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List of Governors of Arkansas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Governor of Arkansas
Seal of Arkansas.svg
Asa Hutchinson

since January 13, 2015 (2015-01-13)
ResidenceArkansas Governor's Mansion
SeatLittle Rock, Arkansas
Term lengthFour years, renewable once (Seventy-third Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution of 1874)
Constituting instrumentArkansas Constitution of 1836
PrecursorGovernor of Arkansas Territory
Inaugural holderJames Sevier Conway
FormationSeptember 13, 1836
(182 years ago)
DeputyLieutenant Governor of Arkansas
SalaryUS$128,000 per year

The Governor of Arkansas is the chief executive of the U.S. state of Arkansas. The governor is the head of the executive branch of the Arkansas government and is charged with enforcing state laws. They have the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Arkansas General Assembly, to convene the legislature, and to grant pardons, except in cases of treason and impeachment.[2]

The state has had 46 elected governors, as well as 11 acting governors who assumed powers and duties following the resignation or death of the governor. Before becoming a state, Arkansas Territory had four governors appointed to it by the President of the United States. Orval Faubus (1955-1967) served the longest term as state governor, being elected six times to serve 12 years. Bill Clinton (1979-1981; 1983-1992), elected five times over two distinct terms, fell only one month short of twelve years and Mike Huckabee (1996-2007) served 10 years for two full four-year terms. The shortest term for an elected governor was the 38 days served by John Sebastian Little before his nervous breakdown; one of the acting successors to his term, Jesse M. Martin, took office only three days before the end of the term, the shortest term overall. The current governor is Republican Asa Hutchinson, who took office on January 13, 2015.

