Date Original



This collection contains one item, a legal document of a deposit.

Biographical/Historical Note

In 1836, the establishment of the Real Estate Bank of Arkansas became the initial act to pass the first state legislature. The bank’s charter required the state to issue $2 million in five-percent bonds, the proceeds from which would serve as the bank’s capital. But the state held no authority for immediate supervision of the bank’s operations other than the appointment of a minority of the bank’s directors. From 1836 to 1855, when the state took over control, the Real Estate Bank proved to be a source of political corruption, financial mismanagement, and intense sectional conflict among politicians. In April 1842, the central board of directors passed a deed of assignment allocating the bank’s assets to fifteen trustees, who replaced local branch boards and eliminated all state appointees. It was hoped the transfer would bring fiscal restraint to the bank, redeem depreciating paper, and pay interest for the state bonds used for capitalization. But the trustees, mostly Democrats, stifled outside surveillance of the bank’s activities. Whigs as much as Democrats feared a full investigation of the bank’s activities, but each side continued to blame the other for the bank’s mismanagement. Still, in January 1843, the General Assembly passed a liquidation act to legalize the assignment policy. The bank continued to function until April 1855, when the state assumed control of its assets and ordered a reckoning of its accounts. By the late 1840s, the Arkansas General Assembly followed many other states in imposing stiff constitutional regulations on the relationship between government officials and banking.

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 11"

Geographical Area






Resource Type



Real Estate Bank of Arkansas legal document, SMC.100.007


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Real Estate Bank of Arkansas legal document, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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United States History