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An Illustrated Atlas
Tom Paradise
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
This book goes beyond traditional atlases by using colorful graphics, fun facts, and up-to-date statistics to explain, describe, and illuminate our state.

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Arkansas Godfather
The Story of Owney Madden and How He Hijacked Middle America
Graham Nown
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2013
Owney Madden lived a seemingly quiet life for decades in the resort town of Hot Springs, Arkansas, while he was actually helping some of America's most notorious gangsters rule a vast criminal empire. In 1987, Graham Nown first told Madden's story in his book The English Godfather, in which he traced Madden's boyhood in England, his immigration to New York City, and his rise to mob boss. Nown also uncovered a love story involving Madden and the daughter of the Hot Springs postmaster. Before his arrival in Hot Springs, Madden was one of the most powerful gangsters in New York City and former owner of the famous Cotton Club in Harlem. The story of his life shows us a world where people can break the law without ever getting caught, and where criminality is so entwined in government and society that one might wonder what is legality and what isn't.

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Arkansas in Ink
Gunslingers, Ghosts, and Other Graphic Tales
Guy Lancaster
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2014
In 1837 Representative Joseph J. Anthony stabs the speaker of the house to death during a debate about wolf pelts. In 1899 Hot Springs police shoot it out with the county sheriffs over control of illegal gambling. In 1974 President Richard Nixon resigns in part due to the outspokenness of Pine Bluff native Martha Mitchell. In this special print project of the online Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, legendary cartoonist Ron Wolfe brings these and many other stories to life. Accompanied by selected entries from the encyclopedia, Wolfe’s cartoons highlight the oddities and absurdities of our state’s history. Seriously, you couldn’t make up this stuff.

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Arkansas Women and the Right to Vote
The Little Rock Campaigns: 1868-1920
Bernadette Cahill
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2015
Women from all over Arkansas—left out of the civil rights granted by the post–Civil War Reconstruction Amendments—took part in a long struggle to gain the primary civil right of American citizens: voting. The state’s capital city of Little Rock served as the focal point not only for suffrage work in Arkansas, but also for the state’s contribution to the nationwide nonviolent campaign for women’s suffrage that reached its climax between 1913 and 1920. Based on original research, Cahill’s book relates the history of some of those who contributed to this victorious struggle, reveals long-forgotten photographs, includes a map of the locations of meetings and rallies, and provides a list of Arkansas suffragists who helped ensure that discrimination could no longer exclude women from participation in the political life of the state and nation.

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The Saga of the USS Arkansas
Ray Hanley
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2015
While little has been written about the USS Arkansas, this battleship carried the state’s name through two world wars, a Mexican invasion, and into the atomic age. The USS Arkansas, measuring almost the length of two football fields, went to sea in 1911 and sailed the world until 1946 when it served as a target for the atomic bomb tests in the South Pacific. In between, the ship participated in the invasion of Vera Cruz, Mexico; served in World War I; helped Arkansas get an official flag; and assisted in the World War II battles at Normandy, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Highlighting the narrative with previously unpublished photos, the authors tell the facinating story of the ship and its men by referencing handwritten journals penciled in the midst of service and combat.

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The Broken Vase
A Novel Based On the Life of Penina Krupitsky, a Holocaust Survivor
Phillip H. McMath
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2010
The Broken Vase is a roman à clef ("novel with a key," or novel based on real life) written by Phillip H. McMath based upon research done by his co-author, Emily Matson Lewis, and in close collaboration with Holocaust survivor Penina Krupitsky, who appears in the novel as the fictional Miriam Kellerman. With the help of the World Jewish Organization, Mrs. Krupitsky emigrated from the Soviet Union with her family to the United States and now lives in Arkansas. Born to middle-class parents in July 1924 in North Bukovina, Romania (now Chernivtsi, Ukraine), Miriam Kellerman grows up in an atmosphere of culture and privilege that is interrupted when her country is invaded—first by Stalin in July 1940, then by Hitler in June 1941. Fearing for their lives, Jews like Miriam begin to flee into the Soviet Union to escape the German advance. Separated from her parents, Deborah and Max, and later from her fiancé, Isaac, Miriam finds herself alone and on foot, trudging ever eastward. This novel's compelling narrative chronicles her incredible struggle to stay alive as World War II rages. Mrs. Krupitsky lives in Little Rock with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She remains active in Holocaust remembrance organizations around the world and says that she wants The Broken Vase "to help young people and become an inspiration to them. It will teach them how to build a world of love and not of hatred."

