Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Wednesday’s Wonderful Collection - Secretary of State: Elections Division Records, MS.000749

Records consist of reports required by the Arkansas Secretary of State for campaign contributions, expenditures, and carryover funds of state and district candidates for 2002 - 2006.
Secretary of State-Elections Division records, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas
Transferred by Secretary of State-Elections Division, Little Rock, Arkansas, 2016.
·         2002 Campaign contribution and expenditure reports
o    A-Beebe (Box 1)
o    Bell-Bryce (Box 2)
o    Boyd-Catt (Box 3)
o    Cazort-Duncan (Box 4)
o    Evans-Fulmer (Box 5)
o    Gardner-Grinder (Box 6)
o    Haak-Higginbotham (Box 7)
o    Hill-Jeffress (Box 8)
o    Jeffress-Karch (Box 10)
o    Lambert-Malone (Box 44)
o    Mason-McGawon (Box 45)
o    McMahan-Phillips (Box 11)
o    Piazza-Rosenbaum (Box 12)
o    Rosson-Sims (Box 13)
o    Smith-Taylor (Box 14)
o    J.Taylor-Whiteaker (Box 15)
o    Wilcox-Zimmerman (Box 16)
o    Jimmie Lou Fisher (Box 9)
o    Fisher-Huckabee (Box 17)
·         2004 Campaign contribution and expenditure reports
o    A-B (Box 18)
o    Beebe reports (Box 19)
o    B-C (Box 46)
o    D-F (Box 20)
o    G-H (Box 21)

o    J-K (Box 22)

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Wednesday’s Wonderful Collection - John Caldwell Brickey papers, SMC.0170.0014

John Caldwell Brickey was born on February 9, 1799, in Davidson County, Tennessee, to John and Jemimah Caldwell Brickey. On February 24, 1822, he married Catharine Murrah, the daughter of Bernard and Agnes Murrah, in Washington County, Missouri. Brickey ventured into several career fields in Missouri, including serving as the Washington County Circuit Clerk from 1821 – 1842, practicing law, mining lead ore, partnering in a general store, and founding the Brickey’s Landing. In 1844, he moved to Independence County, Arkansas, and joined the White River Baptist Association, serving as the organization’s secretary from 1850 – 1856. In 1866, Brickey was elected to the Arkansas Legislature. He died on August 13, 1877, in Independence County. This collection contains the autobiography of John C. Brickey, the White River Baptist convention minutes covering 1850 – 1856, and a Brickey family genealogical pedigree chart.
Donated by Sheri Lynn Tucker Griffin, Peyton, Colorado, 2008.
·         Autobiography of John C. Brickey, 1799-1866 and the minutes of the White River Baptist convention, 1850-1856
·         Transcription of autobiography

·         Brickey family genealogical pedigree chart

Thursday, August 30, 2018

NEARA to Host Research Workshop

October is Archives Month and NEARA is excited to celebrate with a half-day workshop! Join us on Saturday, October 6, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., at the Powhatan Male and Female Academy (located next to NEARA).

Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced researcher, we’ll have tips to help with your projects. On hand will be Meredith McFadden, NEARA’s archival manager, who will begin with an overview of genealogy tips and available resources. Kermit Channell, the executive director of the Arkansas State Crime Lab, will speak about DNA and how it’s used for genealogy from a scientific perspective. After the workshop guests are welcomed to do research at NEARA.

Light refreshments will be provided. Attendees have an opportunity to win door prizes from This event is free but registration is required. To register, please visit our website: or call 870.878.6521.

Archives Launches Digital Collection on Education in Arkansas

As families across our state start the new school year, the Arkansas State Archives is taking a moment to look back at the history of education in Arkansas. On August 15, the Archives launched its 21st digital collection, “Time for Class – Arkansas Schools through the Years.” 

The materials in this collection have been digitized by archivists at the main archives in Little Rock, the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives in Powhatan and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives in Washington.

The purpose of the collection is to bring awareness to the ongoing history of education in the state, from its early beginnings to its ever-progressing present. Over the course of two centuries, the state has migrated from one-room schoolhouses with teachers instructing multiple grade levels to a standardized and wide-spread network of school districts spanning the state.

Examples from the new digital collection include late 19th and early 20th century class portraits, guidelines for teachers, a school director’s oath of office, court documents alleging misuse of school tax funds, a 19th century women’s college curriculum, petitions for the creation of new school districts and appeals against school district consolidation.

This collection does not embody near the entirety of the Archives’ holdings on the history of Arkansas’s schools, but showcases examples of the great variety of education-related materials. However, the digital collection is only in its beginning stages and will continue to grow as new historical documents and photographs are added. 

Take some time to visit this collection and the other digital collections offered by the Arkansas State Archives:

Dr. Graves Steps Down from BHCA

It is with sadness that we say goodbye to Dr. John Graves who stepped down from his seat on the Black History Commission of Arkansas (BHCA) this month. He had been a member of BHCA since 1993.

