal sport here is 
rabbit hunting. Sometimes our entire regiment makes a 
drive, the hunters are deployed like skirmishers. They sur- 
round a briar thicket and a few on horseback, with a dog 
or two go into the thicket and drive the rabbits out into the 
line of skirmishers, who kill them with sticks. Frequently 
we kill (when the regiment is all out) over a hundred in an 
hour. Pretty heavy rabbit killing, isn't it? Skirmishing 
for rabbits is much more pleasant than skirmishing with 

March 28, 1863. — I have never heard anything of Jim- 
mie Talaiferro's furlough yet. I fear that it will not be re- 
turned. I saw a man this morning that promised to take 
this letter across the Mississippi river for a dollar. He pro- 
fesses to be a regular mail carrier employed by McNair's 
Brigade. If Jimmie Talaif erro's furlough returns approved, 
I will write him. Dr. John Pace was left at Murfreesboro 
with the wounded and was taken prisoner, but has been ex- 
changed and is now with the regiment, acting in the capacity 
of hospital steward ; he gives an awful account of the treat- 
ment he received while a prisoner. Pink Tolson was missing 
after we fell back when we got out of ammunition and never 
has been heard from since. He fought with usurpassed 
gallantry and was in front when we were ordered to the rear. 
I fear he was either killed or wounded, but he may have 
been taken. 

150 -Arkansas Historical Association 

April 1, 1863. — ^The man that I thought would carry this 
letter disappointed me. He went off without coming to my 
company. Jimmie Talaiferro's furlough has been returned 
disapproved by Gen. Bragg. I have sent up an application 
of a discharge for him, Zack Talaiferro having offered to 
take his place as a substitute, but I fear that it will be dis- 
approved. All remain well. I will not write any more until 
I have an opportunity of sending this across the Mississippi. 

April 11, 1863. — I have just learned that a man would 
start from the 8th Arkansas regiment for home, this evening 
and unless disappointed again, I will send this by him. The 
application of Jimmie Talaiferro's discharge has not been 
returned. I fear it will not be acted on at all. Bill Marks 
returned to camp the day before yesterday, his arm has en- 
tirely healed, but is stiff at the wrist. He has no use of his 
fingers, but I hope he will recover the use of his hand 
eventually. The surgeons have refused to give him a dis- 
charge. They think that he is not permanently disabled. I 
have succeeded, at last, in getting shoes for my company. 
They are now well shod and in better condition for soldier- 
ing than they have been since we have been in service. It is 
reported that Gen. Bragg is ordered to Richmond and that 
Gen. Joe. E. Johnston will take the immediate command of 
this army. I hope it is true, but have my doubts of its truth. 
I think we have an active campaign before us this summer 
and it is generally believed that we will make another trip 
into Kentucky. Everything seems to indicate active opera- 
tions soon. Provision is very scarce in this portion of the 
Confederacy. I have more fears from this than anything 
else. The army seems to have plenty at present, but the sub- 
ject is creating considerable agitation among the people and 
the press. I hope for the best, for if our army ever gets 
out of provision we are ruined, for it is impossible to keep 
an army subordination without provision. Mutiny is easier 
crated by hunger than anything else to which an army is 
heir. I sometimes fear that the administration is expecting 
too much of the army of Tennessee. We are now facing 
the enemy in numerical strength three times our superior 
and the best troops that the Federals have in the service. It 



Capt. Valentine Merriwether McGehee 151 

has been frequently reported that we were being reinforced 
by a portion of the Virginia army, but this is entirely un- 
true. I think the removal of Gen. Bragg from command 
would be the best reinforcement that could be sent to this 
army. I have recommended Mat. Hudson for promotion to 
second lieutenant in my company. I expect he will be 
assigned to duty during the next week. 

Give my love to all relations and my respects to all in- 
quiring friends. Excuse this dirty sheet of paper, it is all 
that I have. I received a letter from Cousin Lucie White 
about a week ago. She wrote that Cousin Babbie's oldest 
child, a very interesting girl of about seven years of age, 
died about two weeks ago. She wrote that all the other 
relatives were well. 

(The above, though written in the form of a diary, was 
sent to his mother whenever opportunity presented.) 




(By Dallas T. Herndon.) 

David Owen Dodd was hanged at Little Rock» as a Con- 
federate spy, on January 8, 1864. He was convicted on evi- 
dence contained in a notebook which he carried at the time 
of his arrest. Tradition says the Federal general did not 
believe he could have secured the information, which was 
written in telegraphic cipher, without aid — ^perhaps the help 
of a traitor in the Federal army. It is said, also, that Gen- 
eral Steele offered him full pardon if he would tell who gave 
the information. David refused, so the story goes, in these 
words : "I can die, but I can not betray a friend." 

There is nothing unusual to tell about the boy's early 
life. His parents were bom of good pioneer families, as 
good as any in the State of Arkansas. Andrew Marion 
Dodd, his father, and Lydia Echols Owen, his mother, were 
married at CoUegeville on April 27, 1843. Three years later 
they moved to Texas, and there David Owen, their only son 
and second child, was born at Victoria, in Lavaca county, 
November 10, 1846. In the spring of 1858 the family re- 
turned to Arkansas and settled in Benton. 

Here David was put at school and his sister, Senhora, 
was sent to a private school in Little Rock. The father was 
evidently ambitious for his son to have an education, and 
his mother was careful to instill into his mind the teachings 
of Christianity. The pious advice of his sister in her letter 
to David, written in Little Rock, February 25, 1860, was 
doubtless an echo of the mother's teachings. He must have 
been a boy of fairly studious habits, for his sister still has 
in her possession a small pocket Bible which was awarded 
him for excellence in penmanship. His morals were good, 
but, like the average boy, he needed to be warned against 
the evils of bad company. 

Letters of David O. Dodd 153 


Just when the family moved to Little Rock we do not 
know. It was either in the fall of '61 or early in '62. Da- 
vid was now sent to school at St. John's College. He had 
gone but a short time when he came home one day, sick, and 
a few weeks later he secured a position in the telegraph 
office at Little Rock. In July or August of that summer he 
w^nt South with his father, who helped him get a position 
in the telegraph office at Monroe, La. 

The position was a responsible one for a sixteen-year- 
old boy. Telegraph lines in that section had been pressed 
into government service by the Confederacy, and his letters 
to his mother from September to January following indicate 
that many important dispatches passed through his hands. 
Although he was still suffering from the effects of malaria, 
he remained at his post early and late. He sent home a 
part of his monthly earnings to help support his mother and 
sisters, who were still in Little Rock. 

David remained at Monroe four or five months. At 
times he had entire charge of the office. Being in close 
touch with all that went on in the armies in northern Missis- 
sippi, he became restless and eager to get nearer the excite- 
ment. His father had him resign about January 1, 1863, 
and he made his way to Granada, in Mississippi, where his 
father was serving as a sutler to the Third Arkansas Regi- 
ment (dismounted rifles) . For seven or eight months there- 
after David spent most of his time in camp. His father went 
back and forth to Mobile, bought wholesale lots of tobacco 
and other merchandise, and left his son to retail the goods 
to the soldiers. He was both capable and fearless, and the 
father relied upon him as if he were a man of mature years. 
With all his self-confidence, his letters and his father's let- 
ters show him to have been a boy of modest and simple man- 

On September 10, 1863, Little Rock was taken by the 
Federals. It was thereupon decided between him and his 
father that he, David, should go to Little Rock and return 
to Jackson, Miss., with his mother and two sisters. He ar- 
rived in Little Rock early in October. After some hesita- 
tion, his mother decided to return with him. They went 

154 Arkansas Historical Association 

by train to DeVall's Bluff. Here they engaged deck pas- 
sage, all that was allowed them, on a river transport. They 
went aboard the boat, which was overloaded with Federal 
soldiers. The soldiers were insulting, we are told ; so much 
so that the mother was afraid to stay on board ' Vith two 
young girls and a hot-headed Southern boy." They went 
ashore immediately and returned to Little Rock. 

Some weeks later David found employment at Little 
Rock in a sutler's store. During the month of November he 
worked in two stores, both of them owned by sutlers of Fed- 
eral regiment. In the capacity of clerk he came into personal 
contact with the soldiers of several Federal regiments. It 
does not seem at all remarkable that a boy of his intelligence, 
after having lived almost a year in daily communication 
with an army, should have had the ability to write out a 
simple account of the troops stationed in the city. He cer- 
tainly had ample opportunity during his engagement to the 
two sutlers of the Federal army to find out all that is written 
in the little notebook. 

About December 1 his father appeared on the scene. 
His coming to Little Rock was doubtless unexpected. He 
had made his way across the country from Jackson, Miss., 
and slipped into the city at night without being discovered. 
He still had business in Jackson, and was in Little Rock for 
the purpose of taking his family back with him. David gave 
up his position and they went to Camden ; drove through the 
country in a wagon. They reached Camden near the middle 
of December. 

In the hurry to get but of Little Rock and within the 
lines of the Confederate army, fearing doubtless his own 
apprehension and arrest, the father left certain matters of 
personal business unsettled. To look after this business, 
David started back to Little Rock a day or two after they 
arrived in Camden. To insure his safe passage through the 
Confederate lines, his father went with him to Confederate 
headquarters in or near Camden. Here they met General 
Fagan, and had no difficulty in getting a pass. As a further 
precaution, his father gave him a birth certificate, which 
showed him to be under age for military duty. This certifi- 

Letters of David O. Dodd 155 

cate, several letters and a pass, dated December 22 and 
sifirned by W. A. Crawford, lieutenant colonel commanding 
Confederate outpost near Princeton, were all exhibited at 
the trial. 

There is a story, with more than one version, that Gen- 
eral Fagan told David to gather all the information he 
could while in Little Rock. General Fagan is reported to 
have called this story gossip, pure and simple. David's 
father was present during the interview with the general, 
and he is said to have denounced it as absolutely false. 
There is plenty of circumstantial evidence to bear out the 
truth of these denials. 

David made the return trip to Little Rock without acci- 
dent and entered the city by the Hot Springs road, on Christ- 
mas Eve. He was riding horseback. He brought with him 
several letters. At least two of them were from his father, 
who advised his correspondents to send him any Confeder- 
ate money they might wish to invest in tobacco. He speci- 
fied January 13 as the day he expected to leave Camden to go 
east of the Mississippi River. He promised to hold the to- 
bacco, which he proposed to buy, until after the war, and 
then to sell it on commission. David also had a letter from 
his sister, Senhora, to one of her friends. Miss Minerva Cog- 
bum. The latter he delivered on Christmas morning, so 
wrote Miss Cogburn in her reply. David had her reply in 
his possession when he was arrested. 

He spent the holidays in Little Rock — that is, until the 
morning of December 29 — ^as a guest at the home of his aunt, 
Mrs. Owen. We know from Miss Cogburn's letter that he 
went to more than one dance, that he mingled freely in the 
social life of his friends throughout the week. He met and 
talked with young girls, some who were in the habit of re- 
ceiving attention from Federal army officers. It is perfectly 
clear from the letters which passed that he saw much of 
Miss Cogburn. She wrote freely to his sister of her pleas- 
ure at seeing David again, and also about the social gossip 
of the town. Apparently she knew about the business which 
brought him back to Little Rock, but there is not the slight- 
est intimation of any other motive for his return. 

156 Arkansas Historical Association 

It was shown at the trial that he delivered a letter from 
his father to I. D. Fitzgerald and anotiier to E. B. Blanks. 
On the morning of December 29 he started to Camden. He 
left the city riding a mule, and traveled the same road by 
which he had entered. On the previous day he had visited 
the office of the provost marshal, where he was given a pass. 
Just outside of the city limits he was halted, his pass was 
examined and he was allowed to go on his way. Eight miles 
from Little Rock he was again ordered by a sentinel to pro- 
duce his pass. He did so and again went on his way. Dan- 
iel Olderburg, a private of Company "E," First Missouri 
Cavalry, testified at the trial that he was the soldier on 
picket duty eight miles from the city. The witness said, in 
part: ''I then told him he did not need a pass any more, 
and I kept his pass. I tore up the pass on the post when I 
was relieved." This happened some time during the morn- 

After leaving the picket who kept his pass, he contin- 
ued along the Hot Springs road to the home of his uncle, 
Washington Dodd, who lived eighteen miles from Little 
Rock, "on the upper Hot Springs road." Here he was given 
a pistol, one which he left, doubtless, as an act of precaution, 
on his way to the city. In the afternoon he turned back and 
retraced his steps along the Hot Springs road to a point not 
more than a mile or two from the place where the picket 
had taken up his pass in the morning. Here he turned into a 
cross road, which ran in a southeasterly direction. The cross 
road intersected another road, which was designated at the 
trial as "the Benton road." It was at the point of intersec- 
tion of the main road and the cross road, about ten miles 
from Little Rock, that he was arrested. The arrest was 
made just before dark by Sergeant Miehr of Company "B," 
First Missouri Cavalry. 

Less than a week before he had passed along the Benton 
road going to Little Rock. The soldiers swore they had been 
doing guard duty at the cross roads for some weeks. David 
said at the time of his arrest that he was on his way to the 
house of a Mr. Davis. He explained that he was returning 
to the Davis place for the purpose of exchanging the mule 

Letters of David 0. Dodd 157 

he was riding for a horse. He was apparently perfectly 
familiar with the road, and it seems improbable that he could 
have been ignorant of the presence of the soldiers at this 
point on the Benton road. 

He was sent first to Lieutenant Stopral, who insisted 
that since he had no pass, he must have some paper about 
his person by which he could be identified. The boy then 
handed the ofiScer his memorandum book, which contained 
the damaging telegraphic writing. Remarkable as it may 
seem, the officer was familiar with the Morse code. He read 
enough of the writing to arouse his suspicion, and then went 
with the boy to the "office" of Captain George W. Hanna. 
The captain took from him all his papers, some money and 
the pistol. He then gave him his supper and had him placed 
in the "guard house." The next morning, which was Decem- 
ber 30, Hanna turned the prisoner over to Capt. John Baird, 
who brought him to Little Rock and delivered him into the 
hands of General Davidson. 

The trial was begun on the following day. It lasted six 
days. The prisoner was allowed counsel to defend him. 
William M. Fishback, who afterwards became governor of 
Arkansas, was one of his lawyers. Several witnesses were 
called by the defense. They all swore that they had seen him 
at different times during the holidays, but that they had no 
evidence of his being a spy. 

Robert C. Clowry, who many years later became presi- 
dent of the Western Union Telegraph Company, was chief 
witness for the prosecution. He said he was captain and 
assistant quartermaster, and at present acting assistant su- 
perintendent of United States Military Telegraph. He swore 
that the following was a true translation of all the tele- 
graphic writing in the book : "Third Ohio battery has four 
guns — ^brass. Three regiments in a brigade, brigade com- 
manded by Davidson. Infantry: First brigade has three 
regiments ; Second brigade has three regiments, one on de- 
tached service; one battery, four pieces. Parrot's guns; 
Brigadier General Solomon commands a division, two brig- 
ades in a division; three regiments in one brigade, two in 
the other. Two batteries in the division." 

158 Arkansas Historical Association 

The trial ended on the 5th of January, when the court 
passed sentence of death by hianging. The next day General 
Steele ordered the provost marshal general to carry out the 
sentence on January 8, on the grounds in front of St. John's 
College. A number of citizens, men and women, begged the 
general to spare the boy's life, but he refused to interfere. 

The execution took place at the center of an enclosed 
square, the four sides of the square being formed by armed 
soldiers standing in line, probably four battalions. At least 
one eye-witness, who was perhaps near enough to hear ordi- 
nary conversation, gave this account of what happened after 
the wagon in which the prisoner sat came to a stop under 
the gallows : He stood up in the wagon, deliberate and calm. 
The attendants did their work hurriedly. The provost mar- 
shal, it seems, had forgotten a covering for his eyes. Seeing 
this, David said, "You will find a handkerchief in my coat." 
These were his last words. His part in the tragedy was 

Monroe, La., Nov. 7, 1862. 

Dear Sister : I received Ma's dispatch on the 5th, and I was very 
glad to hear all were well. I saw Mr. Houston of Pine Bluff here last 
night. He left there (Pine Bluff) last Monday (today is Friday) 
and was going to Holly Springs. He left this morning. I wrote a 
letter to Pa to send by him. But I did not get up in time to give it to 
him. I don't get up until 7 o'clock of mornings. Don't get breakfast 
till 8. Sometimes don't get up till half after 7. I went to Delhi (a sta- 
tion forty miles down the railroad) day before yesterday; went all 
over the town ; it did not take me long to do it, for it is quite a small 
place. The operator there is a very pleasant man. We took a walk, 
and I saw a young lady, he said the only one in Delhi. She was very 
good looking. I did not get acquainted with her. I came back on the 
evening train, and the passenger cars were full of ladies in the seats 
and men standing between the seats. I stood up thirty miles of the 
way. Finally some ladies got off and I got a seat. I had to stand up 
all the way going down. Hollands went down to Vicksburg this morn- 
ing. He expects to return next week. He talks of sending me to 
Richmond Roads. That is as far as the cars run. It is eight miles 
from Vicksburg. Don't know what he will do, he takes so many no- 

NOTE. — So far as it goes, this sketch is an impartial statement of 
the facts. Enough has been told, perhaps, for the reader to form his 
own opinion of the justice or the injustice of the case. 

Letters of David 0. Dodd 159 

tions. We are about to get rousted off of the line, anyhow. The old 
superintendent of it has come to claim it, but don't think the Govern- 
ment will give it up just yet. I think there is much danger for a while 
yet. It is beginning to get pretty cold, and we have no wood. I sent 
an order around to the quartermaster for a load this morning, but it 
has not come yet. I reckon it will be along after a while. 

I am sorry I did not get my letter off by Mr. Houston. It is not worth 
while to write and send a letter by mail to Holly Springs, for the mails 
are so irregular that the person you write to would not get your letter. 
I am glad you have sent my trunk, for I began to want winter clothes. 
This country looks a little like Texas, only there are no prairies. 
There is plenty of moss on the trees. It looks natural. Steamboats 
have not commenced running here yet, but river is rising very rap- 
idly. When you write to Emma tell her I think she might condescend 
to write to me once and a while, there are so many people coming 
down this way. She might write often. 

Have not heard from Pa since Ma's letter. I look for a letter 
every day, and have been looking for one for some time, but it seems 
like when I am anxious to get a letter I never get one. It is most 
time to get one from you or Ma. 

How is Mr. Gilbrath getting along towards cutting Gibson Bass 
out? Has he got acquainted with Miss Lizzie yet? How does he 
progress? There are some very pretty girls over at Trenton, about a 
mile from this little old place. I am getting tired of it, it is so dusty 
there is no pleasure to be seen here at all. I enjoyed my trip to Delhi 
very well. This is a very lonesome place. We only sent one message 
all day, but I got a novel and spent the evening in reading while Mr. 
McDonough slept. He wanted me to go down this morning and take 
charge of his office while he made a visit in the country among his 
friends. Hollands went to Vicksburg and I could not go down this 
morning. I expect I will have to go to Richmond Roads when Hol- 
lands returns. He may take another notion and stay there himself. 

Line was down all day yesterday, and we could not get a hand 
car to go down. I sent my messenger boy down on train this morn- 
ing. He went live miles and found the line broken. He fixed it and 
walked back. Have not heard Hollands say much about Camden line 
today. Do not think he will get it, but he has fine prospects of being 
appointed superintendent of a line to be built from Camden to Arizona. 
At least he has been recommended to Secretary of War. If he gets 
to build that line it won't make any difference if we do get thrown off 
of this one. Mr. Houston said that Snow did not have enough wire 
to complete the line from Camden to this place. If that be so, we 
have wire enough here, and Hollands will get to build the line. Don't 
say anything about the wire we have here, for Snow would try and 
have it pressed, if he knew it was here. 

My hands are so cold can't hardly write, must go and warm. My 
messenger boy has pressed some wood from somebody and made a fire. 

160 Arkansas Historical Association 

Well, am 0. K. again, seated to write after eating a hearty sup- 
per. I eat so much beef that I can't look a cow in the face. We have 
better beef down here than you do at L. R. We get beef from Texas. 

It is rumored on the streets that Stonewall Jackson and all his 
men are taken prisoners. Nobody knows how the rumor got here. I 
never heard anything of it till some men came up and asked me if it 
came over the line. I was not surprised, but I was mad, for there is 
a man here that starts all such things and says the telegraph operator 
told him. Nobody believes him now. I am not surprised to hear any- 
thing on the streets, for this place is worse than Pine Bluff. There is 
always some new report going through town and nobody knows. * * * 

Salt is selling at ten dollars per bushel delivered here — sweet po- 
tatoes at 75 cents per bushel. 

Well, now, for something else. Don't know what to write about 
that will interest you. Have you heard anything from Frank Henry? 
I expect he has written to you before this time. If he has, and you 
intend to answer his letter, just tell him where I am and tell him to 
write to me. Let me know how Mr. Gilbrath is getting along cutting 
out Gilson. How does Gilson look? Believe I will write to him and 
see what kind of a correspondent he will make. You don't write about 
the girls. I don't care anything about hearing yours and Mr. F.'s 
courtship. Write how the girls look and what they all say. Tell Miss 
L. that I say for her to pinch you two or three times for me and then 
as many times for herself as she wants to. Sis, wish you and Ma and 
Lee could come down and see me. It would only take you three or 
four days to come, if you came by Pine Bluff. Write to Cousin Henry 
Cloys and ask him if he don't want to take a pleasure trip down here. 
Probably he and Cousin Francis would like to come down. We could 
take a pleasure ride over to Vicksburg on cars. Probably Mr. Lytle 
would like to come over to see Will and bring him some winter clothes. 
They lost all of their clothing in the fight at Corrinth. If he wanted 
to come you could come down this far with him. There is a railroad 
all the way from here to Holly Springs. It would not take one long 
to go there from here. Probably it would improve Ma's health. If 
Mr. Lyttle or Cousin Henry would come, Ma could come and leave you 
and Lee there to go to school. They could come with very little ex- 
pense. I have no doubt but that it would help Ma. You and Lee 
could board out with some private family. I expect Mr. Lytle would 
as soon come as not. He would like to see Will and his old friends. 
It would about six days to go from here to Holly Springs. Ma could 
stay there a day or so and then come back here, just as she chose. 
What do you think about it? ^he weather is getting cool and travel 
is much pleasanter than when I came down. We came 160 miles out 
of the way, and the weather was very hot. We did not travel fast. 
I think Ma can come if she can persuade Mr. Lytle to the notion. I 
think Mr. L. would be more apt to come than Cousin Henry. Cousin 
is afraid of spending a little money. I expect Cousin Francis would 

Letters of David 0. Dodd 161 

like to come. I know Cousin Louisa would be glad to come to see Will. 
Probably I could get holiday for a short time to go over with them to 
H. S. to see the boys. Tell Cousin Lou if she wants to come to see 
Will now is the time, for old McClelland is coming to Vicksburg and 
make his way to Mobile. That is what the northern papers say, but 
I hardly thing he will succeed. 

I believe I have told you all the news. I will wait till the train 
comes in and see if it brings any news. It will be late tonight. It 
has just left Delhi, forty miles from here, and it is 9 o'clock now. 

Nov. 8. — Good morning, Sister. Very cold this morning. I have 
the Vicksburg of the 7th and the Memphis Appeal, which I will send 
you. It is reported that there was a little fight at Fort Hudson and 
that the Feds whipped us out. Not at Ft. H., but near there. Our 
men fell back to the fort. I do not know how true it is. Have not 
heard anything by telegraph yet. Fort Hudson is on the Mississippi 
below Vicksburg near Baton R. I think. General Blanchard brought 
the news over last night. He had been to Vicksburg. He believes the 
report is true. I did not hear particulars. It is believed that Vicks- 
burg will fall as soon as the river rises, but I think it will stand a 
long time yet, for we have some very heavy guns there. But when 
our forces do leave it will be burned. My hands are so cold can't 
hardly write. It was nearly 8 o'clock when I got up this morning. 
You need not tell anyone this, for they would think I am lazy. It 
is too cold to get up and make a fire. We don't have breakfast until 8 
and I get tired waiting when I get up early. Don't expect you get up 
much earlier these cold mornings. Have not been working to Vicks- 
burg this morning. Think he sleeps later than usual (it is 9 o'clock). 

Mr. Hollands is in Vix this morning. I must go and buy a pair . 
of gloves. It is too cold to do without them when I have no fire in my 
office. Believe I have told you all the news. Give my (73) (but you 
don't know what that means, it is telegraphic, means compliments) to 
Miss Lizzie and all the rest of the pretty girls. I like to have forgot- 
ten Miss Molly Griffith. How is she? But no use in saying anything 
about her for John McHenry is O. K. with her. Give my love to Ma 
and Lee. Goodbye. Your brother, 

David O. Dodd. 

Benton, Ark., March 2, 1863. 

Dear Sister: I arrived here yesterday evening just at sundown. 
I was a little surprised to find General Price and his staff here. When 
I got here I came into the house. Mr. Miller was sitting by the fire. 
Cousin Mat was down the street listening to the band. Some one told 
him that David Addison had come home. She came running to the 
house and was badly fooled. After supper we went down to the 
Park's to see the general but did not find him. We saw F. and L. 

162 Arkansas Historical Association 

Park dressed up in party dresses. I inquired what it meant and 
learned that there was to be a party at the courthouse and that Gen- 
eral Price was to be there. I went back to Mat's and put on my shoes 
and another shirt, etc., and went with Sarah to the party. Every- 
body in B. was there but no General Price did we see there. We had 
a very nice dance. None of the girls knew me at first, but I soon 
made myself known to them. Miss Delily looked very pretty, so did 
Miss Julia M. All of the girls seemed very glad to see me. They 
asked many questions about both of you. I intend to start to Texas 
tomorrow. I have made no collections. Jack Brents is dead. Hamp 
Meaks is here and has been discharged. Miller's company has not 
gone yet. I believe I have told you all the news. 

Goodbye. Your brother, 


Dear Mother: I have made no collection. Kendrix paid his ac- 
count to Uncle Wash. Mrs. McB. did not understand hers and Her- 
bert left here this morning before I got to see him. I will leave his 
note with Miller and let him collect it, when Herbert comes back. 
Could do nothing with Rea's and Alaway's note. There are but two 
of Price's brigades coming over, one Missouri and one Arkansas. The 
Arkansas is Cravens' brigade. It is the one to which P|i belongs. I 
have told you all the news. Excuse bad writing for my pencil needs 
sharpening and I have no knife to sharpen it with. Your son, 

David O. 

Monroe, October 23, 1862. 

Just received some letters to be mailed to Arkansas from the boys 
of Arkansas. Also one to you from Pa. He wants me to go over 
there and help him. Don't know what I had better do. Missed my 
chill day before yesterday and tomorrow is the day again. Hollands 
has gone down on the line today to repair it. I expect I had better 
stay here for the present or till I get right well of the chills. Excuse 
bad writing. I wrote you by Judge Bott on the 21st. Goodbye. 

David O. Dodd. 

P. S. — ^Train Pa was on came in collision with another. He says 
destruction of life was frightful. Thirty-five men killed instantly 
without a moment's warning. About fifty persons were wounded. 
Pa was not hurt. He was in the sleeping car. He says he rendered 
all the assistance to the wounded he could. Goodbye. Excuse writ- 
ing and in a hurry. David. 

Camps Near Ginada, Miss., Jan. 20, 1863. 
Dear Sister : Captain Hollwell of the brigade leaves camp in the 
morning for Dardanelle, Ark. He will go by way of Little Rock, and 
I thought I would write you another letter. Not much news. We 

Letters of David 0. Dodd 163 

liave orders to hold ourselves in readiness to mareh to Panola, Miss, 
(about fifty miles up towards Memphis) . I would not be surprised if 
we go to Memphis before we stop. Pa leaves tomorrow morning for 
Mobile, Ala. He buys all his goods there and at Jackson, Miss. The 
country is just what Will Lytle said. It is poor and hilly and when 
it rains it is very muddy. We are camped on a hill close to water 
and plenty of wood. It is a very good camping ground but a very 
muddy road to town. I have to go there quite often. Was up there 
today. The road is almost impassible. The cars have been running 
up and down the road more than usual. Suppose they are moving 
troops somewhere. I dont know where. It is reported here that the 
Federal gunboats have gone up Arkansas River and taken Little Rock. 
But I don't believe a word of it. Pa has changed his mind about going 
to Monroe, La., before he returns. He says he will come back here 
and let me go over to Monroe and probably I will go to Little Rock. 
I would like to visit L. R. once more before the first of March. Either 
Pa or I will be at Monroe in ten or twelve days. You may write to 
me there. Our negro boy, Ben, is a little fellow, but he is a good deal 
of help to us here. He can cook. I let him do my share of the cook- 
ing. We don't have very much to cook. We have a little skillet that 
we bake the bread in. It just holds enough for two persons, when 
they are hungry. If they are not too hungry it will hold enough for 
three. Pa says that he gets plenty of everything that is nice when 
he goes to Mobile. I reckon that is the reason that he goes so often. 
I think going home will do me as much good as going to Mobile. I 
have not received a letter from either of you in a month. 

Well, what is the news at Little R.? And what do you think 
about peace? The adjutant of our battalion (12 Batt. Ark. Sharp 
Shooters) says he will bet a thousand dollars that peace will be made 
in six weeks. I don't know what to think about it myself, but I hope 
it will be so, and then we can all go home and enjoy life. I believe 
I have told you all the news. Write to me at Monroe. One of us 
will be there about February 1. If I go I will go on home but not 
to remain very long. We are well at present. It is most supper time 
now, and I reckon I will have to help Ben get supper. So I bid you 
goodbye. Give my love to Ma and accept the same for yourself. Also 
to my inquiring friends. When you write tell me all the news. It is 
very cold here now. Your brother, 

David O. Dodd. 

Monroe, La., Nov. 23, 1863. 

Dear Mother: I leave in the morning (Monday) for Abbeville, 
Miss. I thought I would write to you once more before I leave. There 
was a gunboat in sight of Providence today. The Secretary of War 
has ordered Holmes to send 10,000 men to defend Vicksburg. People 
about Vicksburg are expecting an attack every day. It is one of the 
most important points in the Confederacy. If we lose it we are cut 

164 Arkansas Historical Association 

off. I will get over to the army in time to be in the fight that is ex- 
pected. Have not heard a word from my trunk, never expect to see 
it any more nor the things that are in it. Wish you had not sent it by 
Government wagons. I did not think it was a good plan. There 
was a steamboat which came down the river going back to Camden. 
The river is rising very fast. Line is still in charge of Hollands. He 
wants me to stay here with him, but Pa says he needs me over there. 
He has telegraphed for me several times. I leave Monroe and a great 
many friends for Abbeville, Miss. I am as fat as butter. I tele- 
graphed to you today. Hope you are all well. Pa is well. I received 
a letter from him two or three days ago. I will send it to you. Not 
much excitement here now. I will write to you again soon. Will 
have more to write about and more time to write it. 

Goodbye. Your son, 

David 0. Dodd. 
P. S. — Direct letters to Abbeville, Miss. 

Monroe, La., Oct. 8, 1862. 

Dear Mother: I have just bought four papers of pins for you; 
gave $1.25 per paper for them. Gave $5 for the four. Do you want 
any more? If so let me know, and I will send them to you. Send 
my trunk if you see anybody coming down this way. Telegraph me 
when you send it and by whom. News of a fight at Corinth received 
here today. Says VanDom attacked the enemy and drove them from 
their intrenchments. It is said that the enemy was reinforced on the 
4th inst. and our army fell back. Do not give any particulars of the 
fight. It is said, however, that our losses are heavy. Reckon Smith 
and Miller are on their way home. Pa says that he saw a man who 
said they were. They have not arrived here yet. This place is be- 
tween 75 and 100 miles from Vicksburg. We hear from there every 
day. The telegraph line goes to De Soto, which is just on this side 
of the river from Vicksburg. Pa went on Monday's train for Vicks- 
burg. He said he would see how much sugar is selling at in Richmond 
and Mobile, and if he could make anything at taking some there he 
would return on this evening train. I will not finish this letter till 
train comes in. I hear that the Feds are on an expedition to go 
through west Louisiana. Don't know how true it is. I sent in Sister's 
letter, which went last night, an order on or against Beahr, the 
butcher, for fifty-two dollars and some cents. If you need money col- 
lect it if you can. Also collect of W. L. Davis for what time he has 
used the bed. He was to pay two and a half dollars from the 10th 
of July to about the 10th or 15th of August. The irest of the time he 
was to pay $5 per month. Did you get any money from Arkadelphia 
from Osbom or Dr. Hadfield? If any, how much? Let me know, so 
I can tell whether they sent enough or not. I will finish after the 
train comes in this evening and see if Pa comes back. 

Letters of David 0. Dodd 165 

Oct. 8, 9 p. m. — Train not arrived yet; they are late tonight. An- 
other dispatch has been received in regard to the fight at Corinth on 
the 3d. It says our forces under VanDom and Price were defeated 
and our losses heavy. No particulars given. Don't much think Pa 
will come back on the train tonight. New law has been passed to 
take all the men out under thirty-five into the field. That will take 
some of the big bugs out of Little Rock, I think. People seem to think 
down here that Congress will not extend the conscript law beyond 
forty years, not to forty-five. I do not know whether the bill has 
passed or not. I wrote in letter to Sis that I would send you a paper. 
I looked at it and found that it had no news in it, so I did not send it. 
The people I board with are Catholics and Yankees, too, but that makes 
no difference. We have plenty to eat, cooked well. Have pure coffee, 
but have it once a day only. Have chicken every day for dinner 
stewed with potatoes. Have biscuit for breakfast with steak as tough 
as leather; can't eat much of it. Pa said he would write to you from 
Vicksburg. Hollands has gone down to get an operator to stay there. 
Had a dispatch to General Holmes stating that there were arms 
enough coming to him to arm six thousand men. 

Oct. 9. — Pa did not come over last night. Just received a letter 
from Ed Newton, and he says he sent dispatch through to you. Some 
calico here at $1.50 and $1.25 per yard. Don't reckon you want any 
at that price. * * * 

Monroe, Oct. 22. 

Dear Mother: Judge Bott did not get off yesterday, and I con- 
cluded I would write you a little more. Our line broke yesterday even- 
ing about 4 o'clock. Hollands is going out this morning. I missed 
my chill yesterday; hope I won't have any more. I saw Mr. Worsham 
of Pine Bluff yesterday. He was going to Holly Springs, and I wrote 
to Pa by him. Judge Bott will leave today. I have not heard any 
more from Holly Springs since the letter I sent you from Pa. Hope 
3rou are all well. Goodbye. David. 

Monroe, Oct. 21, 1862. 

Dear Mother: I have just seen Judge Bott. He has not heard 
from Pa since he left him at Jackson. He never bought anything 
hardly; everything very high there. I am looking for Pa over on 
tomorrow's train, but have not heard from him since I saw Gus Craw- 
ford. I wrote to you last Sunday. It takes a letter a long time to go 
frotn here to Little Rock. I suppose you have got the letter I re- 
ceived from Pa before now. No news here. There is no doubt but 
that Bragg routed Buell at Perryville, Ky., on the 8th (our loss from 
two to three thousand, the enemy between four and five thousand). 
It must have been a dreadful fight. 

Hope to hear from you soon. I have been taking medicine to 
keep off my chill today. Judge Bott leaves this morning for Little 

166 Arkansas Historical Association 

Rock. Don't forget to send me some clothes by first opportunity. 
Bought me some undershirts yesterday and had to pay three dollars 
and a half for them. 

I am writing in a great hurry. You must excuse this short letter. 
I would send you some .papers but have not got any here in office and 
haven't time to go and get any now. Vicksburg has a report for me 
and I must take it. Write soon and often. Goodbye. Your son, 

David O. Dodd. 

P. S. — ^Am well but don't expect to continue so long. 

I write write every time I hear from the army. Ryan was shot 
through the head and his thigh was broken also. I suppose Will is 
well. Ryan was left on the battlefield instead of the hospital. You 
had better send Cousin Louisa word about Will, as she would like to 
hear from him. Davio. 

Mother: Since I wrote to you I have received a letter from Pa, 
which I will send to you by Mr. Bott. Pa wrote on the back of the 
envelope that he had just seen Will. He said that Mr. Ryan was shot 
and was taken to the hospital, but supposes he was taken prisoner 
afterwards. If Pa stays as sutler probably I will go to him. It must 
have been horrible to see all the wounded in the rain. I expect you 
will have the first letter written from Corinth of the fight there. Mr. 
Bott says nothing at Mobile to sell. Pa will be disappointed when he 
gets there and does not find Judge Bott. 

I think I will call for $80 per month next month, and if I do not 
get it I will probably go to where Pa is then, if accepts the appoint- 
ment as sutler. Judge Bott said he would call for this letter, but he 
has not come yet. 

Bowman House, Jackson, Miss., April 30, 186 — . 

Dear Mother : I arrived here yesterday morning just at daylight. 
I have been to Mobile and am this far on my way back to the army. 
Well, I will begin at the beginning and tell you all the news since my 
last letter, which I sent by Frank Thomlinson. I met Frank at this 
place on my way down to Mobile. I left Pa here and went on down 
to Mobile and in a day or two he followed me. About the time we 
got ready to start back the Yankees were between here and Mobile, 
so that we were kept there two or three days longer than otherwise 
we would have remained. The Yankees have made a successful raid 
through Mississippi. They crossed the Southern railroad, which runs 
from Vicksburg to Meridian, and burned the depot at Newton, cap- 
tured and burned two trains of cars, destroyed two engrines, burned 
several bridges, and tore up the track for fiw^ miles. They then went 
across to the Mobile & Ohio railroad, which runs from Meridian to 
Mobile. They came to the road at Enterprise and demanded the sur- 
render of the place. We had only one regiment at Enterprise. Our 
men asked for an hour and the Feds saw our face, left and came 

Letters of David O. Dodd 167 

across to the New Orleans, Jackson & Great Northern railroad, which 
runs from Jackson to New Orleans. They touched the line at Hazle- 
hurst, but I think they didn't do much damage there. It is supposed 
that they are trying to get to Bankes' army. This army was busy 
cannonading at Vicksburg yesterday morning, last night and this morn- 
ing troops were moving that way. 

The following dispatch was received yesterday eve: 

''Grand Gulf, April 29. To Lieut. Gen. Pemberton: After six 
hours and a half of continued firing the gunboats have retired. They 
fired about three thousand shot and shell, temporarily disabling one 
gun. Our loss was three killed and twelve or fifteen wounded. Ap- 
parently we disabled one of their boats. Damage unknown. Col. 
Wm. Wade of artillery, one of the best and bravest of command, was 
killed at his post. The men behaved like veterans, as they are, and 
are now at work preparing for another attack. One disabled gunboat 
after endeavoring unsuccessfully to go up th^ river now lies three 
miles below on the Louisiana shore. Signed John L. Bourn, Brig. 

Our brigade is at or near Grand Gulf. I suppose they were in 
the fight. Pa and I left Mobile oq the 16th and came to Meridian. 
Pa stayed at Meridian with his goods, as he could not get them here 
unless he packed them on his back for miles. On the morning of the 
17th I left him and came up here. I had a pretty long walk, but I 
made it and packed my saddlebags on my shoulder. It was a mighty 
ruff road and a great many bad wishes were made about the Yan- 
kees for destroying it. There was about one hundred of us all tod- 
dling along through the mud. I am going to Grand Gulf tomorrow if 
I can get there. I am fearful that the Feds will take Vicksburg yet 
before they quit. Five or six more boats have passed since I wrote to 
you. I think General Pemberton ought to be reduced to ranks for 
letting the Yankees pass through the state without being attacked. 
They have made a brilliant raid and they will brag about it for the 
next six months. There was a man here this morning that was going 
to Little Rock, but I did not have a letter written and did not feel 
like writing one at the time he left on this morning train. There is 
another one here now that is going to Arkansas tomorrow. I will 
send this by him. Pa was well when I left him. We have not heard 
a word from you since I left home. I got a letter that you wrote to Pa 
while I was at home. Of course, it did not have any news in it. I 
expect we will be at home some time in May. I like Mobile very well. 
I believe I would like to live there. I went to the theatre most every 
night. I stayed there a week. 

Give my love to Sis, Lee and Cousin Emma. Tell Cousin Emma 
to let me know when she gets married. I want to be at the wedding. 
Write soon and by every opportunity. I believe I have told you all 
the news. Tell Cousin Lou to write me. If Hadfield has sold all of 
the tobacco keep it till I come home. Tobacco is getting higher. If 

168 Arkansas Historical Association 

you need any money borrow some of Mr. Blanks. Tell the girls to 
write. It is rather strange that we do not get letters from you. 
Direct letters to Jackson instead of Vicksburg, for one of us will be 
passing Jackson very often. Well, I must close. Goodbye. 

Your son, 

David O. Dodd. 

Camp Near Grenada, Jan. 16, 1863. 

Dear Sister: As there is a man who is going to Arkansas from 
our brigrade this evening, I thought I would write to you. It is snow- 
ing here now. Last night was a very cold night, and I wished more 
than once that I was back at Monroe or at home. I reckon Uncle 
Wash is at home now, rejoicing that he is not in camps. This morn- 
ing is the coldest that we have had this winter. While Pa was at 
Mobile I went to Jackson to meet him on Friday, the 9th. We stayed 
there all day Saturday. Sunday we started to Grenada and got 
there Sunday eve. Pa bought a negro boy at Mobile. Colonel EarPs 
regiment (the Br'd) has gone up towards Abbeville to a little town 
(Oxford). They have been mountes. Don't reckon they enjoy this 
snow much. Griff Bayne of Pine. Bluff is captain of a company in 
Major Raply's battalion. All of the cavalry have gone somewhere, 
I don't know where. Probably they are going to make another raid. 
Some say they have gone to Memphis; they have gone that way. I 
hope they will be successful. This snow will go very hard with them, 
as they have no tents with them. I am sorry to hear that Hindman 
was whipped over in Arkansas. I have heard that a part of Holmes' 
command is making towards Vicksburg, but we have heard this sev- 
eral times before and I can not bring myself to believe it. We 
whipped the Yankees out at Vicksburg, have whipped them on all 
sides. There are no Yankees between here and Holly Springs. 

Probably you would like to know how I get along about cooking. 
I am a first rate cook. I can make very good combread, but have 
not learned to make biscuits yet. I have a very good reason for not 
learning — have not had any flour. Pa makes the coffee, I bake the 
bread and fry the meat. Our boy brings water and sometimes he 
helps me to cook. He is not large enough to do much. We are 
camped forty-four miles south of Grenada on the Mississippi Central 

I reckon you would like to know when we are coming home, but 
I can not tell you. Will go, if we ever do, perhaps in February or 
March. Everything is very high over here. The Feds did not get to 
Monroe and I reckon my trunk is there. Pa talks about going over 
there before he comes back here from Mobile. I am not needing any- 
thing that is in my trunk, and if you can get it back to Little Rock 
that would be best. I told Winfry Scott to inquire for it, and if he 
found it to take it back with him. The Feds have destroyed the rail- 
road from Vicksburg to Delhi (a station forty miles from Monroe). 


Letters of David 0. Dodd 169 

It was reported a few days ago that they had taken Port Hudaon but 
it was false. 

We are fare first rate. Have oysters, pork, beef, bacon, corn- 
bread and coffee, butter, etc If we had a little flour once in a while 
it would help the cause. Flour is very high and none to be had. 
Some was sold at Grenada a week ago for |116 per barrel. We cant 
afford it at that price. I know you like to get long letters, but I can't 
make this a long one for I have already told you aU the news. I have 
not heard anything from Owen's company. They are at Port Hudson. 
I sent word to the boys that I am here and for them to write to me, 
but they have not written. A gentleman here now just from Arkan- 
sas says the road from Vicksburg to Delhi is being repaired. He says 
it is probably finished by this time. Pa may take a notion to go over 
to Rackensack and take some goods. No more news. 

Your brother, 

David 0. Dodd. 


(By W. S. Ray.) 

Foreword. — Some years ago Capt. John G. McKean 
agreed to write some reminiscences of the early days of Se- 
vier County, Arkansas. No man was better qualified for 
the task than he, having been born at Ultima Thule and hav- 
ing spent all of his days at or near that place, except the 
four years of the war between the States, which time he 
served in the Confederate army, but owing to ill health and 
disabilities of age, this task was never finished, and with his 
death passed away the possibilities of some interesting his- 
tory of the early days of Sevier County, especially the west- 
em part of it. 

I have been importuned by some of my old friends, as 
well as the editor of the DeQueen Bee, to give the public my 
recollections of this part of the country, dating from the 
close of the war until a more recent date. After this agree- 
ment with the editor, and reflecting over the matter, I have 
concluded that I have agreed to do something overreaching 
my abilities. However, as I have made this agreement, I 
will proceed and do the best I can, hoping that I may not be 
criticised too severely, for I propose to give out nothing but 
the facts as they came under my observation, or have been 
related to me by some old-timer long since gone to his re- 

As to how I came to be in Arkansas at that early date 
does not figure in or belong to this sketch, but as some of 
my most vivid recollections of Arkansas carry me back east 
of Sevier County, I will commence this sketch on Markham 
street, Little Rock. 

One very hot July afternoon in 1865 I could have been 
seen walking up Markham street, carrying all my earthly 
possessions, consisting of an old oilcloth satchel containing 
a very limited wardrobe, an old pocketbook in my pocket. 

Early Days in Sevier County 171 

containing considerably less than five dollars in cash, and a 
parole from a Federal officer, stating that I had been a sol- 
dier in the Confederate army and in rebellion against the 
United States Government, and promising not to violate 
this parole until lawfully exchanged, which up to this time 
has never been done, and if I was ever out of the Union (as 
we were all accused) I am still out, for so far I have never 
done anything to get back, or if any one did anything to put 
me back I am not aware of it. 

Walking up Markham street, reflecting upon the sins 
of rebellion and the vastness of the Yankee army, I met an- 
other one of the vanquished army of Tennessee trying to 
make his way back to his home and mother in Texas, where 
he had left when a boy, four years ago, and had not seen his 
home since, which place he swore, if he ever reached, he 
would never leave again. While we were talking, and he 
was insisting that I go with him to his Texas home, we were 
joined by two young men from Louisiana trying to make 
their way home. We were soon joined by two more of the 
vanquished from Arkansas. After consulting an old citizen 
and getting the desired information as to the route we should 
travel, we soon left the city of Little Rock in our rear, I hav- 
ing concluded to go home with the Texas boy, as at that time 
I had no place in view to go, and one place seemed as invit- 
ing to me as another. The afternoon sun shone very warm, 
and we walked very fast for a while. I wore a pair of new 
boots that soon had my feet blistered. We could get nothing 
to eat, so we soon found a patch of blackberries and made 
our evening meal, and under some bushes on a soft bed of 
leaves we slept till morning's soft sun rays touched our 
weary brows and reminded us that another day's travel was 
awaiting us. About 12 o'clock that day a good old Southern 
lady gave us a good dinner of boiled cabbage, bacon and 

That evening the Texas boy and the two Louisianians 
left us, as on account of my blistered feet I had backed out 
from going to Texas with the boy, and concluded to go home 
with one of the Arkansas boys named Sanders. The next 
morning one of the Arkansas boys left for his home, leaving 

172 Arkansas Historical Association 

Sanders and me alone. We were now getting to where San- 
ders was somewhat acquainted and stopped for dinner with 
one of his acquaintances. While there he told us of the 
wolves catching all of his pigs and calves and that it was get- 
ting really dangerous for a person to be out at night afoot. 
He also told us that the cotton factory on the Little Missouri 
River was being rebuilt and enlarged and that they were 
wanting to hire men to help. do the work. After a hearty 
dinner of bread and milk (the only thing they had in the 
way of provisions) I bade Sanders and our host goodbye. I 
intended to go to the factory and try to get a job of work. 
There were very few people living on the road at that time. 
In fact, there were but very few people living anywhere in 
that part of the country. My feet were still sore from the 
blisters made on our first day's walk from Little Rock, and 
after leaving Sanders and starting off alone in this strange 
land of tangled wildwood and mountains I was seized with 
a feeling of loneliness that I had never felt before, not even 
on some lonely picket post at night, so I concluded to try and 
get lodging at the iirst house I came to. 

I passed one or two houses that evening but they had 
been abandoned and wore a look of loneliness that did any- 
thing but cheer my weary soul. It was getting dark and a 
slow drizzly rain had set in, when I met a man who told me 
he lived at the next house, a half mile further on, but that 
none of his family would be at home that night, as they 
would be with a neighbor off the road whom they were ex- 
pecting to die that night. I asked him the privilege of going 
to the house and sleeping that night, but I, being a stranger, 
he refused me this favor, as I expected he would do, but gave 
me the cheering information that there was a house four or 
five miles further on where I could get to stay. 

In this strange, rough country there were but few peo- 
ple living, and most of them were Union people who had 
been, some in the Union army and some staying at Little 
Rock for protection from the rebel Guerillas, where they 
found it easier to draw provisions from Uncle Sam's com- 
missary than to hustle for a living at home. My spirits had 
ceased to droop but had taken a sudden fall to somewhere 

Early Days in Sevier County 173 

about the lowest degree. I paid no more attention to my 
sore f eety but started at a lively gait to measure off that four 
or five miles, but when I reached this place and hallooed, a 
woman's voice answered me across the road at what seemed 
to be a cow lot ; so I went over and asked her if I could get 
to stay all night, telling her that I was a stranger, tired, foot- 
sore and weary. She said it was a bad chance, as she was 
not prepared to take in strangers ; that her husband was not 
at home and she was alone with her little children. I told 
her that that would make no difference, as I considered my- 
self a gentleman, and she need not fear anything from my 
presence, and from her talk I began to feel sure that I was 
going to get to stay all night. She asked me where I came 
from and I told her from east of the Mississippi River, and 
she asked me if I had been in the army and I told her I had. 
She then asked me what army. I told her "Johnson's," to 
which she replied, "He was a Rebel, was he not?" I told 
her, "Yes, he was." Then,, with an oath, she told me if I 
had been in the Rebel army she had no use for me ; that on 
her way to Little Rock to her husband, who was in the Union 
army, they had taken the best horse she had and left an old 
broken-down one in its stead and refused to pay her any 
difference, and had taken a good beef steer from her and 
wouldn't pay her a cent for it, and finished by wishing all 
rebels in a hot country or place where I hope I never go. 

I told her that I had never wronged or harmed her, and 
she ought not to blame me for what others had done; to 
which she replied in no style of modern Sunday school lan- 
guage, if I had not wronged her I belonged to the set that 
did, and I could not sleep under her roof. So I asked her 
what was in the old house in the cow lot and she said noth- 
ing but some straw. I asked her if I could go in there and 

She said no, I could not stay on her place. I persisted 
in talking kindly to her until I found I could not get to stay 
all night and that it was four miles to the next house and 
no fork in the road that would put me out. During my 
four years' service in the army I had heard some very rough 
language used, and that woman had a sample of it all, and I 

174 Arkansas Historical Association 

will say that I got some new lessons from her that night. 
After this dialogue had continued for some time I began to 
think that her husband might be lying around, and hearing 
our racket might slip up and slip a bullet into me, so I very 
unceremoniously left her to finish the debate. 

I had gone less than a hundred yards when I came to 
some water. In the inky darkness I could not tell how 
much, how wide or how deep, so I pulled off my boots and a 
part of my clothes and waded in, but found it shallow and 
waded across all right, sat down on the rocks and dressed 
myself and started on again. I had not gone more than 
twenty yards until I came to more water, so I put into it 
with all my clothes on and found I was in a considerably 
deep stream and had gotten above the ford into deep water, 
then got on to some slick rocks and fell down and got my old 
greasy satchel full of water. After some delay and trouble, 
I found the way to get out and left the Caddo River behind 
me. Some time in the night I came to the house I had been 
told of, and finished the night. How long it took the fumes 
of sulphur to clear away from the house across the river I 
never knew. 

The next night I reached the cotton factory but found 
no job, and two days later I was stopping on Rolling Fork 
River with a man whom I once met in the army. I had my 
few coarse clothes and fifty cents in cash, which I soon in- 
vested in that popular old army game called "poker." Im- 
agine my condition, if you can ; many hundred miles from 
acquaintances of boyhood days and friends of long ago, 
among strangers, stranded, without a job, penniless and no 
bright prospects for the future. There were but few people 
in the western half of Sevier County, and at that time there 
were but four families living on the road just north of where 
Grannis now is to Ultima Thule, and only ten families liv- 
ing on Rolling Fork from head to mouth. Game of all kinds 
was plentiful, and a man could take his gun and go out to a 
deer-lick any morning and kill a deer. Bear was not so 
plentiful, but bear meat in the fall of the year was common, 
after they had become fat on the mast, which at that time 
was never known to be a complete failure, as it has been 

Early Days in Sevier County 175 

since so much timbered land has been cleared. I have 
ploughed in the field when the deer would be feeding in the 
same field. I have sat in my house and seen the deer feed- 
ing in a twenty-acre field that surrounded my house. 

The range was fine for all kinds of stock. Fattening a 
hog on com at that time was a thing unheard of. Cattle 
went the year round without feed and would get very fat in 
the sunmier and fall. Beef cattle were bought up by cattle 
men and driven to Little Rock and Shreveport and shipped 
by boat to New Orleans, Memphis and other river markets. 
A good five-year-old beef steer was considered currency at 
$20. Cows with calves usually sold at $8 and $10. Beeves 
were killed the year round; when a beef was killed in the 
summer, when the weather was hot, the few people in the 
neighborhood divided it, then the next time some other one 
of the neighbors would kill, and so on all around. No one 
ever entertained the thought of weighing out beef to a neigh- 
bor, and if a stranger happened to be sojourning in the 
country he shared the same as any others, but if he should 
forget himself and show the cloven foot he had better 
move on. 

At that time there was more charity, good feelings and 
accommodations among the people than I have ever seen 
since. It was nothing uncommon for people to go visiting 
twenty miles away, using oxen and the old tar hub wagon 
for conveyance. If a family wanted to leave home for a 
week or more's visit they could always find some one to go 
and keep house for them until their return ; or if they had 
nothing that would need attention during their absence they 
went away not fearing that anything would be molested 
during their absence, and if any person was from home he 
was always welcome to stay with any family he came to if 
night overtook him, and if he found a house and no one at 
home he went in and cooked a meal of anything he found and 
made himself at home with no fear of giving offense. Dances 
and quiltings were the common entertainment during the 
winter season, and I have known young women to ride 
horseback twenty miles to a quilting and dance. 

176 Arkansas Historical Association^ 

In the summer after the crops were laid by the barbe- 
cue season came in for its share of patronage and considera- 
tion. I have known the dance attending the Rolling Fork 
barbecues to last a good part of the next day. People knew 
or cared little for style in those days, and but little distinc- 
tion was made between people if they were honest and re- 
spectable. A girl that had a new print dress to wear to any 
kind of an entertainment was supposed to be well enough 
fixed, but with a new calico dress and a pair of store shoes 
she was the center of attraction. 

It may not be too much of a breach of etiquette to men- 
tion here some of the old-time slaves that figured prominently 
in some of the past times I have heretofore mentioned. First, 
I will mention Bill White, formerly owned by William White, 
one of the first settlers of Rolling Fork. Bill was known far 
and near for his culinary abilities at a barbecue, and bore 
about the same relationship to a barbecue that Napoleon 
Bonaparte bore to a battle. His two trusted lieutenants as 
helpers were Lit McKean and Jake Nelson, both ex-slaves. 
Lit was an ex-slave of the McKean family while Jake had 
been the trusted slave of the Nelson family, who had first 
settled the old Doctor Hammond place on Rolling Fork. Lit 
and Jake were both fiddlers, and no barbecue, with the at- 
tendant dance, was complete without Jake and Lit to furnish 
the music. I once heard a person say that they would not 
dance after music made by a negro. Had such persons lived 
in Southwest Arkansas at that time they would have been 
left out when it came to dancing, for the most aristorcatic 
people of Southwest Arkansas have tripped the light fantas- 
tic toe to the lively strains of music furnished by a negro 

Another faithful slave that deserves mention was Sam 
Dillahunty. Sam went through our late war with his mas- 
ter, as cook in the Confederate army, but in action Sam al- 
ways stayed with his master^s company to take care of any 
one that might get wounded, and in performing these volun- 
tary acts he was twice wounded himself. The Confederate 
pension board of Sevier County once put Sam's name on the 
Confederate pension roll in consequence of his having been 

Early Days in Sevier County 177 

wounded in the Confederate army. The pension law did 
not sustain this act and the State Board of Pensions turned 
it down. The county board then applied to the State Leg- 
islature, and by recommendation of Hal L. Norwood, who 
was at that time Attorney General of the State, a special act 
was passed putting Sam on the Confederate pension roll, an 
act endorsed, by all ex-Confederate soldiers who were ac- 
quainted with the circumstances. These faithful old slaves 
have all passed away with the full knowledge that they had 
the confidence and friendship of all the white people who 
knew them. 

At the time of which I am writing there were but two 
stores in our side of the county — one at Norwoodville and 
the other at Ultima Thule — and I still remember some of 
the prices, which I will give you : Calico, 25 cents per yard ; 
low-quarter brogan shoes, $4 per pair; a No. 8 Avery cast 
plow selling for $10. I once paid $2 each for four eight-inch 
shovel plow blades and $10 for a sack of salt ; $2.50 for an 
ordinary pole-axe; $1.25 for an old-fashioned eye hoe. The 
young woman or girl that could afford to pay fifty cents for 
a yard of ribbon to wear around her neck and hair was 
looked on as putting on style, and the man who nailed the 
boards on the roof of his house was lucky if he paid no more 
than twelve and a half cents per pound for the old-fashioned 
cut nails. 

Those were the palmy days of Southwestern Arkansas. 
We sold our cotton at from five to five and a half cents per 
pound in the seed. For a while there were but two cotton 
gins in the country — one owned by the McEeans and the 
other by Ben Norwood, Sr., of Norwoodville. But * later, 
when the country had become more advanced, the McKeans 
put up another one at Ultima Thule, the first one being on 
their farm on the Rolling Fork. 

In the spring of the year our merchants, the McKeans 
and Norwoods, and those at Paraclifta, Mineral Springs, 
Center Point and other inland towns, would take what cot- 
ton they had already had and could get to Hood's landing, 
and when the river would get high enough (which it some- 
times failed to do) for a steamboat to come up, they would 

178 Arkansas Historical Association 


take their cotton and go to New Orleans to buy goods for 
the coming year's sales. Sometimes, on account of low 
water, these goods would have to be hauled overland from 
Shreveport. This afforded a rich harvest for the profes- 
sional bull-puncher, who made his living hauling for the 
public. His team usually consisted of three or four yoke of 
cattle. His feed for his team cost him nothing, as he fed 
them on the range, for at that time grass was good any- 
where. The merchant who failed to get his cotton off, and 
his goods up in the early spring while the rivers were up, 
had to depend on getting his goods by long-horn conveyance 
from Little Rock, the teamsters usually going in gangs of 
two or three teams to as high as five or six. They would 
usually have a pony along to be used in herding their cattle 
and getting them together when fixing to break camp. Each 
puncher knew where the best grazing places were, some- 
times going a mile off the main road, and the length of the 
drive depended on the grass. From our part of the country 
one of these drives usually took from thirty-five to forty 
days. He would usually take, when the roads were good, 
about eight bales of cotton and bring back about four thou- 
sand pounds of freight, receiving three dollars per hundred 
each way. Hunting and fishing was indulged in at the dif- 
ferent camping places. Venison and turkey furnished the 
punchers a good part of their supplies. The man who has 
never been on one of these trips has missed a chance to en- 
joy life which will return no more forever. 

In speaking of the amusements of the early days in Se- 
vier County, I neglected to mention horse-racing and shoot- 
ing matches. At any gathering of men the horse race was 
always first to come up. A dollar was generally the amount 
bet on a quarter race, but the amount would reach as high 
as $10, or even more. There is something fascinating about 
a horse race that has a tendency to pull a man into it. I 
never witnessed a horse race that I did not have a preference 
and I hardly think any one else ever did. 

The shooting matches were most always for a beef. The 
distance was usually about forty yards off-hand or sixty 
with a rest, lying down and shooting off a log or chunk, the 

Early Days in Sevier County 179 

old flint-lock rifle always being the most popular gun in use. 
What has become of it? Has it passed away like its former 
owner ? There were always five quarters to a beef, the hide 
and tallow was considered a quarter. The sixth best shot 
got the lead that had been used by the marksman. Some- 
times a match would be shot for money, each one putting in 
an equal amount and shooting for it, the best shot getting 
the purse. 

We had a post office at Ultima Thule at that time and 
one on lower Bear Creek at the home of R. D. Wright, called 
Netta Boc (an Indian name meaning Bear Creek). Our 
mail usually came in once a week from Paraclifta, provided 
there was no high water and it suited the pleasure of the 
carrier. Part of the time it was carried by an Indian on a 
pony and like most of the government help he did just about 
as he pleased about it. After many years a petition was cir- 
culated at Ultima Thule to have the route made a semi- 
weekly route. One old citizen refused to sign it, giving as his 
reason for not signing it that once a week was often enough 
for people to get their mail and it would not be right to put 
the government to such a useless expense. 

Our country was short on doctors immediately after the 
war. Dr. Norwood of Norwoodville was drowned in Old 
river and our next nearest doctor was Dr. Bizzell of Para- 
clifta. He was kept so busy waiting on patients that it was 
almost useless for the people in our part of the country to 
send for him. In bad cases of pneumonia, fever, or broken 
bones, Mrs. Lucy M'Kean (or ''(Grandma" as she was called) , 
was most always called in, and as she had had considerable 
experience in nursing slaves, of which the family had owned 
a goodly number, she was very successful and no one was 
ever more ready or willing to care for the distressed than 
was Grandma M'Kean. 

It may be a little interesting to some of your readers to 
mention a mineral spring that existed at that time, not over 
three miles from the present site of DeQueen. Just what 
mineral this water contained, I am unable to say. If I have 
ever heard, I have forgotten, and I have also forgotten the 
name of the spring. At the close of the war people from 

180 Arkansas Historical Association 

many miles away would come to this spring and camp for 
weeks at a time, for health, and many sick people were 
brought here to be healed. I have known people to carry 
water for twenty miles from this spring. It was claimed to 
be an antidote for malaria and kindred diseases. During my 
long seige of chills, which I have already spoken of, I used 
some of this water, but whether it was the water or the 
various kinds of teas used that restored me to health, I can- 
not say. Witb the coming of a doctor into our midst, this 
spring fell into disuse. There are but very few people now 
living in Sevier County that can tell you anything of this 
spring. There was some talk at one time of opening it up as 
a health resort as an auxiliary boost for DeQueen, but the 
death of one of DeQueen's enterprising citizens put a stop to 
this venture. Who now owns the land on which this spring 
existed I do not know, but I do know that such a spring 
existed at one time and if it was worth anything as a health 
restorer at that time, why should it not be now, when two 
and one-half miles of good road from DeQueen will reach it? 

About the last month of 1868, or the first part of 1869, 
Dr. J. W. Hammonds from Tennessee, settled on the Rolling 
Ford and commenced the practice of medicine, which he 
continued to do until he died at Chapel Hill, near which 
place he had spent a large portion of his life attending the 
sick and dispensing charity with a lavish hand. 

The worst source of annoyance in those early days was 
the professional horse theif . Just after the war horse steal- 
ing became so common that the citizens commenced to take 
the matter in their own hands with the implacable Judge 
Lynch at their head, and dealt out quick justice to several, 
which had quite a salutary effect for a while at least, no less 
than six of them having seen daylight for the last time near 
where DeQueen now is. I will give one instance of quick 
justice, all names withheld, that happened near where De- 
Queen now stands. 

A man with his family had moved into the neighbor- 
hood and he seemed to be the head of a very nice, intelligent 
family, and every one accorded him and his family a warm 
welcome, and he could soon have become one of the leading 

Early Days in Sevier County 181 

men of this section had not fate interfered and warped his 
future. He had followed farming and merchandising before 
coming to this country and had enjoyed the confidence of all 
his neighbors and came to Sevier County bringing with him 
good recommendations from all his old neighbors. With him 
came a son-in-law and two sons. After they had been here 
a while horse stealing took a decided spurt, and several of 
the best horses of the country were missing. For a time all 
efforts to follow these stolen horses failed. Some horses had 
been stolen near the present site of DeQueen. After several 
days' search a camp was found in Red river bottom where 
these horses had been kept for several days waiting for Red 
river to go down so they could cross over. After crossing 
Red river it was an easier matter to follow them, and they 
were found where they had been sold in Western Texas by 
our new neighbors. Other horses from Sevier County were 
found and identified. They had been bought from this same 
man. Horses had been stolen in Texas and brought to Sevier 
County and sold. Some of the Texas parties who had lost 
horses returned with our Sevier County men, and our new- 
comer, his two sons and son-in-law were arrested. About all 
the Texas horses were found. Nearly all the people living 
between Norwoodville and Ultima Thule were notified, and 
met about two miles below where DeQueen now is. These 
parties were put on trial, Judge Lynch presiding. They 
were allowed to introduce any evidence they wished to. 
After all the evidence from both sides was given, a vote was 
taken on each one separately. The old man and his two sons 
received the death sentence; his son-in-law having proved 
an alibi, was acquitted. The boys had but little to say, but 
admitted their guilt. An old Confederate soldier who was 
present asked leave to have a private talk with the old man 
before he was executed. This request was granted, a guard 
being posted to preclude the possibility of escape. This talk 
lasted about twenty or thirty minutes. After it was over 
the three who had been declared guilty were left hanging 
by their necks to a low limb of a large white oak tree in the 
Bear Creek bottom. Parties buried the three dead men the 
next day and the family moved away to parts unknown. 

182 Arkansas Historical Association 

About thirty years after this event had taken place I met 
this same old Confederate soldier at McAlester, I. T. He 
stated that he told this old man in his private talk that he 
could do nothing to save him and that he was bound to hang. 
After the old man saw there was no hope, he made a confes- 
sion to this old soldier, and told him he had been following 
this business for more than forty years and that this was 
the first time his character had ever been questioned, and 
his only regret seemed to be that he had been the cause of his 
two sons coming to their untimely death. 

Now let me tell you something, and if you have lived in 
Arkansas you won^t laugh. The limb to which these men 
were hanged never leafed out again. I have in my life seen 
several limbs and trees that men had been hanged to and I 
never saw one that lived after. The limb would die, if not the 
whole tree. You may ask what the cause of this is. I cannot 
tell. I have only given you the facts ; you can do your own 
guessing. If you doubt this statement take some one out 
that ought to be hanged and leave him hanging to a limb and 
be convinced. 

In 1881 a simple-minded man named Hall was passing 
through the country. The Rolling Fork was full to swim- 
ming. There was no way to cross it. Three negroes met 
this imbecile at the river, and after torturing him to their 
satisfaction to have a little fun, as they expressed it, they 
knocked him into the river and he was drowned. They were 
all three hung by order of Judge Lynch ; one to a limb of a 
large red oak. The limb died. One was hung to a haw bush. 
It died also. One was hung to a dogwood, and it died. All 
died within a year. Later another negro was hung near 
Chapel Hill for the murder of an old colored man, Charley 
Hankins. He was hung that night to a dogwood tree. It 
died within a year. The reader may wonder and ask : "How 
many more died by violent hands in this country?'^ Just 
wait a moment until I can count them. Well, I have finished 
the count. From Ultima Thule to Bear Creek twenty-seven 
men died either by assault or from mob violence, enough to 
fill quite a large lot in a cemetery. 

Early Days in Sevier County 183 

That calls to mind the mysterious graveyard, as it has 
been called by the old settlers. Do you know where it is? 
Cross the bridge at Johnson Ford on Rolling Fork river. 
When you get off the bridge at the west end you are in this 
graveyard, most of it lying to your left, with the old road 
passing over it. I first saw this quiet little graveyard in 
1866. Stones were at the head and foot of nearly all the 
graves. It was then covered with briars and small trees. I 
was told at that time by some of the oldest citizens of the 
country that no one knew who had been buried there — that it 
had been there as far back as memory reached and no one 
could tell anything about it. Judge Sam DoUarhide, who 
died many years ago at Rocky Comfort, said it was there 
and unknown in 1803; hence the name "Unknown." But 
it is stated on good authority that a Mrs. Clark, whose hus- 
band was one of the pioneer settlers of the country, was 
buried there. After the death of Mrs. Clark, Clark moved to 
the Spanish territory of Texas and his descendants became 
the founders of Clarksville, Texas. 

Another old burying ground is found about one-half 
mile west of the mysterious graveyard. It had furnished 
a place of burial for the people of this section for many years 
before our late war, and was used for many years after the 
war. A little log church had been built, called Chapel Hill, 
and the place of burial was moved to this churchyard. But 
the little church has long since rotted and crumbled away, 
but most people living at DeQueen know where the. old 
Chapel Hill graveyard is located. The other one just men- 
tioned has grown over with briars and trees and a wagon 
road passes through it, but many of the graves can yet be 
pointed out. This place of burial was once outside, but is 
now in a field. A few family lots were once enclosed with 
stone walls. Some of these have fallen down, but enough of 
them still remain to show where some of the old pioneer fam- 
ilies are sleeping their last sleep. To those who take an in- 
terest in the past and the people of long ago, a visit to these 
old silent cities of the dead would be interesting. 