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A Captive Audience
Voices of Japanese American Youth in World War II Arkansas
Ali Welky
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2015
Using archival primary material such as photographs, yearbooks, artwork, and first-person written accounts, A Captive Audience gives an inside look at the experiences of young people at the Rohwer and Jerome Relocation Centers in Arkansas during the forced incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Many young internees at the camps saw their families lose their homes, businesses, and possessions on the West Coast when the U.S. government rounded up people of Japanese descent after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Yet through all the chaos and heartbreak of the internment experience, young people often brought a unique perspective of hope and resiliency.
Intended for young-adult readers, this book explores important dimensions of Arkansas and U.S. history, including human rights and what it means to be an American.

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Competing Memories
The Legacy of Arkansas's Civil War
Mark Christ
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2016

Between 2011 and 2015, Arkansas commemorated the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War with re-enactments, lectures, placement of historical markers, and a wide variety of other events that were collectively attended by more than 375,000 people. While the sesquicentennial commemoration highlighted the Civil War events that occurred in the state and honored the people who experienced the war in Arkansas, the question of the war’s significance to modern Arkansas remained.

Competing Memories: The Legacy of Arkansas’s Civil War collects the proceedings of the final seminar sponsored by the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, which sought to define the lasting impact that the nation’s deadliest conflict had on the state by bringing together some of the state’s leading historians.

In these essays, Thomas A. DeBlack explores the post-war lives of both Union and Confederate soldiers who played prominent roles in Civil War Arkansas. Cherisse Jones-Branch delves into the lives of black Arkansans during the war and Reconstruction. Jeannie Whayne discusses the many ways the Civil War affected the state’s economic development, while Kelly Houston Jones investigates the Civil War’s impact on Arkansas women. Mary Jane Warde examines the devastating effects of the Civil War on Native Americans in Arkansas and the Indian Territory. Elliott West scrutinizes Civil War Arkansas from a continental perspective, and Carl Moneyhon considers the evolution of how we remember the Civil War.

Together, the essays in Competing Memories: The Legacy of Arkansas’s Civil War provide a compelling account of how America’s bloodiest war continues to affect Arkansas and its people today.

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The Die Is Cast
Arkansas Goes to War, 1861
Mark K. Christ
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2010
Five writers examine the political and social forces in Arkansas that led to secession and transformed farmers, clerks, and shopkeepers into soldiers. Retired longtime Arkansas State University professor Michael Dougan delves into the 1861 Arkansas Secession Convention and the delegates’ internal divisions on whether to leave the Union. Lisa Tendrich Frank, who teaches at Florida Atlantic University, discusses the role Southern women played in moving the state toward secession. Carl Moneyhon of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock looks at the factors that led peaceful civilians to join the army. Thomas A. DeBlack of Arkansas Tech University tells of the thousands of Arkansans who chose not to follow the Confederate banner in 1861, and William Garret Piston of Missouri State University chronicles the first combat experience of the green Arkansas troops at Wilson’s Creek.

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Down and Dirty Down South
Politics and the Art of Revenge
Roger Glasgow
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2016
Returning from a vacation trip to Mexico, Little Rock attorney Roger Glasgow and his wife got the surprise of their lives when they were stopped at the border crossing. Guards ordered them out of their car and began to remove the back seat. What followed was a long nightmare of political intrigue and subterfuge that led all the way back to Arkansas and its capital city.

While pursuing a race for district prosecutor in the 1970s, Glasgow had run afoul of the local political machine. The machine later decided to teach Glasgow a lesson even though he’d lost the race. Down and Dirty Down South is Glasgow’s story of how he attempted to clear his name and also track down the people who had set him up for charges of smuggling illegal drugs into the United States.

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Encyclopedia of Arkansas Music
Ali Welky
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2013
What do a rockabilly musician turned cinematic swamp monster, a composer of player-piano music, an avant-garde cellist, a musical instrument that lent its name to a weapon, a rock musician turned Catholic monk, some of the best audio speakers in the world, and the creator of Schoolhouse Rock! have in common? That's right--they all come from Arkansas. Encyclopedia of Arkansas Music is a special project of the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture (EOA), an online encyclopedia launched in 2006 by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Arkansas Library System. This colorful, photo-filled reference work spanning all aspects of Arkansas's musical past and present includes more than 150 entries on musicians, ensembles, musical works, and events.

