The Abington Library at Arkansas State University-Beebe is currently displaying the Territorial Arkansas Traveling Exhibit through Oct. 31.
The display Territorial Arkansas: The Wild Western Frontier, consists of 15 panels that explore the history of Arkansas Territory though the collections of the Arkansas State Archives and their branch archives, the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives in Powhatan and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives in Washington.
On March 2, 1819, President James Monroe signed a congressional act that established Arkansas Territory from the southern portion of Missouri Territory. The new territory was a wild frontier on the western edge of the United States, where politicians settled debates by deadly duels. Formerly a colony of France and Spain, the land had only become part of the United States 16 years prior as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. After its creation, Arkansas Territory had an influx of settlers who established small communities and isolated homesteads. Territorial and county governments were set up, businesses opened, and workers of various trades moved to the territory to help it flourish. Initially Arkansas Territory included what is now Oklahoma, but through changes in boundary lines and the relocation of Native Americans further and further west, the territory’s land was reduced to its present size in 1828. After 17 years as a territory, Arkansas was admitted to the Union on June 15, 1836, as the 25th state.
The Abington Library is located on the ASU-Beebe campus at 1000 West Iowa Street and is open to the public. The library hours are Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Due to COVID-19, the library is requiring facemasks at this time.
Arkansas State Archives is an agency of Arkansas Heritage under the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. Located in Little Rock, the Arkansas State Archives is responsible for collecting and maintaining the largest collection of historical materials on Arkansas in the world. The State Archives has two branch locations at Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives in Powhatan and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives in Washington.