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About The Constitutional union. (Des Arc, Ark.) 1860-1861
Des Arc, Ark. (1860-1861)
- The Constitutional union. : (Des Arc, Ark.) 1860-1861
- Place of publication:
- Des Arc, Ark.
- Geographic coverage:
- Weston H. Rhea
- Dates of publication:
- Began in 1860; ceased in 1861.
- Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 2 (Nov. 16, 1860).
- sn 87090585
- View complete holdings information
- First Issue Last Issue
Des Arc Citizen, Des Arc Semi-Weekly Citizen, The Des Arc Weekly Citizen, Des Arc Weekly Citizen and The Constitutional Union
Des Arc, the first town established in Prairie County, is located on the White River in the Delta region of eastern Arkansas. Antebellum Des Arc acted as a gateway between Memphis, Tennessee and the rest of Arkansas, and as a principal distribution center for produce and lumber. The Butterfield Overland Mail Company ran through Des Arc in the late 1850s, which increased the number of people traveling through the area.
The Des Arc Citizen (1854-186?) was the first newspaper in Prairie County, established in September 1854 by John C. Morrill. Published weekly, issues were four pages long and focused on state politics, the Methodist Episcopal Church, agriculture, development projects for railroads and river levees, and news from Memphis. In 1861, a new twice-weekly edition, the Des Arc Semi-Weekly Citizen, was published simultaneously. The new edition was short-lived, and later that same year the newspaper returned to a singular weekly edition called the Des Arc Weekly Citizen (186?-1).
In the lead up to the Civil War, the Des Arc Citizen supported leaving the Union. Disagreeing with secessionist views, Weston H. Rhea created the Constitutional Union (1860-1) in Des Arc and served as both proprietor and editor. The Constitutional Union, whose masthead stated, "The Constitution, the Union, and the Enforcement of the Laws," supported staying in the Union. This four-page weekly paper focused on state and national politics, with articles discussing international opinions on American politics. Recurring features included "Poetical" and "Telegraphic!" sections. The Constitutional Union was short lived, ending after only five months. During the Civil War, Union Major General Samuel Ryan Curtis captured Des Arc, and the town was partially destroyed. TheCitizen suspended publication due to the war.
During the Reconstruction era, the Citizen (1866-7) resumed publication in 1866 with Elijah H. Poe and James H. Balding as proprietors and N.B. Gair as editor. In its first issue on February 20, 1866, the newspaper encouraged the rebuilding of Des Arc and praised the last six months of progress. The newspaper stated, "Many of her old citizens, scattered to the four winds of heaven by the fortunes or misfortunes of the war, are returning to Des Arc, bankrupt as to means, but willing, and anxious to contribute their mite [sic] in rebuilding this once pleasant and lovely town...." In June 1866, the partnership between Poe and Balding was dissolved, and Poe served as sole proprietor until January 1867 when he partnered with Allen C. Mathews. Balding continued as publisher until the end of 1866. In February 1867, the newspaper's name changed to the Des Arc Weekly Citizen (1867-7?).
Provided by: Arkansas State Archives