Friday, December 28, 2018

Happy Birthday, Hempstead!



SARA Archival Manager Melissa Nesbitt shows off her shirt
with Michael Terral, Historic Washington State Park staff member, and Aaron Dovell, park volunteer.


Beryl Henry Elementary School Choir
 Hempstead County residents celebrated the county’s Dec. 15 bicentennial birthday with cake, fireworks and a parade.
“Hempstead County, itself, existed before the state of Arkansas did,” said Melissa Nesbitt, archival manager at the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives. “The county has a long and distinguished history and represents part of Arkansas’s unique heritage. Happy birthday, Hempstead!”
Nesbitt and other former and current county and state officials attended the two-hour event. Festivities included a parade, music, vendors and games. Celebrations started at the University of Arkansas-Hope campus and moved to downtown Hope at the Farmers Bank building, which is set to become the county’s new courthouse.
The event ended with a cake cutting and firework display.
Hempstead County became one of Arkansas’s first five counties Dec. 15, 1818. The county was created from what was the Missouri territory. The five original counties became the Arkansas territory in 1819.
Panelists speak during celebration
Hempstead County has produced renowned public officials, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who spoke about the county’s birthday via video posted on social media. Speakers at the event included Hempstead County natives Mack McLarty, who served as Chief of Staff for President Clinton; Judge Lavenski R. Smith, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit; Little Rock attorney Joe Purvis; and Ellen Turner, a professor at Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville.
Hempstead County originally included all of southwest Arkansas and parts of present-day northeast Texas and southeast Oklahoma. The county was eventually divided into 12 counties, including Columbia, Hempstead, Howard, Lafayette, Little River, Miller, Nevada, Ouachita, Pike, Polk, Sevier and Union.
For more information, contact SARA at 870-983-2633 or southwest.archives@arkansas.gov.
Melissa Nesbitt, SARA archival manager, and Peggy Lloyd,
former SARA manager, inside the Archives booth.

Pen to Podium: ‘Hillbilly Hellraisers’ Book Kicks Off 2019 Lecture Series

Dr. Blake Perkins

It’s the New Year and time for a new round of Pen to Podium lectures! 

Dr. Blake Perkins will discuss the history of defiance unique to people in the Ozark Mountain region at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, at the Department of Arkansas Heritage at 1100 North St. in Little Rock. The lecture is free and part of our 2019 Historical Writers’ Lecture Series.

The Friends of the Arkansas State Archives plan to host a reception with refreshments 30 minutes before the lecture.

Perkins’ book, Hillbilly Hellraisers: Federal Powerand Populist Defiance in the Ozarks, has drawn praise for its insightful look into how rural people in the Ozarks reacted to and resisted federalism in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Ozarks includes parts of Arkansas and Missouri, where people have a reputation for anti-government sentiment. Perkins’ book asks what role heritage plays in perpetuating that attitude and focuses on real people’s experiences. The book traces social and political changes from the Populist revolt of the 1880s and 1890s to the modern-day Tea Party protests and the popularity of President Donald Trump.

“I think one of the most unique aspects of Hillbilly Hellraisers is the way in which it takes several local ‘case studies’ over time and extrapolates from them broader historical patterns that can help explain some of the big questions of American political and social history,” Perkins said.

Perkins’ research uses “microhistory,” or a method of looking at individual lives in a historical moment. “If former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill was correct in asserting that ‘all politics is local,’ zooming in to examine the local level ought to tell us a good deal about how political history is actually made,” Perkins explained.    

There has been growing interested in rural America, including the Ozarks, since the 2016 election of President Donald Trump, Perkins said. Perkins’ book encourages people to think differently about the past and how politics have evolved.

“I think in many ways the Ozarks is an excellent microcosm of rural America in general,” Perkins said.

Perkins was born in the Ozarks and grew up on a fifth-generation farm near the southeastern Ozarks in western Lawrence and Sharp counties. He became interested in his family roots and history in elementary school. He has since become an assistant professor and chair of the History Department at Williams Baptist University in Walnut Ridge. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Lyon College, a master’s degree from Missouri State University and a doctoral degree from West Virginia University.

Perkins said the history behind local politics and its evolution is fascinating. “As I watched anti-Obama, anti-Washington politics surge in Arkansas between 2008 and 2016, I’ve been fascinated to investigate and learn more about rural political and social history,” he said.

New Accessions Include Love Letters, Historical References


We are pleased to showcase new collections coming into our archives! This month, that includes love letters found inside a wall in a Little Rock home.

