Parties and Interest Groups

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Entry Category: Parties and Interest Groups - Starting with F

Family, The [Political Dynasty]

“The Family”—or “The Dynasty”—was the name given to a powerful group of Democrats who dominated Arkansas politics in the years between statehood and the Civil War. The roots of the Family stretched back into the territorial period, when it coalesced around territorial delegate Henry Conway, the scion of a wealthy Tennessee family. In 1827, Conway was mortally wounded in a duel with Territorial Secretary Robert Crittenden, his former patron and the most powerful political figure in Arkansas in the territorial era. The killing of Conway exacerbated the schism in Arkansas politics between Crittenden and his supporters, who became the basis for the Whig Party in Arkansas, and the followers of the slain Conway, staunch Democrats and supporters of Andrew Jackson, …