Digitize that book
It’s always such a pleasure for The Legal Genealogist to go poking around in digitized volumes of early statutes.
There’s always something to learn, in the pages of those early laws.
About the way people thought in a particular time and place.
About what was considered important.
About what would and wouldn’t be allowed.
About where and how people lived.
About local history.
Even about local politics.
And … sigh … occasionally, about what can’t be found.
At least not online.
At least not by me.
You see, Arkansas — where I’m speaking tomorrow at the Saline Public Library in Benton for its 2017 Genealogy for You Seminar — began its laws when it was still a territory. Its General Assembly met a total of 10 times during the territorial period, in nine regular sessions and one special session.
And in those 10 sessions it produced 10 volumes of session laws:
• Laws of the Territory of Arkansas … 1819 and 1820 (Arkansas: William E. Woodruff, Territorial Printer, 1821)
• Acts … of the Territory of Arkansas … 1821 (Little Rock: William E. Woodruff, Territorial Printer, 1822)
• Acts … of the Territory of Arkansas … 1823 (Little Rock: William E. Woodruff, Territorial Printer, 1824)
• Acts … of the Territory of Arkansas … 1825 (Little Rock: William E. Woodruff, Territorial Printer, 1826)
• Acts … of the Territory of Arkansas … 1827 (Little Rock: William E. Woodruff, Territorial Printer, 1828)
• Acts … of the Territory of Arkansas … 1828 (Little Rock: William E. Woodruff, Territorial Printer, 1828)
• Acts … of the Territory of Arkansas … 1829 (Little Rock: William E. Woodruff, Territorial Printer, 1830)
• Acts … of the Territory of Arkansas … 1831 (Little Rock: Charles Bertrand, Territorial Printer, 1832)
• Acts … of the Territory of Arkansas … 1833 (Little Rock: William E. Woodruff, Territorial Printer, 1834)
• Acts … of the Territory of Arkansas … 1835 (Little Rock: Smith & Reed, Territorial Printers, 1835)
You can see the problem right away, can’t you?
Ten volumes of session laws.
And nine hyperlinks to digitized versions.
Now… I’m pretty good at online searches. Not perfect, by any means, but pretty good.
I know not to just look on Google Books, but to check other digitized book sources like Internet Archive and Hathitrust. I know to look and see what’s been digitized by the Arkansas State Library. (And yes, Cyndi, I did check the new Laws & Statutes category for Arkansas on Cyndi’s List too.)
But I can’t find a digitized copy of those 1833 session laws.
So… here’s the challenge, Arkansas. Show me where one can be found online… or get it digitized and put online.
C’mon now… let’s get the whole set of territorial laws out there to be easily found…
I recently discovered that the 10th Session of the Colorado Territorial legislature’s work is not available because it was never printed. The territory was out of money that year, and it never got done. The only way to view it is in the original secretary’s notes at the Colorado State Archives. Could something similar have happened in Arkansas in 1833?
Nope, Worldcat confirms this was printed and is in print copy at several libraries. But all is well — Peter Hirtle of Cornell found it on Hathitrust, digitized from Ohio State.
Well done, Peter!! Now why does this collection NOT have the 1835 volume??? Oh well… at least there’s a whole set online SOMEWHERE!
The 1835 volume on Google is digitized from the Stanford collection. While Stanford is a HathiTrust member, it does not appear that it has deposited with HT any of the volumes that Google digitized for it. See https://www.hathitrust.org/visualizations_deposited_volumes_current.
A patent to the Izard County land was issued 1 Oct. 1860 to Boston Shew. He was then of Izard County. It was a cash sale under the Act of 1820.
The next earlier purchasers of land in the same Section were surnamed Fenley, Gray and Huddleston, in 1856 and 1857.
Sale records for this property may hold a clue.
[There is no link for comments on the post regarding Boston Shew.]
Why did my fourth great grandfather make that trip? Him and his sons wanted to try for some of that land the Osage left?
What did he hope to find? Maybe a legacy for his sons? After all, he was 70.
What did he leave behind? Maybe Trouble? I think not. That area had a population increase of over 3000 people. That is one heck of an increase between 1850 and 1860. The Osage moved out and into Indian Territory by 1830. People started coming and claiming land. And what happened to him there? That we may never know. There was a very low percentage of the population at that time who were of German descent. Boston probably expired, but you would think at least one of his sons might stay.
19 March 2017
My calendar just popped up a message that today is The Legal Genealogist’s birthday.
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Judy!
Happy Birthday to YOU!!
AND MANY MORE!
Thanks so much!!
Back in October 2014, one of your blog posts recommended HeinOnline as an excellent resource for accessing legal materials. I was able to locate a digitized version of the 1833 Arkansas session laws there.
This is the link for the main session laws library page:
HeinOnline is truly a remarkable resource. Thanks for your original post and for the great suggestion!
P.S. I sent you an e-mail on this but it must not have gotten through. Sorry about that! 🙂
Yes, Hein Online will always have the statutes — it has a complete set of all of the statutes of every American jurisdiction from colonial times to the present. It’s not, however, free. And we genealogists are always looking for free when we can find it… 🙂