Archival Collections:
  • ·         Graves, Rosie Collection: These love letters, dating 1945-1946, were found in the wall of a home. Graves, of Little Rock, sent letters to Jose Anthony “Tony” Pagan Roman during Roman’s military service at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock. She also sent letters during his service in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico. The collection includes a handkerchief, letters to Tony’s sister in Guayanilla, Peurto Rico, and one film negative of an unknown girl, boy and toddler. The collection was transferred from MacArthur Museum.
  • ·        Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism – Executive Office records: The parks records are a mix of correspondence, news releases, construction bids and documents on groundbreaking events for buildings. The documents cover Village Creek, White Oak Lake, Withrow Springs, Woolly Hollow, Pinnacle Mountain, Plantation Agricultural Museum, Poison Springs, Powhatan Courthouse, Prairie Grove Battlefield, Queen Wilhelmina and Toltec Mounds. The department plans to transfer more and similar records to our archives soon.

These new collections will be processed and available for research in the coming months. People interested in viewing the collections may contact the Archives at 501-682-6900.

We also received donated books and printed material:
  • ·         Chronicles of Des Arc, Arkansas
  • ·         Hempstead County Bicentennial Passport Program
  • ·         History of Benton County
  • ·         A Pictorial History, Dardanelle and the Bottoms, 1880s-1980s

 Our library is open and available to the public from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 1 Capitol Mall, Suite 215, in Little Rock. You can also donate material by visiting our website or by contacting Julienne Crawford, our collections services coordinator, at julienne.crawford@arkansas.gov.

Tickets Open for Black History Month Event



Four important speakers will discuss the history of African Americans in Arkansas sports during a free event this February.

The Black History Commission of Arkansas will present “African Americans and Sports in Arkansas” from 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2. Check-in begins at 9:15 a.m. Deadline to register is Monday, Jan. 28, but seats are already filling up. Get tickets through our Facebook page or at Eventbrite.

The event is free and is part of celebrating Black History Month. Lunch will be provided to the first 125 people who register. Lunch is not guaranteed after that. 

Speakers Evin Demirel, Jimmy Cunningham, Jr., Dr. Wilbert Gaines and Kenneth (Muskie) Harris will give insight into the contributions of African Americans in Arkansas’s sports.

Demirel is a Little Rock native and author of “Arkansas’s African-American Sports Heritage.” Cunningham, a Pine Bluff native, wrote “African Americans of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County.” 

Harris is among the first black football players for the University of Arkansas and remains involved in the Central Arkansas community. Gaines is among the first black faculty members at Arkansas State University and was one of the state’s first black referees.

The event will be held at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center at 501 W. Ninth St. in Little Rock.

Teachers can earn up to four professional development hours.

The Black History Commission of Arkansas is a board of the Arkansas State Archives, a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.
The commission seeks to raise awareness of the contributions and impact black Arkansans have had on the state’s history.

For more information about the event or commission, visit http://archives.arkansas.gov/about-us/bhca.aspx or contact Tatyana Oyinloye, African American program coordinator, at  501-682-6892 or tatyana.oyinloye@arkansas.gov.

Bible Study Card Collections Reminder of Holidays


 It’s the time of year when people think about what has passed and plan their new year. Historically, that contemplation often included religious faith.

The Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives has about 220 Bible school study cards, which were used as lesson supplements for children's Sunday school classes. The bulk of these cards date from 1922 to 1934. Each card shows an image to illustrate a lesson and a Bible verse. The card has a simple explanation or story on the back.

Attending Sunday school was common in early 1900s Arkansas. About 80 percent of the state's population identified as Baptist or Methodist.
The Louise Smith Parrish donated the card collection to Powhatan Historic State Park. In 2011, the Arkansas State Parks gave the cards to NEARA as part of a larger donation on northeast Arkansas history.

To see the collection, visit NEARA from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 11 Seventh St. in Powhatan.


In other news, the deadline to apply for the NEARA Award for Exemplary Archival Research is Feb. 1.  The winner earns $1,000!


We, also, are accepting volunteers every day! Come by and we will teach you how to handle archival materials and make those records more accessible to the public. You can help us preserve our heritage!

Currently, volunteers are unfolding and processing court case files from the Walnut Ridge, Lawrence County Court Records Collection. The goal is to have the cases searchable in our database within the next year.

