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University of Arkansas Press

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Architects of Little Rock

1833-1950

Charles Witsell Jr.

Architects of Little Rock provides biographical and historical sketches of the architects working in Little Rock from 1830 to 1950. Thirty-five architects are profiled, including George R. Mann, Thomas Harding, Charles L. Thompson, Max. F. Mayer, Edwin B. Cromwell, George H. Wittenberg, Lawson L. Delony, and others. Readers will learn who these influential professionals were, where they came from, where they were educated, how they lived, what their families were like, how they participated in the life of the city, and what their buildings contributed to the city. Famous buildings, including the Historic Arkansas Museum, the Old State House, the Arkansas State Capitol, St. Andrews Cathedral, Little Rock City Hall, the Pulaski County Court House, Little Rock Central High School, and Robinson Auditorium are showcased, bringing attention to and encouraging appreciation of the city’s historic buildings.

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Arkansas, 1800-1860

Remote and Restless

S. Charles Bolton

Often thought of as a primitive backwoods peopled by rough hunters and unsavory characters, early Arkansas was actually quite productive and dynamic. Bolton describes migration, agricultural growth, religion, the roles of women, slavery, the dispossesion of the Cherokees and Quapaws, and many other facets of Arkansas's development.

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Arkansas and the New South, 1874–1929

Carl Moneyhon

This study, the first published in the Histories of Arkansas Series, examines the struggle of Arkansas's people to enter the economic and social mainstreams of the nation in the years from the end of Reconstruction to the beginning of the Great Depression.

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Arkansas/Arkansaw

How Bear Hunters, Hillbillies, and Good Ol' Boys Defined a State

Brooks Blevins

Arkansas/Arkansaw is the first book to explain how Arkansas’s image began and how the popular culture stereotypes have been perpetuated and altered through succeeding generations. Brooks Blevins argues that the image has not always been a bad one. He discusses travel accounts, literature, radio programs, movies, and television shows that give a very positive image of the Natural State. From territorial accounts of the Creole inhabitants of the Mississippi River Valley to national derision of the state’s triple-wide governor’s mansion to Li’l Abner, the Beverly Hillbillies, and Slingblade, Blevins leads readers on an entertaining and insightful tour through more than two centuries of the idea of Arkansas. One discovers along the way how one state becomes simultaneously a punch line and a source of admiration for progressives and social critics alike.

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The Arkansas Delta

Land of Paradox

This collection of essays represents a large-scale attempt to characterize the long-neglected Arkansas Delta. The historical, social, economic, geographic, and cultural issues the authors address make it abundantly clear that the Delta—long thought to be a land of relative stasis—is actually changing quite rapidly. It is clear, too, that this strange land is filled with haunting contradictions.

Winner of the 1994 Virginia C. Ledbetter Prize

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An Arkansas Florilegium

The Atlas of Botanist Edwin Smith Illustrated by Naturalist Kent Bonar

An Arkansas Florilegium is a late-flowering extension of the work initiated sixty years ago with University of Arkansas botanist Edwin B. Smith’s first entries in his pioneering Atlas and Annotated List of the Vascular Plants of Arkansas. Soon after this seminal survey of the state’s flora was published in 1978, Kent Bonar, a Missouri-born Thoreau acolyte employed as a naturalist by the Arkansas Park Service, began lugging the volume along on hikes through the woods surrounding his Newton County home, entering hundreds upon hundreds of meticulous illustrations into Smith’s work.

Thirty-five years later, with Smith retired and Bonar long gone from the park service but still drawing, Bonar’s weathered and battered copy of the atlas was seized by a diverse cadre of amateur admirers motivated by fears of its damage or loss. Their fears were certainly justified; after all, the pages were now jammed to the margins with some 3,500 drawings, and the volume had already survived one accidental dunking in an Ozark stream.

An Arkansas Florilegium brings Smith’s and Bonar’s knowledge and lifelong diligence to the world in this unique mix of art, science, and Arkansas saga.

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Arkansas Godfather

The Story of Owney Madden and How He Hijacked Middle America

Owney Madden lived a seemingly quiet life for decades in the resort town of Hot Springs, Arkansas, while he was actually helping some of America's most notorious gangsters rule a vast criminal empire. In 1987, Graham Nown first told Madden's story in his book The English Godfather, in which he traced Madden's boyhood in England, his immigration to New York City, and his rise to mob boss. Nown also uncovered a love story involving Madden and the daughter of the Hot Springs postmaster. Before his arrival in Hot Springs, Madden was one of the most powerful gangsters in New York City and former owner of the famous Cotton Club in Harlem. The story of his life shows us a world where people can break the law without ever getting caught, and where criminality is so entwined in government and society that one might wonder what is legality and what isn't.

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Arkansas in Ink

Gunslingers, Ghosts, and Other Graphic Tales

In 1837 Representative Joseph J. Anthony stabs the speaker of the house to death during a debate about wolf pelts. In 1899 Hot Springs police shoot it out with the county sheriffs over control of illegal gambling. In 1974 President Richard Nixon resigns in part due to the outspokenness of Pine Bluff native Martha Mitchell. In this special print project of the online Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, legendary cartoonist Ron Wolfe brings these and many other stories to life. Accompanied by selected entries from the encyclopedia, Wolfe’s cartoons highlight the oddities and absurdities of our state’s history. Seriously, you couldn’t make up this stuff.

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Arkansas in Modern America, 1930–1999

Ben F. Johnson, III

This elegantly written narrative traces Arkansas's evolution from a primarily rural society in the early 1900s to its expanding manufacturing economy and its growing prosperity and parity with the rest of the nation. Ben Johnson explores the influence of federal-state relations, beginning with the New Deal programs of President Franklin Roosevelt and continuing through the administrations of native son Bill Clinton. With particular sensitivity, he examines organized labor in the timber industry and in row crop agriculture; school desegregation, "white flight," and the private academy movement in the delta region; the growth of Wal-Mart and the poultry industry in the northwest section of the state; and the expansion of outdoor recreation and tourism as lakes were constructed and game populations rejuvenated. This book is particularly impressive for the breadth of its scope. Johnson offers detailed information on women, music and literature, organized religion, environmental trends, and other important cultural influences. Third in the popular Histories of Arkansas series, Arkansas in Modern America extends the narrative into the contemporary era with a format aimed at students and general readers. This important book will set the standard, for years to come, for analysis and interpretation of Arkansas's place in the twentieth century.

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The Arkansas Post of Louisiana

Arkansas Post, the first European settlement in what would become Jefferson’s Louisiana, had an important mission as the only settlement between Natchez and the Illinois Country, a stretch of more than eight hundred miles along the Mississippi River. The Post was a stopping point for shelter and supplies for those travelling by boat or land, and it was of strategic importance as well, as it nurtured and sustained a crucial alliance with the Quapaw Indians, the only tribe that occupied the region.

The Arkansas Post of Louisiana covers the most essential aspects of the Post’s history, including the nature of the European population, their social life, the economy, the architecture, and the political and military events that reflected and shaped the Post’s mission.

Beautifully illustrated with maps, portraits, lithographs, photographs, documents, and superb examples of Quapaw hide paintings, The Arkansas Post of Louisiana is a perfect introduction to this fascinating place at the confluence of the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers, a place that served as a multicultural gathering spot, and became a seminal part of the history of Arkansas and the nation.

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