Drew Leaders

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Harrison, William M.

William M. Harrison was a Maryland-born lawyer who spent twelve years as an associate justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court in its most tempestuous days—helping to settle the state of the law and the social order during and after the Civil War and Reconstruction. Arkansans during that period lived under governments created by four state constitutions, the charters of 1836, 1864, 1868, and 1874, which created a jungle of legal issues. Harrison entered that era as a Republican politician opposing secession but mutated into a Democrat when the minority Republicans lost power. He was sometimes a lonely voice on the court advocating for not punishing people who had to live and transact business in a state that had seceded from …