Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wednesday's Wonderful Collection - Archibald Yell Papers

Archibald Yell Papers, SMC.21.8

Archibald Yell was an army officers, United State Representative, and the second Governor of Arkansas. He was born in North Carolina in 1797 to Moses and Mary Curry Yell, but grew up in Tennessee. Archibald served in the War of 1812 and fought at the Battle of New Orleans, reaching the rank of sergeant. He went on to serve during the First Seminole War as a first lieutenant. Yell married Mary Scott on November 8, 1821, in Tennessee. Mary Yell died in 1823 while giving birth to their daughter, Mary Scott Yell. In 1827, Yell married Nancy Jordon Moore, with whom he had four children: Artemesia, Jane, and Elizabeth, and Dewitt Clinton. While in Tennessee, Yell served in the state legislature and also practiced law. He served as Receiver of Public Monies in Little Rock, Arkansas. However, he resigned after he developed malaria and moved back to Tennessee to recover.
Yell returned to Arkansas in 1835, settling in Fayetteville, after receiving an appointment as a territorial circuit judge. His second wife, Nancy, died in October 1835.  Yell then married Mary Ficklin in July 1836. That same year, Yell became the first congressman from the State of Arkansas. He did not run for reelection due to the death of his third wife. In 1840, he successfully ran for Governor of Arkansas and served until his unexpected resignation in Spring 1844. Retirement was short-lived, with Yell entering the congressional election against his law partner, David Walker. Yell won the election and served until the outbreak of the Mexican War in 1846, when he resigned. He enrolled as a private under Captain Solon Borland, but was elected colonel. During the Battle of Buena Vista, Yell led a charge against the Mexican Army, received multiple wounds, and died on February 22, 1847.

This collection contains correspondence, a will, and news clippings related to the Yell family.
  • 1840 April 21: A. Yell, Little Rock, Arkansas, to Gilbert Marshill, Booneville, Arkansas (Reel MG00212)
  • 1849 November 30: List of lands devised by Governor Yell, to his children
  • 1841 July 2: Will, Archibald Yell
  • 1915 June 6: "Governor Yell's Old Home Stands," Arkansas Gazette
  • 1894 June 7: "Dear Cousin Jennie"
  • Undated: Newsclipping, obituaries, Joel B. Smith, Clinton Y. Smith, and Archibald Yell
  • Undated: News clipping, "Lincoln County" by Jno. M. Bright