The Memphis to Little Rock Railroad

The Memphis to Little Rock Railroad (HM2707)

Location: Jacksonville, AR 72076 Pulaski County
Country: United States of America
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N 34° 51.135', W 92° 6.796'

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Samson Gray Helps Link the State Capital with the Mississippi

One of the largest public works projects
to take place in territorial Arkansas was
construction of the Memphis to Little Rock
Road, an ambitious effort to allow travelers
to cross the dense swamps and Grand
Prairie of east Arkansas to reach the capital.
Between 1824 and Arkansas statehood in
1836, Congress spent $267,000 to link the
Mississippi River and Little Rock.

You are standing where Samson Gray
constructed a portion of the road. Gray was
an early settler in the area and operated a mail
stage between here and Arkansas Post. Gray
built much of the road between Bayou Two
Prairie, located east of here, and Little Rock.

"This was the only passage through the
Wilderness, as the Mississippi bottoms
were called at that time, and Texas
received its flood of pioneers from over
this highway, as did Kansas, Nebraska
and Western Missouri, so from the time
of its completion till 1860 there was
hardly a day of any month in all those
years, but what, from any point along
its path, long trains of wagons could be
seen slowly wending their way beneath
the overhanging trees, and through the
swamps that often lay for many miles
along their track."

-The Goodspeed Biographical and
Historical Memoirs of Eastern
Arkansas, 1890


Gray made no written proposal
neither did anyone else for the section
between the prairie and the former
contracts of Gray & Co. I made the best
bargain I could say $500 for the whole
distance including all log bridging."

-Lieutenant Charles Thomas,
United States Army, January 4, 1828
HM NumberHM2707
Placed ByThe Arkansas Humanities Council and the Department of Arkansas Heritage, the Arkansas Historic Preservation and Reed's Bridge Battlefield Preservation Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 at 7:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 581062 N 3857016
Decimal Degrees34.85225000, -92.11326667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 51.135', W 92° 6.796'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 51' 8.0999999999999" N, 92° 6' 47.76" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)501
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 300-344 E Trickey Ln, Jacksonville AR 72076, US
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