For more information about volunteering, contact NEARA at northeast.archives@arkansas.gov or 870-878-6521.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Reports Describe Arkansas Gold in 1800s


“There’s gold in them thar hills!” could be overheard in Arkansas in the 1800s.

Various places in the Ouachita Mountains proved to be a source of gold, silver and other valuable minerals throughout the 19th century. One man wrote as early as 1803 of a gold mine near the Ouachita River and reported government officials had been told about the gold 40 years earlier.

In his book, “Memoir on the District of Ouachita in the Province of Louisiana,” Charles Francois Adrien Le Paulmier D’Annemours, who was the “former Consul General of France in America,” recorded what he learned about gold in the upper Ouachita River Valley.

D’Annemours (also spelled Danemours, d’Anmours, D’annmourr or D’anmourr) was born in 1739 in France. He came to America in 1777, supported the colonies during the Revolutionary War and moved to Louisiana in 1796. He settled in what is now Monroe.

At that time, the area’s frontier economy depended on trade in items like peltries, bear oil, salted meat and buffalo wool. D’Annemours lived in the wilderness region that included the Ouachita River for several years. He was skeptical of what he thought were exaggerated stories from hunters about “mountains of diamonds, gold mines, precious stones and…other treasures.”

Nonetheless, in 1803, D’Annemours wrote, “The banks of le Ouachita also have revealed the presence of several ores, and even of gold ore, and it is presumable that carefully conducted investigations of the interior of this district would produce interesting results of this kind.”

“It has been about 40 years since the government of the province was informed that a gold mine had been discovered in the upper parts of the Ouachita, toward the places where navigation begins to be laborious and often impossible,” D’Annemours wrote. “Immediately an expedition of suitable pirogues was formed to go there… There they obtained mineral which proved to be rich, but they asserted that suffocating vapors forced them to abandon this undertaking.”

According to D’Annemours, another account of why the mine was abandoned was out of “fear of savages of the Osage nation — a very belligerent, bold and cunning tribe.” Either way, the attempt at gold exploration in the Ouachita Mountains ended. No one tried again.

D’Annemours died a few years later, likely about 1809. His original memoirs are preserved by the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

D’Annemours’ records were translated and annotated by Samuel D. Dickinson of Prescott. Dr. Wendy Richter, state historian and director of the Arkansas State Archives, edited the translation. The Clark County Historical Association published the book, which is viewable from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the research room of the State Archives at 1 Capitol Mall Ave., Suite 215, in Little Rock.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Wednesday’s Wonderful Collection - John DuLaney papers, SMC.22.11

John Jefferson DuLaney was born February 5, 1885, to the Reverend Thomas DeLaney and his third wife, Elizabeth Amanda Casey. John DuLaney graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He taught at Ouachita College as well as the law schools of the University of Texas and Vanderbilt. He served as a legislator from Little River County and served as a state senator, 1923-1925. He also served as a prosecuting attorney and practiced law for thirty years in Ashdown, Arkansas. DuLaney died November 11, 1945.
This collection contains correspondence regarding laws and regulations in other states as a guide for legislation DuLaney possibly wanted to draft. Other printed material includes a campaign broadside for DuLaney and legislation from Michigan.
·         Correspondence (Reel MG00213)
o    1922 January 4: Hazel Rasmussen, Madison, Wisconsin, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1922 April 6: John J. DuLaney, Ashdown, Arkansas, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1922 April 15: Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas, to John DuLaney, Ashdown, Arkansas
o    1922 November 3: John J. DuLaney, Ashdown, Arkansas, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1922 August 19: Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas, to John J. DuLaney, Ashdown, Arkansas
o    1922 November 14: John J. DuLaney, Ashdown, Arkansas, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1922 November 20: Thomas F. Martin, Trenton, New Jersey, to John J. DuLaney, Ashdown, Arkansas
o    1922 December 15: Marie B. Owen, Montgomery, Alabama, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1922 December 15: S.L. Staples, Austin, Texas, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1922 December 16: Mary Bradley, Raleigh, North Carolina, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1922 December 17: James J. Bailey, to Arkansas History Commission, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1922 December 18: Thomas F. Martin, Trenton, New Jersey, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1922 December 18: E.R., Legislative Reference Bureau, Springfield, Illinois, to Arkansas History Commission, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1922 December 19: Emma Cavanaugh, Lansing, Michigan, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1922 December 19: Charles F. Ebel, St. Paul, Minnesota, to Dallas T. Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1922 December 19: Lucile McCarthy, Madison, Wisconsin, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1922 December 21: John J. DuLaney, Ashdown, Arkansas, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1922 December 21: James N. Moore, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1923 January 2: Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas, to Secretary of State, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
o    1923 January 4: S.L. Staples, Austin, Texas, to Arkansas History Commission, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1923 January 5: Mrs. James P. Fox, Raleigh, North Carolina, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1923 January 5: Philip B. Perlman, Annapolis, Maryland, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1923 January 6: C.E. Coyne, Pierre, South Dakota, to Arkansas History Commission, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1923 January 6: Horace E. Flack, Baltimore, Maryland, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1923 January 8: J.M. Hitt, Olympia, Washington, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1923 January 8: B.O. James, Richmond, Virginia, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1923 January 8: Sam A. Kozer, Salem, Ohio, to Arkansas History Commission, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1923 January 9: O.P. Hoff, Salem, Oregon, to Arkansas History Commission, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1923 January 10: W.E. Alexander, Denver, Colorado, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1923 January 10: Tazewell, Ellett, Richmond, Virginia, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1923 January 10: R.B. Goodin, Salem, Oregon, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1923 January 12: Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas, to Legislative Reference Bureau, Columbia, Missouri
o    1923 January 13: Historical Library, Helena, Montana, to Arkansas History Commission, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    1923 January 20: Charles U. Becker, Jefferson City, Missouri, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    [?] November 23: John J. DuLaney, Ashdown, Arkansas, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    [?] December 7: John J. DuLaney, Ashdown, Arkansas, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    Undated: John J. DuLaney, Ashdown, Arkansas, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
o    Undated: Harvey C. Smith, Columbus, Ohio, to Dallas Herndon, Little Rock, Arkansas
·         Printed material
o    [1920] "Dulaney favors relief in road tax situation..."
o    1921 January 27: Joint resolution, State of Wisconsin, Number 14 A
o    1921 January 28: Joint resolution, State of Wisconsin, Number 16 A
·         Other
o    Undated: "State Educational Institutions"