Another old burial place not known to many of the 
citizens of DeQueen, that was used for years before the war 

184 Arkansas Historical Association 

and up to a time not long before the Kansas City Southern 
railroad was built, is within the city limits and is located in 
the southern part of town. A very few trees are or were 
standing there a year or two ago. The only means by which 
this burial place can be located is a few sunken graves. A 
few houses occupied by colored people with the attendant 
outhouses seem to have been built there to desecrate this 
hallowed spot. Why the townsite company would lay out 
lots and sell them to be used, as these have been, is puzzling 

Years ago I was shown a canebrake on the Rolling 
Fork, below the old salt works, where it was said that a gang 
of counterfeiters made their headquarters and made counter- 
feit money as well. This gang had members, so told, that 
reached from Tennessee through Arkansas and into Texas, 
some of the so-called members belonging to some well-to-do 
and respected families of these three states. The Bible 
teaches us that the sins of the fathers will be visited on their 
posterity even to the fourth generation. We have no right 
to dispute it, but here is evidence that causes us to believe 
this is true in more than one way. A granddaughter of one 
of these old families, accused of this counterfeiting business, 
many years ago married and was living on her grandfather's 
place. Her grandfather was supposed to have some gold 
buried when he died. It was never found. In a very secluded 
and secret spot, her husband found quite a goodly lot of gold. 
Thinking it was the grandfather's gold, to which they had a 
perfect right, this man used some of it in making purchases 
for his family. That tall chin-whiskered old man with the 
starry hat and striped breeches claimed that he had never 
made any such money, and that it was counterfeit, and that 
the man spending this money owed and should pay him two 
years hard labor at one of his workhouses maintained 
for the benefit of the unwary, notwithstanding he claimed 
and proved he found it. A part of this money was wrapped 
in a newspaper announcing that James K. Polk was a candi- 
date for President of the United States. It had been kept 
very dry and was supposed to have been spurious coin hidden 
away by the woman's grandfather. 

Early Days in Sevier County 185 

Arkansas has produced some wonderful things but one 
of its most unique productions was a man named Jackman. 
He was here years before the war and remained several 
years after. I never knew where he was from and never 
saw a man that did. In evading an answer to a question he 
was a scientist pure and simple ; also in many other things. 
You could hardly name a place or country but what Jackman 
had been there. He was a man of sense and education, and 
could give information about most anything that he was 
asked. His going was like his coming, something of a mys- 
tery. One of his hobbies was mining. He was a good 
mechanic and blacksmith and could fix a clock or put a watch 
in order, mend jewelry or do most anything he might be 
called upon to do. He would come down into the settlement 
and work a while, get a small store of provisions, then away 
to the hills of north Sevier and prospect for mineral, believ- 
ing that he would strike something rich in the near future. 
When his first store of provisions would become exhausted 
he would return, go to work again and would soon be back 
in the hills again. He was very confident that h^ would some 
day strike mineral that would make him immensely rich. 
Then he was going to perfect an electric motor that he had 
in mind, next to his mining business. I never cared to listen 
to this talk, for like most all others, I thought he was some- 
what off balance and cranky, considerably flighty, and 
talked of things that I thought were unreasonable and could 
never be accomplished. I came upon him one day at his 
work. It was very hot and he asked me to sit down and rest. 
I did so. He was soon telling me what could be done with 
electricity and what he could accomplish if he had as much 
as five hundred dollars in cash. After giving me some ideas 
of how his motor could be constructed, he then proceeded to 
tell me what it could and would do in the future. As I was 
very tired I thought I would hear him through for once. He 
told me among other things that if I lived fifty years I would 
see boats running, and railroad cars running by electricity, 
and that the time was not far off when vehicles would be 
running the roads without horses. I told him I didn't think 
that would ever be done. He then went on and told me of 

186 Arkansas Historical Association 

Morse and his telegraph, how people had doubted him at 
first ; then told me of his success, that put him on the wires, 
and finally he told me that if I lived my allotted time I would 
hear people talking over telegraph wires. He seemed to be- 
come vexed and indignant when I told him it could not and 
never would be done and that he was wearing out his brains 
studying on things impossible. I asked him how much it 
would cost to bring out these things. He said that with five 
hundred dollars he could bring out his electric motor ; that 
would then get him all the money he would need to bring 
out his other things. 

I asked a man with some means a short time after this 
why he didn't put up five hundred dollars on Jackman and let 
him experiment with his motor. He replied that Jackman 
was an unusually smart man, and an educated man, and a 
man of much scientific knowledge, but when he got on his 
electric railroad car and went to talking over his talking 
telegraph wires he became excited and flighty and his mind 
ran into the infinite. I was young at that time, 1868, and 
was not competent to criticise Jackman, but I have lived to 
see all that he predicted verified, and if he had had the back- 
ing what might have been accomplished will never be 

But that which brought about greater expectations, 
more talk and less money than any other thing in Sevier 
County, was its mining booms. I knew one man, and only 
one, that made something out of these mines during the big 
boom of '74. A poor squatter of the hills found and located 
a claim. He soon sold this claim for a new wagon and a good 
pair of mules and four hundred dollars in cash. He started 
back to Missouri with his family and newly-acquired wealth, 
leaving his victim a more sorrowful but wiser man with the 
knowledge that all is not silver that is found in Arkansas 
mines. The first of these mines was discovered by John Bel- 
lah, who was a prosperous farmer living on the old line road 
between Ultima Thule and what is now known as Gillham. 
He found something on his place which he thought was 
silver, sunk a shaft perhaps ten or twenty feet deep, but 
found nothing of value during the Confederate administra- 

Early Days in Sevier County 187 

tion. This mine was worked for lead by the Confederate 
government. New shafts were sunk. When the war closed 
these mines closed also, without ever getting enough lead to 
make a buckshot. Yet I have been told by men who knew 
nothing about it that the Confederate government obtained 
ammunition for their western army from these, the Bellah 
mines. I have seldom if ever corrected one of these wise 
men, for I have learned by experience that there is glory in 

In 1874 a big boom was raised over the mines and it was 
common to see men from St. Louis, Philadelphia, New York, 
and other places prospecting and buying mineral claims. 
Uncle Sam Davis, as he was commonly called, located a claim 
that now goes by the name of the Davis mines; did some 
little work on it and had an offer of thirty thousand dollars 
for it by a Philadelphia firm. This he refused, saying if it 
was worth thirty thousand dollars it was worth a million. 
He never realized a dollar from this mine and died a poor 
man some years after. 

In 75 or 76 Captain C. K. Hohnan and Bert Kins- 
worthy spent some money developing the Davis mine. It 
proved to be a Jonah on their hands, and they gave it up 
with a good lot of experience as dividends. During the big 
boom of 1874 a company from Joplin, Mo., brought in a 
large amount of machinery and went to work at the old Bel- 
lah mines. This gave the mining business an impetus that 
perhaps it will never know again, notwithstanding there 
is another boom on at the present time. After furnishing 
the country with quite a lot of cash, enough almost to equal 
the coming cash payment to the Indians, they, like the Arabs, 
folded their tents and quietly stole away, leaving only a 
memory and a hole in the ground. But the mining business 
in Sevier and North Howard, like the troubled sea, was to 
have no rest, and along in the 80's the fever broke out again, 
and engines were running at several different mines and all 
was hustle and activity again. When two men would meet, 
after the usual compliments were passed, one would take 
from his pocket some blue, black or gray looking rocks. 
These were called specimens, and after examining each 

188 Arkansas Historical Association 

other's find, they would separate, each one in the full belief 
that they had struck it rich. All this machinery was soon 
moved away and the natives of the hills were left to repose 
in quiet, for a while at least. Later it became known to all 
that it was the lack of railroad facilities that had caused all 
these failures. Why this had never been thought of before 
I cannot say. But with the building of the Kansas City 
Southern railroad, another company, either with or without 
a name, went to work at the old Bellah, did considerable 
building and put up extensive machinery, and after ship- 
ping a few wagon loads of ground rock to Kansas City or 
St. Louis, they converted this great system of machinery 
into a one-horse saw mill and I suppose are now dwelling 
under the shade of the woodbine far away. 

Those who doubt the statement of these last mining ven- 
tures consult the early files of the DeQueen Bee. I forgot to 
mention another company that was organized to work the 
old mythical Spanish mines on the Rolling Fork. They 
changed their organization into a piscatorial company and 
caught suckers. 

But I am getting too near the present date line, so I 
will drop back about my starting point in Sevier County, 
where I had just invested my all, a fifty-cent greenback 
shin-plaster in a game of poker. I think I hear some modern 
society belle say : "I will read no more of this stuff for he is 
nothing but an old gambler.'' I will admit that along in the 
60's and 70's I was right handy with the spotted paste- 
boards, but the custom was common in those days. So I will 
drop this subject and go back to work at Rolling Fork salt 
works on a hire for a peck of salt per day and my board, 
which consisted of fresh beef and corn bread for each of 
the three meals per day. There were three furnaces at the 
old works, one of them having twenty-five cast iron kettles 
cast at and hauled by wagon from Jefferson, Texas. Some 
of them can be seen scattered over the country now. The 
other two furnaces were supplied with 27 kettles each. 

The modus operandi for making salt at these salt wells 
was about this way : Wood was first cut in about four foot 
lengths and allowed to season for a while, and I will say 

Early Days in Sevier County 189 

here that these furnaces were kept rented and running all 
the time ; never allowed to cool down if it could be avoided ; 
consequently there were always two sets of hands, a day 
shift and a night shift. A big, wide furnace was built of 
rock and dirt, perhaps .12 feet wide. In the center of this 
furnace were two rows of kettles, the top of them a little 
above the level of the furnace. These kettles held from 50 to 
150 gallons each. The largest being placed at the front of 
the furnace, the smaller ones at the rear, diminishing in size 
from front to rear. The Water was drawn from wells with 
buckets and sweep. Why some one never made a pump and 
put in these wells is a mystery, as the water would stand 
several feet deep in these wells, the surface water coming in 
all the time, and the salt being the heavier always stayed on 
the bottom; the bucket only brought up a weak solution of 
salt water from the surface, when pumping the pure salt 
water from the bottom would have taken less boiling. As 
before mentioned the water was drawn from the wells and 
poured into the first kettle near the mouth of the furnace 
and was dipped back from kettle to kettle with a wooden 
bucket with a long handle attached to it similar to a hoe 
handle. In the last and smallest kettles it commenced to 
grain and as it thickened it very much resembled thick 
mush. It was then dipped up, put in troughs, with one end 
raised higher than the other, that all water might drip out. 
When it became drained and dry we had the genuine Arkan- 
sas production of salt, which was readily sold at four dollars 
per bushel. One peck of this salt I was to get for a day's 
work, but as I was then taking the initatory degree of Ark- 
ansas customs and ways and citizenship, I had a first-class 
case of chills served out to me, which stuck to me like a 
brother till Christmas. Chill tonics were not known at the 
time and quinine was out of the question. So for about four 
months I shook and drank teas of every conceivable kind. 
Among them I remember holly, mouse ear, sassafras, dog- 
wood, wild cherry and ash bark. The chills gradually be- 
came lighter and weaker and so did I. The last one, a day or 
two before Christmas, was barely perceptible, and if tramp- 
ing had been half as common then as it is now and I had 

190 Arkansas Historical Association 

known half as much about it as I do now, I would have 
sought my mother's home east of the great Mississippi River 
and she could have exacted any kind of promise or oath from 
me never to leave it again. But dear old Arkansas, what a 
tale I would have told on you, and I would gladly have taken 
an oath to never set foot on your soil again no more forever. 

I made a deal with an old farmer to make a crop with 
his son. He said he would board me and do what was right 
about my part of the prospective crop, and on Christmas 
day, 1865, with an old womout pole axe, I mounted an old 
pine log to chop it up to get it out of the way for the coming 
crop. It seemed to me I had never before seen so many 
logs on a ten-acre field. I would stand on a log and strike 
a few licks with my old axe and I would be out of breath, 
then I would look around at the logs, count them and figure 
in my mind how long it would take to get them ready to pile 
and burn and wonder what sins I had committed to merit 
such terrible punishment. Time is a great healer of all ills 
and I was soon able to cut an ordinary log half off without 
stopping, and I soon found that my log job was not half as. 
bad as I expected. Our stock of tools for the two of us con- 
sisted of one worn-out, home-made, diamond-wing plow, the 
old axe I have described, and a grubbing hoe, worn-out per- 
haps before I was born ; one weeding hoe, made by cutting 
an old blade from an old eye hoe and riveting it to the blade 
of another. Our team consisted of a large yoke of oxen used 
for breaking our land and one old bay horse that like both 
of us, had been in the service of the Confederate army. With 
this outfit and ten or twelve bushels of corn and plenty of 
grass to graze on, we made about five hundred bushels of 
corn, and fifteen thousand pounds of cotton. The cotton sold 
for five and a half cents per pound in the seed, and what com 
was sold brought one dollar and a half per bushel. By the 
time this crop was made and gathered I had become recon- 
ciled to Arkansas and within her borders I have spent most 
of my life. 

After this first year, farming was not such an up-hill 
business, for I bought two Hall & Spear cast plows for ten 
dollars each and two brand new eye hoes for another dollar 

Early Days in Seviei* County 191 

and fifty cents each. Our crops were cultivated entirely 
with our turning plow. Our cotton was planted on a ridge 
or bed made with a turning plow and opened with a wooden 
opener made for the purpose and covered with a wooden 
home-made harrow. Our cotton — owing to the lack of proper 
plows, required a great deal of hoeing, which for a peck 
of corn per day we could hire Indians to do — ^they boarding 
themselves. They usually did good honest work, but were 
slow, and were not being paid to hurry. When the time 
came to gather the crops the Indians usually did all our cot- 
ton picking, some of them being experts at the business. I 
well remember the first one of them that tried to play a trick 
on me. He came to my house late one evening claiming to be 
very hungry, and looked like he had been in company with 
bad luck for some time. My wife gave him a full square 
meal of bread, cold meat and cold sweet potatoes and after 
his meal he wanted a job of work making rails, and as some 
of them were good rail makers I hired him to make me some 
rails at one dollar per hundred. I gave him an axe, an iron 
wedge and a skillet ; let him have a piece of meat and a peck 
of meal to be paid for out of his wages. I went with him and 
showed him the timber I wanted worked up, and as it was 
about night he said he would camp and go to work the next 
morning. For some days I heard nothing from my Indian, 
so one evening I went to see what had become of him. The 
axe, skillet and wedge were on a stump but the meat, meal 
and the Indian were gone. The next summer some Indians 
came to me for a job of hoeing cotton. I told the spokesman 
that I would hire them and the trade was made, one of them 
keeping well in the background. I called him up and asked 
him if he wanted to work, too. He said he did. I then 
recognized him as being the one who failed to make the rails 
for me. I asked him why he took my meal and meat and 
made no rails. He remarked in his broken English : 'That 
way white man do." I saw he was right about it and said no 
more to him about his trick. 

The Indian, like the negro, liked company and it was sel- 
dom that one would come over in the State and work by him- 
self. They would go in gangs. When they were hunting, 



f -: ' '•< 4 

? A% 






192 Arkansas Historical Association 

)^; cotton hoeing or picking, and usually after camping out and 

working for a week or more, one or two would carry off 
the price of all their labors. They had a game peculiar to 
themselves, similar to our old game at school called thimble. 
In our language their game would be called bullet. A bullet, 
when it could be had, was used in the game, the players sit- 
ting in a circle around a blanket spread on the ground. Each 
one of them had a hat, handerkchief or something of the 
kind to hide the bullet under. When hidden all would guess 
where it was hidden, the guesser pointing a finger at where 
he thought the bullet was hidden. After all had guessed, 
the one hiding the bullet would point to where it was hidden. 
Each one would hold in his hand a bunch of small sticks or 
straws. With these they kept count of their game. After 
each guess there would be a general exchange of sticks. I 
have watched this game for hours and never could under- 
stand it and never saw a white man that did, but any Indian 
would stake his all on this game of chance. While it was 
being played not a word was being spoken but each player 
would be giving out a peculiar droning, humming sound, 
heard nowhere, only at a bullet game. A stranger hearing 
this noise for the first time at a little distance would think 
he was entering the realms of lost sou^s. 

Another interesting Indian game was their old-time ball 
game which is not played any more on account of creating 
too many fights and even bloodshed and death. 

In the long ago it was not uncommon for a crowd of 
white men to ride fifty miles to see a ball game. A well 
matched, well played game of baseball, is a very tame affair 
when compared to an Indian game of the olden times with 
fifty or more players on. each side. The games were always 
played on a prairie; the players wearing nothing but a 
breech-cloth and a look of determination for his side to win. 
Each player was well decorated with paint applied in the 
most hideous fashion imaginable but always with some 
peculiarity about it to show which side he belonged to. 
Usually one tribe played another. The ball was always 
handled with their ball sticks, butting, kicking and striking 
each other with their fists was admissible in the game, but 


Ea7'ly Days in Sevier County 198 

to strike another with a stick lost to his side one point in the 
game, which was always ten. When the game was over one 
side usually carried off most of the wealth of the other. Their 
money was always bet first, then came beads, handker- 
chiefs, ribbons and such with the women, for they would bet 
the same as the men. The men would bet ponies, guns and 
an3rthing they had, for it was considered a case of disloyalty 
not to bet on your own side. . I have seen men going home 
after a ball play wearing nothing but a breech-cloth, having 
lost all their clothing on the game, yet jolly and full of life, 
regarding their misfortune as a huge joke. I never heard 
or knew of one trying to avoid paying anything he had lost 
on the game, but I have seen them hunting for the one that 
had won to give up what he had lost. There is where hope 
plays a strong hand. I never saw an Indian, if he expressed 
himself at all, but what expected to get even and ahead at 
the next game. 

Whether civilizing the Indian up, or down, as the case 
may be, to the present standard of civilization is for his bet- 
terment is an oft-discussed but a non-decided question. In 
his half -civilized condition or less, as I first knew him, his 
word was considered binding, his dress scant, his food of the 
most common kind, his wants were few, and he was content 
and happy. His ball games and different kinds of dances 
at the different seasons of the year furnished him his amuse- 
ments. The game and his little patch of corn furnished him 
most of his subsistence. If he needed more he would get a 
small crowd together, cross into Arkansas or Texas, and 
work it out. In the making of cane baskets most of the 
women were experts. If an Indian was tried and found 
guilty of a crime in one of their courts and the death penalty 
was affixed against him, the day was fixed for his execution 
and he was turned loose to go and do as he pleased till the 
day set for his execution, when he was always on hand ready 
to receive the execution of his sentence. Whether this was a 
matter of honor or bravado I do not know, but I do know it is 
not an article of faith on the white man's calendar. 

Our early day mills for grinding corn were of very rude 
construction and were run by water mostly. Aunt Betsy 

194 Arkansas Historical Association 

McLendon was once the owner of one which stood near 
where the depot at DeQueen now stands, on Little Bear 
Creek, but as there was seldom water enough to run it, it 
was changed into what was called a horse mill ; that is, it was 
run by horse power, provided the customer furnished the 
horse. This mill soon proved to be more of a nuisance than 
a benefit to the community and was soon out of use. Another 
one built lower down on Bear Creek proved a failure and fol- 
lowed the fate of Aunt Betsy's venture in the mill business. 
The failure of these two enterprises threw us back on the 
old-time steel mill, and we had to grind our com by hand. 
These old steel mills were made of steel after the fashion of 
a large coffee mill, with a handle on each side, by which it 
was turned. It was bolted to a post securely placed in the 
ground. The hopper for this mill was like a large funnel 
and would hold something more than a gallon. In selecting 
com to grind in these mills we would select the softest ears, 
grind a bucket full rather coarse, sift out the finer meal, 
screw up the mill a little tighter, grind and sift again till the 
corn was converted into meal. This was rather a slow pro- 
cess, but cost us nothing only hard labor and perspiration. 

Most of our floors were called puncheon floors. These 
were flat slabs split from pine trees and hewn and joined 
together, and I have seen some very good floors made from 
these puncheon, but no comparison to the floors of today. Our 
next best were made from lumber sawed with the old two- 
man whip saw. The log was rolled upon a low scaffold. After 
having it squared it was lined off with a blacking line to the 
desired thickness. One of the operators stood on top of the 
log and the other in the ditch underneath the scaffold, the 
lower end of the saw having a cross handle ; the man on top 
of the scaffold guiding the saw to follow his lines and pulling 
it down. In this way two good sawyers could turn out two 
hundred feet of passable inch boards per day. 

About the year 1869 a man named Thomas Abbott 
brought a steam saw and grist mill into the country and put 
it down a short distance north of Rolling Fork salt works. 
This mill solved the problem of meal and lumber. I have 

Early Days in Sevier County 195 

known men to bring com to this mill a distance of 25 miles 
in ox wagons. 

It was not to be many years before both saw and grist 
mills became more plentiful. During this scarcity of mills 
Ben Norwood, Sr., of Norwoodville, built a little overshot 
mill near Norwoodville that supplied that neighborhood 
with meal. 

Immediately after the war, Arkansas, like all other 
Southern States, was overrun with carpet-baggers from the 
north. These carpet-baggers received their names from be- 
ing a class of people without means of support, seeking 
office by soliciting the vote of the newly enfranchised negro, 
and managing to make his living off of the negroes' hard 
earnings, and fostering a prejudice between the negro and 
his former owner, and when he failed to succeed in one place 
he packed his worldly possessions in his carpet bag and 
moved to pastures new. Powell Clayton, a man who had 
served in the Union army in a Kansas regiment, had the sup- 
port of this class of people who controlled the negro vote and 
as the negro looked on the Northern man as being his Moses 
they easily controlled his vote by making him false promises, 
such as giving him forty acres of land and a mule and giv- 
ing him a fat office in the future. They organized secret 
societies among the negroes, never allowing a member to go 
unpledged to vote for them when they asked for office. The 
negro was taught to look upon his former owner as his 
natural enemy. This caused much friction and race trouble, 
and as the negro had the backing of the carpet-bagger's 
party, from the governor down to the constable, supported 
by the State Militia, the rough element of the negroes and 
carpet-baggers had their own way till the organization 
known as the Ku-Klux, organized in 1866 in Tennessee, 
which organization soon spread all over the Southern States, 
and was an offset to the carpet-bagger. 

It has been said of the Ku-Klux that they were an or- 
ganized mass of men of lawless character, guilty of murder, 
arson and all other violations of law. Such is not the case, 
as it was organized and controlled by as responsible men as 
there were in the South and as one who has the right to 

196 Arkansas Historical Association 

know something of the Ku-Klux, I will state that among 
their pledges the following are a few : "We pledge ourselves 
to protect the weak and innocent and defenselsss from 
wrongs and outrages and indignities of the lawless and vio- 
lent and brutal. To relieve the injured and oppressed, to 
succor the suffering and distressed, especially the widows 
and orphans of the Confederate soldier. To protect and de- 
fend the Constitution of the United States and all laws 
passed in conformity thereto, and to protect the United 
States and people from all invasions from any source what- 
soever ; to aid and assist in the executing of all laws, and to 
protect the people from unlawful seizure and from trial 
except by their peers, in conformity to the laws of the land/' 

This organization was disbanded in 1869, after ac- 
complishing the purpose for which it was organized. Only 
the Republicans, so far, had been allowed to vote after the 
commencement of the carpet-bag rule and the polls at the 
election precincts were usually guarded by armed negroes, 
and I have known white men to be marched off to jail by 
negro guards for the offense of hallooing for a Democratic 
president candidate. 

There was another class of people that came from the 
North to the South just after the war that must not be 
classed with the carpet-bagger element. They were honest, 
industrious people of different professions and callings. They 
settled among us and made good citizens as there are in the 
South, and their fathers were as much opposed to the car- 
pet-baggers as were the people of the South, and I have 
known some of them that were connected with the Ku-Klux 
Klan in an official way. The days of reconstruction in Ar- 
kansas with its carpet-bag Governor Powell Clayton, his 
carpet-bag followers, his maurauding militia will always be 
remembered with horror by the people of southwest Arkan- 
sas, unless it be the few who took part in this reign of ter- 
ror and feasted at the carpet-bag pie counter. 

There are a few descendants of one of the old families 
of Sevier County now living around DeQueen who can trace 
their relationship to one of the most noted families of tiie 
United States. I mean the Todds. Jameri Todd, a pioneer 

Early Days in Sevier County 197 

settler of Sevier County, was a brother to the father of Mrs. 
Abraham Lincoln. His son, Wm. Todd (Uncle Billy), an own 
cousin of Mrs. Abraham Lincoln, once lived at DeQueen and 
will be rememberd by many of DeQueen*s earliest settlers. 

Another person that should not be forgotten is a grand- 
daughter of one of America's noted generals, who now fills 
a pauper's grave in Sevier County. I met her in the last 
years of the seventies at the country home at Lockesburg, 
and she recited to me the history of her adventurous life. She 
told me she was the granddaughter of General Nathaniel 
Greene of Revolutionary fame, and that she had a brother 
somewhere in the United States, she did not know where. I 
think she said his name was George, named for George 
Washington. She told me where she was born, where she 
had lived, and how she came to be in Arkansas, and that she 
was about 90 years old and had never been married, and had 
lost all trace of her family connections. I have always 
regretted that I did not make a note of the story of her life, 
but I did not and her history is lost. At the same time I met 
her, perhaps in 79, she was in possession of all her mental 
faculties and was well informed, elequently defending the 
cause of the Southern States — in fact, I considered her a 
living encyclopedia of general knowledge. How she came to 
be in the county home I do not remember. Mr. H. A. 
Wofford, who was superintending the county home at that 
time, informs me that he remembers her as a very 
old lady and that she died in 1880 or 1881, and 
that is all he can remember of her. I have often thought 
of her, as I have the man without a country, and 
thought that his last request would fitly apply to her, and 
ask if some one will not erect a stone to her memory and say 
on it : "She loved her country more but received less from 
its hands than any other woman." I have wondered if 
someone, some society or. church, the D. A. R's. or the U. D. 
C's. would not some day take this matter up and rescue her 
grave from the potter's field and oblivion. 

I chanced to be at Guilford court house on Saturday, 
July 3, 1915. I was at that place where General Greene, the 
grandfather of this woman, commanded the American 

198 Arkansas Historical Association 

forces and fought Lord Cornwallis at the battle of his name 
in the war for American Independence. There was a large 
gathering of people there from all parts of the State. Sev- 
eral noted speakers from other States were there and many 
able, patriotic speeches were made and a fine monument was 
unveiled to the memory of General Greene, and I thought of 
the difference that was shown between him and his grand- 
daughter who was then sleeping in a pauper's grave in a 
distant State, without a friend or relative to drop a tear or 
flower on her lonely and forsaken grave. 

For now she sleeps in a lonely grave, 

Where the wild flower nods its head ; 
Where the wild birds come and the wild bees hum 

Above her lonely head. 


During these days of high prices the writer paid ten 
dollars for one ounce of quinine and considered himself 
lucky to get it at all. After the removal of the tariff, and 
quinine dropped to three dollars an ounce, people almost con- 
sidered it a newly-acquired privilege to have chills. I re- 
member when it was first proposed in Congress to remove 
the tariff from quinine. The few newspapers we would get 
gave accounts of the fight that Powers and Weightman, 
manufacturing chemists of Philadelphia, were putting up 
against it. They claimed that it would drive them out of 
business, and their plant would become useless. It was not 
long after this measure was passed till the papers gave it 
out that Powers & Weightman were increasing their capac- 
ity, and that old firm is still doing business at the same old 
stand. Newspapers were higher then than now, by fifty per 
cent, and the subscriber had to pay the postage, which was, 
on a small paper, 26 cents a year in advance. Letter postage 
was three cents for each half ounce or fraction, prepaid with 
stamps after the present style. I remember one of our en- 
terprising postmasters with an eye to business. For a while 
after the war he charged five cents for a three-cent stamped 
envelope, giving as his reason that the postoffice was un- 
remunerative, and that he had to have pay from some source 

Early Days in Sevier County 199 

for serving the people. Later Uncle Sam let him off by him 
promising to be good. 

Along about this time there lived in the country a negro 
named Peter Norwood, and as he was an aspirant for great- 
ness, we dubbed him "Peter the Great." Peter had, before 
the edicts of the war had made him a gubernatorial possi- 
bility under the reconstruction rules, been the property of 
Ben Norwood, Sr., founder of Norwoodville, but who never 
spoke of Peter as being one of those good old antebellum 
negroes, noted for their faithfulness to old Master and their 
kindness to old Miss and the chilluns. Peter was not built 
that way, and refused to be an humble, ex-slave and follow 
a plow and mule as in the olden days. When he was receiv- 
ing so much encouragement from men who said they had 
fought and risked their lives that he might be a free man 
and equal to the white race, to become a man among men, 
and all they asked in return from Peter was his vote when- 
ever they might demand the goods. Peter became to be very 
insulting and overbearing to his old-time white neighbors, 
and was holding secret meetings at night among the negroes, 
and it could easily be seen that these meetings boded no good 
for the whites. Two young men "strangers" dropped into 
the country from somewhere. They were soon intimate 
with Peter, attended the secret meetings with Peter, an 
honor accorded no other white man. They dined with Peter, 
wined him with white mule liker, and they three became 
the most prominent men on Rolling Fork. And why not? 
For Peter has been appointed a J. P. by the great carpet-bag 
governor of Arkansas, and his plans for the future governor- 
ship of Monroe township at least were laid before and ap- 
proved by Peter's two chums and allies. 

Among Peter's declaration of future rules of govern- 
ment to his two chums were, that no white man need sue or 
enter into a lawsuit with a negro in his court, and a white 
woman refusing to marry a negro when proposed to would 
receive the condemnation of Peter's iron-handed law. Other 
threats of Peter I could mention, but these two are enough 
to show how the people were ruled in the cays of the carpet- 
bag government. 

200 Arkansas Historical Association 

I will leave Peter for a short while, with his two allies, 
to hold the reins of government on Rolling Fork, while the 
reader accompanies me to Paraclifta, the county seat of 
Sevier County. A man named Ballard, a carpet-bagger, had 
been appointed head of the negro bureau of Sevier County 
and stationed at Paraclifta, and had a company of Irish 
soldiers given him to guard him and enforce his law, as he 
was in full control of everything i)ertaining to the negro, 
and like the laws of the Medes and Persians, from his edicts 
there were no appeals. His Irish soldiers, like most Irishmen 
were clever and generous-hearted men and wholly unsuited 
for Ballard's use. So Ballard had them removed and a 
company of negro soldiers sent to Paraclifta in their stead. 
Any contract whatever made with a negro had to be en- 
dorsed by Ballard. If a negro had any complaint to make 
against his white employer he went to Ballard and as the 
negro's statement was always taken in preference to the 
white man's, the white man always came out worsted, and 
Ballard never failed to charge the white man for settling 
a dispute or acknowledging a contract. So Ballard and the 
negroes had everything coming their way. An old farmer, 
one of the best in the country, noted for his long-headedness, 
knowing that without relief farming with colored labor was 
a dead issue, and knowing Ballard's duplicity, soon made a 
warm friend of Ballard and bargained with him to give Bal- 
lard each fiftieth bale of cotton grown by negro labor, to let 
him manage and control his negro laborers as he chose. 
Other farmers were soon put "next," and the negro soon 
learned that it was useless to carry his woes to Ballard and 
Ballard was soon receiving a snug income from negro labor. 

But there was a transient, loafing class of negroes that 
couldn't be controlled, and wouldn't work, and like the pro- 
verbial stray dog had neither home nor master, and some- 
thing must be done to make them law-abiding and self-sup- 
porting. When the Confederate government went under, 
General Shelby, of Missouri, with his men went to Mexico. 
In a year or two they had become tired of their long stay 
from home and were passing through the country on their 
way to their homes in Arkansas and Missouri. Unknown 

Early Days in Sevier County 201 

white people commenced to handle this last-named class of 
negroes as they thought best, telling them that they were 
Shelby's men. Ballard became indignant at this; what he 
called outrages, offered rewards and threatened dire ven- 
geance against the Shelby men, and promised to make an 
example of the first one he could lay hands on. He hadn't 
long to wait. One morning a boy of perhaps twenty years 
of age rode into the town and inquired for Mr. Ballard. He 
was pointed out to the boy as he walked across the street. He 
rode up to him and told Mr. Ballard he was one of Shelby's 
men, and proceeded to read Mr. Ballard the riot act at the 
point of a Colt's .44. Mr. Ballard never advertised for any 
more of Shelby's men. This boy is now old and gray, but a 
respected citizen of one of your Arkansas towns, and if 
called on in the same old way, would be ready again to play 
the part of a Shelby man. 

We will now leave Mr. Ballard and his negro guard and 
go back to Rolling Fork and see about Peter and his two 
white friends. During our absence they have been holding 
secret conference with an old Confederate friend of theirs, 
that had known them all through the war; had known of 
negro soldiers killing the father of one of them. They were 
now ready to leave the country, and as they passed the home 
of Peter, not far from Ultima Thule, they took him down 
the road a little way. Some shots were heard and Peter 
the Great had passed to his reward. I have given a lengthy 
detail of these facts that the unsophisticated might know 
what the days of reconstruction meant to those who lived 
in Arkansas. 

As I have before stated, everything in this country at 
that time was in what might be called a crude state, and our 
schools, as well as churches, were no exception to the rule. 
An old log cabin with a board roof, with split pine puncheon 
seats had been built before the war at what is now known 
as Chapel Hill graveyard, and used as a schoolhouse and 
church whenever a teacher could be procured or a preacher 
would drop around. Another house with the same condi- 
tions existed on lower Bear Creek, near our postofiice, Netta 
Boc, of which I have told you. Don't raise your eyes and 

202 Arkansas Historical Association 

look up in horror and amazement when I tell you that I 
have seen children ten years old that had never slept on a 
bed and had never heard a sermon preached, or been inside 
a church or schoolhouse. Yet when it comes to riding a 
wild range pony or horse, driving cattle, tracking stock on 
the range, or throwing a lariat, or riding yearlings, these 
boys had learned their lessons well, and the smart Alec from 
back East had better not try to teach them any of Hoyle's 
games or the art of swapping horses, if he didn't expect to 
experience a financial crash on a small scale. 

I might say I am only speaking of what was then Mon- 
roe township and not of all Southwest Arkansas. Monroe 
township then extended from Polk County on the north to 
Little Rock on the south, and from the Indian Territory line 
to somewhere east of where DeQueen now is, perhaps only 
to the range line. At that time all of Little River County, 
Center Point and Mineral Springs were in Sevier County. 

I must get back to the schools or the boys I have been 
speaking about that wore leather breeches and slept on bear 
skins will think their education is being sadly neglected. A 
short time after the war an old gentleman came into the 
country and made up a small subscription school as he was 
too old to do any hard labor. He was a very quiet, moral 
man, and tried to teach morality and Christianity as well 
as literature. After a time his precepts and moral persist- 
ency had a very salutary effect. Among his ventures was 
to get a Sunday school started. It was not of the present 
day style, or I wouldn't mention it ; but it suited the country 
and the times, and that was sufficient. The meetings were 
held each Sunday alternately at the two houses mentioned. 
After select Bible readings, any one was at liberty to ask 
any scriptural question he chose, while the smaller ones were 
given verbal instructions from those supposed to be compe- 
tent. Fortunately for this school, a good singer had dropped 
into the country from somewhere, and after the Bible les- 
sons singing followed till the noon hour, when dinner was 
served on the ground. After the dinner recess, some two 
present would choose up for a spelling match. Our old 
school teacher and R. D. Wright, another ex-teacher, would 

Early Days in Sevier County 203 

superintend these matches, and the old blue back speller was 
never more in evidence. 

These Sunday schools became very popular, and there 
were but few men of families but what were always in at- 
tendance. I don't think I ever knew of a Sunday school that 
wielded the influence for the general good that this school 
did. I have known people to come ten miles to these schools. 


(By J. F. Bates.) * 

On the 15th of June in the year 1839, William Wright, a 
prosperous and highly respected farmer, Mahla Wright, his 
daughter, and his infant child were brutally murdered, and 
Jacob Wright, his son, was struck over the head with some 
heavy instrument which fractured his skull so as to cause 
the loss of a portion of his brain. Mrs. Wright escaped 
through a back window and Mary Wright, a daughter, es- 
caped through the door while they were murdering her 
father. The murderers set fire to the house, thinking that 
all its inmates were slain, but two little boys, Willis Wright 
and Maurice Wright, aged about ten and twelve, were sleep- 
ing in a trundle bed under a larger bed; they escaped the 
notice of the assassins. The smoke from the burning build- 
ing awakened them. The little boys first moved their 
wounded brother to a safe distance. (Jacob Wright, though 
badly wounded, finally recovered.) . They next moved their 
dead father and sister a short distance from the burning 
building. Mrs. Wright and Mary, her daughter, hid in a 
nearby wheat field until next morning and then notified 
neighbors of the sad affair. It seemed that the murderers 
wanted to make the impression on the public mind that it 
was Indians that committed the crime, but that idea, after 
a short time, prevailed only to a limited extent. The amount 

*Born May 4, 1831, in Washington County, Arkansas. Educated 
at Cane Hill College; teachers T. G. McCullough, S. Doak Lowry and 
Robert M. King. Commenced teaching school in 1852 near the home 
of the Wicliffs on Spavinaw, Okla. Taught off and on in said State 
forty-eight terms. Taught also twenty-two terms in my native State, 
making in all seventy terms in life. Spent two years sectionizing for 
the United States Government in the State of Kansas in partnership 
with Col. James Mitchell of Little Rock. We sectionized the township 
in which John Brown lived. Quit teaching in 1902 and at present own 
and run a hotel in Westville, Okla. 

Murder of the Wright Family 205 

of money taken was perhaps between three and four hun- 
dred dollars and that belonged to Mr. James Shelley. Wil- 
liam Wright a few days previous took nearly all his money 
to his brother, Maurice Wright, a merchant on Cane Hill. 

The writer was on the premises the following morning 
after the murder while the heavy timbers of the building 
were still burning. The bodies of the slain were lying just 
as the murderers had left them, except their removal by 
the little boys the night before. William Wright and Mahala 
Wright, his daughter, were lying a short distance from the 
building but close enough to cause the heat to color their 
faces dark brown. 

The charred remains of the infant was still in the edge 
of the building. I remember some one took a plank and ran 
under the frame of the child and moved it away from the 
IBre. The crime caused intense excitement throughout the 
entire country. As the courts at that time had been exceed- 
ingly slack in executing the laws, a mass meeting was held 
at Cane Hill and thirty-six men of the most reliable charac- 
ter were chosen as a committee to tajce the law into their 
own hands and ferret out and punish the perpetrators of the 
crime. In a short time suspicion fell upon John Richmond, 
James Barnes, Jack Turner and William Bailey, who were 
arrested. Bailey was flogged quite severely to compel him 
to make a confession, but he persistently denied guilt. The 
others, together with Bailey, were turned loose, evidence at 
that time not deemed sufficient to hold them longer. Bailey 
immediately left the country. 

Not long after they were released John Richmond and 
Asbury Richmond, his brother, had a difficulty over some 
personal matters, John Richmond accusing Asbury of some 
misdemeanor ; Asbury replied by charging John with assist- 
ing in the murder of the Wright family. These charges 
were overheard by Ambrose Hamage, who lived near by 
the home of the Richmonds, and he (Hamage) reported the 
affair to the committee on Cane Hill. John Richmond was 
rearrested soon afterwards. He was not long in custody 
when he made an effort to escape but failed ; when caught 
he told his captors to take him back to the committee and he 

206 Arkansas Historical Association 

would make a clean breast of the whole affair. He gave the 
names of James Barnes, Jack Turner, William Bailey, Jack 
Nicholson, himself and one other man whose name he did 
not know, as being the parties who committed the murder. 
Barnes and Turner were rearrested soon after Richmond's 
confession. Nicholson never was arrested, having left the 

On the 31st day of July following the murder John 
Richmond, James Barnes and Jack Turner were hung, 
Barnes and Turner denying guilt. 

Richmond admitted guilt and called upon Barnes and 
Turner to confess at the last moment but they refused to do 
so. The committee having heard that William Bailey was 
down in southern Arkansas, sent Charles Spencer and a Mr. 
Poore after him, and when found he denied his identity. 
Spencer and Poore insisted he was the man wanted, and, to 
prove that they were right, to examine his back and they 
would find marks on same from effects of the flogging re- 
ceived a few months previously. Upon examination such 
was the case. He was taken back and hung about five 
months after first hanging on same gallows. While a great 
majority of the people were satisfied as to the guilt of the 
parties executed, there were a few who doubted the guilt of 
all ; especially of Barnes. Prominent among those who had 
misgivings in regard to the matter were Rev. Jacob Sexton, 
Rev. George Morrow, Rev. Thomas Tennant (a minister at 
that time) and Judge John Thompson Adair, all men of 
excellent standing in the community in which they lived. 



(By Willie K. Hocker.) 

Early in 1912, the Pine Bluff Chapter, D. A. R., by a 
unanimous vote decided to present the new battleship Ark- 
ansas with a "Stand of Colors," consisting of 'a United States 
flag, a naval battalion flag and an Arkansas State flag. 

To Mrs. C. W. Pettigrew belongs the honor of having 
originated this plan of flag giving. 

The acting regent of the chapter, Mrs. W. L. De Woody, 
appointed a flag committee, consisting of Mrs. C. W. Pet- 
tigrew, Mrs. W: A. Taggart and Mrs. Frank Tomlinson. 
They wrote to the Secretary of State asking for a copy of 
the official State flag. He replied : "Arkansas has no State 

The Pine Bluff Chapter, D. A. R., then took the initia- 
tive in a movement to have the next General Assembly adopt 
a State flag. The flag committee caused to be published in 
the leading papers of the State an article asking artists and 
designers everywhere, particularly those of the State of 
Arkansas, to submit designs appropriate for a State flag to 
a committee of selection, consisting of not less than seven 
competent persons, who would, from the submitted designs, 
select the one most appropriate for a State flag, should an 
appropriate design be found among those submitted. The 
designs were to bear no mark of identification, but be ac- 
companied by a typewritten explanation of the design, and 
by a sealed unmarked envelope containing another explana- 
tion, and the name and address of the designer. 

Mr. Earle W. Hodges, Secretary of State, consented to 
become the custodian of the submitted designs, and to name 
the committee of selection. 

The first committee met in the parlors of Hotel Marion, 
Little Rock, early in January, 1913. It consisted of the 
following named persons: Maj. C. R. Breckenridge, chair- 
man; Prof. J. J. Doyne, secretary; Mr. G. B. Rose, Gen. 

208 Arkansas Historical Association 

B. W. Green, Col. V. Y. Cook, Dr. Junius Jordon, Mrs. Julia 
McAlmont Noel and Mrs. Jo Frauenthal. They made no se- 
lection, but recommended that a committee be appointed to 
search the records of Arkansas to see if there ever had ex- 
isted a regularly adopted State flag. This conmiittee failed 
to find any such record. 

The second committee, consisting of Mr. Earle W. 
Hodges, chairman ; Gen. B. W. Green, Dr. Junius Jordan, Mr. 
G. B. Rose, Mrs. Julia McAlmont Noel, Mrs. Jo Frauenthal, 
Mrs. Ellsworth and Miss Julia Warner, met in the offlce of 
the Secretary of State and from the sixty-five submitted de- 
signs unanimously chose the design made by Miss Willie. E. 
Hocker of Pine Bluff, a member of the D. A. R. Chapter 
that had taken the initiative in the flag adoption measure. 

On Saturday, February 14, 1913, Senator Phillips intro- 
duced a joint resolution to have the selected design adopted 
as Arkansas' official flag. The measure carried, and the fol- 
lowing Tuesday, February 18, the House passed the resolu- 
tion, and Arkansas had an official flag, regularly adopted by 
both houses of the General Assembly. 

The design is a rectangular field of red, on which is 
placed a large white diamond, bordered by a wide band of 
blue — national colors. Across the diamond is the word 
''Arkansas'' (placed there by request of the committee) and 
the blue stars, one above, two below the word. On the blue 
band are placed twenty-five white stars. 

Explanation of Design. 

This design has in it much of Arkansas' history as given 
below : 

Arkansas is one of the United States, therefore the 
national colors are used. 

The three blue stars typify the three nations, Spain, 
France and the United States, to whom Arkansas has suc- 
cessively belonged. Their number, three, indicates that Ark- 
ansas was the third State carved from the Louisiana Pur- 
chase Territory; this purchase is the greatest act yet per- 
formed by the United States. The three stars also indicate 

History of Official Flag of Arkansas 209 

the year (1803) when Arkansas became the property of the 
United States. 

The twenty-five white stars show that Arkansas was 
the twenty-fifth State in the order of admission to the Union. 

The State came into the Union paired with another 
State (Michigan) ; this is shown by the pair of stars on the 
lower angle of the blue band. 

Arkansas contains the only known diamond mine within 
the possession of the United States, therefore Arkansas 
should be known as ''The Diamond State." 



(By J. W. House.) 

When the delegates of the Constitutional Convention 
assembled at the State Capital on the 14th day of July, 1874, 
it was universally conceded that, as a whole, it was com- 
posed of the ablest men who had ever assembled in the State 
in any legislative or political capacity and we think it is gen- 
erally conceded that it has had no equal since that time. 
With a few exceptions it was composed of representative 
and influential men from every county in the State ; farmers, 
merchants and the learned professions were all represented ; 
each class had seemed to vie with the other in sending their 
best men; among them were many profound and experi- 
enced lawyers with a state-wide reputation. 

The question naturally arises, "What was the occasion 
of such a gathering?" Why were the members of this con- 
vention superior in wisdom and experience to other political 
bodies which had been meeting at the State Capital since 

Note. — In announcing his candidacy for District Delegfate to the 
Constitutional Convention, 1917, Mr. House gave out this statement of 
facts concerning himself: 

*! was bom in Hardeman county, Tennessee, and came with my 
father to White county, this State, in 1858. I joined the Confederate 
army May 17, 1863, before I was 16 years of age and served until the 
close of the war. In 1865 I made a cotton crop and with the proceeds 
of that crop I went to school a year and a half and also taught school. 
I studied law while still living in the country and was admitted to 
practice in 1869, and have been continuously in practice ever since. 
For thirty years I have lived in the city of Little Hock. 

"I was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1874 from 
White county and was nominated and elected to the State Senate from 
White and Faulkner counties the following fall without opposition, 
serving in that body for two terms, thus making my total experience 
in deliberative bodies about eight months. In addition to this I was 
United States Attorney during both administrations of President 

Constitutional Convention of 187U 211 

1836? *Why should the best wisdom of all classes have been 
selected upon this particular occasion, if there was not some 
paramount cause — some grreat purpose to be attained? It 
might be said, the personnel of this convention was not 
superior to other poiltical bodies which had assembled at the 
State Capital both prior and subsequent to that convention, 
and thdt it was essentially the most intelligent body of men 
that had ever assembled in the State was only the vain boast 
of its members It is common for every political body of 
men when assembled to arrogate to itself a superiority of all 
similar gatherings before it upon the same principle that it 
often happens that as soon as a man is elected to the Legisla- 
ture he at once becomes a statesman and philosopher, and 
sometimes it is very difficult to convince him that such is 
not the case ; in fact, I am not sure but what it is impossible 
to do so. 

tn order to answer these questions, it will be necessary 
to enter into a brief history of the political events which led 
up to the calling of the convention. To undertake to make 
an intelligent analysis of the convention of 1874 without 
giving the causes which led up to the convention, would be 
like an effort to render upon the stage the play of "Hamlet" 
without "Hamlet ;" or to give the history of the Revolution 
without mentioning the names of Washington, Jefferson 
and Hamilton ; or to give a history of the Civil War without 
mentioning the names of Lincoln, Davis, Grant and Lee; 
and in giving this brief history, it is far from my purpose 
to harrow up any of the feelings or prejudices which existed 
at that time. I shall only refer to the historical events, as 
I understand them, without intending to reflect upon the 
personal character of any one 

When the Civil War had closed in 1865— when General 
Lee had surrendered the Confederate forces under his im- 
mediate command to General Grant at Appomattox and 
stipulations of peace had been entered into, it was supposed 
the war was over. The soldiers on both sides had learned a 
lesson they did not know at the beginning of the war ; they 
had learned to respect and honor each other for valor and 

212 Arkansas Historical Association 

heroism; for personal eourage and all the other elements 
which enter into the make-up of a true and noble manhood. 
In the South, at the begrinning of the war^ the young 
blood was kindled and fanned into a blaze by orators advo- 
cating secession; while, on the other hand, stump orators 
in the North said in many public gatherings that to conquer 
the South would only be a breakfast spell. 

I remember, when I was a mere boy about fourteen 
years of age, I heard Col. Decius McCrary of White county, 
who was a brother of the distinguished Senator from Ken- 
tucky, make a speech at West Point, in White county, near 
where I lived then. He said, among other things, that one 
Southern man could whip six Yankees ; he said this was true, 
because one Southern man could whip two Yankees in a fair 
fight, and it would take two Yankees to hold each one of the 
two to make him fight. Of course, at that time I believed 
every word of it, but with two years of experience in the 
army I found that this was a delusion ; I came to the con- 
clusion that one was about all I cared to tackle and I wasn't 
particularly anxious to do this. 

About this time similar speeches were being made in 
the North. General Grant, then a captain in the United 
States Army, was trying to organize a regiment in his home 
at Galena, 111. ; he listened to speeches in which it was said 
that the men of the South, as a rule, had been reared by 
slave-holding parents; that they could not stand the hard- 
ships incident to camp life, and that they were wanting in 

General Grant had listened to speeches of this char- 
acter ; he had lived in Missouri, the dividing line between the 
two great sections of the country — ^the North and the South 
— ^and he knew the habits and the characteristics of the peo- 
ple both North and South, and in his modest and unassum- 
ing way said that he was at least glad to witness the en- 
thusiasm with which the cause of the Union had been 
espoused; but, he said, they were underrating the prowess 
and valor of the Southern people. He said if the conflict 
between the two great sections of the country must be set- 
tled by arbitrament of arms, it would be "Greek meeting 

Constitutional Convention of 187U 213 

Greek;" that there would be bloodshed and carnage from 
one end of the land to the other. 

His prophecy was fulfilled to the letter. 'Hence, the 
armies on both sides had been taught a lesson, but a very 
severe one. Three-fourths, or even more, of the able-bodied 
men of this State had gone through the war; but few of 
those who survived had been at their homes for two or three 
long years; when they returned, however, they came with 
sad hearts; in many instances, some of their beloved ones 
had gone to the great beyond ; their farms had gone to wreck 
and ruin ; still, with the same courage that sustained them 
during this long and terrible conflict of arms, they started 
out in good faith to build up their lost fortunes and to pre- 
pare to meet the great battles of life ; they began to cut- out 
the underbrush, to till the soil and in good faith to re-estab- 
lish themselves for all great purposes in life. 

The old soldiers returning home, were met by their 
loved ones and were treated with great respect and consider- 
tion by the Federal soldiers stationed at the Capital City and 
other places in the State. 

For some time it seemed that matters of government 
were adjusting themselves to the satisfaction of the entire 
country, but this was a delusion. The politicians in the 
North, as well as in the South, began to sow the seed of strife 
and dissension. This strife and dissension was centralized 
at Washington. Andrew Johnson had been nominated on 
the Republican ticket with Mr. Lincoln, and when Mr. Lin- 
coln was assassinated by Wilkes Booth, a bloody-handed 
murderer, Johnson, by virtue of his office became Presi- 
dent ; then the trouble began. 

Andrew Johnson was a Southern man, having been 
born and reared in East Tennessee, and had become a great 
stump orator; he could sway the people as with a magic 
wand, but he was never a statesman in the broad sense of 
this term. He was only placed upon the ticket as a matter 
of political policy ; and, while I do not think he was corrupt, 
in fact I feel sure he was not, but he was wholly unfitted for 
the responsible position which had fallen to him by accident; 
he was unable to cope with the leaders of his party, and it 

214 Arkansas Historical Association 

mattered little what he did, if it was not in accord with the 
then dominant party, he was unmercifully criticized and cen- 
sured ; the very fact that he was a Southern man lent en- 
couragement to such abuse and censure. It was openly 
stated that he was a President in disguise; that he was a 
Southern sympathizer and a traitor to the party which had 
elected him. Such epithets were systematically and zeal- 
ously heaped upon him, and it was an easy matter, so soon 
after the Civil War, to fire up the passions and prejudices 
of the people, and thus the reconstruction of the Southern 
States followed. 

We hardly think that at this day an intelligent man 
could be found, either in the North or South, who would not 
say that reconstruction was a failure and a farce. It did 
more to engender a bitter feeling between the people of the 
North and South than even the Civil War ; it went so far that 
it was carried into the homes of the people, and in many 
instances caused a breach between families who had there- 
tofore been friends. 

I have always thought that the death of Lincoln was 
not only a calamity to the South but to the whole country. 
The paramount thought with him during the entire war was 
the union of the States; this idea dominated his pure and 
noble spirit and was the great incentive to all his actions. 
He not only had the confidence of the great body of people, 
but he was idolized and worshiped by the soldiers ; he had 
the power to combat and expose hypocrisy in every form 
and shape and was the greatest statesman of them all. With 
this confidence, with this great and overwhelming power 
and with his innate principles of justice and with an idea 
single to rehabilitate the States and perpetuate the Union, 
he could have overcome every opposition and crowned him- 
self with more glory than he had already achieved; still I 
have often heard the idea advanced that even he could not 
have stood the pressure and his death came at an opportune 
time, so far as his own reputation was concerned ; but in this 
I do not concur. But, we have digressed somewhat. 

Coming back to Arkansas : A provisional government 
had been established in this State after General Steele had 

Constitutional Convention of 1871k 215 

forced the Confederates from the capital and he had es- 
tablished his headquarters in that city, and Isaac Murphy 
became the Governor of the State, under the provisional gov- 
ernment. Delegates were selected as a rule from organiza- 
tions of State troops, and many of them selected as dele- 
gates lived many miles from the county they were sup- 
posed to represent. In this way delegates assembled at Lit- 
tle Rock, who framed the Constitution of 1864, under which 
the provisional government was established, which provided 
for the meeting of the Legislature on April 11, 1864. This 
Constitution provided for a provisional State government; 
the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and other officers; 
Isaac Murphy was selected as the first Governor. 

It was but a short time until the passions of those in 
power were fanned into a blaze under this government ; one 
of the first acts of the Legislature was to disfranchise those 
who had participated in the rebellion. This act was passed 
May 31, 1864. Those who were engaged in the Confederate 
service were not criminals ; they were among the best citi- 
zens of the State; they were fighting for the right — for 
their homes and firesides; they composed the valor and 
chivalry of the State. 

Governor Murphy had voted against the ordinance for 
secession in 1861 under instructions from his county, but 
when the State was threatened with invasion by the Federal 
forces and the convention was reconvened by Judge David 
Walker, its president, to take some action in view of. the 
threatened invasion of the State, Governor Murphy was the 
first to offer a resolution requiring a committee on military 
affairs to prepare for a plan of organizing the forces of the 
State to resist such invasion ; but he still voted against seces- 
sion. His idea was that the State should remain in the Union, 
but, if it was invaded by Federal forces to meet them on the 
border and try to arrest their progress. Governor Murphy 
was not considered a bad man, but he was certainly a weak 
one, and under his administration a field for strife and dis- 
cord was readly invoked. 

Under an act of Congress of March 2, 1867, the so- 
called rebel States — Virginia, North Carolina, South Caro- 

216 Arkansas Historical Association 

Una, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, 
Texas and Arkansas — ^were placed under military govern- 
ment. They were divided into five different districts, 
Mississippi and Arkansas being in the fourth district, and 
each district was to be governed by some military officer, 
whose rank was not less than that of major general. Major 
General Ord was appointed by the President commanding 
general of the fourth district, with headquarters at Vicks- 
burg, Miss., including Arkansas. 

Under this act, the major general commanding in such 
district was authorized to organize military courts with full 
power to try and punish every one charged with crime; 
there seems to have been but one limitation upon his power, 
and that was that no one should suffer the death penalty ex- 
cept upon the approval of the President; hence, when two 
long years had elapsed, reconstruction began in the South. 

General Ord came to Little Rock, soon after his appoint- 
ment, in military pomp and splendor ; he conferred with the 
leaders of the party in power as to whom he should appoint 
registrars. After this act was passed, the dream of peace 
which had been anticipated when the surrender came was 
dissipated and anarchy and confusion must necessarily fol- 
low. This was more than two years after Lee's surrender 
and three years after the provisional government under Lin- 
coln's proclamation. The restoration of peace through the 
Murphy government was a delusion. 

.The effect of this national legislation was intended to 
enfranchise the negro and disfranchise the whites who had 
participated or sympathized with the rebellion; its provi- 
sions excluded many of our best and leading citizens by 
reason of the fact that they had at some time taken an oath 
to support the Constitution of the United States and had 
afterward engaged in the rebellion. Still there were a 
great many young men, who had grown to years of manhood 
and maturity since the Civil War began, and it was to them 
that Arkansas looked chiefly for support. Under these con- 
ditions the Bword was again unsheathed; the war cry of 
rebel and traitor was again the watchword to the end that 
the Constitution of 1868 should be adopted, and the Legisla- 

Constitutional Convention of 187U 217 

ture» under such Constitution, should adopt article 14 of the 
amendment to the National Constitution. 

The Fourteenth Amendment, by an act of Congress, 
passed June 16, 1866> had been submitted for ratification. 
It was necessary under the Constitution that this amend- 
ment should be adopted by three-fourths of the States of the 
Union. This was only an indirect way of proceeding 
through unconstitutional methods to adopt the constitu- 
tional amendment, which should deprive the States of their 
inherent power to regulate the elective franchise in the sev- 
eral States. 

This was done, although it had been repeatedly held by 
the Supreme Court of the United States that the power to 
regulate the elective franchise belonged to the several States, 
and it has been further held that citizenship had no neces- 
sary connection with the right to vote or to hold office. 

It is hardly presumed that any lawyer in Congress at 
that time contended that the acts of Congress were within 
the spirit and meaning of the Constitution ; but, in order to 
justify these acts, it was assumed that the South was still 
in a state of rebellion — ^that the war still existed. The pre- 
amble to the act itself is as follows : 

"Whereas, no legal government or adequate protection 
for life or property now exists in the rebel States, namely, 
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Missis- 
sippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas,'' etc. 

To those of us who lived here at that time and even 
under the conditions then existing had witnessed the rapid 
progress which our people had made in building up their 
lost fortunes and in bringing about a better state of feeling 
between the two sections of the country, such a declaration 
was startling; that an intelligent people and a law-abiding 
people should have been subjected to a military government 
at that time was not only unnecessary, but it was an unpar- 
donable crime. Under the Constitution of the United States, 
"All powers not delegated were reserved to the States." This 
is the language of that instrument, and it has been uni- 
formly held and sustained by the Supreme Court of the 
United States. 

218 Arkansas Historical Association 

In order to vote at this election for a constitutional con- 
vention, the applicant to vote had to be registered by the 
registrars appointed through the military department ; that 
is, by General Ord. These registrars had unlimited power 
and they did not fail to use it, and before anyone was en- 
titled to vote he had to take and subscribe to an oath in sub- 
stance as follows : 

"I do solemnly swear that I am a citizen of lawful age ; 
that I have not been disfranchised for having participated 
in the rebellion or Civil War against the United States, and 
that I have not taken an oath to support the Constitution of 
the United States and afterwards engaged in insurrection 
or rebellion against the United States or given aid to the 
enemies thereof/* 

This was a crisis in the history of the State. What 
were the people to do ? A great many of them, under the act 
of Congress, were not permitted to vote, and even those who 
could qualify had to submit to the arbitrary power of the 
registrars as to whether they should vote, even after they 
had registered ; and even after they had voted, the question 
of counting the votes was left alone to the military machin- 
ery. The condition seemed to be hopeless, and the people 
throughout the State were wrought up and they eagerly 
sought the advice of those who were the most competent, 
and at this critical moment an address to the people of the 
State was prepared by many of our best and wisest citizens. 
The address is as follows : 

"To the People of the State of Arkansas, or such as may be 
entitled to vote at the coming election fixed by General 
Ord for the 5th day (first Tuesday) of November, A. 
D. 1867.'' 

''Each of us whose names appear in this paper has re- 
ceived from time to time letters from various persons in the 
State, asking our opinions and advice as to the course to be 
pursued in the election above referred to. Upon consulta- 
tion, we have agreed upon this method of answering those 
letters, and, in so doing, we but give our opinions, and do 
not assume to direct anyone, or to dictate to anyone. 

Constitutional Convention of 187i 219 

"After a careful and thorough consideration of the 
reconstruction act itself, with all the reasons for and against 
which we have heard and read, we regard reconstruction 
under that act as an impossibility. Some sort of restoration 
may be had under it, but a reconstruction, such as will give 
our people equal rights with others, and such as will secure 
to our State and her citizens full constitutional rights, can 
not be had under that measure. Any reconstruction short 
of this would be a cruel mockery, and would result, in the 
end, in the certain degradation, prostration and complete 
ruin of the State. As harsh and severe and as odious as 
military rule may be, we prefer it infinitely to what must, 
of necessity, follow from any kind of restoration or recon- 
struction under that act. 

"Therefore, a convention to bring about such a recon- 
struction, as this bill contemplates, is to be avoided as the 
worst of evils. And, if the convention is not needed to ef- 
fect national restoration, or national integrity, certainly it 
is not necessary for any merely local purposes. This is more 
particularly true when in its proceedings hundreds and 
thousands of our citizens are not permitted to even have a 
voice, but are altogether excluded from it, and besides are 
disfranchised, and branded as traitors and felons. 

**We regard it, then, as a sacred duty on the part of 
those who claim this as their home, and who feel for the 
pride, honor and prosperity of the State, to go to the polls 
and vote against a convention, and at the same time to vote 
for cautious, prudent, wise and conservative delegates, so 
that if a convention should be held its proceedings will be 
controlled and directed with an assurance that the State will 
not be given up to destruction. 

"These are the views we entertain on this most im- 
portant question, and they are submitted with a full convic- 
tion and a perfect sense of the magnitude of the interests 
at stake." 

This paper was signed by Daniel Ringo, A. H. Garland, 
R. C. Newton, George C. Watkins, E. H. English, U. M. 
Rose and many other of our most distinguished citizens. 
These men had lived through the exciting scenes of the 

220 Arkansas Historical Association 

Civil War ; they had witnessed the destruction of property 
and the sacrifice of life, and the scene pictured by them in 
this conununication showed that, with all their experience, 
the worst had not been seen, and subsequent events showed 
they were right. 

It will be seen from this address that there was no ef- 
fort to argue the constitutionality of the acts of Congress ; 
this would have been futile, however convincing such argu- 
ment may have been. 

Andrew Johnson, through his legal advisers, had al- 
ready exhausted this subject in returning the several recon- 
struction acts of Congress with his objections, but the 
Northern States, excited and infuriated by political leaders, 
passed the acts over the President's veto, by the required 
two-thirds vote, some time prior to this address. 

At this time John G. Price had established a newspaper 
at Little Rock called "The Republican,'' which was made 
the official organ of the Republican party. Price assumed 
that he was very much pleased with the address, and he pub- 
lished, through his paper, the following item : 

"The Bourbons have issued an address, which is 
eminently characteristic of their inability to learn anything, 
and will give comfort to the friends of restoration and good 
government. We will with the most disinterested purpose 
advise them to beware how they monkey with the 'buzz- 

saw.' " 

While the term "buzz-saw" had a well-defined meaning, 
its application to the conditions, as they then existed, was 
not understood. The people were made familiar with the 
term in subsequent events. 

The registrars were appointed by General Ord. The 
negro, under the act of Congress, was entitled to register 
and vote ; they then constituted about one-third of the entire 
population of the whole State; the right to register was 
freely granted to such of them as applied to register and not 
one of them neglected this privilege, as it was the first time 
in their history such a privilege had been bestowed upon 
them, and they did not even realize what a calamity it was 
for them. In many instfinces they would register three or 

Constitutional Convention of 1874' 221 

four times, as they said they wanted to be sure they got their 
names on the ''register book/' This was sometimes occa- 
sioned by reason of the fact that many of the negroes had 
continued to hold the names of their masters while others 
had taken other names, and in such instances, for fear they 
might be left out, they were registered under both names, 
and none of them failed to vote, and if necessary they would 
vote at different precincts under different names. 

They had organized what they caUed "The Union 
League/' a secret organization, which embraced the entire 
colored belt of the State ; in fact, wherever a negro was to 
be found the Union League was organized for his special 
benefit. At the meeting of these leagues, they were stimu- 
lated to recite their experiences of oppression and punish- 
ment prior to their emancipation, and in this way they were 
influenced to a heat of frenzy against their old masters and 
the Southern whites; their zeal and enthusiasm were so 
worked up and intensified that they rode from five to ten 
miles to the gatherings of the Union League, riding the 
mules furnished them by the landlord, and this was carried 
to such an extent as to bring about failure in the crops and 
bankruptcy for the landlord. The negroes would be ha- 
rangued at all public and private meetings. 

''One James Hinds seemed to be peculiarly adapted to 
arouse the feelings and the passions of the negro. He was 
a lawyer, who came to Little Rock soon after the surrender ; 
it seems no one knew from whence he came ; he was what 
would be called a J. P. lawyer ; he did nearly all the negro 
practice. The following is said to be a fair sample of his 
speech to the colored people : 

"My colored brothers and sisters, I am a 'mission- 
ary.' I am one of those fellows who used to be called an 
'abolition emissary.' I am authorized to save souls by mak- 
ing people free. I believe there is no hope of heaven for a 
slave, because he has committed the unpardonable sin of be- 
ing a slave. This is the day of your jubilee; you vote for a 
convention and vote for me, and I will give you a free ticket 
of admission to the heavenly city." (Harrell's History of 
the Brooks-Baxter War, page 41.) 

222 Arkansas Historical Association 

In pursuance of the reconstruction act of Congress and 
a general order of General Ord, chief officer in command of 
the United States for Mississippi and Arkansas, dated at 
Vicksburg, September 26, 1867, an election for members of 
a constitutional convention for the formation of a Constitu- 
tion for Arkansas was to be held in the several counties be- 
ginning on the first Tuesday in November of that year. No 
time for its continuance was fixed ; that question being left 
to the discretion of the commanding officer, who retained 
the power to order a new election, in case of election frauds, 
he being the exclusive judge as to whether such frauds had 
been committed. As it turned out, the elections in the dif- 
ferent counties were ratified by military authority at differ- 
ent times, and in Jefferson county the polls were kept open 
for weeks in that election. Large numbers of votes were 
disfranchised on account of participation in the rebellion. 

Many of the members returned as elected were persons 
who had recently come into the State from Northern States, 
and who were commonly known as "carpet-baggers;" the 
president and chief officers of the convention that met in 
Little Rock on the 7th day of January, 1868, belonged to 
that class, which controlled and dominated the convention 

The proceedings and debates of the convention were 
taken down in shorthand, and were afterward printed in a 
volume of 985 pages; certainly one of the most singular 
books to be found anywhere filled with debates, frequently 
degenerating into angry personalities, upon almost every 
subject then in the public mind, except matters relating to 
the formation and contents of a Constitution. This, by some 
strange coincidence, seemed to have been entirely over- 

The debates took such a wide range that it might have 
seemed that the convention was sitting in permanence under 
circumstances that precluded the accomplishment of the 
task which had called it into being. 

There was, however, a committee called "The Commit- 
tee on the Constitution, Its Arrangement and Phraseology," 
composed of fiye leading "carpet-baggers. " We do not 

Constitutional Convention of 187U 223 

use this word in its offensive sense ; this is what they were 
then called. There were also thirty-one other committees, 
whose functions related to the different subjects; such as, 
"On Executive Department," "Judiciary Department" and 
so on, all of whose duties were, as it turned out, perfunctory, 
for after the convention had been in session for twenty- 
seven days, at the night session of February 10, 1868, the 
"Committee on the Constitution, Its Arrangement and 
Phraseology," under suspension of the rules, made its final 
report, embodying a complete Constitution, printed in 
twenty-seven pages of the report of the proceedings of the 
convention. On the motion of another "carpet-bagger" 
"that the Constitution, its schedule and ordinances be now 
adopted as a whole, and without division," the draft of the 
Constitution, as thus prepared, was adopted, the motion be- 
ing carried by a vote of 46 ayes against 19 nays. 

A motion being made that the Constitution be read, the 
president ruled it out of order, on the ground that the mat- 
ter had been disposed of. As each member was, however, 
allowed five minutes to explain his vote, two days were con- 
secrated to that ceremony, and the convention finally ad- 
journed on the 14th day of February. 

Three of the leading "carpet-baggers" were made a 
board of commissioners for the purpose of presiding over 
a popular election to be held as ordered by the convention. 
They were James L. Hodges, Joseph Brooks and Thomas M. 
Bo wen. It was provided, that if any one of the commission- 
ers should be a candidate for election to any office at the 
election, the functions of the board should devolve on the 
other two members. The board had power to set aside any 
election on the ground of intimidation of votes, and in this 
respect their powers were autocratic and arbitrary. The 
election was fixed for the 13th day of March next ensuing, 
and it was declared that it should last as long as the commis- 
sioners might direct. 

Thus the Constitution was adopted by the convention 
without consideration or discussion ; without even a reading. 
The record shows that it was solely the work of the "Com- 
mittee on the Constitution, Its Arrangements and Phrase- 

224 Arkansas Historical Association 

ology," consisting of J. L. Hodges, chairman ; Clifford Stan- 
ley Sim, John McClure, Joseph Brooks and John N. Sarber. 

The convention was called to order January 7, 1868, 
and closed February 11, 1868. The 13th day of March, 1868, 
was fixed for the date of its submission or ratification and 
the election of officers under it. Only one month was allowed 
to make the canvass ; the campaign was waged with much 
zeal on both sides. But this election was to be conducted 
by the same machinery that had conducted it for the calling 
of the constitutional convention, and the same disqualifica- 
tion was prescribed for the voters ; hence, the result might 
have been foreseen. 

This Constitution was fraught with many evils ; not so 
much perhaps for what it did contain, but more objection- 
able, because of what it should have contained. The door was 
left wide open for the Legislature to enact laws giving the 
Governor power to appoint all officers and to remove them 
at his will ; thus placing in the hands of one man the power 
to dictate the policy of his administration. 