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Escape Velocity
A Charles Portis Miscellany
Jay Jennings
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2012
For those who care about literature or simply love a good laugh (or both), Charles Portis has long been one of America's most admired novelists. His 1968 novel True Grit is fixed in the contemporary canon, and four more have been hailed as comic masterpieces. Now, for the first time, his other writings--journalism, travel stories, short fiction, memoir, and even a play--have been brought together in Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany, his first new book in more than twenty years. All the familiar Portis elements are here: picaresque adventures, deadpan humor, an expert eye for detail and keen ear for the spoken word, and encounters with oddball characters both real and imagined. The collection encompasses the breadth of his fifty-year writing career, from his gripping reportage of the civil rights movement for the New York Herald Tribune to a comic short story about the demise of journalism in the 21st century. New to even the most ardent fan is his three-act play, Delray's New Moon, performed onstage in 1996 and published here for the first time. Whether this is your first encounter with the world of Portis or a long-awaited return to it, you'll agree with critic Ron Rosenbaum--whose essay appears here alongside tributes by other writers--that Portis "will come to be regarded as the author of classics on the order of a twentieth-century Mark Twain, a writer who captures the soul of America."

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Faithful to Our Tasks
Arkansas's Women and the Great War
Elizabeth Griffin Hill
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2017

The United States was a vital, if brief, participant in World War I—spending only eighteen months fighting in “the Great War.” But that short span marked an era of tremendous change for women as they moved out of the Victorian nineteenth century and came into their own as social activists during the early years of the twentieth century.

Faithful to Our Tasks provides the context for women’s actions and reactions during the war. It incorporates the mitigating factors and experiences of American women in general and compares Arkansas women’s Progressive Era actions with those of other southern women. The contextual underpinnings provide a rich tapestry as we attempt to understand our grandmothers and great-grandmothers’ responses to wartime needs.

Primary records of the World War I era, accessed in archives in central Arkansas, reveal that the state’s organized women were suddenly faced with a devastating world war for which they were expected to make a significant contribution of time and effort. “Club women” were already tackling myriad problems to be found in abundance within a poor, rural state as they worked for better schools, a centralized education system, children’s well-being, and improved medical care.

Under wartime conditions, their contributions were magnified as the women followed a barrage of directions from Washington, DC, within a disconcerting display of micromanagement by the federal government. The important takeaway, however, is that the Great War created a scenario in which Arkansas’s organized women—as well as women throughout the nation—would step forward and excel as men and governments stood up and took notice. After the war, these same organized women won the right to vote.


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From Azaleas to Zydeco
My 4,600-Mile Journey through the South
Mark W. Nichols
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2013
Inspired by a 1937 map and travelogue of a newspaperman’s tour, author Mark W. Nichols embarked on his own long journey into the unique cities of the South. En route he met beekeepers, cheese makers, crawfish “bawlers,” duck callers, and a licensed alligator hunter, as well as entrepreneurs and governors. His keen observations encompass the southern states from Virginia to Arkansas and points south, and he unpacks the unique qualities of every city he visits. “It’s easy to say that getting to meet so many interesting and wonderful people was the best part of the journey--because it’s true,” Nichols writes. “I know there are friendly people everywhere, but southern friendliness is different.” His story embraces a wealth of southern charm from local characters, folklore, and customs to food, music, and dancing. Besides being just plain fun to read, Nichols’s account of his journey gives readers a true taste of the flavor of the evolving modern South.

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Hangin' Times in Fort Smith
A History of Executions in Judge Parker’s Court
Jerry Akins
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2012
For twenty-one years, Judge Isaac C. Parker ruled in the federal court at Fort Smith, Arkansas, the gateway to the wild and lawless Western frontier. Parker, however, was not the "hangin' judge" that casual legend portrays. In most cases, the guilt or innocence of those tried in his court really was not in question once their stories were told. These horrible crimes would have screamed out for justice in any circumstance. Author Jerry Akins has finally arrived at the real story about Parker and his court by comparing newspaper accounts of the trials and executions to what has been written and popularized in other books.

