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
New Land <ul><li>President Thomas Jefferson moved quickly to find out more about the new lands of the Louisiana Purchase. </li></ul><ul><li>He sent exploring parties to prepare maps and reports on the land, animal life, and natural resources. </li></ul>
Merriwether Lewis & William Clark <ul><li>The most famous expedition Jefferson supported. </li></ul><ul><li>Lewis & Clark explored 8,000 miles from 1803-1806. </li></ul><ul><li>The journey provided </li></ul><ul><ul><li>new knowledge of the geography of the western portion of the country. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expansion of the fur trade </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improved relationships with the Native Americans. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New maps of major rivers and mountain ranges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Notes on 150 plant types and 120 species of animals. </li></ul></ul>
William Dunbar & George Hunter <ul><li>Commissioned to explore the Ouachita River in Louisiana & Arkansas. </li></ul><ul><li>From 1804-1805 they traveled up the Ouachita, as far as the hot springs. </li></ul><ul><li>They recorded that Indians and European settlers truly lived off the land. The people used all the natural resources of the rivers and land. </li></ul><ul><li>Both explorers reported that many people would travel to the hot “baths” from the springs. And that it was reported to have medicinal properties. </li></ul>
Dunbar & Hunter <ul><li>How was this important to Arkansas? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For the first time, official studies were conducted and submitted on the features of the land, the animals, and plants of south Arkansas. </li></ul></ul>William Dunbar
Henry R. Schoolcraft <ul><li>Entered Arkansas in 1818 at Mammoth Spring in the northeast. </li></ul><ul><li>He traveled through the valleys of the Spring, Black, & White rivers. </li></ul><ul><li>He was impressed with the hospitality of Arkansas. </li></ul><ul><li>But commented negatively on the formal religious practices, he called “witchcraft,” and the lack of education. </li></ul>
Thomas Nutall <ul><li>Started at Arkansas Post in 1819 and went up the Arkansas River to Fort Smith. </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>
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.