Powell Clayton up to this time had taken but little part 
in politics ; it was said that he was a proslavery Democrat 
before the war. He had been a gallant and successful offi- 
cer in the Union Army and had been promoted to the rank 
of brigadier general. He had married a Southern lady at 
Helena, in this State, and after the war had purchased a 
plantation below Pine Bluff, where he and his brother lived. 
But he was ambitious for place and power, and whatever 
prejudices he had, if any, against the Republican party he 
sacrificed them and accepted the nomination for Governor. 
He at once became bold and defiant, and thereby challenged 
the admiration of his party. The campaign, as conducted 
by him, was violent and bitter During this campaign I 
heard him make a speech at Searcy to about two hundred 
negroes. It related chiefly to what the Republican party 
had done for the colored man and the tortures which they 
had experienced during their slavery. In his speech he 
quoted the Latin phrase, **Vox populi, vox Dei." The negroes 
thought this was the time to applaud, and such yelling was 
never heard, and it continued for such a length of time that 

Constitutional Convention of 187U 225 

it was perfectly deafening; and yet there was not a negro 
in the audience who understood the expression; it simply 
showed their devotion to the man who would espouse their 
cause in the manner in which Clayton did. 

On February 28, 1868, the Congress of the United 
States adopted an additional measure, which provided that 
the ratification or rejection of the Arkansas Constitution 
should be decided by a majority of the votes actually cast at 
the election, and that at the time of voting upon the ques- 
tion of the ratification of the Constitution the registered 
voters might also vote for Representatives in Congress and 
for all elective officers provided for by said Constitution. 
Notice of this act was received two days after the election 
had commenced. The election was not held as now, all 
through the State at one time, but the election officers would 
go from place to place to hold the election. This was doubt- 
less a mere scheme to elect State officers and members of 
Congress without opposition, because, after the election 
commenced there was no time to nominate candidates, and 
such an effort upon the part of the Democratic party at that 
late date would be futile. 

On April 28, General Gillen, who had in the meantime 
succeeded General Ord, reported to the general of the army 
that the election held in Arkansas, commencing March 13, 
1868, upon the ratification of the Constitution, showed 
27,913 votes for the Constitution and 26,597 against it. Gen- 
eral Gillen also made a report in regard to frauds claimed to 
have been perpetrated by both parties, but Congress paid no 
attention to this, and on June 8, 1868, passed an act to the 
effect that the State of Arkansas had adopted the Constitu- 
tion and that the Legislature of the State, which had in the 
meantime convened, had duly ratified the amendment to the 
Constitution of the United States, known as Article 14, and 
the State was entitled to representation in Congress as one 
of the States of the Union. 

President Johnson vetoed the act with his objections; 
he said in part as follows : 

"If Arkansas is a State not in the Union, this bill does 
not admit it as a State into the Union. If, on the other hand, 

226 Arkansas Historical Association 

Arkansas is a State in the Union, no legislation is necessary 
to declare it entitled 'to representation in Congress as one of 
the States of the Union/ The Constitution already declares 
that 'each State shall have at least one representative ; that 
the Senate shall be composed of two Senators from each 
State; and that no State without its consent, shall be de- 
prived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.' ♦ ♦ ♦ I have been 
unable to find in the Constitution of the United States any 
warrant for the exercise of the authority thus claimed by 
Congress. In assuming the power to impose a 'fundamental 
condition' upon a State which has been duly 'admitted into 
the Union upon an equal footing with the original States in 
all respects whatever,' Congress asserts a right to enter a 
State as it may a Territory, and to regulate the highest pre- 
rogative of a free people — the elective franchise. This ques- 
tion is reserved by the Constitution to the States themselves, 
and to concede to Congress the power to regulate this sub- 
ject would be to reverse the fundamental principle of the 
republic, and to place it in the hands of the Federal Govern- 
ment, which is the creature of the States, and the sover- 
eignty which justly belongs to the States or the people, the 
true source of all political power, by whom our federal sys- 
tem was created, and to whose will it is subordinate." 
(76. 48.) 

The officers declared to be elected were : Powell Clay- 
ton, Governor ; James M. Johnson, Lieutenant Governor ; R. 
J. T. White, Secretary of State ; James R. Berry, Auditor of 
State ; Henry Page, Treasurer of State ; John R. Montgom- 
ery, Attorney General ; Thomas Smith, Superintendent of 
Public Instruction ; Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, 
Lafayette Gregg, John McClure, Thomas M. Bowen and 
William M. Harrison. 

Thus it will be seen that Joe Brooks did not appear on 
the list of officeholders. From this time there was a spirit 
of rivalry between him and Powell Clayton. Brooks did not 
think his service to the party and his ability had been recog- 
nized and appreciated, while, on the other hand, Clayton 
saw in Brooks the most powerful competitor for preference 
and distinction ; hence, he was unwilling that he should ever 

Constitutional Convention of 187i 227 

get strongly intrenched with the leaders of the party. This 
feeling continued to increase with more or less bitterness 
until the Brooks and Baxter war. 

Under the Constitution just adopted, the Governor had 
the power to appoint the Chief Justices of the Supreme 
Court and all the judges of the inferior courts. He appointed 
W. W. Wilshire Chief Justice and sixteen circuit judges 
and the chancellor. Comparatively few of those appointed 
circuit judges had ever practiced law, and some of them did 
not even profess to be lawyers. They were appointed for 
political purposes and were subservient to the will of their 
masters ; they readily subscribed to any policy which might 
be dictated, and in that policy it may be seen what John G. 
Price meant by the word "buzz-saw," and from that policy 
it may be seen that the prediction of Mr. Garland, Mr. Eng- 
lish, Mr. Rose and others in their address to the people was 
literally fulfilled. They said : 

"As harsh and severe and as odious as military rule 
may be, we would prefer it infinitely to what must of neces- 
sity follow from any kind of reconstruction under the act of 

The election which resulted in the adoption of the Con- 
stitution was a mere sham and mockery. The act of Con- 
gress authorizing the election of all officers came too late 
for the people to have any knowledge of it, and, besides, the 
then commissioners appointed to supervise the election were 
vested with power to control it absolutely; they had the 
selection and control of the election officers; under this 
power, they could hold the election as many days as they 
saw proper ; they had the power to count the votes and to re- 
ject all they saw proper; they could set aside the election or 
change the results in any county, precinct or ward and de- 
cide the right to any office contested. An election, under 
such circumstances, was nothing more than cruel mockery. 
The people of the State were shorn of all their power ; the 
power was centralized at the Capital ; the Governor was the 
emperor without restraint ; the power of the State was his 
will ; the people of the counties, towns and cities had no right 
to control their own affairs. 

228 Arkansas Historical Association 

Clayton was the man above all others to grrasp and 
utilize the situation to the best advantage. He was a man 
of dash and unquestionable personal courage, and a man of 
ability. He had made himself a splendid reputation as a 
soldier in the Union army ; hence, he held the key to the situ- 
ation. Joe Brooks could excel him in public debate and in 
stirring up the negroes, but Clayton was possessed of the 
power, and through his military operations was enabled to 
make a display of such power, and the negroes stood in awe 
of him and he had them under his control. The negro likes 
military pomp and display, so long as there is really no 
danger ; as a rule they prefer to be with the power in control. 

Clayton was fearless in the exercise of his executive 
power — so much so, that he was often criticised by members 
of his own party for the use of such powers, but he always 
came out the victor, and those who opposed him were made 
to suffer the penalty. 

In order to meet the extravagant expenses in the pay- 
ment of salaries, it became necessary to increase the 
revenue, and in order to do this, assessors seemed to become 
much concerned and solicitous. 

The act of July 22, 1868, provided : "It shall be the 
duty of the Governor forthwith to appoint some person 
assessor in each county, whose term shall continue until the 
general election in 1870, unless sooner removed by the Gov- 
ernor." In other words, the Governor always held the key 
to the situation. 

The clerk of the county court was authorized to correct 
errors and omissions in the assessments, but in no event 
could he reduce the assessment. Under the same act the 
assessor was entitled for his services 3 per cent of the 
amount of taxes levied upon his assessment list. It is un- 
necessary to say that this was a great stimulus to place the 
highest assessment upon all property, and he very readily 
yielded to this seductive influence. With such a law on the 
statute now, there would be no necessity for Governor 
Donaghey to urge a higher rate of assessment. 

This same assessor, under an act of March 25, was 
authorized to appoint the judges and the clerks of the elec- 

Constitutional Convention of 1874 229 

tion. He was a mere agent of the Governor and could be 
removed at any time at his pleasure. It is not difficult to 
understand how the taxes were increased under this system, 
but, with all its increase, the amount raised was perhaps not 
sufficient to even pay the interest on the debts which had 
been created. 

Under the Murphy government, from April, 1864, to 
October, 1867, it only required $64,800 per annum to sup- 
port the State Government. It must be remembered that 
during this time there were no charitable or educational in- 
stitutions to support. James R. Berry was Auditor under 
the Murphy government; also under the Clayton govern- 
ment and was elected Auditor on the Baxter ticket in 1872. 
He was under oath as a witness before the congressional 
committee, of which the Hon. Luke E. Poland was chairman, 
and he testified that the total amount expended for the 
years 1868 to 1872, inclusive, was $6,284,281.62. In addi- 
tion to these enormous expenses, bonds were issued and the 
State's indebtedness increased almost without limit. 

Bonds were issued to railroads built chiefly on paper, 
under the act of 1868, to the amount of $5,350,000. Bonds 
to pay for supplies furnished the militia $400,000; and a 
still further means of depleting the treasury and piling up 
a huge debt for posterity, the Governor, under an act of 
April 6, 1869, funded the Holford bonds to the amount of 
$1,370,000. Furthermore, the Governor was authorized to 
issue, and did issue, bonds in the sum of $300,000 and sold 
them on the market to supply the deficit in the depleted 
treasury and to pay interest on the funded debt. 

By this time there was a great restlessness and discon- 
tent among the people ; under the taxation by the assessors, 
the clerks and boards of equalization, the taxes had been in- 
creased to a point which meant confiscation ; only the office- 
holders prospered. Hodges and Weeks under a contract had 
charge of the State penitentiary, which gave them large 
sums from the State treasury. They built palatial resi- 
dences on what is now called Lincoln avenue in Little Rock. 
In making some supposed changes or additions in the peni- 
tentiary building, they removed slate and used it for the 

230 Arkansas Historical Association 

purpose of covering their own homes. Senator McDonald 
and W. S. Oliver, clerk and collector of Pulaski county, built 
splendid homes in the same community. For many years 
these places were familiarly known as "Robbers' Roost" or 
"Rogues' Hill/' 

But the general condition of the country was alarming ; 
the cotton crops fell short ; the negroes had become insolent 
and unmanageable ; they had been cropping on shares 
chiefly, but they, under the influence of political leaders, 
would go to political gatherings and Union League meet- 
ings ; they began to distrust their old masters and to neglect 
their crops and became imbued with the idea that the prop- 
erty of their old masters would be confiscated and divided 
among them ; hence the familiar saying of "forty acres and 
a mule" must be allotted to each of them. 

About this time partisan heat had reached its climax; 
the reconstruction acts of Congress had created a stir 
throughout the South. 

In order to give the Democratic party a showing for 
success, the Democratic State Committee advised the Demo- 
crats to take the oath prescribed by the Constitution of 1868 
and as required under the reconstruction measure, and to 
register and vote at this election ; otherwise, it would have 
been folly in the extreme to have placed a ticket out with the 
entire Democratic party in the South disfranchised by 
reason of having voted against the Constitution. 

The Democratic party issued and address, urging the 
party to take this course, but this course was condemned by 
many of the old leaders of the party. But, notwithstanding 
this confusion and dissatisfaction for a time, the people as 
a rule took the oath and registered preparatory to the com- 
ing election. When it was seen that the Democrats were 
taking the oath and registering, disorder and unrest began 
to enter the Republican forces ; something had to be done to 
counteract the avalanche of votes which would be polled ac- 
cording to the registration returns. So, on November 1, 
1868, just a few days after the election, Clayton addressed 
the following letter to the members of the Republican party, 
who had been returned as elected to the Legislature : 

Constitutional Convention of 187^ 231 

"November 1, 1868." 

"Dear Sir : I am led to believe that it will be absolutely 
necessary to proclaim martial law in several counties in the 
State. These counties are now in a state of insurrection, 
and the civil authorities in them are utterly powerless to 
preserve order and protect the lives of the citizens. Many 
officers and citizens in these counties have been assassi- 
nated or driven away, and a reign of terror is now existing 
in them. I have consulted with the State officers and the 
representative men in the city, and they unanimously agree 
with me that this is the only course that can be pursued that 
will put an end to the existing evils, and I now communicate 
with you for the purpose of obtaining your views upon the 
subject and your co-operation and assistance in restoring 
civil authority and bringing to punishment the violators of 
the public peace. 

"I urge upon you the necessity of coming here soon 
after the election, as it is believed a concerted effort will be 
made to so diminish the number of the members of the 
Legislature as to prevent there being a quorum. If your 
views coincide with mine as to the expediency and necessity 
of this course, I trust you will use all your influence to as- 
sist in the organization of the State Guards. The success of 
this movement depends very greatly upon the promptness 
and dispatch with which it is carried out. A decided and 
prompt effort will, in my opinion, settle the difficulty within 
thirty days. 

"Awaiting your reply, I am, 

"Very respectfully yours, etc., 

"Powell Clayton, 

"Governor of Arkansas." 
(Harreirs History, 66.) 

After this letter was written, general disorder prevailed 
throughout the State ; negroes in great bodies would con- 
gregate in towns, armed with their shotguns. Monks, a 
renegade from Missouri, with about fifty men of his low 
type, chiefly from Missouri, crossed the border in the north- 
ern part of the State, and by them men were put to torture ; 

232 Arkansas Historical Association 

some of them robbed and plundered and some murdered 
without cause. 

Baxter was then circuit judge in that part of the State 
and realized the conditions, as they existed. He wrote 
Monks the following letter : 

"Col. William Monks : 

"We ask you most earnestly, as officially representing 
the judiciary of Arkansas, to turn over the prisoners to the 
sheriff. We beg you as citizens to^ allow the majesty of the 
law to be vindicated in this matter, and not to imperil the 
lives and homes and property of all good citizens of this 

"Respectfully and truly yours, 

"Elisha Baxter" (76.77). 

About the same time trouble was inaugurated again in 
Conway county and a number of men were killed without 
jury or court and without provocation or censure. 

Martial law in many of the counties had been declared. 
D. P. Upham was put in charge of the northeastern part of 
the State ; S. W. Mallory was given command of the south- 
ern part and R. F. Catterson was assigned to the southwest. 
Gibson of Dardanelle, Coolidge of Union and Demby of 
Montgomery, all members of the House, accepted orders to 
raise men and send them to the respective commanding offi- 
cers to enter upon the field of carnage and bloodshed. 

The militia was taken chiefly from the mountain dis- 
tricts ; they had said that the war **was a rich man's quarrel 
and a poor man's fight." They had not served in the Con- 
federate army ; many of them lived in squalid poverty with 
but few demands, and they were usually termed "renegades" 
or "grey-backs," which were terms used to denote those of 
but little character ; but, led on by hope of bounty in the way 
of pecuniary pay from the Federal Government, many of 
them joined the Federal army before the close of the war 
and became mere holders-on to draw a bounty and monthly 
pay, but not to fight; but, when the Governor called for 
volunteer militia, these same men, seeing a chance for 
plunder and of revenge for some real or imaginary wrong 

Constitutional Convention of 187U 233 

which they had received from the Confederate forces dur- 
ing the war, readily entered under the several commanding 
officers. They were indeed brave men to go to fight the bat- 
tles for their country when there was no enemy to be found 
— ^no one to fight, except prisoners who would surrender and 
be robbed or murdered. 

In a greater portion of the State the condition was in- 
deed forlorn and apparently hopeless. The war had been 
fought to save the Union ; the Confederate forces had sur- 
rendered ; they were invited to their homes to participate in 
everything to upbuild the country and make the Union of 
the States the greatest and most formidable power in the 
world ; they had accepted this invitation ; they had begun to 
work in good faith for the betterment of mankind ; they had 
laid aside their arms — ^their swords were turned into prun- 
ing knives — when they were confronted with the new enemy 
of peace and good government; they were helpless and de- 
fenseless ; many of them were hounded down and murdered 
without jury or court, or without even a mock military trial. 

Upham was among the most active in gathering up the 
"grey-backs;" he had in a short time gathered up several 
hundred of the marauders at Batesville, and while there 
wrote to the Governor for full instructions as to his powers, 
to which he received the following answer : 

"Little Rock, Ark., November 18, 1868. 

"Brig. Gen. D. P. Upham, Batesville : 

"Sir : In reply to your communication of November 13, 
I will say that the provision of the militia law to which you 
refer applies only to the discipline of the militia force, and 
not to political offenders. A military commission is not 
governed by any written law. It is simply the will of the 
commander- (in-chief) . You are authorized to organize mili- 
tary commission for the trial of citizens, but will not enforce 
the death penalty without sending the proceedings to these 
headquarters for approval. By order of the Governor. 

"J. M. Barton," 
"Private Secretary," (76. 81). 

234 Arkansas Historical Association 

In this letter Upham was told ''a military commission 
is not governed by any written law ; it is simply the will of 
the conmiander-in-chief ." In other words, he was author- 
ized to organize a military commission for the trial of a citi- 
zen who might fall a victim to their greed for plunder and 
murder ; but he was directed not to inflict the death penalty 
without the approval of the Governor. 

But Upham did not follow out any of these directions ; 
many of the best citizens of Woodruff county were murdered 
without the semblance of a trial, either military or other- 
wise ; many of thesa were put to torture and plundered with 
no charge against them; many fled from their homes and 
sought refuge among their friends in other parts of the 
State ; others were arrested without a charge against them, 
and would only be discharged upon the payment of a ran- 
som, this depending in a measure upon the amount that 
could be raised. No private home was safe from the 
marauders while Upham's militia were engaged in this in- 
discriminate murder and plunder ; his faithful allies in crime 
were busily engaged in their bloody and inhuman work; 
many unprotected men were shot down without even a form 
of a trial and in some instances women were brutally as- 

Center Point, at that time, was a little village in How- 
ard county, and was the scene of a bloody battle when Cat- 
terson^s militia stormed the town and shot down several 
helpless and defenseless people. Catterson also received 
orders from headquarters telling him to deal with all des- 
perate characters summarily and that his actions through 
the military court would be final. When Catterson and 
Locke had gone through the country from Center Point to 
Hamburg, then a prosperous little village in Ashley county, 
they robbed and plundered people on their way, and when 
they reached Hamburg they robbed Col. A. W. Files, who is 
now a citizen of Little Rock, and who was then a merchant 
at Hamburg ; they drove him from home and threatened to 
take his life. Colonel Files, in speaking of this matter a 
short time ago, said that his only offense was that he was 
chairman of the Democratic Central Conmiittee of that 

Constitutional Convention of 1874 235 

county. On the 25th day of December, 1868, the following 
order was sent to S. W. Mallory : 

"Executive Office, December 25, 1868. 
"Gen. S. W. Mallory, Commanding District Southwest : 

"Sir : I am instructed by the Governor to say, that as 
soon as General Catterson reaches you, you will proceed at 
once to arrest the parties whose names have been sent you, 
as well as any other outlaws. He thinks you can safely 
execute many of them. It is absolutely necessary that some 
examples be made ♦ ♦ ♦ it may be desirable to have troops 
here, by the 1st of January, if the thing can be safely done. 
There will be a large Democratic convention here at that . 
time, and the militia may be needed as delegates. He thinks 
you have acted wisely in disbanding the colored troops, 
under the circumstances. 

"Very respectfully yx)urs, 

"J. H. Barton, 
"Private Secretary," (76. 87). 

It seems that some of the negroes had mutinied and it 
was said that they had threatened the life of Mallory ; hence, 
they were disbanded ; many arrests were made under this 
order, while others, whose names had been given, flod the 
country. Some who had money enough to pay a ransom suffi- 
ciently large were released; some made their escape and 
some suffered death. 

"Stokes Morgan, a bright and promising young man, 
was accused of being implicated in the death of a white man 
named Dollar, who had deserted his family and was living 
with a negro woman. Morgan was tried by a military com- 
mission and discharged, but General Catterson reversed this 
decision and ordered him hung ; he was first sent to the peni- 
tentiary at Little Rock and then returned to Monticello and 
hung there." A/6. 87). 

"Other communities in the southwestern part of the 
State were visited by Catterson's militia and some of the 
most shocking outrages were perpetrated on many citizens ; 
their homes were invaded and others outraged. A Mr. 
Brooks, in Sevier county, a reputable citizen with no charge 

236 Arkansas Historical Association 

against him, was bound hand and foot and he and his chil- 
dren were forced to witness the outrage of his wife by 
negroes." (/6. 88). 

Along the Little Missouri river, where it winds its way 
through picturesque spots in the southwestern part of the 
State, amid the deep pine forests and pure springs gushing 
from the mountain side, where to violate the law was prac- 
tically unknown, was the scene of the most atrocious crime ; 
but the last act of this perfidy and shame was perpetrated 
by an act of the Legislature on April 6, 1868, which legalized 
all proceedings and acts done by the military commission, or 
done in aid thereof, and prohibiting all courts, original or 
appellate, from taking jurisdiction in such cases, or to hold 
any person for any act done by martial law between 
November, 1868, and April 1, 1869. 

This act is perhaps without a parallel; it was known 
everywhere that innocent men had been killed ; that others 
had been outraged ; that many were tortured and forced to 
give up money without any charge against them, and yet, 
these men were exempt from prosecution and were protected 
by the statute of the State. These outrages had been carried 
on with such ruthless, relentless hands, that many of the 
leaders of the party in the Northern States began to censure 
those in control of the Southern States. 

The violations of the law, under the direction of the 
military government, had been so gross and cowardly that 
some of the members of the party were outspoken in their 
condemnation of martial law. 

On the 13th day of March, the Senate adopted the reso- 
lution already passed by the House, ratifying the Fifteenth 
Article of the amendment of the Constitution. Thus the 
work for which the State had been put under military rule 
had been accomplished; the negro was made the political 
equal of the white man ; he was authorized to vote and hold 
office, and then the political pot began to boil; disaffection 
sprung up in the ranks of the Republican party, such as is 
always the case where a government is established by mili- 
tary forces and violations of law, rapine and murder; the 
victors are sure to fall out among themselves. It was so with 

Constitutional Convention of 187U 237 

Robespierre. When he had reached the zenith of his glory, 
when he was seeking to become the ruler of France and as- 
sume the place of a dictator, he succeeded in having a law 
enacted on the 10th day of January, 1794, in which those 
who opposed him could not have even an appearance of a 
fair trial. No witnesses were allowed under it; the court 
was one merely of arbitrary power and condemnation. 
Under this act, more than twelve hundred people perished 
on the guillotine in Paris within six weeks time. But the 
extreme cruelty and lawlessness brought about such resent- 
ment that Robespierre and others fell victims to the instru- 
ment of death which they had prepared for others. 

After these stirring events after the reconstruction act 
had been passed and the election was held in Arkansas, call- 
ing the Convention of 1868, and after the Legislature had 
made and declared the Constitution adopted and Congress 
had declared that Arkansas was then one of the States of 
the Union, having adopted a Constitution, which in form 
was republican, things assumed a more quiet form for the 
time being, but during the interval until the election in 
November, 1870, the desire for greed and office still in- 
creased. The State funds had been squandered and the 
revenues of the counties were exhausted ; the treasuries of 
the towns and cities had been so depleted and new debts in- 
curred until they were hopelessly bankrupt. State scrip 
could be bought for from fifteen to twenty cents on the dol- 
lar and county scrip in many counties was practically 
worthless, except for paying county taxes. 

The desire for holding office was so increased and so 
many places had been made that the State was filled with 
an army of officeholders. There was not only a State Super- 
intendent of Public Instruction, but the State had been di- 
vided into ten districts and a district superintendent was ap- 
pointed for each district with a salary of $3,000 per annum 
for each. Many of these district superintendents could not 
write a sentence correctly and they were wanting even in 
the fundamental principles of an education. These, as well 
as county offices, were filled by appointment. The election 
machinery was entirely in the hands of the dominant party, 

238 Arkansas Historical Association 

when the returns as made showed Republicans in the lower 
House sixty-four, while the Democrats numbered nineteen. 
The Senate was controlled by about the same proportion. 

In the meantime, the breach between Brooks and Clay- 
ton had become more pronounced and bitter and continued 
to grow wider and deeper. Brooks had succeeded in calling 
to his assistance some of the brainiest men of the party, such 
as B. F. Rice, Milton Rice and Sidney M. Barnes. The Rices 
and Sidney M. Barnes were Kentuckians, and came to 
Arkansas soon after the war. They were able lawyers and 
good debaters. This at once made the opposition assume 
rather a formidable shape, and if all other things had been 
equal would doubtless have controlled the party. Clayton, 
however, held a vantage ground. He held the key to the situ- 
ation. He could remove officers at his pleasure. So with 
this vast power it was hard to dethrone him from the head of 
his party. The Legislature convened January 2, 1871. The 
time fixed for convening same was 12 m. of that day. The 
two factions of the party were then described as "Minstrels" 
and "Brindle-tails." The followers of Clayton were called 
the Minstrels, while the followers of Brooks were called the 
Brindle-tails. It is a little curious to know just how these 
names came to be applied to the two wings of the party. 
They came in this way : John G. Price was quite a musician 
and something of a comedian. He had always been a parti- 
san supporter of the Clayton wing, and on one occasion when 
a minstrel show came to the city of Little Rock and one of 
its principal actors was out of place, they secured the serv- 
ices of Price to fill several engagements for it, and it is said 
he made quite a "hit" in the role of a negro minstrel, musi- 
cian and comedian. Hence, the Brooks men called the Clay- 
ton followers "Minstrels." A negro by the name of Jack 
Agery was the source of the Brooks followers being called 
Brindle-tails. Agery was rather a small negro, a perfect 
African in t3i>e and black as the ace of spades. He had been 
a slave, was. a great wag and a successful imitator. He al- 
ways made it a point to be on the side of the party in power. 
He was for Clajrton as long as he was in power and when Mr. 
Garland, although a Democrat, became Governor, he was not 

Constitutional Convention of 187U 239 

long finding his way clear to support him. With his great 
power of mimicry he was always a leader among the negroes. 
While he was uneducated, still no negro and but few white 
men could stand his ridicule and sarcasm. On one occasion 
he went to Eagle township, in Pulaski county, where many 
negroes had gathered together to hear him speak. He was 
then supporting Clayton and he said that there was a great 
big tall, lank, lean man at Little Rock who made speeches to 
negroes. He said this man reminded him of a big brindle 
bull with a brindle tail which he had known when he was a 
boy. He said the bull would paw the dirt and throw it over 
his head and bellow and bellow until you could hear him for 
miles and he said that man was Joe Brooks, and after that 
the followers of Brooks were called Brindle-tails. When the 
members had gotten to the capital the excitement was more 
intense than ever as to which wing of the party would con- 
trol the organization. The Democrats, of course, could do 
nothing more than cast their small strength with either the 
one wing or the other. Several of the Democratic members 
reached the front steps which led up to the hall of the House 
of Representatives, which was then the south end of the old 
Capitol building. They had reached there perhaps half an 
hour before the time fixed for the meeting of the Legislature. 
There they were confronted with about twelve militiamen 
standing on each side of the steps with their guns and glit- 
tering bayonets. The members were told it was not time for 
them to enter. They then supposed, of course, that no one 
had gone in in advance of them, but after waiting some half 
an hour they were directed to ascend the steps, and as they 
did so the militia with their guns and bayonets formed ah 
archway for the purpose of passing under, imitating theold 
Roman custom when they had conquered an army, in order 
to make them feel' completely subjugated they were required 
to pass under the yoke, but the English-speaking people have 
never worn the yoke and never will. 

When these members reached the hall of the House of 
Representatives the temporary organization had been com- 
pleted by the election of C. W. Tankersley Speaker of the 
House, a carpet-bagger, who had been imported to Arkadel- 

240 Arkansas Historical Association 

phia, Clark county, and thus the ''Minstrels" succeeded in 
its organization. 

The Democrats, being in a hopeless minority, were in a 
dilemma to know what to do. In the lower House there 
were eighty-three members, of these sixty-four were Re- 
publicans and nineteen Democrats ; and the members of the 
Senate were about in the same proportion. The Democrats 
were willing to cast their lot with either wing of the party 
which could promise the best results for them. 

James M. Johnson of Madison county was then Lieuten- 
ant Governor. He was a native of that county and regarded 
as a good citizen, and he had privately assured the Demo- 
cratic members that if Clayton was elected to the United 
States Senate he (Johnson) would then become Governor, 
and as such Governor he would enfranchise those who had 
been disfranchised by the reconstruction measures and the 
acts of the Legislature. In other words, that he would re- 
store the people of the State to their citizenship and would 
insure a free ballot and a fair count. 

This seemed to be the most plausible and quickest way 
to obtain that result, so on the 10th day of January, 1871, 
when there was a United States Senator to be elected the 
Democratic members, with the exception of four, voted for 
Clayton for United States Senator, having held a caucus the 
night prior thereto, where many of the leaders of the party 
were urging this course to be pursued. Among them were 
such men as Mr. A. H. Garland, Gen. Robert C. Newton and 
the Hon. Thomas Fletcher. This caucus was intended to be 
exclusive, and each member was enjoined not to reveal its 
results. It was not held at the Statehouse, or any public 
place, as caucuses are usually held, but it was held in a 
private house on Scott street, between Second and Third 
streets, in the city of Little Rock, about where Charles T. 
Abeles's place of business now is. 

The Democratic members who did not vote for Clayton 
were not present at this caucus and doubtless did not feel 
bound to abide by its instructions. 

Among the Democrats who voted for Clayton, under in- 
structions of the caucus, were such men as Judge B. B. Bat- 

Constitutional Convention of 187U 241 

tie, who has been on the Supreme Bench for more than 
twenty years ; W. H. Gate, who was for many years circuit 
judge in the district in which Jonesboro is situated and 
afterwards elected to Congress from his district; Hon. 
George Grump, who was United States marshal under Cleve- 
land's administration and now a prominent lawyer at Har- 
rison, Ark. ; Hon. Wm. R. Harley of Dallas county ; General 
Thornburgh, now in this city, and the Hon. E. P. Watson of 
Benton county, and the writer of this paper and eight 
others; in fact, all the Democrats voted for him, except four 
who voted for different persons. 

These were all true and tried Democrats then and have 
been faithful servants of the party ever since. Their motive 
for voting for Glayton was never impugned until thirty 
years afterward ; because the people at that time understood 
the motives which prompted the Democrats to cast their 
votes for Glajrton, and even when they were criticized it was 
only by those who were too young to remember the reasons 
or motives of those who voted for him, or those who are not 
well enough informed to know the history of the State; or 
they may have been very small politicians, who would not 
seek the truth, if falsehood served their purpose better ; but 
no one who lived through that exciting and lawless period 
would criticize the Democratic members who voted for Glay- 
ton. Information justifying their course could have been 
obtained at any time by consulting Senator James H. Berry, 
Senator James K. Jones, Judge J. N. Gypert of Searcy, John 
M. Moore of Little Rock and many others of the older citi- 
zens, or from the printed journals of the Legislature of 1871. 

Those who voted for Glayton were prompted to do so 
through the most patriotic motives ; they were controlled by 
the same motives that controlled the National Democratic 
party in 1872, wherein it endorsed Horace Greely for Presi- 
dent, who had been a most pronounced Republican and a bit- 
ter man against the South during the Givil War. But, when 
the war was over, he sought to place the Southern States in 
the Union where they belonged, with all the powers of local 
self-government. They were controlled by the same motives 
which prompted the Democratic party, when it met in con- 

242 Arkansas Historical Association 

vention on the 19th day of June, 1872, in Little Rock, and 
declined to put a Democratic ticket in the field and indorsed 
the Reform Republican ticket, headed by Joe Brooks, one on 
the ticket being a negro ; they were prompted by the same 
motives which controlled the Democrats in rallying to the 
support of Governor Baxter in 1874, when he had been 
ousted by a bogus and void judgment and Joe Brooks was by 
force installed as Governor. Baxter had shown by this time, 
by his acts, that he was a friend to the people, and it was his 
purpose to restore them to citizenship. Hence, although the 
Democrats had supported Brooks in the election of 1872, yet, 
when he was installed as Governor by the "Minstrel Wing" 
of the party, the Democrats, almost to a man, instinctively 
and voluntarily rallied to the support of Baxter. 

We trust we may be pardoned for quoting from Har- 
reirs History of the Brooks-Baxter War, at pages 100 and 
102, as it refers to the writer of this paper, but it seems to 
explain the position of the Democratic members, who voted 
for Clayton for United States Senator. It is as follows : 

The Governor, meaning Clayton, at his first election 
as United States Senator, had received the vote of many 
Democrats. Their support was upon the principle of Gre- 
cian ostracism of those who were dangerous to the State, or 
obnoxious to the people. The motive that impelled them to 
give that support was not exactly the same that the Athen- 
ian avowed for plumping his shell in favor of banishing 
Aristides — "because he was tired of hearing him called The 
Just.' " Such motive was eloquently disclaimed. It was de- 
clared by the able and fearless young members .of the House, 
Mr. House, from White county, in explanation of his vote 
for Clayton when, upon a second balloting for United States 
Senator, he withdrew his support for Clayton ; he said : 

" 1 desire to say, that heretofore I have let the record ex- 
plain my votes, and I am willing today to let that record 
stand as a living monument in all time to come, and as my 
platform with which I am willing to stand or fall. I did not 
explain my vote cast for Governor Clayton for the United 
States Senatorship, because my constituents, to whom I am 

Constitutional Convention of 187U 243 

alone responsible in my representative capacity, will under- 
stand my reason for casting that vote. 

" *It was not because I approved of Governor Clayton's 
administration. God forbid that I should ever approve of 
such an one ! It was not because I loved Powell Clajrton, but 
because I loved my country more ; not that I expected to gain 
any favor at the hands of his Excellency, but that I might 
be instrumental — ^that I might lend a helping hand for the 
relief of the oppressed, outraged and down-trodden people 
of the State of Arkansas. It was not that I expected he 
could do us any good in the United States Senate, but that I 
thought he could do us about as much harm in that body as 
the newsboys in the streets of New York City, or the auction- 
eer in the stockyards or market places of Paris, or as a door- 
keeper in the House of Commons of the Parliament of Great 

" *At that time I believed that Governor Clayton was 
guilty of malfeasance in office; of high crimes and misde- 
meanors, and I am more thoroughly convinced of it now. I 
can not say positively that he authorized, but there can be 
no doubt that he approved of the conduct of the militia in 
some sections of the country, where they robbed and 
plundered the best citizens, intimidated others and drove 
them from their workshops and other places of business, 
while other honest, quiet, inoffensive citizens, for no cause 
whatever, they took from their bedsides and families, at the 
dark hour of midnight, and murdered in the most horrible 
manner, without jury or court. And today, these very men, 
whose souls are blackened with crime, whose hands are 
stained with human gore, are held up, as I believe, by his 
Excellency, as the model men of the country, ready to do the 
same inhuman work at the mandate of the master." (Har- 
rell's History, 100, 101.) See also House Journal, 1871, page 

But Clajrton was too smart to be caught in this trap. 

In a few days it was noised about that the Democrats 
and the Brooks wing of the party had conspired to put 
James M. Johnson, as Governor, in control of affairs in 
Arkansas. Thereupon the war began between the two fac- 

244 Arkansas Historical Association 

tions of the party, Clayton leading one wing of the party and 
Brooks the other, and perhaps the stormiest scenes followed 
that was ever witnessed in a deliberative body in this State. 
The whole situation seemed to be in confusion. On January 
30, 1871, articles of impeachment were prepared and pre- 
sented against Lieutenant Governor James M. Johnson, and 
the resolutions preferring the charges of impeachment only 
lacked two votes of being carried, thirty-eight members be- 
ing for impeachment and thirty-nine against and a few 
scattering. The chief charge made against Johnson was 
that while Lieutenant Governor and presiding as President 
of the State Senate, he administered the oath of office to Sen- 
ator Brooks, who as shown by the returns had been elected 
from Pulaski County, and that he afterwards recognized 
the said Brooks as a Senator on the floor. A curious thing 
about this tragedy is that Mr. Brooks had been declared 
elected and a certificate given to him by O. A. Hadley, who 
was the chief supporter of Clayton. Following this effort 
to impeach Lieutenant Governor James M. Johnson, on the 
16th day of February, 1871, articles of impeachment were 
preferred against Clayton, charging him with high crimes 
and misdemeanors in office. The resolutions preferring the 
charges were carried by a vote of forty-two to thirty-eight, 
and a committee was appointed to present the articles of im- 
peachment at the bar of the Senate for final hearing, but 
when the articles of impeachment were presented at the bar 
of the Senate a majority of the Senators had absented them- 
selves without leave and continued to do so for several days, 
thus preventing a quorum. It was charged by some that 
they had gone to Argenta and by others that they were in 
hiding at Mount Holly cemetery, but the question is still 
open and has never been judicially determined as to where 
they really were. 

On the 4th day of March, 1871, Powell Clayton notified 
both branches of the Legislature that he would not accept 
the office of Senator, which had been tendered him, and in 
declining to accept the same, among other things he said, 
as follows : 

Constitutional Convention of 187 4 245 

''Executive Department, State of Arkansas, 
"Little Rock, March 4, 1871. 

"Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the House of Representa- 
tives : 

"On the 10th of January, 1871, it was ascertained that 
I was elected, by the General Assembly, United States Sena- 
tor by a vote of ninety-four to nine, on joint ballot. I not 
only received the united support of my own party, but many 
of the opposition members voted for me. This large and al- 
most unanimous vote, to myself and the outside world, 
could not be construed otherwise than as an endorsement of 
my official action, and, I may here state, that I felt highly 
complimented by it. At the time of my election by the Gen- 
eral Assembly, the Republican members of the Legislature 
seemed to be thoroughly united, and I had reason to hope 
that the Lieutenant Governor would pursue such a course 
as would commend himself to the confidence of the Republi- 
can members. By subsequent events, I have been forced to 
the unwilling conviction that many of the members who then 
supported me were actuated more by a desire to place a 
person in the executive chair who would carry out a policy 
adverse to the wishes of a large majority of the Republican 
party, than to have me represent the State in the United 
States Senate. In other words, many of the members who 
supported me, deemed the control of the State Government 
of more importance to the consummation of their wishes 
than representation in the Senate of the United States. 

"At the time referred to, both branches of the General 
Assembly were under the control of the Republican party; 
but since that time a coalition seems to have been formed of 
a few Republicans under the leadership of the Lieutenant 
Governor, and the entire conservative element of both 
houses. I can but regard this coalition as being anti-Repub- 
lican and having for its object the overthrow of the present 
State Government on the one part, and the gratification of 
private malice and revenge on the other. With this convic- 
tion, I can not by any act of mine be instrumental in placing 
in the executive chair the leader of this coalition. Were I 

246 Arkansas Historical Association 

to consult the promptings of a selfish ambition rather than 
the perpetuation of the principles of the party which has 
honored me with its confidence and that saved the State to 
the Union, I should accept the position to which I was elected 
by your votes. 

^'Feeling that such a course would not only be a betrayal 
of the confidence reposed in me, but a desertion of principles, 
a sense of duty compels me to decline the position tendered." 
(House Journal, 1871, page 543). 

Thus it became apparent that Clayton was in the saddle 
again, and whatever thought had been cherished in displac- 
ing him and putting Lieutenant Governor James M. Johnson 
in as Governor, had been dispelled, and under these condi- 
tions it was but a short time until Clajrton had many of the 
recalcitrant members in line again, and James M. Johnson 
was induced to resign his position as Lieutenant Governor 
and accept the office of Secretary of State, while O. A. Had- 
ley was appointed Lieutenant Governor, and afterwards 
Clayton was again elected as Senator and, of course, 0. A. 
Hadley, by virtue of his office, became Governor, thus end- 
ing, perhaps, one of the most stormy sessions of the Legisla- 
ture that was ever witnessed in Arkansas. Things moved 
on then in the usual course until the fall of 1872 — ^when 
another State campaign was at hand — ^when the fight be- 
tween Clayton and Brooks had continued to increase in its 
intensity. In the meantime there had been a general revolt 
in the Republican party, led by Brooks, Rice and Barnes, and 
they organized a Liberal Republican party, and nominated 
Joseph Brooks for Governor, while the Minstrels nominated 
Elisha Baxter of Independence county. The Democrats con- 
vened in convention at Little Rock and declined to place a 
ticket in the field, and tacitly or directly endorsed the 
Brooks ticket, and the fight was on. Immediately after the 
Democrats had taken this course, Joe Brooks made a speech 
to the delegates then assembled at the front end of the old 
State Capitol building in the city of Little Rock, in which, 
among other things, he said "if he were elected Governor he 
would fill the penitentiary so full of the Minstrels that you 
could see their legs and arms sticking out at the windows,'^ 

Constitutional Convention of 187 i 247 

which was most devoutly prayed for by all Democrats. It 
was the most scathing and vituperative speech I ever listened 
to. However, his speeches were always strong and convinc- 
ing. The election came and Baxter was declared to have re- 
ceived a majority of the votes cast in the State and was duly 
installed as Governor on the 7th day of January, 1873. 

But he had scarcely entered upon his duties as Gover- 
nor, until the General Assembly, which met January, 1873, 
began to enact laws vicious and far-reaching ; but Governor 
Baxter remembered the pledges«to the people to the effect 
that the people should be enfranchised ; that he would secure 
a free ballot and fair count, began to veto such measures as 
fast as they were presented to him. 

One of these measures was introduced by Benton Tur- 
ner, who represented Conway county, of the order of a non- 
descript, without ancestry or progeny, so far as the people of 
Conway county knew, and who subsisted entirely by reason 
of his party affiliation. While this bill was entitled "An Act 
Amendatory and Supplemental to an Act to Aid in the Con- 
struction of Railroads ; Approved July 1, 1868," yet, it was 
familiarly called "The Railroad Steal Bill," which was more 
appropriate. But Governor Baxter, with his sense of honor, 
his obligation to the people, vetoed this bill and other bills 
perhaps more vicious. 

These acts turned the "Minstrel Wing" of the Republi- 
can party — those who had espoused his cause for Governor — 
against him, and had the effect of bringing the Democrats, 
who had supported Brooks, to his (Baxter's) support. Gov- 
ernor Baxter's dilemma, perhaps, can not be better described 
than his own language. He said : 

"I may name, among the measures of which they at- 
tempted to compel my approval, the subsidy bill, by which 
certain railway companies were to be released from pay- 
ment to the State on account of bonds issued to them for the 
construction of their respective lines, about $6,000,000 ; the 
metropolitan police bill, which proposed to constitute the 
State a metropolis, the police of which should have power to 
arrest without warrant any citizen of the State, and drag 
him for trial at the capital; an election bill, concentrating 

248 Arkansas Historical Association 

in the hands of three men, designated a board of canvassers, 
and having for their chairman the Lieutenant Governor, 
not alone the power of appointing judges and clerks of elec- 
tion, but also the supervision and review of all proceedings 
and returns in elections; a triumvirate which could have 
held the liberties of the people in the perpetual grasp of a 
clique. When it was discovered that I could not and would 
not lend my influence or give my consent to measures such 
as these, persuasion and intimidation gave place to at- 
tempted bribery and kindred propositions of a most disgust- 
ing character." (76. 179)f 

This serves to show that political grasp, which had 
come from reconstruction, was to be renewed, extended and 
intensified, and it was by reason of Baxter's opposition to 
these measures that they failed to become laws, and which 
caused the "ouster" proceedings to put Baxter out and 
Brooks in. 

Joe Brooks had brought a suit against Baxter on the 
16th day of June, 1873, in which, among other things, he 
alleged that on the 5th day of November, 1872, at a general 
election held on that day in the State of Arkansas pursuant 
to the Constitution and laws of said State, for election of 
Governor of the State for the term of four years from the 
1st day of January, 1873, said Joseph Brooks received the 
highest number of legal votes cast at said election and that 
Baxter had usurped said office of Governor and unlawfully 
withheld the same from said Brooks and received the salary, 
fees, emoluments, etc., pertaining to said office and asked 
that he be declared duly elected Governor. Baxter appeared 
in said cause and demurred to the complaint chiefly upon 
the ground that the court had no jurisdiction and the power 
to determine a contested election for Governor was ex- 
clusively within the province of the Legislature. This cause 
remained pending in the Pulaski Circuit Court from time to 
time until the 17th day of April, 1874, when the court, in 
the absence of Baxter or his attorneys, overruled the demur- 
rer to the complaint and pronounced judgment in favor of 
Brooks, declaring that he was entitled to the office. It so 
happened by previous arrangement of counsel that a num- 

Constitutional Convention of 187U 249 

ber of those identified with the Minstrel wing of the party 
were present, and an officer armed with a writ of ouster im- 
mediately walked up to the Governor's office and imparted 
the information to Baxter that the court had decided that 
Brooks was the Governor and that he was directed to sur- 
render the office. He declined to surrender the office, but he 
surrendered the quarters of the Governor to Brooks and im- 
mediately retired. Of course, this created a commotion that 
can not be described. Baxter was first conveyed to St. 
John's College, about one mile from the Statehouse, where 
he was protected by the students of said college, but after- 
wards took up his quarters in the then Anthony House, 
which was about one-half block east of the corner of Mark- 
ham and Main streets in the City of Little Rock. The excite- 
ment was not only confined to the city of Little Rock, but 
within less than twenty-four hours it permeated the entire 
State. The result of this transaction was that practically 
all of those who had supported Brooks in the campaign in 
the fall of 1872 came to the support of Baxter, and those who 
had supported Baxter came to the support of Brooks. Of 
course, there were a few exceptions, and in less than three 
day's time after this occurrence, men has assembled from all 
parts of the State to the support of each aspirant for Gov- 
ernor, armed and equipped; in fact, it looked like a sure- 
enough war had commenced again. The Brooks men occu- 
pied the Statehouse, while the Baxter men occupied the 
Anthony House as headquarters and other places. Main 
street was the dead line. At that time there was a regiment 
or battalion of United States soldiers, under the command of 
Colonel Rose, stationed at Little Rock, and they were di- 
rected by the President to preserve the peace until the con- 
test should be closed. These troops formed a barricade in 
front of what is now called the New Capital Hotel, across 
Markham street. In the meantime Judge Rose, at the in- 
stance of the Baxter forces, went to Washington City to in- 
tercede in behalf of the Baxter cause and the Brooks forces 
also had their representatives there. General Newton was 
placed in charge as commander-in-chief of the Baxter forces, 
while Gen. James F. Fagan, who had been a brigadier gen- 

250 Arkansas Historical Association 

eral in the Confederate army, commanded the Brooks forces. 
Several persons lost their lives during this struggle. A few 
days after the war had been declared between the two 
belligerents the Baxter forces ascertained that the steamer 
Danville was coming down the Arkansas river with arms 
and equipments from the University, at Fayetteville. So, 
they equipped the Halley, a small boat, and a company of 
troops took charge of her and started up the river to capture 
the arms, but the Halley was intercepted by the Brooks 
forces when it had reached Palarm or near there, on the 
Arkansas river, and was fired into and Frank Timms and 
Ben Meyers were killed, and Bascom Leigh was seriously 
wounded. A few days after this H. King White, who had 
come from Pine Bluff at the head of from three hundred to 
five hundred negroes in the support of Baxter, had his 
negroes lined up in front of the Anthony House, extending 
up nearly to Main street and extending down the street per- 
haps for two hundred yards, and Baxter was on the veranda 
in front of the Anthony House making a speech when some 
of the Brooks forces had secured positions on top of the 
Metropolitan Hotel on the northwest corner of Markham 
and Main street, and while Baxter was speaking a volley 
of musketry was turned in the direction of the Anthony 
House, whereupon the negroes stampeded and great con- 
fusion necessarily followed. Baxter, of course, retired back 
to his private room in the hotel. I really do not know what- 
ever became of the negroes. I have never heard from them 
since. And, on this occasion, Dave Shall, a prominent real 
estate dealer, was killed. He was either standing or sitting 
near the window on the west side of the hotel immediately 
under the balcony from which Baxter was speaking. Just 
opposite and across the street from the hotel was an im- 
mense pile of coal and a great many people had gathered 
in front of this coal pile for the purpose of listening to Bax- 
ter's speech, but when the firing commenced the coal pile 
did not seem to be much in their way and during the balance 
of that day it was not difficult to tell those who had been 
near the coal pile from the color of their hands. I may be 
pardoned for referring to a little incident with which the 

Constitutional Convention of 187 A 251 

writer of this paper was connected. At the time the firing 
began I was standing on the west side of the alley imme- 
diately west of the Anthony House, where I was not exposed 
to the fire. In the stampeding of the negroes, however, some 
of them came down this alley, and, strange as it may seem, 
yet it is literally true, I could not exaggerate it if I were to 
try, a negro came down the alley wearing a pair of shoes 
which had been worn so long that the soles seemed to stand 
up on the side of his feet, and they were very much in his 
way. They impeded his progress. He fell down before me, 
threw up his feet and exclaimed, "Marser, for God's sake 
pull off my shoes," which I proceeded to do. He rose running, 
making it looked to me like about twenty feet at a step, and 
when he reached the town branch, immediately to the rear 
of the Anthony House, about where Second street is now in 
the city of Little Rock, and which had not been enclosed at 
that time, he leaped across it, it seemed to me, without in- 
creasing his speed or lengthening his steps. This was the 
last I saw of the negro. While these incidents were going 
on at Little Rock, President Grant had been besieged by both 
of the parties to declare them the legal constituted Governor 
and to order the other to disband his troops and retire to 
their homes. Finally, on the 15th day of May, 1874, George 
H. Williams, Attorney General of the United States, ad- 
dressed a communication to the President, giving in detail 
the condition and the legal status which had led up to the 
conflict between the two contending Governors, and held 
that Baxter was the legally constituted Governor of Arkan- 
sas. Whereupon, Joe Brooks and his followers were ordered 
to disband, and it had the appearance of the disbanding 
of a regular army. Paroles were granted to those who had 
been in arms against Baxter, and they were permitted to re- 
turn to their homes. Thus ended a* tragedy which perhaps 
never had an equal in the history of civilization. In the 
meantime, since Baxter had become Governor, he had suc- 
ceeded in displacing some of the members of the Legislature 
who were antagonistic to him and filling their places with 
his friends. So, during the period of the Brooks-Baxter 
war he called a meeting of the General Assembly and on the 

252 Arkansas Historical Association 

18th day of May, 1874, passed an act calling for a constitu- 
tional convention, which is the subject of this paper. The 
convention convened on the 14th day of July, 1874, and ad- 
journed on the 7th day of September, 1874. 

At the conclusion of the convention, a committee was 
appointed to prepare an address to the people, urging the 
adoption of the Constitution. Among other things the ad- 
dress contained the following : 

"The new Constitution is framed with a view of correct- 
ing these abuses by keeping, as nearly as may be, all power 
in the hands of the people, and holding their agents in office 
directly responsible to them — ^the chief end and aim of all 
popular, representative government. It is liberal in its pro- 
visions and challenges the admiration and support alike of 
Democrats and Republicans, who are not biased by party 
feeling. It gives equal rights to all, regardless of race or 
color, or previous condition of servitude. 

"In conclusion, we ask all, regardless of party, who are 
tired of strife, and who long for a permanent restoration of 
peace, to unite in supporting the new Constitution, that we 
may have in its behalf the moral effect of the largest popu- 
lar majority that is possible of attainment under the circum- 

Signed by H. M. Rector, R. K. Garland, J. W. Butler, S. 
P. Hughes and Bradley Bunch, committee. 

Hence, after more than ten long years of strife and 
bitterness, of political turmoil and financial distress had 
passed, it was natural that the people, upon an opportunity 
to return to power, should have selected their wisest and best 
men. It was not strange that under these conditions that 
they should have selected such men as Flannigan, Eakin, 
Mansfield, Butler, Cypert, Doswell, Rector, Brown, Horner, 
Hughes, Bunn, Eagle, Fishback, Crowley, Frierson, Chism, 
Royston, and others among the ablest lawyers of the State, 
to aid in the construction of the fundamental law of the 

Even the Republican party, except the negroes, selected 
among their ablest lawyers. Sidney M. Barnes of Pulaski 
and John A. Williams of Jefferson. They were both promi- 

Constitutional Convention of 187U 253 

nent in the convention and strong in debate. The coming to- 
gether of such men as these under the conditions was per* 
fectly natural. It necessarily followed. This has been the 
history of the civilized world that when the people are 
stirred up by internal strife and discord, or by a great civil 
or political upheaval, the most capable men are brought 

When James II of England began to usurp the legitimate 
power of the government; when he displaced honest and 
competent judges because they would not carry out his bid- 
ding, and finally when he suspended the writ of habecLS cor- 
pus — the great charter of their religious and political liber- 
ties — the people of England arose as one man and forced 
him to abandon the throne. 

In 1776, when England was involved in great political 
turmoil, such men as Fox and Pitt and the immortal Burke 
came to the front and their logic and eloquence surpassed 
anything that had preceded it. 

When the thirteen colonies had suffered under the sting 
of taxation without representation and the people were in 
the throes of degradation and ruin, such men as Jefferson, 
Adams, Franklin, and the immortal Patrick Henry, who 
gave utterance to the expression, "Give me liberty, or give 
me death," were called into action. 

So it was in 1874, when more than ten long years of 
political strife and discord had passed — when financial ruin 
threatened the State and the people had a chance, it was not 
strange that representation should be made from among the 
ablest citizens. These patriotic citizens came from every 
part of the State ; from the northwest, the home of the apple 
and health-giving springs ; they came from the lower valley 
of the White river, from the fertile valley of the Mississippi 
river, from north and eastern Arkansas; they came from 
the southwest, where the gushing springs give forth their 
pure and sparkling water! they came from the pine-clad 
hills of the south and southeast ; in fact, from every part of 
the State. 

It is not my purpose to discuss in this paper the various 
provisions of the Constitution; they have been before the 

254 Arkansas Historical Association 

people for more than thirty-five years and the most of them 
have received judicial interpretation with which the lawyers 
are familiar. While there has been some criticism of the 
Constitution, and at one time, I am free to confess that I 
thought it was too restrictive in its provisions, this would 
naturally come, because one extreme will always bring 
another; but these restrictions have been modified and 
changed by amendments until now, with few exceptions, in 
my judgment it is a splendid Constitution. At the time it 
was framed, it was the best that could have been promul- 
gated. There is not a provision in the Constitution th^t was 
not thoroughly and ably discussed in open convention, and I 
have always regretted that the debates could not have been 
preserved — ^they would have thrown a flood light upon those 
questions upon which the courts have entertained some 
doubt, and many of the speeches were of such a character 
that they could have been handed down to posterity as mod- 
els of thought, of English diction and logic. 

It is true, that for many years every now and then we 
have heard suggestions coming from some source that we 
should have a new Constitution, but up to this time it has 
never met with any substantial support. The State had four 
Constitutions prior to this, and this one has already lived 
about as long as all the others put together. There may be 
a few changes that ought to be made, and they doubtless will 
be made, but that can be done by amendment. It is exceed- 
ingly doubtful whether a new Constitution could be promul- 
gated which would give more satisfaction to the people than 
the one of 1874. Its provisions have been interpreted by the 
courts and they are now understood by the lawyers, while 
a new Constitution would have the effect to stimulate a 
wider field of litigation. 

Those who urge the calling of a constitutional conven- 
tion as a rule, do so on the ground that the cities and towns 
should be permitted to issue bonds for the purpose of in- 
ternal improvement. I think this would be a just provision. 
But this proposition was submitted to the people in the way 
of an amendment to the Constitution a few years ago and 
was defeated, and it would hardly be right to frame a new 

Constitutional Convention of 187Jli> 255 

Constitution with this provision in it to force its adoption, 
when taken alone the people were unwilling to approve it. 
In other words, we would be getting at it in an indirect way. 
Up to this date there have been ten amendments adopted. 

Amendment No. 1, known as the "Fishback Amend- 
ment/' was to prevent the Legislature from making appro- 
priations to pay certain bonds or interest thereon. 

Amendment No. 2 relates to the franchise and requires 
a poll tax receipt in order to enable one to vote.. 

Amendment No. 3 empowers the Governor to fill cer- 
tain vacancies in office by appointment. 

Amendment No. 4 authorizes the Legislature to correct 
abuses and prevent unjust discrimination in the way of ex- 
cessive charges by railroads, canals, turnpikes, etc. 

Amendment No. 5 authorizes the county court in the 
several counties of the State to levy an additional tax, not 
to exceed three mills on the dollar, for road purposes. 

Amendment No. 6 provides that officers may execute 
bonds by giving as surety bonding companies. 

Amendment No. 7 relates to the payment of mileage for 
members of the General Assembly, and provides that no 
member's salary shall be increased during the time for which 
he is elected. 

Amendment No. 8 relates to increasing the rate of taxa- 
tion on account of school funds. 

Amendment No. 9 requires the payment of poll tax in 
order to entitle one to vote. 

The tenth and last amendment is the initiative and 

As I said before, it is not my purpose to stir up old is- 
sues and revive the bitter feelings which existed during the 
days of reconstruction. Those were times in which the peo- 
ple were wrought up ; they were times of great political up- 
heaval and excuses may be made in some instances, which, 
under ordinary circumstances, would have been inexcusable. 
But it is n6t my intention to condone any violation of law, 
whether done by Democrat or Republican. It must neces- 
sarily follow, from what I have said, that reconstruction was 
not only a failure, but it was a crime against civilization and 

256 Arkansas Historical Association 

an offense, which in my judgment, can never be condoned. 
If the powers of the Federal Government, after the Civil 
War, could have exercised a spirit of forbearance ; if there 
had been due regard for the Constitution of the United 
States and a determination to support it until it should be 
changed through intelligent and patriotic forces in the 
mode prescribed by it ; if the proper regard had been given 
the Constitution of the several States, if an equal and im- 
partial regard for the rights and powers of all the States, 
without regard to sectional differences, whether north or 
south or east or west ; if a love for patriotic sentiment among 
men could have been exercised, the dark days of reconstruc- 
tion could never have occurred. 

Nor was there any excuse for martial law in the State 
at the time it was called into existence. In my opinion, there 
never was a time when the intelligent and patriotic citizens 
of every county in the State would not have done all they 
could do to prevent lawlessness and to enforce the punish- 
ment of crime. I wish to call attention to one instance in 
verification of this opinion, which I think deserves special 
mention here. 

In 1872, during the bitter campaign between Brooks 
and Baxter, martial law was declared in Pope county and a 
reign of terror prevailed there, perhaps greater than it had 
been in any county. One Dodson was sheriff and Hickox 
was clerk, both appointees of Governor Clayton. Dodson 
had collected about seventy-five or one hundred militiamen, 
and in conducting the registration had acted in such a way 
as to make him very odious among the intelligent and law- 
abiding people. Hickox had made an affidavit for the arrest 
of a young man by the name of Poynter. In making the ar- 
rest the deputy sheriff was shot and killed. Thereupon a 
warrant was issued for a young man by the name of N. J. 
Hale and his father and Joe Tucker and Perry West, charged 
with the murder of the deputy sheriff. Dodson with his 
militia, under a pretense of carrying them before Judge 
May, circuit judge at Dardanelle, for examination, in the 
darkness of the night, caused young Hale and Tucker to be 

Constitutional Convention of 1874 257 

shot down, and in return both Hickox and Dodson were 

About this time there was intense excitement through- 
out the lengrth and breadth of that county ; many of the citi- 
zens of Pope county had taken up arms to resist Dodson with 
his militia. Reece Hogan, a young man perhaps not over 
twenty-three years of age, was selected to lead them against 
Dodson. Hogan was a man of unquestionable courage. At 
this juncture, it became necessary to appoint another sheriff 
in that county; it was difficult to find a man who had the 
courage to undertake it. At that time 0. A. Hadley was 
Governor, but Clayton was at home engaged in a heated cam- 
paign with Joe Brooks. Finally Col. A. S. Fowler, who is 
now a citizen of Little Rock and a most excellent gentleman, 
was selected as being the proper man to become sheriff of 
that county. Fowler said to the Governor, "I will accept the 
office upon one condition, and that is that you disband the 
militia and allow me to go alone.*' The Governor insisted 
that he would be taking his life in his own hands if he did 
so, but Fowler would not accept the office under any other 
condition; so he was appointed and went too Dover, the 
county seat. Upon reaching Dover, he took it upon himself 
to visit the leading citizens of the little town and inform 
them that he had come for the purpose of enforcing the law 
and not to violate it. This met with the approval of all good 
citizens, and it was but a short time until this information 
was conveyed to all parts of the county. 

A day or two after, Reece Hogan, at the head of his 
thirty men, came to Dover and called for Colonel Fowler and 
said : "I understand that you have been appointed sheriff 
of this county." Colonel Fowler said, "Yes." Hogan then 
said : "I understand further that you have come to enforce 
the law and not to violate it." Fowler said, "Yes." Hogan 
then said, "Here are my weapons and these are my men who 
are following me ; we now surrender to you." Fowler said 
to Hogan, "I do not want your weapons nor your men; I 
simply want you to aid me to enforce the law." And Hogan 
informed him that he would do so. 

258 Arkansas Historical Association 

This was the end of strife in that county; and, be it 
said to the credit of both Colonel Fowler and Reece Hogan, 
they were very warm personal friends from that time up 
to the time of Hogan's death. In our opinion, the same re- 
sults could have been accomplished in every county in the 
State at the time. 

But, be this as it may, so far as I am concerned, I am 
willing "that the dead past shall bury its dead." I bear no 
bitter animosity against any one who was connected with 
the tragedies of that day, and I trust the bitter feelings 
engendered in those days will not have a tendency to control 
the action of our people in the future. We have a great 
State and a great country ; we are a people of one political 
household, with a common destiny and a common end, and 
every good citizen should feel it his duty to do all he can to 
support the Constitution, which is but another name for the 
liberties of the people and the union of the States. 

Of course, in this paper, it will not be expected for me 
to take up each delegate of the convention and undertake 
to give his history ; and while I will not refer to all the 
names, yet the great majority of them are entitled to a 
record in history. 

I think it may be said with propriety that Governor 
Flanagan was perhaps regarded as the ablest man of the 
convention. This can be said without detracting from any 
one else. He was by no means what would be called an ora- 
tor, but he was concise, logical and convincing, and, with his 
great ability, he was as modest and unassuming as a child. 
Though plain and unassuming, when he spoke he always 
commanded the respect and consideration of all. I doubt 
whether his ability as a lawyer, up to that time, had been 
thoroughly understood and appreciated by the bar of the 
State. He was comparatively a young man at the beginijing 
of the Civil War, and was Governor when the United States 
forces invaded the State and seized the capital; hence, he 
had but little opportunity to display his marked ability. 

Judge Mansfield was a conspicuous figure in the con- 
vention ; not by reason of his effort to make himself known 
and felt as a leader, but by reason of his intrinsic merit. Per- 

Constitutional Convention of 187i 259 

f ectly conscientious in every act and always considerate of 
the opinions of others, he never hesitated to assert himself 
upon all important questions. He is now too well known to 
the profession to need any eulo^ at my hands. 

He was one among the leaders in the convention and 
since then he has served a term on the Supreme Bench, 
where he was recognized as an able and upright judge, and 
it was universally regretted by the bar of the State when he 
decided to retire to private life. The only criticism I ever 
heard of him as a judge — no, I shall not use the word 
"criticism," because it was not intended as such, but it was 
perhaps the highest compliment that could have been paid 
him. Judge Cockrill once told me that Judge Mansfield was 
one of the most painstaking judges he had ever known. He 
said it was nothing unusual when the judges had had a con- 
ference and agreed what the opinion should be, to find Judge 
Mansfield in the library looking up the questions involved for 
fear the court had not reached a correct conclusion. 

In other words, when there was any great principle in- 
volved or the liberty of a citizen at stake, he wanted to be 
doubly sure before he wrote the final opinion. He is now an 
aged man, and it is my greatest hope that the last years of 
his life will be those of peace, quiet and happiness. 

Judge John R. Eakin, a delegate from Hempstead 
county, was one who wielded a splendid influence in the con- 
vention. He became Associate Justice of the Supreme 
Court, where his ability was recognized by the bar generally. 
I think in early life he had been the editor of a newspaper ; 
he was a well-read man and thoroughly understood the use 
and force of the English language. While he made no pre- 
tenses as an orator, and all his speeches were in a conversa- 
tional tone, yet all his expressions showed he was master of 
the English language. 

The "exemption" clauses in the Constitution perhaps 
gave more occasion for debate than any one part of the Con- 
stitution. There were two extremes in the convention upon 
the subject of "Exemptions;" some were in favor of very 
limited exemptions, if any at all, while others advocated the 
idea of putting a man upon his honor and making his ex- 

260 Arkansas Historical Association 

emptions without limit. Judge Eakin belonged to the latter 
class. I have always thought that his speech on this subject 
should have been printed for the benefit of those who came 
after him. 

In this speech there was no effort at display, yet it was 
a speech that would appeal to the heart and conscience of 
any man. I know it had the effect to modify my views upon 
the subject to such an extent as to induce me to prepare the 
clauses of the Constitution upon the subject of "Exemption," 
which were adopted substantially as they were presented. 

Judge Eakin, among other things, pictured the scene 
of a young man, who had started in life full of hope and am- 
bition, and when he had built him a comfortable home and 
his good wife, upon one side of the porch had trained a 
beautiful rose around the post, so that when the springtime 
came and the shades of night began to fall, he and his wife 
and children could sit beneath its foliage and breathe its 
rich aroma, while the mocking bird gave forth its sweet 
strains of music ; while upon the other side of the porch the 
good wife had trained the honeysuckle and the morning- 
glory in rich profusion, extending from the earth to the top 
of the little home which sheltered and protected the little 
ones from the rays of the morning sun, and yet, when the 
owner by some troubles and reverses had become involved 
and the creditor would send the sheriff to the little home 
with an execution and the wife and children be thrown out 
to start anew in the great battle of life. 

He was one whose soul went out to the poor and dis- 
tressed and whose heart was filled to overflowing with "the 
milk o' human kindness." It is to be regretted that we do 
not have more of such men. 

Judge Cypert of Searcy was also a distinguished figure 
in that convention. He bore the distinction of having been 
in two constitutional conventions prior to the one of 1874. 
First, the constitutional convention of 1861, which was called 
to decide upon the question as to whether the State would 
secede or not. Judge Cypert was at that time a Union man 
and voted against secession. But that convention later on 
took a recess, and on being reconvened, the question of seces- 

Constitutional Convention of 1874 261 

sion was sustained — Judge Cypert finally voting for it. He 
was also a delegate to the convention of 1B68. 

He had served in a number of political capacities, and 
was always ready and strong in debate. He was a man who 
always spoke his sentiments, and, in doing so, he sometimes 
offended those with whom he differed ; but it was never in- 
tended in an offensive sense. But, whatever may be said of 
him, the poeple of the State, and especially the people of 
White county, will never be able to honor him for the great 
good he has done. He has always stood for right, for law 
and order, for good government and the rights of the people, 
and he always condemned the wrong and was fearless in ex- 
pressing his opinion upon any great question. He is now 
eighty-seven years old, having spent a life of unselfishness 
and usefulness. 

Judge James W. Butler of Batesville was likewise one 
of the leaders in the convention ; he was a splendid lawyer, 
and after the convention, served as circuit judge for a num- 
ber of years in his district, with perhaps as much satisfac- 
tion as any judge who ever served. He was modest and un- 
assuming, but at the same time fearless in urging what he 
thought was right. He was the author of the clause in the 
Constitution enlarging the rights of married women. I do 
not say that he made this a hobby, but he stayed with the 
proposition until it was engrafted in the Constitution, and 
it is now recognized as one of the wisest provisions. He 
was always candid and sincere, and thereby had the confi- 
dence and esteem of all the delegates. 

Judge John J. Horner of Phillips county was among the 
leaders of the convention ; his ability as a lawyer was per- 
haps never recognized by the bar generally as it should have 
been. He was modest and unassuming, attending strictly to 
his own business; but, while in the convention, he took an 
active part in the discussions of all legal questions, and his 
arguments were always strong, explicit and convincing. He 
was always courteous, but positive, and he did much in mold- 
ing and shaping the Constitution, and his death was a great 
los^ to the State. 

262 Arkansas Historical Association 

I can not conclude these personal recollections and 
reminiscences without referring to my good friend, E. Fos- 
ter Brown, delegate from Clayton (now Clay) county. He 
was a unique and prominent figure in the convention from its 
beginning to its end. He was perhaps the youngest member 
but was in a class by himself. He took an active but not an 
offensive part in most of the discussions. He had a keen 
sense of humor, and always enjoyed a good joke, but, un- 
like most men, he enjoyed them most when they involved 
himself, and he took great pleasure in telling those in which 
he was made the chief object of ridicule. I remember one 
which he always enjoyed in telling his friends. 

He said when he was quite a young man, before he 
had reached his majority, he had occasion to take a trip on 
horseback from the northeastern part of Arkansas into 
Missouri, and at the end of his first day's journey, after he 
had traveled some distance into the eastern part of Missouri, 
he stopped at an humble home and asked if he could stay all 
night. The reply was he could, if he could put up with 
their fare, and was told to carry his horse around to the bam 
and feed him. He did so, and in a few minutes supper was 
announced by the good woman, and he soon found himself 
seated at a table ladened with fried ham and eggs and an 
abundance of fruits and preserves, which the good wife had 
prepared herself. 