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I’m Mr. Beat, and I’m running for governor of Kansas in 2018. Here’s Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey. At one time, he was one of the most popular governors in the United States. However, by the time he left office, his approval rating had dropped all the way down to 14%. (Chris Christie clip) Many in New Jersey say he is the worst governor in their state’s history. But what about the worst governors in other states? Based on my research, here are the 10 worst governors in American history that I could find. Oh, and before we get into this list, I didn’t include the governors who are currently in office or recently got out of office. What can I say? We are always biased to have hatred to more recent politicians. #10 Edwin Edwards Governor of Louisiana from 1972 to 1980, 1984 to 1988, and 1992 to 1996, serving 16 years total in office, or 5,784 days, the sixth-longest amount of time in office for any governor since the Constitution. Widely considered one of the most corrupt governors in American history, he actually got caught for racketeering, extortion, money laundering, mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy. He went to federal prison for eight years. He was unapologetic about receiving illegal campaign donations. He was accused of obstruction of justice and bribery. The only reason why Edwards is not higher up on my list is because is dedication to civil rights and protecting minorities and the poor. #9 Joel Aldrich Matteson Or MATTson. Both pronunciations are correct. I'll call him Mattyson because that's more fun. Oh Louisiana and Illinois. You both have a long history of electing corrupt and just, plain horrible governors. And Matteson is one of them. Governor of Illinois from 1853 to 1857, he actually had a few accomplishments during his tenure. This was when Illinois began public education, and Matteson oversaw a strong economy and the reduction of the state’s debt. However, after he got out of office people started to find out about his shadiness. You see, while in office, Matteson had found essentially IOU money in the form of scrips to pay for the Illinois and Michigan Canal. Even though scrips had already been cashed in, Matteson found out they could be used again due to poor record keeping. So he took a bunch of them for himself and cashed them in later on. They were like blank checks from the state. It was later estimated, that Matteson stole at least $5 million this way, adjusted for inflation. He would have probably stolen more if it weren’t for getting caught. So Matteson stole a bunch of taxpayer money. Oh yeah, and Abraham Lincoln hated him, too, so there’s that. #8 Peter Hardeman Burnett California’s first governor, and probably its worst. He was also the first California governor to resign, in office for just 14 months, from late 1849 to early 1851. He wanted the American West for whites only, supporting laws that banned blacks from living in Oregon when he lived up there and trying to get laws passed in California to ban blacks from living there after it became a state under his watch. He was also outspokenly racist toward Native Americans and Chinese immigrants. He pushed for heavy taxes on immigrants and for Indian removal. Oh, and he wanted the death penalty for theft. Peter, you were not a good start for California. #7 George Wallace Yeah, you’ve probably heard of George Wallace, he’s one of the most infamous in American history and ran for President several times. He was even in Forrest Gump. But if you want a great bio about him, I recommend this video by Connor Higgins. He’s most infamously known for the “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever” and racist stuff of his tenure, in which he embraced the KKK and basically argued that blacks and whites being in the same room was one of the worst things ever. He even freaking stood in front of a door to prevent black students from attending classes at the University of Alabama. But here’s the thing...he lost his first race for governor because he criticized the KKK and spoke out for African Americans. Later in life, after being paralyzed in an assassination attempt, he reversed his ways also by condemning his past racism. This just makes me assume he said whatever the majority of people wanted to hear in his state to get elected. George Wallace, were you racist or were you not? Ok yeah I think he truly was, though. He was so power hungry he got his wife elected after he couldn’t run for re-election due to term limit laws, and to do so, he hid her cancer diagnosis from her. She ended up dying less than 200 days after she took office. The bottom line is, George Wallace was as us vs. them as one could get. He knew how to divide Americans not only in Alabama, but across the country. Wallace would be higher up on this list if not for changing later in life, asking forgiveness from African Americans. "I was wrong. Those days are over, and they ought to be over." #6 Orval Faubus From one Southern racist governor to another, but at least this one has a cool name. Faubus was governor or Arkansas from 1955 to 1967. Now Faubus really just had one major decision that tainted his legacy Similar to Wallace, he was more about his political power, starting out more moderate when it came to civil rights issues, then all of sudden taking a firm pro-segregation stance after the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. In 1957, he became internationally infamous in what is known as the Little Rock Crisis. After the federal government ordered racial desegregation, he was like, “nope,” sending the Arkansas National Guard to stop African Americans from attending Little Rock Central High School. President Eisenhower had to send in federal troops to escort them in. And then at the end of the year, the school shut down. What’s frustrating about Faubus is that he really didn’t seem that racist. He just stubbornly did the wrong thing fueled the hatred of blacks in the South. And he never apologized for it, like Wallace did. #5 Lilburn Boggs Governor of Missouri from 1836 to 1840 Boggs is best known for Missouri Executive Order 44, or as