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In the meantime, Arkansas was admitted to the Union as a slave state on June 15, 1836.Free schools for white boys and girls started in Little Rock in the 1853.In 1863, Union troops skirmished along the north side of the Arkansas River as a diversion but put up a pontoon bridge nine miles south of the city on the morning of September 10 and, after a few shots, occupied Little Rock by that afternoon.

(Their designation as “Arkansea,” or“people of the south,” by Illinois tribes led to the name of the river and, ultimately,of the state.) Although no settlement or trading post is known to have existed precisely at “the little rock,” a community of mixed Quapaw-French families did live nearby from about 1790 to 1820, resulting in the designation of one of Little Rock’s oldest neighborhoods as the Quapaw Quarter.

This confluence makes Little Rock a natural political center.

Pre-European Exploration when Europeans first explored the region.

Little Rock, Arkansas’s capital city, is situated on the south bank of the Arkansas River near the geographic center of the state, making it a natural hub for commerce.

In addition, the state’s three major landforms join within the city limits: the foothills that rise northwest to the Ozark Plateau, the Delta lands that extend east to the bank of the Mississippi River, and the rolling plains that stretch southwest into Texas.

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