o    Undated: List by John J. DuLaney

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Wednesday’s Wonderful Collection - Billie Jewel Colbert papers, MSNE.0008

Billie Jewel Colbert was born December 20, 1924, to Hubert and Beulah M. Colbert. He attended school at Powhatan prior to entering the Army in July 1943. In June of 1944, he died in battle in France. He was posthumously awarded both the Purple Heart and Silver Star.
His parents, and later his brother Jack, kept a scrapbook with the photographs, correspondence, commendations, and newspaper clippings collected through Billie's service, subsequent death, and ongoing communication from military and governmental agencies and offices.
Billie's brother, Jack M. Colbert, served during World War II in the Marine Corps, and his brother, Clifford R. Colbert, was a Navy veteran. His other siblings included sisters Gladys and Thelma.
This collection includes correspondence, citations, newspaper clippings, photographs, and school records. There are letters from Billie Jewel Colbert to his family, from his days in basic training until just prior to his death; correspondence from other soldiers in his unit following his death; letters from government and military officials; correspondence about death benefits, citations, transportation of his remains, and other official matters; insurance documents. The documentation of his awards are included, however both the Purple Heart and Silver Star medals are held by Arkansas State Parks.
The materials in this collection document Private Colbert's experience through training, his service in England and in France, and the official processes that follow the death of a soldier in combat.
·         Citations (Box 1)
o    Memorial to Billie J. Colbert by President Franklin D. Roosevelt
o    1944: Purple Heart Citation
o    1945: Silver Star Citation
o    Memorial to Billie J. Colbert by President John F. Kennedy
o    Memorial to Hubert H. Colbert by President Jimmy Carter
·         Correspondence (Box 2)
o    Personal
§  Undated: letter from Billie Colbert to his father
§  1941 June 11: postcard to Billie Colbert from brother Jack Colbert
§  1943 September 5: letter from Billie Colbert to his parents
§  1943 September 12: letter from Glenn to Hubert Colbert
§  1943 October 5: letter from Billie to his father
§  1943 October 31: letter from Billie to his parents
§  1943 December 29: change of address notification from Billie to his parents
§  1944 January 15: letter from Billie to his parents
§  1944 January 30: v-mail from Billie to his parents
§  1944 February 1: v-mail from Billie to his mother
§  1944 February 8: v-mail from Billie to his mother
§  1944 February 27: v-mail from Billie to his father
§  1944 February 28: v-mail from Billie to his mother
§  1944 May 25: letter from Billie Jewel to his mother
§  1944 May 28: letter from Billie to his father
§  1944 June 17: letter from Billie to his mother
§  1944 June 17: letter from Billie to his father
§  1944 July 9: letter from Hubert Colbert to Billie
§  1944 July 15: letter from Margaret Soviero to Beulah Colbert
§  1944 July 24: letter from Sergeant Jack Colbert to his mother
§  1944 July 26: letter from Major General J.A. Ulio to Beulah Colbert
§  1944 August 19: postcard from Private Joseph Soviero to Beulah Colbert
§  1944 August 19: letter from Margaret Soviero to Beulah Colbert
§  1944 November 20: letter from Margaret Soviero to Beulah Colbert
§  1945 January 2: letter from Margaret Soviero to Beulah Colbert
