Brief Time Line for Arkansas

Short excerpt from:

"Facts about the States: Second Edition"

Editors: Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin & Janet Podell; A compendium of useful information about the fifty states and Washington, DC; The HW Wilson Company, New York; 1993

This book contains information about Geography & Climate, Land Use, State Symbols, National Sites, Demography, Time Line and much more about each state. A nice resource

AR Time Line - Pgs 35-36


Please respect my hard work and do not copy this page and place it on any website or e-mail list.


1541 - June 18, Spanish explorer Hernando deSoto crosses the Mississippi River, probably near Sunflower Landing, 20 miles south of Helena. He stays in Arkansas until spring 1542.

1673 - July, French explorers Louis Jolliet and Father Jacques Marquette descend the Mississippi to the mouth of the Arkansas River. Warned by the Quapaw (Arkansas) Indians of hostile tribes farther south they turn back.

1682 - Mar 13. Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, reaches the Arkansas on his way to the mouth of the Mississippi. He visits a Quapaw village and claims the land in the name of King Louis XIV.

1686 - French explorer Henri de Tonti leaves a garrison at Arkansas Post, the first permanent white settlement in the lower Mississippi Valley.

1721 - A group of 1,300 half-starved colonists - whites and black slaves - abandons Arkansas Post after John Law's scheme to develop the Mississippi Valley collapes.

1762 - France cedes the Louisiana Territory, including Arkansas, to Spain, but French soldiers continue to man Arkansas Post.

1803 - The United States purchases the Louisiana Territory from France, which had retaken it from Spain as part of the Treaty of San Ildefonso.

1818 - The Quapaw cede their lands between the Red and Arkansas rivers.

1819 - March 2. Arkansas, which hass been part of Missouri Territory since 1812, is detached and made a territory. November 20: Arkansas Gazette, the first newspaper in Arkansas, published.

1821 - October 25. The capital moves from Arkansas Post to Little Rock.

1822 - March 16. The Eagle, first steamboat to ascend the Arkansas River, arrives at Little Rock.

1830 - May 28. Congress establishes the boundary separating Arkansas from Indian Territory to the west.

1832-1839 - Removal of the "Five Civilized Tribes" of Indians from the Southeast through Arkansas to Indian Territory.

1836 - June 15. Arkansas is admitted to the Union as the 25th State.

1846: Disillusioned by the collapse of two state-chartered banks, legislators ratify a constitutional amendment barring any banking institution from being established in the state.

1858 - Edward Payson Washburn paints The Arkansas Traveler.

1859 - February 12. Signing of legislation ordering all free Negroes out of Arkansas by the end of the year.

1860 - On the eve of the Civil War, Arkansas has a population of 435,450, of whom 111,115 are black slaves and 11,481 are slave owners.

1861 - May 6. A convention votes to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy. The first of some 60,000 Arkansas residents join the confederate troops, but some 9,000 whites and more than 5,000 blacks fight on the Union side during the war.

1862 - Mar 7-8. Battle of Pea Ridge in northwest Arkansas. A Confederate advance north is rebuffed.

1863 - September 10. Federal troops occupy Little Rock.

1864 - A unionist convention abolishes slavery in Arkansas and adopts a new constitution for the state.

1866 - August. Ex-Confederates sweep control of the legislature and pass laws denying blacks the right to sit on juries, serve in the militia, or attend white public schools.

1867 - March 2. Congress passes the Reconstruction Act, which voids the government of Arkansas and nine other southern states.

1868 - March 13. A new constitution adopted by referendum enfranchises Negroes and disenfranchises ex-Confederate soldiers. June 22. Arkansas re-admitted to the Union. November. Governor Powell Clayton declares martial law in much of the state; a mostly black militia battles the Ku Klux Klan.

1871 - Completion of a railroad between Memphis and Little Rock.

1872 - University of Arkansas opens in Fayetteville.

1874 - May 15. Month-long "Brooks-Baxter War" between rival claimants to the governorship ends when President Ulysses S Grant orders the forces of the former to disperse. October 13. Ratification of a new constitution restoring the franchise to all whites and guaranteeing full civil rights for blacks ends the Reconstruction era.

1887 - Bauxite discovered southwest of Little Rock; peak output is reached by 1918, by which time almost all U.S. Bauxite is being mined in Arkansas.

1891 - Jim Crow legislation segregates railroad coaches and waiting stations.

1892 - Adoption of a constitutional amendment imposing a poll tax restricts the electorate.

1898 - The Democratic party adopts whites-only primary elections.

1904 - Near Ulm, William H Fuller grows a 70 acre stand of rice, establishing one of the state's leading crops.

1906 - August 1. Diamonds found near Murfreesboro, which becomes the site of the only diamond mine in the United States.

1909 - Lumber production is the state's leading industry.

1920 -Over 40 percent of land under cultivation is in cotton, the state's leading crop.

1921 - January 10. Discovery of oil near El Dorado triggers a boom; Arkansas is fourth among states in oil in 1924, but production peaks in 1925.

1927 - The Mississippi River floods one-fifth of the state.

Dividing Line

Rtd Learning Center