many Mormons call it, the “Extermination Order.” It was a response to the growing violence during what became known as the 1838 Mormon War, a series of clashes between Mormons and those they threatened in northeast Missouri. Governor Boggs issued the order to drive Mormons out of the state because of their “open and avowed defiance of the laws, and of having made war upon the people of this State.” He also added, “The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace.” Geez, dude. And yep, it worked. The Mormons fled to the town of Nauvoo, Illinois. Other great stuff about Boggs. He wasted a bunch of taxpayer money building a new capitol. Oh, and he almost caused a war with Iowa Territory due to a border dispute. Actually, it was known as a war. The Honey War. Awwww, what a sweet name for a war. #4 Len Small Well, here we go. Another Illinois governor. In office during the Roaring Twenties, from 1921 to 1929. His corruption started long before he was governor, back when he was the Illinois Treasurer. He was charged with embezzling over a million dollars through money laundering, by “misplacing” state funds into a fake bank. He went to trial for it while he was governor, and despite there being pretty good evidence that he was guilty, got off scot-free. Coincidentally, eight of the jurors who said he was not guilty in his trial later got cushy state jobs, and so did the brothers of the judge in that case. Coincidence? In 1925, when the Illinois Supreme Court said that yep, Small was guilty and he had to pay back that $1 million after all, Small fought back with a legal team and forced his own state employees to help pay for his defense. Small pardoned or released more than 1000 convicted felons, including a dude who was convicted of kidnapping young girls and making them slaves in which they were forced to be prostitutes. Also, Small released a bootlegger who later became the leader of one of the most powerful bootlegging gangs in Chicago. Oh Lenny. I can’t make this stuff up, can I? #3 Wilson Lumpkin Another great name, another bad governor. He was in office for the lovely state of Georgia from 1831 to 1835. He thought his biggest accomplishment, you know, something he was most proud of, was the removal of the peaceful Cherokee Indians from north Georgia. Yep, he was proud of kicking the Cherokee off their land, which led to the Trail of Tears and eventual death of 4,000 people. Wow, Wilson. Just wow. Did I mention he went against the Supreme Court by kicking them out? Check out that decision, by the way, I have a video about that called Worcester v. Georgia. He encouraged white settlers to take their land while they were still there. And did I mention he was a big supporter of slavery? Of course he was. And speaking of slavery... For #2, it’s a tie. In fact, 28 governors all tie for #2 on this list. They are the 28 Southern governors who all agreed to secede from the Union and become leaders in the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. Here are their names. I’m not going to read them off for you, but all of them declared allegiance to the Confederacy in the name of preserving the institution of slavery. I’m not going to call them traitors, because they didn’t think they were traitors. But they were wrong, and in my opinion, they do not deserve to be honored. And this last one will likely surprise you… #1 Brigham Young If you’re one of his 1,000 direct descendants, I’m pretty sure you are going to be offended by what I’m about to say. And if you’re Mormon, well I talked trash about Boggs earlier so hopefully this evens out. In case you didn’t know, Brigham Young was governor of the Territory of Utah from 1851 to 1858. Governor? Dictator might be a better word. I mean, he had absolute power. And there was no separation of church and state, it was a theocracy. After he led his Mormon followers into what is now known as Utah, and before the Feds go involved, whatever he said went. He argued slavery was a “divine institution.” Yep, people forget Utah used to allow slavery. Ok, and obviously the polygamy thing. He had 55 wives, for crying out loud. After he couldn’t convert the local Native American population to the Church of Latter Day Saints, he basically ordered to kill them. Yep. Genocide. Ethnic cleansing. And under his watch, the Mountain Meadows Massacre happened. Just Google it. It’s horrific, and it caused him to step down as governor. When the federal government came to challenge him during the Utah War, Young declared marital law and told his followers they may have to burn down their homes, hide in the woods, and conduct guerilla warfare to defend their way of life. He maybe started out as a nice guy, but in the end I think the power corrupted him, as power tends to do. So that’s it. I’m sure that last one surprised you, probably because you didn’t realize how horrible Brigham Young was or maybe you didn't realize he was a governor for a short while. He does have tons of monuments out there celebrating him and even a university named after him that’s one of the biggest universities in the country. Before I go, I want to point out that I was fairly out of my comfort zone when researching for this video There are so many governors in American history. that it's really hard to keep track of them. Plus, there's a lot of really bad ones and a lot of governors that we don't know much about in the early years. So if there are any governors that I did not include, that I totally missed please let me know in the comments. I will not be offended. Just let it all out. I do have a list of honorable mentions. Or should I say "DIShonorable mentions." That I included in the description of this video. They didn't quite make the cut. But as far as I know, this is the only video out there about the worst governors in American history. And thank you to Ian for giving me the idea. This video is dedicated to him. And to his mom. Thank you to you both for your support on Patreon. It means so much. I'll be back with a new episode of Supreme Court Briefs next week. Thank you for watching. And there's just one more thing. I'm really not running for Kansas governor in 2018. I just made that up.



