July 19, 2007
In 1836, Tennessee native James S. Conway was elected the first governor of the new state of Arkansas. Conway first came to Arkansas as a federal land surveyor in 1820. Some years later, after settling in the territory, he became the surveyor general of the territory. His elected political career began with his selection as a member of the territorial legislature in 1831. Just five years later, he was elected governor, an office he held for just one four-year term. Conway chose not to run for reelection due in part to failing health.