It so happened that on that very day a gray horse had 
been stolen in that neighborhood and a posse of men were in 
hot pursuit, and while he was seated at the family fireside 
entertaining the children with stories, some one hailed at 
the front gate. The man of the house went to the door and 
said, "Who's there?" And he was asked if there was a 
stranger stopping with him, to which he replied there was. 
The man then said, "Tell him to come out." Brown said he 
went out, thinking perhaps they were lawless marauders, 
as they were common in that section of the country at that 
time, and found the house surrounded by men; he said it 
looked to him like there were at least a hundred of them, 
and there was no means of escape. So he made up his mind 
that if he had to die he would die bravely, and he s^id : 

Constitutional Convention of 1874 263 

''What is it you will have of me?'' One of them replied that 
a large gray horse had been stolen in the neighborhood and 
that they had tracked a horse coming in that direction until 
it was so dark they could not track him further, and then 
asked him if he came horseback. Brown told them he had. 
They then asked the color of the horse, and Brown told them 
it was a gray horse. Then there was a general cry of ''He's 
the thief! He's the thief!" Brown said it seemed to him 
that there were a hundred voices shouting this; at the same 
time, but he maintained that cool, calculating courage which 
always fortifies a man when he is innocent, or in the right, 
and he said to them : "Gentlemen, I am not the man you are 
after; while my horse is a gray horse, he is a small horse, 
and I will lead you to the barn so you can see for yourselves." 
He led the way to the barn by the light of a tallow candle, 
which the good woman had furnished him, the men follow- 
ing, using the most vile epithets to him. When he opened 
the door the horse was lying down, but arose as they entered 
and they exclaimed, "That's the horse ! That's the horse !" 
Brown said when the horse got up it looked to him as if he 
had grown six inches since he had put him in the barn ; that 
he looked as big as an elephant. The horse was led out for 
examination, and upon close inspection it was discovered 
that he was not shod, and as the horse which had been stolen 
was shod, this could not be the one they were looking 
for. The crowd then apologized to the family and to 
Brown for having disturbed them and went on in pursuit of 
the thief. And Brown would then say : "I want to tell you, 
gentlemen, when they said that was not the horse I was 
the happiest man you ever saw, and ever since that time I 
have. been very fond of an unshod horse, and if any of my 
friends ever want to give me a horse, it must be unshod, as 
I will have none other." 

I remember on one occasion, when the exemption 
clauses were under discussion, I had opposed any exemptions 
for a single man. Brown in replying said, among other 
things, that he could very well understand why his young 
friend, the delegate from White county, opposed any exemp- 
tion for young men ; that while his friend was a young man. 

264 Arkansas Historical A8soci4ition 

he understood that he was to be married as soon as the con- 
vention adjourned and the exemption clauses would not ap- 
ply to him. I replied to this by saying that I understood the 
delegate from Clayton county had been engaged to be mar- 
ried, but his girl had gone back on him ; hence, his position 
on the subject. 

When the convention took a recess and Brown and my- 
self walked out he said, ''House, how did you find that out?" 
I told him that I had never heard it, but that it was the only 
reply I could make to get even with him, and he said, "Well, 
it's all right if you never heard of it." 

He was always a well-dressed man; he wore a Prince 
Albert coat and beaver hat. I said to him on one occasion : 
"Brown, how is it you are a country-raised boy, with limited 
means and limited opportunities, that you come here so well- 
dressed?" He said: "Well, House, I will tell you. When I 
began the campaign I had no idea of being elected, but some- 
how I succeeded in convincing the people I was a little bet- 
ter man for the place than the other fellow (and just 
privately he said, I will say, there wasn't much choice be- 
tween us), but, contrary to my expectations, I was elected. 
At that time I only had $85, and with that I bought this suit 
and hat and had just enough money left to pay my way to 
Little Rock and about one week's board." 

He was universally popular, not only with the members 
of the convention, but with all others with whom he was 
brought in contact ; so much so, that Mr. Gleason, who was 
then running the restaurant at the Capital Hotel, at that 
time the best in Little Rock, offered to board him free of 
charge ; but he declined to accept the offer. 

He was logical and concise in debate and always com- 
manded respect and attention of his fellow-members. After 
the convention he was elected to the State Senate, where he 
maintained the same high standard he enjoyed in the con- 
vention. He was then elected prosecuting attorney in his cir- 
cuit and distinguished himself as an officer of the law. He be- 
came a sound lawyer and for several years did an extensive 
practice at Jonesboro, where he lived, and in the surrounding 
country. However, later on he turned his attention more to 

Constitutional Convention of 187 4^ 265 

industrial pursuits and has accumulated quite a competency, 
and is now an honored member of the community where he 
lives; and it is my wish that he may live for many years 
longer and that they will bring even more happiness than 
he has ever enjoyed. 

The farmers predominated in this convention, but they 
were practical and successful farmers; those who did not 
farm by talking but farmed by actual demonstration. Many 
of these were men who had served in the Confederate army 
and were representative men of their respective counties; 
they belonged to that class of men who helped to build up the 
country and desired to establish the best possible govern- 
ment for future posterity ; there were such men as Bradley 
Bunch of Carroll county, Henry W. Carter of Pike county, 
who was the father of our distinguished Judge J. M. Carter, 
who presides with so much dignity and satisfaction in his 
judicial circuit; there was Daniel F. Reinhardt of Prairie 
county, John Dunaway of Faulkner county, James Ruther- 
ford of Independence county, Charles Bowen of Mississippi 
county, R. E. Garland of Nevada county, E. H. Kinsworthy 
of Sevier county, whose son is now among our most dis- 
tinguished lawyers, having been Attorney General and is 
now one of the general attorneys for the Iron Mountain 
system in this State. There was Louis Williams of Sharp 
county, Walter J. Cagle of Stone county, B. F. Walker of 
Washington county, Jesse A. Ross of Clark county, Jos. T. 
Harrison of Yell county. Ransom GuUey of Izard county, 
Roderick Joyner of Poinsett county, John R. Hampton of 
Bradley county, and many others whose names I have not 
mentioned ; all representative men, who helped to build up 
Arkansas and to make her what she is. 

While the convention was only in session about seven 
weeks and the weather was excessively hot, the debates, as a 
rule, were earnest and serious. Yet a few incidents occurred 
which we think may be of interest here as to the personnel 
and things that happened in the convention. 

At that time Phillips county had not fully recovered 
from the throes of reconstruction and negro domination ; so 
the Democrats in that county joined with the negroes, and in 

266 Arkansas Historical Association 

this way two negroes and one Democrat were elected as dele- 
gates to the convention. 

J. T. White was one of the negro delegates and was an 
eloquent and earnest speaker and wielded a powerful in- 
fluence over his colored brethren. 

On one occasion, when the franchise clause was up for 
discussion, White obtained recognition from the President 
and was making an earnest and impassioned speech against 
the clause. In his great zeal and enthusiasm while speaking 
he moved several feet from his chair and when he had con- 
cluded there were perhaps a dozen members standing on the 
floor anxious to reply to him. In the meantime Bradley 
Bunch, delegate from Carroll county, had been temporarily 
called to preside, and when White concluded his speech, in 
attempting to take his seat and being unconscious of having 
moved, fell sprawling down on the floor with his feet up in 
the air, and those standing on the floor ready to reply to 
him were exclaiming, "Mr. President; Mr. President!" Mr. 
Bunch, having a keen sense of humor, as he raised his glasses 
said in a facetious way: "The gentleman from Phillips has 
the floor." 

This ended the discussion — ^f or a time at least. 

George P. Smoot, a delegate from Columbia county, 
was quite an able man and fluent speaker. He was both a 
lawyer and a preacher, following one or the other as the 
spirit moved him, and he was quite good in either capacity. 
He frequently related the following story of himself : 

On one occasion he was at Prescott while the circuit 
court was in session, with Judge McCown on the bench. Just 
before court adjourned for the evening, Mr. Smoot addressed 
the court and said: "If your Honor please, I am going 
to preach at the Methodist Church at 7 :30 p. m. and shall be 
glad if you will have the sheriff announce it." The judge 
promptly said : "Mr. Sheriff, Brother George P. Smoot will 
preach at 7 :30 tonight at the Methodist Church ; please an- 
nounce it." He then turned to the clerk and said. "Mr. 
Clerk, please enter this order of record." Mr. Smoot imme- 
diately arose and said : "If your Honor please, it is unneces- 
sary to enter it upon the record." But the judge said : "Well, 

Constitutional Convention of 187U 267 

Brother Smoot, I want to get you one time on the record as 
a preacher." 

Jabez M. Smith, from Saline county, was another man 
who was picturesque in that convention. He was an old 
bachelor, very droll in his mannerisms and unkempt in his 
dress. He was very slow and phlegmatic in his speech and 
actions ; but he was a sound lawyer and a man of great phys- 
ical courage. 

On one occasion some discussion came up (I don't re- 
member now what it was about) and in the heat of the de- 
bate W. M. Fishback, who afterward became Governor, re- 
torted in rather an uncouth manner to something Mr. Smith 
had said, practically disputing his word. The members of 
the convention turned instinctively, thinking that Smith 
would resent it, either by replying to him or making a per- 
sonal assault; but Smith sat seemingly perfectly uncon- 
scious, and business went on perhaps five or ten minutes. A 
little later I heard a rumbling noise and Smith had just 
reached the conclusion that Fishback had insulted him and 
he arose in his seat and said, "I'll be d — if I will take that." 
His remark came so long after the words had passed that 
everybody began to laugh, and Smith at once saw the absurd- 
ity of his position and took his seat. 

He is the same Mr. Smith who became judge of the cir- 
cuit court immediately after the convention of 1874 in the 
circuit in which Saline county is located. 

At that time Mr. A. H. Garland had some unfinished 
business in that circuit and he got Mr. Robert A. Howard, a 
distinguished lawyer from Little Rock, to represent him. Mr. 
Garland had become Governor in the meantime. It is said 
that when Mr. Howard returned from trying the cases be- 
fore Judge Smith, Governor Garland said to him : "How is 
my friend. Judge Smith, getting along as a judge?'* How- 
ard replied : "Oh, first rate ; but he is too d impetuous." 

Of course, this was irony in the extreme, because Smith did 
not know what it was to be too impetuous. 

On another occasion the writer of this paper hapi>ened 
to be attending court in Woodruff county and Judge Smith 
was holding court on an exchange of circuits. A witness 

268 Arkansas Historical Association 

failed to appear who had been subpoenaed and an attach- 
ment was issued for him and he was brought in and taken 
before the judge, who asked him why he had not answered 
the subpoena. Mr. W. B. Ferguson, who was clerk of the 
court, but who had not met the judge, stepped up and said : 
"Your Honor, I know this gentleman ; he is one of our best 
citizens and did not intend any disrespect to the court, and 
I shall be glad if you will let him off." The court discharged 
the witness, but in the course of a few hours called the 
sheriff and asked him who was the gentleman who had come 
in and represented the witness who had failed to answer the 
subpoena. The sheriff told him it was Mr. Ferguson, clerk 
of the court. The judge told the sheriff to have him come 
before the court, and when Mr. Ferguson appeared he said : 
"Are you the gentleman who appeared for that witness this 
morning?" Mr. Ferguson replied that he was. The judge 
then said : "I will fine you $5 for contempt of court ; I don't 
allow any man to practice in this court without a license.*' 
It had taken him all that time to decide what he was going to 
do about it, but when he once made up his nrind he usually 
followed his convictions, and altogether he was a safe and 
sound lawyer and a most excellent gentleman. 



(By Rev. J. B. Searcy.) 

Baptists have ever been the bold champions of religious 
liberty, and the fierce opponents of the "union of church and 
State." Any legal connection of church and State, however 
slight, is dangerous to religious liberty. This evil began in 
what was called "Canon Laws." These laws prescribed pen- 
alties for moral or religious violations, but the State had to 
inflict the penalties. This opened the floodgate to religious 

Rhode Island, under Roger Williams, its founder, was 
the first State that ever guaranteed absolute religious lib- 
erty, and prohibited the union of church and State. Wil- 
liams was one of the first Baptists of the New World. 

While Baptists have always stood for the absolute sep- 
aration of church and State, yet they have stoutly contended 
for "the right of petition," and have repeatedly appealed to 
the State and National Governments for the protection nec- 
essary to carry on their evangelistic work. These petitions 
have been filed for protection and redress both on behalf of 
the individual and of the church. Acting on this principle, 
some sixty years ago, when our mission work in China was 
in its infancy, it seemed perilous to risk our missionaries 
among a people that had no idea of the meaning of "religious 

In 1853 the Arkansas Baptist State Convention met at 
Camden, and during the session addressed a "memorial" to 
the President and Congress of the United States on the sub- 
ject of international religious liberty, which this writer 
thinks is worthy of a place among the archives of early Ark- 
ansas history. The following is the "memorial" : 

270 Arkansas Historical Association 

To the Honorable, the President and Congress of the United 

The memorial of the Arkansas Baptist State Conven- 
tion respectfully showeth that your memorialists are mem- 
bers of a religious body which embraces a large and respect- 
able portion of the citizens of the United States. The object 
of their petition is one which in the estimation of your me- 
morialists, and in that of hundreds of thousands of Chris- 
tians in this land, embraces interests of great importance. 
As the community of civilized nations find it necessary for 
the protection of the persons, property and rights of their 
respective inhabitants when visiting foreign countries to 
enter into treaties with each other, and to establish resident 
officers abroad, in order to watch over and secure these 
rights, it seems to your memorialists as reasonable and jus- 
tifiable to provide in our treaties for the security of free tol- 
eration in religious worship as for the security of any other 

All intercourse among civilized nations must be based 
on a firm exchange of free privileges, and a reciprocity of 
advantages and immunities, and therefore, as the citizens 
and subjects of all nations with whom we form treaties en- 
joy the free and unmolested exercise of their religious opin- 
ions and worship on our shores, we think this great and pow- 
erful republic owes it to her citizens who reside in or visit 
foreign countries to include in their treaties not only stipu- 
lations for their commercial and social rights, but also a 
guarantee for freedom from molestation in their religious 
worship, a right deemed more sacred and important by 
Christian nations than any other privilege. 

Your memorialists, in behalf of the body which they 
represent, and uttering the sentiments of millions of their 
fellow-citizens in different parts of the land, earnestly re- 
quest the attention of your honorable body to this subject. 
And your memorialists will ever pray, etc. Signed by the 

The Arkansas Baptists 271 

refiTular officers of the convention in behalf of and by the 
unanimous vote of the whole body, now in session, in Cam- 
den, Ark., this October 3, 1853. 

Jesse Hartwell, President. 
Samuel Stevenson, Secretary. 

It is worthy of remark that this "memorial" had the de- 
sired effect, and for more than half a century our mission- 
aries in China have had as good protection in their religious 
teaching and worship as commercial men have had in their 
business, and I am glad to send down to posterity a copy of 
the "memorial.** 



Secretary's Report, By Dallas T. Herndon. 

From small begimiings less than half a dozen years ago 
this Commission has made rapid strides towards the goal 
which it set out then to attain. It is easy enough for any 
one to see why nothing less than that was to have been ex- 

It is now but a little more than a dozen years since a 
small coterie of forward-looking citizens waked up to the 
fact that there had never been any effectively organized 
effort made to save the sources of our own state and local 
history. A brief look over the field was quite sufficient to 
convince these same seekers after truth — the truth of how 
the State and its institutions and its people came to be such 
as they are — that this condition of affairs must not continue 
to exist. 

Knowing full well, as they did, that subtle, vital forces, 
which make for enlightenment and progress, were lying 
dormant and impotent in thousands of old records and docu- 
ments, everywhere in the State, rotting and eaten of worms 
for want of proper care, these discerning persons did not 
wake up to fall asleep again. 

Straightway the little band organized for action. A 
campaign was started — a campaign that canvassed the 
whole State as its field of operation. During the six and 
more years of preparatory work the workers so wisely and 
throughly cultivated the field that patriotic citizens in every 
county and town in the State were reached and stirred to a 
lively sense of the importance of the thing to be done. 

What was the result? Simply this: Public opinion 
has continued united in staunch support of the Commission 
for these last half dozen years, while the latter — ^the Com- 
mission itself — ^has forged ahead with the work for which it 
was called into being. 

A good many years ago a great American, who was him- 
self a notable example of his own teachings, said, **It a man 

The Arkansas History Commission 273 

write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a bet- 
ter mousetrap than his n^ghbor, though he build his house 
in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door." 

A little while ago one of the leading periodical journals 
of the country made capital Use of the simple truth which 
this homely figure drives home. The aptness of the appli- 
cation was such that the meaning fairly struck one in the 
face. '"When Emerson or whoever it was that said that,'* 
said the editor, 'lie put the secret of efficiency and its reward 
into words that will be remembered till men cease to believe 
that doing one's own task the very best one can is worth 

Since the day of its birth some dozen years ago, as the 
history of its transactions amply testify, this Commission 
has moved with singleness of purpose straight to its mark. 
All that it has attempted to do has been shot through with 
one spirit — a spirit intent on doing the thing in hand, just 
that and nothing more, in the best possible way under the 

Though political turmoil and strife have sometimes 
beat round about as if bent on injecting the blighting in- 
fluence of indifference and incompetency into much that is 
of vital concern to the public welfare, it is gratifying to be 
able to say to the intelligent, forward looking citizens of the 
State, those who truly want to see the State's educational 
interests of every helpful, hopeful sort forge ahead, that 
the History Conunission has never in all its history suffered 
itself to be diverted for an instant from prosecuting the high 
aim charted for it by the legislature that created it. 

Though we have not built our house in the woods, so that 
the paths leading to the State museum and library of public 
archives appear as beaten, yet of the hundreds and even 
thousands who have come in here during the past year, few 
perhaps have passed out again without indicating some 
measure of admiration for the forethought of a people who 
think it worth while to preserve those records that reveal 
even the very life and spirit of the community. 

Indeed, there is hope — ^more, there is a positive guar- 
antee — of the integrity and efficient administration of 

274 Arkansas Historical Association 

democratic institutions when public opinion commits itself 
definitely to the principle which holds that nothing short at 
the least of an elementary understanding of the history and 
traditions of the conununity where one lives should consti- 
tute a part of the mental equipment of every freeman. 

If we were asked to single out one feature of this worlc 
and put it forward ahead of the rest, as the most vitally im- 
portant part of the whole task to be performed, perhaps we 
should all with one accord agree that to the duty "to build 
up a library rich in the original sources of our history/' be- 
longs that distinction. That part of the work would seem 
to strike deeper and closer to the real heart of the whole 
matter, though at most it only differs from the rest in de- 
gree and not in the quality of its importance. For with the 
undertaking in all that it comprehends the ultimate aim is 
to stimulate every man of us to think more clearly and 
straighter to the point, each for himself and of himself, as 
responsible members of the community in which we live. 
While we have striven to overlook no part of the work, 
especial pains have been taken day in and day out to assem- 
ble and assimilate as well reliable and trustworthy material 
for the history of the State — of its laws, of its institutions 
and of its people. 

And now, at a time when we are surveying the work 
of the Commission as a whole, it is highly gratifying to be 
able to say that anyone wishing it may, with the difficulties 
in the case reduced to a minimum, find his way by the use 
of our card catalogue system to much of the published infor- 
mation of an historical and biographical nature that has ap- 
peared from time to time in the years that are gone. 

Many of the sources of this information are rarely to 
be met with by the public generally. Only a little while ago 
no small part of it was even quite forgotten. 

Today, whatever is listed in our biographical catalogue, 
for example, has been gathered up and placed in the archives 
in such a manner that it is easily accessible to anyone who 
may have occasion to use it. 

In the first place, a number of books, largely or wholly 
biographical in character, have appeared from time to time 

The Arkansas History Commission 275 

in other years. Most of them, in the very nature of the case, 
could only hope to touch the field of historical biography in a 
few high places. The editions were quite limited — copies of 
the several books were never at any time accessible to more 
than a few hundred individuals. Some of them, and prob- 
ably all, are now entirely out of print. 

In the preparation of this catalogue it was and is our 
aim to present the whole mass of this published biographical 
material, such as it is, in that manner that one may at least 
know what we have and be able to make use of it for what- 
ever it is worth. Thus has been laid the basis or a founda- 
tion for beginning a much larger undertaking in this par- 
ticular division or department of the work. 

It is necessary to speak here but briefly of the plan 
for further developments in this direction. The Commis- 
sion has already acquired possession or the custody of news- 
paper files covering almost the whole period of the State's 
history. In these old files is written the only record in ex- 
istence of the part played by hundreds and thousands of 
those who in their lifetime had a share in the processes 
which have brought Arkansas to its present state of develop- 

Many such records appear in public print, usually at the 
time when the "grim reaper" has but lately sealed the fate 
of one's career. Naturally, the record, if not indeed the in- 
dividual, is soon forgotten. A few years pass and nobody 
knows where to look to find any account of the life of the 
person in question. 

Newspapers, as a rule, do not index their files. The in- 
formation they contain is lost, therefore, for all practical 
purposes, until by patient research, someone who knows how 
to assess historical values has had an opportunity to bring 
to light whatever is worth preserving. 

At present the biographical catalogue of the Commis- 
sion contains, alphabetically arranged, several thousand 
references to biographical narratives from just such sources. 
All those so arranged may be found on consulting the 
archives and newspaper files of the Commission, if one has 
only a very little time and patience to follow up the refer- 
ences given under each separate entry in the guide index. 

276 Arkansas Historical Association 

But more than that, all the information thus far put 
into the classified catalogue, has been published as a bulletin, 
making a pamphlet of more than 160 pages — a very handy 
guide book of fugitive biography that has made its appear- 
ance only to be forgotten. The advantage of such a publica- 
tion doubtless will readily occur to anyone. With such a 
book at the elbow persons living at a distance may ascertain 
on the instant what is to be had about anyone in whom they 
happen to be interested, without even taking the trouble to 
visit the quarters of the Commission. 

As time passes and the lines marked out in this direc- 
tion are followed up, the results ought to become an asset 
of inestimable value to the State. Can any truly sincere 
well-wisher of all conscientious efforts making to put the 
people of Arkansas in that state of mental preparedness 
which will enable them to make the most of their opportu- 
nities entertain doubt about the value of such work? 

Still another matter of similar character, though per- 
haps of greater importance even, is worthy of some special 
mention in this connection. 

From the very first there has been more or less constant 
demand for information of one kind or another concerning 
all sorts of questions relating to the history of the State. 
Every such demand has always received our careful con- 
sideration. And in consequence the requests for assistance 
and guidance to reliable sources have grown more numerous. 

In response to these demands, and for our own conven- 
ience — in order that we might serve the public more accept- 
ably — ^we have evolved a plan of our own for assembling 
and organizing permanently into systematic whole, just as 
they come to surface from time to time, various fragment- 
ary bits of information about many subjects. 

As it stands today with this special feature of our work, 
something like 10,000 different items — each having a cer- 
tain historical value, some more and some less valuable — 
have found their way into the body of this material. The 
whole lot of it is arranged in logical order under about 500 
separate topics. So that if one should want to know some- 
thing in particular about our common schools, our colleges. 

The Arkansas History Commission 277 

the State University, courts of law, our revenue laws or 
system of taxation, banks and banking, farms and farming, 
roads and highways, the war and reconstruction and so on 
through a wide range of subjects, by consulting a card cata- 
logue any item of information in this division of the Com- 
mission's archives may be extracted at pleasure. 

The material for this department of the work is selected 
from many sources. In part the selections have been taken 
from newspapers published in different parts of the State. 
The whole lot of the material is so disposed that its mass or 
bulk occupies perhaps the smallest possible amount of space. 
The system of cliEtssiiication is such that almost any amount 
and variety of new matter can be added at any time, just as 
books are added to a library or letters to a letter file, without 
disturbing in the least what has already found its proper 
resting place. 

Furthermore, we now have plans under way which will 
greatly enlarge and extend the service of this information 

A number of students are at present doing intensive 
research in the newspaper files of the Commission. In each 
such instance, of course, the student is in search of informa- 
tion about some special topic or epoch of Arkansas history, 
such as, for example, pioneer immigration, the early roads, 
the first railroads, early banking, public lands, slavery, the 
Indians, and so on ad infinitum. Every student who engages 
to search out new facts about any one or more of these and a 
hundred and one other questions is necessarily compelled to 
make for his own use copious notes which indicate exactly 
the place or time and character of the sources drawn upon. 

It is planned to take advantage of the work that is done 
by all such persons in the public archives in a way to make 
it unnecessary for those who come after — ^those who wish 
to pursue the same subject further or to discover something 
of an allied subject — to repeat labor that has already been 
performed acceptably. 

In consideration of the services which the Commission 
stands ever ready to render all comers, it is assumed that 
persons seeking such help will gladly turn back the results 

278 Arkansas Historical Association 

of their work in order that the information exploited may 
become available for general use. By entering all such 
references in the card catalogue just mentioned we shall in 
due course perfect and greatly extend our facilities for pub- 
lic service. 

Reference has been made more than once in what has 
gone before to newspaper files and their use. In the variety 
and scope of the files thus far confided to our safe-keeping 
we are peculiarly fortunate. It may seem idle or superflous 
to enlarge on what has been said heretofore and incidentally 
of the importance of these sources of information. 

In a continuous file of any first rate newspaper one may 
glimpse and gauge the ebb and flow of public opinion as it 
acts and reacts towards the issues that stir the emotions, 
fire the mind and move men to action. The facts and the 
sweep of opinion which such records reveal are the flesh 
and blood of history, without which all historical writing 
would at best be but a skeleton of dry bones. 

Perhaps the most notable single achievement in all the 
varied experience of this Commission was only recently 
brought to a successful issue. That was the acquisition of 
the Whittington files as a trust loan. 

In passing the collection over to be held in trust the 
present owner said he was sensible of a certain inherent 
right which the people of the State have in it — ^the right to 
share the benefits of the vast store of information hidden 
away in the musty, weather-beaten pages of these old 
volumes. Such sentiments, be it said, are the sparks of a 
generous spirit and should be counted an honor to any man 
who has that within him which enables him to rise to such 
an occasion. 

In this connection it would seem only proper that spe- 
cial recognition be accorded the Chairman who thrust his 
hand deftly into the business of negotiating this loan at the 
psychological moment. The good-will and understanding 
which he was able to bring to bear on the case with a stroke 
of his good offices turned the scale by just the right inclina- 
tion to make a successful conclusion of the whole matter. 

The Arkansas History Commission 279 

Altogether we now have in the archives more than five 
hundred volumes of files running the whole length of our 
history from territorial times. Likewise, as well, these same 
files cover a broad sweep in the affairs of the State, contain- 
ing, as they do, the daily or weekly chronicle of a moving 
stream of events and doings in the life of no less than a 
dozen different centers of early settlement and subsequent 

If time permitted it, we might set down here a long list 
of the names of patriotic, public-spirited citizens who by acts 
of generosity have made it possible for these gleanings from 
the past to become a source of public benefit. For the pres- 
ent it is, perhaps, enough to say that the whole lot of it has 
been acquired actually at remarkably small expense. And 
the achievement is all the more impressive when viewed in 
the light of a little knowledge of what some other States 
have expended for similar material of far less real value. 

As narrated here once before on another occasion, mat- 
ters had so adjusted themselves by the beginning of the 
biennial period just now closed that it became the duty of the 
Commission to assume responsibility for the care and 
preservation of certain public documents, which, up to two 
years ago, were still stored at the old State Capitol. As 
stated in our last report, the whole lot of books and papers 
was gone over very carefully to make sure that everything 
of any value at at all from an historical point of view should 
be saved. Many hundreds of volumes of this material were 
brought away and stored as best they might be in rooms set 
aside permanently for the purpose. 

Several hundred feet of rough book shelves have been 
built — some prior to our meeting a year ago and more since 
then — ^with such lumber as was to be had by taking down 
shelves along with the books where they stood at the old 
State Capitol. More shelving space is needed in our storage 
rooms. When that shall have been provided these thousands 
of books can be set up and assorted and the work of classi- 
fication completed. 

Part of this material, by no means an inconsiderable 
part of it, comprises the journals of the General Assembly, 

280 . . Arkansas Historical Association 

departmental reports and other printed matter of more or 
less public importance, which has gone on accumulating from 
time to time during the last three quarters of a century and 
more. Naturally, there are in some instances a goodly num- 
ber of duplicate copies of these various documents. And, it 
goes without saying, there is no lack of demand for what- 
ever there is of this matter that will not be needed to furnish 
our own wants to perfect the State's public archives. 

As a single illustration of the practical value that can 
and ought, it seems, to be made of it, the following is quoted 
from a recent interview or letter in which the author indi- 
cates that he has had occasion sorely to lament the paucity 
of Arkansas public documents and history sources to be had 
even in the Library of Congress. 

"Students of Arkanses history," says the writer, "who 
desire to consult original sources, such as State papers and 
documents, will find scant material in the Library of Con- 
gress. Arkansas is one of the few States which has been 
remiss in supplying the Congressional Library with copies 
of State papers and documents. Three shelves about three 
feet wide containing about 70 volumes and possibly two 
dozen pamphlets is the sum total of Arkansas' contribution, 
and this little collection is an odd miscellany of titles and 
dates. ' 

"Of the 70 odd bound volumes in the Arkansas collec- 
tion most are journals of the legislative assemblies, and 
there are many breaks in this set. Only the journals for the 
first territorial assembly is found, and the thirteenth, fif- 
teenth, thirtieth, thirty-fourth and fortieth assemblies are 
missing. There is another lapse for the legislative as- 
semblies from 1871 to 1881. The biennial reports of the 
State departments and institutions are not as complete as 
the journals. The documents unbound are principally the 
messages of the governors of the State and skips of from 
10 to 15 years together are found in these." 

By dint of much rather disagreeable toil we have suc- 
ceeded in bringing order out of chaos in the arrangement 
of part of the Arkansas documents to which the Commission 
has fallen heir. It is now possible to determine, in part, 

The Arkansas History Commission 281 

what there is in the pile. And besides it is practical to 
handle it with some degree of expedition. 

Having notified the Librarian of Congress only lately 
of our progress along this line and advised him of the fact 
that we are in position to supply much that is wanting in the 
national library, he replied very promptly that the Commis- 
sion, by so doing, would render a marked service to the State 
and no less the Nation. 

Two years ago the Legislature gave the Commission an 
appropriation which would have enabled us to secure photo- 
graphic copies of the greater part of the State's Confederate 
records in the archives of the Federal Government. The ap- 
propriation was vetoed. In that circumstance there was 
nothing left to be done but continue as best we might the 
work of preparing a roster of our Confederate soldiers 
from such scant, meager records as have been put at our 
disposal by numerous private individuals. 

We now have a roll of some 20,000 names. These are 
arranged in alphabetical order. The name of each soldier 
was first recorded on a specially prepared card, wifh what- 
ever else was to be known about his service. All the cards 
were later assembled in card cabinets in a-b-c order. But 
until we have the means with which to get copies of the 
forty-five hundred original rolls — perhaps a little more or 
less — in Washington this particular feature of our work 
must remain sadly defective in many ways. 

For one thing, thousands of names, of which we now 
have no record at all, appear on the more complete rolls in 
the War Department. To illustrate precisely what would 
be gained besides that point, if only we might sift the 
officers' rolls and reports of the different commands, let us 
follow a little the career of a private who served in the ranks 
of company "E," Sixth Arkansas Infantry, tracing his move- 
ments as revealed in the fuller reports in possession of the 
United States Government. From all the sources that we 
have succeeded in laying hands on up to now outside of the 
War Department we glean the following meager facts con- 
cerning Henry M. Stanley, the late world-renowned English 
explorer : 

282 Arkansas Historical Association 

He appears as a private in the volunteer company raised 
in Arkansas County by Samuel 6. Smith. It also appears 
from the roll of muster that this company^ called the ''Dixie 
Grays/' was accepted and sworn into the service of the 
State of Arkansas at Little Rock about the first of June, 
1861, as "Company No. 7" of the regiment commanded by 
Col. Richard Lyons. Stanley was reported present for duty 
on the day of muster and also as having taken the oath of 
allegiance to serve the State for a period of twelve months. 
From this point forward, however, the record lapses into 
silence, so far as Private Stanley is concerned. 

From the War Department records, which are in the 
nature of some half-dozen muster or inspection rolls made 
out from time to time during the four years of war, we learn 
that Private Stanley was transferred to the Confederate 
service with his regiment by his own consent on the 26th day 
of July, 1861, at Pocahontas, Arkansas. The officer receiving 
the regiment into Confederate service was Col. Thomas H. 
Hindman. Stanley and the rest, those who consented to the 
transfer, agreed thereby to serve out what remained of the 
term of their enlistment under the State, that is to say ten 
months and five days. 

By another roll, made out Feb. 8, 1862, at Shelbyville, 
Kentucky, we learn that Private Stanley was in camp with 
his regiment on the date mentioned. Up to that time he had 
reported regularly for duty. 

A third muster, made out on the 30th of April, 1862, 
gives the following explanation opposite his name : "Missing 
since the battle of Shiloh." It appears from the various in- 
spection rolls which were made out on subsequent occasions 
until the last day of August, 1864, when the last roll now of 
record was made up, that Private Stanley never rejoined his 
company and regiment after the ntemorable battle of Shiloh. 
What happened to him there on the 8th of April, 1862, and of 
his later career, he himself has told us in his autobiography, 
all of which is here beside the mark. 

The point to be emphasized is just this: By the ex- 
penditure of a small sum of money we shall be able to secure 
the records of very many of the Arkansas troops who saw 

The Arkansas History Commission 283 

service in the Confederate Army — ^records that are reliable 
and of a character such as to enable the Commission to com- 
plete the roster, now a part of the public archives of the 
State, in a manner that will make it a very simple matter to 
trace the movements of thousands and tens of thousands of 
private soldiers, of whom posterity knows little or nothing 
definite as touching the part they took in the war. 

Is it not worth while to spend such a sum to make it 
possible for the present generation, and as well those un- 
born, to know something definite concerning the conduct of 
the brave men who made up the rank and file of the armies 
that followed the fortunes of the Conf ederaicy ? 

And now, despite anything that may be said, perhaps 
there will always be those in our midst who think that the 
results of all such labor lead only to naught; that all our 
efforts, be they ever so successful, still are as ''Love's Labors 
Lost," because put forth, forsooth, in unproductive, non- 
creative emplojrment. 

But how about the problem of saving something of what 
we produce while the processes of production go merrily 
on ? Whether or not we are qualified to give a satisfactory 
answer to that question — and act accordingly — will depend, 
afte^ all, half the battle of life. Many a man has made a 
fortune only to die a pauper and a failure. To create just for 
the satisfaction of consuming is the very essence of selfish- 
ness. The last estate of those who produce for no other, 
higher purpose may be even worse than the first. 

Each generation owes a duty to itself, to say nothing of 
the future, to add something to the common store of wealth 
and wisdom so essential to sustained progress in the 
universal struggle for fuller and freer and better ways of 

The finer things of life that are wrought out by the slow 
and paiiiful process of experience do not get themselves 
saved by chance. Those who are called to the task of pre- 
serving the fruits of our collective experience ought, it would 
seem, to consecrate themselves to that work as a service to 
the divine spark that is in us. 


(By U. M. Rose.) 

Explanatory. — This account of the life of Governor 
Pope (Governor of the Territory of Arkansas, 1829-1834) 
was done by the late Judge U. M. Rose in the time of his last 
illness. One day, not many before his death, a messenger 
put into my hand a note which requested me, if and when 
convenient, to call at his house.. The manner of the sum- 
mons, since it left no doubt in me of its being at bottom a 
matter of business pertinent to my station, stirred in me a 
lively sense of curiosity. Upon going to his house a few 
days later I was received by an attendant in the uniform 
attire of a professional nurse, who informed me in all 
courtesy, though with firm and impressive mien, that I 
must on no account prolong my visit beyond thirty minutes. 
Once in his presence I took in at a glance how matters stood 
— ^how it fell out that such precautions came to be taken. 
The mere physical force of the man was, as unmistakably 
appeared, far gone in infirmity. But withal, despite the en- 
feebled state of his body under the weight of his many 
years, there shone in the light of his eye and revealed itself 
at every word the luster of an intellect of whom it was 
never more truly said : "his eye was not dim, nor his natural 
force abated." I shall never forget the one, to me, most 
valued impression I brought away — of the winsomeness of 
this truly great man's supreme modesty, even simplicity. 

The business he wanted of me had to be drawn to a 
close all too soon. A more inspiring half hour I never hope 
to experience. In the course of it I learned of his purpose 
to write something of what he knew by actual experience 
of the life and work of Gov. John Pope, relating perhaps 
more especially to Pope's services rendered the State of 
Arkansas while it was yet only a Territory. One point made 
by Mr. Rose I remember very distinctly. It was this. The 
bitter political rancor raging at the time while Pope was 
governor had prevented his being properly appreciated even 
to this day. Since that memorable interview I have had oc- 

John Pope — An Unfinished Sketch 285 

casion more than once to satisfy myself somewhat of the 
truth of this matter to which my attention was there called 
for the first time. What a pity it seems that such a work 
as I gathered from Mr. Rose he had it in mind to write was 
suddenly cut short. 

(Signed) Dallas T. Herndon. 

Some years ago in reading a sketch of early days in 
Arkansas I came to a passage relating to the second terri- 
torial governor, John Pope, in which the writer spoke of 
him in terms of praise, adding, however, that but little 
seemed to be known of his life, a circumstance on which I 
had often reflected myself, wondering how such a thing 
could be. It was well known in a general way that Pope had 
held many high official positions, both State and Federal, in 
all of which he acquitted himself creditably; that he was 
always unusually popular; and so must have been much 
beloved ; and that he died without any stain on his escutch- 
eon. But details were sadly and strangely lacking. No 
one seemed to know even when and where he was born or 

My attention was rivited on Governor Pope very early 
in life from the fact that he was the first person that I ever 
heard make a political speech. That was long ago ; not far 
from seventy years ago, during the presidential campaign 
of 1844. The occasion was a democratic rally, or a Jack- 
sonian demonstration, most probably in the month of June, 
when Jackson had just a year to live, passing his last days 
quietly at the Hermitage. 

I beheld the multitude assembled, largely made up of 
farmers from the surrounding country with their neighing 
steeds that seemed to proclaim some coming event of world- 
wide importance. And then I saw for the first time the man 
that was to be the center and the oracle of the occasion. He 
was sitting in an old-fashioned splint-bottom chair at the 
foot of an immense tree, receiving his friends with a 
grave, friendly and polished courtesy that was characteristic 
of the period, quite naturally, and in a manner equally free 
from restraint and any kind of affectation. 

286 Arkansas Historical Association 

It was a splendid day in early summer. The grass was 
green, and the sky, seen through the tops of the trees that 
seemed to breathe a benediction on the scene, was blue, 
serene and cloudless. That was the man of the hour sitting 
there in the old-fashioned chair; the man that had had a 
large influence in building up what is the present State of 
Arkansas, and whose services are commemorated by one of 
our counties named in his honor. As I remember him thus 
appearing in more than limelight to my youthful vision, he 
was neatly and elegantly dressed in light colored garments 
appropriate to the season. He had the appearance of being 
still quite young, he was of medium statue, and quite erect ; 
his features were regular and classical in outline ; his man- 
ners easy and unconstrained. What riveted my attention 
was that this striking-looking person had only one arm, and 
I had never before seen any one who had been thus muti- 
lated. It was afterwards told me that when a boy he had 
lost his arm in some kind of agricultural machinery. One 
could easily see that the orator of the day was among his 
friends, as everyone treated him with the most marked 
deference and respect. 

In that period of our history political excitement ran 
high. There was no neutrals ; and every one must be either 
Geulph or Ghibeline ; every one was eager to hear what the 
speaker had to say on the weighty questions that deeply 
agitated the public mind. The audience were mostly seated 
on long benches and chairs provided for the occasion, though 
there was a pretty large contingent leaning against the 
trees, or seated on the lawn. Then there were two or three 
benches occupied wholly by women, the darlings of the 
period. "The loving and the loved of yore" dressed in 
Quaker style in dresses extremely narrow and skimp, com- 
ing clear down to the ground according to the fashion of 
the day. It was formerly a part of Spanish dogma that the 
Queen of Spain had no legs ; and at the time of which I speak 
it was considered that modesty required that in polite esti- 
mation women had no feet, though such pedal extremities 
by reason of obvious utility were their own excuse for being. 
The head-dresses, on the other hand were conspicuously 

John Pope — An Unfinished Sketch 287 

visible, consisting of poke bonnets ornamented with a pro- 
fusion of wide ribbons of many hues. At present such a dis- 
play of costume would be deemed irrelevant and impossible ; 
but we cannot doubt that these specimens of the fair sex 
were much admired and flattered in their time. Poor un- 
sophisticated beings ! Not one of them aspired to the right 
of suffrage, or had ever smashed a window, "Their time!" 
Where are they now ? Where are the snows of last year ? 

I have no recollection of anything that was said on that 
day by Governor Pope. I only remember that I regarded 
him as the triumphant champion of the great patriot and 
warrior — Andrew Jackson, who had disconcerted and put 
to flight the Whig cohorts, who were bent on the overthrow 
and destruction of fi-ee government. I recall also that the 
speaker was frequently interrupted by enthusiastic and 
vociferous applause. 

Though Governor Pope was born, lived and died in a 
county adjoining that in which I was bom and spent my 
youth, I never saw him afterwards ; and I strongly suspect 
that I am the last survivor of the not inconsiderable audience 
in 1844. They are probably as dead as the political principles 
that were then discussed. Well might Burke exclaim, 'What 
shadows we are, what shadows we pursue !" 

Mrs. Pope was a lady of cultivation and refinement, and 
was highly esteemed for her many virtues, for her ac- 
complishments and for her social qualities. She was the sis- 
ter of the wife of John Quincy Adams, the sixth president 
of the United States. Her father, Joshua Johnson, was for 
some years consul at London. Governor Thomas Johnson 
of Maryland was her maternal uncle. Later he became a 
judge of the Supreme Court of the United States, and while 
holding that position declined an appointment as chief 
justice of that court. 

These two estimable ladies always moved in the best 
society in Washington and elsewhere. It was in that city 
and in London that much of her life was spent. It was in 
Washington that she was married to Governor Pope, then a 
member of Congress from Kentucky. 

288 Arkansas Historical Association 

December 9th, 1912. 

Judge U. M. Rose, Little Rock, Ark. 

My Dear Judge ; — 

I desire to begin this letter with the confession of my 
dereliction of duty in not having acknowledged the receipt 
of your favor of recent date, asking me to give you such in- 
formation as I could obtain in regard to ex-Governor Pope 
of your State, because I know that I should have acknowl- 
edged the receipt of your letter at once. 

I beg to assure you, however, that I not overlooked 
the matter and have not intentionally delayed writing you. 
Immediately after the receipt of your letter I undertook to 
learn what I could with reference to the life and career of 
Governor Pope, but as I had access to nothing further than 
the standard histories of Kentucky, I soon found that their 
references to him were very meager, and I suppose that you 
probably had full opportunity to examine these for your- 

It then occurred to me that as Dr. Curran Pope, of 
Louisville, was known to me to be one of the nearest living 
relatives of Governor Pope, he would likely be able to give 
me more information than any other person, so I wrote him 
immediately to give me all the information which he could 
furnish in reference to Governor Pope, and in a few days 
thereafter I received a letter from him, saying that he 
would write me in a short time fully in answer to my letter, 
and it was because of his delay in furnishing me this in- 
formation that I have delayed writing you. 

I have today received from him an answer to my letter, 
enclosing the attached memoranda with reference to Gover- 
nor Pope, which I hope will reach you in time for your pur- 
pose. Also I enclose herewith the letter from Dr. Pope 
written to me with the desired enclosure. I infer from his 
letter that he understood that I was investigating this mat- 
ter upon my own account, but he misunderstood me, as I 
merely asked him to furnish me the information. I did not 
disclose your name to him because I did not know that this 

John Pope — An Unfinished Sketch 289 

would meet your entire approval, but as I have stated, 
merely asked him to furnish me this information. 

This will explain to you the cause of my delay and my 
apparent discourtesy, which I beg to assure you was in 
nowise intentional, and while I should have acknowledged 
the receipt of your letter promptly, I delayed, hoping each 
day that I would be able to receive this information from 
Dr. Pope, and fully expecting to forward it to you promptly. 

I know Dr. Pope well by reputation, and know that 
he is a very accomplished and high-class gentleman and in 
every way trustworthy, and I felt that such information as 
he would give me would be entirely reliable. 

I hope this may reach you in time to serve your purpose, 
and if there is anything further that I can do, or if I re- 
ceive any information from Judge Humphrey, who is re- 
ferred to in the letter of Dr. Pope, I shall take pleasure in 
forwarding the same to you without delay. 

With kindest regards to Mrs. Rose and yourself, and 
hoping to have the pleasure of seeing you in person during 
the Christmas holidays, I remain, 

Your friend, Emmett M. Dickson. 

December 7, 1912. 


Mr. Emmett M. Dickson, Paris, Ky. 
Dear Sir : — 

I take pleasure in sending you herein an account of the 
life of Gov. John Pope. I obtained the information enclosed 
through the courtesy of my friend and cousin, Mr. Rogers 
Ballard Thruston, who has gathered this data during the 
course of a somewhat extended investigation. I trust that 
it will give you the facts you desire, and enable you to pre- 
pare the paper you propose writing. 

I am trying to get some further data from my cousin, 
Judge Alexander P. Humphrey, who I hope will be able to 
furnish same, which I will forward to you at once. 

Regretting the delay, which was due to an unusual 
pressure of professional work, I beg to remain. 

Very truly yours, 

Curran Pope. 

290 Arkansas Historical Association 

John Pope. 

Eldest son of Col. William Pope was born in Prince 
William County, Virginia, in the year 1770. He emigrated 
to Kentucky in 1779, attended Dr. Priestley's school at 
Bardstown, Ky., about 1785-6, and lost his right arm by an 
accident in a cornstalk mill when still a youth. He engaged 
in the practice of the law and had a strong leaning towards 
politics ; soon became a power in the Federal party and was 
presidential elector in 1801. Represented Shelby county in 
Kentucky Legislature in 1802 and Fayette county in 1806-7. 
In 1806 he was elected a United States Senator from Ken- 
tucky and served from 1807 to 1813 and was president pro 
tem of that body in 1810-11. His colleague in the Senate 
was Henry Clay, a Democrat and on practically every point 
the two were opposed to each other and by the time 1816 
came around, they seemed to have swapped horses. It was 
in this year that George Madison died, and was succeeded 
by Lieutenant Governor Gabriel Slaughter, who appointed 
John Pope his Secretary of State in 1819. President Monroe 
paid a visit to Louisville, accompanied by Gen. Jackson. 
They were warmly received and entertained at a public 
dinner at Washington Hall, then the principal hotel, on the 
south side of Main street near 2nd. They were entertained 
at the home of Alexander Pope, a brother of John Pope, then 
residing on the south side of Jefferson between 6th and 7th. 
It was here that Gen. Jackson was first put forward as a 
Democratic candidate for president. In 1821 he was one 
of the legislative committee of four appointed to thoroughly 
consider the educational condition in the State and to pre- 
pare a common school bill. This was done in a thorough and 
most complete manner and though recommended by the 
governor to several legislatures, it was never acted upon. 
He was a State Senator from Washington county, Ky., from 
1825 to 1829, when he was appointed territorial governor 
of Arkansas by Gen. Jackson, and being reappointed, held 
the position for six years until 1835. It was during this 
period that he had a bitter quarrel with Mr. Noland that 
would have resulted in a duel had it not been that his 

John Pope — An Unfinished Sketch 291 


opponent was not willing to fight a one-armed man. His 
nephew, Fontaine Pope, son of Alexander, who was his secre- 
tary, espoused his uncle's quarrel, fought the duel and was 
killed in 1831. For this Gov. John Pope was very severely 
censured by practically everyone, including his own family. 
The feeling was so intense that upon one of his visits home, 
he was almost ostracized by his former friends and asso- 
ciates. At the expiration of his second term as governor, he 
returned to Kentucky and settled in Washington county, ran 
for Congress and was defeated by Ben Hardin. He again 
became a candidate and was elected for three successive 
terms and served from 1837 to 1843. He was a Freemason, 
at one time being the Grand Orator, and died at his home in 
Washington county, July 12th, 1845, in the 74th year of his 
age. Governor Pope was a brother-in-law of President John 
Quincy Adams, but voted for General Jackson in 1824, and 
actively canvassed Kentucky and Virginia in Jackson's be- 
half in the canipaign of 1828. After the election, it was 
strongly intimated from high sources that he would be ap- 
pointed to the portfolio of Attorney General in President 
Jackson's cabinet, but that honor went to John M. Berrien of 
Georgia. He was married three times, first to Miss Christian, 
second to Miss Elizabeth Johnson, and third to Mrs. Walton, 
widow of Gen. Matt. Walton of Springfield, Ky., who was a 
member of Congress from 1803 to 1807. . By his first and 
third marriages he had no children. His second wife was 
Miss Elizabeth Johnson, daughter of Hon. Joshua Johnson, 
who was American Consul General at London in 1794-5, at 
which time John Quincy Adams, afterwards president of the 
United States, met her sister. Miss Louisa Katherine John- 
son', whom he subsequently married July 26, 1797. Their 
father's brother, Thomas Johnson, was one of the signers 
of the Declaration of Independence, first governor of Mary- 
land and afterwards one of the Justices of the Supreme 
Court of the United States. By this marriage. Gov. Pope 
had two children, Florida and Elizabeth. Florida died 
young and unmarried. Elizabeth married John Cocke, a 
prominent lawyer of Arkansas,* by whom she had two chil- 
dren, John and Mary. 

292 Arkansas Historical Association 

John Cocke, whose name was afterwards changed to 
John Pope, married Theresa Smith, first cousin of Mrs. 
Isaac Caldwell of Louisville, Ky., and his daughter, Mary 
Elizabeth, married E. P. Mc Adams, son of a wealthy tobac- 
conist in Western Kentucky- 
Mary Elizabeth Pope and E. P. Mc Adams' children are 
as follows: Louise, who married Ike C. Adair, banker of 
Fordsville, Ky. They have one child, a daughter, Marion. 
John Pope is a first lieutenant in the United States army. 
He married Miss Francis Hennen of Hawesville, Ky., and 
has one daughter, Martha Hall. Lena B. married W. C. 
Kelly, merchant of Hawesville, Ky. She has four children, 
Wm. Carroll, Margaret Elizabeth, Eugene and James Pope. 
Samuel L. married Miss Pearl Lawson, of Hawesville, Ky. 
They have three children, Milton, Mary Elizabeth and 
George Newman. Robert Pope is an assistant paymaster in 
the United States navy. Edward Pope is cashier of the 
National Bank of Beattyville in Eastern Kentucky. Eugenia 
is in school at Nazareth, Ky. Carroll, Eugene and George 
died young and unmarried. 

John Pope (son of John Cocke and Elizabeth Pope), 
was a major in the Confederate army. He died at Owens- 
boro, Ky., age 38. 

Mary Cocke (daughter of John Cocke and Elizabeth 
Pope) , married Jas. B. Johnson, a brother of United States 
Senator Robert W. Johnson, who was killed in the Civil 
War. After his death, his widow married Major Nicholas 
Hill and removed with him to Maryland, where at last ac- 
counts, she was still living, and has four children, two John- 
son and two Hill children. 

Gov. John Pope's third wife was the widow of General 
Walton of Springfield, Ky., by whom he had no children. 



(By Ada Mixon.)* 

It has never been satisfactorily determined just where 
De Soto crossed the Mississippi river on June 18, 1541, or 
how far westward he went afterward. His wandering 
through the present states of Florida, Georgia, Alabama and 
Mississippi have been traced with a fair degree of accuracy, 
but the few writers who have touched upon his route 
through Arkansas each give a different account of it. Some 
chroniclers state that he went as far west as the Rocky 
Mountains, unmindful of the fact that it took him two years 
to travel from Tampa Bay to the point where he crossed the 
Mississippi, and that his travels west of that river occupied 
only a year. Some writers have placed the point of crossing 
at Chickasaw Bluffs and their route through the Ozarks of 
Arkansas and Missouri. Later writers are of the opinion 
that the point of crossing must have been a short distance 
north of the thirty-fourth parallel, and this is far more 
likely, as may be determined by the description of his wan- 
derings immediately after reaching the western bank. 

The route as outlined on the accompanying sketch has 
been worked out from a careful study of the only recorded 
accounts which are regarded as accurate. First in impor- 
tance is the report of the factor or chief commissary of the 
expedition, Don Luys Hernandez de Biedma, which was 
written from notes jotted down during the journey. This 
is very brief, giving only a few essential details, names of 

*Ada Mixon is a native of Marianna, Arkansas, and a graduate 
of Peabody College at Nashville, Tennessee. Since 1907, Miss Mixon 
has filled a clerkship in the Department of State at Washing^ton. She 
has written many articles for the magazine section of various news- 
papers but of late she has been interested in playwriting. It was 
while looking up material for a pageant play with the history of 
Arkansas as a theme that Miss Mixon became interested in the puz- 
zling question of De Soto's route west of the Mississippi. 

294 Arkansas Historical Association 

tribes, towns, rivers, resources and some directions. Sec- 
ond, the journal of Rodrigo Ranjel, De Soto's private secre- 
tary, which bears evidence that it was an actual journal 
made during their . travels and gives more fully than Bied- 
ma's work the directions taken and descriptions of the 
various regions traversed. Third, the account given by an 
anonjonous writer known only as "The Gentleman of El- 
vas," a resident of Elvas in Portugal, who, with a party of 
Portuguese gentlemen, joined the expedition of De Soto at 
Seville. A list of names of these Portuguese is given in this 
narrative and no doubt so modest a cavalier as "The Gentle- 
man of Elvas'' has placed his own name last upon this list. 
If this deduction is correct, his real name was Don Alvaro 
Fernandez, who is mentioned last in the list of nine names. 
His account of the expedition was undoubtedly made from 
notes and dates set down on the trip — ^this has been proven 
by comparison with the calendars of the years 1539 to 1543. 
While some of his statements are evidently made in error, 
his narrative has been accepted as the best story extant of 
their travels through those primeval forests, both on ac- 
count of its engaging literary style and its reliability as com- 
pared with the two official texts. It is worthy of note that 
this is the only contribution from Portugal to the history of 
the New World. Its merit places it in the foremost ranks of 
history of that period, a period which includes some of the 
brightest stars in the literary firmament. Without doubt 
"The Gentleman of Elvas" was a cavalier of some standing 
at home, and of some importance in the expedition itself, 
being present at the counsels of the officers and bearing his 
part nobly both in the deliberations and in the fighting. 

Previous writers on this subject have based their deter- 
mination of De Soto's route largely upon the account of the 
Inca Garcilero de la Vega, a historian of the Sixteenth cen- 
tury, whose narrative was written from reminiscences re- 
lated by an old soldier forty years after he had returned 
from the expedition. It is an interesting and romantic story, 
but obviously inaccurate and highly colored. This narra- 
tive has been entirely ignored in tracing the route of De 
Soto herewith presented. 

De Soto's Route Through Arkansas 295 

Besides these sources of data for the route» the only 
other corroborative method possible is a personal examina- 
tion of the country involved, and this has been done by the 
author as far as concerns the first portion of the journey 
immediately following their crossing of the Mississippi 
river. Beyond that, the directions and descriptions in the 
three records referred to have been followed, and the fact 
that the map of the region corrobort^tes their accounts may 
be considered further proof of the general accuracy of the 

De Soto's method of advance in his explorations seems 
to have been, first, to surprise the natives and take a number 
of prisoners who were retained as hostages until he could 
communicate with the cacique or chief of the tribe. His in- 
terpreter, Juan Ortiz, had spent twelve years among the 
Indians of Florida and was his means of communication 
during the first three years of exploration. After reducing 
the chief to submission, exacting tribute of supplies, guides, 
interpreters and slaves to help carry their burdens, De Soto 
and his party, after stopping in one village a few days or 
longer, would pass on to another province. From the In- 
dians he learned where gold might be found, or where 
abounded the most fertile fields, the most prolific crops and 
the most abundant game. Very often they would reach a 
village to find it deserted by the natives, who had heard of 
the approach of the Spaniards and had fled in terror. 

It is remarkable that these Indians of 1541 knew nothr 
ing of the calumet which was regarded as an important in- 
stitution 150 years later by the Indians in the same terri- 
tory. Also, their demeanor was altogether at variance with 
our generally accepted ideas of Indian characteristics. 
When defeated or when seeking clemency, the chief always 
gave way to tears instead of maintaining the stoical dignity 
of the tribes of later years, the t3rpe long familiar to us in 
song and story. 

As De Soto had heard from the Indians on the east side 
of the Mississippi reports of the prosperity of the Pacaha 
country on the opposite shore, his desire was to find the Pac- 
ahas as soon as he crossed the ''Great river,'' as the Missis- 

296 Arkansas Historical Association 

sippi was designated by the Spaniards. For that reason, 
after crossing the river his course was northeasterly, follow- 
ing the river until he reached a large town in Aquixo and 
advanced to the town of Aquixo, which Ran j el says was 
"very beautiful or beautifully situated." No doubt after the 
swamps which opposed their passage on both sides of the 
"Great river," and among which they had wandered for 
many weary days, they were pleased to see the hills of Crow- 
ley's Ridge, which began at the present town of Helena. 
On the principle that what was a good site for a town then 
would still be a good site, it is most likely that the town of 
Aquixo stood upon the present site of Helena. This town is 
partly on the hills and partly on the plain below, stretching 
to the "Great river," and may be described as "a beautiful 
village or beautifully situated." One day's journey below 
Helena, therefore, may be regarded as the most probable 
place at which De Doto's expedition crossed the Mississippi 
river, but owing to the changes* which have occurred since 
then in the river bed it is impossible to give any one spot 
even as a mere conjecture. It is a well-known fact that the 
Mississippi river has changed its course at various points 
and at various times within the memory of man and in the* 
course of 350 years the topography of that vicinity has 
probably undergone a complete change, although 200 miles 
south of the area affected by earthquakes. 

They crossed the "Great river" Saturday, June 18, and 
stayed at Aquixo from Sunday until Tuesday, states the 
terse diary of Ranjel. The Indians at Aquixo told them of 
a fertile and prosperous country called Casqui, three days' 
journey from there, and they started in that direction and 
crossed "a small river." Neither of the three chroniclers 
state in what direction the party went in search of Casqui 
and previous writers have assumed that they continued their 
northeasterly course and that the "small river" was what is 
now the St. Francis river. But there were tall pines at the 
town of Casqui and none exist in the St. Francis river val- 
ley — certainly not on the eastern side of that river, where 
the land is low and swampy, nor is the land "higher, drier 
and more level than any other alongside the river that had 

De Soto's Route Through Arkansas 297 

been seen» until then/' as Elvas describes the land of Casqui. 
To find such a country we must turn to the westward, where 
three days' travel from Helena, in the southern part of Mon- 
roe county, it is ''higher, drier and more level" and is also 
a region of pines. Pine City may be considered the site of 
one of the Casqui towns, possibly the town of Casqui itself, 
where a cross of pine fifty feet high was set up by the Span- 
iards on a hand-made hill. The "small river" which they 
crossed was Big creek, which at that time was larger than 
its present dimensions, as all smaller streams tend to grow 
less if the region through which they flow is under cultiva- 
tion. For example, in 1812, when the city of Washington 
was besieged by the British, it is a matter of history that 
the British ships sailed up the Anacostia river as far as Bla- 
densburg, Md., an impossible feat at the present day for 
even the smallest sea-going craft. 

On Wednesday the travelers passed through "the worse 
tract for swamps and water they had found in all Florida," 
according to Ranjel. On Thursday they reached the Cas- 
quin country. It was here that the pine cross was erected 
at the request of the Chief of Casqui. Observing that the 
Christians were more powerful than himself, he expressed a 
desire to worship the Christian's God, frankly admitting 
that his wish was born of a desire for material profit. He 
willingly furnished them with supplies and offered to help 
them invade the Pacaha province, whose tribe were his 
hereditary enemies. 

The Gentleman of Elvas says that "in the fields were 
many walnut trees, having tender-shelled nuts in the shape 
of acorns, many being found stored in the houses." This is 
the region of pecan forests. Ranjel says that in the town 
of Casqui "over the door to the principal tent were many 
heads of fierce bulls," which were without doubt the heads 
of buffaloes. 

From here they went in the direction of Pacaha, accom- 
panied by Casqui, who sent his men ahead to build a bridge 
for the Spaniards across a lake or swamp which separated 
the two provinces. The Elvas gentleman calls this "a lake 
like an estuary that entered the great river," and it was 

298 Arkansds Historical Association 

''half a cross-bow shot over, of great depth and swiftness of 
current." Ranjel refers to it as a "swamp." The bridge 
made for them by the Indians was "built of wood in the man- 
ner of timber thrown across from tree to tree, on one side 
there being a rail of poles higher than the rest as a support 
for those who pass." It took the Spaniards a day to cross 
this swamp. Northeast of Casqui or Pine City, in the south- 
western corner of Lee county, is a cypress swamp which is 
still a formidable body of water in high-water time, and in 
those days before the surrounding region was under culti- 
vation no doubt covered a much longer and wider extent of 
territory. They took several towns in Pacaha, one of which 
may have occupied the present site of LaGrange on Crow- 
ley's Ridge, and three days later they reached the village of 
the chief of Pacaha, which was near the Mississippi and the 
mouth of the St. Francis river. They surprised the Paca- 
has, who fled as the Spaniards approached and took refuge 
on "an island between two rivers," one of which was the 
"Great river." 

There seems to be little doubt that this other river was 
the St. Francis, but the exact point at which the St. Francis 
then entered the Mississippi is difiicult to determine. An 
examination of the map of this territory shows that these 
two rivers come within one and a third miles of each other 
at a point about nine miles in a direct line above the mouth 
of the St. Francis. The topography of this region leads one 
to the conclusion that it may be possible that formerly the 
Mississippi's course led through this one and a third mile 
"cut-off," and into the present channel of the St. Francis, 
where that river follows an irregular course around an ex- 
tent of territory which probably at some time was an island. 
If this is the case the "island between two rivers" may have 
been at the mouth of the L'Anguille river, where it now 
flows into the St. Francis river, the St. Francis at that time 
entering the Mississippi at the western end of the "cut-off." 

Says Ranjel: "In Aquixo, Casqui and Pacaha, they 
saw the best villages seen up to that time, better stockaded 
and fortified and the people of finer quality excepting those 
of Cofatichiqui." Pacaha was the first fortified town the 
Spaniards found in Florida. It was surrounded by a stock- 


De Soto's Route Through Arkansas 299 

ade of timber ten feet high and plastered with mud. Around 
this was a moat which was fed by a ditch leading from the 
"Great river," and this moat was well stocked with a won- 
derful variety of fish, as were all the waters in that neigh- 
borhood. The travelers caught them with nets, and 'however 
much might be the casting there was never any lack of 
them.'' 'There was a fish called bagre, the third part of 
which was head, with gills from end to end, and along the 
sides were great spines, like very sharp awls. Those of this 
sort that lived in the lake were as big as pike ; in the river 
were some that weighed from 100 to 150 pounds. Many 
were taken with the hook. There was one in the shape of 
a barbel ; another like bream with the head of a hake, having 
a color between red and brown, and was the most esteemed. 
There was likewise a kind called peel-fish, the snout a cubit 
in length, the upper lip being shaped like a shovel. Another 
fish was like a shad. * * * There was one called pereo, the 
Indians sometimes brought, the size of a hog, and had rows 
of teeth above and below." 

The sportsmen who fish in these waters will recognize 
many of these types of fish today. 

In Pacaha they found many shawls, deer skins, lion and 
bear skins and many cat skins. ''Numbers who had been a 
long time badly covered there clothed themselves. Of the 
shawls they made mantles and cassocks ; some made gowns 
and lined them with cat skins, as they also did the cassocks 
Of the deer skins were made jerkins, shirts, stockings and 
shoes ; and from the bear skins they made very good cloaks, 
such as no water could get through. They found shields of 
raw cowhide out of which armor was made for the horses." 
This passage and the preceding one regarding the fish are 
from the narrative of the Elvas gentleman. Evidently the 
buffaloes roamed in those primeval forests not many miles 
from the Mississippi river. As the travelers had lost most 
of their clothing in the great fire at Mauvila (Mobile) they 
were now glad to array themselves in the habilaments of a 
pioneer trapper, even the priests of the party. All the sa- 
cred vestments and implements of the holy ofiice had been 
lost in the fire, so that the first religious services conducted 

300 Arkansas Historical Association 

on the western side of the "Great river" — ^first recorded at 
Casqui — ^were more Lutheran or Calvin than Roman in char- 

De Soto, after invading Pacaha with the aid of Casquin, 
was deserted by Casquin at a critical moment in the fight. 
Later, having subdued Pacaha, he had arranged to aid Pa- 
caha to conquer Casquin, but that wily chief, hearing of his 
design, came to him weeping and humbly acknowledging his 
fault. In a long speech, punctuated with sobs, Casquin 
asked why De Soto wished to treat him, a friend and a 
brother Christian, so cruelly. 

De Soto received him kindly, and endeavored to make 
peace between him and Pacaha, and thought he had suc- 
ceeded until he invited them to join him at a feast. As they 
were about to sit down at the banquet, the two chiefs began 
a heated argument and were about to come to blows. Sum- 
moning the aid of the interpreter, De Soto learned that both 
the great chiefs claimed the distinction of sitting at the right 
hand of his host. They agreed to submit the question to "the 
governor," and each gave his reason for demanding the 
place of honor as his right, Pacaha because his ancestors 
were more honorable and Casquin because he was older and 
more distinguished. De Soto finally gave the right-hand 
place to Pacaha. Thus the first discussion of the question 
of diplomatic precedence recorded on the North American 
continent took place in the backwoods of Arkansas in the 
summer of 1541, but the end of such disputes is not yet, as 
the hosts and hostesses of these latter times might testify. 

De Soto's Route in Arkansas. 

While the party was at Pacaha an expedition was sent 
to the Northwest in search of more provisions, and, as al- 
ways, on the lookout for signs of gold. They were anxious 
to find, also, a route to the sea. They traveled for eight days 
"through a wilderness which had large pondy swamps" — 
which answers to the description of certain parts of Lee and 
Monroe counties in high-water time, more especially in the 
tracts now reclaimed by cultivation. Biedma, who went on 
this expedition, says they found a region "where we didn^t 

De Soto's Route Through Arkansas 301 

find even trees and only some wide plains on which grew 
a plant so rank and high that even on horseback we could 
not break our way through" — ^this must have been Prairie 
county. Finally, they came to a small village with huts cov- 
ered with rush sewed together — ^they called this province 
Caluca. The i>eople "cared little to plant, finding support 
in meat and fish." They returned from this expedition "in 
great extremity, eating green persimmons and cornstalks 
found in this Indian town/' These Indians told the party 
that toward the north the country was thinly populated ; the 
"cattle were in such plenty no com field could be protected 
from them and the inhabitants lived upon iheat." 

Eight days' journey northwest of Pacaha would follow 
a line more or less parallel to the Missouri and North Arkan- 
sas railroad, which runs through the prairie region of north 
Monroe county and in Prairie county. The Carluc village 
may have been on Cache river, as the inhabitants lived on 
fish and meat. It was the custom of these people to move 
their tents of skins from place to place, according to the sup- 
plies they found. As soon as the fish and meat of one region 
was gone, they folded their tents and moved on to another 
better supplied. 

After a month's stay at Pacaha the governor and his 
party went back toward the land of the Casquines. The 
Indians had told the Spaniards of a large province and coun- 
try of great abundance toward the southwest called Qui- 
guate. On the way toward Quiguate they visited Casquin, 
and that friendly chief took them in canoes across the river 
of Casqui, which was a branch of the "Great river" and 
was as "large as the Guadalquiver" — ^this refers to White 
river. Their place of crossing was probably at some point 
near Casscoe. On the second day they camped by a stream, 
probably Rattlesnake bayou, in the neighborhood of Gold- 
man. About three days' journey from White river brought 
them to Quiguate, the "largest village they had seen in all 
Florida," according to the testimony of all three of the au- 
thorities from which this record is taken. It was situated 
on another river of Casqui — ^now known as the Arkansas 

302 Arkansas Historical Association 

river. According to present calculations, Quiguate was in 
the vicinity of the site of the present city of Pine Bluff, on 
the Arkansas river. This country of Quiguate, "like that of 
Casqui and Pacaha, was level and fertile, having rich river 
margins, on which the Indians made extensive fields,'' says 

At Quiguate they were told that eleven days' travel to 
the northwest was a province called Caligua, where they sub- 
sisted on certain cattle and where interpreters might be 
found for the whole distance to the "other sea." De Soto 
was trying to find a way out to the Gulf of Mexico. Also, 
Caligua was in the mountains and he hoped to find gold 

They remained at Quiguate eight or ten days to find 
guides and interpreters, leaving there August 26 in search 
of Caligua. They traveled northwest through a region of 
swamps, finding no place to camp for three nights — "from 
swamp to swamp made a journey over four swamps and 
days' marches, seeing no end of fish, because all that country 
is flooded by the "Great river" when it overflows its banks. 
"Swamps where we drank from the hand and found an 
abundance of fish," says Biedma. This was through the low 
marshes and swamps between the Arkansas and Saline riv- 
ers. They were following in a general way the direction of 
the Saline river toward its source in the mountains of Saline 

And now comes one of the most puzzling passages in the 
whole account of the expedition. They left Quiguate August 
26, and on Tuesday, September 1, they reached the River 
of Caligua, "and Wednesday likewise the same river." At 
first blush this sentence leads to the conclusion that the party 
were doubling on their trail, as they were sometimes com- 
pelled to do, owing to the mistakes of the interpreter in un- 
derstanding the directions given by the Indians. But as 
Juan Ortiz did not die until they reached winter quarters 
at Autiaque, it is not likely that such a mistake occurred at 
this point. An explanation may be found by an examina- 
tion of the map of Saline county where the Saline river takes 
its rise in four branches or forks. Evidently they first 

De Soto's Route Through Arkansas 303 

reached the North fork and next day the Alum fork of Saline 
river. When they left Caligua they "crossed the river 
again/' says Ranjel, referring to the Middle fork, which is 
south of the Alum fork. As no mention is made of the South 
fork the presumption is that Caligua was situated in the ex- 
treme western portion of Saline county between Alum fork 
and Middle fork. Going southward, they would find the 
South fork a much smaller stream, and cross it without mak- 
ing any note of it. 

According to Biedma's description of Caligua, the "land 
is very plentiful of substance, and we found a large quan- 
tity of dressed cows' tails and others already cured." In 
reaching the town they 'Vent over much even country and 
other of broken hills coming straight upon the town, as much 
so as if we had been taken thither by a royal highway, in- 
stead of which not a man in all time had passed there be- 

This is perhaps the earliest description on record of a 
buffalo trail. 

