Date Original

1835 June 13


Editorial from the Arkansas Times giving an account of a statehood meeting in Hot Springs.


to public notice, a number of the citizens
of Hot Spring county assembled on Sat-
urday, June 6th, 1835, at the county
seat of said county, for the purpose of
taking into consideration the expediency
of bringing Arkansas Territory into the
Union, upon an equal footing with the
other States of the American Confed-
The meeting having been called to
order, Doct. A.N. Sabin was called to
the Chair, and G. Whittington was
appointed to act as Secretary.
The objet of the meeting being fully
explained on motion, Messrs. Ira A.
Sabin, R.J. Rambo and J.K. Robinson
were appointed a committee, and in-
structed to report upon the subject. The
committee retired for a short time, and
returned with the following report, which
was unanimously adopted:
The committee to whom the subject
had been referred, instructing them to
inquire into the expediency of bringing
Arkansas into the Union, upon an equal
footing with the other States of the North
American Confederacy -- report:
That, as free and independent people
of Arkansas, unrestricted by any con-
stitutional requirements -- secured in her
rights by the treaty of cession of 1803 --
and warranted, moreover, in their under-
taking, by the invariable practice of the
United States in regard to her Territo-
ries, recognize and claim the right of
changing the form of our government,
whether it be to their pecuniary advan-
tage or not, (they being the proper
judges,) whenever they may choose to
do so; and they recognize the right
of no one to demand of them a reason
for the change. But self-respect, and a
due regard to the opinions of others, in-
duce them to state the reasons for their
desire to place Arkansas, at the earliest
possible day, upon an equal footing with
the other States.
The first inquiry with your commit-
tee, was: Has Arkansas, at this time, the
requisite population to entitle her to ad-
mission into the Union?
Secondly. If she has the necessary
population, is she now prepared for the
consequences which such a change will
probably produce? and,
Lastly, what effect will a change,
from a Territorial to a State Government
have upon our condition?
[Page 2] Upon these several questions we have
bestowed much reflection, and have
availed ourselves of the best lights within
our reach, and have come to the follow-
ing conclusions:
Judging from the returns of the cen-
sus already received, and forming an
estimate from our knowledge of the pop-
ulation of the other counties, yet to be
received, we have arrived at the belief
that our aggregate population will not
fall short of fity thousand souls, (federal num-
bers.) The Constitution of the United
States requires no particular number of
souls of which the Territory applying
for admission into the Union must con-
sist -- Congress have a discretionary pow-
er over the subject; and have admitted
Territories into the Union widely vary-
ing in their numbers of souls. Louisiana
was admitted with a population of about
26,000; Illinois, with a population of
about 32,000; Tennessee, with a popu-
lation of about 43,000; and Ohio with
a population of about 47,000. Missis-
sippi, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio and Ala-
bama, had, when admitted, a few thou-
sand, and but a few thousand, more than
we now have. the rule that Congress
seems to have adopted upon the subject
of admitting Territories into the Union,
has been, when they had a population
sufficient to entitle them, under the pro-
visions of the apportionment bill, to a
member of Congress; provided they
constituted a part of any of the States.
Adopting this rule as the standard, we
can say, with truth, that we have the
requisite number to entitle us to adminis-
sion into the Union. So far its popula-
tion is concerned. Arkansas used not
any longer delay. Should Congress,
(as who doubtless will,) like our courts of
justice, be governed in their decision by
case in point, by principle, and their
wise and well established usages. Ar-
kansas does not, from the result of her
application, and when she wills and in
[Page 3] what form she may, provided she pre-
sents herself with a Republican consti-
tution. A constitution of a different
character is the only obstable Congress
can consistently, with its principles, in-
terpose, now that we have the popula-
The next inquiry that presents itself
for our consideration, is: Are we pre-
pared for the consequences which a
change of our government (now upheld
and supported by the United States,)