A native of Little Rock, Graves is a history and political science professor at Henderson State University. He received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia and his M.A. and B.A. degrees in history from the University of Arkansas. His principal area of scholarly specialization has been the study of race relations in Arkansas during the latter half of the 19th and the early 20th century.

His pioneering master's thesis constituted the first scholarly investigation of the origins of racial segregation and Jim Crow practices in Arkansas. It was also the first scholarly work to identify the fact that Arkansas's 1891 Election Law served as an instrument for political disfranchisement, driving many poor and illiterate persons, both black and white, from the polls.

Graves was a strong supporter of the Arkansas State Archives and the Department of Arkansas Heritage. In addition to BHCA, Graves served on numerous boards and societies that support Arkansas history, including the official State of Arkansas Advisory Board of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and the Arkansas Historical Association, once serving as its president.  

He was a founding member of the Mosaic Templars Building Preservation Society and was instrumental in spearheading a successful sixteen-year effort to restore and reconstruct the historic Mosaic Templars of America Headquarters Building in Little Rock and create the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

More recently, Graves and other officers of the preservation society have worked with Stacy Hurst, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, and with representatives of Gov. Asa Hutchinson to secure the Mosaic State Temple building, which adjoins the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

Dr. Wendy Richter has been grateful for Graves' support of ASA through the BHCA. “During Dr. Graves' tenure, the Commission conducted and funded many projects important to preserving our state's history,” said Richter. “He played an integral role in making all of that happen. His service has been invaluable.”

In recognition of the above activities, he was awarded his department's first endowed named chair, the Edgar and Marguerite Henley Professorship in American History.

On his time with BHCA, Dr. Graves expressed it best: "What a pleasure it has been to have had the opportunity of serving with such a fine group of people over so many years. It has truly been one of the great honors of my life."

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

August 2018 Donations and Accessions

Grove Bros. picture cards
Eisenmeyer, Walter G. envelope
Snodgrass family collection [accretion]
Aesthetic Club of Little Rock records [accretion]

Printed Materials
Family Maps of Pulaski County

Benjamin Eddins Isbell papers

Authentic Arkansas: The “True Democrat”

Authentic Arkansas is a series written by the staff of the Arkansas State Archives that explores the state’s cultural heritage through unique documents and artifacts.

In this election year, candidates for public office constantly vie for voter support by communicating through various media channels. However, in the days before radio, television and the internet, newspapers played a key role in providing campaign information to the public. As a result, fierce political rivalries developed between newspapers during the nineteenth century. The Little Rock True Democrat’s involvement in the election of 1860 serves as a prime example.

First published in 1852 by Richard H. Johnson and Reuben S. Yerkes, the True Democrat was a continuation of the Arkansas Democratic Banner. Like its predecessor, and most other antebellum newspapers in Arkansas, the True Democrat focused on politics. The True Democrat continued the Banner’s tradition of fighting—at least literarily—with other newspapers. The Arkansas Democratic Banner’s editor was known for brawling and dueling with the personnel of the Arkansas State Gazette. The True Democrat’s name offended other Democrat-supporting newspapers since it implied it was the only genuinely Democratic newspaper, and the Arkansas Democrat went so far as to call it the “Un-True Democrat.”

During the 1860 election, political disagreements between the True Democrat and The Old-Line Democrat became vicious. In the race to become Arkansas’s governor, Johnson, of the True Democrat, ran against Henry Rector. Assistant Editor Elias C. Boudinot of the True Democrat supported Johnson, while Editor Thomas C. Peek of The Old-Line Democrat supported Rector. Political disagreements eventually devolved into personal attacks. According to Allsopp’s History of the Arkansas Press, Boudinot confronted Peek, and Peek left without fighting him. Boudinot accused Peek of acting cowardly, so Peek retaliated with this statement on July 20, 1860: “Boudinot has a spite against us for having come out ‘first best’ in that affair, and . . . he has been ever since venting his spleen against us. He now thinks to taunt us with the reproach of cowardice, because we have not descended to notice his dirty blackguardism, otherwise than by the expression of disgust and contempt. He wants to make the impression that we have acted cowardly in not challenging him to mortal combat. What absurdity!”

Fortunately, hostilities between the papers simmered down when Peek was replaced as editor of The Old-Line Democrat later in 1860. Henry Rector won the election and became the state’s sixth governor.

With the nation embroiled in the Civil War, in the summer of 1862 Johnson estimated that the number of Arkansas newspapers had decreased from approximately thirty to forty to less than ten, due to a paper shortage and newspaper personnel enlisting in the military. During that great conflict, many of the newspapers dropped their enmities and showed support for one another. When publication of the Arkansas State Gazette was suspended in May 1862 because of a paper shortage, the True Democrat wrote that “the course of the Gazette during the war has been unselfish and patriotic in the highest degree.” The True Democrat also later succumbed to the paper shortage and published its last issue on July 8, 1863.