They found the town of Caligua populated, and "from 
it they took much people and clothes and a vast amount of 
provisions and much salt." "It was a pretty village between 
some ridges along the gorge of a great river," says Ranjel. 
According to Elvas, "About forty leagues from Quiguate 
stood Caligua at the foot of a mountain in the vale of a 
river of medium size like the Caya, a stream which passes 
through Estremadura." Estremadura is the name of a 
province of Portgual, but the name of Caya does not appear 
on the map. • There is small doubt, however, that the stream 
was the Middle fork of Saline river. The soil was very rich, 
yielding com in such profusion that old com was thrown 
out of store to make room for new grain. Beans and pump- 
kins were in plenty, "larger and better than those of Spain." 
Elvas adds that the "pumpkins when roasted have nearly 
the taste of chestnuts." 

From Caligua "at midday they, went to kill some cows, 
of which there are very many wild ones," says Ranjel. This 
town was in what is now the national forest reservation near 
the present town of Beaudry. 

304 Arkansas Historical Association 


The Indians at Cali£:ua told them that six leagues north 
were many cattle where the country, being cold, was thinly 
inhabited, and that to the best of their knowledge the prov- 
ince that was better provisioned than any other and more 
populous was to the south called Cayas. The chief of Cali- 
gua gave them a guide to the Cayas province. 

They left Caligua Tuesday, September 6— on Wednes- 
day they passed some mountains, evidently where the South 
fork of Saline river takes its rise, and came to Calpasta, 
where was an ''excellent salt spring which distilled good 
salt in deposits." On Thursday, September 8, they reached 
Palisema, which must have been somewhere north of Hot 
Springs. Elvas says that at Palisema, the house of the 
cacique was canopied with colored deerskins with designs 
drawn on them and the ground likewise was covered as if 
with carpets. The chief left his house in that state for the 
governor's use, though he didn't dare to await his coming. 
The governor sent a captain with horse and foot to look for 
him, and though many persons were seen, owing to the 
roughness of the country only a few men and boys were 
secured. Houses were few and scattered and corn was 

Sunday they reached Quixila, where they rested over 
Monday. This may have been on the site of the present city 
of Hot Springs. Tuesday, the fifth day of their journey 
from Caligua, they reached Tatilcoya, which was on "a co- 
pious river which empties into the Great river." This was 
the Ouachita river at some point in Garland county south- 
west of Hot Springs. Here the guide led them four days' 
journey upstream to Cayas, which they found to be "a very 
rough country of hills." They camped at Tanico, which was 
probably situated near Cedar Glades, in Montgomery county, 
among the Magazine mountains. 

The province of Cayas seems by the map to be in close 
proximity to the province of Caligua, and the route they 
took in reaching Tanico is a roundabout course. This was 
on account of the roughness of the country, the intervening 
mountains forming a boundary between the two provinces 

De Soto's Route Through Arkansas 305 

and the southward trail was perhaps much easier, and, 
though longer in distance, shorter to travel. Besides, the 
travelers were totally in the hands of the Indians, who may 
have had reasons of their own for taking them by a round- 
about way. Perhaps they didn't want their visitors to know 
that in Cayas they would be so near to Caligua. 

Both Ranjel and Elvas state that salt was made from 
the sands in Cayas. '^The salt is made along a river which, 
when the water goes down, leaves it upon the sand. As they 
can not gather the salt without a large mixture of sand, it is 
thrown together into certain baskets they have for the pur- 
pose, made large at the mouth and small at the bottom. 
These are set in the air on a ridge pole, and, water being 
thrown on, vessels are placed under them wherein it may 
fall ; then, being strained and placed on the fire, it is boiled 
away, leaving s&lt at the bottom,'^ says the Grentleman of 
Elvas. Ranjel, after describing the same method of making, 
adds ''and in that way our Spaniards made excellent salt, 
very white and of good flavor." 

They ''tarried a month at Tanico, in the province of 
Cayas." Here, Elvas says, the horses fattened more than 
anywhere else, owing to the large quantity of com there. 
"Blade of it I think is the best fodder that grows." The 
beasts drank so copiously from the very warm and brackish 
lake that they became swollen and ill. 

The cacique of Cayas told them of a fertile province up- 
stream called Tula. According to Elvas it was "one and a 
half days' journey to south of Cayas." The province of 
Cayas is now comprised in the Arkansas National Forest 
Reservation, where the Ouachita river follows a tortuous 
course through the Magazine mountains, though its general 
direction is to the west. South of Cedar Glades (Tanico) 
the Ouachita river curves to the southward and then makes 
a sharp turn toward the northwest, so that the region of 
the Tulas may have been both "upstream" and in a south- 
erly direction. 

Before reaching Tula they passed over some very rough 
hills. After a fight with the Tulas they returned through a 
bad passage in a vale made by the river. Later, De Soto 

306 Arkansas Historical Association 

went back with a large force to conquer these Indians. 
They were the fiercest fighters the Spaniards met in "all 
Florida." Says Ranjel : "They fought with long, hard poles 
like lances, the ends hardened by fire, and were the best 
fighting people the Spaniards had met with, and they fought 
like desperate men, with the greatest valor in the world." 
"Came on us in packs by eights and tens like worried dogs." 
says Biedma. And Elvas : "The struggle lasted so long that 
the steeds, becoming tired, could not be made to run." They 
showed no mercy and asked none, so that it was almost im- 
possible to take any prisoners. Finding that they were al- 
ways overtaken by the mounted soldiers, the Tulas took ref- 
uge on the tops of their houses, going from roof to roof, 
defending with the courage of any white man the sanctity 
of his home and his family honor. 

Evidently they lived in huts and not wigwams. Elvas 
says the speech of this Cacique — ^like those of the other 
chiefs, and all the messengers in their behalf who came be- 
fore the governor — ^no orator could more elegantly phrase." 
For this brave chief also came finally before the conqueror 
in tears and acknowledged his indiscretion in resisting so 
powerful an enemy. 

From Tula they went southwest to Quipana, at the base 
of some very sleep ridges and near a river, reaching the 
town after a journey of five days "over some very sharp 
mountains." Ranjel says it was "between ridges of moun- 
tains near a river," and "all the country was mountainous 
from Tula." Elvas calls it a "very rough country." This 
river was the Big Mazarn creek in the western part of Hot 
Spring county, which runs through a mountainous section, 
and the place of crossing may have been in the neighbor- 
hood of Chandler. 

From Tula toward the west was thinly populated — ^to 
the southeast were great towns principally in a province 
called Autianque, eighty leagues, or ten days' journey from 
Tula. Near Autianque was "a great water, which appeared 
to be an arm of the sea," which they afterwards learned was 
the same as the river at Cayas, the Ouachita. On the way 
to Autianque they passed two towns called Anoixi and Cata- 

De Soto*8 Route Through Arkansas 307 

maya. Says Biedma^ they marched ''in a direction to the 
east, and having crossed these mountains, went down some 
plains, where we found a population suited to our purpose — 
a town nigh to which was much food on a copious river emp- 
tying into the Great river." 

It took them twelve days to reach Autianque from Tula, 
on account of the roughness of the country and the fact that 
they had to care for their wounded, several of whom died on 
the way. The town of Autianque was probably near the 
present site of Saginaw, in Hot Spring county, south of Mal- 
vern on Ouachita river. Ranjel says it was "a plain well 
peopled and of attractive appearance." They reached Au- 
tianque Wednesday, November 2, and left it March 31. Dur- 
ing this long, cold winter, the Spaniards learned from the 
Indians how to catch "conies," as they called the squirrels 
of those mountains. According to the Gentleman of Elvas, 
they were of two sorts, one of them like that of Spain, the 
other of color, form and size of the great hare, though longer 
even, and having bigger loins." The contrivance they used 
for catching the conies "is a strong spring that lifts the ani- 
mal off its feet, a noose being made of a stiff cord to run 
about the neck, passing through rings of cane that it may 
not be gnawed." 

The winter was severe at Autianque, with "so much 
snow we thought to have died," says Biedma. Here Juan 
Ortiz died, a loss that was irreparable. 

"Monday, March 5, 1542, the governor left Autianque 
to seek Nilco, which the Indians said was near the Great 
river," with the purpose of going to the sea to recruit his 
forces. He had not over 300 efficient men, nor more than 
forty horses left of that gallant force of 600 men and 200 
horses which had landed at Tampa Bay some three years 
before. Some of the horses were lame. "They had had no 
shoes for a year, but had little need of them in a smooth 

Ten days' journey down the Ouachita river brought 
them to Ayays on that river, where they crossed in a pirogue 
which they built. This crossing was made to avoid the Lit- 
tle Missouri river, which enters the Ouachita at the inter- 

308 Arkansas Historical Association 

section of Dallas, Clark and Ouachita counties. The town of 
Ayays, therefore, was at this place. From Saginaw to the 
mouth of the Little Missouri seems a short distance for a 
journey of ten days, but after the death of Juan Ortiz, their 
only efficient interpreter, they had to depend on an Indian 
youth, who, in ascertaining the directions concerning the 
route they wished to go, would require a whole day to find 
out what Ortiz could learn in a few hours, and more often 
than not he would understand the opposite of what was in- 
tended, so that the party often had to retrace their steps 
after a day's journey in the wrong direction, thus losing 
much time. 

They were now on the east bank of the Ouachita. After 
crossing they traveled three days ^'through a desert, a region 
so low, so full of lakes and bad passages that at one time for 
the whole day the travel lay through water up to the knees 
at places, in others to the stirrups, and occasionally for a 
distance of a few paces there was swimming," says Elvas. 
The Portuguese gentleman uses the word desert to convey 
the idea of deserted. 

They reached Tatilpinco, a town near a lake "which 
flowed copiously into the river with a violent current." It 
was March, which is the overflow season. They traveled all 
day along the margin of this lake seeking for a ford, but 
could discover none, nor any way to get over. 

This must have been Two bayou, where appear a num- 
ber of small lakes. Returning to Tatilpinco, they found two 
friendly natives, who showed them the crossing and the 
road, as in the overflow the marks of trails and paths are 
completely covered by water. They made rafts and cause- 
ways from reeds and timber of houses, and on these they 
crossed this river. Three days' journey from here brought 
them to the province of Nilco, which was plentifully sup- 
plied with stores of com, beans, walnuts and dried persim- 
mons. It was the "most populous country that was seen in 
Florida and most abundant in maize, excepting Coca and 
Apalache," which were east of the "Great river." Nilco 
occupied the territory between the Saline river and Barthol- 
omew bayou. 

De Soto's Route Through Arkansas 309 

'The Governor sent a captain with £0 men and six 
canoes down the river to Guachoya, while he, with the rest, 
marched by land/' and arrived there the middle of April. 
He took his quarters in the town of the cacique, which was 
palisaded, and situated ''a cross-bow shot" from the Missis- 
sippi. This province of Guachoya was most likely the same 
territory now comprised in Tensas county. La., and was 
separated from the province of Nilco to the northward by 
Bartholomew bayou. 

From Guachoya De Soto sent a detachment to find a 
way southward to the sea, but they returned in eight days, 
reporting that they had been able to travel only 14 or 15 
leagues in that time on account of the great bog that came 
out of the river, the canebrakes and thick scrubs that were 
along the margin, and that they had found no inhabited 
spot. Then the governor sank into a "deep despond- 
ency," seeing that he could not sustain himself in the 
country without succor. Before taking to his pallet he 
sent a messenger to the chief of Quigaltam, on the other 
side of the Great river, to say that he, De Soto, was a 
chief of the Sun, and demanding tribute. By the same mes- 
senger the chief sent a reply to the effect that he would not 
believe that De Soto was a child of the Sun unless he would 
cause the waters of the Great river to dry up. He added 
that it was not his custom to visit any one — instead of that 
all of whom he had ever heard had come to visit him and pay 
him tribute, either voluntarily or by force. He ended with 
these words : "Neither for you nor for any man will I set 
back one foot." De Soto was at that time "very ill of 
fevers" and could not accept this haughty challenge as he 
otherwise would have done. 

Opposite the Tensas shore 150 years afterward there 
lived the Natchez, who were known to the trail makers of 
that time as very fierce and warlike Indians. It may be that 
these of Quigaltam were the progenitors of the Natchez. 

At Guachoya on May 21, 1542, died Don Hernando de 
Soto, governor of Florida, after naming Don Luis de 
Moscoso as his successor in command of the expedition 
and governor of Florida until the king could make a per- 

310 Arkansas Historical Association 

manent appointment. After his burial in the Great river, 
De Soto's effects were sold at auction among the members of 
the expedition. "For each slave or horse was given two or 
three thousand cruzados, to be paid at the first melting up 
of gold or silver, or division of vassals and territory, with 
the obligation that should there be nothing found in the 
country the imyment should be made at the end of a year, 
those having no property to pledge to give their bond. A 
hog brought in the same way, trusted, 200 cruzados. Those 
who had left anjrthing at home bought more sparingly and 
took less than the others," on the principle, presumably, that 
he who has nothing can lose nothing. De Soto's property 
consisted of two male and three female slaves, three horses 
and 700 swine. 

Thus Guachoya, besides being distinguished as the 
place of De Soto's death and picturesque burial, is also 
notable as the scene of the first slave market on the North 
American continent. 

Under Moscoso's leadership the Spaniards decided to find 
a way to the sea toward the west, and on June 5 they started 
back the way they had come, following the Ouachita river 
at least a part of the way. Their wanderings during the 
next year are chronicled only by Biedma and Elvas, the first 
named devoting only two pages to what must have been a 
year of dreadful privations. Lacking the directions and 
dates of Ranjel, one is left only the narrative given by the 
Portuguese gentleman, who becomes less and less explicit as 
their difiiculties increased. There is, consequently, scarcely 
enough data for even an approximate account of their 
travels. It seems an unquestionable fact, however, that they 
reached the valley of the Saline river in southwest Arkansas, 
which is not the same Saline river of the Magazine moun- 
tains eastward of the Ouachita, and here they found more 
salt. So many difiiculties beset their passage that they finally 
decided to return to Nilco, there to make preparations to 
journey down the Great river to the sea. On reaching Nilco 
they found the natives had no crops nor supplies for them, 
but they were told of Amanoya, a plentiful land to the north 
of Nilco, whither they went, and found, besides plenty of 

De Soto's Route Through Arkansas 311 

com and fodder, suitable timber for building the brigan- 
tines they needed. Aminoya was probably in Desha or 
Chicot county, Arkansas. In June, 1543, they left Amanoya 
and after many vicissitudes and privations, succeeded in 
reaching Panuco, on the coast of Mexico, a sad looking crew, 
ragged and barefoot, totally unlike the brilliant company 
which had sailed from Cuba four years before. 

In the eyes of the world De Soto's expedition into Flor- 
ida was regarded as a failure, but in view of its achieve- 
ment, history has accorded him a prominent niche in its hall 
of fame. 



(By William T. Hord.) 

Dr. William T. Hord, Medical Director of the United 
States navy, saJd, "Our old home in Mason county, Kentucky, 
was often in a state of ecstacy when friends and relatives 
came to make us a visit. Mother was very fond of her 
relatives and endeavored to make their stay agreeable so 
they would come again. Cousin Mary Yell, on her way to 
and returning from Washington, had stopped to visit mother 
many times and she enjoyed her company very much, be- 
cause she described beautifully the scenes she had witnessed 
in Washington, the great men in the diplomatic service as 
well as congressmen, senators, statesmen and their wives. 
Her descriptions were so lifelike and vivid that mother 
often said she thought she could see the persons and places 
spoken of. 

Cousin Maria frequently caressed me and sometimes 
called me "my boy," which endeared me to her. She per- 
suaded my mother to let me accompany her on a visit to her 
home in Arkansas, promising to bring me back safely on her 
return trip to Washington. 

On our way we visited friends and relatives at Lexing- 
ton and Hopkinsville, and crossed the Mississippi river at 
Hickman to New Madrid, Missouri. We were soon on the 
road leading to Batesville, Arkansas. 

Mr. Robert Smith was one of our party, and we stopped 
at his house on our arrival at Batesville, where his wife. 

This account of the breaking up of a party of Arkansas River 
gramblers was furnished the Arkansas History Commission by Mr. 
Bryan Obear of St. Louis, Missouri. 

"The narrative," says Mr. Obear, "is an extract from a biography 
of the late Dr. John Gano Bryan, 1788-1860, of St. Louis. The biog- 
raphy itself is in possession of Missouri Historical Society at Colum- 
bus. The commission may make such disposition as it deems proper 
of the extract." 


Breaking Up Party of Gamblers 313 

Cousin Susan, gave us a welcome and entertainment that 
could not be surpassed by a Kentucky hostess. Her house 
was commodious and of the Southern home style, with a 
large yard filled with shrubbery, flowers and great forest 
trees, in which I loved to walk and listen to the birds sing 
and see the pet deer and squirrels gambol. 

On the fifth day after our arrival, our horses being 
sufficiently rested, it was determined to move on to Fayette- 
ville, where Cousin Maria and Governor Yell resided ; so in 
the morning the servant called to awaken me early, and 
while helping me to dress, informed me that Dr. Bryan and 
his son. Master Edward, with a party, had arrived during 
the night, and would be to breakfast with us. The rest of 
their party had struck camp in the pasture near the spring. 
This information interested me and surprised me, for I had 
heard a great deal about both of them through family talk 
and others, and felt some temerity at meeting them so unex- 

Cousin Susan met me as I came down the stairs and 
took me into the parlor for an introduction to Dr. Bryan 
and my cousin Edward, They both greeted me cordially, 
and Edward, being about my age, we were soon fast friends. 
All constraint vanished when Dr. Bryan tapped me on the 
shoulder and said, "Sister Susan, he is all but a man, and 
will be one before we know it." That remark cherished a 
hope which I have carried to this day. 

After breakfast Mr. Smith asked us to go to the pasture 
to see the Doctor's fine horses, and on the way he said, "The 
Doctor is going to Clarksville to perform an operation," at 
which Col. John Ringgold, who had joined in with us, 
laughed outright. Governor Yell asked Mr. Smith if he 
thought it would be a successful one, and he replied, "I don't 
know — ^you see it is a hard case, but if all Jim Madden says 
is true it ought to be done." These remarks made an im- 
pression on my mind and I wondered what they meant and 
who was going to be operated on. 

At the camp were two white men, who Governor Yell 
said were "herders" and drove stock from Missouri to Ark- 
ansas for the Doctor. They were fondling the dogs, and as 

314 Arkansas Historical Association 

we approached arose and saluted most politely. The ne- 
groes were grazing the horses in the pasture, each holding 
a horse with a halter, a little distance apart. The Doctor 
stated to Colonel Ringgold the merit of each animal and gave 
the pedigree of each, which seemed to interest him, but he 
eyed more closely than any other a certain chesnut mare, 
that was a perfect beauty, and finally asked if that mare 
were "Eveline," to which the Doctor replied, "Yes." Col- 
onel Ringgold then said, "She looked beautiful last year 
when you defeated Dr. Mercer and Dr. Newman at Natchez 
on Mr. Bingaman's place — she seems to have spread out." 
To which the Doctor assented, and added : "She will grow 
another year, for she is only six years old." Colonel Ring- 
gold said, "I really believe the account of that race as told 
by Dr. Mercer, prolonged the life of Senator Porter two 
months." The Doctor replied, "He was very fond of horses 
and quite partial to her strain of blood." Governor Yell 
asked, "Where is the filly Henry Clay presented you with ?" 
The Doctor replied, "She is'at home suckling her third foal, 
over yonder is her first foal by 'Boston.' Edward rides him 
everywhere." The Doctor hailed a negro groom and he 
brought up a chestnut colt with four white legs and a blaze 
in his face, to be admired by all present. He was a model 
of his stock, so Mr. Ringold said, and filled the eye of a 
horseman brimming full. Governor Yell then said, "I re- 
member when Dr, Lewis F. Lynn rode his dam to Washing- 
ton for you, in order to mate her with 'Boston' as a courtesy 
from Mr. Long." The Doctor replied, "Yes, and the colt is 
worthy of its ancestor. Mr. Clay thought a great deal of 
his grand-dam ; she was his best race mare ; I called the filly 
'Miss Clay;' she was by Dunbars Stockholder." Governor 
Yell then said, "Mr. Clay thinks as much of the Glencoe filly, 
Dr. Mercer gave him, as he does of the presidency ; I hear he 
has, named her 'Magnolia.' What is this colt's name 
Doctor?" "He has no name as yet," replied the Doctor. 

And so they went on and talked of each horse, and each 
dog, until I was bewildered and asked, "Why they did not 
turn the horses loose to eat grass." When Edward said 
quickly, "They would kick each other to death — ^you fool 

Breaking Up Party of Gamblers 315 

you !" This reply staggered me and I asked no more ques- 
tions, although I noticed that the dogs were chained and tied 
together in pairs — ^hounds and stag-hounds each had boots 
on them — some were very ugly looking brutes. 

Cousin Maria decided to postpone our departure until 
the next day, to have a tete-a-tete with the Doctor, who 
purposed to continue his journey as soon as the moon arose 
that evening; and they conversed together with Cousin 
Susan on the porch, while Col. Ringgold, Governor Yell and 
Mr. Smith drank "juleps" in the hall, discussing the ap- 
proaching presidential election, state politics and public 

At the dinner table the Doctor invited me to go with 
him to Clarksville, saying he would return by way of 
Payetteville in about a week, and that it would be a good op- 
portunity for me to see the country. He stated the road was 
very rough and mountainous between Batesville and Fay- 
etteville, and that horseback riding would be more com- 
fortable than to be pitched about in a carriage. After some 
persuasion on his part, assisted by Cousin Susan, Cousin 
Maria consented for me to join the Doctor and Edward on 
their trip to Clarksville. 

The Doctor indicated the horse I was to ride, and after 
assigning a servant to wait upon me, we bid adieu to 
Cousin Maria and Cousin Susan and rode away in the bright 
moonlight, behind the Doctor and Col. Ringgold, followed by 
the rest of the party — "herders," dogs tied together in pairs, 
loose stock and negro camp hands. All moved together like 
a company of cavalry. Our pace at first was no faster than 
a walk for two or three miles, gradually was pressed into a 
"fox-trot," then into a gallop, which soon settled down to a 
long swinging stride of which the horses seemed never to 

Creeks, streams and hills passed in such rapid succes- 
sion that it put my head in a whirl, and the fatigue of the 
journey increased my desire for sleep, and my consciousness 
was only sustained by the cool night air. During the night 
we stopped twice to tighten up the girths of the saddles and 
to secure the packs on the horses, scarcely a word was 

316 Arkansas Historical Association 

spoken, and a shrill whistle from the Doctor was the signal 
and command to move forward. At daylight we turned off 
into a wood on the bank of a stream, unsaddled our horses 
and let them roll in the sand. Each horse was then tied to 
a tree and given a bundle of hay in a loose woven net sack 
made of heavy twine string, which they munched raven- 
ously. Our breakfast was soon ready. It consisted of 
"Johnny Cake," bacon and coffee sweetened with brown 
sugar and no milk. My bed was made near the root of a 
tree by my servant, who seemed to be amused at my fatigue, 
and having a basin of water and a tin cup of salt, offered to 
bathe my sore parts. While this was being done I saw the 
Doctor and Col. Ringgold amongst the horses, petting and 
caressing them, as the negroes fed them grain from canvas 
buckets. Edward and I were soon asleep. 

It was high noon when the howling and barking of the 
dogs awakened me, and as I sat up in my bed I saw two deer 
hanging from the boughs of a tree, with their entrails taken 
out, which each dog was awaiting a portion. On the ground 
were turkeys, squirrels and quail, and I observed each one 
was shot through the head. As I was examining them, the 
Doctor came up and said that Edward was bathing in a 
shady pool near by and asked me if I did not want to take 
a bath, at the same time handing to my servant a bottle and 
a large towel. The bottle contained whiskey, and my servant 
rubbed me all over with it. It proved most refreshing and 
I learned that morning the virtue of whiskey for bathing 
purposes, and never drank of it in after life. Edward and I 
lingered at the pool until the sun drove us away from it. 
When I complained of being sore and aching, he said, "Wait 
until tomorrow morning, Pa's going through to Clarksville 
tonight." I asked him how far it was, and he replied "about 
sixty-five miles." Then I asked, "What is he in such a hurry 
for?" He replied, "Because the boat will be at Morrison's 
Bluff tomorrow night, and Pa wants to see the horses the 
gamblers have on board." 

Returning to camp we found all asleep, and some of the 
horses lying down, excepting the cook, who was cutting up 
the venison into steaks, having cut up two turkeys for fry- 

Breaking Up Party of Gamblers 317 

ing in the Dutx^h oven, and prepared quail and squirrels for 
broiling. Edward and I laid down to rest and sleep. 

The servants awoke us for dinner, which was served 
on the ground, and the repast was all that we could wish, 
consisting of hot biscuits, coffee and all the game meat we 
could eat, deliciously prepared. 

We had rested twelve hours when the Doctor gave a 
shrill whistle — ^the camp was all bustle in a moment — pre^ 
paring for our departure. At the start we all moved to- 
gether and at a slow pace for more than an hour. Our road 
led along the course of the Little Red river and crossed it 
frequently. We came on to a bunch of black bear playing 
and bathing in the river. Their antics were most amusing 
and we stopped a few moments to watch them; then the 
Doctor took a rifle and shot a small bear, when the balance 
scampered away. A negro brought the bear to the roadside 
and I saw that it was shot through the head in such a man- 
ner that both eyes were torn out. It required only a few 
moments to disembowel the bear and place it on a pack- 

During the night we seldom spoke to one another, and 
our ride was about the same as the night before, although it 
was over a better road than the one we came down "Devil's 
Fork Creek." 

Before daylight we arrived at the farm of Col. J. Mad- 
den, three miles east of Clarksville, a brother-in-law of the 
Doctor, who gave us a most cordial welcome. Lamps were 
lighted and breakfast served just as day was breaking. 
After which we all retired to bed. 

About 10 o'clock Edward and I arose and found the 
Doctor, Col. Ringgold and Col. Madden talking in the hall. 
Col. Madden said, "If they are going to carry on always as 
they have two years past, we all might all well go to rais- 
ing mules, for we cannot sell a horse now for a quarter of 
what it is worth." Col. Ringgold asked, "How many are in 
the party?" And Col. Madden replied, "Five, and they 
just scoop everybody." Col. Ringgold asked their names. 
Col. Madden replied, "John Robinson, John Moro, Cameo 
Kirby, Tom Woolhite and Bill Mitchell. They are the worst 

318 Arkansas Historical Association 

set of thieves on earth — ^what they don't get by cards they 
get through the horses. At Arkansas Post last year they 
won two hundred bales of cotton from Mr. Dobyns and 
twenty niggers, and poor old Mr. Vamer lost his plantation 
and all his servants and is now a poor man. There are just 
lots of people they robbed out of one to ten thousand dollars 
each, to say nothing about the horses, mules and cattle they 
actually stole through their so-called horse races. If I was 
not certain that the horse John Robinson has is yours, I 
would never have written to you about him. Tyree Musette 
says he knows they are yours and that it is a shame to let 
those gamblers rob everybody as they do. I wrote to him one 
day last week before I did you, to come down here and 
help to break up these villains, but it's a rough road to 
Fayetteville and I guess he has to come slow.'* 

Mrs. Madden entered the hall at that moment and patted 
the Doctor affectionately on the head, saying, "Brother 
Jack I told everybody that I knew, if those were your horses, 
Sister Sarah and you knew nothing about it, and so soon as 
you found it out you would put a stop to John Robinson's 
wild horse race antics mighty quick. You would not tolerate 
your horses being used to plunder people for one minute — 
why, all our work in these twelve years since we left Ste. 
Genevieve county, Mo., has been thrown away, nothing 
made, and we can't get ahead a bit for John Robinson and 
his thieving gambler friends. I wish Moses Austin had 
stayed on this place and we in Ste. Genevieve county." The 
Doctor put his arm around his sister's waist and said, 
"Mary, if John Robinson has taken my horses, he will have 
to give them up and return to his wife, or he will return to 
his God." Mrs. Madden screamed "Brother Jack, don't kill 
him — ^just give him a ^ood thrashing." The Doctor said, 
"He needs more than that — ^he's neglecting his wife and 
children and he must go home or go somewhere else." "But 
Brother Jack, promise me you won't kill him, thrash him, 
horsewhip him, but don't kill him for Sister Sarah's sake. 
She would never get over it," said Mrs. Madden. The Doc- 
tor replied, "She would be better off if he were dead !" Mrs. 
Madden replied, "I don't care — but I don't want you to kill 

Breaking Up Party of Gamblers 319 

him," and she threw her arms around his neck and sat on his 
lap and began to cry, saying, "You shall never leave this 
house until you promise me you won't kill him." Then she 
said, "We sent for the sheriff from over the river and our 
own sheriff with his fighting men and our friends, the 
horses can be taken away from them, and all the gamblers 
arrested for vagrancy and placed in jail. If there is any 
killing necessary to do that — let the sheriffs do it!" The 
Doctor smiled and said, "You have an easy way of doing it, 
Mary." Col. Madden interposed, "No sheriff will ever ar- 
rest Tom Woolhite, Mary, he has killed many a man, and 
Bill Mitchell killed a sheriff at Helena last winter. John 
Moro is a Spaniard, and he will shoot any man in the back 
if he gets a chance. Cameo Kirby is young and the best of 
them all, but he will fight and he is a dead shot." Mrs. Mad- 
den broke in, "I don't care — ^but Brother Jack must not kill 
John Robinson. Helena is only a rendezvous for thieves, 
gamblers and murderers, and if they did kill a few down 
there I expect they needed it — ^but Brother Jack must not 
kill John Robinson, it will kill Sister Sarah!" And she 
threw herself on the sofa convulsed with grief and buried 
her tears in a sofa pillow. 

While we were eating dinner there was a loud "Hello" 
at the front gate. Col. Madden looked out of the window 
and said, "Tyree Musette and Jimmie — I knew they would 
get here !" In a few moments they were seated at the table 
with us, and it was evident they were tired from their long 
ride from Fayetteville. Young James Madden was about 
the age of Edward and myself, and the Doctor complimented 
him on his growth and height. Mr. Musette asked where 
Mr. Robert Smith was, and the Doctor said he was too much 
fatigued from his trip to Washington to come with us, and 
added that they were to meet Governor Yell in Fayetteville 
next week. Mr. Musette then said, "I hope so — Tom Wool- 
hite will fight and John Moro is a treacherous man ; we will 
have to look out for him. Mitchell is no coward and he has 
had many a duel and killed many a man, but I do not think 
it will be necessary to kill more than two or three of them. 
You see they have been robbing this country a long time and 

320 Arkansas Historical Association 

they know every respectable person in Arkansas is down on 
them. They are sharp and are wide-awake. We will have to 
be careful, Doctor !" Mrs. Madden interposed, "Mr. Musette, 
I want you and every one else to promise me you will not kill 
John Robinson, arrest him, whip him, but don't kill him." 

Mr. Musette replied, "It's a hard thing to whip John 
Robinson, Mrs. Madden, he is strong and heavy, and there 
are few men in this world who can whip him." "Brother 
Jack can whip him," said Mrs. Madden. "Yes, Madam," 
said Mr. Musette, "but he might shoot him." He won't 
try that — Brother Jack has done too much for him. No, John 
Robinson will run as soon as he sees Brother Jack — you 
mark my words, he will run, and Brother Jack must not 
shoot him. He knows he has done wrong and he knows who 
his friends are, and his conscience will hurt him and he will 
give up rather than be killed !" "Mrs. Madden, it's a desper- 
ate undertaking to stop John Robinson and his associates 
from their doings — they are iBushed with success at the ex- 
pense of every planter and stock grower in the Arkansas 
valley, but they must be broken up, hap what hap, I don't 
want to see any one killed, but you can only fight the Devil 
with fire, and the only way we can stop them from pilfering 
is to kill them — if we don't, they will kill us. Law — shucks ! 
They just laugh at the law and they care no more for a 
sheriff than for any other man. But I promise you I will 
not shoot John Robinson if he does not start to shoot at 
me, I have a wife and four children as well as he has!" 
"Thank you," said Mrs. Madden, "I mean that for all of 
them," said Mr. Musette. "I do not want to kill any one, 
and I feel as if I am somewhat to blame for selling that 
horse *John Belcher' to Cameo Kirby, he won a lot of prop- 
erty from Mr. Davis at Dardanelle with him last fall, and 
Mr. Davis could not afford to lose ; he has been struggling 
along for some time. I did not think the horse was any ac- 
count for racing. He is twelve years old. Doctor." "He was 
a good mile horse several years ago by Imp. Barefoot from 
Adriane," replied the Doctor. "Ever since Col. Nolan 
brought 'Volcano' into the country, I thought him the best 
horse," said Mr. Musette. "Yes," said the Doctor, "I think 

Breaking Up Party of Gamblers 321 

you did well to sell him." "But we have to have an out cross, 
Doctor," said Mr. Musette. "Certainly, if it be of the right 
sort," said the Doctor. Then Mr. Musette looked at Col. 

After dinner we all started for Clarksville, where we 
met Col. C. F. M. Nolan, who was talking to the sheriff as 
we rode into town. Col. Nolan told the Doctor that every- 
thing was ready, and we rode down Spadra Creek to the 
Arkansas river. We rode up the river a mile or more to a 
sand bank, where the Doctor ordered one of the "herders" to 
stand with the dogs, and the sheriff left two horsemen with 
the "herders" with orders to arrest or kill any one that 
might leave the boat and try to come ashore. We crossed the 
Arkansas river above Morrison's Bluff and took positions 
just above the steamboat landing. Shortly afterwards we 
heard the boat whistle down the river, and within an hour 
she was at the landing. 

The Doctor was the first to jump on board, he passed 
rapidly to the rear and soon came back, saluted the captain 
as he went upstairs, followed by Col. Ringgold and Col. Mad- 
den. He entered the cabin and firing began immediately. 
John Moro jumped from the deck to the bank and was met 
by the sheriff, the "herder" and the dogs. He surrendered 
his pistols to the sheriff. At the same time a man was seen 
swimming in the river trying to make the far shore. Cameo 
Kirby walked out on deck half dressed, and threatened Mr. 
Musette, who stood besire Col. C. F. M. Nolan, who com- 
manded him to surrender with a drawn pistol. At this 
moment the Doctor and Col. Ringgold came out of the cabin 
and saw John Robinson in the water swimming for dear 
life. The Doctor demanded the surrender of the boat, mani- 
fest, books, papers and cargo from Captain Yerzley, who 
was taken so much by surprise that neither he nor the mate 
had time to make a remonstrance or issue a command. In 
reply Capt. Yerzley said, "You seem to know what you are 
doing, gentlemen — resistance is useless. I am at your serv- 
ice and the boat at your command." 

At this moment some ladies began to shriek in the cabin, 
and the Doctor entered it. In a few moments he returned 

322 Arkansds Historical Association 

with the ladies walking before him, giving them every as- 
surance of protection. The ladies looked at Cameo Kirby 
with much surprise, who stood with folder arms. He and 
John Robinson were asleep in their state room when the 
Doctor and Col. Ringgold first entered the cabin. John 
Moro, Tom Woolhite, Bill Mitchell and Mr. David Simpson 
were playing cards at a table. The Doctor demanded their 
surrender, but as they started to draw their pistols, the 
Doctor fired and they returned the fire — five shots in all, 
with Mitchell and Woolhite dead. As their bodies were 
brought from the boat, I noticed that each was shot through 
the head. 

The Doctor demanded from the captain that all horses 
be removed from the boat and delivered to the sheriff. As 
the horses were being removed, Cameo Kirby claimed two 
as his property. The Doctor said, "You are a prisoner in 
the hands of the sheriff, on your release show your bill of 
sale to him." Cameo Kirby said, "Do you mean to dispute 
my word, sir?" "I mean to dispute the word of any man 
who has the comrades you have," said the Doctor. 

The horses being unloaded, the Doctor demanded that 
the cargo be unloaded on the bank and delivered to the 
sheriff on his receipt therefor. Capt. Yerzley replied, "Yes, 
sir! I was paid five thousand dollars for this trip from 
Helena to Fort Smith and was to be paid the freight back 
to Helena." The Doctor replied, "There will be no freight 
back to Helena this trip, and if you engage again for this sort 
of an expedition, your boat will be burned." 

The stevedores worked hard unloading the cotton, 
molasses, hemp, and common stock. The two dead men were 
buried without coffin, shroud or a minister. Then the Doc- 
tor called to Capt. Yerzley that he could back out and take 
his boat where he pleased. It was soon under way and 
headed down stream. 

It was late when we reached Clarksville. John Robin- 
son, John Moro and Cameo Kirby were in the jail. The 
sheriff asked them which they would prefer to do — leave the 
State or stand trial on a charge of vagrancy. They promised 
to leave the State. 

Breaking Up Party of Gamblers 323 

Mrs. Madden kissed the Doctor for not killing John 
Robinson, and took him away with her, promising to send 
him home to Sister Sarah in Ste. Genevieve county, Mo. 

The Doctor gave James Madden, Jr., Mr. Tyree Musette, 
Col. John Ringgold and Col. C. F. M. Nolan each a horse as 
a compliment for their assistance, and gave directions for 
two other horses taken from the boat, to have heavy shoes 
placed on them for mountain travel. 

We were about to retire at the house of Dr. Bennett, 
when a note was received from Cameo Kirby demanding 
satisfaction for the insult the Doctor had given him on the 
boat. The Doctor gave the note to Col. Ringgold, saying, 
"Arrange to meet him at sunrise on the Fayetteville road, 
where it crosses Horsehead Creek, near the old birch tree.'' 
This arrangement he made with John Moro, second for 
Cameo Kirby, and we retired to bed, but I could not sleep 
from apprehension and the day's excitement. I heard the 
Doctor snoring soundly in the next room. Dr. Bennett called 
us at 3 a. m. and the servants served us with coffee and 
biscuit before we rode away to the meeting place. 

Cameo Kirby and his party were on the ground when 
we arrived and it did not take long for Col. Ringgold and 
John Moro to select the ground and position. At the word 
"Fire" both pistols went off as one shot. Cameo Kirby turned 
to one side and dropped his pistol. Dr. Bennett reported a 
wound in the muscles of the right arm and that the bullet 
had grazed one of his ribs. Col. Ringgold asked John Moro 
if he demanded another shot, and he answei-ed, "No." 

The Doctor mounted his horse, and as he rode by said to 
Cameo Kirby that he would give him further satisfaction 
when his wound healed, if he demanded it. Pointing his 
finger at John Moro, he said, "You thieving, murderous 
skunk, you better get out of this State if you value your 
life!" Then he whistled, and our party rode on about ten 
miles to the farm of Mr. Linville, who was away from home 
on our arrival, but his wife gave us a fine dinner of fried 
chicken and fish caught in Mulberry river, five miles dis- 
tant. Here our party was joined by Mr. James Harrison, 
whom the Doctor talked with about organizing a company 

324 Arkansas Historical Association 

to work the iron mountain. The Doctor said that Mr. Mc- 
Ilvaine had died a year before and that Mr. Valle was dis- 
posed to make some concessions and he hoped a union of in- 
terests could be effected advantageous to all the owners of 
the property. That night we rode to Fayetteville, where we 
found Governor Yell and Cousin Maria. After listening to 
a recital by Col. Ringgold of our experiences and happen- 
ings, the Governor said, "It is the best thing that ever hap- 
pened for the State. The Helena gamblers have their back- 
bone broken now and they will scatter to other parts. Doc- 


tor, we all owe you a debt of gratitude, and I wish to thank 
you in the name of the people of Arkansas, and for myself. 
You have labored for twenty years to give us good horses, 
and now this act of yours will give us better citizens." 

I heard that John Moro and Cameo Kirby went to 
Mississippi, where they quarreled. Moro shot Kirby in the 
back. After his recovery Kirby fought Moro a duel and 
killed him. 

John Robinson returned to his family at Ste. Genevieve 
county. Mo., and for a few years remained at home, but he 
returned to his old habits, and the Doctor, unable to persuade 
his sister to leave him, outfitted them for a trip to Cali- 
fornia in 1849, where Robinson died. 

I also heard that the sheriff advertised the money and 
cargo taken from the boat, for thirty days, and disbursed 
it amongst the rightful claimants. The remainder went into 
the county "Fund for the poor." 

The Doctor remained a day with Governor Yell, and I 
learned much of his past life, received useful information 
which was valuable to me in after life. He left Fayetteville 
saying he was going to Neosho to see Mr. Cravens, to New- 
tonia to see Nathan Boone, to Springfield to see John S. 
Phelps and to Salem to see William Linville, before return- 
ing to Potosi. 

When a man is born with a profound moral sentiment, 
preferring truth, justice, and the serving of his country to 
any honors or any gain, men readily feel his superiority. 
They who deal with him are elevated with joy and hope; he 
lights up every circle in which he stands. In his presence, or 


Breaking Up Party of Gamblers 325 

within his influence, every one believes in the omnipotence 
of his efforts and follows his instructions with implicitness, 
almost bordering on credulity. It happens now and then 
that a soul is bom that has no weakness of self — ^which 
offers no impediment to the Divine Spirit — ^which comes 
down into nature as if only for the benefit of -others, and 
all its thoughts are perceptions of things as they are, with- 
out any infirmity of earth. Such souls are the apparitions 
of Gods amongst men, and simply by their presence pass 
judgment on them. Men are forced by their own self-respect 
to give them certain attention. Evil men shrink and pay 
involuntary homage by hiding or apologizing for their 
action, when under the scrutiny of that glance, which flashes 
from beneath the awful brows of genius. 

The Doctor was one of these men, and united to a firm 
and incorruptible nature, his hatred of everything mean, 
his unyielding enthusiasm and confidence, his reckless dis- 
regard of danger, his passion for incessant fighting for the 
right, were all the physical and intellectual qualities which 
make a great leader of men. A trait on which he constantly 
relied was intuition, an almost infallible divination of an op- 
ponent's design, and a rare analysis which enabled him to 
ascertain the purpose and unravel deeds, as if he held a 
printed programme in his hand. 

His physical endowments were greater still. Imbued 
with a wonderful nerve energy, bold, reckless, self-reliant, 
but with a marvelous good nature, his face indicated quick- 
ness, impulsive daring, wiry alertness, and great bodily 
endurance. And with all generosity, kindness and inherent 
honesty. He was a man such as I have never seen since. 
Cousin Maria summed him up after he left, when she said : 
"Dr. Bryan knows how to do things, when to do them, and 
then does them," and of this I had ample evidence. 



(By Dallas T. Herndon.) 

This narrative is a free translation of an old faded 
manuscript recovered some years ago from a lot of papers 
thrown out of the governor's office in the old State House. 
It is written in correct French, but was evidently done with 
a goose quill on flimsy paper, so that much of it is barely 

It is dated January 1, 1826, and has every appearance 
of having been written during the journey of the Indians 
from the vicinity of Little Rock to some point south of Red 
river, or it may have been written from notes made along 
the way at the end of the journey. 

The Ituthor, perhaps a person appointed by the Gov- 
ernor of Arkansas Territory or the President of the United 
States to escort the Indians to the reservation given them in 
Louisiana, does not sign his name. He does record the fact 
that the account was written as a report to the Governor. 

It is a well-known fact that the Quapaws were removed 
from Arkansas to a tract of land south of the Red river in 
Louisiana about this date, 1825 or 1826, and that they came 
back to Arkansas not many months later because of the 
sickly climate and the hostility of the Caddo Indians. It is 
very likely that the dates and the account here given of 
their journey are correct. The account follows : 

The Frenchman's Report. 

"On leaving the village of Lord Sarrasin I joined the 
Chief Hekatton at Waditteska Wattishka, in other words 
the Bayou of Black Clay. It was there that the beautiful 
daughter of the Chief Hekatton was delivered of a daugh- 
ter. It was necessary that the chief remain there all that 
day of the 15th in order that a little strength might be re- 
covered by this remarkable person, for the accouchment 
had been very terrible. For three days she was in labor, 

When the Quapaws Went to Red River 327 

and if the great doctor of the nation had not been found 
there they would have thought that nothing ailed her. This 
is a manner in which the disease was treated by the said 
trustworthy doctor, for I was present when he offered his 

''The doctor, with an eagle's feather in his hand, seated 
near the patient, began immediately to hum a song very 
softly, at the same time he stroked with a feather the stom- 
ach of the woman. In this manner she was instantly deliv- 
ered (it is necessary to believe it thus). So they ask our 
great doctors of the Little Rock if their music is of the same 

"On the 15th I was within six miles of the Bayou of 
the Saline, where I met a company of fifty savages, who 
assembled about my fire in the evening. They wished to 
know of me whether Sarrasin was yet on the way and why 
he delayed, etc. 

"The 16th I met with another troop of savages as 
strong as that of the 15th, which we had journeyed with. 
The latter place was ten miles further on from the Bayou 
de Saline (the savages called this little river Wattishka 
Jinka). The evening of the 16th each watch his fire be- 
cause of the excessive cold. 

"The 17th the savages had been to the chase ; my inter- 
preter and I had been eight miles further on to a place 
which the savages called Jasta Waditta. 

I "The 18th it rained. 

I "The 19th the Chief Tomojinka was ill, which required 

him to ride a horse on the march ; all the doctors, sorcerers 
and physicians of the nation had been called together for 
the cure of this respectable good-for-nothing. They used 
songs and music about the prince, but Providence made the 
cure in a few days. 

"The evening of the 19th Sarrasin returned to us, while 
many braves in the party surrounded my fire. In the con- 
versation with Sarrasin many questions were asked him 
about the terms of the treaty. 

"The 22d we spent on the march. 

328 Arkansas Historical Association 

"The 23d we came to the Bayou of the Marshes. That 
is where a great many beavers were seen. The snow kept us 
there for two days. They had consecrated these two days 
to the chase and they had not been unlucky. 

"These poor savages suffered great misery on their 
journey (I am speaking of the old men and old women and 
also of the little children). Almost all the long evenings, 
however, beautiful weather prevailed, and they danced 
around my fire, which lasted until the morning. In all their 
journeys these poor savages showed much contentment. 

"The surroundings of these bayous and little rivers of 
which I have spoken already are charming. The earth is 
also good. The vines grow luxuriously here on the hills 
and mountains which are near. To have good vineyards 
it is only necessary to plant them and then let them alone ; 
after a little there will come wine flowing in abundance. 

"The picture of the journey would have been curious if 
it had been painted with a good brush, but my best is very 
feeble. Nevertheless, I am going to try to give one an idea 
just as I traveled. 

"Picture to yourself first a mass of persons without any 
order carrying with them all sorts of things without value, 
little articles for the human race, but very precious to them, 
they say. I have noticed in this little nation three or four 
kinds of faith in God. There are those who worship the 
eagle, others a spirit of war which the ancients had left to 
them as a thing very sacred. Still others worshiped the 
pipe in the emblem of an eagle, which they called the pipe 
of peace. 

"Speaking a little of the manner of their march, one 
could see a party of women, as they marched, carrying on 
their backs, besides the cooking utensils, a child and other 
things. Some on horses carried kneading troughs, others 
riding astride held in their arms mangy dogs. Some rode 
little ponies, etc. When they camped I placed myself as near 
the centre as possible in order to satisfy my curiosity. To 
be in the center of that company would have been disre- 
spectful and impudent. * * * Necessity was the only guide of 
all ; order and peace filled all our camp. 

When the Quapaws Went to Red River 329 

''Many times I laughed and at others I was all aston- 
ishment, but nothing could surprise the unhappy Quapaws. 
If when they returned from the chase they found a piece of 
cooked meat, they gratified their appetite, and, their stom- 
ach well filled, sleep caused all their cares to disappear. 

''Cleanliness was rare in their camp. Imagine three to 
four hundred dogs; they were not provided for, as you 
might know, with the best of food. They certainly did not 
fail to eat with a great smacking, devouring all they found. 
Filth was everywhere. After the savages had thrown food 
to the ground, the dogs ate, licked their chops and licked 
basins and tin plates. They drank and returned again to 
the agreeable smell of the refuse which had stuck to the end 
of their noses, and to their lips. Judge of the rest, for this is 
not a weak sample. Let us Ifere leave this filth and speak a 
little more of great Sarrasin, 

The Chief and His God. 

"Before his departure Sarrasin had set up * * * his God, 
a little image six inches long, in the earth, and here is the 
language that he offered to him in the presence of his chil- 
dren : 'My God, thou art also the God of our father, as we 
have been taught to believe. For it is He who speaks to us. 
He has told us also to abandon this country, and we are go- 
ing to that which our friends have given us. I hope thou 
will follow us and be favorable to us in that new land, as 
thou hast been in that which we are leaving.' Hekatton 
spoke a few words in the same manner. 

"In traveling I have noticed this in the person of the 
Lord Sarrasin. He carried his God with much care, but he 
was much more careful of the seven hundred dollars which 
he carried with him. 'For,' said he, 'thieves will not attempt 
to steal my God, but I know well that if I do not watch my 
money they will surely carry it off.' And he never lay 
down until he had it in a safe hiding place. 

"From the 27th until the 4th of February the savages 
spent their time in the chase and in finding several men who 
had gone astray on account of the dense mist which lasted 
four days. It was there that I went in advance with Joseph 

330 Arkansas Historical Association 

Bonne, and we waited for the others at Washittaw (Ouach- 
ita) . They had arrived there on the 5th of February. There 
Chief Hekatton rejoined us with all his children. It was 
in the evening that the savages again assembled themselves 
around my campfire. This was where Chief Hekatton told 
us he had lost three of his horses, and that he believes that 
the Chattaws (Choctaws), whom they had met with some 
days before, had stolen them from him. 

"On arriving at the little Bayou of the Bear I had ar- 
ranged to make the fire near a large cypress. In the night 
there had fallen a little rain. It was found that at the foot 
of this cypress a bear had strayed with her little ones, and 
the rain which had fallen in the night led us to discover her. 
She had been obliged to run and seek cover in a way which 
we heard very distinctly. The next morning we set our- 
selves to cut the tree, and when it fell, the great noise which 
the tree made upon the earth frightened this poor animal a 
little. The terrible animal and the two little ones, which 
were no larger than rats, were overpowered to our great 
joy. It was along this bayou that the savages had killed 
many bears. 

A Great Indian Sorcerer. 

"On the Washittaw we lost a woman. It was there also 
that I saw a great sorcerer, who did all he could to save the 
woman. But his medicine and his incantations were use- 
less. Instead of being helpful to her diseases, they rather 
aided her death. After the death of the woman, it was nec- 
essary to remain there four days, for the husband was 
obliged to stay there to kill deer and get food for his wife. 
This is the custom of the savages, for they put food at the 
head of the dead who are buried, and other savages eat it. 
It was thus that they fed her. 

"We had started on the 8th to Washittaw, and we found 
ourselves the same day at the bayou which the savages call 
Ny Wassa Jinka, that is to say, the Little Bayou of the 
Bear. The rain detained us there two days. It was there 
that I took the lead with Joseph Bonne and we found our- 
selves on the Red river the 13th. On leaving the said bayou 

When the Quapaws Went to Red River 331 

we crossed a plain, superbly surrounded, ten miles long. If 
the earth had been a little richer, this piece of land would 
have been of great value, but it was a little too sandy. From 
there almost to the Red river, in the direction of the place 
where we had crossed, the ground appeared to be very sandy 
and not worth much. It was only on the bayous and creeks 
that one was able to find any fertile land. 

Fear op the Caddo Indians. 

"The savages did not start on until the 1st of March, 
and they had remained a long time upon the Red river with- 
out daring to cross it for fear that the Cadeaus would 
not grant to them the land which they had promised them 
last August. The Chattaws and other nations roaming in 
that country had made known to them that the chief Cadeau 
was going to dispute the treaty. If I had not forced them to 
go take possession of their place they would have remained 
on this side of the Red river. * * * 

"I have given information of almost all that passed at 
the time of the journey of the Quapaws to the land of the 
Cadeaux. I am also going to be content with saying only 

A Rap at Captain Gray. 

"The Quapaws were already prepared to put them- 
selves in accord with Captain Gray, and with the Cadeaux 
to form only one nation. If I have been a little tedious, my 
project, I believe, is to render a good deed to the govern- 
ment. The accusation that Captain Gray made to the sav- 
ages, if he had given me the insult openly, had put the Qua- 
paws beyond reconciliation. Of the atrocity on the part of 
this terrible tyrant it was my duty to wholly acquit myself. 
Nevertheless, I believe myself still capable of such an action 
(acquitting myself) if the despotic power of that fellow 
Gray had caused him to be reduced to the rank of a private 

"I have written all this in order to satisfy slightly the 
curiosity of Monsieur the Governor, and to give him a com- 
plete idea of the journey of the Quapaws." 


(By Gen. N. B. Pearce.) 

Writing solely from memory now in 1892 of occur- 
rences in 1861, I may not remember accurately — many 
things will have been forgotten and matters that others 
might remember with clearness and be considered of great- 
est moment may not have impressed me then so positively 
and time may have obliterated nearly every trace — only such 
facts, as of my knowledge or based on what I then and now 
consider reliable sources, will it be my object to mention in 
my narrative of those stirring times when men's passions 
were running riot over the land, and only passion ruled. 

The question of secession was not a popular one in Ark- 
ansas, where I was at the time. The people loved the Union. 
They read Washington's farewell address and prayed that 
his utterances might be heeded; that Civil War might be 
averted. So the people of Arkansas by a large majority 
refused to secede. And but for the unfortunate call of Mr. 
Lincoln for 75,000 men, such action would not have been 
had then. We had hopes that the border States convention, 
led by My. Crittenden of Kentucky, would command the at- 
tention of fanatics North and South and that their efforts 
would prevent the fratricidal war that was so imminent. 
But alas, that call for 75,000 men, of which the South was 
required to furnish her quota, came, and the result was 

The day on which it was received at Benton ville (my 
county town) the Union party were having a grand speak- 
ing at the courthouse. The Hon. Bob Johnson, United 
States Senator, was there to deliver a secession speech to 
his old Democratic constituents. The feeling was so violent 
against secession that he was hissed and hooted down. I 
took the stand and appealed to the assembly to hear what 
the honorable Senator had to say with courtesy; give him 
the respect and consideration due his position, and, when 

price's Campaign of 1861 333 

done, we had speakers to reply. He was heard patiently 
though not applaudingly, and when done our gallant Union 
orator, the Hon. Hugh F. Thomason, made a most excellent 
and acceptable response, judging from the uproarous ap- 
plause, with which he was continually greeted during his 
address. We were all in a glorious, good-natured mood, all 

The stage drove into town and the driver threw out 
some of the handbills containing the printed proclamation 
calling for 75,000 men. The effect was wonderful. All was 
changed in a moment. What! call on the Southern people 
to shoot down their neighbors; help those from whom we 
had for years only received injury and wrong ! No, never ! 
That grand and glorious old Union man, Judge David 
Walker, at the solicitation of all the leading men of the 
State, reconvened the convention to meet in Little Rock on 
the 6th of May. Our ordinance of secession was passed on 
that day, showing the universality of the change produced 
by that call for 75,000 men by Mr. Lincoln. Only one vote is 
recorded against that ordinance. Honest old Governor Mur- 
phy! I can see him now, as he rises in his place and hear 
him say, "I told my constituents that I would suffer my right 
arm severed before I would ever sign an ordinance of seces- 
sion and I will not. But I am a Southern man, and will go 
as far as the most determined secessionist in behalf of the 
South." And he did remain in the convention until its ad- 
journment. He voted for the resolution creating an army 
for the State, in which myself, with others, were given com- 
mands. He introduced the ordinance which was passed re- 
quiring me "to use the men, means and munitions of war to 
defend Arkansas against the approach of any enemy daring 
to violate her sacred soil." Acting under that ordinance 
(the convention was the source of all power then in the 
State) I proceeded to organize, equip, drill and lead to battle 
the brave and gallant first division of the army of Arkansas. 
History has made Governor Murphy famous as the one man 
who had the nerve to vote against secession, and conse- 
quently a patriot. While we, who obeyed the orders pro- 
mulgated by the convention, at his instance, are classed by 

334 Arkansas Historical Association 

certain writers as — ^no, I am not. I hurl back the foul epi- 
thet with contempt. We of the South were not traitors. 

The convention having passed the ordinance of se- 
cession, the Rubicon was passed, and having bum^ our 
ships we must prepare to meet the consequences. Troops 
were called for, and the call responded to with a prompt- 
ness and alacrity clearly convincing the most skeptical of 
the earnestness and enthusiasm that pervaded the whole 
people. Companies were rapidly formed, regiments or- 
ganized, camps of instructions established. Only war was 
thought of or talked of. Nor was the enthusiasm alone 
among the men. Our lovely women were as earnest and 
patriotic as any of the sterner sex, and, by their devotion 
and example, stimulated to exertion their dear ones — 
fathers, husbands, lovers and brothers. And when they 
had sent them off to the field, then by their efforts were 
they clothed and fed and nursed in sickness, and encour- 
aged to efforts of greater daring in defense of the land we 
all love so well. Can such conduct be called by any other 
name than patriotism? Our whole South was full of pa- 

A camp of instruction and organization was estab- 
lished in the northwest comer of the State, Camp Walker. 
There was organized the troops as they arrived : 

The Third Arkansas Regiment of infantry; Col. John 
R. Gratiot, Lieut. Col. D. Province and Major Ward. 

The Fourth Arkansas infantry; Col. David Walker, 
Lieut. Col. T, M. Gunter and Major Sam W. Peel. 

The Fifth Arkansas infantry ; Col. T. P. Dockery, Lieut. 
Col. Neill. 

First Regiment of Arkansas Cavalry; Col. De Rosey 
Carroll, Lieut, Col. Berry and Major Sam W. Pell. 

The Little Rock Battery of Artillery, Capt. W. E. Wood- 

The Fort Smith Battery of Artillery, Capt. James Reed. 

Which constituted the first division of the army of Ark- 
ansas and was under the command of Brig. Gen. N. B. 

Price's Campaign of 1861 335 

The famous Indian fighter from Texas, the brave and 
gallant Ben McCuUoch, had been commissioned a brigadier 
general by the president of the Confederate States and or- 
dered to Arkansas to raise and organize his army. He also 
established his headquarters at Camp Walker, and soon had 
organized the following regiments, composing his command : 

First Regiment Arkansas Mounted Rifles; Col. T. J, 
Churchill, Lieut. Col. Matlock and Major Harper. 

The Texas Cavalry Regiment, commanded by Col. E. 
Greer, Lieut. Col. Lane and Major Chilton. 

The Second Arkansas Cavalry Regiment, commanded 
by Col. James Mcintosh (who was also the efficient chief of 
staff to General McCulloch) ; Lieut. Col. Embree. 

The Arkansas Battalion of Col. Dandridge McRae. 

The Third Louisiana Regiment of infantry, com- 
manded by Col. Louis Hebert, Lieut. Col. Haynes and Major 

Affairs in Missouri, after the surrender of Camp Jack- 
son, had assumed a warlike nature. Major General Ster- 
ling Price had been made commander of the Missouri State 
Guards by Gov. Claibom Jackson, and the following named 
officers had been assigned to certain military districts of 
the State with the rank of brigadiers general: James S. 
Rains, W. M. Parsons, James McBride, John B. Clark, Sr., 
and W. Y. Slack, and authorized to raise troops in their re- 
spective districts for the State Guards. 

After the affair at Booneville, the State Guard, under 
Colonel Marmaduke, accompanied by Governor Jackson, re- 
treated towards the southwestern part of the State to join 
General Price and General Rains. General Seigel, com- 
manding a body of Federal troops, attempted to intercept 
their march, and near Carthage a sharp fight took place, 
Seigel soon retreating. In fact, his whole fight was a re- 
treat. He successfully effected his escape, after consider- 
able loss, and moved towards Springfield. This was the 
first engagement of the war in the Southwest, and the re- 
sult was to influence the minds of the people and determine 
them to join the army. War was inevitable. And many 
who had heretofore remained out of the service could not 

336 Arkansas Historical Association 

stand to see their neighbors shot down by Seigel's Dutch^ 
and the result was a very great increase of the army under 
General Price. 

Generals McCuUoch and Pearce with a portion of their 
respective commands had, at the request of General Price, 
advanced into Missouri for the purpose of enabling Gov- 
ernor Jackson and General Price to organize the State 
Guard, and had arrived at Neosho, Mo., the day of the Car- 
thage fight. Colonel Mcintosh of McCuUoch's staff, with a 
squadron of cavalry, captured a company of Seigel's Dutch 
in Neosho, having completely surprised and captured them 
without firing a gun. Here we captured several wagons be- 
longing to Seigel's command, containing an abundant sup- 
ply of commissary stores, which we freely distributed and 
generously consumed by the young soldiers of the Confed- 
eracy. Having marched most of the night and all the day 
before, they had emptied their haversacks of rations. They 
rejoiced over their first capture. 

Seigel having been driven back to Springfield, the com- 
mands of McCulloch and Pearce returned to Camp Walker, 
in Benton county, Arkansas, and General Price established 
his headquarters on Cowskin Prairie in McDonald county, 
Missouri, in the southwest comer of the State, and then pro- 
ceeded to organize the Missouri State Guard. A finer body 
of men were never collected together, mostly young or 
middle-aged men. Smarting under the insults heaped on 
them by the Federal element in the State, they had left 
home, wealth and comfort to join "Old Pap" Price, to assist 
him to drive out the invaders of their State and the despoil- 
ers of their homes, and, unfortunately, truth commands me 
to say, murderers of their beloved and innocent ones at 
home. These men now demanded to be armed and led 
against the enemy. To the Missourians the question of 
arms was a serious one. He who possessed a double-barrel 
shotgun was a happy soul. A Colt's revolver was a prize 
indeed. And many could only bring a squirrel rifle, but he 
knew how to use it effectively. 

Col. B. F. Walker had raised as fine a regiment of cav- 
alry as was in the State, but could get no arms. At the re- 

Price's Campaign of 1861 337 

quest of General Price, General Pearce loaned Missouri 
1,000 flintlock army muskets with bayonets. Well do I re- 
member what a remarkable appearance this splendid body 
of men made in the bright moonlight as they marched away 
from Camp Walker armed with this unusual cavalry 
weapon, to join General Price. And more forcibly do I re- 
member the telling effect these same men and muskets made 
subsequently on the battlefield. 

The country was full of wild rumors of the advance of 
Federal troops from St. Louis to Springfield, and soon it 
was learned that Captain Lyon, made notorious by the con- 
duct of affairs at St. Louis and the Camp Jackson surrender, 
now came as conmianding general of the Federal forces in 
Southwest Missouri. General Lyon was a graduate of West 
Point and had served several years in the United States 
army and held the rank of captain at the beginning of the 
war. He was a bitter black Republican, and hater of South- 
em institutions, in fact, fanatical as regard to slavery, but 
he was a man of marked military ability and of indomitable 
perseverance and courage, in full sympathy with the most 
advanced abolitionists, and no doubt had he survived the 
defeat at Oak Hills (Wilson's Creek) would have been pro- 
moted to the command of the western armies of the United 

About the 20th of July, 1861, a consultation was held 
between Generals McCulloch, Price and Pearce, which re- 
sulted in an agreement to march on Springfield and give 
battle to General Lyon. General McCulloch did this reluc- 
tantly, not that he did not want to fight, for then he was in 
his glory, but President Davis was very scrupulous in his 
States' right ideas, and Missouri had not passed an ordi- 
nance of secession ; had not been admitted into the Confed- 
eracy, and until she asked Southern aid, Mr. Davis hesi- 
tated about invading her territory with Southern troops. 
General McCulloch had kept the President informed of tihe 
situation and was daily expecting orders that would justify 
his moving his army into Missouri. The Missourians were 
clamorous and fretful at the delay. They wanted to drive 
the vandals from their homes, which they had been forced to 

338 Arkansas Historical Association 

abandon. Believing that the President would approve his 
course, on becoming informed of the true situation, Gen- 
eral McCuUoch assented to General Price's request to make 
the advance into Missouri. General Pearce did not hesitate 
to acquiesce in the movement. By an ordinance of the State 
convention, "directing him to defend the State against any 
enemy/' he decided that the best defense he could give the 
State was to fight her enemies as far away from her soil as 
possible, so decided to join Generals McCulloch and Price in 
the movement against General Lyon. The three commands 
were to rendezvous at Cassville, Barry county, Missouri, 
which was effected on the 29th of July. 

I wish here to state a fact which I know of my own per- 
sonal knowledge in regard to how General McCulloch be- 
came the commander of the entire force. After having 
gone into camp at Cassville, on the afternoon of that day, I 
went to General Price's tent and told him the object of my 
visit was to come to some definite understanding as to the 
rank and command of the combined forces ; that as we were 
near the enemy and likely to meet him at any moment, I was 
not satisfied to have so many separate and independent com; 
manders ; that I would willingly serve under either General 
Price or General McCulloch, but wanted a head to the army, 
but that I did not claim any precedence for myself. Gen- 
eral Price said that he was in entire accord with my views, 
and rising, said, "Let's go to see General McCulloch." With- 
out further mention of the subject, we repaired to General 
McCuUoch's headquarters near by, and General Price, ad- 
dressing General McCulloch in his dignified and courteous 
manner, informed him of what I had said, and then volun- 
tarily, before McCulloch replied, proffered in his own name 
and mine to serve under General McCulloch, stating that 
although his commission was higher than General McCul- 
loch's, being major general, yet, in compliment to the Con- 
federate States, and desirous only of how he could best serve 
Missouri, he willingly waived his rank and placed himself 
and command uiider the Confederate commander. General 
McCulloch knew nothing of any such idea until we entered 
his tent. He agreed that it was important to success that 


Price's Campaign of 1861 339 

the army have a head, and, thanking General Price and my- 
self, accepted the offer in the same kind and earnest manner 
in which it had been tendered him. This is the plain truth 
as to the manner General McCulloch became the general in 
command of all the troops. 

Under the foregoing agreement, General McCulloch 
issued an order assuming conmiand of the entire army. In 
that order the command was formed into three divisions. 
The first division was commanded by Brig. Gen. Rains of 
Missouri. The second division was commanded by Brig, 
Gen. N. B. Pearce of Arkansas and the third division by 
Maj. Gen. Price of Missouri. Each division was made up 
of troops as named in the order issued by General McCul- 
loch, without reference to their former commanders (not 
having the order before me, I can't name the separate regi- 
ments constituting each division). And in the order named 
the march began towards Springfield on the 30th of August. 

As there were a great many refugees from their homes 
in Missouri, having been forced to leave or be imprisoned, 
as was the case with many at Springfield when the Federal 
troops took possession of that city, the order of General Mc- 
Culloch required that this large body of unarmed men and 
camp followers remain one day's march in rear of the army. 
And although ahead of my narrative, I will here state that 
as the command camped some four days on Wilson's creek, 
and as General Rains' command was mostly from Southwest 
Missouri, many of these camp followers had friends in his 
camp. They disobeyed the order to remain one day's march 
behind the army and had gone into camp along the creek, 
near where General Rains' division was encamped, and when 
the Federal troops began the attack on our left, there was a 
stampede of this unarmed body of men that was fearful and 
at one time threatened to be serious, as was the case with 
Col. McRae's battalion, which was literally run over by this 
rabble trying to get out of the way (of harm) that 
those who wished might have an opportunity to fight. It 
was estimated that there was no less than three to five 
thousand men in this unarmed body accompanying the army. 
When these were out of the way, the numerical strength of 

340 Arkansas Historical Association 

General McCuUoch's command was very naturally dimin- 
ished. Want of arms, not fear, caused this mad rush to the 

At Cane Creek, some thirty miles from Springfield, the 
army camped for two days. General Rains with a portion 
of his command, on the 2d of August^ had reached Dug 
Spring, where he encountered the advance guard of Lyon's 
army, consisting of some United States regulars, and the 
result was a sprightly skirmish for a short time, as Rains 
was always ready for a brush. The Federals lost about 
half a dozen killed and some thirty wounded. When they 
fell back towards Springfield, Rains lost Lieutenant Full- 
bright from sunstroke and several men slightly wounded, 
and a few prisoners. It was ascertained that General 
Lyon's whole army was advancing to meet us, but this skir- 
mish decided them to return to Springfield. 

General McCuUoch moved on to Moody's spring and 
encamped. Next day the army moved on as far as Wilson's 
Creek, where it encamped from the 6th to the 10th of Au- 
gust. General McCuUoch was vainly endeavoring, by send- 
ing out scouts and spies, to learn something of the condition 
and position of Lyon's army. General Price and the Mis- 
sourians were urging an immediate advance, but General 
McCuUoch insisted that it was impossible to do so without 
having some definite information as to General Lyon's 
strength and position. This state of affairs lasted the 7th, 
8th and 9th, until about 3 p. m. of the latter date a couple 
of ladies, in a buggy, drove into General Price's camp, from 
Springfield, having obtained a pass through the Federal 
lines, and then by making a detour by Pond Springs, suc- 
ceeded in evading the Federal pickets and entering the Con- 
federate camp. These ladies informed General Price of the 
position of General Lyon's troops, about their numbers and 
also the pieces of artillery. In fact, gave the information 
for which General McCuUoch had been so anxiously wait- 
ing at Wilson's Creek. A council of war was immediately 
called by General McCuUoch, and General Price, having 
made known the facts stated above, it was decided to make 
an advance on General Lyon at 9 p. m. The necessary or- 

Price's Campaign of 1861 341 


ders for the inarch were issued by General McCulloch, and 
immediately every preparation for the movement made. 
The entire camp became suddenly a scene of commotion, 
the anxiously wished for opportunity to meet the invaders of 
our beloved country was soon to be had. The several com- 
manders of divisions, brigadiers and regiments busied them- 
selves in superintending the preparations necessary to in- 
sure the prompt advance of their respective commands at 
the appointed time. And as one of the most fatal obstacles 
to be surmounted was the scarcity of ammunition, many a 
pair of bullet moulds was brought into requisition, and 
groups of earnest and anxious men were to be seen all over 
the camp moulding bullets and making cartridges. 

During the time the army encamped on Wilson's Creek, 
Colonel Weightman of Missouri and myself made a careful 
reconnoissance of the grounds around the camp, especially 
to the east and southeast, thereby obtaining a ver^ general 
idea of the character of the topography of the immediate 
vicinity. General McCulloch had also made several excur- 
sions in the immediate neighborhood, and had on more than 
one occasion tried the effect of his brush loading rifle on 
the advance pickets of the enemy, much to their discomfiture 
and greatly to his amusement. 

