Early Statehood

The County Election – SAINT LOUIS ART MUSEUM. Missouri artist and politician George Caleb Bingham captured the mid-19th century American democratic system in progress in The County Election. For an interactive account of the artist and his creation of the painting go to: http://www.slam.org/bingham/

Early Statehood

On October 29, 1835, in the last few months of the territorial period, the Arkansas legislature created Randolph County. The area incorporated within the new county had already been settled for nearly two decades and had fallen under the governance of the District of Louisiana, District of New Madrid, New Madrid County, Missouri Territory, Lawrence County, Missouri Territory before Lawrence County, Arkansas Territory was created on July 4, 1819.

The yeoman farmers of Davidson Township played prominent roles in the organization of the new county and the creation of the seat of justice at Pocahontas on the Black River. They recognized the marketing advantage that steamboat travel was bringing to the area. They directed new roads to Pocahontas and began purchasing lots there while still maintaining residence in the Eleven Point River Valley.

Prior to the Civil War most of the pioneering families had been laid to rest in family cemeteries near the homesteads they established in the first decade following the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. Descendants of both Anglo Americans and African Americans continued to live and work together in the years following Emancipation and the end of the Civil War. Many of those same families with deeply entangled roots still call the Eleven Point River Valley and Randolph County home. This continuity has created a sense of place now two centuries in the making.

Further Reading