Entries - Entry Type: Group - Starting with U

Union Labor Party

The Union Labor Party (ULP) participated in only two election years in Arkansas (1888 and 1890), yet during that brief span, it mounted the most serious challenge that the state’s Democratic Party faced between the end of Reconstruction and the rebirth of the Republican Party in the mid-1960s. The ULP appealed to farmers and industrial workers and drew significant support from white and black voters alike. The party’s failure to topple the Democrats from power underscored the failure of democracy itself in Arkansas while shedding light on some of the ugliest episodes in the history of American politics. Origins The national Union Labor Party was formed in Cincinnati, Ohio, in February 1887 by some 300 to 600 delegates at a …

Unionists

Unionists were Arkansans who remained loyal to the United States after the state seceded from the Union during the American Civil War, often suffering retaliation from Confederate forces and guerrillas. A significant number of Arkansas Unionists served in the Federal army, and loyal Arkansans formed a Unionist government in 1864. Of the more than 111,000 African Americans held in slavery in 1860, the overwhelming majority should be considered Unionists, and thousands flocked to the protection of Union armies at their first opportunity. As the possibility of disunion arose following the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, Arkansans were not wholeheartedly in favor of secession. Arkansas had been a state for only twenty-five years and had benefited from the presence of …

Unitarian Universalists

Although Arkansas’s church-going population can be generally characterized as religiously conservative, the state is nevertheless represented on the liberal end of the religious spectrum by a relatively small group of Unitarian Universalists with churches and fellowships in six communities. The largest is the Unitarian Universalist Church of Little Rock, which began as a Unitarian Fellowship in 1950. National RootsTwo struggling religious denominations in the United States, the Unitarians and the Universalists, merged in 1961. Each had developed independently, but a shared liberal perspective that values free will and resists dogma provided common ground. The religious ideas at the core of each date to the beginning of the Christian church in Europe and fueled long histories of dissent from established teachings. …

United Confederate Veterans (UCV)

When the Civil War ended in 1865, thousands of Confederate veterans returned home to Arkansas. Many of these veterans remained in the state and slowly rebuilt their lives after four long years of war. A national organization for Confederate veterans was not established until 1889, when some Confederate veterans’ groups met in New Orleans, Louisiana, and organized the United Confederate Veterans (UCV). It was the counterpart to the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a national organization of Union veterans that had been established in 1866, although the UCV never had the political power or the prestige of the GAR. However, the UCV did have the power to directly affect the lives of its members at a local level. The …

United Daughters of the Confederacy

The first United Daughters of the Confederacy chapter in Arkansas—and the second west of the Mississippi River—was Pat Cleburne Chapter 31, chartered on March 7, 1896, in Hope (Hempstead County). As with all Arkansas chapters, the objectives remain the same: historical, educational, benevolent, memorial, and patriotic. Mrs. C. A. Forney was the chapter’s first president. On January 21, 1952, the Arkansas UDC was incorporated as a non-profit organization. By 2020, Arkansas had twenty-two chapters. The United Daughters of the Confederacy was the outgrowth of consolidating benevolent organizations and auxiliaries of United Confederate Veterans Camps, which were formed after the Civil War. On September 10, 1894, Anna Davenport Raines of Georgia and Caroline Meriwether Goodlet of Tennessee met in Nashville, Tennessee, …

United Mine Workers of America (UMWA)

The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) was at one time the most powerful union in the United States. The union, which remains active in the twenty-first century, encouraged the development of the Arkansas State Federation of Labor. The UMWA was formed in 1890 in Columbus, Ohio, when Knights of Labor Trade Assembly No. 135 merged with the National Progressive Union of Miners and Mine Laborers. This combined union banned discrimination against any members based on race, national origin, or religion. By 1898, the UMWA had achieved improvements in wages and hours per week with mine operators in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. In 1898, the UMWA began organizing miners in western Arkansas. Arkansas became a part of District 21, and …

United Sons of Ham of America

aka: Sons of Ham
United Sons of Ham of America (USH) was a popular African-American secret society in the South during Reconstruction. In Little Rock (Pulaski County), the Sons of Ham was established on October 7, 1865, and was considered the city’s first black benevolent fraternal organization, starting with twenty members meeting in a wood-frame building. The goals of the society were to encourage industry, brotherly love, and charity by providing support to the widows and orphans of its deceased members. The Sons of Ham enforced a strict moral code that included no gambling or drinking. Although the organization proclaimed itself to be non-political, an annual convention held in 1871 closely resembled a state legislative session in which bills were introduced and passed and …

Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)

Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) was an ambitious organization of people of African descent worldwide in the late 1910s and 1920s. The movement built upon Back-to-Africa movements of the late 1800s, which encouraged people of color to look to Africa both as an ancestral homeland and a hope for a future. The association’s founder, Jamaican-born Garvey, had come to the United States in 1916, and he took advantage of a wave of racial violence following the end of World War I to mobilize African Americans to eschew integration for black nationalist goals. The message of racial pride, separation from white society, and emigration to the African continent distinguished the UNIA from other civil rights movements of the period. …

Urban League

The Urban League of Greater Little Rock (ULGLR) was an affiliate of the New York–based National Urban League (NUL), which was founded in 1910. Like its parent organization, the ULGLR focused on the problems of African-American urban life in areas such as social work, education, health, and employment opportunities. The NUL under the leadership of Whitney Young was considered one of the “big six” civil rights organizations of the 1960s. On February 20, 1937, an interracial group of twenty-five people gathered in the Lena Latkin Room of the Little Rock Public Library to meet with Jessie Thomas, Southern Regional Field Director of the National Urban League, to organize an Urban League branch in the city. The prime mover behind the …