Arkansas Territory

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  (Redirected from Territory of Arkansaw)

Territory of Arkansas
Organized incorporated territory of the United States
 • Coordinates 34°44′10″N 92°19′52″W / 34.73611°N 92.33111°W / 34.73611; -92.33111
Latitude and Longitude:

34°44′10″N 92°19′52″W / 34.73611°N 92.33111°W / 34.73611; -92.33111
 • Type Organized incorporated territory
• 1819–1825
James Monroe
• 1825–1829
John Quincy Adams
• 1829–1836
Andrew Jackson
• 1819–1824
James Miller
• 1825–1828
George Izard
• 1829–1835
John Pope
• 1835–1836
William Fulton
Legislature General Assembly
• Upper house
Legislative Council
• Lower house
House of Representatives
• Affirmed by Congress
March 2, 1819
• Officially Became Territory
July 4, 1819
June 30, 1834
May 6, 1828
• Statehood of Arkansas
June 15, 1836
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Missouri Territory
Unorganized territory
Today part of  United States

The Territory of Arkansas, officially the Territory of Arkansaw, and commonly known as the Arkansas Territory or the Arkansaw Territory (A. T. or Ar. T.), was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 4, 1819, to June 15, 1836, when the final extent of Arkansas Territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Arkansas. [1] Robert Crittenden was the Secretary until 1829 and the de facto Governor, preparing Arkansas for statehood.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
Source: 1820–1830; [2]
Part of a series on the
History of Arkansas
Great Seal of Arkansas
Flag of the United States.svg  United States portal

On March 2, 1819, at the penultimate meeting of the 15th United States Congress, Congress passed the Arkansas organic act (3 Stat. L. 493), providing for the creation of the Arkansaw Territory on July 4, 1819, from the portion of the Missouri Territory lying south of a point on the Mississippi River at 36 degrees north latitude running west to the St. Francis River, then followed the river to 36 degrees 30 minutes north latitude, then west to the territorial boundary. [3] [4] This included all of the present state of Oklahoma south of the parallel 36°30' north. The westernmost portion of the territory was removed on November 15, 1824, and a second westernmost portion was removed on May 6, 1828, reducing the territory to the extent of the present state of Arkansas.

Originally the western border of Missouri was intended to go due south to the Red River. During negotiations with the Choctaw in 1820, however, Andrew Jackson unknowingly ceded more of Arkansas Territory. Then in 1824, after further negotiations, the Choctaw agreed to move farther west, but only by "100 paces" of the garrison on Belle Point. This resulted in the bend in the common border at Fort Smith, Arkansas. [5]

Until Oklahoma received statehood, Fort Smith served as the ostensible legal authority overseeing the Oklahoma Territory. The Army oversaw issues dealing with the Indian Nations.

Arkansas Post was the first territorial capital (1819–1821) and Little Rock was the second (1821–1836). [6]

The pronunciation of Arkansas

The name Arkansas has been pronounced and spelled in a variety of fashions. The region was organized as the Territory of Arkansaw on March 2, 1819, but the final entent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Arkansas on June 15, 1836. The name was historically pronounced /ˈɑːrkənsɔː/, /ɑːrˈkænzəs/, and had several other pronunciation variants. In 1881, the Arkansas General Assembly passed the following concurrent resolution (Arkansas Statutes, Title 1, Chapter 4, Section 105):

Whereas, confusion of practice has arisen in the pronunciation of the name of our state and it is deemed important that the true pronunciation should be determined for use in oral official proceedings.

And, whereas, the matter has been thoroughly investigated by the State Historical Society and the Eclectic Society of Little Rock, which have agreed upon the correct pronunciation as derived from history, and the early usage of the American immigrants.

Be it therefore resolved by both houses of the General Assembly, that the only true pronunciation of the name of the state, in the opinion of this body, is that received by the French from the native Indians and committed to writing in the French word representing the sound. It should be pronounced in three (3) syllables, with the final "s" silent, the "a" in each syllable with the Italian sound, and the accent on the first and last syllables. The pronunciation with the accent on the second syllable with the sound of "a" in "man" and the sounding of the terminal "s" is an innovation to be discouraged.

Citizens of the State of Kansas often pronounce the Arkansas River as /ɑːrˈkænzəs ˈrɪvər/ in a manner similar to the common pronunciation of the name of their state.

See also


  1. ^ "Arkansas". World Statesmen. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  2. ^ Forstall, Richard L. (ed.). Population of the States and Counties of the United States: 1790–1990 (PDF) (Report). United States Census Bureau. p. 4. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  3. ^ "Atlas of Historical County Boundaries Project". Atlas of Historical County Boundaries Project. The Newberry Library. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  4. ^ "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875". American Memory. Library of Congress. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  5. ^ Stein, Mark (2008). How the States got their Shapes. HarperCollins. pp. 31–32. ISBN  978-0-06-143138-8.
  6. ^ Lewis, Jerry Dale (2005). My Neck of the Woods: The Lewis Families of Southeastern North Carolina and Northeastern South Carolina. Genealogical Publishing Com. ISBN  9780806352664.

Further reading

  • "Act of March 2, 1819, ch. 49". Statutes at Large. Acts of the Fifteenth Congress of the United States, 2nd Session. pg. 493–496. From Library of Congress, A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774–1875. (accessed 2007-06-16). This act of Congress established the territory of "Arkansaw".
  • "Act of April 21, 1820, ch. 48". Statutes at Large. Acts of the Sixteenth Congress of the United States, 1st Session. pg. 565. From Library of Congress, A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774–1875. (accessed 2007-06-16). This act of Congress modifies the act of March 2, 1819, and refers to the territory of "Arkansas". Thereafter, federal statutes describe it as the territory of Arkansas, although journals of both the House and Senate both continue to occasionally use "Arkansaw".

External links

Preceded by
Southern part of the Territory of Missouri
Arkansas Territory
Succeeded by
State of Arkansas
Unorganized Territory