History of Arkansas
Flag of Arkansas.svg
Arkansas portal

Governors of the Territory of Arkansas

Arkansaw Territory (renamed Arkansas Territory around 1822)[a] was split from Missouri Territory on July 4, 1819.[4]

As secretary of the territory from 1819 to 1829, Robert Crittenden served as acting governor whenever the appointed governor was not in the state. This meant he was the first person to perform the office of Governor of Arkansas Territory, since James Miller did not arrive in the territory until nine months after his appointment.[5]

Governors of the Territory of Arkansas
No. Governor Term in office Appointed by Notes
AR Miller James.jpg
James Miller March 3, 1819

December 27, 1824
James Monroe [b][c]
George Izard.jpg
George Izard March 4, 1825

November 22, 1828
John Quincy Adams
AR Pope John.jpg
John Pope March 9, 1829[8]

March 9, 1835
Andrew Jackson [f][g]
William S. Fulton March 9, 1835

September 13, 1836[h]

Governors of the State of Arkansas

Arkansas was admitted to the Union on June 15, 1836.[12] The state seceded on May 6, 1861,[13] and was admitted to the Confederacy on May 18, 1861.[14] When Little Rock, the state capital, was captured on September 10, 1863, the Confederate state government relocated to Washington, Arkansas, and a Union government was installed in its place, causing an overlap in the terms of Confederate Governor Harris Flanagin and Union Governor Isaac Murphy.[15] Following the end of the American Civil War, it was part of the Fourth Military District. Arkansas was readmitted to the Union on June 22, 1868.[16]

The Arkansas Constitution of 1836 established four-year terms for governors,[17] which was lowered to two years in the 1874, and current, constitution.[18] An amendment in 1984 increased the terms of both governor and lieutenant governor to four years.[19] Governors were originally limited only to serving no more than eight out of every twelve years,[17] but the 1874 constitution removed any term limit. A referendum in 1992 limited governors to two terms.[20]

Until 1864, the constitutions provided that, should the office of governor be rendered vacant, the president of the senate would serve as acting governor until such time as a new governor were elected or the disability removed, or the acting governor's senate term expired.[21][22] This led to some situations where the governorship changed hands in quick succession, due to senate terms ending or new senate presidents being elected. For example, after John Sebastian Little resigned in 1907, three senate presidents acted as governor before the next elected governor took office. Should the president of the senate be similarly incapacitated, the next in line for the governorship was the speaker of the state house of representatives.

