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Andrew Wallace was born on June15, 1786, died March 4, 1834 in Hempstead County, Arkansas. He married Lucy Davidson abt. 1807. Lucy was born on July 26, 1787 in Virginia. She died April 4, 1860 in Hempstead County, Arkansas.


Lucy Wallace's Will


State of Arkansas

County of Hempstead, April 1st, 1860


       Know all men by these presents that I, Lucy Wallace, knowing the certainty of death and the uncertainty of life being weak in body but of sound and disposing mind make this my last will and testament.   To wit: 

I give and bequeath to the heirs of my daughter, Rachel Fontaine, one hundred dollars to be paid out of my estate for their kindness to me which sum is over and above what I intend to give them hereafter. And it is my wish that all of my property after paying my just debts be divided equally between all of my children. 

I have heretofore given to all of my children a portion of my property except my son, William, who is now in California and I desire he shall have one feather bed and bedstead and all the clothes belonging to one bed. Likewise I wish him to have two cows to make him equal with the balance of my children.

Witness my hand and seal this the day and date above written.

                                          X (her mark)

                                          Lucy Wallace (seal)

Signed in the presence

Of Joel D. Conway

James D. Caldwell

The State of Arkansas          In the Hempstead Court of Probate

County of Hempstead         April Term, April 19th AD 1860


       On this day came Joel D. Conway and James D. Caldwell subscribing witnesses to the within and foregoing paper waiting or last Will and testament of Lucy Wallace deceased date April 4th 1860 and they being duly sworn depose and say that on the 4th day of April 1860 within the County of Hempstead and State of Arkansas, the said Lucy Wallace subscribed her name (by her mark) at the end of the foregoing paper consisting of will in the presence of them the said Joel D. Conway and James D. Caldwell, and that she then and there declared the same to be her last Will and testament, that they subscribed the same as attesting witnesses in the presence of the said Lucy Wallace and in the presence of each other and at her request and that the said Lucy Wallace at the time of signing her name by her mark to said paper writing and declaring the same to be her last Will and testament was of sound and disposing mind and memory and over the age of twenty-one years. So help us God.

                                          Joel D. Conway

                                          James D. Caldwell



Andrew Wallace leaves Tennessee to start a new adventure.

by Robert Reynolds


       The French owned what is now Arkansas from 1680 to 1767,and then the Spanish took possession from 1767 to 1803. In 1803, this territory briefly reverted back to French rule. A vast expanse of land which is now Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota west of the Mississippi River, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, nearly all of Kansas, the portions of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado east of the Rocky Mountains, and Louisiana west of the Mississippi River, including the city of New Orleans. The United States government purchased this vast region in North America in 1803, which covered 80,000 square miles of some of the richest lands in North America.

       Incredibly fertile lands would encourage settlement and attract new immigrants to a wilderness that few white men had ever seen. President Jefferson sent the American statesman, James Monroe, to Paris to negotiate a contract with four possible plans for the purchase of French Territory. Amazingly as it might seem, the French were not interested in selling parts of their territory. They were anticipating a war with England and they were having problems holding on to their territories in the western hemisphere. Because of this they were eager to sell their entire holdings and agreed upon a prize of $15 million, of which $11,250,000 was to be paid outright by the U.S. to France. The balance of $3,750,000 was to be paid by the U.S. to its citizens to satisfy their claims against France.

       The major rivers would be the first superhighways the pioneers would use to transport the necessary tools and cargo needed to survive in the wilderness. The Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, and the Red River would-be the main arteries they would utilize to get to interior of the new territories. In 1789, the white population of what would become the Arkansas Territory numbered only 368 persons. By 1819 after the purchase by The United States the population of the Louisiana Purchase swelled to 14,000. It would be the rivers and the Indian trails that would be responsible for this increase in population.

Andrew Jackson Wallace along with other families would be attracted to the prosperous lands of Mount Prairie located in Hempstead County, Arkansas in the new territories. Stories of men who had explored the unbroken wilderness and seen untouched primitive lands that no other white man had seen before would compel him and other pioneers to move west.

       Pathfinders had gone before them. Frontiersman, mountain men, fur trappers, and others running from the law would become the future explorers of what is now America. Some would become reluctant explorers, tarred and feathered, they would be driven from their secure communities back east and sent downriver to the Arkansas territory; the white man population of the territory but few. Their prosecutors felt they were sending them to a hellish environment and justice was served. The Arkansas territory was considered to be a swamp infested, hostile place of torment. They were partially right in their analysis, but not totally.

       The early frontiersman learned to survive in the wilderness by adapting to the ways of the native peoples that have lived on the land for centuries. They would return to civilization with stories of great virgin forests, trees so tall and large with branches touching one another that had created a canopy of leaves that blocked out the sun. Because of this there was no underbrush and a rider on a horse could easily pass through the wilderness. The trappers and explorers would return with stories of streams and rivers teaming with fish that could be easily caught. They would return with stories of lone prairies that stretched for hundreds of miles with no trees and only grass waving in the breeze as far as the eye could see. Vast herds of buffalo, numbering in the millions, roamed this lonely prairie and when lightning spooked them, the earth would tremble by the pounding of their hooves upon the ground. It was a land filled with bear, deer, turkey, and panthers, an abundance of small game for the taking. There was rich land waiting to be plowed and they would dream of how sweet the freshly tilled soil would smell. "Go west, young man" was the call. All you need is a sharp ax, a strong back and prosperity is assured.

