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Author Ragsdale, William Oates, 1915-

Title They sought a land : a settlement in the Arkansas River Valley, 1840-1870 / William Oates Ragsdale
Published Fayetteville : University of Arkansas Press, 1997


Description 1 online resource (139 pages) : portrait
Summary This well-researched study of one group of pioneers taking part in the westward expansion of the United States during the nineteenth century tells an illuminating story. The prosperous farming families who left established comforts in North Carolina and South Carolina to trek in covered wagons to the unsettled Arkansas River Valley did not do so for their own gain or adventure, but for the expected opportunities their children and subsequent generations would have in this "new frontier." Availability of cheap, arable land in central Arkansas and desire for religious freedom drew five hundred settlers and their slaves, over a thirty-year period, to the area once called "Pisgah," six miles east of modern-day Russellville
Family histories reveal the emigrants were bound together by blood, friendship, and, most notably, a strong Calvinist heritage, the tradition of an educated ministry received from the Church of Scotland, and a desire to have the gospel privileges of an Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church. The firm religious leadership of two well-educated, dynamic ministers, first John Patrick and later Monroe Oates, was central to this community's formation, development, and survival to the end of the century
Ragsdale's primary research into county land purchases and sales shows that the community experienced a climax of economic prosperity in 1860, just before the Civil War took men from their homes to serve in the Confederate and Union armies. Letters and oral histories tell how the deprivations of rural life were met; how bushwhackers terrorized defenseless women and children, stole grain stores, and drove off stock; how bitterness lingered between the returning blues and grays; and how the community eventually dispersed into Arkansas's larger developing society. Absorbing to read and rich with colorful detail, this community history is an important story of the settling of the American South
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 109-127) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Associate Reformed Synod of the South (1822-1934) -- Arkansas -- Pope County -- History
Associate Reformed Synod of the South (1822-1934)
Presbyterians -- Arkansas -- Pope County -- History -- 19th century
RELIGION -- Christianity -- Presbyterian.
HISTORY -- General.
Pope County (Ark.) -- Church history -- 19th century
Pope County (Ark.) -- History -- 19th century
Arkansas -- Pope County
United States, Arkansas, Pope -- History.
United States, North Carolina, Gaston -- Migration, Internal.
United States, South Carolina, York, Bethany -- Migration, Internal.
Genre/Form Church history
Form Electronic book
ISBN 9781610754231