The 1864 constitution created the office of lieutenant governor[23] who would also act as president of the senate,[24] and who would serve as acting governor in case of vacancy.[25] The 1868 constitution maintained the position,[26] but the 1874 constitution removed it and returned to the original line of succession.[27] An amendment to the constitution, passed in 1914 but not recognized until 1925,[28] recreated the office of lieutenant governor, who becomes governor in case of vacancy of the governor's office.[29] The governor and lieutenant governor are not elected on the same ticket.

Arkansas was a strongly Democratic state before the Civil War, electing only candidates from the Democratic party. It elected three Republican governors following Reconstruction, but after the Democratic Party re-established control, 92 years passed before voters chose another Republican.

Governors of the State of Arkansas[j]
No.[k] Governor Term in office[l] Party Election Lt. Governor[m][n]
AR Conway James Sevier.jpg
  James Sevier Conway September 13, 1836[h]

November 4, 1840
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1836 Office did not exist
Archibald Yell - 2er Gouverneur Arkansas.jpg
Archibald Yell November 4, 1840

April 29, 1844
Democratic 1840
Samuel Adams (governor).jpg
Samuel Adams April 29, 1844

November 9, 1844[p]
(not candidate for election)
Democratic President of
the Senate
acting as
Thomas Stevenson Drew - Gouverneur von Arkansas.jpg
Thomas Stevenson Drew November 5, 1844[p]

January 10, 1849
Democratic 1844
Richard C. Byrd January 10, 1849

April 19, 1849
(not candidate for election)
Democratic President of
the Senate
acting as
AR Roane John.jpg
John Selden Roane April 19, 1849

November 15, 1852
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1849
Elias Nelson Conway.jpg
Elias Nelson Conway November 15, 1852

November 15, 1860[s]
(term limited)
Democratic 1852
Henry Massey Rector.jpg
Henry Massey Rector November 16, 1860[s]

November 4, 1862
Democratic 1860[u]
Thomas Fletcher November 4, 1862

November 15, 1862
(successor took office)[v]
Democratic President of
the Senate
acting as
Governor Harris Flanigin.jpg
Harris Flanagin November 15, 1862

May 26, 1865[w]
Democratic 1862[y]
Isaac Murphy.jpg
Isaac Murphy April 18, 1864

July 2, 1868
(not candidate for election)
Unionist 1864[x]   Calvin C. Bliss[46]
Powell Clayton.jpg
Powell Clayton July 2, 1868

March 17, 1871
Republican 1868   James M. Johnson[48]
(resigned March 14, 1871)[z]
O. A. Hadley (Arkansas Governor) 2.jpg
Ozra Amander Hadley[aa] March 17, 1871

January 6, 1873
(not candidate for election)
Republican President of
the Senate
acting as
Elisha Baxter.png
Elisha Baxter January 6, 1873

November 12, 1874
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1872[ab][ac] Volney V. Smith[50]
Augustus Hill Garland - Brady-Handy.jpg
Augustus Hill Garland November 12, 1874

January 11, 1877
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1874 Office did not exist
William Read Miller January 11, 1877

January 13, 1881
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1876
Thomas James Churchill (2).jpg
Thomas James Churchill January 13, 1881

January 13, 1883
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1880
AR James Berry.jpg
James Henderson Berry January 13, 1883

January 15, 1885[ad]
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1882
Simon Pollard Hughes, Jr - Gouverneur von Arkansas.jpg
Simon Pollard Hughes Jr. January 15, 1885[ad]

January 17, 1889[54]
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1884
James Philip Eagle.jpg
James Philip Eagle January 17, 1889[54]

January 14, 1893[55]
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1888
William Meade Fishback.jpg
William Meade Fishback January 14, 1893[55]

January 18, 1895[56]
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1892
AR Clarke John.jpg
James Paul Clarke January 18, 1895[56]

January 18, 1897
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1894
Daniel Webster Jones (governor).jpg
Daniel Webster Jones January 18, 1897

January 18, 1901[57]
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1896
Jeff Davis.jpg
Jeff Davis January 18, 1901[57]

January 18, 1907
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1900
AR Little John.jpg
John Sebastian Little January 18, 1907

February 11, 1907[ae]
Democratic 1906
John Isaac Moore.jpg
John Isaac Moore February 11, 1907[ae]

May 14, 1907
(legislature adjourned)
Democratic President of
the Senate
acting as
PindallXO f.jpg
Xenophon Overton Pindall May 14, 1907

