Arkansas Post National Memorial
1741 Old Post Road
Gillett, AR 72055
Visitor Information 870-548-2207
In 1686, Henri de Tonti established a trading post known as "Poste de Arkansea" at the Quapaw village of Osotouy. It was the first semi-permanent French settlement in the lower Mississippi River Valley. The establishment of the Post was the first step in a long struggle between France, Spain, and England over the interior of the North American continent.
Over the years, the Post relocated as necessary due to flooding from the Arkansas River, but its position always served of strategic importance for the French, Spanish, American, and Confederate military. Spanish soldiers and British partisans clashed here in the 1783 "Colbert Incident," the only Revolutionary War action in Arkansas.
Arkansas Post became part of the United States during the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. By 1819, the post was a thriving river port and the largest city in the region and selected the capital of the Arkansas Territory.
During the Civil War, Confederate troops tried to maintain tactical control of the confluence of the two rivers, and in 1862 they constructed a massive earthen fortification known as Fort Hindman. In January 1863 Union troops destroyed the fort and adjacent river port town, ensuring control of the Arkansas River.
Today, the memorial and museum commemorate the multi-layered and complex history of the site. Located on a peninsula bordered by the Arkansas River and two backwaters, the site offers excellent fishing and wildlife watching opportunities.
Plane - Little Rock, 100 miles northwest, is serviced by an international airport.
Car - The entrance to the park is on Arkansas state road 169, nine miles south of Gillett, via U.S. 165 (The Great River Road), and about 17 miles northeast of Dumas, via U.S. 165.