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Arkansas Governors and United States Senators   By: (1926-2006)

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E text prepared by Shannon Seyler



John L. Ferguson State Historian

Arkansas History Commission Little Rock



This list of Arkansas governors and United States senators, with brief biographies of each person who has served in these offices, is intended to benefit students and others who have expressed interest in a published summary of such information. We have omitted the dozens of "acting governors," including some who served for substantial periods of time, as well as senators who held office only briefly. Copies of this publication are free, and the material is not copyrighted or restricted.


On March 2, 1819, Arkansas was legally separated from Missouri and became the Territory of Arkansas. The act became effective on July 4 following. During the territorial period the governors were appointed by the President of the United States, with the approval of the United States Senate, for terms of three years.

1. James Miller, 1819 1824

Lawyer, soldier. Born in New Hampshire, 1776. Educated at Amherst Academy and Williams College, Massachusetts. Admitted to bar, 1803. Married Martha Ferguson, 1801; two children. Married Ruth Flint, 1806; five children.

Commissioned major of infantry in regular army, 1808. Lieutenant colonel, 1810; colonel, 1812; brigadier general, 1814. Hero of Battle of Lundy's Lane, Canada, 1814. Received Congressional gold medal for gallantry, 1814. Resigned from army, 1819.

Governor of Arkansas, 1819 1824. United States collector of customs, Salem, Massachusetts, 1824 1849. Died 1851.

2. George Izard, 1825 1828

Soldier. Born in England, 1776. Attended military schools in England, Germany, and France. Commissioned lieutenant in artillerists and engineers, United States Army, 1794. Captain, 1799. Resigned from army, 1803. Married Elizabeth Carter Shippen, 1803; three children.

Accepted new commission as colonel of artillery, 1812. Brigadier general, 1813; major general, 1814. Honorably discharged, 1815. Governor of Arkansas from 1825 until his death in 1828.

3. John Pope, 1829 1835

Lawyer. Born in Virginia, 1770. Married Ann Henry Christian, c.1795. Married Elizabeth Johnson, 1810; two children. Married Frances Watkins Walton, 1820.

State senator, Kentucky, 1798 1799, 1825 1829. Member, Kentucky House of Representatives, 1802, 1806 1807, 1823 1825. United States senator from Kentucky, 1807 1813. Professor of law, Transylvania University, 1813 1816. Secretary of State of Kentucky, 1816 1819. Governor of Arkansas, 1829 1835. Congressman from Kentucky, 1837 1843. Died 1845.

4. William S. Fulton, 1835 1836

Lawyer. Born in Maryland, 1795. Graduated from Baltimore College, 1813. Moved to Tennessee after serving in War of 1812. Admitted to bar, 1817. Military secretary to General Andrew Jackson in Florida campaign of 1818. Moved to Alabama, 1820. Married Matilda Nowland, 1823; four children.

Elected judge of county court, Florence, Alabama, 1822. Secretary of Territory of Arkansas, 1829 1835. Last governor of Territory of Arkansas, 1835 1836. United States senator from Arkansas, 1836 1844. Died 1844.


Arkansas was admitted to the Union as the twenty fifth state on June 15, 1836. From 1836 until 1874, governors were elected for four year terms. During the remainder of our history the term of office has been two years.

1. James S. Conway, 1836 1840

Planter, surveyor, Democrat. Born in Tennessee, 1798. Came to Arkansas from Missouri, 1820. Married Mary Jane Bradley, 1826; six children.

First surveyor general of Arkansas Territory. Inaugurated as first governor of the State of Arkansas, September 13, 1836. In 1840 retired to "Walnut Hill," his plantation in Lafayette County. Died 1855.

2. Archibald Yell, 1840 1844

Lawyer, Democrat... Continue reading book >>

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