Friday, April 26, 2019

ASA Staff Attend, Make Presentations at AHA Conference

Jane Wilkerson, ASA archival assistant, speaks during the
78th annual Arkansas Historical Association Conference.
Photo Courtesy of AHA

ASA Staff. Photo courtesy of
Gary Jones, Filmmaker
We were excited and proud to be part of the Arkansas Historical Association annual conference April 11-13. Our presenters were:

  • Brian Irby: “The Vast Tide of Immigration…Only Awaits Our Action: The Failure of the Powell Clayton Administration’s Commission of Immigration and State Lands.”
  • Rebecca Ballard: “Race in Territorial Hempstead County.”
  • Dr. Wendy Richter: “Class in Territorial Hempstead County" and "Identity in Early Nineteenth-Century Southwest Arkansas."
  • Jane A. Wilkerson: “Gender in Territorial Hempstead County.”
  • Darren Bell: “The Largest Cooperage Factory in the World: The H.D. Williams and Export Cooperage Companies of Leslie, Arkansas, 1906-27.”
More than 100 historians attended the 78th Annual Arkansas Historical Association Conference this year in Stuttgart.

The Grand Prairie Historical Society hosted the conference. This year’s theme, “Land, Race and Identity,” included not only topics like the history of the Bicentennial of the Arkansas Territory; it also included presentations on the Centennial of the Elaine Massacre, gender, immigration and Native American culture and history. The Arkansas State Archives’ new traveling exhibit, “Territorial Arkansas: The Wild Western Frontier,” also was on display at the conference.

Brian Irby, archival assistant.
 Courtesy of Gary Jones
Several Arkansas State Archives staff members presented this year. Brian Irby spoke on the failure of the Commission of Immigration and State Land’s under Clayton Powell’s administration; Darren Bell, introduced the H.D. Williams Cooperage Co. of Leslie, Arkansas; and Dr. Wendy Richter, Rebecca Ballard and Jane A. Wilkerson discussed identity in early 19th century in southwest Arkansas. Richter, Ballard and Wilkerson used information gleaned from loose county court records from Hempstead County. 

Some of the highlights from the conference were Friday’s luncheon keynote presentation on “Rectifying Identity of a Black Southerner” by Dr. Calvin White, Jr. White is a Stuttgart native and the associate dean of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Science at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Also, Peggy Lloyd, a former archival manager of the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives, received the Arkansas Historical Association lifetime achievement award for her contributions and encouragement of future Arkansas historians.

Dr. Wendy Richter, state historian and ASA director
Courtesy of Gary Jones.