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

Hackett, Nelson

Nelson Hackett was an Arkansas slave whose 1841 escape to Canada (then a colony of Great Britain) led to a campaign by his owner to have him extradited to the United States on charges of theft as a way of getting around the legal sanctuary that Canada provided to fugitive slaves. Hackett’s extradition aroused the ire of abolitionists on both sides of the border and ultimately resulted in a limitation of the 1842 Webster-Ashburton Treaty’s extradition provision. Nelson Hackett enters the historical record in June 1840 when he was acquired by Alfred Wallace, a wealthy Washington County plantation owner, storekeeper, and land speculator. Hackett was described as “a Negro dandy” of about thirty years of age. Slaves in the Arkansas …

Hall, David

David Hall was an African-American pioneer who was part of a free black community that existed in Marion County prior to the Civil War. David Hall left no diaries or letters, but a document trail of tax records, censuses, and folk stories reveal details about his life. He was born in North Carolina in 1783, and sometime prior to 1805, he married a woman named Sarah (called Sallie), a free woman of Tennessee. Hall arrived at Bull Shoals (Marion County) in 1819 from Bedford County in central Tennessee. He and his wife settled on the White River with the two sons they already had, Absalom and David. They would later have five more children: Willoughby, Joseph, James, Margaret, and Eliza. …

Harding, Dexter

Dexter Harding was one of the early citizens of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) and owned the first sawmill in town, providing lumber for the homes and businesses from 1850 to 1860. In the 1980s, his pioneer home was converted to a tourist bureau because it was the oldest house in town. He was a brother to Chester Harding, a well-known artist who painted a picture of Daniel Webster and the only painting done from life of Daniel Boone. Dexter Harding was born on July 8, 1796, in Massachusetts. He was the sixth of fourteen children born to Abiel and Olive Smith Harding. When he was ten years old, the family moved to Madison County, New York. They grew up poor. …

Harmonial Vegetarian Society

The Harmonial Vegetarian Society was an experiment in communal living in Benton County, along the lines of the famed Oneida Community of New York, whose members practiced a strict vegetarian diet and shared all property in common. Though it was in existence for only four years, it has the distinction of being the only utopian commune in nineteenth-century Arkansas. Historical records regarding the Harmonial Vegetarian Society are sketchy at best. The community started in about 1857 when Dr. James E. Spencer, a Connecticut physician, moved to Arkansas and purchased a large tract of land in Benton County. He named this land Harmony Springs and settled a group of vegetarian “Reform Christians” on his property later that year. This group, for …

Harris, Carey Allen

Carey Allen Harris played vital, though scandal-plagued, roles in the history of early Arkansas banking and Indian Removal between 1837 and 1842. Carey Allen Harris was born in Williamson County, Tennessee, on September 23, 1806. His parents were Edith Perrin Harris of Virginia and Andrew Harris of Rowan, North Carolina. Much like William Woodruff, founder and editor of the Arkansas Gazette, Harris began his professional life as a printer and newspaper owner in Tennessee, when Harris and Abram P. Maury founded the Nashville Republican in 1824. (Harris went on to marry Maury’s daughter, Martha, and they had four children.) In 1826, Harris and Maury sold the paper to state printers Allan A. Hall and John Fitzgerald. In 1830, Congress passed …

Heckaton

Heckaton was the hereditary chief of the Quapaw during their long and painful removal from their homelands in Arkansas during the 1830s. At the time of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, fewer than 600 Quapaw remained of the thousands who had lived in the region in the late seventeenth century. Most of these lived in three traditional villages near Arkansas Post (Arkansas County). Each village had its own leader, and one leader was overall tribal chief by family inheritance. A few Quapaw lived in homesteads along the Arkansas River as far north as the site of Little Rock (Pulaski County). For a decade, there were no official relations between the Quapaw and the American government. After the War of 1812, …

Henry’s Chapel

Henry’s Chapel was a log church built at Mound Prairie (Hempstead County) around 1817 by Methodist pioneers from Bellevue Valley, Missouri. Many accounts refer to Henry’s Chapel as the area’s first Protestant church. In 1817, a Methodist conference appointed itinerant Methodist preacher William Stevenson to the Hot Springs Circuit, a wilderness area on the western frontier in what would later become southwest Arkansas. Stevenson had scouted the area in 1813 and realized the need to establish a church. He chose the tiny settlement of Mound Prairie as the place for it. At Stevenson’s urging, thirty families from the Bellevue Methodist Church moved to the area. The leader of the group was the Reverend John Henry, a thirty-eight-year-old preacher and farmer. Several others …

Hinderliter Grog Shop

Hinderliter Grog Shop is a two-story, hand-hewn log cabin in the heart of downtown Little Rock (Pulaski County). Considered the oldest remaining structure still standing in Little Rock, Hinderliter Grog Shop reflects architecture common in Arkansas during the 1820s and 1830s. Chester Ashley sold Lots 7, 8, and 9 on Block 32 to Jesse Hinderliter for $128.10 sometime between 1820 and 1830. Hinderliter built the grog shop (with grog being defined as alcoholic liquor such as rum, sometimes cut with water and served warm) on the corner of Cumberland and Mulberry (now Third St.) sometime between 1828 and 1831. After his death in 1834, the property was sold at public auction to pay off Hinderliter’s debt to Ashley. The building …