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Homefront Arkansas
Arkansans Face Wartime Past and Present
Velma B. Branscum Woody
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2009
For almost two hundred years, Arkansans have been part of America’s struggle to maintain democracy and keep the peace at home and around the globe. Homefront Arkansas: Arkansans Face Wartime Past and Present shows how war has affected those at home as well as those who served as soldiers. The chapters include: * A wounded Civil War soldier stumbles onto a homestead after a battle at Poison Springs, Arkansas, forever changing the family there * In 1875, Arkansans take sides in the Brooks-Baxter War, involving two men each claiming to be the governor of Arkansas * Arkansas volunteers follow Teddy Roosevelt into the Spanish-American War, and find troops crowded into a filthy camp as they wait to be shipped out * An African American girl leaves her native state to escape persecution, only to find that a world war is threatening to envelop her new home in England Woody’s stories provide a factual and compelling backdrop for Arkansas’s history as seen through its conflicts. Fascinated readers will follow the chronology of Arkansans who met the nation’s call both at home and abroad.

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It's Official!
The Real Stories behind Arkansas’s State Symbols
David Ware
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2015
Since Arkansas’s creation as an independent territory in 1819, its legislature has officially designated a wide assortment of symbols. Some of these refer to economic mainstays while others attest to the aspirations of those who saw a bright future for their extensive and varied community. This volume’s essays examine each of Arkansas’s officially designated symbols, outlining their genesis, their significance at the time of their adoption, and their place in modern Arkansas. Combining political narratives, natural history, and the occasional “shaggy dog” story, Ware makes a case for considering the symbols as useful keys to understanding both the Arkansas that has been and the one it hopes to be.

During the 2017 session, the Arkansas Legislative Assembly expanded the state’s complement of official state symbols. The second edition of this statewide bestseller includes an additional chapter on Arkansas’s newest symbol: the state dinosaur, Arkansaurus fridayi.

In It’s Official!, David Ware makes a case for considering the symbols as useful keys to understanding both the Arkansas that has been and the one it hopes to be.


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Joseph Carter Corbin
Educator Extraordinaire and Founder of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Gladys Turner Finney
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2017

Having operated now for more than 140 years, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) was founded in 1875 as Branch Normal College by Joseph Carter Corbin, a native of Ohio and the son of former slaves. Corbin, who had a classical education, was the first African American superintendent of public education in Arkansas and literally built the school from the ground up. There was a desperate need for teachers in Arkansas, as there was a great desire for education by former slaves who had been prohibited from learning to read and write.

Corbin himself cleared the land that would soon house the college and then set about to create a school that would produce the first African American teachers following the Reconstruction years. For almost three decades, he worked tirelessly on behalf of Arkansas’s black community to meet the need for educators.

In the early days, Corbin worked both as the president and the janitor so that he could control costs and keep the school going. He often waived matriculation fees and other expenses to allow impoverished students the opportunity to graduate and become qualified to teach throughout Arkansas.

Although he might not have realized it at the time, Corbin was a member of the so-called aristocrats of color, the African American elite of national prominence and a group that included such luminaries as Booker T. Washington. Corbin was a true giant in the history of education in Arkansas. His story, told by a former UAPB student, is monumental for the scope of what one man was able to accomplish.


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Lessons from Little Rock
Terrance Roberts
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2009
Sober news reports of a U.S. Army convoy rumbling across the bridge into Little Rock cannot overpower this intimate, powerful, personal account of the integration of Little Rock Central High School. Showing what it felt like to be one of those nine students who wanted only a good high school education, Roberts’s rich narrative and candid voice take readers through that rocky year, helping us realize that the historic events of the Little Rock integration crisis happened to real people—to children, parents, our fellow citizens.

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A Little Rock Boyhood
Growing Up in the Great Depression
A. Cleveland Harrison
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2010
History books provide the statistics and the “big picture” of the Great Depression, but what did any of that mean for a family just trying to make it through those years? A. Cleveland Harrison’s A Little Rock Boyhood provides that viewpoint in this evocative memoir as he captures what Little Rock was like for him as a child in the 1930s. The Harrison family’s experiences and those of their extended family and neighbors bring the tough economic times down to the individual level. The youngest Harrison is an able reporter, relating the memories of an observant though naive child. All was not grim, though, if you were a kid, and Harrison describes those happy times. He remembers his life in the residential neighborhoods of downtown Little Rock when a child could grow up in difficult times without becoming difficult. This book is an insightful look back at a time, a place, and a childhood.

