Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Free Symposium to Spotlight History of Territorial Arkansas

The Arkansas State Archives will present a free symposium, “1819-1836: A History of Territorial Arkansas,” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History in Little Rock.

Special speakers at the symposium are: Theo Witsell, chief of research and inventory of the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, who will discuss Thomas Nuttall’s exploration of Arkansas; Dr. Charles Bolton, history professor emeritus at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, who will present "Federal Aid and the Infrastructure of Arkansas Territory;” Callie Williams, education and outreach coordinator with the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, who will talk about Territorial era buildings; and local author and historian Gary Pinkerton, who will talk about Trammel’s Trace. The traveling exhibit, “Territorial Arkansas: The Wild Western Frontier” will be on display.

The event is free and lunch is provided, but reservations are required by Oct. 20. Teachers can earn up to four professional development hours by attending. To make reservations, visit archives.arkansas.gov or call 501-682-6900.

The symposium is among several events the Arkansas State Archives are presenting as part of National Archives Month this October. Arkansas Archives Month is meant to celebrate and raise awareness of the work archives and archivists do in preserving Arkansas historical records and artifacts and in making them accessible to the public.

The Arkansas State Archives has been preserving material for more than 100 years. The agency was founded as the Arkansas History Commission in 1905, when people were concerned that documents related to Arkansas history would be lost. One of the first collections received by the commission included government correspondence from Territorial Arkansas. The commission's name changed to the Arkansas State Archives and became a division of Arkansas Heritage in 2016. The Arkansas State Archives has been instrumental in preserving Arkansas's history, collective identity and heritage.