Newton County was formed in 1842 and named for Thomas W. Newton, an Arkansas congressman. The Choctaw Indians once lived in the hill country. The landscapes of Newton County are the rugged and mountainous Ozark Mountains.
Arkansas was home to dozens of tribes, including the Quapaw, Tunica and Osage, and they left their mark all over the state. Read on for three places in Arkansas where you can explore Native American heritage.
Tribes and Bands of Arkansas
The land that became Arkansas was originally occupied by the Osage, Caddo, Chickasaw, Tunica, and Quapaw Indians. The Quapaws lived in the Mississippi Delta until 1818, when they were forced to retreat to a swampy area in Central Arkansas.
Including the western leaders was the first formal recognition of the Western Cherokee. This treaty also created a “Cherokee Reservation” in Arkansas that included what is now Pope County. 1821: Dwight Mission was established near present-day Russellville. 1824: The Western Cherokee formally organized their government.
The Choctaw had a village on the lower course of Arkansas River in 1805 and they owned a large strip of territory in the western part of the State, granted to them by the treaty of Doak’s Stand, October 18, 1820.
Indian Territory, originally “all of that part of the United States west of the Mississippi, and not within the States of Missouri and Louisiana, or the Territory of Arkansas.” Never an organized territory, it was soon restricted to the present state of Oklahoma, excepting the panhandle and Greer county.
The first Cherokee focus in Arkansas was the St. Francis River drainage and Crowley’s Ridge, with place names such as Doublehead Bluff in Cross County (named after a leader) and Big and Little Telico Creeks in St. Francis County (named after a major town in the homeland) bearing their imprint.
There are no federally recognized Indian tribes in Arkansas today. They were moved to Indian reservations in Oklahoma instead.
The Osage, Caddo, Quapaw and, later, Cherokee tribes all lived on land in this area. The Indigenous Studies Program at the University of Arkansas was founded in 2013.
His primary aim was the gaining of riches, and present-day Indians in Arkansas and other Southern states view him as a murderer. After traveling around the state for almost a year, de Soto led his expedition back to the Mississippi River, somewhere in southeast Arkansas.
In 1901, the Arkansas General Assembly designated the apple blossom—Malus (Pyrus) coronaria —the official floral emblem of Arkansas, the second state to adopt the bloom (Michigan was the first).
The word “Arkansas” came from the Quapaw Indians, by way of early French explorers. The Quapaws, or OO-GAQ-Pa, were also known as the “people who live downstream,” or UGAKHOPAG. The Algonkian-speaking Indians of the Ohio Valley called them the Arkansas, or “south wind”.
John Ross (1790-1866) was the most important Cherokee political leader of the nineteenth century. He helped establish the Cherokee national government and served as the Cherokee Nation’s principal chief for almost 40 years.
In the early 19th century, Caddo people were forced to a reservation in Texas; they were removed to Indian Territory in 1859. Today, the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma is a federally recognized tribe with its capital at Binger, Oklahoma.
Common Cherokee Nation Surnames