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In 1807, a man named Prudhomme became the first settler of modern Hot Springs, and he was soon joined by John Perciful and Isaac Cates.
On August 24, 1818, the Quapaw Indians ceded the land around the hot springs to the United States in a treaty.
After the Confederate forces suffered defeat in the Battle of Pea Ridge in March 1862, the Union troops advanced toward the Confederate city of Little Rock. Rector moved his staff and state records to Hot Springs.
Union forces did not attack Little Rock, and the government returned to the capital city on July 14, 1862.
After the Civil War, an extensive rebuilding of bathhouses and hotels took place at Hot Springs.
The outbreak of the American Civil War left Hot Springs with a declining bathing population.
During this period, Hot Springs became the prey of guerrilla bands loosely associated with either Union or Confederate forces.
They pillaged and burned the near-deserted town, leaving only a few buildings standing at the end of the Civil War.
After Arkansas became its own territory in 1819, the Arkansas Territorial Legislature requested in 1820 that the springs and adjoining mountains be set aside as a federal reservation.
Twelve years later, in 1832, the Hot Springs Reservation was created by the United States Congress, granting federal protection of the thermal waters.