This collection contains letters belonging to Arkansas Governor Henry M. Rector, discussing the hot springs in Arkansas territory, and to whom they belonged.
Henry Massie Rector, Sr., the sixth governor of Arkansas, was born May 1, 1816, at Fountain's Ferry, Kentucky. The son of Elias and Fanny B. Thurston Rector, Henry was the only child of their family to reach majority. Elias Rector was a land surveyor and speculator, who had acquired land in Arkansas .Elias died in 1822, leaving Henry a New Madrid land claim, designating property located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, as belonging to Rector. In 1833, Henry went to school in Louisville, Kentucky. By 1835, he had moved to Arkansas to attempt to take possession of the Hot Springs land claimed by his father, but reserved by the federal government. Rector began to study law and established a law practice. Rector's political career began in 1838 with his appointment as teller of the Arkansas State Bank. In 1842, he was appointed acting United States Marshal for the district of Arkansas. He also served in the Arkansas Senate from 1848-1852, and on the Arkansas Supreme Court in 1859 before being elected Governor of Arkansas in 1860. Rector's term of office was shortened in 1861, when Arkansas seceded from the Union and a new state constitution was adopted. Governor Rector's term ended in 1862. At the end of the Civil War, Rector returned to Little Rock and his private law practice with John M. Harrell. He continued his legal battle to attain ownership of the lands he claimed in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Thomas Blake was appointed, by President Tyler, Commissioner of the General Land Office in1842 and he severed in that office till 1845. Blake and Rector corresponded, during Blake's tenure, about his father’s land claim in Hot Springs. The United States Supreme Court denied his claim in 1876. Rector died August 12, 1899, and was buried in Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Document, 8.5" x 11"
Henry M. Rector letters, SMC.014.012
Arkansas State Archives
Arkansas State Archives
Henry M. Rector letters, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.
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United States History