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The Arkansas advocate. [volume] : (Little Rock, A.T. [Ark.]) 1830-1837
Place of publication:
Little Rock, A.T. [Ark.]
Geographic coverage:
  • Little Rock, Pulaski, Arkansas  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Chas. P. Bertrand
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Mar. 31, 1830)-v. 8, no. 4 (Apr. 27, 1837).
  • English
  • Arkansas--Little Rock.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01206922
  • Little Rock (Ark.)--Newspapers.
sn 87062070
Succeeding Titles:
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The Arkansas advocate. [volume] March 31, 1830 , Image 1


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The Arkansas Advocate

Little Rock is the center of Arkansas geographically as well as politically, serving as the state capital and county seat of Pulaski County. It is on the southern side of the Arkansas River and extends to the foothills of the Ozark Plateau, the Delta leading to the Mississippi River, and the plains stretching into Texas. In 1821, the territorial capital moved to Little Rock from Arkansas Post. Little Rock was incorporated in 1831 as a town in Arkansas Territory and incorporated as a city in 1835. The next year, Arkansas became the 25th state in the United States with Little Rock as the capital.

The Arkansas Advocate was the second paper published in Arkansas Territory, beginning in Little Rock in March 1830. Charles Pierre Bertrand was the founder and editor of the paper, which he published weekly. Robert Crittenden, first Territorial Secretary and acting Governor, contributed many articles to The Arkansas Advocate. A month after starting the Advocate, Bertrand married Crittenden's sister-in-law and they later named their son after Robert Crittenden.

Bertrand studied law under Crittenden and went on to hold several political offices, including State Treasurer, member of the House of Representatives, and Little Rock Mayor. Bertrand opposed secession from the United States and some historians credit him with delaying the start of the Civil War by dissuading Arkansans from attacking the Federal Arsenal in Little Rock.

Bertrand intended for the Advocate to be politically and religiously neutral, but in actual practice, it supported the politics of the editors. Early Advocate issues backed the Republican party, which soon became the National Republication party and then the Whig party. It was the first paper to suggest Arkansas become a state, as Benjamin Desha wrote an article supporting statehood in 1831. Democrats at the time opposed statehood, concerned that taxes would be too high for the small Arkansas population.

At first, Bertrand was friendly with the Democratic The Arkansas Gazette (1819-1836), the first newspaper in Arkansas. Bertrand previously worked for William Edward Woodruff, the paper's founder and editor. However, in 1830, Woodruff published an editorial from someone using the name "Jaw-Bone" that maligned Bertrand, after which the newspapers were hostile and published pointed articles about the other newspapers' editors.

Albert Pike wrote letters for the Advocate, and Bertrand sent prominent Whigs Crittenden and Jesse Turner to bring him to Little Rock to work at the Advocate. Pike became associate editor and in 1835 purchased the paper from Bertrand. Pike used the Advocate to promote Whig Party politics.

Charles E. Rice and Archibald Coulter ran the paper for several years under Pike. Coulter became Pike's partner in 1837. That same year, the Advocate merged with The Arkansas Weekly Times (1836-1837) to become the Arkansas Times and Advocate (1837-1844). After the merger, John Reed ran the newspaper with Pike contributing some articles.

After changing ownership and politics multiple times over the years, including a brief stint as a Democratic newspaper, the Times and Advocate was discontinued in 1844.

Provided by: Arkansas State Archives