State of Arkansas

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Coat of Arms of the State of Arkansas.
Map of Arkansas counties in 1819.
Map of Arkansas counties in 1828.
Map of Arkansas counties in 1836.
Map of Arkansas counties in 1850.

The State of Arkansas was originally a part of the Louisiana Territory acquired from France in 1803. It later was part of Missouri Territory, and in 1813 most of what became the state formed Arkansas County, with Arkansas Post as the county seat. In 1819 the county became the Territory of Arkansas, with a capitol at Arkansas Post. In 1820 the territorial capitol moved to Little Rock.

Arkansas was admitted to the Union on June 15, 1836. It was the twenty-fifth state to join the Union. Arkansas' admission to the United States is enshrined in the Constitution of 1836. The state had four subsequent constitutions in 1861, 1864, 1868, and 1874. The state today shares borders with Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas.

Early Inhabitants

Prehistoric tribes:

Folsom people

Mississippian Indians

Plum Bayou culture

Historic tribes:













European Exploration

The French and Spanish governed Arkansas from 1686 through 1803. The Arkansas area became part of the United States in the Louisiana Purchase.

Permanent Settlement

Arkansas Post

Arkansas Territory

The Territory of Arkansas was designated by the U.S. Congress on March 2, 1819, when an area roughly shaped like the present State of Arkansas was cleaved away from the Territory of Missouri. Arkansas Post was originally established as the seat of territorial government, but in 1820 the capitol was moved west to Little Rock.

Arkansas Territorial Censuses

  • 1823 -
  • 1829 -
  • 1830 -


Arkansas achieved statehood on June 15, 1836.

Antebellum Arkansas

Trail of Tears

Civil War


Progressive Era

World War I

Great Depression

World War II

Civil Rights Struggle


According to the U.S. Census Bureau the population of the state in 2005 was 2,779,154. The largest city in the state is Little Rock with a population of 184,081 in 2004.

Arkansas population:

  • 1836 - 51,809 (9,838 black)
  • 1860 - 435,450
  • 2005 - 2,779,154

State Departments, boards, commissions, committees, and councils


  • David Yancey Thomas, Arkansas and Its People: A History, 1541-1930 (American Historical Society, 1930).

External links