January 11, 1909
(senate term expired)
Democratic President of
the Senate
acting as
Jesse M. Martin January 11, 1909

January 14, 1909
(successor took office)
Democratic President of
the Senate
acting as
Portrait of George Washington Donaghey.jpg
George Washington Donaghey January 14, 1909

January 16, 1913
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1908
Joseph T. Robinson cropped.jpg
Joseph Taylor Robinson January 16, 1913

March 8, 1913[63]
Democratic 1912
William Kavanaugh Oldham March 8, 1913[63]

March 13, 1913
(new president of
the senate elected)
Democratic President of
the Senate
acting as
Junius Marion Futrell March 13, 1913

August 6, 1913[aj]
(successor took office)
Democratic President of
the Senate
acting as
24 George Washington Hays August 6, 1913[aj]

January 10, 1917[ak]
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1913
Charles Hillman Brough in 1916.jpg
Charles Hillman Brough January 10, 1917[ak]

January 11, 1921[al]
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1916
AR McRae Thomas.jpg
Thomas Chipman McRae January 11, 1921[al]

January 13, 1925[72]
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1920
27 Tom Terral January 13, 1925[72]

January 11, 1927
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1924
John Ellis Martineau January 11, 1927

March 14, 1928[am]
Democratic 1926 Harvey Parnell
29 Harvey Parnell March 14, 1928[am]

January 10, 1933
(not candidate for election)
Democratic Succeeded from
1928 Lee Cazort
1930 Lawrence Elery Wilson
30 Junius Marion Futrell January 10, 1933

January 12, 1937
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1932 Lee Cazort
31 Carl Edward Bailey January 12, 1937

January 14, 1941
(lost election)
Democratic 1936 Robert L. Bailey
32 Homer Martin Adkins January 14, 1941

January 9, 1945
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1940
1942 James L. Shaver
33 Benjamin Travis Laney January 9, 1945

January 11, 1949
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1944
1946 Nathan Green Gordon
Sid mcmath1.JPG
Sid McMath January 11, 1949

January 13, 1953
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1948
35 Francis Cherry January 13, 1953

January 11, 1955
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1952
Orval Faubus speaking, 20 August 1959.jpg
Orval Faubus January 11, 1955

January 10, 1967
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1954
Winthrop Rockefeller.jpg
Winthrop Rockefeller January 10, 1967

January 12, 1971
(lost election)
Republican 1966 Maurice Britt
Dale Bumpers.jpg
Dale Bumpers January 12, 1971

January 3, 1975[76]
Democratic 1970 Bob C. Riley
Bob C. Riley January 3, 1975[76]

January 14, 1975
(successor took office)
Democratic Lieutenant
acting as
Acting as Governor
AR Pryor David (cropped).jpg
David Pryor January 14, 1975

January 3, 1979
Democratic 1974 Joe Purcell
Joe Purcell January 3, 1979

January 9, 1979
(successor took office)
Democratic Lieutenant
acting as
Acting as Governor
Bill Clinton (37899881792) (cropped2).jpg
Bill Clinton January 9, 1979

January 19, 1981
(lost election)
Democratic 1978 Joe Purcell
Frank D. White 1995.jpg
Frank D. White January 19, 1981

January 11, 1983
(lost election)
Republican 1980 Winston Bryant[ar]
Bill Clinton.jpg
Bill Clinton January 11, 1983

December 12, 1992
Democratic 1982
1990 Jim Guy Tucker
Jim Guy Tucker.jpg
Jim Guy Tucker December 12, 1992

July 15, 1996
Democratic Succeeded from
Mike Huckabee[av]
(elected November 20, 1993)[78]
Mike Huckabee July 15, 1996

January 9, 2007
(term limited)
Republican Succeeded from
Winthrop Paul Rockefeller
(elected November 19, 1996)[79]
(died July 16, 2006)
MikeBeebe2009 (cropped).jpg
Mike Beebe January 9, 2007

January 13, 2015
(term limited)
Democratic 2006 Bill Halter
2010 Mark Darr[av]
(resigned February 1, 2014)
Asa Hutchinson.jpg
Asa Hutchinson January 13, 2015

