September 12, 2006
The explorer Henri de Tonti first came to Arkansas as a member of the expedition of René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle in 1682. Four years later, he founded the first permanent European settlement in the lower Mississippi River Valley, Arkansas Post, thus earning the moniker Father of Arkansas. De Tonti left Arkansas in 1687 but returned on several occasions in the 1690s. In the early 1700s, he was chosen to negotiate a peace between the Choctaw and Chickasaw.