March 14, 1864: Arkansas constitution ratified

Slave population - Arkansas, 1860

The new Constitution of Arkansas, abolishing slavery, was ratified on March 14, 1864; this is one reason why the Red River expedition, though militarily a sideshow, was politically important. The New York Times reports that Arkansas has been reconstructed.

The Arkansas Election.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Friday, March 18.

Partial election returns from eleven counties give more votes than the whole number required by the President’s Proclamation to replace Arkansas in the Union. The other counties, forty-three in number, will give fully 5,000 votes more. The new State Constitution framed by the last Convention was almost unanimously ratified, there being 80 for, only 137 votes against it. Arkansas is thus declared a free State in the Union by the voluntary action or its own citizens. Gov. ISAAC MURPHY, and the whole free State ticket is elected. Guerilla bands made violent threats, nevertheless the citizens were enthusiastic in their determination to vote the State back into the Union, many going to the polls at the risk of their lives. The military authorities used every exertion to protect voters.

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