Republican 2014 Tim Griffin


  1. ^ The territory was formally organized with the name "Arkansaw", but spellings including "Arkansas" and "Arkansa" remained common until around 1822, when the popularity of the Arkansas Gazette helped standardize the spelling as "Arkansas".[3]
  2. ^ James Miller was appointed territorial governor on March 3, 1819, the same date the bill organizing Arkansaw Territory was signed. However, to avoid the hot southern summer, he delayed his departure from New Hampshire until September, and took a non-direct route, finally arriving in the territory on December 26, 1819.[6] Robert Crittenden, secretary of the territory, served as acting governor while Miller was delayed.[5]
  3. ^ Resigned citing poor health. At the time of his resignation, he had been absent from the territory for 18 months.[3]
  4. ^ George Izard did not arrive in Arkansas Territory until May 31, 1825; Robert Crittenden, Secretary of the territory, acted as governor in his stead, though Crittenden himself was out of state when Izard arrived.[7]
  5. ^ Died in office.
  6. ^ The office was vacant from November 22, 1828, until March 9, 1829. By the time notice of George Izard's death reached Washington, D.C., Andrew Jackson had been elected president, and the United States Senate refused to approve John Quincy Adams's choice for governor, preferring to wait until Jackson took office.[3]
  7. ^ Pope arrived in the territory in May 1829.[9]
  8. ^ a b Arkansas became a state on June 15, but Conway was not sworn in until September 13. Sourcing indicates that Fulton served until Conway's inauguration.[10]
  9. ^ William S. Fulton served as governor until statehood, when he was elected to the United States Senate.[11]
  10. ^ Data is sourced from the National Governors Association, unless supplemental references are required.
  11. ^ According to the numbering generally used, acting governors are not numbered.[30]
  12. ^ Most dates come from the Encyclopedia of Arkansas list of governors;[31] when differing, either the date was different in the actual articles on the governors and that agreed with other sources, or specific sourcing is supplied to explain the discrepancy.
  13. ^ The office of lieutenant governor was created in 1864 and abolished in 1874. It was recreated in 1914, and was not filled until 1927. The amendment to the constitution creating the office was narrowly voted in by the electorate in 1914. The Speaker of the House declared that the measure had lost, because even though it had received the majority of the votes cast for that particular ballot measure, winning 45,567 to 45,206, it had not received the majority of votes cast across the whole election, determined by looking at the question on the ballot with the highest total number of votes for or against. On that ballot, this figure was 135,517 votes, so it was ruled that at least 67,758 votes in favor would have been required for the measure to pass, essentially counting blank votes as votes against. In 1925, it was discovered that a 1910 law amended this requirement such that only a majority of the votes on the specific question was required. Therefore, the 1914 initiative was declared to be valid.[28]
  14. ^ Lieutenant governors represented the same party as their governor unless noted.
  15. ^ Yell resigned to run for the United States House of Representatives, winning the election.[32]
  16. ^ a b The National Governors Association says Drew succeeded Adams on November 5,[33] but the Encyclopedia of Arkansas[34] and contemporary news coverage[35] say November 9.
  17. ^ Drew resigned due to the low salary he received as governor.[33]
  18. ^ Roane was elected in a special election to fill the remainder of the term vacated by Thomas Stevenson Drew's resignation.[36]
  19. ^ a b The National Governors Association says Rector succeeded Conway on November 15,[37] but the Encyclopedia of Arkansas[38] and contemporary news reports[39] say November 16.
  20. ^ Rector resigned two weeks before the end of his term. Most sources state it was due to badly losing his bid for re-election[40][41] but at least one source states it was due to unhappiness that the new constitution would shorten his term.[42]
  21. ^ This term was shortened to two years due to the 1861 constitution moving the election schedule.[43]
  22. ^ Governor-elect Flanagin was not sworn in until November 15;[44] in the interim, Fletcher acted as governor.[42] Fletcher is omitted from most lists of Arkansas governors.
  23. ^ Some sources state Flanagin left office on April 18, 1864, but that was when Isaac Murphy was sworn in as provisional governor; Flanagin remained governor of the Confederate government-in-exile until May 26, 1865.[31]
  24. ^ a b Flanagin fled Little Rock as it fell to Union forces on September 10, 1863, leading a largely inept government in exile in Washington, Arkansas until 1865. Murphy was elected provisional governor by a loyalist government set up after Union control of the state was established, taking office on April 18, 1864, causing a slight overlap in terms, though due to the collapse of the Confederate effort in Arkansas, Flanagin had no authority over the state.[15]
  25. ^ The 1864 constitution was enacted during this term; however, it was drafted by the Union occupation, and had no effect on Flanagin's government. While term lengths remained at four years, a new election schedule was created, calling for elections in 1864.[45]
  26. ^ a b c Clayton resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate. He had delayed his resignation to prevent Lieutenant Governor Johnson from succeeding him; party machinations led Johnson's resignation and acceptance of the office of secretary of state, so that Hadley, as president pro tempore of the senate, could act as governor for the remainder of the term.[47]
  27. ^ Ozra Amander Hadley's first name is sometimes spelled "Ozro" in sources; it is unknown which is correct.[47]
  28. ^ First term under the 1871 constitution, which shortened terms to two years.
  29. ^ Baxter was removed from office for a short time due to the Brooks–Baxter War.[49]
  30. ^ a b Sources disagree on when Hughes succeeded Berry, with the National Governors Association saying January 17,[51] contemporary sourcing saying January 15,[52] and the Encyclopedia of Arkansas using both dates.[31][53] This list uses the contemporary source as the least likely to be mistaken.
  31. ^ a b Sources disagree on when Little resigned. The Encyclopedia of Arkansas says February 7, but the National Governors Association and a book by University of Arkansas Press[58] say February 11. Due to wider use, February 11 is the date used here.
  32. ^ Little resigned after suffering a nervous breakdown soon after taking office.[59]
  33. ^ a b c As president of the senate, Moore acted as governor until the legislature adjourned,[60] at which time a new president pro tempore of the senate was chosen, Pindall, who acted as governor until his senate term expired.[61] For the remaining three days of the gubernatorial term, Martin, the new president pro tempore of the senate, acted as governor.[62]
  34. ^ Robinson resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate.
  35. ^ a b c Oldham acted as governor for six days before a new president of the senate was elected.[64] The new president, Futrell, acted as governor[65] until Hays was elected in a special election to fill the remainder of the term.[66] Conflict over whether or not Futrell could succeed Oldham as acting governor led to the Arkansas Supreme Court ruling that he could.[67]
  36. ^ a b Some sources state Hays succeeded Futrell on July 23, but that was when the special election that chose Hays occurred; he was sworn in on August 6.[68][69]
  37. ^ a b Sources disagree on whether Brough succeeded Hays on January 10 or January 11; a contemporary source states January 10,[70] so this list uses that date.
  38. ^ a b Sources disagree on whether McRae succeeded Brough on January 11 or January 12; a slim majority of sources say January 12.[71]
  39. ^ a b Most sources say Parnell resigned on March 2, though a few say March 4; however, it appears this was the day he was nominated for the judgeship, as contemporary news sources indicate he did not resign until March 14.[74][75]
  40. ^ Martineau resigned to be a judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas[73]
  41. ^ Bumpers resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate.
  42. ^ a b Riley and Purcell are generally considered to have only acted as governor, remaining lieutenant governor, rather than fully succeeding to the office and leaving the old office behind; it's probable this is because an elected successor was taking office within a few days.
  43. ^ Pryor resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate.
  44. ^ Represented the Democratic Party.
  45. ^ Clinton resigned in preparations to become President of the United States on January 20, 1993.
  46. ^ First term under a 1984 constitutional amendment, which lengthened terms to four years.
  47. ^ Tucker resigned after being convicted of mail fraud in the Whitewater scandal;[77]
  48. ^ a b Represented the Republican Party.
  49. ^ Hutchinson's second term began on January 15, 2019, and will expire on January 10, 2023.