Hogan, Edmund

General Edmund Hogan was an imposing figure in territorial Arkansas. A veteran of the War of 1812, Hogan was one of the first settlers in Pulaski County, the leader of the territorial militia, and a legislator. His penchant for lawsuits and disputes rivaled his successes, resulting in a fatal encounter with a political foe. Born about 1780, possibly in Anson County, North Carolina, to Griffin and Mary (Gibson) Hogan, he spent his early years in Laurens County, Georgia. He was a tax collector, sheriff, state legislator, and a lieutenant colonel in the Georgia militia. By 1814, he had resigned his military commission and moved to Arkansas. Around 1803, Hogan married Frances Jane Green, born about 1780 in Pulaski County, Georgia. …

Houston, Sam

Sam Houston was the governor of Tennessee, twice president of the Republic of Texas, and later senator and governor of the state of Texas. From May 1829 until November 1832, Houston lived in Arkansas Territory among the Cherokee. Sam Houston was born to Samuel Houston and Elizabeth Paxton Houston on March 2, 1793, at Timber Ridge Plantation in Rockbridge County, Virginia. Moving to Maryville, Tennessee, in 1807, Houston cleared land and clerked in a mercantile establishment. As he “preferred measuring deer tracks in the forest to tape and calico in a country store,” Houston went to live with John Jolly’s band of Cherokee and was given the name Colonneh (“Raven”). Subsequently, he taught school and volunteered in the War of …

Hudson-Grace-Borreson House

aka: Hudson-Grace-Pearson House
The Hudson-Grace-Borreson House, also known as the Hudson-Grace-Pearson House, is located on Barraque Street near historic downtown Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 24, 1971, due to its architectural significance, as it is a unique blend of Greek Revival, Victorian, and New Orleans French styles. Its occupants over the years were also of historical significance to both the community of Pine Bluff and the state of Arkansas. The original house was built by William and Jane Woodruff around 1830. The home was designed as having one story, but it was remodeled and expanded to two stories in 1860 by Marion and Emily Hudson. It was purchased at a tax …

Hudson-Jones House

The Hudson-Jones House is an antebellum home located in the Manchester community east of Arkadelphia (Clark County). It was constructed around 1840, and six outbuildings from the period also exist on the property. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 30, 1982. The land around Manchester was purchased by the Somerville Land Company in 1836, the same year that Arkansas became a state. The next year, Thomas Hudson, a member of the company, moved to the area. He built a two-story log cabin and began to operate a farm. In 1840, Hudson began construction on a new home. A carpenter known only as Mr. Pryor was hired to lead the construction project. The house …

Hughes, Green B.

Green B. Hughes was an influential figure in early Arkansas. He served as the first postmaster at what is now Benton in Saline County in 1836. Later, Hughes served as county clerk and county judge before being elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives. He also served as a railroad commissioner and chairman of the Saline County Democratic Party. Hughes died in the summer of 1858, reportedly leaving behind an estate worth a considerable amount. Green B. Hughes was born in Tyrrell County, North Carolina, in 1800 to parents of Welsh descent. He moved to Hot Springs (Garland County) in 1818, when Arkansas was still a territory. He married Louisa West, the sister of Claiborne West, one of the signers …

Hunter-Dunbar Expedition

aka: Dunbar-Hunter Expedition
The Hunter-Dunbar expedition was one of only four ventures into the Louisiana Purchase commissioned by Thomas Jefferson. Between 1804 and 1807, President Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark into the northern regions of the Purchase; Zebulon Pike into the Rocky Mountains, the southwestern areas, and two smaller forays; Thomas Freeman and Peter Custis along the Red River; and William Dunbar and Dr. George Hunter to explore the “Washita” River and “the hot springs” in what is now Arkansas and Louisiana. While the Ouachita River expedition was not as vast as and did not provide the expanse of geographic and environmental information collected by Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery, the exploration of Dunbar and Hunter remains significant for several reasons. It …

Hunter, Andrew

Andrew Hunter, one of the earliest and longest-surviving itinerant preachers in Arkansas, was an influential, popular, and highly respected leader in the development of Methodism in Arkansas. He served in almost every capacity in the Methodist organization and was involved in most of the historic events in the Methodist Church during his fifty-five years of active ministry and subsequent services after retirement in 1889. Andrew Hunter was born on December 26, 1813, in Ballymoney County, Antrim, Ireland. His mother converted from Catholicism to Presbyterianism before the family migrated to Pennsylvania, while he was still very young. The attentive ministrations of a Methodist preacher during the illness and subsequent death of Andrew’s father led to the family’s conversion to Methodism. Hunter converted on …