Monday, November 17, 2014

From the Smith Family Papers:


About the collection
The papers consist of letters, an autobiography, various publications, photographs, and other materials pertaining to the Smith family. The bulk of the collection is 19th century correspondence among various family members. Colonel Smith was a devout Methodist, and a great deal of information can be gleaned from the materials about the denomination. The collection also covers such topics as education, early reminiscences, travel and description, slavery, economic conditions, the Civil War, and agriculture. Additional items within the papers include genealogical information, financial notes and receipts, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia.

About the Smith family
In 1843, Colonel Maurice Smith journeyed from Fayette County, Tennessee, to Dallas County, Arkansas, with the hope of starting a new life for his family. Col. Smith, a native of Caswell County, North Carolina, ventured into the recently created state with Dr. W. B. Langley and Cornelia (Smith) Langley, his son-in-law and daughter, and their overseers and slaves. In October, the group arrived at the hamlet of Tulip. A new home was soon built, and Smith subsequently returned to Tennessee, where he spent the following year disposing of his lands and preparing his family for the movement to Arkansas. In October 1844, the entire family made the arduous trip westward and soon settled into life at "The Athens of Arkansas." Thus began the enduring legacy of one Arkansas family.

Selected items

Colonel Maurice Smith, undated
Series III, Box 2, Item 2

Funeral sermon for Colonel Maurice Smith, 1835
Series III, Box 1, File 21


Saturday, November 15, 2014

This Day in History: The Articles of Confederation

After considerable debate and alteration, the Articles of Confederation were adopted by the Continental Congress on November 15, 1777. This document served as the United States' first constitution, and was in force from March 1, 1781, until 1789 when the present day Constitution went into effect.

On June 11, 1776, the Second Continental Congress appointed three committees in response to the Lee Resolution. One of these committees, created to determine the form of a confederation of the colonies, was composed of one representative from each colony with John Dickinson, a delegate from Delaware, as the principal writer.

The Dickinson Draft of the Articles of Confederation named the Confederation "the United States of America," provided for a Congress with representation based on population, and gave to the national government all powers not designated to the states. After considerable debate and alteration, the Articles of Confederation were adopted by Congress on November 15, 1777. In this "first constitution of the United States" each state retained "every Power...which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States," and each state had one vote in Congress. Instead of forming a strong national government, the states entered into "...a firm league of friendship with each other..."

Read the rest of this story and see interactive images of the Articles at While you are there, stick around and learn about some of the other 100 milestone documents of American history.


Friday, November 14, 2014

New Entries on the Encyclopedia of Arkansas

Check out what's new on the Encyclopedia of Arkansas:

Block, Frances Isaiah Isaacs (Fanny)
Fitzhugh Snapp Company
Gause, Lucien Coatsworth
Goodwin, William Shields
Helena National Guard Armory
Jegley v. Picado
Livingston, Frank (Lynching of)
Pottsville Citizens Bank
Russ, Carnell (Killing of)
Taylor, Chester William
Tillman, John Newton


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