Arkansas, Forgotten Land of Plenty

Settlement and Economic Development, 1540–1900


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SKU: 9781476677019 Categories: , , Tag:

About the Book

In the first decades of the 1800s, white Americans entered the rugged lands of Arkansas, which they had little explored before. They established new towns and developed commercial enterprises alongside Native Americans indigenous to Arkansas and other tribes and nations that had relocated there from the East.
This history is also the story of Arkansas’s people, and is told through numerous biographies, highlighting early life in frontier Arkansas over a period of 200 years.
The book provides a categorical look at commerce and portrays the social diversity represented by both prominent and common Arkansans–all grappling for success against extraordinary circumstances.

About the Author(s)

Ronald R. Switzer is a retired National Park Service executive and National Park superintendent. He has written numerous articles, reports, and books on Southwest archaeology and western history. He lives in Enid, Oklahoma.

Bibliographic Details

Ronald R. Switzer
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 218
Bibliographic Info: 11 photos, 2 maps, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7701-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3613-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 3
1. The Geophysical and Ecological Nature of Arkansas 5
2. Early Exploration, Trade and Colonization 9
3. The Beginnings of United States Commerce with the Indians: The Office of Indian Affairs and the Office of Indian Trade 19
4. The Factory System of Trade 24
5. The Chouteaus and Other Traders in the Three Forks Tributaries of the Arkansas River and the Territory of Arkansas 39
6. Early Roads and River Ferry Crossings 46
7. The Steamboat Trade and Ferry Landings 51
8. Merchants, Cotton Barons and Tradesmen 70
9. The Salt Trade 83
10. The Illegal Liquor Trade 91
11. Black Slavery and White Bondage 97
12. Competition: Moving from a Frontier Exchange Economy to a Competitive Cash Economy 102
13. Supplying the Military 109
14. Land as a Commodity 121
15. Farming, Ranching and Droving 127
16. Lumber, Mining and Mills 137
17. Railroads 145
18. Banking 150
19. Latecomers and Town Builders 158
20. Manufactures: Notes on Impacts of the Civil War 168
Epilogue 171
Chapter Notes 173
Bibliography 191
Index 203

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Valuable…Switzer’s informative style draws you into the subject at hand”—Roundup Magazine

• “Unique, informative, well organized…meticulously researched…recommended”—Midwest Book Review

• “Whether your shelf is full of studies in Arkansas history or you are just looking for a place to dig into the Natural State, Switzer’s book will serve as an important tool in your library.”—H-Net Reviews