       Through the Cumberland Gap they would flow into the Kentucky frontier and would then move south into Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. Ministers of the gospel would follow and they would become the circuit riders of the frontier. They would usher in a revival on the Kentucky frontier that would branch out in all directions and the praises Lord would echo throughout the wilderness.

I have always been intrigued with the past and I try to imagine how the Arkansas wilderness would have looked when Andrew Wallace, along a dozen other families, left Nashville, Tennessee in 1818 and traveled down the Cumberland River to the Ohio and then down the mighty Mississippi to the mouth of the Red River. Floating down the Mississippi I'm sure was full of hazards, but it must been relatively easy in comparison to going up river in a keelboat. When they reached the mouth of the Red River they had to push their way up the river with poles.

       I can only envision how determined they were to reach a better tomorrow and what a back- breaking undertaking it must have been to reach Hempstead County. The keelboat was the major means of moving large amounts of cargo into the interior and outer parameters of the Arkansas Territory. The Red River, Arkansas River, St. Francis, and White Rivers were first explored by canoes and after being mapped by early fur trappers, the waterways were used for shipments of goods moved up and down these essential water highways. These keelboats and flat bottom boats were often brought upstream by the use of a rawhide towline, called a cordelle. The cordelle was fastened to the boat and pulled by 20 to 30 men, or women as needed, walking along the riverbank. This towing process was hard work and acquired a hearty constitution. The early pioneers and keel boatmen referred to the towing process as cordelling.

      After a fight and terrible struggle to propel their cumbersome keelboats through rapids at a point called the great raft on the Red River, they must have been exhausted after their ordeal. To witness and see giant alligators that had no natural enemies and had grown monstrously large because they were kings of their watery domain. These large beasts swimming by their flimsy little flatboats must have caused them to be cautious, or perhaps they marveled at something they never before had witnessed.

       Tired and exhausted, they landed their little flotilla of makeshift boats near Long Prairie. No doubt the reference to Long Prairie pertains to the opened prairie that extends into the Great Plains of the Southwest. The Old Southwest Trail crosses the Red River at Fulton's Landing. Fulton's Landing is located on a bend in the river. Part of the Red flows northwest to Fulton's Landing and abruptly flows west forming the Red River Valley of Texas and Oklahoma.

Time was running for them for it was the latter part of the summer of 1818 and they must have been delayed in their timetable to reach their new home and a promised future. After stepping onto the banks of the Red, they must have realized for the first time that they were all alone in a primitive world. They were far removed from civilization and the nearest pioneer cabins were between them and Natchitoches. The settlement of Natchitoches was located over 100 miles south of them Louisiana. There was no evidence that other settlers were near because no smoke could be seen from cabins nor any sounds could be heard, but the sounds of nature and all her freshness. Freshness is what they sought and a virgin expanse of land would stretch before them only to be broken by the Rocky Mountains.

       They knew that winter was fast approaching and she would soon challenge their endurance. For the Oklahoma and Texas Plains lay to the west and out of this vast unbroken expanse steady cold winds would blow, for there was no barrier to stop the wind. After pitching camp they unloaded their precious supplies and took inventory of what they needed to survive. Good fortune had been with them in their struggle up river for the essential tools they would be dependent upon were still in tact, after traveling nearly 700 miles. They got their axes and went to work putting up temporary crude shelters. Groves of cane were found nearby and they begin to cut down the cane and cleared small patches of ground for gardens. Before leaving Tennessee they had stored seeds that would be needed to survive. They planted corn and vegetables hoping they would have time to make a crop before winter set in.

       Early pioneers found out that by moving away from a river they stood a better chance of surviving, especially southern rivers. The deltas and valleys were rich in topsoil and the Indians cultivated opened clearings along waterways. Most of the land close to the river was swampy and a breeding ground for malaria and other diseases. One of the families that had traveled with Andrew Wallace was the Murrells. The following June of 1819, John Murrell, with $100 dollars cash, followed the Indian trail that led to Nacogdoches hoping to buy cattle and return with stock. When he got back to Long Prairie, one of the members of this family was sick with a fever and because of the sickness, he moved his family away from this poisonous environment near the river. This occurred on August 6, 1819. He moved his family south to a vacant cabin that was located on the Indian trail that led to Nacogdoches. Andrew Wallace and the other families must have moved away from the Red River inland to Mount Prairie, which was in Hempstead County during this time frame.


Written and posted by Robert E. Reynolds

192 Crabtree Road

Hot Springs, Arkansas 71913


Comments Welcomed e-mail


      I would like to give thanks to David F. Kimery, Ranger with the Army Corps of engineers, Ozark Field Office located at Ozark Arkansas. Ranger Kimery did a research paper on the early migration of pioneers on the Arkansas waterways and sent information to me to help in my research.