The Life of Archibald Yell
By MELINDA MEEK*
CHAPTER I: EARLY LIFE
THE ARRIVAL IN LITTLE ROCK ON DECEMBER 18, 1831 OF the newly-appointed Receiver of Public Moneys prompted little notice in the two major Little Rock newspapers, the Arkansas Gazette and the Arkansas Advocate (1). The papers were engaged at this time in a heated discussion over the selection of a suitable location on which to build a statehouse, and the question had become an additional debating ground for the major factions in the territory. Therefore, little attention was given Archibald Yell when he made his first appearance in the young Arkansas territory, and certainly there was little reason for the territory's politicians to attach any particular significance to this latest Federal appointment. By the time Arkansas entered the Union in 1836, however, the name of Archibald Yell would be a familiar one to important political figures and the great majority of the state's residents as well. By 1836 Yell had already established himself as a major political force in the new state and had demonstrated that he possessed a great appeal to the voters of Arkansas.
* The author is an instructor in the History Department, University of Arkansas. The research for her thesis on Yell was supported by an Arkansas Stonewall Jackson Memorial Fellowship.
(1) Little Rock (Arkansas) Gazette, December 21, 1831; Little Rock (Arkansas) Advocate, December 28, 1831.