Entries - Time Period: Louisiana Purchase through Early Statehood (1803 - 1860) - Starting with G

Garrott House

The Garrott House is the oldest surviving structure in Batesville (Independence County) and the first Batesville structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places (1971). The first house in Batesville’s School Addition, it was built in 1842 by Independence County pioneer George Case, who moved to Batesville from Ohio in 1837. A carpenter and cabinetmaker, Case built the house for his wife’s sister and her husband, Eliza (Ridgeway) and Robert Williams, who were also from Ohio. The house is of braced frame construction, its inner structure composed of squared logs mortised and pegged together at the base and top of each wall, each corner being “braced” by a diagonal log also mortised and pegged into the logs laid horizontally …

Gary v. Stevenson

The Arkansas State Supreme Court adjudicated Gary v. Stevenson, a freedom suit and racial-identity trial, in 1858. It was one of an increasing number of racial-identity suits in the South during the last decade before the Civil War. In this case, Thomas Gary sued slaveholder Remson Stevenson in an attempt to win his freedom from slavery. Gary, aged about sixteen in 1858, whom witnesses described as having sandy-colored hair and blue eyes, appeared to be white. He contended that he was lawfully free because he was the white son of white parents. Stevenson, a slaveholder in Van Buren (Crawford County), countered that Gary was the child of an enslaved mother and therefore not white; this made him a slave for …

George W. Mallett House

The George W. Mallett House is the only antebellum structure still standing in Princeton (Dallas County). Constructed in 1853 as a dogtrot house, the building has been modified over the decades. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 28, 1983. George Mallett was born in Mecklenburg, Virginia, on April 13, 1826, and moved to Arkansas in 1847. He worked as a tailor in Princeton. Before moving to Arkansas, George married Mary Smith in Virginia, and the couple had three sons and two daughters. Evidence suggests that the couple had another daughter who died as an infant. He entered politics and served as the county treasurer from 1852 to 1856. During the Civil War, he operated …

Gerstäcker, Friedrich Wilhelm Christian

aka: Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Gerstaecker
aka: Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Gerstacker
Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Gerstäcker was a nineteenth-century author who wrote about social conditions in backwoods Arkansas before the Civil War. He visited the state from 1838 to 1842 for periods of up to eighteen months at a time. His writings—in the form of essays, short stories, and novels—provide insights into folkways, social conditions, popular religion, gender roles, and a host of other topics relating to backwoods life in Arkansas. Gerstäcker was born in Hamburg, Germany, on May 10, 1816. He and his younger sister moved frequently as children because their parents, Karl Friedrich Gerstäcker and Luise Frederike Gerstäcker, were opera singers who moved as their roles demanded. His father died in 1825 of tuberculosis. Overwhelmed with the twin burdens of …

Gibson, Lorenzo

Early Arkansas, especially Little Rock (Pulaski County), benefited from contributions made by Lorenzo Gibson in the areas of medicine, law, business, and public service. He established a mercantile business in Little Rock in 1833, practiced medicine, and served as the state representative for Pulaski and Hot Spring counties. Lorenzo Gibson was born on May 27, 1804, to William R. Gibson and Frances Hampton Gibson in Clarksville, Tennessee; he had at least four younger brothers. Gibson moved from Tennessee to Little Rock in 1833 and established a mercantile business with his brother. Their store was located in a building that had just been built by Chester Ashley, a prominent Little Rock land speculator and, later, United States senator. In the May …

Green Cemetery (Ouachita County)

The Green Cemetery, located about two miles northwest of Stephens (Ouachita County), is a family cemetery holding eighteen known graves, with the earliest dating to 1853. Holding the remains of members of one of the early prominent families in the southern part of the state, the cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 5, 2017. The Green family, led by Simon and Esther Green, moved to Ouachita County around 1845 and settled near the community of Seminary (Ouachita County). Located about eighteen miles southwest of the county seat at Camden (Ouachita County), Seminary was a small farming village. The name of the settlement comes from an early school for female students that operated in the …

Greenock (Crittenden County)

Greenock was a promising settlement, active in the 1820s and 1830s, located near the banks of the Mississippi River in northeastern Arkansas. Before its demise, it was designated as the inaugural county seat of Crittenden County. Alexander Ferguson, his wife, and three sons (William, Horatio, and Allen) arrived in the Arkansas Territory in 1820 and settled in present-day Crittenden County near the banks of the Mississippi River. During the next few years, the family established its own homestead and began developing plans for the founding of a town. Horatio Ferguson provided fifty acres for the sum of one dollar, with John Fooy supplying an additional five acres. In 1827, William Ferguson, who was serving as justice of the peace and …

Greenwood, Alfred Burton

Alfred Burton Greenwood was an early settler in Benton County who served in local, state, and national public offices for twenty years. During his career, he served as state representative, prosecuting attorney, circuit judge, U.S. congressman, and tax collector for the Confederacy. A. B. Greenwood, born in Franklin County, Georgia, on July 11, 1811, was the eldest of five children born to Hugh B. Greenwood, a carpenter and cabinetmaker, and Elizabeth Ingram Greenwood. Greenwood was educated in Lawrenceville and Athens, Georgia, where he studied the classics, and he graduated from the University of Georgia. At the age of eighteen, he began the study of law with William Izzard. Admitted to the bar at Monroe, Georgia, in 1832, Greenwood relocated to …

Guy v. Daniel

aka: Abby Guy v. William Daniel
Abby Guy v. William Daniel was a freedom suit and racial identity case brought before the Arkansas Supreme Court in January 1861. The case originated in the Ashley County Circuit Court in July 1855 when Abby Guy sued William Daniel, whom she said wrongfully held her and her children in slavery. According to Guy, she and her family were free white people. After a jury decided in favor of Guy, Daniel appealed the case to the Arkansas Supreme Court, which, in the end, declined to overturn the lower court’s verdict. Guy and her children were freed. Racial identity trials, in which the outcome rested on whether or not one party was white, were not unusual in the South. Guy v. …