The afternoon of the 9th of August, as stated, was de- 
devoted to making preparations for the advance on Lyon, or- 
dered for 9 o'clock p. m. Shortly before that time it had 
begun to rain, and as much of the ammunition was carried 
in canvas bags or haversacks, there was great danger that 
the powder and cartridges would be ruined by the rain, and 
instead of the order to march at 9 o'clock, orders were is- 
sued by General McCulloch to "rest on our arms" and re- 
main until further orders. The rain continued and there 
came no orders for the march, and the troops slept on their 
arms. Then occurred one of those unfortunate circum- 
stances that but for the heroic bravery of the Southern 
troops, might have resulted disastrously. When the order 
to march at 9 o'clock, on the night of the 9th was issued, 
the pickets, which the cavalry commands had out, by Gen- 
eral Rains on the north and by Colonel Churchill on the 

342 Arkansas Historical Association 

south and east, were withdrawn, by whose order I am un- 
able to state, and when the order dela3ring the movement 
"until further orders" was given, these pickets were not 
sent out, as it was expected the command would move at 
any moment. 

Owing to the fact that most of the men of the com- 
mand were in citizen's clothing, many companies having no 
uniforms, made it possible for spies to enter the camp, defy- 
ing detection. They lived in the country and some were 
Union in sentiment, and such were utilized by the Federals 
to get information of the movements and intentions of Gen- 
eral McCulloch and his command, and it is stated that within 
three hours from the time the order was issued for the ad- 
vance on General Lyon, that he had been notified of it. 

It is stated that General Lyon, having knowledge of the 
contemplated attack to be made on Springfield that night, 
made his disposition to surprise and attack the Southern 
army on its night march to Springfield. Before doing so, 
however, it is said that a council was held, at which General 
Lyon and a majority of those present favored the evacua- 
tion of Springfield and retreating on Nalla, or Fort Scott. 
Gen. Thomas Sweeny, a one-armed soldier of the Mexican 
war, who had been commissioned a lieutenant in the regular 
United States army, and then holding the rank of brigadier 
general in the Union St. Louis Home Guards, was so earnest 
in his opposition to the proposal to retreat, that he finally 
prevailed. The contemplated retreat was abandoned and 
General Lyon issued the orders for the movement to surprise 
and attack McCulloch on the march to Springfield. 

The plan of attack seems to have been for General 
Lyon, with three companies of United States regular infan- 
try, under Captain Plummer, Gilbert and Hoston, all under 
Captain Plummer, a portion of Missouri volunteers under 
Major Asterhaus, B troops, U. S. cavalry, under Lieutenant 
Canefield, some Kansas mounted volunteers and Captain 
Latton's battery of six pieces light artillery, U. S. A., with 
Major Sturgis, U. S. cavalry, as chief in command. Next 
came Blair's regiment Missouri volunteers and some regular 
army infantry under Capt. Fred Steele, U. S. A., some irreg- 

Price's Campaign of 1861 343 

ular troops and Dubois* battery of four pieces. With Gen- 
eral Sweeny brining up the rear with the First and Second 
Kansas volunteers, the latter under Colonel Mitchell, the 
First Iowa infantry and some Missouri militia, constituted 
the portion of the Union army which moved to the right or 
on the north line of march and along the Mount Vernon road 
and was under the immediate command of Gen. Nathaniel 
Lyon/U. S. A. 

The southern line of march was under conmfiand of Gen. 
Franz Seigel. Under him was the Missouri volunteers 
(Seigel's regiment), a portion of Colonel Soloman's regi- 
ment, some regular United States cavalry under Captain 
Curr, U. S. A., and a battery of six pieces of artillery. His 
advance was mainly west and south along the "wire" road 
leading to Fayetteville, Ark., and continuing on until about 
daylight on Saturday, August 10, 1861, he turned the Con- 
federate right. There being no pickets for him to drive in, 
he planted his artillery on the hills commanding the valley, 
where the Confederate cavalry was encamped, and opened 
fire on Colonel Churchill's regiment in camp. 

The first intimation we had of the approach of the en- 
emy was from Sergeant Hite of Captain Carroll's company, 
General Pearce's bodyguard, who had gone early to a spring 
for some water and was challenged by the Federal advance. 
He succeeded in escaping, though was fird at, and came at 
once to General Pearce's headquarters and gave the infor- 
mation of the presence of the enemy. He was ordered by 
General Pearce to go to General McCulloch's headquarters 
and inform him, but before he reached there the command 
under General Lyon had reached the left flank of the army 
and had attacked General Rains. Thus far the Federal 
troops had carried out their plan of battle. They had 
turned both flanks of the Confederates and had surprised 
the army in their camps, but never was a body of troops 
better prepared for a surprise. The troops were sleeping 
on their arms and each commander knew the exact position 
of the several bodies of troops comprising his command, and 
while there was no "order of battle," nevertheless there was 
perfect concert of action, and promptly did the Southern 

344 Arkansas Historical Association 

troops respond to the Federal attack, both left and right. 
General Rains disposed his men to resist the advance, 
and soon General Rains had other Missourian troops to his 
assistance, having directed Generals Parsons, Clark, Mc- 
Bride and Slack to occupy the high grounds to the west of 
Wilson's Creek. Supported by Bledsoe's and Guibor's bat- 
teries, with the gallant Weightman, they contested the 
ground inch by inch. Here was witnessed some of the most 
heroic valor displayed during this trying war. It was West- 
em men, accustomed to outdoor life and hardships and to 
the use of firearms, engaging other Western men just as 
brave, just as heroic and just as fearless and determined as 
themselves. When such men make war they are in earnest 
and fatal results follow their meeting. 

The possession of these woody heights being the key to 
the battlefield, here was made the most determined resist- 
ance by both armies. General Lyon, seeing and understand- 
ing the importance of this position, concentrated his main 
efforts to secure and hold it. Equally did General Price 
comprehend the situation and manfully did he lead his brave 
Missourians against the determined foe. 

That portion of General Lyon's command, under Cap- 
tain Plummer, crossed to the east side of Wilson's Creek 
into Ray's field, and there were attacked by General McCul- 
. loch with the regiment of Colonel Mcintosh's dismounted 
riflemen and Colonel Herbert's Third Louisiana infantry. 
After a severe fight, in which both sides lost severely, the 
Federals retreated across to the west side of the creek and 
joined the main body of Lyon's army. During this engage- 
ment DuBois' battery was effectively served against the 
Southern troops in Ray's field. Latten's battery had also 
been actively engaged against Price's troops and also at 
intervals on a portion of General Pearce's command, the 
Third Arkansas infantry, under Gratiot, and Woodruff's 
battery of light artillery. The latter had been paying his 
compliments with telling effect on his old drillmaster. Cap- 
tain Latten, whose old battery, captured at Little Rock, 
Ark., was now commanded by Captain Woodruff and did 
most excellent service in this battle. 

Price's Campaign of 1861 345 

We now return to General Seigel. After he opened fire 
with his battery on Churchill's camp, that regiment hastened 
out of the field in which they were encamped into some tim- 
ber to the southwest, and there Colonel Churchill succeeded 
in forming the regiment as infantry and led them to join 
General Price, in defense of the position for which the two 
armies were contending. Churchill's loss was very heavy, 
but that of the enemy in front of him was also large. Seigel 
moved on through the camp and north in Sharp's field near 
Sharp's house, coming immediately in the rear of the Con- 
federate center held by General Pearce's command. As 
soon as the information was received that the enemy was 
approaching, General Pearce ordered his Third Arkansas 
regiment to support Woodruff's battery on the heights, east 
of the creek and south of the Fayetteville road. He moved 
Reed's battery to a hill lower down the creek and assigned 
the Fifth Arkansas infantry, Colonel Dockery, to support 
it. The Fourth Arkansas infantry he stationed on an emi- 
nence still further east and in the direction Seigel was re- 
ported to be seen approaching. These dispositions were 
promptly and rapidly made, as the commands had slept on 
their arms, and had only to be called to "attention" to be 
ready for action. Then Seigel moved to the rear of the po- 
sition assigned to Reed's battery, he ordered his pieces un- 
limbered, and directed north towards the troops on the hill, 
but did not fire. He then limbered up, moved west near 
Sharp's house and went in, battery facing west. It was 
still so dark it was difficult to distinguish what command it 
was in the field. General Pearce ordered Captain Jefferson, 
chief of ordnance, and Emmet McDonald, A. D. C, to go 
and ascertain to what command these troops belonged. 
Captain Jefferson was captured by them, and, before Mc- 
Donald could return, with his field glass General Pearce had 
recognized the flag, as the beam allowed the wind to extend 
its folds, and, turning to Captain Reed, ordered him to 
"open his battery on them as they carried the Stars and 
Stripes," which order was obeyed with alacrity and with 
most telling effect. He literally tore Seigel's command and 
battery to pieces. 

346 Arkansas Historical Association 

General McCuUoch having discovered the approach of 
Seigel, had taken a portion of the Third Louisiana regunent, 
and leading them across the creek and down towards 
Sharp's house, had, just as Reed's battery opened on Seigel, 
attacked him in front with the Louisianians and completely 
routed the whole command, capturing five pieces of artillery 
and many prisoners. Seigel's troops scattering through the 
woods, were pursued by the Texas and Missouri cavalry for 
miles, and a good many were captured. In fact. General 
Seigel reports that he reached Springfield with only a single 
orderly. The discomfiture of Seigel he accounts for by 
claiming that he mistook the Confederate troops for a por- 
tion of General Lyon's command, which he supposed had 
succeeded in defeating the Confederates in his front and 
was then ready to join Seigel in eliminating the remainder 
of McCuUoch's army ; that when Reed's battery commenced 
to mow down his "Dutchmen," they cried out in Dutch that 
their ''friends were firing on them," and Seigel says refused 
to fight, and in terror and disgrace threw down their arms 
and fled. Seigel also claims that Captain Curr with his cav- 
alry did not render him any protection. He got away. 
At about 8 :30 a. m.. General McCuUoch found the field fa- 
vorable to the Confederates. Mcintosh and Hebert had re- 
pulsed Plummer and driven him west of Wilson's Creek. 
The Arkansas and Louisiana troops had completely defeated 
Seigel's command. But matters were not so satisfactory 
with Price, in front of Lyon. Here had been desperate fight- 
ing and over the same ground, both armies had advanced 
and retreated repeatedly as the one or the other procured 
the advantage. Both armies were worsted, in fact ex- 
hausted, and, as if by mutual consent, a cessation of the 
combat was agreed to. But this in reality was only the lull 
before the storm — a recuperation of energy to more effec- 
tively strike the fatal blow, a reserving of power for the 
final and desperate effort. 

An A. D. C. from General Price rode up to General 
Pearce with the request that he come to the assistance of 
the Missourians, who were sorely pressed by the Federals. 

Price's Campaign of 1861 347 

Colonel Mcintosh, General McCulloch's chief of staff, also 
came to me and informed me that General McCuUoch 
wanted me to reinforce General Price and his Missourians, 
as they were about to be overpowered by the Union troops. 
I directed Mcintosh to take a section of Reed's battery and 
five companies of Dockery's regiment, and that I would take 
Gratiot's Third Arkansas regiment and go to Price's assist- 
ance. In crossing the creek, Lieutenant Colonel Neil, com- 
manding the five companies of Dockery*s regiment, was 
mortally wounded, and Colonel Dockery then lead the com- 
mand. I immediately gave command to Gratiot's Third Ark- 
ansas to move by the left flank and marched them across the 
creek and up the slope to the crest of the hill to the west. 
When I met General Clark, who pointed out the position 
held by General Price, I directed the regiment to where he 
was and reported that I had come with reinforcements, and 
asked him for orders. He directed me to move to the north 
(left), telling me the enemy held the ground in front. In 
the meantime the troops of both armies had recuperated 
and were preparing for a final struggle. General McCul- 
loch, to meet the preparations being made by the enemy, 
who could be plainly seen massing his forces, at once began 
concentrating the troops on General Price's command, as 
there was the key to the position and for which the main 
struggle had been made. The Missourians occupied the cen- 
ter of the new line of battle. Colonels Hebert's, Churchill's 
and Mcintosh's regiments, with McRea*s battalion, consti- 
tuted the right, and the Third Arkansas, followed by a sec- 
tion of Reed's battery and the five companies of the Fifth 
Dockery's regiment, comprised the left. The battle was 
opened by a charge led by General Pearce, with the Third 
Arkansas, and the Second Kansas, Colonel Mitchell. The 
impetuosity compelled the Kansans to give way, and, falling 
on their second line, created confusion in their ranks, and 
before they could recover from it Gratiot's regiment was 
pressing them so that both lines gave way, and Colonel 
Mitchell of the Second Kansas, shot through the thigh with 
Minie ball, fell from his horse. While this was going on 

348 Arkansas Historical Association 

on the left. General Price with his brave Missourians had 
charged the enemy's center, and after a severe struggle, 
succeeded in repulsing the enemy and finally driving him 
back with great loss. General McCuUoch with the troops on 
the right made a brilliant charge on the left of the enemy 
and drove them, after a hard fight, back on the center, which 
had been forced to retire by General Price. The whole line 
of the enemy had given way, and the Confederates advanced 
their line over and beyond that held by tho Federals since 
about 8:30 that morning. And soon the fact was discov- 
ered that the enemy was in retreat; in fact, but little more 
firing occurred. 

During the engagement just described the artillery 
companies were not idle. The batteries of Latten and Du- 
Bois were actively engaged and rendered great assistance 
by opening on the Confederate advance as they charged the 
Federal lines. Guibor and Bledsoe were also conspicuous 
for the splendid manner in which their batteries were 
served. The section of Reed's battery that accompanied the 
Arkansas troops did gallant service against the Kansas and 
Iowa troops. 

General McCulloch seeing the Federals driven from the 
field, held the battlefield until the enemy had retreated and 
then directed the troops to return to their camps, after 
which the necessary details were made for burying the dead 
and taking care of the wounded. Temporary hospitals were 
improvised by the medical staff, and those brave self-sac- 
rificing men devoted their skill and science to the relief of 
the unfortunate wounded. Thus terminated the first battle 
of the Civil war of any importance in the West. 

Many have wondered — ^and others criticised — General 
McCulloch for failing to push his success, as there is no 
doubt but had the enemy been pursued the whole army would 
have surrendered. Then why was it not done? For the 
best of all reasons — the Confederates were out of ammuni- 
tion. The bullets they had moulded the evening before the 
battle had been expended in the fight, and there was no ord- 
nance department to furnish a fresh supply. I have never 

Price's Campaign of 1861 349 

doubted for a moment that, had there been a supply of am- 
munition, General McCulloch would have captured the en- 
tire Federal army — ^not having it, he could not. 

Some time during the hard fighting on the bloody hill, 
General Lyon, the commander of the Federal forces, was 
killed. It was believed he was shot by one of General Mc- 
Bride's men with a squirrel rifle, but that such was the case 
no one can tell. Colonel Mitchell of the Second Kansas 
told me, when I visited him in the hospital (courthouse) at 
Springfield, where he had been taken for treatment, that 
when the charge was made on their lines by the Confeder- 
ates and they were driven back on their second line, that 
before they could extricate themselves, the Confederates 
pressed them so hard that the second line also broke, and that 
it was while attempting to rally these troops. General Lyon 
received the fatal shot ; that he (Mitchell) assisted him from 
his horse and that he soon expired ; and that in a few mo- 
ments he received the wound in the thigh that disabled him 
from further service, and that the command was assumed 
by Major Sturgis, U. S. A., who at once ordered a retreat. 
But of this fact there is no question that a brave, capable 
and aggressive officer had fallen, one that possessed the en- 
tire confidence of the abolition party, and was in sentiment 
far in advance of that of the time. And there is no doubt 
that had he lived he would have held high command, as he 
had the military education and qualifications eminently 
fitting him for a great general. Backed as he was by those 
high in authority, whose entire confidence he enjoyed, would 
have enabled him to surpass ^11 competitors for high com- 
mand and distinction. But the great leveler, death, came, 
and ambition is laid low. 

On the Confederate side was killed Colonel Weightman, 
commanding a Missouri brigade, a gallant, fearless and ac- 
complished officer, whose service in the West had made him 
a popular and noted man. Also Colonel Ben Brown of Ray 
County, Missouri, Col. G. W. Allen of Saline County, Mis- 
souri, and Major Rogers of St. Louis, and some 150 noncom- 
missioned officers and privates, belonging to the Missouri 

850 Arkansas Historical Association 

State Guard, gave up their lives in this battle in defense of 
their homes. 

In McCuUoch's command were killed Captain McAlex- 
ander and Adjutant Harper, Lieutenants Dawson, Chambers 
and Johnson of Churchill's regiment, Captain Henson of the 
Third Louisiana regiment. And in General Pearce's com- 
mand the following brave men were killed : Capt. Sam Bell, 
Captain Brown and Lieutenant Walton of Third Arkansas 
infantry, and Lieutenant Weaver, Woodruff's battery. Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Neill of the Fifth Arkansas infantry and 
Major Ward of the Third Arkansas infantry were mortally 
wounded; Captain Walker of Carroll's cavalry regiment 
dangerously wounded, and Captains Ramsem and Porter 
and Lieutenants Raney, Hardeth, King, Adams and Mclnn 
of Churchill's regiment were slightly wounded. Colonel 
Mcintosh was hit by a grape shot, but not badly hurt, and 
Jud Cravens of Clarksville, Ark. (late M. C.) was wounded 
severely, having received four or Ave wounds. The total 
Southern loss, as ascertained from the official reports, was 
about 270 killed and about 950 wounded and 100 prisoners. 
The loss of the Federals was, as reported : Gen. Nathaniel 
Lyon, commanding ; Captain Mason of Iowa ; also wounded, 
General Sweeney, Colonel Mitchell, Second Kansas ; Colonel 
Deitzler, First Kansas; Lieutenant Colonel Merritt, First 
Iowa; Lieutenant Colonel Andrews, First Missouri; Adju- 
tant Waldron, First Iowa, and Captain Plummer United 
States regular infantry, and of the rank and file about 235 
were killed, 750 wounded and 250 prisoners and missing. 
Colonel Churchill's Arkansas regiment sustained more 
losses than any other commahd in the battle, being 42 killed 
and 155 wounded out of about a total of 600 men. 

McBride's Missouri brigade sustained a loss of twenty- 
two killed and 124 wounded ; Weightman's brigade, 35 killed 
and 110 wounded, and Cawthorn's (both belonging to Rain's 
division) brigade lost about 25 killed and 75 or 80 wounded. 
General Stark lost 40 killed and about 90 wounded. 

Gratiot's Third Arkansas regiment lost, in the charge 
made by General Pearce against the Kansas and Iowa troops, 

Price's Campaign of 1861 351 

about 100 men killed and wounded in less than twenty-five 
minutes, out of a total of about 650 or 700 men. 

The First Kansas (Federal) lost heavily, being 77 
killed and 200 wounded and missing. 

The First Missouri lost 76 killed and over 200 wounded 
and missing. 

The First Iowa lost 13 killed and 136 wounded. 

Captain Plummer's battalion lost 19 killed and over 50 



(By W. a. Falconer.) 


Letter from Father du Poisson, Missionary to the 
Akensas to Father 

Among the Akensas, October 9, 1727. 

Are you curious, my dear friend, to learn something 
the least curious, and yet, something which costs most dear 
to learn by experience? Well, it is the mode of travel in the 
Mississippi region, a country, at the same time, so vaunted 
and so decried in France. 

And would you like to hear about the people found 
there ? Then, here goes and I ask no more than this : if 
the story of my journey bores you, charge it to the country; 
if it is too long, charge it to my desire to talk with you. 

During our stay at New Orleans, we saw peace and 
good order re-established by the care and wisdom of the 
commanding general. There had been two parties among 
those who were at the head of affairs ; one was called "The 
big band" and the other "The little band." This division 
has disappeared and in all quarters there is hope that the 
colony is more solidly established than ever. Be that as it 
may, we awaited every day the arrival of the pirogue which 

*The following letters were translated from a French work en- 
titled, "Choix des Lettres Edifiantes, ecrites des Missions etrangeres," 
published by LaSociete Bibliographique — at Paris, in 1837. My trans- 
lation is made from the sixth volume of the third edition. I have 
preserved the spelling of proper names as Used in the text. 

fW. A. Falconer is an attorney of recognized ability. Born June 
16, 1869, at Charleston in Franklin County, Arkansas, he attended 
public school in Charleston and in due time the State University. He 
also spent some time at the University of Virginia where he studied 
law. Settling to the practice of his profession at Fort Smith, Arkan- 
sas, in 1895, he has since served three consecutive terms as county 
and probate judge of Sebastian county. In May, 1909, he was ap- 
pointed a member of the State Board of Railroad Commissioners, of 
which board he later became the chairman. 

Arkansas and the Jesuits in 1727 353 

carried Father Tartarin, Father Donutreleau, one of our 
monks, and the nuns. What hastened our departure was to 
spare the Reverend Father de Beaubois an increase of his 
embarrassments, altho it was the worst season for traveling 
on the Mississippi. Moreover this Father had on his hands 
Brother Simon, who, with some rowers (engages), had come 
down from the Illinois country (des Illinois) and who had 
been expecting us for three or four months. Simon is a gift 
from the Illinois Mission. Here they call "rowers" (en- 
gages) those who engage themselves to row in canoe or boat, 
and, we might add, to drive mad those who employ them. 

Well, then, we embarked, May 25, 1727, Father Souel, 
Dumas and I, under charge of our good natured Simon. 
Father de Guienne and Le Petit intended, within a few days, 
to take another route ; the former, as you know, among the 
Abbamons, and the latter among the Chasses. 

Our baggage and that of our boatmen made a pile more 
than a foot above the sides of our canoes (pirogues). We 
were perched on a mass of bales and boxes, with no chance 
to change our positions. It was prophecied that we would 
not go far with this outfit. In ascending the Mississippi, 
it is necessary to go very slowly because the current is so 

Scarcely had we gotten out of sight of New Orleans, 
when an overhanging branch struck a chest, overturned it, 
threw a young man who was on board a somersault and 
gave Father Souel a severe blow. Fortunately it was 
broken in its first assault; otherwise both the box and the 
young man would have gone into the water. This accident 
decided us when we arrived at Chapitoulas (aux Chapitou- 
las), three leagues from New Orleans, to send a dispatch 
to Father de Beaubois and ask him for a larger canoe. 

During this time we were in a known region. The 
barbarous name which it bears indicates that it was form- 
erly inhabited by savages. Now the same name is given to 
five concession (land-grants) along the Mississippi. M. 
Dubreuil, formerly of Paris, received us at his estate. The 
next three belong to three brothers, Canadians, who came 
to this section, "with a staff in their hands and a girdle 


354 Arkansas Historical Association 

about their loins/' and who have prospered better than 
the concessibnnaries from France, although the latter sent 
over milllions of franc to found (fonder) their (grants) 
concessions, which are, indeed, now, for the most' part, 
quite founded (fondues). The fifth belongs to Mr. de Koli, 
a Swiss, master (seigneur) of the estate of Livry, near 
Paris, one of the finest men one can find. He came over 
in the same vessLel that we came on, to see for himself the 
condition of his concessions, for which he has fitted out 
ships and made infinite expenditures. 

On each of these concessions there are at least 60 
negroes. Maize, rice, indigo and tobacco are cultivated, and 
they are the crops which have succeeded best. 

I speak of "concession" and I shall again have occasion 
to speak of it, as well as of **etablissement," settlement, and 
of "habitation" plantation. You probably do not know 
what it's all about ; then have patience and read the explana- 

A concession is a certain tract of land conceded or 
granted by the Indies Company to an individual or to several 
persons who have formed a society to clear and improve this 
land. In the time of the greatest vogue of the Mississippi 
they were known as comtess or earldoms ; hence the conces- 
sionnaires are the gentlemen of this country. 

They are not people who intended to renounce France. 
They equipped vessels filled with managers, stewards, store- 
keepers, agents, workmen of various trades, provisions and 
supplies of all kinds. They busied themselves in pene- 
trating the forests, in building cabins, in selecting fields and 
in burning the cane and trees. 

These beginnings must have seemed quite arduous to 
persons ill-accustomed to such labors. The managers and 
their sub-alterns contented themselves for the most part in 
places where some Frenchmen were already established, and 
there they consumed their provisions; and scarcely was 
the work begun before it was ruined. The laborer, poorly 
paid or poorly fed, refused to work, or became his own pay- 
master — ^the stores became their prey. There you recognize 
the Frenchman. This is one of the reasons which kept 

Arkansas and the Jesuits in 1 727 355 

the country from being developed as it should have been, 
notwithstanding the prodigious expenditures which have 
been made for that purpose. 

A habitation or plantation, is a smaller portion of land 
granted by the company. A man with his wife or a part- 
ner clears a little tract, builds a house on four piles and 
covers it with bark, and sows some maize or rice for his 
provisions. Another year he raises a larger crop and plants 
tobacco. If he reaches the point finally of owning two or 
three negroes, that's the end of his troubles. 

That is what is known as a habitation or plantation, 
and a habitant is a planter. But alas! How many are 
mere beggars when they begin. 

An etablissement or settlement is a district, or canton, 
where there are several plantations close together, forming 
a sort of village. 

Besides the concessionnaires and planters there are in 
this country people who have no other business than to 
rove about: 

1. Women or girls drawn from the workhouses of 
Paris, from la Salpetriere, or other places of like repute, 
who find that the marriage laws are too hard and the charge 
of housekeeping too troublesome. Voyages of 400 leagues 
do not alarm these heroines. I know already two of them 
whose adventures would furnish material for a romance. 

2. Voyageurs: these are, for the most part, people 
sent for cause to the Mississippi country by their parents 
or by the legal authorities and who, finding that the land is 
too low to dig, prefer to engage themselves in rowing and 
in ferrying from one bank to the other. 

3. Hunters of Chasseurs : these ascend the Mississippi 
at the close of summer, two or three hundred leagues, into 
the regions where there are buffaloes ; they make "flat sides" 
(plats cotes), that is to say, they dry the flesh which is 
on the sides of the buffaloes and salt the rest; they make 
bear's oil also. They descend the river towards spring 
and supply the colony with meat. The country from the 
upper region to New Orleans makes this trade necessary. 

356 Arkansas Historical Association 

because it is not sufficiently inhabited and cleared up to 
permit the raising of cattle. At 30 leagues from here buf- 
faloes begin to be seen. They are in troops in the prairies 
and along the rivers. A Canadian last year, sent down to 
New Orleans 480 tongues of buffaloes which he and an 
associate had killed during the winter. 

We left the Chapitoulas on the 29th. Although a larger 
boat had been sent us, and in spite of the different arrange- 
ment of our people, we had almost as much discomfort as 
before. We had only two leagues to make that day to 
sleep at the Burned Canes, at the house of M. de Benac, 
manager of the concession of M. d'Artagnan. He received 
us cordially, and regaled us with a Mississippi carp, which 
weighed 35 pounds. Burned Canes embraces two or three 
concessions along the Mississippi — it is a place much like 
the Chapitoulas. Its situation appeared to me even more 
beautiful. The next day we made six leagues; more than 
that is scarcely ever made in ascending the river. We slept, 
or, rather, we camped at the Germans (aux Allemands). 
This is the quarter assigned to the languishing remnant 
of that band of Germans who had perished of distress, 
either at Lorient, or on their arrival in Louisiana. Their 
plantations show great poverty. It is here really that one 
begins to learn what a voyage on the Mississippi means. 

I will now give you some idea of it so as not to be 
obliged to constantly repeat the same thing. 

We left at the time of high water. The river had risen 
more than 40 feet above its ordinary stage. Almost all the 
country is low ground. Thus we were exposed to the 
chance of finding no camping place (cabasnage), that is 
land on which to sleep and kindle a fire. When such a place 
is found, this is the way we sleep. If the ground is still 
muddy, as is the case when the waters begin to recede, a 
bed of leaves is made, so that the mattress will not sink in 
the mud. Next a skin or a mattress is spread and bedding, 
if there is any. Three or four canes are then bent in a 
half -circle and the two ends are stuck in the ground, which 
are separated from each other according to the length of 

Arkansas and the Jesuits in 1 727 357 

the mattress. On these canes three others are laid at right 
angles and upon this little edifice is spread the haire, that 
is, a great sheet or cloth, the ends of which are carefully 
tucked under the mattress. It is in these tombs, where the 
heat is stifling, that the traveler is obliged to sleep. The 
first thing done after landing is to make the haire in all 
haste. The mosquitoes do not permit you to do otherwise. 
If one could sleep in the open air, he could enjoy the fresh- 
ness of the night and would be only too happy. When a 
dry spot cannot be found there is even greater reason to 
complain. Then the boat is tied up to a tree. If a large 
drift is at hand, the kettle can be heated on it, and if hone 
is found, it means sleeping without supper. More cor- 
rectly one does not sleep, for he remains in the same situa- 
tion as during the day, exposed all night, to the fury of 
the mosquitoes. A drift is a mass of floating trees up- 
rooted by the river and constantly driven on by the current 
until stopped by the roots of a tree still standing or by a 
point of land, when they accummulate, the one upon the 
other, they form enormous piles. Some of them can be 
seen which would furnish abundant fuel for your good city 
of Tours for three winters. These places are difficult and 
dangerous to pass. It is necessary to graze these drifts, 
for the current is rapid there and if it should push the 
canoe against these floating trees the canoe would im- 
mediately disappear and be engulfed in the waters under 
the drift. 

Our voyage was in the season of the most intense heat, 
which increased each day. During our trip we had only one 
whole day of cloudy weather. A broiling sun constantly 
shone over our heads, with no means of constructing an 
awning above our canoes and thus obtain a little shade. 
Besides, the height of the trees and the denseness of the 
woods which border both banks of the river the whole way, 
do not permit the traveler to taste the slightest breath of 
air, although the river is a mile and a half in width. The 
air is felt only in the middle of the river which it is neces- 
sary to cross in taking the short cuts. We pumped water 

358 Arkansds Historical Association 

through canes from the Mississippi to quench our thirst; 
although quite muddy, the water is not bad. 

Another refreshment which we had was the grapes 
which hang from the trees almost everjrwhere and which 
we snatched off in passing or which we gathered when we 
landed. There are, in this country, or at least among the 
Akensas, two kinds of grapes, one of which ripens in the 
summer and the other in the autumn. They are of the 
same species. The berries are quite small and afford a 
juice that is quite thick. There is another species; the 
bunches have only three berries which are as large as De- 
mascus plums. Our savages call them asi or contai; that 
is, grapes or muscadines. 

Our provisions consisted of biscuits, bacon, salty, and 
quite rancid, rice, corn and pease. The biscuit failed us a 
little beyond Natchez. We had no more bacon after ten or 
twelve leagues from New Orleans. We lived on pease, and 
then on rice, which lasted until our arrival here. The sea- 
soning consisted of salt, bear oil and a hearty appetite. The 
most common form of nourishment in this country, almost 
the only kind for many people and especially for the voyag- 
eurs is hominy (gru). 

They crush the maize to remove the outer husk, and 
boil it a' long time in water. The French sometimes season 
it with oil. That is hominy. The savages, after pounding 
the grain quite fine, cook it sometimes with suet, more often 
with water only and make a sort of mush. Moreover, the 
hominy takes the place of bread, — a spoonful of hominy 
and a piece of meat go very well together. 

But the greatest annoyance, without which the rest 
would only be play, and surpasses belief, unless one has ex- 
perienced it, is the mosquito, — ^the cruel persecution of the 
mosquito. The plague of Egypt was, I believe, not more 
cruel : 

Dimittem in to et in servos tuos et in populum tuum et 
in domos tuas omne gentis muscarum et impelehuntur 
domus Aegyptiorum diversi generis et universa terra in 
qvxL fuerint: 


Arkansas and the Jesuits in 1 727 359 

There are litle gnats, regular fire-brands, whose bite 
is so sharp or rather so burning that it seems as if a spark 
of fire has faljen on the spot which they have pricked. 
There are other insects like gnats, that are firebrands too, 
(brulots), but which are smaller. You hardly see them. 
They attack the eyes especially. Then there are wasps 
and there are horse-flies; in a word there is omne genus 
mv^carum. But I should not speak of the others without 
mentioning the galli-nippers, or mosquitoes (maringouins). 
This little animal has caused more swearing since the 
French have been on the Mississippi than all the swearing 
up to that time in all the rest of the world ! Be that as it 
may, a swarm of galli-nippers (mosquitoes) embarks with 
the traveler in the morning ; when he passes across the sand- 
bars or near the cane, (as is almost always the case), an- 
other swarm hurls itself with fury on the canoe and does 
not leave it. It is necessary to keep your handkerchief con- 
stantly flapping, and this scarcely troubles them, for they 
make a short flight and instantly return to the attack. Your 
arm tires sooner than they do. When you land for dinner, 
from ten o'clock to two or three o'clock, you have a whole 
army to fight. You make a (boucane), that is, a great fire, 
smothered with green leaves. You must get in the midst 
of .the smoke to avoid the persecution. I do not know which 
is better, the remedy or the disease. 

After dinner you would like to take a little nap at the 
foot of a tree, but that is absolutely impossible. The time 
for repose is passed in fighting mosquitoes. You re-embark 
with the mosquitoes ; at sunset you land, then you must run 
and cut canes, wood and green leaves, to make the sleeping 
place, the fire and the smudge ; it is every fellow for himself. 

Then there is not merely one army, but several armies 
that must be fought. It is the inning of the mosquitoes; 
they eat you, they devour you ; they get in your mouth, in 
your nostrils, in your ears ; face, hands and body are covered 
with them. Their stingers pierce through your shirt and 
leave a red mark on the flesh, which swells up if you are 
not innoculated against their bites. 

360 Arkansas Historical Association 

Chicagon, in order to convey to his people some idea 
of the multitude of Frenchmen that he had seen, told them 
that "There were as many of them in the big^ town (Paris) 
as there were leaves in the trees and mosquitoes in the 

After supping in haste, you are impatient to shut 
yourself up in your haire, though you know you will stifle 
there with the heat. With what address, with what sub- 
tilty you glide under this haire! A few mosquitoes always 
get in and one or two are enough to spoil a night's rest. 

Such are the trials of a Mississippi voyage. How 
much the voyageurs suffer for a very modest gain ! 

There was in the canoe which went up the river with 
us, one of those heroines of whom I have spoken, who was 
on her way to join her hero. She did nothing but chatter, 
laugh and sing. If for a little temporal gain, if for crime 
even, one makes such a voyage, should men bent on the sav- 
ing of souls fear it? But I return to my journal. 

The 31st we made seven leagues; in the evening, no 
landing place ; only water and biscuit for our supper ; lying 
stretched out in the canoe, eaten by mosquitoes during the 
night. (It was Whitsunday eve, a fast day!) 

June 1st we arrived at Oumas (Aux Oumas) at a 
French plantation, where we found enough land not inun- 
dated to enable us to camp there. We spent the next day 
on that place to give rest to our equipage. 

Father Dumas and I embarked in the evening on a 
canoe, which was to make during the night the same dis- 
tance that we would have made the next day, and thereby 
we avoided the intense heat. 

June 3rd we arrived very early in the morning at 
Bayagoulas, (name of an extinct nation), at the house of 
M. du Buisson, manager of the Paris brothers' concession. 
We found beds of which we had almost forgotten the use. 
In the morning we secured the repose which the mosquitoes 
had denied us during the night. 

Arkansas and the Jesuits in 1727 361 

M. du Buisson omitted nothing for our comfort. He 
regaled us with a wild turkey. They are altogether like our 
domestic turkeys, but of a better flavor. 

The concession appeared to us well managed and in 
good condition. It would be still better if it had always 
had such a manager. Our people arrived in the evening 
and we left Bayagoulas the next day charmed with the good 
manners and graces of M. du Buisson. 

Framboise (Rasberry), chief of the Sitimachas, who 
was a slave of M. de Bienville, came to see us and to invite 
us to dine at his house, which we expected to reach about 
noon. He had already given the same invitation when he 
went down to New Orleans with his tribe to chant the 
calumet for the new commandant. That gave occasion for 
the following adventure. The overflow had forced the 
Sitimachas to flee back into the woods. We fired a musket 
to announce our arrival. A musket-shot in the Mississippi 
woods is a clap of thunder. Immediately a little savage 
presented himself. We had a young fellow with us who 
knew the language and who spoke to him, and then told us 
that the little savage had been sent to guide us, and that 
the village was not far away. It needs be said that this 
young fellow was hungry and he saw very well that we could 
not make a camp on account of the waters. On the strength 
of his word, we got into an Indian canoe which was there. 
The child took the lead. We had scarce started when the 
water failed us ; it was little more than mud. Our servants 
who assured us that it was only a step further, pushed the 
canoe forward with their arms; the hope of a feast with 
Framboise encouraged them; but finally we found nothing 
except fallen trees, mud and holes where the water 
soaked in. 

The little savage left us there and disappeared in a 
moment. What a plight to be in these woods without a 
guide ! Father Souel leaped into the water ; we did likewise. 
It was something amusing to see us paddling about among 
the briars and bushes and up to our knees in water. Our 
greatest trouble was to draw our shoes out of the mud. 

362 Arkansas Historical Association 

Finally, much bespattered and very weary, we arrived at 
the village which was more than a half league from the 
river. Framboise was surprised at our arrival. He told 
us coldly that he had nothing for us. In this we recognized 
the savage. Our interpreter had deceived us, for Framboise 
had not sent to seek us; he did not expect us and had 
thought that he risked nothing in inviting us, being per- 
suaded that the overflow would keep us from reaching him. 

However, that may have been, we turned back quite 
quickly and without a guide. After wandering a little, we 
found the Indian canoe, got in it and regained our own as 
best we could. Those who had stayed, had much fun with 
our appearance, and our adventure. We never had laughed 
so much ; in fact, it was the only time that we had laughed. 
There was no land on which to make a fire, as I have said, 
and it was necessary to content ourselves with biscuit. 

In the evening we arrived above Manchat. The Man- 
chat is a branch of the Mississippi, which empties into Lake 
Maurepas. No land, no camp-fire, no sleeping place and 
millions of mosquitoes during the night. No ta iterum; it 
was a fast day ! The waters began to subside and this made 
us hope that we would longer have to sleep in the canoe. 

The Sitimachas inhabited the lower part of the river 
in the beginning of the colony. They then killed M. de 
Saint-Come, a missionary. M. de Bienville, who commanded 
for the King, avenged his death. 

The map of the Mississippi incorrectly locates the Siti- 
machas nation. That is not its only error. 

After these little evidences of Mississippi erudition I 
will return to my trip. On the 4th we slept at Baton Rouge. 
This place is so called because at that place there is a tree 
painted red {un arbre rougi) by the savages, and which 
serves to mark the hunting limits (qui sert des bornes pour 
la chasse) of the nations who are above and below. 

There we saw a French plantation, abandoned to the 
deer, rabbits, wildcats and bears, which had ravaged every- 
thing. Four of our people went hunting and returned next 
day with no game except an owl. 

Arkansas and the Jesuits in 1727 363 

The 7th we dined at the concession of M. Me2ieres. It 
had the appearance of just having been started. We found 
there a shanty, some negroes and a simple rustic, who 
treated us neither well nor ill. 

In the evening we camped at Pointe-Coupee opposite 
the house of a settler, who greeted us kindly. Rain delayed 
us next day and allowed us to make only one league. This 
brought us to the home of another settler. His house, rest- 
ing on four piles, protected us only moderately well from 
the frightful storm. What a need these good people have 
for consolation, both spiritual and temporal ! 

On the 9th scarcely were we embarked when an exe- 
crable odor came out of the woods. They told us that there 
was an animal in the woods called a polecat (bete puante) , 
which scatters this bad odor wherever it goes. In the even- 
ing we camped at Petits Tonicas, in the canebrake. They 
fire this cane in the winter and cut it in the summer, in 
order to make their camps. The Indian village is on the 
bank, and is distant from the Grands Tonicas ten or twelve 
leagues by river. By land there is only one point or tongue 
separating the two villages. 

Formerly a portage was made in going by land. They 
still call this cut off "The portage of the cross." The river 
has penetrated this point and covers it entirely during the 
high waters. We had next day to cross this place, a dis- 
tance of two leagues, to avoid the ten leagues that we would 
have had to cover if we had continued our journey by the 
Mississippi. At Petits Tonicas, we got a savage to serve us 
as guide. 

On the 10th, we therefore entered this forest, this sea, 
this torrent ; for it is all that at the same time. The guide, 
whose language nobody understod, spoke to us in signs. One 
interpreted them one way, another, another; thus we pro- 
ceeded at a venture. Nevertheless, when a person is en- 
tangled in these woods, he must go on or perish, for if he 
trusted himself to the current to carry him back, this swift 
flood would certainly cast his canoe against a tree, which 
would break it into a thousand pieces. But for that we 


364 Arkansas Historical Association 

would harve withdrawn from so dangerous an enterprise 
as soon as we had entered upon it. 

It was necessary constantly to row the boat a zigzag 
course to keep it from being struck by the trees. Some- 
times it would be wedged in between two trees which did 
not leave space enough for passing, contrary to the ex- 
pectation of the man in charge. Now it was a torrent, 
whose entrance was almost closed by a drift, or merely 
by two trees of enormous length and thickness, and which 
being cross-wise of the current rendered it more impetuous ; 
sometimes the entrance was entirely closed by a tree; then 
it was necessary to change the course in the chance of find- 
ing a like obstacle a moment later, or of striking shallow 
water, mud and briars ; then it was necessary to shove the 
boat over by force of our arms. Often one of our men was 
obliged to throw himself into the water up to his neck and 
fasten the boat to a projecting tree so that if the current 
proved stronger than the force of the oars, and caused the 
boat to go backward, it would not be broken against a log. 

Our boat ran the greatest risk. It began to fill in a 
current which was forcing it backward, and one moment 
we thought we would sink, but the force of the oars saved 
us, and by good luck, there was neither a drift nor a tree 
turned crosswise. 

After having passed another which only left a passage 
way the width of the boat, our canoe remained for a moment 
immobile between the force of the current and that of the 
oars. We did not know whether it would advance or go 
back ; in other words, we were then between life and death ; 
for if the oar had given way to the force of the current, we 
would have been hurled against a large tree which lay almost 
entirely across the current. Our party who had gone on 
just ahead of us in the other boat, looked on in a sad and 
mournful silence and raised a great cry of joy when they 
saw us out of danger. 

I would never finish, if I attempted to relate all the 
labours of this day. This passage is called 'The passage of 
the cross." A traveler who knows what it is and yet at- 

Arkansas and the Jesuits in 1 727 365 

tempts it, merits the madhouse (les Petites Maisons) if he 
escapes. By this cut-off we lessened our voyage only by one 
short day. The Lord saved our lives, and we came at length 
to the end of these two fatal leagues. 

We arrived, then, at 4 or 5 o'clock, at Grands Tonicas. 
The chief of this nation came to the water's edge to re- 
ceive us, to grasp our hands and embrace us. He had skins 
and a matting spread out before his hut, and invited us to 
sleep there. Then he presented us with a huge dish of black- 
berries and a basket of green beans. It was a real feast to 
us. The Passage of the Cross had not permitted us to stop 
for dinner. The chief had been baptized, and a number of 
his tribe, by Mr. Davion ; but since the return of this mis- 
sionary to France, where he retired soon after the arrival 
of the Capuchin Fathers in this country, he has little of 
Christianity except the name, a medallion and a string of 
beads. He speaks French a little. He asked after M. Davion. 
We told him that he was dead. He expressed regret and 
seemed to desire a missionary. He showed us a medallion 
of the King, which the commanding general had sent him 
in the name of his Majesty, with a writing which certifies 
that it is in acknowledgment of the attachment that he has 
always shown for the French, that this present was made to 

There are some French among the Tonicas and they ex- 
pressed great sorrow that they had no missionary. Father 
Dumas said mass the next day very early, in the house of 
the chief, and we were much edified that there were some 
Frenchmen to profit by this opportunity of coming to the 

The 11th we passed the night, for the last time, in 
the canoe. 

The 12th we camped at Ecors Blancs, and the 13th at 
Natchez. We immediately paid a visit to the Reverend 
Father Philbert, a Capuchin, who was cure there. He is 
a man of good sense, who was not frightened at seeing us, 
as his confreres had been at New Orleans. Moreover he is a 
man of integrity and very zealous. We then descended to 
the river bank to make camp. 

366 Arkansas Historical Association 

The French settlement at Natchez is becoming im- 
portant. They make tobacco there which is considered the 
best in the country. The location is quite elevated and from 
it you can see the Mississippi winding as if in an abyss. 
There is a countless number of hills and valleys. The land 
of the concessions is more level and more beautiful. The 
excessive heat prevented us from going there as well as to 
the Indian village. The village is a league distant from the 
French. It is the only nation, or almost the only one, where 
is to be seen a sort of religion and government. They main- 
tain a perpetual fire, and they know by tradition that if it 
goes out they must replenish it from the Tonicas.. The chief 
has great authority over those of his motion and compels 
them to obey him. This is not so with most of the nations. 
They have chiefs who are so only in name; each one is 
master and yet one sees no sedition among them. When the 
chief of the Natchez dies, a certain number of men and wo- 
men must be immolated to serve him in the other world. 
Several have already devoted themselves to death at the 
time when he shall come to die. On such occasions they 
are strangled. The French are doing what they can to pre- 
vent this barbarity, but they have great difficulty in saving 
anyone. They say that their ancestors crossed the seas to 
come to this country Some persons who know their history 
and usages better than I do, pretend that they have come 
from China. Be that as it may, the Tonicas and the Natchez 
are two great nations, each of which should have a mis- 
sionary. The chief of the Tonicas is already a Christian, as 
I have told you. He has much influence over his people, and 
moreover, everyone admits that this nation is very well dis- 
posed towards Christianity. A missionary would find the 
same advantage among the Natchez, if he had the good for- 
tune to convert the chief; but these two nations are in the 
territory of the Reverend Capuchin Fathers, who so far have 
learned no savage tongue. 

We left Natchez on the 17th and we, Father Dumas and 
I, embarked on a boat which was leaving for the chase. Our 
men had not yet secured their provisions, — ^that is, had not 

Arkansas and the Jesuits in 1727 ' 367 

bougl^t and ground their maize. Now sandbars began to 
appear ; on them we found turtle-eggs, a hew delicacy to us. 
These eggs are a little larger than pigeon eggs. They are 
found in the sandbars. The sun makes them hatch. The 
tracks that the turtles make lead to the discovery of the 
places where they have concealed their eggs,— of which 
quantities are found. From them omelettes are made which 
taste good to people who have been living on hominy. It 
is estimated that from New Orleans to the Natchez is about 
100 leagues, and from the Natchez to the Yatous is 40 ; we 
made this second stage without other adventure, than that 
we were overtaken one night by a violent storm with light- 
ning and thunder, — ^judge if one is well protected from the 
rain under a cloth. 

The next day a savage, who went up with us, landed in 
order to go hunting. We continued our journey, but we had 
not made half a league, when he appeared on the bank with 
a deer on his shoulders. We camped at the first sandbar to 
dry our clothes and to make a big campfire. The repasts 
that they have after the hunt are quite after the Indian 
mode. Nothing can be more pleasant. The animal is in 
pieces in a moment ; nothing is lost. 

Our voyageurs draw from the fire, or from the kettle, 
each one according to his fancy; their fingers and some 
little sticks serve them in the place of every kind of kitchen 
and table utensils. To see them covered only with a breech- 
clout, and more sunburned and discolored by smoke than 
the Indians, extended on the sand or squatting like apes, 
devouring what they have in their hands, you would not 
know but what it was a band of Gypsies, or people making 
a witches revel. 

On the 23rd we reached the Yatous (Yazoo). This is 
a French post, two leagues from the mouth of the river of 
the same name, which flows into the Mississippi. There 
are an oflScer, called a commandant, about a dozen soldiers 
and three or four settlers. In this place was M. Le Blanc's 
concession which has gone to decay like many others. The 
land is elevated with hills and not very open. It is said 

368 Arkansas Historical Association 

that the air there is unhealthy. The commandant, on our 
arrival, fired off all the artillery of the fort, which con- 
sisted of two pieces of very small cannon. The fort is a 
miserable affair where the commandant lodges, surrounded 
by a palisade, but well defended by the situation of the 
place. The commandant received us in his home with much 
graciousness. We camped in his court yard. 

Our two canoes, one of which bore Father Souel, mis- 
sionary to the Yatous, arrived two days after we did. The 
fort gave him the same honors which it had given us. 

This dear father had been dangerously ill during the 
trip from the Natchez. At Yatous he began to recover. He 
has written me since my arrival here that he had again 
been taken sick, but that he was convalescing when he 

During our stay at Yatous he bought a house, or rather 
a cabin, while waiting to complete his arrangements for 
locating among the savages who are a league distant from 
the French post. 

There are here three villages which speak three differ- 
ent tongues and which compose a rather small nation. I 
know nothing else about them. 

On the 26th Father Dumas and I re-embarked. From 
the Yatous to the Arkansas it is counted 60 leagues. We 
arrived there July 7th, without any other adventure than 
that we once had a feast (chaudiere haute) of a bear which 
one of our men killed in a hunt. 

The villages of the Akensas are badly located on the 
map. The river at its mouth makes a fork. Into the upper 
branch flows a river which the savages call Niska, Eau 
Blanche, White Water, which is not marked on the map, 
altho it is a considerable stream. We entered by the lower 
branch. From the mouth of this branch to the place where 
the river divides is seven leagues; from where it is two 
leagues to the first village which contains two tribes, the 
Tourimas and the Tougin gas. From this first village to 
the second it is two leagues by water and one by land. It is 
called the village of the Southouis. 

Arkansas and the Jesuits in 1 727 369 

The third village is a little higher up on the same side 
of the river: here are the Kappas (Quapaws) ; on the other 
side and opposite this last village are the French settle- 

The three Indian villages which embrace four tribes, 
bearing different names, form only one nation under the 
conmion name of the Akensas which name the French have 
also given to the river, altho the Indians call it Ni Gitai, Eau 
Rouge, or Red Water. They speak the same tongue and 
are in all about 1200 souls. We were but a little way from 
these villages when a band of young Indians, having seen 
us, raised a great shout and ran to the village. 

A French pirogue, which had preceded us by a day, 
had notified them of our coming. We found the whole vil- 
lage assembled at the landing. As soon as we had landed, 
an Indian inquired of one of our men whom he knew and 
who understood the language, "How many moons will the 
black chief remain among us ?" 

"Always," replied the Frenchman. 

"You lie," said the Indian. 

The Frenchman answered : 

"No, there will always be with you, men to teach you 
to know the Great Spirit, just as among the Illinois." 

The savages believed him then, and said : 

"My heart laughs when you say that." 

I had this same Frenchman conduct me to the village 
of the Southouis, by land. Before arriving there, we found 
the chief under his antichon (this is the name which the 
French give to a sort of arbor, open on all sides, and where 
the chief goes to enjoy the cool air) . 

He invited me to sit down on a mat, and presented me 
with some hominy (sagamite) . He spoke a word to his little 
son who was there. He immediately gave a savage yell, and 
cried with all his might: "Panianga sa, panianga sa, the 
black chief, the black chief." In an instant the whole vil- 
lage surrounded the tent. I had someone explain to them 
with what purpose I was there. I heard on all sides only 
the word, *Hgaton.'' My interpreter told me that it meant, 
"That's good." 

370 Arkansas Historical Association 

The whole assembly conducted me to the water, giving 
great yells. An Indian made us cross the river in his canoe 
and after walking an eighth of a league, we arrived at the 
French settlements. I lodged in the Indian Company's 
house, which is also that of the commandants when there 
are any here, and I felt a great joy in being at the end of the 
200 leagues which I had had to travel. I would rather make 
twice the voyage that we made across the sea in the same 
season than to go over the one I have just had. 

Father Dumas was only at the half-way point of his 
journey to the Illinois. He re-embarked the day ^fter his 

There is not a settlement to be found between here and 
the Illinois ; but one scarcely ever fails to kill some buffaloes 
which accommodate people very well who have nothing but 
hominy (gru) on which to live. 

Adieu, etc. 


Letter of Father du Poisson, Missionary to the 
Akensas, to Father Patouilet. 

(Written from the Akensas country, probably about 

December, 1727.) 

Reverend Father: 

Accept the compliments of a poor Mississippian who 
esteems you, and, if you will pardon his saying so, who loves 
you as much as the best of your friends. 

The distance between the places where Providence has 
placed us both will never weaken my affection for you, nor 
lessen the gratitude I feel for the friendship which you saw 
fit to have for me when we lived together. 

The favor that I beg of you henceforth is to think of 
me a little, to pray to God for me and to give me from time 
to time some precious news of yourself. 

I am not yet sufficiently acquainted with the country 
and the morals and manners of the savages to give you an 
account of them ; I will simply say that the Mississippi pre- 

Arkansas and the Jesuits in 1 727 371 

sents to the traveler nothing beautiful or rare except itself. 
Nothing spoils it except the continual forest on its banks 
and the frightful solitude which oppresses the traveler dur- 
ing the entire voyage. 

Having nothing curious, therefore, to relate to you 
of this country, permit me to entertain you with an account 
of what has happened to me since I have been at the post to 
which Providence has destined me. 

Two days after my arrival the village of the Southouis 
sent two savages to me to ask if I would permit them to 
come to sing the Calumet in full regalia, — ^that is, with all 
the body painted in different colors, wearing tails of wild- 
cats at the places where artists paint wings in the pictures 
of Mercury, carrying the Calumet, or pipe of peace in their 
hands, and with their bodies ornamented with rattles which 
announced their arrival from afar. 

I replied that I was not like the French chiefs who 
command warriors and who come with stores from which to 
make them presents ; that I had merely come to teach them 
to know the Great Spirit, whom they did not know and that 
I had brought only the things necessary for this purpose; 
that, however, I would accept their calumet on the day 
when some canoe of mine should come up the river. This 
was equivalent to putting them off until the Greek calends. 

They rubbed the calumet over my face and turned away 
to carry my response. Two days later the chief came to 
make the same request, adding that it was without any de- 
sign, that they wished to dance the calumet before me. 
"Without design" means with them that they make a present 
without any view of its being repaid. I had been warned 
on that score. I knew that the hope of booty (butin) ren- 
dered them quite eager and that when the Indian gives even 
"without design" it is necessary to pay him double or he 
becomes discontented. Hence I made the same response to 
the chiefs that I had made to their envoys. Finally they 
returned once more to the charge to ask if I would at least 
allow their young people to come and dance at my house, 
"without design," the dance of the discovery (la decou- 
bierte), — (that is what they do when sent out to locate the 

372 Arkansas Historical Association 

enemy). I replied that I would not be averse to it, that 
their young people could come and dance and I would watch 
them with pleasure. The whole village except the women, 
came the next morning at daylight. There was nothing 
but dancing, singing and harangueing until noon. Their 
dances, as you may imagine, are rather bizarre. The ex- 
actitude with which they keep time is as surprising as the 
contortions and the effort they make. I saw very plainly 
that it would not do to send them away without making 
them a feast. So I borrowed from a Frenchman a kettle 
which is similar to those they have in the kitchen at the 


I gave them meal without stint. Everything passed off 
without confusion. Two of them assumed the office of 
cooks, divided the portions with the most exact equality 
and distributed them in the same way. The only exclama- 
tion heard was the usual one, "Ho," which each one uttered 
when given something to eat. 

Never have I seen people eat with less grace and greater 
appetite. They went away quite contented, but soon one 
of the chiefs spoke to me again of receiving their calumet. 
I answered them as I had done before. Moreover, it is quite 
expensive to receive their calumet. In the beginning when 
it was necessary to humor them, the managers of M. Laws' 
concession and the commandants, who received their calu- 
met, made them many presents. These savages here be- 
lieved that I was going to re-establiah the former fashion ; 
but if I were able to do so, I would be sure not to, because 
there would be danger that in the end they would hear me 
speak of religion only from interest. And it is known from 
experience that the more you give the Indians the less 
reason you have to be pleased with them, and that gratitude 
is a virtue of which they have no conception. 

I have not so far, had the time to apply myself to their 
language. But, since they pay me frequent visits^ I ques- 
tion them. "Talon jajai?" "What do you call that?" I 
know enough of it to make myself understood in the most 
ordinary things. There is no Frenchman here who knows 
it thoroughly. They have only learned it superficially and 

Arkansas and the Jesuits in 1727 373 

only what is necessary to know in trading. I already know 
as much about it as they do. 

I foresee that it will be very hard for me to learn it 
so as to speak of religion to these savages. I have reason 
to think that they are persuaded that I know their tongue 
perfectly. A Frenchman was speaking of me to one of 
them, when the Indian said : 

"I know that he is a great spirit, because he knows 

You see that they do me infinitely more honor than I 
deserve. Another one delivered me a long harangue, of 
which I only understood the words: "Indatai," "my 
father;" "uygihguai," "my son." I replied quite at random, 
when I saw that he questioned me ; "Ai," "Yes ;" "igalon," 
^*that is good.' 

Then he passed his hand over my face and shoulders 
and did the same with himself. After all these motions he 
went away looking quite well pleased. Another came some 
days later for the same ceremony. As soon as I learned of 
his coming I sent for a Frenchman and asked him to ex- 
plain to me what I should say, without it appearing that he 
was acting as my interpreter. I was anxious to know 
whether I had made a mistake in my answer to the other 
one. He asked if I would consent to adopt him as my son. 
He said that whenever he returned from the chase, he 
would, "without design," throw his game at my feet; that 
I need not ask as the other Frenchman did, "for what are 
you hungry?" that is, "what do you want me to give you?" 
but that I should make him sit down and feed him as if he 
were my own son and that when he returned the second time, 
I could say: 

"Be seated my son ; now, come, here is some paint and 
some powder." 

You see the genius of the savage. He wanted to appear 
generous in giving "without design" and yet did not want to 
lose anything by it. 

I replied to his discourse : "Igaton the'," "very good," 
or "I consent," after which he passed his hand over me as 
the other one had done. 

374 Arkansas Historical Association 

Here is another incident which shows how generous 
they are. Day before yesterday I received a visit from a 
chief. I gave him a pipe and tobacco, — ^to fail in that 
would be to be wanting in courtesy. A moment later he 
took a painted deer skin which he had left in the hall of 
my house and put it over my shoulders. That is their cus- 
tom when they give presents like that. I asked a French- 
man to inquire of him what he wished me to give him. 

"I have given without design," he said. "Do you think 
I would barter with my father?" 

However, a few moments later, he said to the same 
Frenchman that his wife had no salt, and his son no powder. 
His object was just that, — The Indian gives nothing for 
nothing and you must observe the same maxim in dealing 
with him, unless you would invite his contempt. 

A painted, or matachee, skin is one painted by the In- 
dians in different colors and on which they paint pipes, birds 
and animals. Those of the deer serve as table covers and 
those of the buffaloes make bed coverings. 

The French settlement among the Akensas would be 
considerable if M. Law's credit had held out four or five 
years. His grant or concession, was here in a boundless 
prairie, the entrance to which is two gun shots from my 
house. The Indian Company had made him a grant in 
the form of a square, and it is about 100 leagues around 
it, I think. 

His plan was to build a city there, establish manufac- 
tures, have a quantity of vassals and troops ; in fine, to make 
a duchy of it. He began to work just before his downfall. 
The effects that he sent into this country amounted to more 
than a million and a half francs. There were among other 
things superb equipments sufficient for two hundred caval- 
rymen. He had also bought 300 negroes. The French en- 
gaged for this grant were people of all sorts of trades. The 
managers and subalterns, with 100 men, came up the river 
in fine boats, to start the enterprise. They planned to pro- 
vide supplies for those whom they had left below on the 
river. The chaplain died on the way and was buried on a 
sandbar in the Mississippi. Twelve thousand Germans 

Arkansas and the Jesuits in 1727 375 

were engaged for this concession. That was not a bad start 
for the first year ; but M. Laws was disgraced. Of three or 
four thousand Germans who had already left their country, 
a great part died at Lorient, almost all upon landing in the 
country ; and others were countermanded. The Indian Com- 
pany took over the grant and soon after abandoned it and 
everything went helter-skelter. About 300 Frenchmen re- 
mained. The fine character of the soil and climate alone 
kept them, for they have received no outside aid. 

My arrival gave them pleasure, for they thought this 
meant that the Indian Company did not intend to abandon 
this section, as they first believed, since a missionary had 
been sent there. 

I could not tell you with what joy these good people 
received me. I have found them in great need of every- 
thing. This misfortune, with the excessive and unusual heat 
which they have had this year, has put everybody on the 
sick list. 

The few remedies which I brought with me have been 
a great aid to them. The time which I have had to give 
to the sick has not prevented me from giving each Sunday 
and each feast-day, an exhortation during mass, and an 
address of instruction after vespers. I have had the con- 
solation of seeing that the greater part of them have prof- 
ited by it, and have ccome to the Sacrament and that the 
rest are disposed to profit by it. 

It is indeed a reward for the greatest labors, if they 
are followed by the conversion of even one sinner. 

The fatigue of the sea and of the Mississippi, which are 
still greater, and the change of food and of climate and of 
everything, have in no way altered my health. I am the 
only one of the French who has been preserved from sick- 
ness since I came here. Yet they used to complain of the 
pallor of my complexion before I left France. One could 
not complain, for the opposite reason, of Father Souel, who 
has already been sick three times since he has been in 
this country. 

Pray God that He gives me grace to consecrate what 
strength I have to the conversion of the savages. Judging 

376 Arkansas Historical Association 

from a human standpoint, there is little good to be done 
among them, at least, in the beginning, but I hope for 
everything by the grace of God. 

I have the honor to be, respectfully. 


Extract from a Letter of Father Lepetit to Father 


New Orleans, July 12, 1730. 
Reverend Father : — 

(P. 296) * * After having given you some idea of the 
customs and genius of the Natchez, I will now give you an 
account of their perfidy and treason. It was on the 2nd of 
December, 1729, that we learned that they had surprised 
the French and had almost annihilated them. The sad 
news was brought by one of the settlers who had escaped 
their fury and it was confirmed on succeeding days by other 
French fugitives. * * * 

The alarm and consternation at New Orleans were gen- 
eral. Altho the carnage occurred more than 100 leagues 
from here, you would have said that it had happened under 
our very eyes. 

Each mourned the loss of a relative, friend or prop- 
erty, and all feared for their lives for there was ground 
for believing that the conspiracy of the Indians was uni- 

This unexpected massacre began on Monday, October 
28, 1729, toward 9 o'clock in the morning ♦ ♦ ♦ 

Father du Poisson had just come to perform the burial 
service of his companion, Brother Crucy, who died sud- 
denly from sun-stroke. He had gone to consult M. Perrier 
and take measures with him necessary for bringing the 
Akensas down the river for the accommodation of travelers. 

He reached the Natchez November 26th, just two days 
before the massacre. The next day, which was the first 
Sunday in Advent, he said mass in the parish and preached 
in the absence of the curate. He intended to return in the 

Arkansas and the Jesuits in 1727 377 

afternoon to the Akensas, but he was delayed by some sick 
people to whom he had to administer the Sacrament. Mon- 
day, he had just said mass, and was carrying the holy 
viaticum to one of the sick, who had confessed the evening 
before, when the slaughter began. 

The chief. Big Leg, caught him around the waist, threw 
him to the ground and cut off his head with the strokes of 
a tomahawk. As he fell the priest said only, "Oh ! my God, 
Oh ! my God !" 

M. Du Codere drew a sword to defend him when he 
was himself killed by a gun-shot fired by another Indian 
whom he did not see. ♦ * * 

The Illinois, (who remained faithful to the French), left 
on June 1st, to join the Akensas and fall upon the Yazous 
and the Carroys. The latter were in retreat intending to 
retire among the Tchikachas where they were carrying the 
French scalps which they had taken. But they were sur- 
prised on the way by the Tchatchoumas and by some 
Tchactas who took from them 18 scalps and recovered the 
French women and their children. 

A little later they were again attacked by a band of 
Akensas who took four of their scalps and made several 
women prisoners. These good savages, on their return, 
met two canoes of French hunters, whom they robbed, after 
their custom, from their heads to their feet, as they wept 
over the death of the French and of their Father in Jesus 

They swore that while there was an Akensas (un 
Akensas in the world, the Natchez and the Yazous would 
not be without an enemy. They showed a bell and some 
books which they were carrying, they said, for the first 
"black chief" who comes to their village. That was all 
that they found in Father Souel's cabin. 

The faithful Akensas mourn every day in their village 
for the death of Father du Poisson. They beg with great 
insistence for another missionary. We cannot refuse to 
grant this request of a nation so amiable and at all times 
so devoted to the French. 

378 Arkansas Historical Association 

* * * There is nothing to fear at New Orleans. 
* * * As for the missionaries, they are very tranquil. 
The perils to which they are exposed, seem to increase their 
joy and reanimate their zeal. Remember them and me in 
your holy sacrifices, in whose union I am with respect, etc. 


Extract from a Letter of Father Vivier to Father 

In the Illinois Country. November 17, 1750. 

(P. 326) * * ♦ 

One hundred leagues above the Natchez, (a nation now 
destroyed), are the Akensas, an Indian nation of about 400 
warriors. We have fiear them a fort with a commissary to 
furnish supplies to those who go up to the Illinois country. 
There are several settlers, but in May, 1648, the fChicachots, 
our irreconcilable enemies, seconded by some other bar- 
barians suddenly attacked this post, killed several people, 
and took away 13 in captivity. The rest fled to the fort in 
which there were then only about a dozen soldiers. They 
acted as if they wished to attack, but scarcely had they lost 
two men, when they beat a retreat. 



(By George P. Kennard.) 

Michael Shelby Kennard, son of G. W. and Eliza Hob- 
son Kennard, was born February 12^ 1833, at Gaston, Sum- 
ter County, Alabama, and attended school at that place until 
his fifteenth year. He then entered the University of Ala- 
bama, where he graduated with honors in July, 1852. On 
the 16th of September of the same year he was married to 
Mary Saunders, at Saunderville, Sumner County, Tennessee. 
Nine children blessed this union. In the spring of 1853 he 
taught a select school in the parish of West Feliciana, Louis- 
iana, at the same time employing his leisure hours in the 
study of law. Removing to Batesville, Ark., in July, 1854, 
he was there admitted to the bar, and successfully practiced 
his profession until the beginning of the Civil War. Here, 
also, he entered the field of journalism by establishing "The 
Independent Balance,'' a paper devoted to the interests of 
his town and county ; and so ably did he conduct the editorial 
department of his paper that it soon found place in the front 
rank among Arkansas newspapers of that day. With char- 
acteristic determination to excel in this as in every under- 
taking, he soon had one of the best equipped printing ofiices 
in the State, and was prospering, both as lawyer and editor, 
when the war came to blight his prospects. In 1860 he was 
sent as a delegate to the Bell and Everett convention, Bal- 
timore, Md., and afterwards as a delegate to the constitu- 
tional convention at Little Rock that passed the ordinance of 
secession. On his return to Batesville, he joined Colonel 
Sweet's Texas regiment ; was captured, with his whole com- 
mand, at Arkansas Post, and sent to Gratiot prison, St. 
Louis, Mo. After being kept there for three months, he was 
sent to Alton, 111., where he remained for nine months, until 
released through the efforts of his brother-in-law. Col. Rolf e 
S. Saunders, a warm personal friend of Mrs. Abraham Lin- 

380 Arkansas Historical Association 

coin. While in the army he received a wound in the head 
from which he suffered headaches in later life. 

With this brief summary of the principal events in his 
early life, I have given the reader an introduction to the man 
whose work as an educator deserves larger mention than 
one can give it in a short journalistic sketch. The life of 
M. Shelby Kennard during the thirty-six years from the end 
of the Civil War until his death in 1901 was rich in mate- 
rials that would grace the pen of the most skillful biogra- 

One of his first acts at the close of the war, which I 
mention because it strikingly reveals the virtuous magna- 
nimity of his soul, was to destroy accounts which he held 
against his fellow-citizens to the amount of several thousand 
dollars. Although these accounts were just, and legally col- 
lectible, his sympathy for his debtors, who, like himself, had 
suffered the losses incident to those four terrible years of 
strife, prompted him to generously release them from all 
previously incurred obligations to him. He did not, how- 
ever, demand like treatment from his creditors ; and, though 
some of them relentlessly pushed their claims against him, 
he would not take cover from their ungenerous exactions 
under the bankrupt law; but, preferring poverty with un- 
stained honor to material comforts enjoyed at the expense 
of self-respect, sold his home in order to pay his debts. 

Though now at the bottom of the ladder of fortune 
(financially speaking), the reputation that he had already 
won, both as a lawyer and as an editor, predicted for him a 
future of brilliant success, had he chosen to continue in 
either of these vocations. Neither of them, however, was to 
his liking. God had ordained him for a higher calling. He 
was born to be a teacher, and now entered upon the life- 
work for which he was peculiarly fitted, both by natural en- 
dowment and education. His transient labors in other fields 
were divergences from the path prescribed for him by 
Providence, whose kindly hand now led him back into the 
way from which a youthful ambition had for a short time 
lured him. 

