From Native Americans, explorers, and early settlers to entertainers, business people, politicians, lawyers, artists, and many others, the well-known and not-so-well-known Arkansans featured in Statesmen, Scoundrels, and Eccentrics have fascinating stories. To name a few, there’s the “Hanging Judge,” Isaac C. Parker of Fort Smith, and Hattie Caraway, the first elected female U.S. senator. Isaac T. Gillam, a slave who became a prominent politician in post–Civil War Little Rock, is included, as is Norman McLeod, an eccentric Hot Springs photographer and owner of the city’s first large tourist trap.
These entertaining short biographies from Dillard’s Remembering Arkansas column will be enjoyed by all kinds of readers, young and old alike. All the original columns reprinted here have also been enhanced with Dillard’s own recommended reading lists. Statesmen will serve as an introduction or reintroduction to the state’s wonderfully complex heritage, full of rhythm and discord, peopled by generations of hardworking men and women who have contributed much to the region and nation.