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"Territorial Arkansas: The Wild Western Frontier," a traveling exhibit that tells the story of Arkansas Territory, will be displayed at Hot Springs National Park in the Fordyce Bath House Visitor Center today through June 19.

The visitor center is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily.

The traveling exhibit consists of 15 panels that explore the history of Arkansas Territory through the collections of the Arkansas State Archives and their branch archives, the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives in Powhatan and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives in Washington.

On March 2, 1819, President James Monroe signed a congressional act that established Arkansas Territory from the southern portion of Missouri Territory. The new territory was a wild frontier on the western edge of the United States, where politicians settled debates by deadly duels. Formerly a colony of France and Spain, the land had only become part of the United States 16 years prior as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. After its creation, Arkansas Territory had an influx of settlers who established small communities and isolated homesteads.

Territorial and county governments were set up, businesses opened, and workers of various trades moved to the territory to help it flourish. Initially, Arkansas Territory included what is now Oklahoma, but through changes in boundary lines and the relocation of Native Americans further and further west, the territory's land was reduced to its present size in 1828. After 17 years as a territory, Arkansas was admitted to the Union on June 15, 1836, as the 25th state.

"I am very pleased that Hot Springs National Park is sharing Territorial Arkansas: The Wild Western Frontier with their visitors and community," Wendy Richter, Arkansas State Archives' director, said in a news release. "Created to commemorate the Bicentennial of Arkansas Territory, this exhibit allows us to bring the incredible Arkansas Territory resources of the Arkansas State Archives to local communities throughout the state."

For more information about the exhibit at the Fordyce Bath House Visitor Center, call 501-620-6715, email [email protected], or visit

The Arkansas State Archives offers several traveling exhibits that are displayed at museums, libraries, archives, schools, historical societies, and other educational or cultural institutions around the state at no cost. To schedule an exhibit at your institution, call the Arkansas State Archives at 501-682-6900 or email [email protected] To learn more about the Arkansas State Archives and its collections visit

This exhibit was produced in part by a grant from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council, funded by the Arkansas Real Estate Transfer Tax.

Entertainment on 05/17/2019

Print Headline: Park hosts 'Territorial Arkansas' exhibit at Fordyce Bath House

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