Michael Shelby Kennard 381 

Under the influence of a godly f ather, who was a Bap- 
tist minister, he had early been led to faith in Christ. From 
that time to the end of his life he was a devout and consist- 
ent Christian of the Baptist persuasion. While pursuing his 
studies in the University of Alabama^ he was impressed with 
the belief that God had called him to the Gospel ministry, 
and in letters to his fiancee expressed his intention to make 
this his life-work. So tenacious was this impression that it 
led him, even in advanced age, to accept from his church a 
license to preach, though he was never ordained to the full 
work of the ministry. His mind seemed never to be entirely 
relieved of this obligation, however, until he had the pleas- 
ure of seeing one of his sons, the writer of this sketch, or- 
dained to the Baptist ministry. It was this ineradicable 
conviction that God had called him to devote his life to the 
service of others that led him to enter upon his life-work as 
- a teacher; and no one fully acquainted with the man, and 
thoroughly apprised of his success in his chosen field of la- 
bor, could doubt the wisdom of his choice. His teaching was 
preaching, most fruitful of results, because his auditors were 
the young, whose minds were as clay in the potter's 
hands. He held before them the beautiful ideal of a blame- 
less life, and exemplified it by his own. He kindled in their 
minds the fire of a holy ambition, and taught them to detest 
an ugly act or an impure thought. Each daily session of his 
school was opened with the reading of God's word and 
prayer; and in those chapel exercises I have frequently 
heard him lecture his pupils with tearful emotion. No one 
could come under his influence without receiving an inspi- 
ration to strive for the loftiest and best in being and con- 

In addition to the moral influence of his life and teach- 
ing upon his pupils, he possessed superlative skill as an in- 
structor. With a mind clear, penetrating, sharply anal3rt- 
ical, and disciplined to rigid accuracy by its love of truth, 
he quickly perceived the source of the pupil's confusion, 
wisely guided him out of his perplexity, and insisted upon 
his clear solution of every difficulty and complete mastery 
of every problem. His motto in teaching was, "Thorough- 

382 Arkansas Historical Association 

ness first ; then progress." He insisted upon accuracy in de- 
tails. Every sentence that came from his own lips or pen 
was ready, without change, for the printer's page. He was 
not guilty of such a fault as a misspelled or mispronounced 
word, or a mispunctuated sentence, and he taught his pupils 
to aspire to the same degree of accuracy. He believed that 
education consists in having the mind well disciplined and 
prepared to grapple with life's problems, rather than in hav- 
ing it crammed with a confused mass of useless knowledge ; 
and it was his conviction that this task is best accomplished 
by the thorough mastery of a few subjects, rather than by 
an attempted acquaintance with many. 

A few general statements may serve to set his moral 
character before the reader in clearer light. NeVer was a 
soul less sordid; he was absolutely free from the love of 
money. He taught out of pure love for his profession — a 
love arising from his love to God and to his fellow men. He 
found the greatest pleasure in assisting young men and 
young women to obtain a liberal education ; and, to this day, 
there are many of these that gratefully remember the help 
he gave them. No impure word was ever heard from his 
lips by any member of his family, nor, I am sure, by any one 
else. He was disgusted with anything that bore the slight- 
est resemblance to vulgarity or obscenity. He was scrupu- 
lously honest in all his dealings with his fellow men, and con- 
scientiously truthful. In this respect, his life fulfilled the 
description in the fifteenth Psalm of the man that shall dwell 
in God's holy hill : "He that * ♦ * speaketh truth in his 
heart ; * * * he that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth 
not." Though not lacking in self-respect and consciousness 
of his own ability, he was retiring and modest, and never 
sought to push himself into such prominence as his most in- 
timate and appreciative friends thought he deserved. 
Though amply qualified for any office within the gift of the 
people, only once could he be induced to seek a prominent 
oflUce — ^that which he was best of all qualified to fill — the 
State superintendency of public instruction. His failure to 
secure the office resulted from political wire-pulling, in 
which he would not participate to avoid defeat. 

Michael Shelby Kennard 383 

The limits of this sketch forbid more than the briefest 
mention of further events in Mr. Kennard's history. Nor is 
it necessary to expatiate upon any of these where one is not 
attempting to write a complete biography. After teaching 
two or three years at Batesville, he was induced by friends 
that knew his worth to move to the adjoining county of 
Izard, where he founded LaCrosse Academy. Three years 
thereafter, in the year 1870, the citizens of Warren, Bradley 
county, in the southern part of the State, having learned of 
his ability and success as a teacher through one of his former 
patrons, addressed to him an urgent petition to become the 
principal of the Warren Academy, offering to guarantee him 
a salary of $1,500 and to make him a deed to their entire 
school property. In response to their invitation he moved 
to Warren, but generously refused to accept either the guar- 
antee of salary or the deed to the property. After six well- 
spent years in Warren, he returned to LaCrosse in 1876. 
This move of two hundred miles was made in wagons, sent 
by his LaCrosse friends, whose desire to have him return 
caused them to offer this free transportation for his family 
and household goods. For eight years, LaCrosse Collegiate 
Institute, as it was then known, flourished under his man- 
agement; and here he would probably have spent his re- 
maining years but for one of those terrific disasters that are 
frequently wrought by nature's violent forces. In the year 
1884 a cyclone wrecked the school building and practically 
destroyed the whole village. The people of the community, 
impoverished by their own losses, could only replace the 
wrecked building by a smaller and cheaper one. The vil- 
lage never recovered from the ravages of the storm. Mr. 
Kennard soon found it necessary to go elsewhere for a sup- 
port for his family. He afterwards taught at Smithfield, 
Evening Shade and Newport. He later was elected profes- 
sor of Greek, Latin and mathematics in Mountain Home 
Baptist College, where he remained five years. During part 
of the time he held the office of president of that institution. 
Returning again to LaCrosse, he labored for three years un- 
der the strain of declining health, caused by some disorder 
of the stomach. Closing his last session in March, he set 

384 Arkansas Historical Association 

out for Heber Springs, hoping to obtain relief from those 
waters ; but, reaching Batesville on his way thither, he was 
compelled by failing strength to stop at the home of some 
friends there, where, after a month of suffering, he died in 
the spring of 1901, surrounded by his wife and children, 
who had gathered to his bedside to witness the end of his 
virtuous career. His last words, spoken in a whisper to his 
wife, were these : "I am trusting in the blood of the ever- 
lasting covenant of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ." 

In the beautiful cemetery at Batesville, his first Arkan- 
sas home, not far from the river, whose flow is ceaseless as 
the tide of years, his body rests, awaiting resurrection at the 
trump of God ; but in the "beautiful isle of somewhere" his 
spirit exults in a beatific vision of Christ, and his memory 
here is cherished by many to whom his life was a benedic- 
tion. As a token of their affection, his pupils have adorned 
his grave with a modest monument — ^the only kind that 
would have suited — and on it are engraved his last words. 
Not less than three thousand young men and young women 
of Arkansas were trained for life by his teaching, and from 
him caught a glimpse of that better life that awaits the 
faithful "beyond this bourn of time and place;" and all of 
them that may chance to read these lines will join with the 
writer in this estimate of his character : 

"His life was gentle, and the elements 
So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up 
And say to all the world, 'This was a man !' " 

The following is a letter of appreciation written June 
26, 1916, by one of Professor Kennard's former students, 
William T. Hopper, who at the time of writing it was treas- 
urer of the Home Savings Bank of Los Angeles, Cal. : 

"I am just in receipt of your letter in reference to Pro- 
fessor Kennard, and beg to say : Having studied four years 
under him in Mountain Home Baptist College, from which 
institution I graduated in 1895, and having been intimately 
associated with him in institutes and normals, I am con- 
vinced that he was truly one of the strong men of the Na- 
tion. Had he had the disposition to put himself forward he 

Michael Shelby Kennard 385 

could no doubt have held any position of public trust with 
distinction and honor, but he preferred the modest but more 
important work of training the youth of the country, who 
idolized him in life. 

"One of his pet sayings was this : *No one knows any- 
thing well until he is able to explain it to others/ and he con- 
tinuously drilled that into his pupils. When we would say 
we knew, but could not explain, he invariably said we did 
not know until we could explain. Once when I was exam- 
iner of Baxter County, and was holding an institute, I said 
that no one could teach in the schools of Baxter County who 
in any way used intoxicating liquor. Professor Kennard at 
once took up the thought and said with emphasis that these 
words should be written in gold and placed in every school- 
house in the county." 


(By Mrs. A. A. Tufts.) 

The story of the early days of Camden has been told 
more than once in the columns of our newspapers, and from 
these accounts I have gleaned a few of the main facts. For 
the rest I will simply recall some facts as related by my 
father and mother, who settled here in 1844. It was then 
called Ecore Fabre. They came from Gainesville, Ala., stop- 
ping at Helena eight months, before finally deciding upon 
this point. I remember a certain old oak center table which 
for many years was the prominent feature in our living 
room, and one day I crawled under it and saw the words 
"Ecore Fabre'' in large black letters. This was part of the 
shipping address, and I, who was bom some years after the 
name of Camden was adopted, had to ask what Ecore Fabre 
meant. I was told then the story of the first white man who 
ever lived here. He was a French trapper, who must have 
been a man of fine judgment, as he chose to tie up his skiff 
and pitch his tent on the bluffs of the Ouachita at this point, 
hence the name "Fabre's Bluff." It was near the close of 
the year 1844 that some of our citizens began to agitate the 
subject of a change of name, and conflicting reports have 
been made as to why the name of Camden was chosen. 
Among these reports the most plausible seems to be that 
Gen. Thomas Woodw;\rd selected Camden, in honor of his 
native town of that name in Alabama. At this time resi- 
dences were of the most primitive style, built of logs, on the 
plan known as that of "two pens and a passage." The 
younger members of the family were usually assigned sleep- 
ing quarters in the loft. I remember hearing my mother tell 
of her embarrassment once, while my father was entertain- 
ing some distinguished guests, when one of the boys, becom- 
ing a little frightened at some unusual noise outside, came 
crawling down the narrow, steep stairway very thinly clad ; 
and, as he was coming backwards, did not realize the pres- 

Eai^ly Days of Camden 387 

ence of the guests. The first church in Camden was built 
by the Methodists in 1844. Before that time religious serv- 
ices had been held in a private house. The church was a 
modest wooden building forty feet square on the same lot 
where the handsome brick church now stands. The laying 
of this cornerstone was a great event. The Blue Lodge took 
an important, part in the ceremonies, and the ''Heroines of 
Jericko" and "Good Samaritans" marched bravely in the 
ranks. They were all there, even to Mrs. Peter Pope, who 
had told her husband on the night of her initiation that if 
she saw or heard anything "contrary to the word of God," 
right then and there she was going to turn back. Dear 
sainted souls! Any of them would have died a martsrr's 
death rather than be untrue to their ideals ! My father used 
to tell us of one day during the Sunday service, in this old 
church, when a boy slipped in and quietly passed the word 
along to the men and boys that a wild cat had been sighted 
in the ravine which divided the town north and south. A 
good brother was making a long prayer, and when he ut* 
tered the final amen and rose from his knees, every male 
member of the congregation had disappeared. Before the 
close of the sermon which followed they all came trooping 
by, with dogs in hot pursuit of the wild cat. Our men would 
never leave "an ox in the ditch" nor a wild cat in the ravine, 
even on Sunday. Ezra Hill was the first merchant in Cam- 
den. He was a wealthy and influential man, and his daugh- 
ter, Elizabeth, afterwards Mrs. Vaughan, was a prominent 
figure in social life. Her name is preserved by our little 
Miss Elizabeth Vaughan Holmes, her great-great-grand- 
daughter. Of all the names which have lingered in the 
memory of the old settlers none possess so much interest as 
that of Berenice Woodward, whose charming personality 
and early pathetic death enshrined her in all hearts. 

General Woodward's residence was the first frame 
house built in Camden. My father. Judge Scott, was the 
first lawyer, and had an ofiice in a small log cabin near the 
residence of Mr. W. W. Brown. There was a gruesome 
story of the first hanging. A white man named Dowdy 
killed an Indian on the main street of the town, under cir- 

388 Arkansas Historical Association 

cumstances which resulted in a speedy sentence. There was 
no need for setting a death watch, the Indians attended to 
that. They spent their time watching him stealthily through 
the cracks of the log jail, and at meal times especially would 
jeer at him and make remarks such as, "Eat heap, Dowdy — 
get fat — ^hang nex' week." He was hung in due time, and 
one of my brothers, now a Confederate veteran, fainted at 
the sight, and as he tumbled down from the lofty perch he 
had selected for a good view, it happened to be my father 
who rescued him. The surprise was mutual, as father had 
strictly forbidden the boy attending the hanging and had 
remarked that he was only going out for "a little drive," in 
hunter's parlance — ^mother saw to it that day that my 
brother escaped his usual punishment for disobedience. 

Hiram Smith was the first postmaster, and letters were 
expensive luxuries, with postage at twenty-three cents. 
Rowland B. Smith was the first boy born in Camden. Cer- 
tain newspaper writers have tried to prove that he was not, 
but if there is a discrepancy of about ten miles involved 
there will be no trouble about that, as Camden will undoubt- 
edly reach that limit before long. Historians may destroy 
some of our most cherished ideals. They are welcome to the 
cherry tree and the hatchet ; they may even lay violent hands 
on that other member of the Smith family, Captain John, of 
Jamestown, and his dusky charmer, but we refuse to part 
with our first "boy baby," as he was called. 

Our first livery stable was owned by a man who rejoiced 
in the name of Napoleon Bonaparte Sullins, but was some 
times called "Dick" for short. The first tombstone brought 
to Camden was to mark the resting place of Thomas Stone. 
This stone was an object of the most intense interest to all 
the surrounding country, and was one of the sights to be 
enjoyed by visitors. Berenice Woodward had the first piano, 
and it was not uncommon for Indians to slip up near the 
house to peep curiously through the window and listen, with 
great wonderment, to her playing. The first tailor in Cam- 
den was John Works, a diminutive specimen of mankind, 
who was the wonder of all the small boys of the town. 
Blood-curdling stories were told of his previous life ; he had 

Early Days of Camden 389 

surely been a pirate, or at the very best an absconding hus- 
band and father. The most generally accepted thing was 
that he had been a soldier in the Texan war and an active 
participant in the battle of San Jacinto ; and afterwards a 
noted gambler and horse-racer — always a brave fighter, who 
carried a bowie knife stuck down the back of his neck. 
From the day he appeared in Camden he led a singularly 
.quiet life, was a consistent Methodist, and when he died 
many years ago left his little fortune to missionary work. 
Doctor Ponder was the first physiciian. Previous to his ar- 
rival it was necessary to send to Washington, some fifty 
miles away, for medical service, so it is not surprising to 
hear of the old ladies who went from house to house with 
simple remedies in their little reticules, and many choice 
recipes for preparing broths and poultices and teas. The 
first log house was the home of John Nunn, and here court 
met, religious services were held and the postoffice kept until 
suitable buildings were erected. When the Nunns first came, 
there were so many bears prowling around the town that 
Mrs. Nunn used to tie her small children to the bedposts for 
fear they might stray out of doors and be eaten alive. Ster- 
ling Backana was our first mayor. In beautiful Oakland 
cemetery will be found many another loved and honored 
name of those who gave their best to the upbuilding of 

''May they rest in peace and may perpetual light shine 
upon them." 

(By Edward Palmer.) 

Arkadelphu, Clark County, Ark. 

Feb. 6, 1882 — ^Blind man keeps a book and news store, 
walks about, makes long journeys, can tell the right from 
the left turns in roads, by lying down, can distinguish the 
different kinds of money (coin). He is also an inventor of 
a lire screen. 

Feb. 8, 1882. — ^Was so cold and slippery that I could not 
go any where, nearly frozen in the open and bad hotel. 

Feb. 10, 1882 — Heavy rain and at night thunder and 
lightning. A second blind man of the place invented the 
glass slide for the cracker boxes. Visited the old Indian 
Salt Works near by, on Saline Bayou. Another very wet 
night (Feb. 10, 1882), which was a great disappointment, so 
much loss of time, which those at a distance may not be dis- 
posed to recognize as a fact or reason for no more being 
done in winter. This State is not a very sunny part of the 
South — a small repetition of last February. The salt works 
are one mile from the banks of the Ouachita River and two 
miles southeast of Arkadelphia, but along the banks of 
the Saline Bayou. They are wells, which are salt as also 
is Saline Bayou. 

Heckatoo, Lincoln County, Aak. 

Jan. 3, 1883. — Arrived at Heckatoo. Captain Felix R. 
R. Smith entertained me. It rained three days and nights 
making it wet and miserable. 

^Observation and results of excavations made around the mounds 
in various parts of the State: Salt wells, filler mounds, journey from 
Osceola, remains of old fortification on the Arkansas river, etc., etc., 
made in various years. 

Arkansas Mounds 391 

Sarassa (P. O.) Mounds, Lincoln County, Abk., Near 


The soil is sandy, and much roofing is found. Long 
Lake. These mounds are strewn over with pottery, having 
been cut up by the plow, and was originally only eighteen 
inches under the ground. Covered by a fine growth of 
weeds, none of which fragments were collected. For three 
days the rain made it difficult to work. 

Sarassa Mounds, Near Heckatoo, Lincoln County, Ark. 


These mounds are composed of sandy loam, and have 
been cultivated for years. They are thickly scattered 
over with brick stuff, pieces of pottery and stone imple- 
ments. The materials left under the soil appear to be only 
eighteen inches under — according to the limited examina- 
tion I could make. The cultivation of the land confirmed 
this also. As the mound was covered over with cotton not 
gathered the owner did not wish it disturbed. Besides, the 
earth was very moist. During the following plowing 
whatever is found is to be sent to the National Museum. 
The mounds are arranged around a space of five acres of 
ground and are from three and one-half to four feet high 
and twenty-five to thirty feet in diameter. The mounds vary 
in distance apart from ten to one hundred and fifty feet. At 
the lower part of the plot a slough covered with weeds and 
water and from this earth may have been taken to make 
the mounds. Specimens found on surface as numbered. 

Smith's Mound, Heckatoo, Lincoln County, Ark. 

On the farm of Felix R. R. Smith in southwest quarter 
section 17, range 7 south, 5 west. It is seven feet high, 
thirty feet wide and thirty-eight feet long. Stump of a 
tree two and one-half feet in diameter stands on the top. 
A cut five feet deep and three and one-half feet square was 
made. Sandy loam six inches, and the rest was stiff clay 
with no evidence of occupation. Not even ashes or a scrap 
of pottery. Around is very rich soil, but low, and covered 
with fine timber. A cypress swamp is near. 

392 Arkansas Historical Association 

Adam's Mound, Two Miles West of South from Hecka- 

TOO, Lincoln County, Ark. 

This mound is near the Smith mound on land belonging 
to Major J. D. Adams. It is in northwest quarter section 
20, west side near the northwest comer, range 7 south, 5 
west, and is sixty feet west of a cypress bayou. 
^ This mound is twenty feet high, sixty feet wide, and 
ninety feet long. Trees two feet through are growing on 
its summit. Its summit was covered by deer, and other wild 
animal tracks. Its outward appearance is that of a mass 
of yellowish Vaxy clay. A cut was made six feet deep and 
running six feet back. Nothing but stiff clay was found, 
not even a bone or piece of pot. On the top a cut was made 
downward with the same result. The land around is low 
and during heavy rains is more or less under water. The 
soil is very rich and covered with cane and large trees. 

Prohibition Towns, Arkansas. 

Steamboats and express companies evade the law. 

The Steamer Josie Harry, mail boat to White River, 
had on board numerous jugs of whiskey and brandy from 
Memphis for parties in the prohibition towns. The common 
deck hands often at the end of the month owe at the bar 
of the steamer more than the pay due them. ' 

St. Francis River Bottom. Left Forest City by two- 
mule team, an ex-Confederate soldier for driver. He called 
home-made tobacco Arkansas scrip. Told his experience as 
prisoner at Camp Butter, Springfield, Ohio, and at Erie, Pa. 

Nov. 3. — Apple and peach trees in bloom. Neglected 
grave yard of U. S. Troops at Madison, St. Francis county, 

Forest City on Saturday. No saloon, drug store. Have 
a hole the money and bottle placed by a hole move go the 
bottle is filled no one seen. 

Seeds of the china tree cures * * * in horses. 
(Forest City, Ark.) 

A Cap. Cook would not allow his mounds disturbed 
because his negroes would not rent his land, fearing hants. 

Arkansas Mounds 393 

Nine hundred inhabitants. No bakery, bread from Mem- 
phis or Helena. Turnips one cent each. Apples and Irish 

potatoes bushel. Sweet potatoes fifty cents. Meat beef 

ten to fifteen cents a pound. Chickens small 25 cents each. 
No bank. 

Salt Wells Near Arkadelphu, Clark County, Ark. 

Pottery borrowed from C. C. Scott of Arkadelphia, and 
also from George Fuller of the same place. The numbers 
that were loaned by the above are 790-91-92-93. 

Feb. 1883. — Since visiting that part of the Arkansas 
below Little Rock it has seemed to me that the character of 
the pottery changes, becoming more ornamental. I there- 
fore visited Arkadelphia to see if the same conditions ex- 
tended that way. By the few specimens obtained am satis- 
fied that it does. Near Arkadelphia was the location of a 
large settlement of Indians, when the whites first settled 
there. The whites resort;ed here for the purposes of mak- 
ing salt from Saline Bayou which is two miles southeast of 
Arkadelphia and one mile from Ouachita or Washita River. 
The Indians soon disposed of their home for the white 
intruder wanting salt. The whites having suitable tools to 
dig the salt had much the advantage of the Indian with his 
crude implements. The Whites had iron vessels to boil 
down the water while the Indians only had pails of unglazed 
earthen ware. 

During the late war the Confederates made war here 
and nearly obliterated all traces of the Indian occupation. 
A few parts of mounds or what were formerly mounds 
occupied by Indians, remain as these fragments would indi- 
cate. Fragments were round. 

Malvern, Junction, Oct. 1, 1883. 
Prof. Thomas, 

Dear Sir : 

Find enclosed report of work done since forwarding 
box of specimens from Arkadelphia. 

Valentine of Richmond is making a great effort to 
get work done in this State. He is writing to everyone he 

394 Arkansas Historical Association 

thinks will help him, asking them if it will be convenient 
for them to open mounds for him and on what terms if not 
to recommend some one that could, L. E. Gibney of Arka- 
delphia, handed me two letters he received from Valentine 
to read, which explained his plans and gave names of his 
friends who are helping him. At the railroad stations 
notices are posted stating that the highest cash price will 
be paid for any Indian antiquities. The figures of pipes 
stone, axe, heads and spears head the posters. There are 
other parties in the field, in consequence of which I think it 
best to go to those localities likely to yield good results 
without striking the work done by others. 

Bryant Station, Saline County, Ark. 

Sept. 16, 1883. — Visited Bryant station. No team could 
be had to go into the country, all having gone to camp meet- 
ing even the boarding house. Had to get the station keeper 
to go with me to the sawmill and get me a chance to stop 
until next day's train for Arkadelphia. 

Mounds six miles south of Arkadelphia, Clark County, 
Ark. These mounds are in the woods. 

Mounds on farm of Woodby Triggs, four miles north- 
west of Arkadelphia, Clark County, Ark. 

Mounds three miles north of Arkadelphia, Clark 
county. Ark. Mounds are owned by W. A. Triggs. 

Winchester Station, Drew County, Ark. 

W. B. Dumas entitled to thanks of Bureau of Ethnology. 

Nov, 22, 1882. — Seventy-five cents or one hundred 
pounds of lint cotton is taken for ginning cotton (a bale) — 
formerly it was one dollar. In some places the seed is taken 
for the ginning. 

Filler Mound, Drew County, Ark. 

Two and one-half miles southwest from Winchester 

The Filler Mound is situated on the farm of J. T. Filler, 
two and one-half miles southwest from Winchester Station 

Arkansas Mounds 395 

on the Little Rock, Mississippi River & Texas railroad, 
Drew county, Ark. 

The mound is four hundred and fifty feet from the bed 
of Bartholemew Bayou. It is two miles by section lines from 
the mounds on Holleywood plantation. Mr. W. B. Dumas, 
who having this farm rented, kindly gave me permission to 
dig into the mound. It is nine feet high, eighteen feet 
across at top and forty-five feet across base. 

As the iron probe indicated there was something be- 
low. I commenced on one side so as to dig over the entire 
mound. At one foot below the surface I commenced to find 
pottery, remains, etc. This deposit of bodies deepened to 
two feet toward the centre. They were without any definite 
order of deposit nor did they face any one direction. The 
bones of one body often lay across another or under. Some- 
times the vertebrae of one were found pressed between the 
upper and lower jaw of another. Two or three heads were 
very near together. It was a very difficult task to extricate 
the bones, pottery, etc., owing to the irregular manner of 
intermixture with the soil. Twenty-five skulls were so de- 
cayed that they could not be saved. A number of sound 
bones were saved which may be useful to study. 

Four pots were taken near one head, two near another 
with a pipe. Also several mussel shells were found. Two 
were near the heads. Two turtle shells were inside of 
Cook Pot. The soil in which the deposit was found was 
vegetable loam and sand. Sandy loam was at base of 

Some of the skulls were in fragments so were many of 
the small bones. It rained during the examination and the 
specimens had to be gotten out as quickly as possible and 
placed to dry. The drawing gives a fair idea of the irregular 
way in which things were mixed up. Bayou Bartholemew 
is on the right of picture and does not overflow its bank. 

Along Bartholomew Bayou the soil is sandy and the 
subsoil a yellow clay. No burnt brick like substance or ashes 
were found in or about the mound. From this mound much 
pottery was taken, including stone spades, pipes, bones and 

396 Arkansas Historical Association 

Mounds, West Point, White County, Ark., on Little 

Red River. 

Oct. 6, 1883. — ^Agreed with some black men for one 
dollar per day to open mounds. At night one came and said 
they did not like to handle dead bones, that it was money 
enough for that kind of work. I told them I would handle 
the bones, as it was necessary to have them. I told him one 
dollar and twenty-five cents per day would be paid. He said 
. he was going to church that night and would let me know 
early the next morning. This he did not do. Picked up a 
black man and boy and finished the work. West Point was 
once a famous river settlement, but now nearly deserted. 
Railroads the cause. It is nicely situated among oaks on a 
dry bluff land on Little Red River. 

Harrisburg, Poinsett County, Ark., 1882. 

Hotel one dollar and fifty cents per day, food badly 
cooked and badly served. The beds wretched, drinking 
water with insects in it. No shoe mender in the place. One 
hundred and fifty inhabitants. 

Poor brick court house, jail inside, but unfinished. 
There is a doctor's shop, printing office, post office all in. 
court house. Owing to its unfinished condition prisoners 
are sent to other jails. 

Saloons are voted out of town. But drunken men are 
seen. Kansas eggs may be around filled with whiskey and 
sealed with white wax and sold 10 cents each or one dollar 
per dozen. A grocery has an inner room and a Saturday 
crowd is especially noticeable from other days. 

J. H. Hall and S. C. Stone are entitled to the thanks of 
the Bureau of Ethnology. 

E. T. Walker presents three ears of corn said to have 
originated from corn found in a mound on the St. Francis 
River. No. 419 — This rare and new com. 

Arkansas Mounds 397 

Stone Mound on Farm of F. G. Stone, Three Miles East 
OF Harrisburg, Poinsett County, Ark. 

On the same farm is a mound fifteen feet high, fifteen 
feet across at top and two hundred feet at base. After dig- 
ging off the top soil of eighteen inches, two skeletons were 
found three feet apart, with face down, one to the west and 
the other south. Nothing but pots were found with them. 
A large oak tree grew in the centre about three feet in 
diameter, the roots of which had broken the pottery. No 
ashes, bones, charcoal, burnt clay, bones of food animals or 
birds were found. The first two feet was black loam, then 
clay with gravel. 

Brookfield Mound, Three Miles East of Harrisburg, 

Poinsett County, Ark. 

One-quarter mile east from the "Stone" mounds in the 
thick woods belonging to J. C. Brookfield is a mound ten 
feet high, fifteen feet across with small bushes growing on 
the summit. A hole was dug from the summit to the base 
without finding the least trace of anything indicating that 
man had occupied it. First a few inches of soil, then a mix- 
ture of clay and gravel. 

Helena, Ark., January 2, 1882. 

New Year is celebrated at the post office. 

I called on Major Amot Harris of the Yeoman and Dr. 
S. M. Grant and presented letters from Dr. Morgan Cart- 
wright of Indian Bay. 

Jan. 3. — Left by ferry boat to Mississippi side and took 
cars for Jonestown with letter to ex-Governor and Senator 
J. S. Alcorn. Returned to Helena, Arkansas, from Forest 
City and left January 11th for Marianna by boat. 

Mounds on Farm of Hugh Waller in Carson Lake 
Township, Six Miles a Little Southwest 

FROM Osceola, Ark. 

There are several mounds on this farm, all of which 
have been more or less changed. I am informed that the 
earthquake of 1811 and 1812 cut large fissures through or 

398 Arkansas Historical Association 

ran close by all of them. Only one contained anjrthing and 
that was one of the smallest. The earthquake cut a furrow 
through it on one side and near the edge of this furrow 
were found two nice water-vessels by the side of a skull, 
the rest of the body being precipitated into the deep furrow. 
In the centre of this mound were found six skeletons, the 
bones of which, though in place, were much split and cracked 
by the force of the earthquake. 

Osceola, Mississippi County, Ark. 

Nov. 10, 1881. — The grand jury had two black men on 
it and gave great satisfaction. The petit jury had one black 
man on it. Some strong talk by some against it. Shoes 
seem to wear out very slowly — ^no stones. 

Three cotton gins were burnt this year. Chinamen who 
live here by burning bricks. They are very industrious and 
dress as other men, his hair cut even all around. Consump- 
tion in dogs and animals is caused by dampness. Osceola is a 
dirty, damp expensive place to live. The buildings are small. 
The grog shops outnumber any other kind of shop or busi- 
ness. The grand jury had three hundred witnesses before 
it and served sixty subpoenas, so said the foreman. 

Journey from Osceola, Ark. 

Oct. 27, 1881.— Left Osceola, Oct. 27, 1881, in a mule 
team for Little River over low woodlands for some miles, 
then through the new cut road. Trees blazed along the old 
road, along which were a few scattering houses. Had to 
pass through cypress swamps up to the knees. There was a 
good deal of water also. It rained all days. Twenty miles 
brought us to Arnold's but we could not stop. He had a fine 
cotton crop. Settlers are few and far between. Crossed Lit- 
tle River which was a dry sand bed, but steamboats run up 
it for one-half the year. 

Stayed all night on its bank with Mr. Beggs in a rude 
hut (log) and was entertained in a handsome manner. He 
was only temporarily here till his own house was finished. 
A company of log cutters arrived. 

Arkansas Mounds 399 

A fierce storm of wind raged all night. Falling trees 
kept up a noise like the roaring of many cannons, fearfully 
blocking the roads which are not cleared of obstructions if 
they can be passed around. 

We moved on to Big Lake, a hunters' haven. Noticed 
Cottonwood trees having holes cut in them for collecting 
water to quench the thirst of travelers. Passed camps of 
hunters and a few log huts inhabited by long-haired, dirty, 
sickly people, who claim to live in a healthy country. On 
every hand is malarial fever. Some said they had no food 
but what they shot. 

Pemiscott Bayou, Twenty-two Miles Southwest of 

Osceola, Ark. 

We stopped here, at Peterson's, an old resident. Bees, 
cotton, fowl, cows, com, mules and etc., were seen in num- 
bers. The house was poor and disorderly. Three females 
met us with snuff sticks in their mouths. Three men with 
guns, just returned from the hunt, approached the house. 
The place beggars description. Its dirty appearance and 
clothing of the people would lead you to infer the people 
never wash. 

Conversing with the owner about his fruit trees, the 
.owner let a fearful tirade against the agent or nursery 
drummer who sold him a quantity of trees and plants. "All 
that lived," said he, "is six strawberry plants, two roses and 
three fruit trees, and I believe my skin," said he "if he ain't 
sent me a bill, all dead uns too." 

Then with a threat of what he would do if another tree 
man came, we went to supper. The black table cloth spoke 
for itself as did the black coffee and plain corn bread, and 
most abominably cooked wild goose. The landlord was not 
very complimentary because of my disturbing the dead, he 
styling it a sin, and he could not see the use of the non- 
sense, or his part they all belong to the church, but order 
or cleanliness was not a part of their religion. A horse- 
power gin was on the place. With sufficient help about to 

400 Arkansas Historical Association 

secure his crops. He was waiting for white men to come 
and hire for that purpose. 

Suggesting we could send him black men from Osceola 
as they were getting through their work. With scorn and 
contempt on his features, he said he would have none of 
the trash on his place. He did not want any of them to 
settle near or among them. Three slept in a bed on the 
floor, not only dirt, but bed bugs and fleas. 

Domestic animals and fowls took possession of various 
parts of the house. At breakfast we had black coffee, com 
bread, and racoon very tough with a little new made stink- 
ing butter. We had seen the dogs tip off the cover from the 
chum and put their heads in and lick out the cream. We did 
not wait for dinner but left for Osceola. 

Chickasawba, Twenty-four Miles Noeth of Bayou 

Pemiscott, Ark. 

Oct. 31, 1881. — ^Visited a mound here in a team. The 
mound was twenty-five feet high and had one-half acre on 
top. It had been so variously dug into that it would scarcely 
pay to open it, besides no men could be had. The owner did 
not wish to have it opened as he wanted it for a cellar for 
his house. For a wide distance around were the dwellings 
and graves of hundreds. 

Osceola, Mississippi County, Ark. 

Jvly 4th.-— Was here July 4, 1882. It was very hot in 
the day. Night wind changed and was very cold. Overcoats 

Colored people had a festival. Ice cream and cake at 
night. During th« day they had a barbecue a few miles out 
of town. White people a few of them ceased work or par- 
tially so. Many did as usual. Being no saloons there was 
sobriety. A few whites had a picnic in the country. 

The colored people have a society known as Knights of 
Wise Men, they paraded at night with music and regalia. 
Swords of wood silvered over, each one with lantern. They 

Arkansas Mounds 401 

occasionally at the order of an officer represented in their 
evolutions that of a ball room. Why all this ? 

B. F. Jackson, Louise, Mississippi County, Arkansas, 
entitled to thanks of Bureau of Ethnology. 

Remains of Old Fortification on Arkansas River, 

Desha County, Ark. 

On what is known as the Turner place and now owned 
by the widow of Thomas Bizzell are the outlines of an old 

Four hundred yards from the old part of the Arkansas 
River there are three-quarters of an acre within its boun- 
ary. It is four feet high. It has been a garden for years. 
There is a path from it to where the Arkansas River for- 
merly ran. This path is thirty-five feet wide at the part and 
fifteen feet at the lower part. ■ There appears to have been 
fifty yards of new land made from this path to the now river. 
Mr. Oliver Bizzell who lives near informed me that thirty- 
five years ago the trees that now grow on the new made land 
were then but small saplings, while some of them now are 
three feet through. 

This fort was made very probably to protect a French 
trading post. As Mr. Oliver Bizzell says, numerous thimbles, 
pipes, broken dishes, parts of revolvers, gun, and pieces of 
silver coin have been found, as if the centre had been used 
for gun sight. The remains of an old forge were uncovered 
a short time ago and Chinese and other coins were found 
with broken articles of Indian origin. A Chinese coin and 
part of a pistol (stone) were presented to that gentleman, 
who also says that stone bullet moulds have been found. 
The specimens mentioned have been forwarded under the 
number 422. 

Not far from the fort is a ridge that appears to have 
had houses of European origin upon it. At one comer of 
the fort is a hole sixteen feet de^p, supposed to have been a 
magazine. At this place De Soto is said to have encamped 
or may have built it as some say. Part of a stone pistol 
found here. No. 798 — the Chinese coin. 

402 Arkansas Historical AssociaUon 

Waldestein Mounds, One and one-half Miles North of 
LiNwooD Station on the Railroad to Arkansas City. 

These mounds are in the thick woods. Graves are on 
the tops. They are composed of sandy soil, but no out- 
ward signs of occupation were seen. These mounds are 
built on the bank of Long Lake. They average fifteen feet 
high, thirty-eight feet wide and forty-five feet long. 

Gardner Mound. 

On the farm of Wm. Gardner, one mile east of Menard 
Mound, Arkansas County, Ark. 

One mile east of the Menard Mound and near the bank 
of the Menard Bayou is the farm of William Gardner. Here 
is a mound that has been cultivated for years. It has slop- 
ing sides. The plow has turned up the soil and the rain has 
beaten it down, leaving whatever was beneath near the sur- 
face and easily to be disturbed. The surface is covered with 
pieces. The mound is ten feet high, one hundred and fifteen 
feet long and seventy-five feet through. I sank several 
holes in the mound. Found only sandy loam and no brick 
like substance. 

Specimens from surface (Thomas' Nos. 714-13-16-17- 

Jamestown, Jefferson County, Ark. 

1883. — There is here situated what has been called an 
Indian mound. It is, however, a natural one, very irregular 
and large for an artificial. It is in a hilly country, not want- 
ing artificial elevations. Traveling in heavy rains brought 
on neuralgia which gave me much pain and no sleep. Face 
much swollen. 

Oct. 31, 1883.— Left for Little Rock. 

Bradley's Landing, Oldham, P. 0., Crittenden County, 


Boat hotel — a railroad hand waiting for a boat spent 
twenty-five dollars among loafers in three hours while 
dressed in the poorest clothing. He praised the James boys 
as heroes. He was from Mississippi. 

Arkansas Mounds 403 

Mounds, House Sites, One Mile from Bradley's Landing 
OR Oldham P. 0., Crittenden County, Ark. 

These mounds, house sites, etc., are owned by Mrs. 
Bradley and are situated in a field one mile from the landing. 

The field containing these mounds comprises twenty- 
five acres which have been cultivated for thirty or forty 
years. A creek runs back of the field called Wappanocka or 
Wappanoca. It empties into the Mississippi River one mile 
from Bradley's Landing. It runs northwest to southeast 
and is seven miles long. The field is not now overflowed. 

The land outside the field shows that a river once ran 
by there and then there may have been overflows as on ex- 
amination, the spot not disturbed by cultivation and the 
plow shows a deposit stratified as if deposited by water. 
Where no human remains are found the same stratified soil 
continues of sand or clay with vegetable remains. The 
Mississippi River is one-quarter mile directly opposite. This 
seems to have been made since the river ran by the field in 
which are the mounds. Many of the trees on this land are 
five feet in diameter, and eighty feet high. The human re- 
mains, etc., found in this field are found varying in depth 
from three to five feet. The mounds occupy the highest 
spot, so the further you go from the mounds the deeper are 
the things found. This would be the case by overflow, the 
greatest deposits in the low places. The soil is of a sandy 
nature in the higher and greasy clay in the low parts. 

The mound had been so much dug up by relic hunters 
that I feared not much good could be done, besides the renter 
of the land would not grant permission as the cotton was 
not yet gathered; so I turned my attention to the house 
sites found all over the field. 

In the same field as the mound are many house sites. 
Out of these house sites many things have been taken from 
time to time. Examining the undisturbed portions clearly 
proved that three to five feet was the depth the house sites 
are found. They were without any regularity, some are 
near together, while others are far apart. The human re- 
mains are found without any preference to facing any one 

404 Arkansas Historical Association 

quarter of the compass. Some were face up, other down or 
on the side, and but few bones could be saved. Some skele- 
tons had one pot, others had more, with them together as- 
sociated with other articles. After the top soil was re- 
moved was burnt clay which was sometimes a foot thick 
either crumbling with impressions of grass and sticks or 
hard with reed impressions. Then more or less ashes as- 
sociated with some six inches of burnt grass with which were 
the human remains. 

Choctaw Mound, Desha County, Ark. 

At the junction of Wells and Choctaw Bayous with 
Walnut Lake and four or five miles south of east from Wal- 
nut Station, on the Little Rock, Mississippi & Texas Rail- 
road. It is situated on a fine rich bottom of loam and clay 
and commands a fine view of the surrounding country. I 
did not ascertain who was the owner. It would make a 
grand signal station. It is ten and one-half feet high, forty 
feet through at the base gradually tapering to four feet at 
the top. 

One foot of loam was removed and the mound was solid 
to the bottom, of solid clay with here and there fragments 
of pottery, but no ashes or charcoal, no burnt brick like sub- 
stance or any remains of settlements. 

From Choctaw Bayou to Felix Smith's plantation at 
Heckatoo is said to be a dry communication that was used by 
the ancient inhabitants and also from Wells Bayou was a 
dry communication to Star City, county seat of Lincoln 
County, Ark. It is a.hilly country. 

Mound Russell Farm four miles northwest from Arka^ 
delphia, Clark County, Ark. This farm is owned by W. A, 
Triggs. Pottery 214 — Stone implements under that number 
were surface finds. 

Mounds near Arkadelphia, Clark County, Ark. Natural 
mounds and sometimes used by Indians. 

Mounds, Saline Bayou two miles southeast of Arkadel- 
phia, Clark County, Ark. Nos. 210-11-12-13. j 

Carpenter's Mound six miles south of Arkadelphia, Ark. 

Arkanscbs Mounds 405 

1883. — ^Took food a colored woman cooked and I slept 
in a corn crib. Walked to and from the mounds — it was 

Aekadelphia, Clark County, Aek. 

The following are entitled to the thanks of the Bureau 
of Ethnology : W. A. Trigg, C. C. Scott, George Fuller, L. 
E. Gibney. 

Sept. 19, 1883. — The butchers ring a bell, a mournful 
toned bell, when they kill meat, to bring up the mourners 
for the wretched stuff called beef. 

Arkadelphu, Clark County, Ark. 

Feb. 2, 1883. — Arkadelphia has sixteen hundred inhabi- 
tants, no Saloons, two years since there were three hundred 
and fifty-two majority against saloons. Last year election 
only (Oct. 3, 1882) nineteen against saloons. A place not 
benefited by railroad. Some chills and fevers seen even at 
this time. Picturesque rolling gravelly hills. Some small 
flowers in bloom in the warm bottoms. 

Feb. 4, 1883. — Cold weather, sleet and snow. Stalag- 
mites covered the ground irregularly, patches variously 
tinted with the mud. 

Feb. 5. — Snow and sleet covered the ground, bad travel- 
ing, but went two miles out into the wood to mound that 
was natural. 

Feb. 6. — So cold and bad no work could be done. 

Benton, Saline County, Ark. 

Mending street holes with broken pots from pottery fac- 
tory. It contains seven hundred or eight hundred people. The 
Indian finds are very badly exaggerated. The roads are 
very bad. A reported buried city. 

Jan. 27, 1883. — A wet day — ^at night heavy rains, with 
thunder and lightning. The same thing occurred one week 
ago, very warm the sun came out a few minutes. Bees and 
moths came out. 

406 Arkansas Historical Association 

Idle men are common. Many good houses idle. Good 
careful farmers wanted. Instead of making heaps of leaves 
and weeds for their farms and gardens, prepare their fences, 
buildings, and put their tools in order for coming spring 
and get their wood ready, they idle away the mild winter, 
and the spring finds them with all their work at once on 
their hands. 

Benton, Saline County, Ark. 

J. T. Chidester entitled to thanks of Bureau of Eth- 

Hughes' Mound, Three Miles Southwest of Benton, 

Saline County, Ark. 

On the farm of Geo. Hughes is situated a fine mound 
one hundred yards from the Saline River. From appearance 
this river once ran within fifty feet of this mound. The 
land around has been cultivated for years. Some years 
since the farm house and its outbuilding stood encircling 
this mound. It became necessary to dig post holes and level 
several small mounds when skeletons, pottery, stone im- 
plements and etc., were found under ashes and bricklike 

This mound is southwest to northeast and has two 
parts an elevated somewhat circular part and an elongation 
or a long mound attached to its base. The highest part is 
eighty feet long and long part is one hundred ten feet long. 
The northeast part of long mound is fifty-four feet across, 
but at near the junction of the elevated part is seventy feet 
across. At the top of the highest part of the mound it is 
thirty-four feet across. The total width including the 
slope base and attachments is one hundred twenty-four feet. 
Height of the mound proper is twenty-five feet. The lean 
to, at its highest part which is next to the mound proper is 
twelve feet, the lower or northeast part is but ten feet high. 
Various parties, it is said, have dug into the mound and 
found various things which the soil does not indicate. In 
the centre of the mound proper a hole four feet square and 

Arkansas Mounds 407 

ten feet deep was dug when it became hard and without the 
least indication of any deposit. It was simply sandy loam. 
The prober touched nothing below this. Eaxmining the ap- 
pendage with a long iron rod, six places were struck that 
were proved by spade examination to be about three inches 
deep of bricklike stuff, then four inches of ashes and char- 
coal. After this nothing but sandy loam was found. The 
brick deposit was about two feet below surface. 

By spade examination of four places the same results 
were reached, but not topped with burnt clay. 

At the depth of five feet was a sandy loam with noth- 
ing below. I am of the opinion that if anything was ever 
deposited in this mound it has been taken out. I saw no 
signs of human remains. The earth was frozen hard which 
made the examination more difficult. Near the northeast 
end of this mound is the river, a good view of which can be 
had from the top of the mound. The surrounding level bot- 
tom land is also seen for a distance (long). 

A photograph of this mound was taken from the south- 
west end. Wind and storm prevented any other. From ap- 
pearance one is inclined to the opinion that this mound was 
first a long low mound and that the tall part was an after 
addition ; that the central half of the long part had two feet 
added to it, because, at that depth, charcoal, ashes and 
brick stuff were found. The other half of the long part of 
this mound was two feet lower indicates this as the original 
height. Two feet below surface, ashes, and burnt clay were 
found. The land is all covered about this time by the high 
rise of the Saline River. After taking the photograph I 
had a pencil drawing made from it and from notes, because 
the photographer could not, owing to bad light, take in the 
entire mound at the time of my visit. 

House Sites on Farm of J. T. CnroESTER, Three Miles 
Southwest op Benton, Saline County, Ark. 

These are situated on the farm near the banks of Saline 
River. For the space of ten acres it was four feet higher 
until last year than the surrounding surface. The excessive 
overflow of the river uncovered this spot very irregularly 

408 Arkansas Historical Association 

revealing house sites. The ten-acre spot, now, presents a 
very uneven appearance, the water having left here and 
then evidences of occupation and exposed more or less 
various patches of brick-like substances, ashes, charcoal or 
slight elevations of black earth. The brick stuff being car- 
ried away. In two instances parts of skeletons were found 
in the black earth. Under one of the brick patches was found 
nearly a complete bowl and two slate pendants near by. 
Near one of the black piles of ashes were found some human 
bones, pieces of pottery and a stone flesher. Near another 
pile of ashes was found a stone implement. Several stone 
implements more or less associated with these house sites. 
Many things were washed out during the overflow and 
carried away. 

Pecan Point, Mississippi County, Ark. 

Left Osceola Nov. 12, 1881 for Pecan Point. On the 
train were judges, lawyers, and many passengers all more 
or less connected with the circuit court. There were six 
black prisoners chained two by two and one white man. 
The white man sat ironed by the judge, deputy sheriff, law- 
yers, etc., to see them play cards. The white prisoner ate 
at a table near me, and after dinner he smoked a cigar with 
the clerk of the court. The black prisoners sat the whole 
while just inside the cabin so that their white guards could 
be in the cabin and look after them. 

Dr. F. G. McGavock, who now lives contiguous to Pecan 
Point informs me that during the last year of the war he 
went to Castle Garden, N. Y., and hired eighty-six Irish 
girls at $20.00 per month, with board. (Saving the 
cotton crop by Irish women). All but five were Catholics. 
The negroes had left his father's large plantation. White 
men had all been drafted. Federal gunboats were in front 
of his house and Confederates camped in the rear who 
called for contributions while the Federals had plenty. 
There were only three old men as superintendents on the 
place. Cotton was selling at from $1.40 to $1.80 per pound. 

Arkansas Mounds 409 

These females were hired to work the cotton for one 
year and they did it too. While part of the crop remained 
yet unpicked the floods came. The doctor promised each girl 
a new balmoral and a pair of shoes if all the cotton was 
pulled up and saved. All the teams were put in the field, 
four women on a side and the entire cotton crop (the rest) 
was pulled and loaded on the wagons and taken to a dry 
place and saved. They — ^barefooted with dresses between 
their legs. Priests came every Saturday to gather money 
and keep them straight. He had a free ride. The year after 
the war only one-half remained, most of those who left re- 
ceived places as domestics in Memphis replacing the negroes. 

The doctor complained that he had to feed officers of 
both sides. German men were hired but they were a decided 
failure. Heavy rains prevented me from finishing at this 
place from reaching Little Rock from here, so I left by 
steamer, but waited all night for a boat, in a low wood, but 
on the river bank. Rain and wind made the night very un- 
pleasant, besides it was very cold. Several others were 
waiting and a corpse. There was no fire which rendered it 
very uncomfortable. A snag catching in a wheel and 
breaking it, hence the delay. A telegraph along the river 
bank would obviate the difficulty. Country stores — ^negro 
hands and their fondness for whiskey. 

Pecan Point, Mississippi County, Ark. 

Mrs. McGavock is entitled to thanks of Bureau of 

Oct 1882. — At one place three and one-half feet under 
the surface was found a layer of hard wood ashes one and 
one-half feet thick and near by was a skeleton and two 
pieces of pottery. In other localities the soil is generally 
one and one-half to two feet over the remains, in the above 
it is between three and four feet over. The excess in this 
locality has been added at various times by the overflow of 
the Mississippi River near by since the burials were made. 

410 Arkansas Historical Association 

Pecan Point, Ark. 

On the land belonging to R. W. Friend and one mile 
west from the Mississippi River are two mounds, one fifty 
feet across and five feet high. Nothing was found in it. 
The other is four feet high and twenty-five feet across. At 
the depth of sixteen inches but not near the centre were 
found two skeletons (decayed). These mounds are near 
a lake. May they not have been used to watch game (the 
larger for ball game). 

On the same estate and not far from the above men- 
tioned mounds is another mound in a field, twenty feet 
across and three to four feet high. It was cultivated one 
year which let in the water and destroyed the bones as they 
were but twelve to eighteen inches from surface. The 
large trees that once grew over it had split the pots turning 
the pieces in every direction. 

One hundred thirty-one (eleven) bundles more or less in 
pieces were found near together; and belonging to several 
pots. Probably some of the pieces may belong to some of 
the other bundles from this mound. 

One hundred thirty-two (five) packages presented to the 
Smithsonian Institution by Dr. J. M. Lindsley of Pecan 
Point, Mississippi County, Ark. They were taken from a 
cultivated field containing fifteen acres. It is one-half mile 
from river. 

Numerous huts like modern Indians must have been 
built over it judging by the ashes and burnt roofing which 
was met with three to four feet thick and without regular- 
ity skeletons, pots, etc., are found with the same house sites. 

Pecan Point, Ark. 

For a week before the Fourth of July, 1882, at Pecan 
Point was one hundred two and one-half midday — ^night 
ninety-five and fell so suddenly during the night of the 
Fourth that by five a. m. on the morning of July 5th the 
thermometer registered but sixty-four — a very unusual con- 
dition for the time of year and locality. Overcoats in de- 
mand. The sudden cold was severely felt by the early risers. 

Dr. J. M. Lindsley of this place presented five fine pots. 

Arkansas Mounds 411 

Indian Bayou, Ark. 

1883.— Left Indian Bayou latter part of Oct. 27, 1883, 
for Lonoke, Lonoke County, Ark. Twenty-two miles by a 
two-horse wagon with a cotton cover — a very rainy, raw 
day. At post office at Lonoke received letter ordering me 
back to Indian Bayou by end of November. As my wagon 
was going over to the Iron Mountain railroad went with him 
to flag station. Twenty-two miles only for midnight trains. 
Conductor kindly sat up with me to flag train at eleven 
thirty. At two p. m. reached Newport. Went to bed — ^hotel 
kept by colored men. Very good fare and lodging. Town 
was lately burnt out. All appears new and now commencing 
to build brick houses. 

A hard name — ^gamblers — saloons. Started on Sunday 
for Batesville, Independence County, Ark. 

Indian Bayou, Ark. 

1883. — The quarters occupied by me at Indian Bayou 
are scarcely discribable. I slept in a lean-to with part of 
the end out. The host said he was not prepared to entertain 
strangers. Poor methods and poor ways. 

A. J. Tait Mounds, Indian Bayou, twenty-two miles 
south of Lonoke, Lonoke County, Ark., 1883. 

Jefferson County, Ark. 

1883. — ^A neat place full of business, situated among 
the hills. Left by Jamestown seven miles southwest. 

Roman Mounds, Highland Lake, Crittenden 

County, Ark. 

1883. — At the northwest corner is the farm of John W. 
Roman — Blackfish, P. 0. It is six miles southwest of 
Tyronza Station on Memphis, Kansas City & Springfield 
Railroad. The owner commenced with little but is now 
building a good house. There is plenty around and a good 
orchard. A pleasant man and wife, good food, clean though 

412 Arkansas Historical Association 

poor and without education. They show the qualities to rise 
in station and wealth. He is a man of true economy. 

There are several mounds in the woods in a very isolated 

Mounds, House Sites, Gilmore Station, Crittenden 

County, Ark. 

Twenty-eight miles northwest of Memphis, Tenn. 

1883. — Twenty-eight miles from Memphis, Tenn., on 
the Kansas City, Springfield & Memphis Railroad is Gilmore 
Station. In making the railroad two small mounds were cut 
through. Three others remained but they had been dug into. 

The house and gardens of Mrs. Gilmore is on natural 
high ground and from which house sites have been plowed 
out. This thrifty farm and cattle ranch was made so by its 
late owner who commenced with nothing; by economy and 
push, he died while yet young with plenty. 

Tyronza Station, Poinsett County, Ark., on Memphis, 
Kansas City & Springfield Railroad. 

1883. — Mrs. Martha Starker presents two spear heads 
and a piece of a fine water vessel, for which she is entitled 
to the thanks of the Bureau of Ethnology. These were 
plowed from a mound. 

Pacific Place, Crittenden County, Ark. 

Captain Charles Morris presents specimen of very fine 
stone spade for which he is entitled to the thanks of the 
Bureau of Ethnology. Saw his mound collection. He has a 
very fine farm but a very poor cotton crop this year, pleasant 
old fashioned hospitality. He wants to sell to give his chil- 
dren advantages of society and the school. 

Clarendon, Monroe County, Ark. 

Dec. 31, 1881. — Was the last day for the sale of liquor. 
A dull county seat with but little business. There is a mis- 
erable hotel which charges two dollars per day for tran- 
sients, per week four dollars. Three beds in a room and two 
in a bed — very poor board. 

Arkansas Mounds 413 

A new railroad (The Texas & St. Louis) is being con- 
structed which Alls up every house. The old road, narrow 
gauge is the Helena & Arkansas Midland RailroiEid. Men at 
the hotel let out the old year and brought in the new by a 
noisy drunk. 

Pine Bluff, Ark. 

Dec. 30, 1882. — Since the Saturday before Christmas 
all has been holiday though the finest of weather, and 
thousands of bales of cotton remain unpicked. Yet on this 
day the town is full of idlers, acting as though the world 
owed them a living work or play — a dancing bear show. 

Jan. 1, 1883. — Fire broke out in one of the best brick 
blocks. It is a bankrupt city — ^the fire department unor- 
ganized — no head. Demoralization and destruction of prop- 
erty street scene next morning. 

Pine Bluff, Ark. 

Henry J. Lewis is entitled to the thanks of the Bureau 
of Ethnology and also J. W. Bocage, J. M. Taylor and G. W. 
Davis. One fine pipe donated by E. W. Martin. 

Six stone implements and five specimens of pottery 
I (good) donated by J. M. Taylor (sent two photographs May 

17, 1883). One fine stone spade donated by Major G. W. 

Pine Bluff has twenty-eight thousand negroes and eight 
. thousand whites. Passengers were discussing that point as 
I to what might be expected. 

Nov. 13, 1882. — The first frost, cotton seed at oil mill 
will pay renter eight dollars per ton but planters ten dollars. 

Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, Ark. 

1882. — Formerly only sheep and cows ate the seed. The 
lints get into the throats of hogs and kills them. Cotton 
seed and meal sell at fifteen to twenty dollars per ton, cake 
sent to Europe. The hulls are used for fuel and ashes for 
lye. Lint is taken from the seed by a fine gin. Twenty-five 

414 Arkansas Historical Association 

pounds of lint in a ton of seed and this sells at five cents per 
pound. One hundred pounds of cotton seed generally yields 
thirty pounds of lint cotton. In 1882, Nov. 20th, the high- 
est price at New Orleans was eleven and one-half cents, the 
lowest eight and one-half cents per pound. One bale to the 
acre if properly cultivated. It takes one-third of its value 
to pick it. 

Rent for Lands. 


One-half when team and food are furnished for the 
same. They pay for ginning. 

Eighty pounds of lint cotton per acre and pay for gin- 

Six to eight dollars in money per acre and if goods are 
furnished a mortgage is taken on the crop. Fifteen cents 
a bale for weigher. A certificate is given, the owner takes 
this and a sample and sells. The cotton factor arrange to 
supply the merchants money at eight per cent per annum in 
two and one-half per cent accepted drafts on merchants. Two 
and one-half per cent for advancing money at end of three 
months. It is compound interest. River insurance, fire in- 
surance, and repairs to bale — ^then you pay two and one- 
half per cent commission for sales and storage The mer- 
chant to meet these expenses must double on his goods. 

1863-64 cotton was one dollar per pound. 

1865 cotton was five cents per pound. 

1866 cotton was thirty-five cents per pound. 
Land rent fifteen dollars an acre. 

Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, Ark. 

Negro Graves. 

The spades used to dig graves are left ten days on the 
grave after it is filled up. They believe snakes can be in- 
fused into the limbs and stomachs of each other by con- 
jurers by giving them cooked reptiles broken up fine and 
mixed with their food. 

Poor hotel — ^no single rooms — ^two dollars per day. 

ArkaTisas Mounds 415 

House sites on f ann of Robert Anderson twelve miles 
northeast of Forest City, St. Francis County, Ark,, on St. 
Francis River. 

The remains appear to be house outlines. From Ander- 
son's farm two miles southwest was the old Burnt Mill, and 
three miles north the old military ferry that crossed the St. 
Francis River. At this place on the immediate bank is a 
projecting point which I am told was at one time much 
larger but from time to time it has caved in until now there 
is not much more than ten feet projecting into the river. 
I was informed that human remains, much pottery and 
many stone implements were washed out by the disintegra- 
tion at the point by water, and lost, the settlers putting no 
value on them. 

There is now to be seen the space of fifty feet square 
covered with bricklike substance. Part is in a cotton field 
all but ten feet of the balance has been a wagon road for 
many years, thus the brick roofing and whatever was de- 
posited under it has been destroyed as deep ruts are made 
through it. The remaining ten feet was at a projecting 
point into the river. 

Two mounds on Anderson estate one-quarter mile from 
former place. Twelve miles northeast of Forest City, Ark. 

(1) One-quarter back (removed) from former place 
is a mound three feet high and forty-five feet across. This 
mound is bare of vegetation or trees, but large trees sur- 
round it. During every high rise of the St. Francis River 
cattle have been kept upon this mound until it is stamped 
solid. Permission was given to dig a small hole in the cen- 
tre. The first foot and a half consisted of a mixture of clay 
(burnt) ashes, and soil. The balance was sand. It is near 
the bank of a slough. 

(2) The second mound is one-half mile in a direct 
line from the above and on bank of the same slough. It is 
five feet high and fifty feet across. The cattle kept upon it 
during the overflows have made it quite hard and no brick- 
like substance was found. First three feet was black loam, 
then yellow clay. The owner did not wish these mounds 

416 Arkansas Historical Association 

disturbed at the outer edges as he kept his cattle thereupon. 
The water would penetrate and carry the earth away. Large 
trees and thick cane surround the mound. 

St. Charles. 

Dec. 8, 1881. — The hotel is kept by one-legged Con- 
federate soldier. It was used during the war as a United 
States Headquarters. The building used as a hospital is 
still standing, but the rest of the town is destroyed. The 
Confederates in cutting their ditches allowed the river and 
rains to encroach so that the town had to be moved high 
up from the river. Darkies with buggies are common. 

Saturday is a great day for shopping and getting drunk. 

A black man drove me to Indian Bay. He was out col- 
lecting a fifty-cent debt from a colored minister of that 
place. He was free in his denunciations of many ministers. 

Carpenter's Mounds, Six Miles South op Arkadelphia, 

Clark County, Ark. 

1883. — Six miles south of Arkadelphia is what is known 
as Carpenter's field and two hundred yards from the 
Ouachita River is a group of mounds. These mounds are 
located amidst dense woods and cane. Trees cover the 
greater portion of the mounds. The two largest trees are 
oak measuring three and four feet in diameter and one 
hundred twenty-five feet high. A slough runs back of the 
mounds and empties into the Ouachita River two hundred 
yards off. Did not remeasure the mounds as Mr. Gibney 
had accurately done that before. At ten feet from west 
end of the mound made first trench twelve feet long and 
eight feet wide — found two feet of soil, then eight inches to 
two feet of burnt clay with impressions of grass and sticks 
which is sent under a. Among the irregularly arranged 
mass was found a mud dauber's nest sent marked with 
letter 6. Third layer was ashes varying from * * * 

On opening the Carpenter Mound there was only one 
chance for food or lodging. A colored woman provided 
food for me at her cabin and I slept in a com crib. Walked 
to and from the mound — some distance. 

Arkansas Mounds 417 

Dasaic, Arkansas. 

1883. Leaving Desaic I remarked to the hack driver, 
"What a neat, comfortable house and what beautiful flower 
gardens !" "Yes," said he, "That's our county clerk. How 
that wife's family have sprung from nothing since the war ! 
They made up their minds to do something and they have 
succeeded remarkably well." 

Malvern from Judsonia, Ark. 

Oct. 2, 1883. — ^Left at eleven thirty Malvern for Jud- 
sonia — arrived at two thirty. Wet night — ^walked with 
heavy baggage to town — a deception. Inquired of mail man 
about hotel, if one was near by. "Oh, yes, I keep one," he 
said, so followed him. Next day I found one near the depot. 

Oct. 5. — Left by horse for West Port, four miles, fare 
fifty cents. 

Jackson Mound, Mississippi County, Ark. 

Hoicse Sites. 

Close to the above mound after digging through the 
burnt clay and ashes, then at four feet a hard burnt floor 
(or fire place) somewhat round was found. This was cov- 
ered with about three inches of ashes and in which was 
found two entire pots. Following in the same level a broken 
pot was found without human remains, but with burnt 
clay and ashes as the preceeding. 

Four Miles from Lunar Landing, Ark. 

Major W. B. Street lives on the river about four miles 
above Luna Landing. 

Bradley's Landing, Crittenden County, Ark. 

Feb. 6, 1883. — Left Memphis for Bradley's Landing. 
The river had overflowed the bank so that the hotel could 
not be reached. There being no other place to stay I went 
back to the steamer. It rained very hard, a sheet of water 

418 Arkansas Historical Association 

all round the landing. I could not hire a boat or owner, it 
being dark. Next morning ice everywhere, in the afternoon 
heavy snowstorm which covered the ground and it was ex- 
ceedingly cold for this section. 

Malvern, Hot Spring County, Ark. 

1883. — Stone implements donated to the National 
Museum by T. G. Steele for which he is entitled to the thanks 
of the Bureau of Ethnology. 

Journey to Washington, D. C, from Arkansas. 

Excessive rains drove me from Arkansas. I arrived in 
Washington, Feb. 2, 1882, just in time to overhaul four 
boxes of dirty looking pieces of pottery. Their i)eculiar 
figuring was unseen until they were washed. These were 
taken from one mound and formerly was on the house top 
when it was burnt down they fell remained in three rows 
one in side or laying by the mouth of the other. House was 
originally standing. In the fall of the house the pots were 
much broken but the burnt clay roofing kept their forms 
complete. But they had to be taken out in fragments to be 
cleaned and reconstructed in Washington. 

Desha County. 

Wynn Mounds or as this locality is known by the name 
of Mound Lake which is twenty-five miles from mouth of 
old Arkansaw River and sixteen miles from the present 
mouth of that river. This group of mounds is situated on 
the bank of a lake. The largest mound is fifteen feet high 
and fifty feet through and one hundred thirty feet long. 

Its appendage is three feet high, one hundred forty 
feet long and sixty feet wide of a sandy soil. No brick-like 
substance found. A numerous settlement did not reside 
here judging from the fragments of pots, stone implements, 
etc., found. The large mound is covered with cane and 
trees. In it is deposited the remains of the dead of this 
settlement for 30 years. 

Arkansas- Mounds 419 

The house of Mr. Wynn is on a small mound and fruit 
trees are planted on another. This place is not disturbed 
by overflow and has been cultivated for many years. 

Desha County, Ark. 

Cla3rton Mound at the nine mile post. 

Twelve miles due ieast and west from Arkansas City, 
Desha county, Ark., is situated a very fine mound on prop- 
erty of J. P. Clayton. It is nearly hid by large cane bushes 
and trees. One oak is three feet through and two others 
are three feet, six inches. 

For many years this spot has been used as a burying 
ground. It is due east and west on Cjrpress Creek. It has 
an appendage which enables an easy assent. No brick-like 
substance was found on the surface. This appendage is 
sixty-five feet long and sixty feet across, and seven feet high. 
The mound is thirty feet high, one hundred twenty-five feet 
long and sixty-five wide, of sandy soil. It stands in a dense 
thicket of cane, it is two and. one-half miles northeast from 
the De Soto Mound. 

Desha County, Ark. 

Franklin County. 

Near the junction of Opossum Fork and Cjrpress Creek, 
which is six miles northwest of Arkansas City, Desha 
County, Ark., is three mounds on the farm of Benjamin 
Franklin, about two hundred yards froni Cjrpress Break to 
first mound on which is erected a cattle shed. Fifteen yards 
to center one and thirty yards to outer or third one. Aver- 
age height seven feet. Average length fourteen yards on 
top. Thirty-one yards at base. Width on top eleven yards. 

Dense cane with scattering trees surround these 
mounds. During the overflow from the streams these 
mounds' summits are above water and cattle resort thereto. 
All the top soil is tramped off leaving the yellow clay as 
compact as can be made. Nothing to indicate life found. 


420 Arkansas Historical Association 

Lawrence, Monroe County, Ark., December, 1881. 

Major J. W. Powell. 


I visited Lawrenceville December 7th. This place is 
situated on the edge of Maddox Bay. Here is a fine mound 
but there is a grave yard on top, so could not touch it. There 
was a fine bank along the edge of the bay on which the 
Indians had lived but the owner would not allow it to be 
disturbed. But in a field near the large mound, belonging 
to Daniel Thompson were found numerous signs of ancient 
habitation. This field has been cultivated for several years, 
consequently what has not been turned up by the plow re- 
mains und^r the soil mostly in a badly broken condition. 
In one spot close to the surface was found the burnt roofing 
(that was clay) (eight inches thick) of a house one hundred 
feet in circumference. Nearly imbedded in this clay was 
found a cocoanut shaped pot. I am of the opinion that this 
curiously shaped vessel was on the top of the house when 
it was burnt down. There was part of another vessel on 
the same roof. 

Mounds at Akron, Independence County, Ark. 

Nine miles northwest of Jacksonport on Big Bottom of 
White River is a large mound seven feet high and three 
hundred feet across, of circular form. It is covered with 
graves of the townspeople, as it is on the outskirts. In 
digging the graves many things have been taken. From 
one grave a fine carved shell and a number of shell beads 
were found and presented to the National Museum by M. A. 
Mull of Jacksonport, Jackson county. Ark. A figure of clay 
was taken out at the same time with the shells. It was 
sold to Dodd, Brown & Co., comer Fifth and St. Charles 
streets, St. Louis, Mo. 

There is another mound near the above. It is four 
feet high and fifty feet across. One foot from surface 
found six inches of burnt clay-brick stuff, then five inches 
of ashes and charcoal. A few important things were found. 

Arkansas Mounds 421 

Turned over the whole mound. The base is of clay and 

Indian Bayou, Lonoke County, Ark. 

1883.— R. B. CarLee of DeVall's Bluff, Arkansas, pre- 
sents a fine stone implement obtained at Indian Bayou. 
She is entitled to thanks of the Bureau of Ethnolo^. 

Indian Bay, Monroe County, Ark., December, 1881. 

Major J. W. Powell. 


I visited Indian Bay December 12th. At this place is a 
large mound belonging to A. Spencer. It is three hundred 
feet above the high water of the bay and two hundred and 
fifty feet long. Permission could not be obtained to open it. 

Just outside of Indian Bay settlement is a large mound 
now used as a burying ground by the townspeople. Close to 
it is a field owned by Dr. Henry Shipman, in which field 
are two small mounds, three to four feet high and thirty 
feet in circumference. In one two feet under the soil was 
found a skeleton of a half grown person with the three ves- 
sels (158) arrayed by the head. They were somewhat in- 
jured by plowing over the ground. 

No. 159. Taken from the field but the skeleton was de- 
stroyed by the plow. 

No. 160. The broken pottery under this number was 
taken from the other small mound before mentioned or 
rather it appears to have had on it a two-room hut with a 
clay roof upon which must have been placed several pots. 
By the destruction of this house by fire the pots were pre- 
cipitated and broken and mixed with the debris. No skele- 
tons, etc., were found. 

No. 161. The broken pottery under' this number was 
taken from under the burnt roofing of a house situated in a 
field thirty-five yards from the above mound. If they were 
not under the roofing at the time of burning they would have 
been more or less mixed with the top and not covered up as 

422 Arkansas Historical Association 

was the case. Some of these vessels are of different orna- 
mentations from anything previously found. 

No. 162. Found on the floor of the fire places, covered 
with debris of roofing of houses and without skeletons or 
anything else. 

Separated the fragments as much as possible. The 
falling of burnt house near has necessarily mixed them 
somewhat with the houses underneath. 

No. 163. Pieces from under burnt roofing of second 
house ten feet from No. 161. 

No. 164. Wasp's nests. 

No. 165. Stone implements and burnt floor. Roofing 
supposed to be brick bats. There is a scarcity of stone im- 
plements, there being little or no stone in the country. 

There are two mounds on Big Cypress Creek and in dry 
part of year used as places to watch for game, and for 
temporary occupation. The mounds are at the divide be- 
tween the overflow and the highlands. 

No. 166. Floor of house. 

No. 167. Cypress bark for roofing and clothing. 

Indian Bay, Monroe County, Ark. 

Christmas day at Indian Bay. This is a short crop 
year. Merchants and land renters complain of non-settle- 
ment of debts. Every species of jug and bottles are carried 
away filled with whisky. Not only were the necessaries of 
life carried away, but also the luxuries. The wearing ap- 
parel bought by the colored people was not adapted to the 
condition of poor people. Is not a dry season a blessing 
if we utilize its dictates. Two days before Christmas 
Baley's family troop, consisting of father, brother, wife 
and their six children arrived and performed in the school 
house to whites only, at twenty-five cents per head. If 
colored were admitted it was only by special permission. 
Take the human race as a whole, there is nothing in color, 
it is in the quality of the human composition. 

