Date Original

1835 April 26


Letter to Governor William Fulton recounting a meeting at Litchfield in Jackson County, supporting Arkansas statehood.


[Page 1] His Excellency William Fulton, Esq.
Governor of the Territory of Arkansas
Sir - Having been honoured by a
numerous and respectable meeting of the citizens
of this County, with the charge of communicating to
your Excellency an outline of their proceedings, I
embrace this opportunity of so doing; and, with
due respect, remain
Your most OB and SC
Delroy B. Guston
From the Minutes of the meeting.
Litchfield Jackson Cty. Ark.
26th April 1835
Agreeably to public notice a number of
the citizens of this county assembled at the village
of Litchfield in order to take into consideration
the propriety of adopting measures, the most advisable
to expedite and ensure the admission of this Territory
into the Confederacy of the United States of America
under the provisions of the Consitution of the
United States and other laws, prescribing and
regulating the same.
The meeting having been called to
order, Wm John C. Saylors was invited to
chair, and S. B. Gaston, to act as secretary.
The object of the meeting having been
explained and discussed by several of the gentle-
men present, -
On motion a Committee, consisting of
H.H. Means, Esqr, John Robinson, D.C. Walters, Asa M.
Carpenter, and S.B. Gaston, was appointed to report
upon the subject on Monday next, it being the first
day of the Circuit Court of the County of
Jackson; and -
On motion to that day the meeting was
April 28th Pursuant to adjournment, the
meeting convened, and being called to order, Wm Saylors
took the chair; when H.H. Means Esq, from the Committee
presented the following report and resolution, which
being read, considered and submitted, were unan-
[Page 2] imously adopted;
The Committee appointed to take into special considera-
tion, and report upon, the propriety of adopting measures,
the most advisable or practicable, to ensure a passive
and timely admission of the present Territory of Arkansas
into the Union of the United States, would submit
the following brief view of the subject together with the
annexed resolution, pointing out the course which in
their estimation, it would be most conducive to
the interests of this Terriotry, to pursue:
It is apparent from the returns of the
late census, that the period has arrived, when the
people of this Territory may and ought to assume the
rights and responsibilities of a separate, sovereign
and independent state, coordinate and coequal
with the other states of the United States: And, inasmuch
as, the blessing of self government is dear to any people;
the right to which has been guaranteed to us by the
Constitution of the United States, and, if possible,
still farther assured to us by special stipulation,
in the treaty of cession of this and other portions of
Territory from the Government of France to that of the
United States, whenever a requisite number of inhabi-
tants shall have been completed,
it devolves upon us, and every inhabitant of this Territory,
now, upon the event of this contigency, to prefer our
just claim to an admission into the Union, upon
terms securing to us an equal and full participation
of all its advantages. The most of us have emigra-
ted from the old and organized states, east of
the Mississippi River, and desire still that order of
things, in which, alone, we can feel upon a footing
of equality with our brethren, from whom we have
separated. We have seen, with admiration, the course
of our co-territory, Michigan, in preferring the same
claim with us; and believing that we are equally
competent, and as legally entitled, to provide for and
govern ourselves, it is our anscious desire to combine
our efforts and go hand in hand with her into
the Union. We have, also, with deep concern, recently
discovered, in many of our Northern and Eastern
brethren, a disposition to interfere with and disturb
us in the possession of our slaves. -- This is a species of property
which, perhaps, it might have been well for the national
quiet, harmony and union of the United States, had
[Page 3] it never been known in them. But our slaves
are now here; they have been entailed upon us by
our ancestors; our knowledge has been coerced
with the possession and use of them: and whether
they be to us a blessing or a curse, they have grown upon
our hands, and involved our means of support,
to such an exctent, that, now, to rid ourselves of them,
either by emancipation at home, or colonization abroad,
without encumbering ourselves with a still greater evil,
and incurring insupportable loss, would be a thing
impossible - at least a task which we are not willing
and which no human power can reasonably
coerce us, to bear. We might not place so great a stress
upon this matter, had we not, at the late session of
Congress, seen this disposition so far in the ascendant,
as to be developed by a labored effort in the House of
Representatives, in the form of a resolution to abolish
the right of holding slaves in the District of Columbia,
and the present Territories of the United States. In
order, therefore, to forestall if possible a growing disposition in
asmuch as to our interests, "and thus prevent a
[?] of the alarming difficulties of "the
[?] question," it is our indispensable
duty to [?] our admission into the Union at the
next Session of Congress. We, therefore, recommend the
adoption of the following resolution: -
Resolved - That his excellency William Fulton,
Governor of this Territory, is respectfully & earnestly
solicited, by the people of this County, forthwith to
convene theLegislature, for the special purpose of
calling a Convention of this Territory, to frame
a State Constitution, in time to be placed before
Congress for their approval, and our admission
into the Union at the next session.
On motion, it was II Resolved, That, in order to
diffuse an uniform spirit- and produce a
concert of action upon this measure, of
universal concern to the people of thie Territory
his Excellency, the Governor, is resepectfully requested
to hand over, for publication, to any one or each
of the papers printed in Little Rock, a copy of
these proceedings. --
[Page 4] On motion - Resolved that the Secretary do make
out and forward a statement of these procee-
dings to his Excellency the Governor, without
On motion; the meeting adjourned sine
DelRoy B. Gaston, Secretary
John C. Taylors, Chairman

Physical Description




Geographical Area





MS.000064, Box 2, Folder 16


L.C. Gulley collection, MS.000064


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Delroy B. Gaston to William Fulton, Esq., L.C. Gulley collection, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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Delroy B. Gaston to William Fulton, Esq.