About this book
Eight years in the making, Arkansas Biography brings to light the lives of those who have helped shape Arkansas history for over four hundred years. Featured are not only the trailblazers, such as steamboat captain Henry Shreve, Olympic gold medalist Bill Carr, discount mogul Sam Walton, and aviator Louise Thaden, but also those whose lives reflect their culture and times—musicians, scientists, teachers, preachers, and journalists. One hundred and eighty contributors—professional and avocational historians—offer clear vignettes of nearly three hundred individuals, beginning with Hernando de Soto, who crossed the Mississippi River in the summer of 1540. The entries include birth and death dates and places, life and career highlights, lineage, anecdotes, and source material.
This is a browser’s book with an Arkansas voice. The wealth of information condensed into this single reference volume will be valuable to general readers of all ages, libraries, museums, and scholars. A fitting summary at the turn of a millennium, Arkansas Biography pays lasting tribute to the men and women who have enriched the life and character of the state and, by extension, the region and the nation.
About the editors
Nancy A. Williams is director of the Arkansas Biography Project.
Jeannie M. Whayne is associate professor and chair of the history department at the University of Arkansas and has authored A New Plantation South: Land, Labor and Federal Favor in Twentieth Century Arkansas.