The monument marks the spot from where all of the land in Arkansas and much of the L.P. was surveyed. (Junction of Lee, Phillips and Monroe counties)
Arkansas was not first a part of the new U.S. after the Revolutionary War. Napoleon Bonaparte forced Spain to return control of Louisiana back to France. Due to distance, money, and the wars in Europe Napoleon had to abandon the Louisiana project. President Thomas Jefferson sent representatives to France and they bought the land for $15 million (around $250 million today).
The diaries of Lewis and Clark are important pieces of literature and research manuals today.
At the same time of the Lewis & Clark expedition Jefferson commissioned William Dunbar of Mississippi (farmer, scientist, and diplomat) & George Hunter (medical doctor).
Their journals were used to write the first reports to Jefferson about the new purchase. These were the first words in ENGLISH to describe the Ouachita River region, Arkansas, and a part of the southern lands of the L.P.
Later, Arkansas attracted the attention of 2 private explorers Schoolcraft (writer and geologist) & Nutall (englishman and biologist) Mammoth Spring is Arkansas’s largest spring. The spring forms a 10 acre lake and flows south into the Spring River. His notes went on about the dirt floor cabins, stained clothing and untidy appearance.
Both men were trained observers and skilled writers. They both published a book about their trips in 1821. According to these accounts, Arkansas was a scenic land, rich in animal and plant life and natural resources, but thinly settled.
The L.P more than doubled the size of the U.S., securing its position as an up-and coming world power. People in the L.P. land immediately became citizens of the U.S. Ensuring their loyalty to the country. Important waterways (Mississippi River) became the U.S.’s property furthering the opportunity for trade, travel, and settlement. Without the L.P. our nation might only consist of the 13 colonies and a few other states such as Kentucky, Vermont, Tennessee, and Ohio.
Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase And the Exploration of the New Land
Started at Arkansas Post in 1819 and went up the Arkansas River to Fort Smith.
He is remembered both for identifying a number of the state’s plants and for his description of early Arkansas life. His notes on people living in the territory—both Native Americans and American settlers—have provided valuable information for historians and researchers
Question A What was the long-term impact of the Louisiana Purchase on the nation as a whole and on the people living in the newly acquired lands? Imagine what our nation would be like today if the transaction had not occurred.