In the south and the north so much is wasted on 
Christmas. The day before Christmas young and old are 

Avkansds Mounds 423 

trying to catch each other with the cry of "Christmas Gift !" 
It is a day of extravagance and a means to dissatisfaction. 
The poor fret because they cannot do as the rich. 

Dec. 25, 1881. — ^A pleasant spring-like day with some 
leaves on peach and apple trees, green weeds and grass. 

Dec. 26, 1881.— Left by stage for HoUey Wood, Ark. 

Knapp Mounds or Mound Lake, Seventeen Miles South- 
east of Little Rock, Pulaski County, Ark. 

This mound derives its name from a field by its banks 
owned by Mr. Gilbert Knapp, in which field is one of the 
finest group of mounds in Arkansas. This lake is three 
miles long and about one-quarter mile wide and more re- 
sembles an arm of a river than a lake. 

The field in which is situated this celebrated group of 
mounds contains ninety acres and has been cultivated for 
thirty years or more. It is connected with the lake by an 
embankment one mile long, five feet high, five feet across 
at top and eight feet at the base. It starts at the lake, 
circles around the field and connects again at the lake. In 
1844 during the period of the greatest overflow ever known 
in this section, these mounds were above the water and 
many families with their household effects and live stock 
came here for safety. 

The largest mound of the group is one hundred feet 
high, two hundred four feet long at base and one hundred 
and sixty-five feet wide. It measures sixty by seventy feet 
on the top and is nearly square. It has natural bushes and 
trees covering it. Some elms are eighteen inches through. 
The owner gave permission to have a shaft dug on the vacant 
summit. It was eight feet square. At first were two feet of 
vegetable mould, in which were mixed some animal bones 
and pieces of pots. Then for eight feet was sandy loam 
which became so hard that at ten feet solid clay was struck 
and I could go no further. A tunnel had been made some 
time since by a relic hunter in the back of the mound and 
the same hard conditions of sandy soil were met. I myself 
dug a tunnel in the side midway between the top and the 

424 Arkansas Historical Association 


base, but found the same hard sandy loam. The top and 
sides were examined without finding even brick-like sub- 

The second in size of these mounds is seventy-five feet 
high, eighty-five feet wide on the top and one hundred ten 
feet long. At the base it is one hundred eighty feet long 
and one hundred fifty-five feet at the west end, but at the 
east end it is one hundred seventy-five feet wide. It pre- 
sents a prominent squarish front. A shaft ten feet deep 
was sunk and eight feet wide in the summit. At first was 
two feet black sticky clay. In the center of this cut were 
found two fine crystals. At this depth were found a few 
pieces of pottery but no ashes or burnt clay. At two feet 
the soil changed to a yellow greasy clay which continued 
for eight feet when it became too hard to work. There were 
no indications of a change, and nothing showing human 
occupation was found in this formation. 

The exteriors of the mounds presented the same yel- 
low clay and extended to the base. The top has been cul- 
tivated as a garden for years. 

Fifty feet from the mound is a pond of water fifteen 
feet across, and two hundred and sixty feet long and is 
grown over with trees and bushes. This pond may have 
been made by taking earth to build the mound. An elm tree 
eighteen inches in diameter stands on one side of the mound. 

The largest of this group and the third in size in the 
Knapp field is a mound twelve feet high, forty-eight feet 
wide, fifty-seven feet long on top and nearly square. At 
the base it is one hundred eight feet long, and ninety feet 
wide. A cut eleven feet deep and five feet square was made in 
the centre of this mound. For from four feet it was sandy 
soil with vegetable mould, and intermixed here and there 
with a piece of pottery and animal bones. In the centre 
at four feet deep, a broken pot was found. At five feet a 
yellowish sandy soil with a little clay took its place for seven 
feet when it became so wet and without any ashes, etc., that 
I abandoned it. 

The second largest mound is five feet high, one hun- 
dred two feet long and seventy-eight feet wide. A cut 

Arkansas Mounds 425 

four feet square and four feet deep yielded a mixture of 
sandy soil with a good admixture of vegetable matter. In 
this were irregularly mixed pieces of pottery and animal 
bones. Upon this mound seem to have been two kinds of 
house sites. For instance four places were seen which have 
burnt clay and five places with ashes and human bones only. 
For years this mound has been plowed over and having 
sloping sides the rain has washed off the soil and bares 
from time to time the articles deposited. Examination 
showed that at one and one-half feet below the surface is 
found what the plow has left undisturbed. The plow has 
mixed up things in this mound. 

Protruding out of the soil but a very little as if turned 
out of one of these house sites> with burnt clay, was a stone 
tool somewhat like a hide dresser iron tool and with it were 
fragments of human bones. 

From another of these house sites where burnt clay 
had been turned out by the plow and at the same time 
partially exposed were three broken pots and some human 

In the second division of house sites without burnt 
clay, the plow had much mixed the soil with ashes, and 
human remains, and pottery fragments. 

From one of these spots a small medal (71346), human 
remains, and fragments of pottery were taken, the soil was 

The smallest mound with the two other small ones and 
a small mound like at the side of the largest mound average 
about four feet high, about one hundred feet long and sev- 
enty-eight feet wide. 

Holes four feet deep were dug in them from the centre. 
Their composition was a light sandy soil with an admixture 
of vegetable mould with here and there pieces of pottery, 
animal bones, mussel shells and stone implements. 

The trees are left from off the bank of the lake and the 
caves are clearly seien on each side of the largest mound. 
May not the earth have been obtained here to build the 
mound, while at the same time these caves afforded anchor- 
age for canoes ? 

426 Arkansas Historical Association 

The mounds and ponds are entirely surrounded by the 
lake and ancient levee. 

Dec. 25, 1882. — ^Visited the Knapp mound. It was sit- 
uated midway in a field. A colored woman invited me to 
dine with her in her cabin. My coat pocket yielded an 
apple and some pecan nuts. There is a great waste of 
powder at Christmas in this section. 

Jtdy, 1884. — Tallest of the mounds is eight hundred 
thirteen feet in circumference at the base. The southeast 
slope is ninety-six feet with the base of forty-seven feet. 

Southwest slope is one hundred two feet, base fifty- 
seven feet, five inches. Diameter of top, fifty, feet. Circum- 
ference on top, two hundred fifteen feet. 

Second Large (Sqiuire) Mound. 

Length, northeast end, one hundred eighty-six feet. 

Length southeast side, two hundred and thirteen feet, 
slope seventy-one feet. 

Length, northeast end, one hundred and ninety-two 
feet, slope height eighty-six feet. 

Length southwest side, two hundred and thirteen feet, 
four inches, slope eighty-six feet. 

Top Measurements, 

Length of northeast end, seventy-one feet. 

Length of southwest side, ninety feet, four inches. 

Length of northwe .t end, seventy-five feet. 

Length of southeast side, eighty-eight feet, eight inches. 

Diameter, seventy-six feet, five inches. 

The above are my own measurements. 

July 1, 1884. — ^Visited the Knapp Mounds on the west 
side of the Arkansas River and measured the mounds. I 
was very kindly entertained by a colored family (named 
Sparks). Color line departs when hunger demands some- 
thing to eat. They were in position to give it and did not 
want to charge, but that would not do so paid to my own 

Mr. Knapp had given me a letter to Mr. Sharks. There 
is a way too, that will please, if the intention is at hand. 

Arkansas Mounds 427 

Crops are backward because of the late wet spring. 
Cotton blooms rare. 

Scanlon's Landing, twelve miles below Memphis, Crit- 
tenden county, Ark. 

Mound Near Walnut Lake Station, Desha County, 


The mound is situated on the banks of Walnut Lake 
near Walnut Lake Station, on the Little Rock, Mississippi & 
Texas Railroad, and commands a fine view of the lake. The 
mound is owned by Mrs. Moses P. Embree, who gave me 
permission to examine it. Nothing was found, however. 
It is eight feet high, fifteen feet across at the top and forty 
feet at base. I dug a shaft to the base. It was entirely of 
sandy loam. 

Walnut Lake is six miles long and of an average width 
of seventy-five yards. No sign of occupation was found. 

Mounds on Frenchman's Bayou, Six Mhjes West op 
Golden Lake Post Office on Mississippi River, 

Mississippi County, Ark. 

These house sites consist of several elevations of cir- 
cular form and composed of sandy loam. The highest is 
eight feet and covered with graves. Most of the mounds 
are in plowed fields cultivated for years and are above the 
overflow. The human remains, pottery, etc., once there 
must have been near the surface, the plow having cut to 
pieces eversrthing there originally. There is an abundance 
of pieces of brick-like substance with ashes, animal bones 
and mussel shells. Nothing was found in place as originally. 

A house is standing on one of the mounds. In the 
garden was dug up a stone bead and a piece of pottery. 
Presented by J. W. Uzzell. 

Stephens' Mounds, Six Miles South of Newport, Jack- 
son County, Ark. 

On the farm of G. R. Stephens, six miles south of 
Newport, is a mound five feet high and fifteen feet across, 

428 Arkansas Historical Association 

and circular in form. A few inches under the soil, in the 
centre, two skeletons were found. In plowing over it the 
skull of one was nearly carried away. They lay face down 
and each in a different direction and quite opposite. Two 
wheel-like tools and a bone tool covered with copper stain 
were found with them. The copper may have been taken 
away by the plow. Two pieces were found. One had three 
pieces of bone stained with copper. The other skull had pipe 
and pieces of pots. There were some little charcoal and 
ashes, but no brick stuff. 

Little Rock, Abk. 

Jan. 15, 1883. — Took passage on the steamer, Wood- 
son for Reed's Landing. A colored lady school teacher, a 
very promising person, bought a cabin ticket and was re- 
fused by a white woman to stay in the cabin by the assump- 
tion of the woman supposing she was the wife of an officer. 
She complained to the clerk who ordered her out to the 
room of the colored chambermaid. She talked of prosecut- 
ing. The captain, who came in, said the law allowed him 
to assign passengers to any part of the boat he chose. What 
a farce of justice! A known lie, a prejudice against reason. 

Jan. 20, 1883. — In the early morning lightning and 
thunder with a heavy sleet and very cold. Traveled eight 
miles southeast of Little Rock to J. R. Thibault, who has a 
fine private collection of mound specimens. His wife, an 
educated woman, shares his joys, a woman whose father 
always instructed her to observe natural objects. 

Memphis for Little Rock, on the cars was A. Philips, 
a rough specimen of the old planter. He said he despised 
the negro, because he said he was not now a profitable and 
dependable workman. He blamed the Republicans for it all. 
He said the race is decreasing and as soon as the old negroes 
are gone, the new race must move or be killed. The two 
races cannot live together. A shower of oaths and a large 
whiskey bottle and all round him a filthy floor with tobacco 
juice. He said he was a Democrat of the straight kind. 
He rejoiced at the defeat of the Republicans. The discus* 

Arkansas Mounds 429 

sion chsLUged when the subject of the Democrats fathering 
the liquor question was mentioned. Two gentlemen of the 
State said they had all along voted with Democrats, but now 
they could not support such immorality. This silenced the 
man of filthy habits. 

Little Rock, Ark. 

Thanks of the Bureau of Ethnology are due to the fol- 
lowing : J. K. Thibault, F. T. Gibson, Gilbert Knapp. J. K. 
Thibault donated fourteen fine specimens of pottery. 

Little Rock, Ark. 

Nov. 1882. — Passed two school houses for white and 
colored both alike. Children well fed and clothed. 

Pyracanthus in bloom, November 9th. 

1882. — Visited U. S. Armory building, large and in 
good repair. The air of comfortable independence per- 
vades it. The building looks as if newly repaired. 

Nov. 11, 1882. — ^While passing the cars as they came 
in from Pine Bluff, a gentleman said, "The cars are crowded, 
that's like the darkies, they are always on the move; he is 
good for nothing ; he never will have anything ; he is only fit 
for a slave !" 

Ancient Indian Canal, Pulaski County, Ark. 

Eleven miles northeast of Little Rock, Ark. 

This water course has the appearance of being arti- 
ficially cut. It is somewhat irregular in form and is said 
to be nearly as it was when the country came into the 
possession of the whites. 

It connects Mills Bayou with Galloway Lake. Mills 
Bayou empties into the old Arkansas River, and thus the 
ancient inhabitants had a continuous water communication. 

Thibault Mounds Eight Miles East of South of Little 

Rock, Pulaski County, Ark. 

1883. — These mounds are situated on the farm of J. K. 
Thibault, Esq., eight miles southeast of Little Rock, Ark. 

430 Arkansas Historical Association 

They are small, averaging one and one-half feet high above 
surface and eighteen feet in diameter. These mounds have 
so little slope that the plow and rains have not materially 
worked off the surface. The owner had practically ex- 
amined the most of them carefully and as soon as the 
weather permitted said he would finish them. A foot of 
soil being removed you strike burnt clay, then ashes and 
with these, human remains, pottery, etc. This gentleman 
presented through me to the National Museum several speci- 
mens of Crania and pottery under Smithsonian numbers. 

Mr. Thibault has been asked to lend several of his finest 
specimens to the National Museum, those taken from his 

The Arkansas River is now one mile distant from the 
mounds. Judging from the surroundings the river once ran 
by this ridge upon which are the mounds, the spot being in- 
habited. These mounds might be called house graves. The 
huts seem to have been erected five or six feet apart over the 
mounds. As the soil remains, as it was originally, the plow 
has not materially disturbed whatever is under the soil and 
in the house remains. My visit to this gentleman, J. K. Thi- 
bault, was during a heavy storm and seeing that it would put 
him to great inconvenience I returned to Little Rock. His 
house was undergoing repairs. A fine collection. He is giv- 
ing all his duplicates to the National Museum and will lend 
his choice specimens that drawings and casts may be made 
from them. 

This gentleman presented me with several specimens 
for the National Museum which are sent in package 
marked x. His collection cannot be purchased or obtained 
by exchange. He has some rare painted specimens of pot- 
tery and some with curious inlaid ornamentations. 

He has a happy household, the wife and children taking 
an interest in his mound examinations. 

He has also some curiously shaped specimens of pot- 
tery and some pipes, slate beads the finest ever seem by me. 
A curious paddle shaped implement made of slate. I have 
pointed out to the owner several choice articles which will 
be desirable to borrow. A sister, Mrs. Helen E. Hobbs, and 

Arkansas Mounds 431 


a brother-in-law, F. T. Gibson, have both some choice speci- 
mens which Mr. Thibault will borrow from them and send 
with his specimens should you so desire. 
Menard Mound, or Hill Owned by Napoleon Menard. 

Seven miles west by land of Arkansas Post, Arkansas 
Biver, Arkansas County, Ark. 

1883— Menard Mound or as it is commonly called, 
Mepard Hill is one-quarter mile in a direct line from th.^^ 
Arkansas River to Poynters post office and ferry, and sp-^^^^ 
miles west, by land, of Arkansas Post. It is stu-^^^^ ^^ 
the farm of Napoleon Menard and is one - ^ ^^^ y^^, ^^^ 
mounds in the State. 

This moun'^ \^ seventy feet high, one hundred fifty feet 
wiue at the base and forty-five feet across at the top. I think 
it was originally circular. Sheep and individuals climbing 
up its sides for several years have made the sides very irreg- 
ular, besides the digging into its sides to see what could be 
found accelerated its present ragged condition. I examined 
three cuts made ten feet into its side and found mixed com- 
position of sandy loam, black vegetable earth, and clay. This 
may be owing to the earth having been taken from several 
places and thrown without order on the mound. 

This mound has two wings, the larger or the west wing 
is twenty feet high and one hundred and fifty-six feet long 
and twenty-seven feet wide at the narrowest part, the widest 
part is sixty feet. The south or lowest wing is seven feet 
high and one hundred and seventy-five feet long and sixty 
feet wide. These wings are of sandy soil with yellow clay 
subsoil. Some few pots were taken out last year. 

One wing is composed of six inches of sandy loam, an- 
other of six inches of burnt clay, and the third of three inches 
of matting and corn. Not much of the matting or com 
could be saved, so badly burnt were they ; on the same side 
of the wing, but nearer the mound were found many broken 
pots under a thick layer of burnt clay, last year. On the op- 
posite side of this northern mound was to be found not even 
burnt brick stuff. Thirty acres are included in the space 
around the mound in which are many houSe sites from 
which many pieces of pottery have been taken. 

432 Arkansas Historical Association 

The house sites look like a cluster of small mounds, the 
highest not more than two feet with flat tops and all consist 
of soil, burnt clay and ashes with which skeletons, pottery, 
etc., were found. It was from these, that last year so many 
things were taken by me. The line running through the 
small mounds indicates a fence. Near by it the Menard 
Bayou, or the old bed of White River across which is a road 
leading to Poynter's post office on the Arkansas River. * 

Menabd Mound, Arkansas County, Ark. 

Napoleon Bonapart Menard entitled to thanks of the 
Bureau of Ethnology. 

Left Arkansaw Post for Grand Prairie, fifteen miles 
northwest on a visit to John R. Maxwell. 

As the fires have for years been kept out of the prairie 
the timber has sensibly increased and driven outward and 
lessened the area of the Grand Prairie. 

Arkansas Post, Arkansas County, Ark. 

Landed at the Post late in the afternoon. Stayed at a 
noted hotel. This place is as old as Philadelphia. It once 
had a State bank, was the capital of the Province of Louis- 
iana. Some bricks of the government house remain. The 
town was destroyed by the war and the change of the war. 

The new town has thirty to forty inhabitants. The 
intrenchments of Confederates in the late war admit river 
and rains to encroach and carry away the soil until the town 
may be endangered. Thanksgiving day, November 24th, I 
had no turkey. There was no observance of the day. The 
ground was frozen. 

Circus that travels upon a river boat. (Admission 
twenty-five cents.) 

Gambling tables, dice, roulette, and guessing for dollars 
seem to be the main object, so as to pass counterfeit money. 

There was also a twenty-five cent side show consist- 
ing of an exhibition tent and a dressing tent to accommo- 
date a miserable variety show for which ten dollars license 

Arkansas Mounds 433 

was paid. Had the whole show exhibited it would have been 

The performers were a hard-faced lot. The poor crowd 
of dupes, black and whites, by their appearance had better 
put the money to their own comfort. 

For three days after my arrival here there was a raw, 
wet, cold rain, then frost so that the ground was frozen for 
three days, after which it was warm and pleasant. 

Mounds fifteen miles northwest from Arkansas Post, 
Arkansas County, Ark., Month of December, 1881. 

Major J. W. Powell. 


At the beginning of the month I left Arkansas Post 
to visit some mounds said to be fifteen miles northwest of 
Arkansas Post. Said mounds were small. A previous party 
had taken from the largest mound five skeletons with noth- 
ing with them. I found nothing in or about the mound but 
camp fires. These mounds are situated just inside of what 
was called Grand Prairie. Game passing to the prairie 
from the woods could be watched from this elevation by 
the hunters. 

Journey to Little River, Ark., October 13, 1882. to 


From Osceola to Little River most of the journey was 
through dense woods. The water rose last winter eighteen 
feet, covering the woods leaving the water sediment marks 
on the trees and the blazed ones by the axe made by the men 
in their boats as they sailed along the tree tops so as to 
mark their return road. Neither bird nor animal seen on 
the road. Fishmouth Highlands old river cut off. Cotton 
though topped is six feet high. Mr. Jackson's mad bees. 

Fishmouth Highland, Ark. 

The first mound visited was four feet high, forty feet 
long and thirty feet wide and of oval form. Three graves of 
white people were on the summit, but the owner gave per- 
mission to examine between the graves. The first hole dug 

434 Arkansas Historical Associatum 

was two and one-half feet below surface in nice black soil, 
then ten inches of burnt clay, six inches of charcoal and 
ashes, associated with which was a skeleton and pots. In 
the second examination the same result was obtained as the 
first with the skeleton and pottery. Four feet below the 
former skeleton a hard burnt floor was struck covered with 
two feet of ashes and two specimens of pottery but no 
skeleton. In the third hole dug:, after passing through the 
top soil, then burnt clay, charcoal and ashes same thickness 
as first hole dug. In the ashes was a broken pot, but no 

The human remains were found facing some to one 
quarter, others ix) another, face downward or on the back. 

The second mound visited was seven feet hig^ and 
twenty-five feet across. Graves covered its surface so no 
examination was made. 

House Sites. 

Thirty yards from the last named mound is a level 
spot with burnt brick-like stuff protruding more or less out 
from the surface soil. This extended about two hundred feet 
square. A house and outbuildings covered a part of it. On 
removing the brick-like substance for six inches to two 
feet, two skeletons were found a few feet apart (grown) 
and one of a child. The former had five pots each, the child 
one and two toy vessels. Ashes were associated with the 

Several house sites with broken pottery were found. 
The spot was once larger, but the overflow from the Little 
River cut-ofF, which runs by it, has carried away part of it. 

Left Forrest City for Madison, St. Francis county. 
Ark., November 3, 1882, by two mule team, an Ex-Confed- 
erate soldier for driver. He called homemade tobacco Ark- 
ansas scrip. He told his experience as a prisoner at Camp 
Butler, Springfield, Ohio and Erie, Pa. Apple and peach 
trees in bloom. Neglected grave yard of U. S. troops at 

Arkansas Mounds 435 

Cherry Valley, Cross County, Ark. 

Nov. 1, 1882. — Three months old. A new place built 
on the bottom lands on the Crawley's ridge branch St. Louis, 
Iron Mountain Railroad. 

Three new stores going up, one frame and one log 
dwelling finished. A well is dug. Hotel commenced. There 
is a frame boarding house in which is the post office. Black- 
smith shop under boards. A saw mill under upright boards 
and an upright board shanty. A fine timber country, but 
they are getting ready to waste it. 

Cotton bales, cotton seed and staves await shipment. 

Each man expects a fortune in a hurry and he praises 
the railroad. Land owner gave for depot lot two hundred 
by fifteen hundred feet deep. Lots (front) fifty feet by one 
hundred feet back sell for twenty dollars. One acre blocks 
back part sold for fifty dollars. 

Marianna and Other Places in Arkansas. 

Jan. 1882. — The colored barbers keep separate shops 
for white and colored customers. 

Jan. 18, 1882. — Snow and sleet with ground slightly 
frozen, a very disagreeable day. 

Marianna has eight hundred population, a fine post 
office. This place is twelve or fourteen miles up the Lan- 
guille River, thirty-five miles from Helena by river and 
twenty-five by land. 

Two miles south of this place on the Helena road is the 
Lone Pine Spring. The tree is yet standing. Here the thief 
Murrell had his counterfeit shop for making money, 
vestiges of which are said to still remain. 

Travel on the railroad suspended for several days as 
the only two engines were injured. Disagreeable waiting, 
and when started was slow. Freight was taken along and 
delivered by the wayside. Steam would give out then a 
stop to get up a new supply. 

436 Arkansas Historical Association 

Gabretson's Landing, Arkansas River, Ark. 

Mr. Garretson informed me that his mother who lived 
here from her childhood, while the Choctaw Indians were 
here, often spoke of their burying their dead by laying them 
upon the mounds and covering them over. 

Garretson's Landing, Jefferson County, Ark. 

Major H. P. Spellman entitled to the thanks of the 
Bureau of Ethnology. 

HousoN Mounds, Two Miles Northeast of Garrettson's 
Landing on the Arkansas River, Jefferson County, 


Two miles northeast from Garrettson's Landing are 
two mounds on the Houson farm. They are close to the 
road leading from Garretson's Landing to Linwood rail- 
road station on the railroad, leading to Arkansas City. One 
mound is twenty-five feet high, forty-four feet wide and 
fifty-five feet long. It is flat on top and covered with graves. 
No pieces of pottery, bones or burnt clay seem to have been 
turned up in digging the graves. Its exterior showed a 
sandy soil. It is forty-five feet from Cypress Bayou which 
is back of it. 

The second mound is three hundred fifty yards in a line 
from the first and forty feet from Cypress Bayou. It is 
thirty feet high, fifty feet wide and sixty feet long. Graves 
are on its top. No examination was allowed. It is of sandy 
soil. The land around is of rich bottom. 

Smuggs' Mound, One and One-quarter Miles South prom 
Garretson's Landing on Arkansas River, Jeffer- 
son County, Ark. (Owned by Children op Late 

Mr. Smuggs.) 

This mound is situated on the estate of Mr. Smugrgs. 
It is ten feet high, thirty-five feet long and twenty-five feet 
wide. I made a cut five feet deep and four feet square in the 

Arkansas Mounds 437 

side and found nothing: but clear sandy soil. Previous to my 
visit, a large hole had been cut from the top to the bottom, 
but nothing but sand was found. No sign of ashes or 
even of pottery was seen. 

Seventy-five feet from this mound is Long Lake, across 
which are dense woods. 

Holly Grove, Ark., and Vicinity. 

Dec. 26, 1881.— Left by stage for Holly Wood. Found 
everybody celebrating Christmas. I stopped at Widow 
Smith's Hotel. The influence of her daughters attracts 
boarders and so her house is full. 

Next morning started by team to Mrs. Trotter's farm 
near East Lake, four miles from Holly Grove and six miles 
from White River. Stayed at the house of Shoebly Taylor. 
The people were kind but of many words. Theirs was a 
rented place. 

Dec. 29. — Left for Clarendon, Monroe county, Ark- 
ansas by team ten miles. 

Hollywood Plantation, Ark., Taylor Mounds. 

Nov. 22, 1882.— Leaving Winchester State for Dr. J. 
M. Taylor's, four miles — ^got lost by not being rightly di- 
rected and went ten miles out of our way. After miles of 
wandering, it being dark and hearing chopping, followed 
the sound and came upon two men chopping poles. Went to 
their cabin to hire one and team to take us to the Taylor 


Darkies excited over skulls would not touch them. One 
took two sticks to take one up. One would not keep with 
my colored man because he handled bones. He said he 
feared the dry bones would shake about him at night. 

Three days and nights rain. 

W. B. Dumas kindly entertained us. 

438 Arkansas Historical Association 

Hollywood Plantation Near Winchester Station, Drew 

County, Ark. 

Dr. J. M. Taylor entitled to thanks of Bureau of Eth- 

Hollywood Plantation. 

Mounds on the farm of Dr. J. M. Taylor, four miles 
west from Winchester Station, Drew County, Ark., on the 
L. R., Mississippi & Texas Railroad. 

I found this celebrated group of mounds in a field of 
sixty-three acres, known as the "Mound Field." This field 
is bounded by Bartholomew Bayou and a line of what is 
supposed to be artificially made ponds running east and 
west. Some of these hold water most of the year. It is from 
these very probably that the earth was taken to build the 
mounds. They are largely filled up now. Before the war 
the ponds had large trees growing about them. These were 
cut down, the ponds drained and cultivated. For several 
years they have been neglected and trees are growing up. 
These intersect Bartholomew Bayou. Bayou Bartholomew 
is said to be five hundred miles long and sixty feet wide in 
channel and two hundred feet from bank to bank. There is 
often an eighteen foot rise of water, but it never overflows 
its banks which are on an average of twenty-four feet high. 
It runs north and south. 

The lower part of this mound field is made up from 
the overflow of the Arkansas River, when it runs over Am- 
bro Bayou below Pine Bluff. There is now a levee there so 
no overflow comes from this source. 

The top soil is black sandy loam and the bottom is a 
sandy loam of light yellow clay. 

The upper part of the field is stiff black loam and sub- 
soil is a stiff waxy clay of a reddish to black soil. 

We examined the subsoil about the mounds and brought 
to light numerous pieces of pottery, mussel shells, bones and 
stone implements that had been turned up by the plow. This 
field has been cultivated for years. There are many house 
sites to be found in this field. All that I found had mostly 

Arkansas Mounds 439 

been previously disturbed. For years various ones have 
dug and plowed up skeletons, pottery, etc. At two feet deep 
I found an abundance of ashes in which were the following : 
Turtle shell, pipe, mussel shells, pots, pottery fragments, 
stone implements plowed out. 

Bayou Bartholomew lies on the right of these mounds 
and ponds on the left. 

The openings between the ponds vary in width from 
thirty to one hundred feet. You pass from these outlets to 
cleared land and back of which are natural woods. 

One of the mounds is thirty feet high and of sandy 
loam mixed with clay. 

A second mound is fourteen feet high and one hundred 
feet wide at the base and thirty feet through at top. It is 
of sandy loam at top and clay at base. 

Another mound is nine feet high, eighteen feet through 
at top and thirty feet at base and of same composition. 

Several other mounds average three feet high and fif- 
teen feet through and are of same composition as the second 
and third. Nothing was found in these mounds. The ac- 
tion of the plow and rains in uncovering mounds, and the 
repeated examinations of various ones with spades has left 
nothing to be found. Many fine things have been taken 
out of the house sites found between the mounds in this 

This mound field is fifteen feet above the water chan- 
nel of Bayou Bartholomew. No overflow. 

Forrest City, Ark. 

I arrived late, and the hotels being full had to take 
room at a colored restaurant. 

Helena & Iron Mountain Railroad. 

No saloon — drug stores have hole in which the money 
and bottle are placed, the money is displayed, the bottle is 
filled, returned and no one seen. 

Seeds of the China tree used to cure botts in horses. 

Captain Cook would not allow his mounds disturbed 
because his negroes would not rent his land for fear of 
hants, as they express. 

440 Arkansas Historical Association 


The place has nine hundred inhabitants and no bak- 
ery, bread is brought from Memphis or Helena. 

Turnips one cent each, apples and Irish potatoes one 
dollar per bushel, sweet potatoes fifty cents per bushel, beef 
ten to fifteen cents per pound, chickens small twenty-five 
cents each. (No bank) . 

Forrest City Depot. 

Wishing to go to Memphis by the Memphis and Little 
Rock Railroad at six a. m., was on hand with my trunk as 
the train arrived. The checker refused to check the trunk 
because it was not at depot twenty minutes before the train 
arrived so it could be entered on book for the train. The 
ticket agent said to him, check it as there was time, but he 
refused, so I lost a day that was wanted at Memphis. 

Crook Mound, Ten Miles Southeast of Forrest City, St. 

Francis County, Ark. 

This mound is situated on the farm of Captain W. J. 
Crook, ten miles southeast from Forrest City and sixty 
feet from Tuni Creek. It has been cultivated for over 
fifteen years and besides during the overflows cattle are 
kept there for months. Their constant tramping has so 
mixed up the soil, that but little of the soil as it originally 
was remains. I found (three) small spots, however, of 
original deposit with four to twelve inches of loam and 
three inches of burnt clay — ^then ashes variable in thickness. 
The base was of clay. It is oblong in form fifteen feet high, 
four hundred eight feet long, and one hundred fifty feet 
wide. It has been very deeply plowed. A skeleton or two 
with a few pots have been taken out. 

Extensive examination could not be made as the owner 
feared that water would affect the mound and make it an 
unsafe place for their cattle. 

This place is at the foot of Crawley's Ridge. 

Arkansas Mounds 441 

House Sites, Called Old Brick Fort or House on the 
Property of Major Chairs, Known as the Black well 
Patric Farm, Four Miles Southwest from Forrest 
City, St. Francis County, Ark., and One Hun- 
dred AND Fifty Feet from Crow Creek. 

This is called by some people the Old Brick Fort or 
House from the quantity of brick-like material found more 
or less exposed. 

There are (3) of these house sites. A public road runs 
by the only perfect one and cuts through the other two. 

These three house sites are about ninety feet apart. 

Major Chairs lives at Columbia, Tenn His agent, A. 
C. Hickey gave me permission to examine the mounds. 

Chairs' Mound on Property of Major Chairs, Four Miles 
Southeast from Forrest City, St. Francis 

County, Ark. 

On the same estate as the house sites, but two hundred 
yards from Crow Creek. It is ten feet high, thirty-six feet 
across. Small brush grown over it. 

The back water of St. Francis River comes near to this 

Mounds on Lake Anderson, Ten Miles Northeast from 

Forrest City, Ark. 


Lake Anderson or Mud Lake is six or seven miles long 
and about two hundred yards wide and three-quarters of 
mile to the St. Francis River. Here are some mounds on 
the farm of John Anderson on the bank of the lake. 

Three hundred yards from first mound is another on 
the bank of the lake. It is five feet high, forty-five feet 
wide and circular in form. Cattle tramping over it have 
rendered it very hard and thoroughly mixed the materials 
composing it. It consists of clay, loam, ashes and burnt 
brick-like material. 

Still further to the south is another seventy-five yards 
from the last mentioned mound. It is round in form, five 

442 Arkansas Historical, Association 

feet high and fifty-five feet across. Its composition is like 
that of the former and is equally mixed and as hard 

There is a depression in the lake bank in front of the 
mound and so a good view of the lake is had. These mounds 
are in a bottom covered by timber of large size. 

One-quarter mile from the last mentioned mound and 
close to the bank of the lake are several patches of brick-like 
material, finely ground. For years the public road has passed 
over them so that whatever was originally beneath this 
burnt clay has been destroyed by vehicles which have worn 
deep ruts in the ground. These house sites are only one 
and one-half feet above the general surface. 

Mound at Arkansas City, Desha County, Ark. 

Little less than one mile north of Arkansas City is a 
mound situated on a level bottom that overflows by the. 
Mississippi River, which is one mile back of Cjrpress swamp 
that is contiguous to mound and from which the prehistoric 
people may have obtained their water supply. This mound 
during last years overflow, which was of unusual height, 
was five feet above water. Since the settlement of the 
country this mound has been used as a burying ground, its 
surface is thickly studded over with graves. In digging 
which, bones, pottery and brick-like substance is turned 
out, giving evidence as to its having been inhabited previous 
to the advent of the whites. It was probably nearly square 

Should anyone depart this life at Arkansas City during 
an overflow the remains is taken to this mound in a boat 
followed by the inhabitants in various kind of water crafts, 
a novel procession. 

Alianthus trees have taken freely to the mound, an oak 
or two of natural growth remains on its surface. 

The mound is one hundred eight feet long, seventy- 
two feet wide and twelve feet high. 

ArkaTisas Mounds 443 

There is about thirty-five feet of a slope at east end 
which was produced by the breaking down of the mound 

This view of the mound shows Cypress Bayous in the 
background, also the graves on the top and right-hand end. 

DeSoto or Depriest Mound, Thirteen Miles Northwest 
OP Arkansas City, Desha County, Arkansas. 

This mound is generally known as the DeSoto Mound, 
it being supposed by some that DeSoto camped here during 
one winter. H. T. Depriest now owns it and has his house 
on the attachment or slope from the mound. 

It is close to the bank of Cypress creek which empties 
into the Mississippi River, eight miles from the mound. 
This stream is thirty to forty yards wide and twenty feet 
deep. Five miles in a direct line is the Mississippi River. 
Back of the mound is a large pond from which the earth was 
taken to build this mound. It is of black and sticky nature. 
Fruit trees are planted on the top and com, etc., have been 
cultivated there. No brick-like substance was found on it. 
A few pieces of pottery were turned up by the plow. The 
mound is sixty feet high on the back side, but sloping 
toward the addition upon which the house stands. This 
attachment was probably to enable an easy ascent to the 
mound. The mound is one hundred ten feet across, one 
hundred forty-four feet long and has one-half acre on 
top. The accompanying view is of the so-called "De Soto" 
mound on Cypress Creek looking southwest with Cypress 
on the north. 

Depriest Mound, Thirteen Miles Northwest op Ark- 
ansas City, Ark. 

Returned from Depriests' Mound to Arkansas City 
December 6, 1882. 

There was the necessity of stopping on the journey. I 
stayed with a poor, but very accommodating white man. 

444 Arkansas Historical Association 

The colored driver of the two-mule wagon and my col- 
ored artist stopped with a friend of the driver, the bill of 
the two was three times as much as mine. 

Alarm of fire brought out a crowd, a new store on fire 
two stories high — ^no fire department — ^with buckets soon 
put out the fire. 

Side walks so staked in place that rise as water rise they 
remain and the people walk on the water. 

Dec. 1882. — ^Was like May much of the time. 

Arkansas City, Ark. 

Col. B. F. Grace, James Murphy and J. D. Coates are 
entitled to the thanks of the Bureau of Ethnology. 

Arkansas City, Ark. From Garrettson's Landing, 

Mississippi River. 

1883. — January 10 at 1 a. m. — Arrived at Arkansas 
City by freight train. City Hotel was full so had to sit in a 
chair by the fire. Had walked or rode all day in the mud 
and it was very cold, all the way from Garrettson's Land- 
ing on Mississippi River. 

Arkansas City, Ark. 

1882. — Noted for saloons and a hard crowd. There is 
« fine oil mill. 

Feb. 27, 1882. — Water rose eighteen inches above the 
City Hotel floor and on the level five or six feet. 

Wooden court house, jail and a wooden town. 

At the hotel cockroaches march over the table, the wall 
and floor, no water or fire in rooms, a filthy place — ^two 
dollars per day — an obliging lord, but does not know his 

Dec. 6, 1882. — Transit of Venus — a clear and warm 
day, at sundown clouded and at night a fearful wind. At 
seven next morning, clear and cold. Stayed all night in an 
open house — ^very uncomfortable. 

The day of December 6th was unusually bright with a 
peculiar blue sky. Roads fearfully muddy. 

Arkansas Mounds 445 

Mounds to Watch for Game. Big Cypress Creek, Ark. 

These mounds during the dry part of the year was re- 
sorted to by the Indians to watch for game, as the waters 
overflow the country, the mounds being at the divide be- 
tween the overflow and the high lands. 

Menard Mounds, Eight Miles Southeast of Arkansas 

Post, Arkansas County, Ark. 

Arkansas Post, Ark., November 29, 1881. 

Major J. W. Powell, 

Since forwarding my last communication, I have 
visited a section of land owned by the heirs of the late 
Frank Menard, Esq., eight miles southeast of Arkansas 
Post, Arkansas County, Ark. 

These mounds are situated in a field of twenty acres. 
It is forty feet high, nine hundred sixty-five feet in circum- 
ference at the base and three hundred feet at the top with 
trees and bushes growing on its tapering sides. 

I did not open this mound as two cuts had already 
been made in it without revealing anything, but an eight 
foot hole was dug in the top at which depth were found 
ashes, in which a metal cross of six or eight inches long was 
found. From the top of this mound a good view of the 
surrounding country was obtained. 

From the eastern side of this mound projects an ap- 
pendix, ten feet high, twenty feet across and three hundred 
feet in length, and at the end of whjch is a small circular 
mound fifteen feet high and forty feet across. Nothing 
was found in this mound, but evidences of its once having 
been occupied by numerous houses were verified, by finding 
of dwellings. As the Arkansas River once ran near by 
the site, it was doubtless occupied during the overflow of 
the river, so also might have been the connection between it 
and the big mound. Near the center of this connection and 
just under the soil burnt clay roofing of a house was found, 
then a few inches of ashes and charcoal. This house was 
fifteen feet in circumference. At one side of this house 

446 Arkansas Historical Assodatian 

imbedded in the burnt clay debris were many broken pots. 
Their position and the material with which they were as- 
sociated would lead one to the conclusion that the Indians 
of former days like those of now use the roof of their clay 
houses to put their cooking utensils upon, as the smallness 
of their dwelling and the absence of shelves would render 
these frail objects liable to be broken. These pots differ 
in ornamentation and form from those found with the 
dead, thus they are of especial interest. 

On the opposite side of the house from which these pots 
were found, were several inches of wood ashes below which 
was a hard floor of burnt clay with a smooth surface three 
feet across. This floor must have been made of wet clay 
smoothed and then burnt hard by the heat of the fire. 
The burning down of the house whether by accident or de- 
sign converted the outer clay roofing to a red brick-like 
substance, bearing the impression of grass and sticks sup- 
ports in it and precipitating the pots of clay. Four pots 
were found inside of each other, but cracked all over, in the 
last one was a large piece of burnt roofing. This material 
was variously mixed amongst the rest of the broken pots. 
If these pots had been under the roof, the roof would have 
covered them, breaking them up and forming an even mass 
or layer. 

List of Articles, Menard Mound (No. 3), Ark. 

1881. — 137 Stone implements. 

138 Mixed pieces of pottery. 

139 Heads of animals (one as a rattle) . 

140 Pottery, more or less broken (the pieces may be 
somewhat mixed — found with a skeleton, the head of which 
had been previously destroyed). 

141 Three specimens of pottery found with a decayed 

142 Three pots (with half -grown person decayed). 

143 Pot with skull. 

144 Two pots on human form placed in four bundles. 
The crania found with them is in a separate bundle with 
the mark (144). 

Arkansas Mounds 447 

145 Two pots found with a decayed crania. 

146 Four pots found with a decayed skeleton of a child. 

147 Two pots with a decayed skeleton of a child. 

148 Three pots found with half-grown person. 

150 Flooring. 

151 Clay and charcoal (burnt) . 

152 Burnt clay from inside of pots. 

Menard Mound, Seven Miles West of Arkansas Post, 


1883. — The large mound seen in the picture is seventy 
feet high, one hundred fifty feet wide at base and forty- 
five feet wide at top. It was originally circular, but sheep, 
cattle and individuals climbing up its sides accelerated the 
present rugged sides. Its composition is a mixtrure of 
sandy loam, black vegetable earth and clay irregularly in- 
termixed which may be owing to the material being col- 
lected from several parts. 

This mound has two wings or appendages, the larger 
or west wing is twenty feet high, one hundred fifty-six feet 
long, twenty-seven feet wide at narrowest part and sixty 
feet a widest part. It was in the center of this wing that 
so many broken yellow fiat dishes were found. This visit 
yielded charred corn, matting, etc., which have been for- 
warded under 423-24-25. 

First — Six inches of soil. Second — Six inches burnt 
clay. Third — Three inches matting and corn. These were 
found on the north side of wing which is covered with brick- 
like substance, of which the opposite side has none. The 
south or lowest wing is seven feet high, one hundred seventy- 
five feet long and sixty feet wide. These wings are of sandy 
soil with yellow clay sub-soil. 

Mound and Grave. 

Page 80. 

In speaking of the first settlement on the Arkansas 
River, says, in one of the Tumuli Mounds on the bank of 
the bayou intersected by the falling away of the earth, a 

448 Arkansas Historical Association 

pot of this kind still employed by the Chickasaw and other 
natives for boiling their victuals in had fallen out of the 
grave and did not appear to be of very ancient interment. 

Page 81. 

Speaking of the mounds the author says, I suspect that 
the tnounds are merely incidental, arising from the demoli- 
tion of the circular dwelling in which the deceased had been 
interred, a custom which was formerly practiced by the 
Natchez, Cherokee and other natives. 

"Journal of Travels in Ter. of Arkansas, 1819, by 
Thomas Nuttall, F. L. S., 1819." 

Arkansas Post, Villiage on Arkansas River. 

The first attempt at settlement on the bank of the Ark- 
ansas was begun a few miles below the Bayou which com- 
municated with the White River. An extraordinary in- 
undation occasioned the removal of the garrison to the 
borders of the lagoon near Madame Gordons and again 
disturbed by an overflow, they at length chose the present 
site of Arkansas Post. 

They cultivated peach and other trees. . 

(Nuttalls' Travels.) 

Indians Have No Religions. 

Vol. 2. — Kalm's Travels says the Indians have no re- 


Adam's Mound, Lincoln county, 392. 

Aiken, John R., associate justice Supreme Court, 259, 260. 

Andrews, George, 68. 

Anthony House, center of stirring scenes in Brooks-Baxter war, 249. 

Aquixo, Indian village, 296. 

Archives, work of History Commission, 276, 277. • 

"Argo," steamboat seized by secessionists in 1861, 37, 38. 

Arkadelphia, mounds near, 390. 

Arkansas country, French missionaries in, 276, 277, etc. 

Arkansas City, mound near, 442, 443. 

Arkansas Post, cotton market, 318; in 1883, 432. 

Arms, Confederates poorly equipped, 336, 337. 

Ashley county, contest in, over delegates, 36. 

Atchley, Mrs. R. M., 141. 

Baird, John, captain First Missouri Cavalry, 157. 

Banks, Tom, of Virginia, 95. 

Baptist, The Arkansas, and international religious liberties, 269, 270. 

Barton, J. M., private secretary to Governor Clayton, 233. 

Bates, J. F., pioneer teacher, 204. 

Bates ville, early settlement, 315. 

Battle, B. B., associate justice, 240, 241. 

Baxter, Elisha, elected governor, 61, 62; governor, 232. 

Benton, county seat Saline county, 152. 

Berry, James H., United States senator, 241; Auditor of State, 226. 

Berry, Lieutenant-Colonel, First Arkansas Cavalry, 834. 

Bizzell, Dr., a pioneer, 179. 

Blanks, E. B., of Little Rock, 156. 

Bowen, Thos. M., president convention of 1868, 8; associate justice 
Supreme Court, 226. 

Bradley, John M., delegate convention of 1868, 11, 12; advised con- 
fiscation of steamboat in 1861, 37. 

Bragg, Gen. Braxton, 142, 143; poor generalship, 144; incompetency, 
150, 151. 

Breckenridge, General, at Murfreesboro, 144. 

Brewster, William R., Confederate soldier, 146. 

''Brindle-tails," a political faction; how name originated, 238, 239. 

Brooks, Mr., wife outraged by negro militia, 236. 

Brooks, Joseph, delegate to convention of 1868, 9; resented term 
carpetbagger, 20, 21, 22; elected governor, 62; member conven- 
tion of 1868, 224; political opponent of Clayton, 238, 226, 227. 

Brooks-Baxter war, account of, 241, 242, 243, etc.; 62, 63, 64. 

Buffalo on prairies, 69; hunting, 104; habits of, 125. 

450 Arkansas Historical Association 

Bulletins, issued by History Commission, 276. 

"Burbons/' term of derision appHed to southern meii, 220. 

Burial places of pioneers, 183. 

Butler, James W., leader in convention of 1874, 261. 

Caddo river, 174. 

Camden, Arkansas, 154; early days in, 386; settlement of, 386, 387. 

Campaifirn of 1861 in Northern Arkansas, 336-339. 

Canadian fork, 68. 

Cane Hill, early settlement in Northwest Arkansas, 205. 

Carpetbaggers and scalawags, 8; Arkansas overrun by, 195; in con- 
vention of 1868, 222. 

Carroll, Col. De Rosey, Fifth Arkansas Cavalry, 334. 

Casqui, Indian country, 296, 297, 298. 

Catterson, R. F., in command Southwest Arkansas, 232. 

Centre Point, town in Sevier county, 177. 

Chair's Mound, near Forrest City, 441. 

Chapel Hill, early settlement, 180. 

Chickasawba, mounds near, 400. 

Chilton, Major, Texas Cavalry Regiment, 335. 

Churchill, Col. T. J., First Arkansas Mounted Rifles, 385. 

Clarksville, Texas, settlement, 183. 

Clayton, Powell, author ''The Aftermath of the Civil War in Ar- 
kansas," 56; ambassador to Mexico, 56; governor of Arkansas, 56; 
elected to United States senate, 60; and his militia, 195; elected 
governor, 226; shrewd politician, 228; proclaimed martial law, 
231; elected United States senator, 240. 

Climate, lower Mississippi, 357. 

Clowry, Robert C, superintendent United States military telegraph 
at Little Rock, 157. 

Cogburn, Miss Minerva, friend of David O. Dodd, 155. 

CoUegeville, village of, 152. 

Confederate army on the march, 144, 145. 

Confederate roster, work of History Commission on, 281, 282. 

Confederate soldiers, situation faced by after war, 213. 

Confederate States, peace with independence, 148. 

Congress, the Fourteenth Amendment adopted, 217. 

Constitution of 1868, delegates opposed to, 49; final vote* on in con- 
vention, 53; adopted, 49, 222, 223, 225. 

Convention, constitutional of 1868, 7; of 1874, 64; history of, 210; 
events leading up to, 211, 212. 

Cook, V. Y., member committee on flag, 208. 

Cotton, factory in Arkansas, 172, 174; shipped to New Orleans by 
boat, 178. 

Cotton tax, its burden, 84. 

Counterfeiters, headquarters for, on Rolling Fork, 184. 

Crittenden county, mounds in, 411, 412. 

Index 451 

Cross Timbers, 69. 

Crump, George, United States marshal, 241. 

Cypert, Eugene, 7. 

Cypert, Jesse N., delegate convention of 1868, 12 ; opposed Constitu- 
tion of 1868, 14; member constitutional convention 1874, 241; 
distinguished figure in convention of 1874, 260, 261. 

Dancing, the pioneers, 176. 

D. A. R., Pine Bluff chapter, 207. 

Davidson, General, 157. 

Deer on prairies, 69, etc. 

Delegates, convention of 1868, 8. 

Democrats, attitude toward convention of 1868, 14, 15, etc. 

DeQueen, mineral spring near, 179, 180. 

DeQueen Bee, early files of, 188. 

DeSoto, what was his route through Arkansas, 292, 293, etc. 

DeSoto mound, 443, 444. 

DeVall's Bluff, end of railroad in 1864, 154. 

DeWoody, Mrs. W. L., regent Pine Bluff chapter D. A. R., 207. 

Dockery, Col. T. P., Fifth Arkansas Infantry, 334. 

Dodd, Andrew Marion, father of David Owen Dodd, 152. 

Dodd, David Owen, hanged as spy, 152; sutler's clerk in Federal army, 

154; trial, 157, 158; letters to mother and sister, 158-166. 
DoUarhide, Judge Sam, of Rocky Comfort, 183. 
Doyne, J. J., secretary committee on flag, 207. 
Drew county, mounds in, 394. 
Dumas, Father, French missionary, 366. 
DuPoisson, Father, letter of, to Father Patouilet, 370, 371, 372, etc.; 

missionaries to Indians, 352. 
Duval, Bouldin, address in convention of 1868, 29. 

Election, proclamation of, by General Ord, 218, 219. 
Elk mountain, 92. 

Embree, Lieutenant-Colonel, Second Arkansas Cavalry, 335. 
English, E. H., sigrner of address to people in 1867, 219. 

Fagan, General, headquarters at Camden, 155. 

Falconer, W. A., author of ''Arkansas and the Jesuits in 1727,^' 353. 
Farming, difficulties following the war, 191, 192. 
Ferguson, William, wounded at Murfreesboro, 147. 
Fifteenth Amendment, ratified by Legislature, 236, 237. 
Files, A. W., robbed by Clayton militia, 234. 
Filler mound, in Drew county, 394. 

Fishback, W. M., attorney for David Owen Dodd, 157; member con- 
vention of 1874, 267. 
Fitasgerald, I. D., of Little Rock, 156. 

Flag, history of the Arkansas, 207 ; desig^n explained, 208, 209. 
Flint, Mr., description of Cumanches, 98. 

452 Arkansas Historical Association 

Forrest City, Crook mound near, 440. 

Fort Smith, 186. 

Fort Towson, military post, 69. 

Frauenthal, Mrs. Jo, member committee on flag, 208. 

French missionaries to the Indians, 852, 858. 

Gamblers, members of grang, 317. 

Game — Bear, deer and turkey, 174. 

Garland, Augn^stus, elected governor, 64; signer of address to people 

in 1867, 219. 
Gazette, The Arkansas, attitude toward convention of 1868, 13. 
"Gentleman of Elvas," member of DeSoto's expedition, 293, 294. 
GiUen, General, succeeded General Ord as military commandant, 225. 
Grant, Gen. U. S., and anti-war politicians, 212, 218. 
Gratiot, Col. John R., Third Arkansas Infantry, 834. 
Greeley, Horace, change of heart toward the South, 61. 
Green, B. W., member committee on flag, 208. 

Green, Gen. Nathaniel, a descendant of, buried in Arkansas, 197, 198. 
Green, Col. E., Texas Cavalry Regiment, 885. 
Gregg, Lafayette, associate justice Supreme Court, 226. 
Gregory, Minor, recollections of reconstruction under Clayton, 64, 65. 
Grey, Captain, 881. 
Grey, W. H., negro, 10; speech for freedom in convention of 1868, 

17, 18. 
Grist mill of rude pioneer sort, 193, 194. 
Gunter, Liieut.-Col. T. M., Fourth Arkansas Infantry, 834. 

Hall, Bedford, Confederate soldier, 146. 

Hammonds, Dr. J. W., of Tennessee, 180. 

Hanger, Mrs. Frederick, 66. 

Hardee, General, at Murfreesboro, 142, 148, 144. 

Harley, Wm. R., member Legislature, 241. 

Harper, Major, First Arkansas Mounted Rifles, 835. 

Harris, John, of Missouri, 94. 

Harrison, Wm. M., associate justice Supreme Court, 226. 

Hartwell, Jesse, president Arkansas Baptist State convention, 271. 

Haynes, Lieutenant-Colonel, Third Louisiana Infantry, 885. 

Heckatoo, Lincoln county, 390. 

Hekatton, Indian chief, 326. 

Herbert, Col. Louis, Third Louisiana Infantry, 335. 

Hernandez de Biedma, chief commissary to DeSoto's expedition, 293. 

Hemdon, Dallas T. (Director State Department Archives and His* 
tory), author of biographical sketch of David Owen Dodd, 152; 
review of work of Arkansas History Commission, 272; ''When 
the Quapaws went to Red River — a Translation," 326; ''Explana- 
tory" of unfinished sketch by U. M. Rose, 284. 

Hicks, W. F., delegate convention of 1868, 11. 

Index 453 

High prices just after the war, 198. 

Hinds, Joe, political adventurer, 221. 

History Commission, The Arkansas, a review of its work, by Dallas 
T. Hemdon, secretary, 272; material for biography, 274, 276, 276. 

Hocker, Miss Willie K, author of "A History of the Official Flag of 
Arkansas,'' 207. 

Hodges, Earle W., Secretary of State, 207. 

Hodges, J. L., delegate to convention of 1868, 87; carpetbagger, 228. 

Holly Grove, 437. 

Hollywood plantation, 437, 438. 

Holman, C. K., mine promoter, 187. 

Hood's landing for steamboats, 177. 

Hord, Wm. T., author "Breaking Up a Party of Arkansas River 
Gamblers," 812. 

Homer, John J., leader in convention of 1874, 261. 

Horse racing in Sevier county, 178. 

Horse thieves, 180, 181. 

Horses, wild, 67, etc. 

Horse racing, 314. 

Hostages, taken by DeSoto, 296. 

Hot Springs, in DeSoto's route, 307. 

Hot Springs road, 166. 

House, J. W., Sr., author "Reminiscences of Convention of 1874," 210. 

House mounds, 436. 

House sites on mounds, 434. 

Hudson, J. M., first lieutenant Company G, Second Arkansas In- 
fantry, 140, 141. 

Hudson, Matt, Confederate soldier, 46. 

Hunters in French colonies, 366, 366. 

Illinois country, French missionaries in, 378, 379. 
Indian bayou, in Lonoke county, 411. 

Indians — A medicine man, 330; mode of gambling, 192; ball games, 
192, 193; as laborers, 193; as mail carriers, 179; hospitality of 
Pacahas, 300; Caddo in Louisiana, 326; Caddos, a war-like tribe, 
331; Cherokees, 73; Oiawas, 97; home of Ciawas, 139; Cumanches, 
88; depredations by Cumanches, 98; ceremonies of Cumanches 
over buffalo bones, 103, 104; encounters with Cumanches, 106; 
country of Cumanches, 107; Cumanches, tribe of Snake or Shokone 
nation, 107; in village of Cumanches, 109, 110; dress of the 
Pacahas, 299; Eutaws, 91, 92; on the march, 328; social habits, 
328, 329; Osages, 96, 130; village of Osages, 130, 131; friendli- 
ness of the Osages, 130, 131; Pawnees, 70; Pueblo, 90; Quapaws, 
migration of, 326, 327, etc.; religion, 329; salt works, 390; war- 
fare of Pawnees and Cumanches on Cherokees and Choctaws, 138, 

454 Arkansas Historical Association 

Ingham, Rev. Howard M., 140. 

Irving, Washington, in western country, 136. 

Jackson, Claibom, governor of Missouri, 835. 

Jackson, Mississippi, 154. 

Jackson, Mr., inventor, 185, 186. 

Jefferson county, moundb in, 402. 

Jesuits, Arkansas and the, in 1727, 353. 

Johnson, President Andrew, and reconstruction, 213, 214. 

Johnson, James N., lieutenant-governor, 226. 

Jones, James K., United States senator, 241. 

Joplin, Missouri, mining company promoting in Sevier county, 187. 

Jordan, Dr. Junius, member committee on flag, 208. 

Journey, narrative of, in prairie, by Albert Pike, 66. 

*'Judge Lynch" trying horse thieves, 181. 

Kennard, George P., author sketch, ''Michael Shelby Kennard," 379. 

Kennard, Michael Shelby, biographical sketch of, 379. 

Kinsworthy, Bert, mine promoter, 187. 

Knapp mounds in Pulaski county, 423, 424, 425, 426. 

Ku Klux Klan, 55, 59, 60; protecting southern whites, 195, 196. 

Lake Anderson, mounds near, 441, 442. 

Land grants to the French, 353, 354. 

Lane, Lieutenant-Colonel, Texas Cavalry Regiment, 335. 

League, The Union, secret organization of negroes, 221. 

Leonard, Major, Third Louisiana Infantry, 335. 

Lepetit, Father, letter to Father D'Avagour, 376, 377. 

Lewis, Aaron B., 67; his story of journey to New Mexico, 84, 90. 

Library of Congress, little material in, for history of Arkansas, 280, 

Lincoln, Abraham, proclamation, December, 1863, 13; advised recon- 
struction in Arkansas, 25 ; the South loser by his death, 214 ; calls 
for troops, 333. 

Linwood Station, mounds near, 402. 

Little Red river, 96. 

Little Rock, Arkansas, taken by Federals, 153; as market, 175; in 
1883, 428, 429. 

Loyalty leagues, 55. 

Lynn, Dr. Lewis N., 314. 

Madden, Col. J., farmer near Clarksville, 317. 

Magazine mountains, DeSoto near, 304. 

Maize, cultivation of, 354. 

Mallory, S. W., in command Southern Arkansas, 232. 

Marianna, Arkansas, 435. 

Marks, Billy, Confederate soldier, 146. 

Mark's Mill, named for John H. Marks, 141. 

Marmaduke, Colonel, Missouri State Troops, 335. 

Index 455 

Martial law, conditions under, 231, 232, 233; outrages committed 
during, 266, 267, 268. 

Matlock, Lieutenant-Ck>lonel, Arkansas Mounted Rifles, 336. 

Matthews, William, Confederate soldier, 146. 

McClure, John, delegate to convention of 1868, 9, 224; associate ] 

justice of Supreme Court, 226. 

McCrary, Col. Decius, politician, 212. 

McCulloch, Ben, brigadier general, C. S. A., 336. 

McDonald, Senator, U. S. Senator, owner of Robber's Roost, 230. 

McGehee, town of, named for Captain McGehee, 140, 141. 

McGehee, Madison Tate, of Pine Bluff, 141. 

McGehee, Capt. Valentine Merriwether, 140. 

Mcintosh, Col. James, Second Arkansas Cavalry, 336. 

McKean, John G., captain in Confederate army, 169. 

McLean, John, killed in battle, 147. 

McRae, Col. Dandridge, Arkansas Battalion, 336. 

Memorial Chapter, U. D. C, 64. 

Memphis, a market to Arkansas farmers, 176. 

Menard mound near Arkansas Post, 431, 432, 446, 467. 

Mesquite on prairie, 114, 121. 

Mexico, the "Sick Man" of North America, 26. 

Miehr, Sergeant, Company B, First Missouri Cavalry, 166. 

Mining booms in Sevier county, 186, 187. 

"Minstrels," a political faction; how name originated, 238. 

Missouri wagon road, 96. 

Missouri trading with Mexico, 138. 

Mixon, Miss Ada, author of "What Was DeSoto's Route Through 
Arkansas?" 293. 

Monks, William, political renegade, 231. 

Monroe, Louisiana, David 0. Dodd in telegraph oflice, 163. 

Montgomery, John R., Attorney General, 226. 

Moore, John M., attorney, Little Rock, 241. 

Morgan, James, Confederate soldier, 146. 

Mounds of Arkansas, observations, 390. 

Mounds, Carpenter's in Clark county, 416; excavating, 396; in Crit- 
tenden county, 402, 403, 417; in Cross county, 436; in Desha 
county, 401, 404, 419, 427; in Franklin county, 419; in Inde- 
pendence county, 420, 421; in Jackson county, 427, 428; in 
Lawrence county, 420; in Mississippi county, 398, 408, 409, 417, 
427; in Monroe county, 412, 421, 422, 423; in Poinsett county, 
396, 397, 412; in Pulaski county, 423, 429, 430, 431; in Saline 
county, 406, 406, 407, 408; in White county, 396. 

Murfreesboro, battle of, 142, 143. 

Murphy, Isaac, governor, 26; his vote in secession convention, 333; 
governor under provisional government, 216; in secession con- 
vention, 216; financing his administration, 229. 

456 Arkansas Historical Association 

Natchez, French settlement at, 866. 

National forest reservation, in DeSoto's route, 306. 

Nes^roes, enfranchisement, 7; in convention of 1868, 8; enfranchised 

to control whites, 33; organized as militia, 58; and elections, 

58, 59. 
Neill, Lieutenant-Colonel, Fifth Arkansas Infantry, 834. 
New Mexicans, 138. 
New Mexico, trading in, 67. 
New Orleans in 1727, 853. 

Newspaper files in archives History Commission, 276, 278, 279. 
Newton, R. C, signer of address to people in 1867, 219. 
New York Herald, report of conditions in Arkansas, 60. 
Noble, Mrs., of Star City, 141. 

Noel, Mrs. Julia McAlmont, member committee on flag, 208. 
Nolan, Col. C. F. M., 321. 
Norman, G. W., in convention of 1868, 47. 
North Fork, tributary of the Canadian, 68, 69. 
Norwood, Dr., a pioneer, 179. 
Norwood, Hal L., Attorney General, 177. 
Norwood, Peter, negro politician, 199. 
Nunn, John, first settler at Camden, 389. 

Obear, Bryan, of St. Louis, 312. 

Office seekers, an army of, 237, 238. 

Olderburg, Daniel, of Company E, First Missouri Cavalry, 156. 

Oliver, W. S., collector Pulaski county, 230. 

Ord, E. O. C, military commandant, 8; major-general commanding 

military district of Arkansas and Mississippi, 216. 
Ouachita river, course followed by DeSoto, 307, 308. 
Owen, Lydia Echols, mother of David Owen Dodd, 152. 
Owen, Thomas, delegate to convention of 1868, 11. 

Pacahas, Indian tribe in Arkansas country, 295, 296. 

Page, Henry, treasurer of State, 226. 

Palmer, Edward, agent Smithsonian Institute, 890. 

Paraclifta, settlement in Sevier county, 177. 

Pearce, Gen. N. B., author "Pearce's Campaign of 1861," secession 

and preparation for war, 332, 333; brigadier general first army 

of Arkansas, 334. 
Pecan Point, mounds near, 408, 409, 410. 
Pecos river, Indian village on, 97. 
Peel, Maj. Samuel W., Fourth Arkansas Infantry, 334. 
Pettigrew, Mrs. C. W., author of Plan for State Flag, 207. 
Pike, Albert, 66; explorations of, 98. 

Pine Bluff, DeSoto passed near, 301, 302; cotton market, 413, 414. 
Plantation in French colony, 355. 
Point of Rocks, 78, 79. 

Index 457 

Poland, Luke E., chairman congressional committee to investigate 

Arkansas, 229. 
Pope, John, governor Arkansas Territory, sketch of, 285, etc. 
Pottery, Indian, 892, 898. 
Prairie, characteristics, 70, 72; travel in, hardships, etc., 76, 76, 84, 

85, 86; covered with long grass, 188. 
Price, John G., editor of The Little Rock Republican, 220; political 

henchman of Clayton, 238. 
Price, Gen. Sterling, commander Missouri State Guards, 335. 
Priest, John G., secretary of convention of 1868, 18. 
Province, Lieut-Col. D., Third Arkansas Infantry, 384. 
Public documents in History Conunission, 279, 280. 
Puckett, John, Confederate soldier, 146. 

Quapaws, village of, 369. ' 
Quiguate, Indian village, 301. 

Ray, W. S., author ''Early Days in Sevier County," 169 ; some account 

of his career, 171. 
Rebel, an unwelcome visitor, 173. 
Reconstruction under carpetbaggers and negroes, 200, 201; as a 

breeder of bitter feeling, 214; the first provisional government in 

Arkansas, 215, 7. 
Red river, in prairie country, 125, 126; Quapaws moved south of, 326. 
Reed, Capt. James, Fort Smith Battery of Artillery, 334. 
Reeves, Gen. Jos. A., 140. 
Reo Azul, branch of Brazos, 116. 
Republican Party, 89. 

Research, encouraged by History Commission, 277, 278. 
Ringgold, Col. John, 313, 314. 

Ringo, Daniel, signer of address to people in 1867, 219. 
Robber's Roost on Rogues Hill, built with State and county funds, 230. 
Rocky Mountains, appearance of, 73. 
Rodrigo, Ranjel, private secretary to DeSoto, 298. 
Rose, George B., member committee on flag, 207. 
Rose, Mrs. U. M., review of Clayton's "Aftermath of the Civil War 

in Arkansas," 56. 
Rose, U. M., respected Governor Baxter, 62; signer of address to 

people in 1867, 219; author of unfinished sketch of John Pope, 285. 
Russell, Mrs. Barbara, 141. 

Saline county, mounds in, 394. 

Saline river, crossed by DeSoto, 802. 

Salt mining, 188, 189; salt wells near Arkadelphia, 893. 

Saltillo, Spanish settlement, 95. 

San Fernandez settlement, 89. 

San Miguel settlement, 82. 

Santa Fe trading post, 68. 

458 Arkansas Historical Association 

Saraasa mounds, Lincoln county, 391. 

Sarber, John N., member constitutional convention of 1868, 224. 

Sarrison, Indian chief, 326. 

Sawmill, the first in Sevier county, 194, 195. 

"Scalawasrs," change of views in convention, 46. 

Schools for the pioneers, 202. 

Scudder, Sam, Confederate soldier, 146. 

Searcy, Rev. J. B., author of "The Arkansas Baptist and Inter- 
national Religious Liberties," 269. 

Seigel, Gen. Franz, commander Federal troops in Missouri, 343, 345. 

Semaron river, branch of the Arkansas, 139. 

Settlements of French pioneers, 363. 

Sevier county, early days in, 169. 

Shooting matches, 178, 179. 

Shoppach, J. H., in convention of 1868, 55. 

Shreveport, a market, 175. 

Sim, Clifford Stanley, member convention of 1868, 224. 

Slaves, the old-fashioned darkey, 176; "Fiddlers," 176; a Confederate 
pensioner, 177. 

Smith, Hiram, first postmaster at Camden, 388. 

Smith, Jabez M., picturesque member convention of 1874, 267. 

Smith's mound, Lincoln county, 391. 

Smith, Samuel G., captain Dixie Grays, Sixth Arkansas Infantry, 282. 

Smith, Thomas, superintendent public instruction, 226. 

Smoot, George P., member convention of 1874, 266. 

Snow storm on prairie, 81. 

South Arkansas, a rough, unsettled country, 172, 173. 

Souel, Father, missionary to Indians, 353. 

Stake Prairie, home of Cumanches, 353. 

Stanley, Henry M., English explorer, 282. 

State House, public documents recovered, 326. 

Steamboat transporting troops, 154. 

Steele, General, United States army, in command at Little Rock, 152. 

St. Charles, Arkansas, hotel in, 416. 

St. Francis river, crossed by DeSoto, 298. 

St. John's College at Little Rock, 153; headquarters for Baxter forces 
in Brooks-Baxter war, 249. 

Stock raising, a country well suited to, 175. 

Stone, Thomas, pioneer of Camden, 388. 

Stopral, Lieutenant, First Missouri Cavalry, 157. 

Taggart, Mrs. W. A., member committee on flag, 207. 
Talaiferro, Capt. Ben B., Company G, Second Arkansas Infantry, 140. 
Tankersley, C. W., carpetbagger and speaker House of Representa- 
tives, 239, 240. 
Taos, settlement, 93. 
Teague, Wm., Confederate soldier, 146. 

Index 459 

Telegrraphic code deciphered, 157. 

Texas, Dodds move to, 152; runaways to, 181. 

Thomburg, Georgre, member of Legislature, 241. 

Todd, James, pioneer settler, 197. 

Tolson, Wm., Confederate soldier, 146. 

Tomlinson, Mrs. Frank, member committee on flag, 207. 

Travel difficulties in French colonies, 356, 857. 

Travel in Indian canoes, 361, 362. 

Tufts, Mrs. A. A., author "Early Days in Camden,'' 386. 

Ultima Thule settlement.. 174. 
Union sympathizers, 172, 173. 
Upham, D. P., in command Northeastern Arkansas, 282. 

Vivier, Father, letter to Father , 378. 

Walker, C. W., in convention of 1868, 56. 

Walker, David, president secession convention, 215; colonel of Fourth 

Arkansas Infantry, 334. 
Ward, Major, Third Arkansas Infantry, 334. 
War Department, Confederate, incompetency of, 147, 148; muster 

rolls in, 281, 282. 
Watkins, George C, signer of address to people in 1867, 219. 
Watson, E. P., member of Legislature, 241. 
White, James T., negro, 10 ; member of convention of 1874, 266. 
White, R. J. T., Secretary of State, 226. 
Wild horses as food, 121, 122; vast numbers of, 122, 123. 
Williams, Bill, a trapper, 95. 

Wilson's creek, battle of, 341 ; casualties of, 360, 351. 
Women in French colony, 355. 

Woodruff, Capt. W. E., Little Rock Battery Artillery, 334. 
Wright, Mahla, murdered by thieves, 204. 
Wright, Wm., pioneer farmer, 204. 

Yankees pictured as poor fighters by southern politicians, 212. 
Yell, Governor Archibald, residence at Fayetteville, 313. 





AUG 1. 1846 


OCT 4 1961 

'^ LB 

QCT4 mi 













LD 21-100m-7,'40(6986t)