which will probably be produced, when
thrown upon our own resources, for an
existence as a government? Your com-
mittee freely acknowledge, that they
have not been able to ascertain, with
accurate precision, the financial condi-
tion of the country; either its debts, its
credits, or its resources; and, they may
add, that so long as sheriffs are allowed
by law, to combine within themselves
the triplicate offices of assessor, collector
and holder, as he ever is for months,
without interst or penalty, and some-
times for years, of the public moneys, it
will be found a tedious, if not an imprac-
ticable job, for the most industrious,
skillful and curious -- every avenue to
their offices being made inaccessible,
amid the heaps of confusion, blurred and
mutilated tax lists, torn memorandums,
and dusty, dirty pigeon holes -- to ascer-
tain our true financial condition. We
esteem it a formidable labor, at least;
and rather than incur it, for the sake of
our argument, willingly yield up to them
this year's revenue, to discharge the ex-
isting Territorial debts, if any there be.
We will commence even, and in that
light will consider the proposition on
which we set out.
The income to our Reasury, is prin-
cipally from the taxes paid upon land
and slaves. In this Territory about one
million of acres of land have been ap-
propriated to the soldiers of the last war;
and the greater part of this appropria-
tion is now taxable. We do not know
the precise quantity of land now held
and taxable by Spanish and French
claims, by donations, New Madrid loca-
tions, or by public sales and private en-
tries. We have estimated those various
titles at two millions, and the estimate,
we have no doubt, is greatly under the
mark. The quantity of land, now taxa-
ble, according to our estimate, is about
three millions of acres, which will yield
at the present rate of taxation, (to the
State or Territory,) at least thirty thou-
sand dollars per annum. And it may be
remarked, that there is still a great and
daily increasing demand for land; and
that, so soon as it can be surveyed and
brought into market - for which provis-
ion by law has already been made -
immense quanitities of additional mil-
lions, will be entered. Our Surveyor
General will doubtless, in the discharge
of his duty, satisfy the public demand,
and prepare the domain intrusted to his
charge for market, with the greatest pos-
sible despatch.
[Page 4] Calculating the present number of
slaves from the returns of the census in
twenty counties, already received, and
estimating those yet to come in, in all,
10,000 souls, we will derive, according
to the existing ratio of taxation, from
that source, an annual income of ten thou-
sand dollars, for State or Territorial
purposes. In considering this question,
we surrender every other source of reven-
ue to the counties for county purposes.
In connection with our estimate, we al-
so lose sight of an income from a bank,
as we have not in our country at this time
such an institution. Our net income,
according to our estimate, will not for
the first year, fall short of fifty thousand
dollars, and for every subsequent year,
we shall have an increase of income.
Our resources will, from emigration and
the acquisition of property, be multiply-
ing. We shall undoubtedly have am-
ple means for an economical administra-
tion of our affairs, without an increase of
taxation, and if we have not, the induce-
ment is sufficiently strong to pursuade
us to bear, without complaint, a small
additional burthen. It will fall exclu-
sively upon the proprietors of land and
slaves, who are able and willing to bear
it. We have estimated the costs of our
"out-goings" from the treasury, which
are as follows, and on what we consider
a liberal scale:
For Governor, per annum, $2,000
Secretary, 500
Auditor and Treasurer, 1,000
6 Judges of circuit court at $1,500, 9,000
3 do of Superior Court, at 1,500, 4,500
6 District Attorneys, 1,200
Legislature, 50 members, at $3 per
day, for 40 days, that is, 20 days
in each year, as we suppose they
will meet biennially, 3,000
For their mileage, &c. (rough estimate)
clerks, door-keepers, printing,
&c. $3,000 a session, or $1,500
a year 1,500
Making, in all, $22,700

Physical Description




Geographical Area





MFILM NEWS 000420 Roll 01


Newspaper microfilm collection


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

"Public Meeting at Hot Springs - A State Government," Arkansas Times, June 13, 1835, Newspaper microfilm collection, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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