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Man of Vision
Arkansas Education and the Legacy of Arch Ford
Cindy Burnett Beckman
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2016

As commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Education from 1953 to 1978, Arch Ford served under five governors. His vision was to expand educational opportunities because he believed education was the foundation for improving people’s lives. Throughout his career, he campaigned for increased educational funding, better-qualified teachers, and higher teachers’ salaries. Ford helped lead the state in peacefully integrating its schools and established twenty-three vocational-technical schools across the state. During Ford’s tenure, the Arkansas Children’s Colony was established to provide educational services to the developmentally disabled, and the Arkansas Educational Television Network was set up to provide instructional programming across the state.

The state also expanded educational opportunities to include kindergarten, special education, community colleges, and adult education. His leadership left Arkansas with a strong educational system that continued to advance. This was his legacy.

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The Mena File
Barry Seal's Ties to Drug Lords and U.S. Officials
Mara Leveritt
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2016
In 1986, Barry Seal—pilot, smuggler, and federal informant—was gunned down when he appeared at the time and place a federal judge had ordered him to. His assassination was blamed on members of a Colombian drug cartel intent on keeping him quiet. But questions about Seal’s relationships with drug cartels as well as high-ranking American officials have mounted since his death, inspiring conspiracy theories, books, and Hollywood thrillers.

Inquiries into Seal’s activities, including some by congressional committees, led nowhere. Many of the police files about him were reported lost; others were almost totally redacted. Nevertheless, hundreds of records have survived regarding this backwater of the Iran-Contra saga, pointing to government complicity in Seal’s shipments of cocaine into the United States and the powerful measures taken to obscure that involvement.

In brisk and meticulously footnoted order, The Mena File guides readers from the airstrip in the mountains of rural Arkansas (where Seal based his operation) to Nicaraguan jungles and then to courtrooms across the American South, culminating in a pivotal meeting in the nation’s capital. Menace lurks throughout the tale and, just as darkly, in the evidence of how law-enforcement agents who labored to bring Seal to justice found themselves undermined—and ultimately betrayed—by elected and appointed officials.

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Muzzled Oxen
Reaping Cotton and Sowing Hope in 1920s Arkansas
Genevieve Grant Sadler
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2014
In the 1920s Genevieve Sadler left her home in California for what she thought would be a short visit to the Arkansas farm where her husband grew up. The visit lasted seven years, and Sadler’s life was changed forever in the time she spent among the cotton farms near Dardanelle in Yell County, Arkansas, on the eve of the Great Depression. Based on her long and detailed letters to her mother, she wrote this engaging memoir with its rich portrait of a small town and its inhabitants, many of whom were poor cotton farmers working on shares.

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Natural State Notables
Twenty-One Famous People from Arkansas
Steven Teske
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2014
How many famous people from Arkansas can you name? You might think of a few quickly, such as former U.S. president Bill Clinton and Walmart creator Sam Walton. But you may be surprised to find out how many other famous and fascinating people come from Arkansas (or have strong ties to the state). Natural State Notables profiles twenty-one famous and fascinating people from Arkansas, including musicians, athletes, business leaders, and public servants. Among others, readers will learn about a famous surgeon who was a pioneer in kidney transplantation, a woman who kept a hospital open during the Depression, and a teacher who wrote a famous song to match a history lesson. Featured are poor people who worked hard to become successful and a rich man who moved to Arkansas, fell in love with the state, and worked hard to make it better. All of these people are "Natural State Notables," some of the many who have made Arkansas what it is today.

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Notable Women of Arkansas
From Hattie to Hillary, 100 Names to Know
Nancy Hendricks
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2016
The one hundred Arkansas women profiled in Notable Women of Arkansas have glittered in the national spotlight. They have blazed trails in athletics, civil rights, literature, politics, science, show business, and the arts. They have been outlaws and outcasts. Some were born in poverty, while others came from unimaginable wealth. They have faced off against the publishing world, political foes, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Meet one Arkansas woman who was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award, and three Grammys. Learn about a female presidential candidate whose initials are not HRC. See beauty queens on the runway and a runaway beauty queen. Meet the trailblazing black actress who, if she had been born thirty years later, might have had a career like Halle Berry’s.