§  1945 May 2: v-mail from Private Joseph Soviero to Beulah Colbert
§  1945 May 22: letter from Private Joseph Soviero to Beulah Colbert
§  1945 July 1: letter from Private Joseph Soviero to Beulah Colbert
o    Official
§  1944 July 23: Western Union telegram from Adjutant General Ulio to Beulah Colbert
§  1944 July 31: letter from Major Theodore M. Gribble, Army Service Forces, to Beulah M. Colbert
§  1944 August 7: VA letter regarding death pension to Hubert and Beulah Colbert
§  1944 September 1: letter from Arkansas Governor Homer M. Adkins to Beulah M. Colbert
§  1944 October 7: letter from Colonel G.C. Graham, Camp Joseph T. Robinson, to Beulah Colbert
§  1944 November 11: letter from A.L. Smith, Army Effects Bureau, to Hubert Colbert
§  1945 January 19: letter from Brigadier General Robert H. Dunlop announcing the posthumous award of the Silver Star to Billie Jewel Colbert
§  1945 February 2: letter from 175th Infantry Regiment Chaplain Charles F. Schilling to Beulah Colbert
§  1945 April 4: Notice of Settlement of Claim for pay due Private Billie Jewel Colbert
§  1945 September 25: letter from Major General Edward F. Witsell to Hubert Colbert
§  1946 October 9: letter from Captain Thomas F. Lewin, Office of the Quartermaster General, to Hubert Colbert
§  1946 October 29: letter from Captain Thomas F. Lewin, Office of the Quartermaster General, to Hubert Colbert
§  1948 March 29: Western Union telegram notification of pending shipment of Billie Jewel Colbert's remains to Arkansas
§  1948 April 20: Letter from New York Mayor William O'Dwyer to Hubert Colbert
§  1948 May 5: Western Union telegram notification of shipment of Billie Jewel Colbert's remains to Arkansas
·         Informational items
o    1944 May 18: information about the Purple Heart provided by Major General J.A. Ulio
o    1944 August 28: information from Office of Special Settlement Accounts to Beulah M. Colbert regarding Death Gratuity Pay
o    1947 November 24: order and confirmation of order for 29th Infantry Division History book
o    Notice No. 1: Six Months Gratuity Pay
o    Notice No. 2: Claim for Amounts Due Deceased Personnel of the Armed Forces of the U.S.
o    Information packet for dependents of deceased military personnel
·         Insurance
o    1944 August 16: VA notice to file insurance claim to Beulah Mildred Colbert
o    1944 October 20: General Accounting Office notification of receipt of insurance claim
o    1947 October 6: VA Life Insurance award letter to Beulah Mildred Colbert
·         Newspaper clippings
o    1945 June 21: Times Dispatch, Walnut Ridge, "Buddy Tells How Pvt. Colbert Met Death"
o    "Powhatan Soldier Killed In France; Awarded Medal, Is Also Commended"
o    "Last Rites for Billy J. Cobert"
o    "Silver Star To Heroic Soldier"
·         Other
o    1941 April 24: Billie Jewel Colbert's eighth grade report cards from the Powhatan School
o    1943: Authorization of Class B Allotment for Purchase of War Savings Bonds
o    1943 November 11: Application for Ration Currency for a one week home visit for Billie Jewel Colbert
o    1948 May 9: invoice from Gregg Funeral Home for services and flowers
o    1948 May 12: receipt from Gregg Funeral Home for payment for services for Billie Jewel Colbert
o    1948 May 12: request for reimbursement of interment expenses
o    Parcel wrapper from package sent by Hubert Colbert to Billie Jewel Colbert, returned to sender, marked "Deceased"
o    Cancelled six cent air mail stamp, detached from envelope

o    Cancelled three cent postage stamp, detached from envelope