Date Original



This collection contains a Seal of the Superior Court of Arkansas in 1832. The Superior Court is known today as the Supreme Court of Arkansas.

Biographical/Historical Note

With the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, Arkansas, part of the District of Louisiana, was attached to the Territory of Indiana for judicial purposes. In 1804, Indiana territorial Governor William Henry Harrison and three territorial judges held court in the District capital of St. Louis and enacted laws for the region. The following year, the name of the District was changed to the Territory of Louisiana, and President Thomas Jefferson made three judicial appointments to the Superior Court. An 1806 act of the territorial legislature created the District of Arkansas. Following the admission of the State of Louisiana in 1812, Arkansas remained a district of the newly named Territory of Missouri, and the Superior Court retained its jurisdiction. On 2 March 1819, President James Monroe approved a congressional act that established a separate Territory of Arkansas and, two days later, appointed three judges to the Arkansas Superior Court. The first sessions were held at Arkansas Post in November 1819 and January 1820. Moving with the territorial capital, the court convened in Little Rock in June 1821, sitting at a Baptist meeting house. Congress added a fourth judge to the panel in 1828. On 15 June 1836, after an all-night congressional debate on the slavery question, President Andrew Jackson signed a bill to admit the State of Arkansas to the Union, effective the Fourth of July. Article VI, Section 1, of the Arkansas Constitution of 1836 vested the judicial power of the State "in one Supreme Court, in Circuit Courts, in County Courts and in Justices of the Peace."

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 11"

Geographical Area






Resource Type



Seal of the Superior Court of Arkansas, SMC.053.012


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Seal of the Superior Court of Arkansas, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


Use and reproduction of images held by the Arkansas State Archives without prior written permission is prohibited. For information on reproducing images held by the Arkansas State Archives, please call 501-682-6900 or email at


United States History