They are all Arkansas women, each with their own family, childhood, loves, losses, dreams, fears, hopes for the future, and ghosts from the past. These notable women—profiled together in one volume—have left an impressive legacy.

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Obliged to Help
Adolphine Fletcher Terry and the Progressive South
Stephanie Bayless
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2011
Author Stephanie Bayless examines why this Southern aristocratic matron, the daughter of a Confederate soldier, tirelessly devoted herself to improving the lives of others and, in so doing, became a model for activism across the South. It is the first work of its kind to consider Terry's lifelong commitment to social causes and is written for both traditional scholars and all those interested in history, civil rights, and the ability of women to create change within the gender limits of the time. Adolphine Fletcher Terry died in Little Rock, Arkansas, in July of 1976, at the age of ninety-three. Her life was a monument to progress in the South, particularly in her native state of Arkansas, a place she once described as "holy ground."

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Pfeiffer Country
The Tenant Farms and Business Activities of Paul Pfeiffer in Clay County, Arkansas, 1902-1954
Sherry Laymon
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2009
Clay County, Arkansas, was a flatland with little improvements at the outset of the twentieth century. Into this primitive society came a St. Louis entrepreneur with a liking for agriculture. Paul Pfeiffer bought large tracts of land, set up tenant farmers, and reigned for nearly fifty years as a beneficent landlord. Laymon records the gratitude of many a family who remember with appreciation loans made to acquire equipment. When farming was interrupted by the coming of the railroad, both Pfeiffer and his tenants adapted to a lumbering economy—so long as the hardwood forest lasted. Interestingly, Laymon’s account includes the fate of tenants following the break-up of “Pfeiffer Country.”

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Remembering Ella
A 1912 Murder and Mystery in the Arkansas Ozarks
Nita Gould
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2018
In November 1912, popular and pretty eighteen-year-old Ella Barham was raped, murdered, and dismembered in broad daylight near her home in rural Boone County, Arkansas. The brutal crime sent shockwaves through the Ozarks and made national news. Authorities swiftly charged a neighbor, Odus Davidson, with the crime. Locals were determined that he be convicted, and threats of mob violence ran so high that he had to be jailed in another county to ensure his safety. But was there enough evidence to prove his guilt? If so, had he acted alone? What was his motive?

This examination of the murder of Ella Barham and the trial of her alleged killer opens a window into the meaning of community and due process during a time when politicians and judges sought to professionalize justice, moving from local hangings to state-run executions. Davidson’s appeal has been cited as a precedent in numerous court cases and his brief was reviewed by the lawyers in Georgia who prepared Leo Frank’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1915.

Author Nita Gould is a descendant of the Barhams of Boone County and Ella Barham’s cousin. Her tenacious pursuit to create an authoritative account of the community, the crime, and the subsequent legal battle spanned nearly fifteen years. Gould weaves local history and short biographies into her narrative and also draws on the official case files, hundreds of newspaper accounts, and personal Barham family documents. Remembering Ella reveals the truth behind an event that has been a staple of local folklore for more than a century and still intrigues people from around the country.


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Southern Fried
Going Whole Hog in a State of Wonder
Rex Nelson
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2016

For decades, Rex Nelson has been traveling Arkansas. He learned to love the back roads, small towns, and people of the state while going on trips with his father, who sold athletic supplies to high schools. They sat in old Depression-era gyms built by the Works Progress Administration, ate in small-town cafes, and waded in streams on warm spring days.

Throughout his career as a sportswriter, political writer, senior staff member in the governor’s office, presidential appointee to the Delta Regional Authority, and now corporate communications director for Simmons Bank, Nelson has written millions of words about Arkansas and its people.

In this collection of columns from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Nelson brings to life the personalities, communities, festivals, and tourist attractions that make Arkansas unique. As he says, “Arkansas is a hard place to explain to outsiders. We’re mostly Southern but also a bit Midwestern and a tad Southwestern. The Ozarks are different from the pine woods of the Gulf Coastal Plain, and the Delta is different from the Ouachitas. Invariably, though, those who take the time to get off the main roads and get to know the real Arkansas are entranced by the place.”


