On October 27, 1828, the Arkansas Territorial Legislature met and voted to “extinguish” Lovely County, which was not quite a year old. The remaining Lovely’s Purchase and Lovely County land in Arkansas was incorporated into a new territorial county. Washington, with borders on Missouri to the north, Izard and Independence counties to the east, and Crawford County to the south.
Land Dispute Settled at Expense of Lovely County
WASHINGTON COUNTY – The controversy between white settlers and Cherokees in the northwest part of the Arkansas Territory was resolved last month, October of 1828, by an act of the Territorial Legislature. The settlement involves the elimination of Lovely County and the creation of Washington County.
The background of the dispute has been long and complicated. During the 1820’s, as settlement of the northwestern part of Arkansas Territory grew, more and more white people wanted to move into the land known as Lovely’s Purchase, between Arkansas and the Indian Territories. In 1827 the Arkansas Territorial Legislature took firm action to allow white settlement. They created what was known as Lovely County, which included almost all of Lovely’s Purchase, and much more land to the north and west besides.
The Cherokees were so unhappy over the possibility of losing their hunting land to white farmers, they sent a delegation to Washington to protest. The secretary of War, James Barbour, began working out a settlement. In 1828 a treaty was signed in which a new dividing line between Arkansas territory and the Indian Territory was recognized. All Cherokees in Arkansas Territory were required to move to Indian Territory, leaving Arkansas free for white settlement.
The agreement pleased most Cherokees and white settlers, even though the majority of Lovely’s Purchase land is now in Indian Territory.
Created: 13 October 1827.
Parent Counties: Crawford and Lovely Purchase.
Progeny County: Washington
County Boundary Changes: According to D.Y. Thomas, "In 1816, William and Peter Lovely purchased a tract of land from the Osage Indians, which was included within the western boundary of Arkansas, as laid down in 1824, and was a large part of the county of Lovely, created in 1827. Unfortunately, this same region had been granted to the Cherokee Indians in 1818, creating difficulties which were not settled until 1828, when the present boundary of the State was established, and the most of Lovely County made a part of the Indian Territory. Such land as was left by this decision was included in Washington County, October 27, 1828, and the county officials were directed to take over the affiars and moneys of Lovely County.
" [D. Y. Thomas. Arkansas and Its People: A History, 1541-1930. Volume II, "Historical Directory by Counties." New York: The American Historical Society, Inc., 1930, p. 784.]
County Records: No county records available.
to County Index List