Monday, May 21, 2012

Arkansas Post

The first European settlement in what is now the state of Arkansas was a trading post created by French explorer Henri de Tonti, was later occupied by the Spanish, and would eventually become the first capitol of Arkansas.  The location of the post shifted over the years in response to flooding from the Arkansas River.  Today, the Arkansas Post National Memorial preserves the post's most recent location, where it served as a river port after the area had been acquired by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase.

The French had been able to get along well with the neighboring Quapaw Indians.  After the French and Indian War, the French turned the area over to the Spanish, who likewise became friendly with the Quapaw.  During the American Revolution, the Spanish and Quapaw fought off an incursion by the British and their Chickasaw allies, which became known as the Colbert Raid.  The Confederate army built Fort Hindman near the post in 1862, during the Civil War.  Union forces destroyed the fort a year later, thus gaining control over the lower part of the Arkansas River.

During its time as a river port and territorial capitol, the Arkansas post grew into a small town, which included this cistern.

The post includes this cross, with an oxbow lake in the background.

Driving into the parking lot, you'll see this cannon.

If you hang around for a while, you might get to see some local residents.

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