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"They'll Do to Tie To!"
The Story of Hood's Arkansas Toothpicks
Calvin C. Collier
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2015
The 3rd Arkansas was one of the most distinguished and well-respected Confederate regiments of the Civil War. It was the only Arkansas regiment to serve the entire war in the east, where most of the major battles were fought. The men of the 3rd Arkansas acquired a reputation as tenacious fighters and were known for the long knives—“Arkansas toothpicks”—they carried. As part of Gen. John Bell Hood’s Texas Brigade, they found themselves in some of the fiercest fighting in the war in places such as the famous “sunken road” at Antietam and the Battle of Gettysburg. “They’ll Do to Tie To!” was originally published in 1959.

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"This Day We Marched Again"
A Union Soldier's Account of War in Arkansas and the Trans-Mississippi
Mark K. Christ
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2014
A testament to the valor and determination of a common soldier On September 17, 1861, twenty-two-year-old Jacob Haas enlisted in the Sheboygan Tigers, a company of German immigrants that became Company A of the Ninth Wisconsin Infantry Regiment. Over the next three years, Haas and his comrades marched thousands of miles and saw service in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and the Indian Territory, including pitched battles at Newtonia, Missouri, and Jenkins’ Ferry, Arkansas. Haas describes the war from the perspective of a private soldier and an immigrant as he marches through scorching summers and brutally cold winters to fight in some of the most savage combat in the west. His diary shows us an extraordinary story of the valor and determination of a volunteer soldier. Though his health was ruined by war, Haas voiced no regrets for the price he paid to fight for his adopted country.

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To Can the Kaiser
Arkansas and the Great War
Michael D. Polston
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2015
On April 2, 1917, the United States officially entered a war that had been raging for nearly three years in Europe. Even though America’s involvement in the “Great War” lasted little more than a year and a half, the changes it wrought were profound. More than seventy thousand Arkansans served as soldiers during the war. Wartime propaganda led to suspicions directed against Germans, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and African Americans in Arkansas, but war production proved a boon to the state in the form of greater demand for cotton, minerals, and timber. World War I connected Arkansas to the world in ways that changed the state and its people forever, as shown in the essays collected here.

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Unvarnished Arkansas
The Naked Truth about Nine Famous Arkansans
Steven Teske
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2012
A man squanders his family fortune until he is penniless, loses every time he runs for public office, and yet is so admired by the people of Arkansas that the General Assembly names a county in his honor. A renowned writer makes her home in the basement of a museum until she is sued by some of the most prominent women of the state regarding the use of the rooms upstairs. A brilliant inventor who nearly built the first airplane is also vilified for his eccentricity and possible madness. Author Steven Teske rummages through Arkansas’s colorful past to find--and "unvarnish"--some of the state’s most controversial and fascinating figures. The nine people featured in this collection are not the most celebrated products of Arkansas. More than half of them were not even born in Arkansas, although all of them lived in Arkansas and contributed to its history and culture. But each of them has achieved a certain stature in local folklore, if not in the story of the state as a whole.

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Voices of the Razorbacks
A History of Arkansas's Iconic Sports Broadcasters
Hoyt Purvis
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2013
The creation and development of the Razorback Sports Network not only helped to build a loyal following for the Razorbacks, but also forged a close identification among Razorback fans with broadcasters such as Paul Eels and Bud Campbell, who became "voices of the Razorbacks." A sense of kinship developed within the audience, and the broadcasts of Razorback sports have become an integral part of the state's culture.

front cover of We Wanna Boogie: The Rockabilly Roots of Sonny Burgess and the
We Wanna Boogie: The Rockabilly Roots of Sonny Burgess and the Pacers
Marvin Schwartz
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2014
Rock and roll pioneer and Newport native Sonny Burgess is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. In this book full of personal interviews and remembrances, Burgess and his band tell of their original recordings for Sun Records in the 1950s; their shows with greats such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis; and their success in the contemporary rockabilly revival. This also is the history of a once prominent and spirited Delta community of extensive agricultural wealth. Newport was home to numerous music clubs that hosted national artists as well as illicit backroom gambling. Burgess is a product of this history, and his vivacious music is shaped by his hometown and the dramatic transformation of southern rural life it witnessed.

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