  • "Arkansas: Past Governors Bios". National Governors Association. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  • "The Encyclopedia of Arkansas, Category: Politics and Government, State". Retrieved August 31, 2007.
  • Herndon, Dallas Tabor (1922). Centennial History of Arkansas. Southern Historical Press. ISBN 978-0-89308-068-6. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
  • "About The Office – Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas". Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  1. ^ "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  2. ^ AR Const. art. VI
  3. ^ a b c "Arkansas History Timeline (1819–1861)". Historic Arkansas Museum. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
  4. ^ Stat. 493
  5. ^ a b "Robert Crittenden (1797–1834)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved August 14, 2008.
  6. ^ "James Miller (1776–1851)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved August 31, 2007.
  7. ^ "George Izard (1776–1828)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved August 31, 2007.
  8. ^ Bruce, Henry Addington (1909). The Romance of American Expansion. Moffat, Yard & Company. p. 86.
  9. ^ Williams, Nancy A.; Jeannie M. Whayne (2000). Arkansas Biography: A Collection of Notable Lives. University of Arkansas Press. p. 226. ISBN 978-1-55728-587-4.
  10. ^ Hempstead, Fay (1911). Historical Review of Arkansas: Its Commerce, Industry and Modern Affairs, Volume 1. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  11. ^ "Fulton, William Savin". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved August 31, 2007.
  12. ^ Stat. 50
  13. ^ "Secession Ordinances of 13 Confederate States". University of Houston. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  14. ^ An Act to admit the State of Arkansas into the Confederacy Archived August 20, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, accessed July 8, 2015
  15. ^ a b "Harris Flanagin (1817–1874)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved January 18, 2008.
  16. ^ 15 Stat. 72
  17. ^ a b 1836 Const. art. V, § 4
  18. ^ AR Const. art. VI, § 1
  19. ^ AR Const. amendment 63
  20. ^ "State Term Limits". Retrieved October 11, 2016.
  21. ^ 1836 Const. art. V, § 18
  22. ^ 1861 Const. art. V, § 18
  23. ^ 1864 Const. art. VI, § 19
  24. ^ 1864 Const. art. VI, § 20
  25. ^ 1864 Const. art. VI, § 23
  26. ^ 1868 Const. art. VI, § 1
  27. ^ AR Const. art. VI, § 12
  28. ^ a b "About The Office – Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas". Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  29. ^ Arkansas Supreme Court, Bryant v. English, 311 Ark. 187, 843 S.W.2d 308 (1992).
  30. ^ "Office of the Governor". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  31. ^ a b c "Office of the Governor". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  32. ^ "Archibald Yell". National Governors Association. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  33. ^ a b "Thomas Stevenson Drew". National Governors Association. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  34. ^ "Thomas Stevenson Drew". Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  35. ^ "The Inaugural of the Governor". Weekly Arkansas Gazette. November 13, 1844. Retrieved December 12, 2018. Thomas S. Drew, our Governor elect, was installed into office, on last Saturday..."; "Saturday, Nov. 9: This day being set part for the inauguration of the Governor, nothing was done.
  36. ^ "John Selden Roane". National Governors Association. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  37. ^ "Elias Nelson Conway". National Governors Association. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  38. ^ "Henry Massie Recor (1816-1899)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  39. ^ "No title". The Arkansian. November 24, 1860. Retrieved December 12, 2018. Judge Henry M. Rector, Governor elect was inaugurated on Thursday the 15th inst., ...
  40. ^ "Henry Massie Rector". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  41. ^ Yearns, Wilfred Buck (May 1, 2010). The Confederate Governors. p. 51. ISBN 9780820335575. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  42. ^ a b Hempstead, Fay (1911). Historical Review of Arkansas: Its Commerce, Industry and Modern Affairs, Volume 1. Lewis Publishing Company. p. 250. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  43. ^ 1861 Const. art. IV, § 8
  44. ^ "Harris Flanagin". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  45. ^ 1864 Const. art. IV, § 8
  46. ^ Herndon p. 287
  47. ^ a b "Ozro Amander Hadley (1826–1915)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved October 14, 2008.
  48. ^ Herndon p. 293
  49. ^ "Elisha Baxter". National Governors Association. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  50. ^ Herndon p. 306
  51. ^ "James Henderson Berry". National Governors Association. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  52. ^ Arkansas Biennial Report of the Auditor of State. Office of Auditor of State, Arkansas. 1886. p. 39. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  53. ^ "Simon Pollard Hughes". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  54. ^ a b "Simon Pollard Hughes (1830-1906)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  55. ^ a b "No title". The Courier-Journal. Louisville, Kentucky. January 15, 1893. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  56. ^ a b "No title". Daily Arkansas Gazette. Little Rock, Kentucky. January 19, 1895. Retrieved December 13, 2018. Hon. James P. Clarke, who subscribed to the oath of office as Governor of Arkansas on Friday morning...
  57. ^ a b "Jeff Davis Inaugurated". Springfield News-Leader. Springfield, Missouri. January 19, 1901. Retrieved December 13, 2018. Jan. 18—Governor Jefferson Davis was inaugurated today...
  58. ^ Governors of Arkansas. University of Arkansas Press. 1981. ISBN 9781610751711. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  59. ^ "John Sebastian Little". National Governors Association. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  60. ^ "John Isaac Moore". National Governors Association. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  61. ^ "Xenophon Overton Pindall". National Governors Association. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  62. ^ "John Sebastian Little (1851–1916)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved October 14, 2008.
  63. ^ a b "Gov. Robinson's Busy Day". Baltimore Sun. Baltimore. March 10, 1913. Retrieved December 13, 2018. March 8: Gov. Joe T. Robinson today ... signed his own commission as United States Senator and completed the day's activity by sending his resignation as Governor...
  64. ^ "William Kavanaugh Oldham". National Governors Association. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  65. ^ "Junius Marion Futrell". National Governors Association. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  66. ^ "George Washington Hays". National Governors Association. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  67. ^ Futrell v. Oldham (Arkansas Supreme Court 1913). Text
  68. ^ Colby, Frank Moore, ed. (1914). New International Yearbook: A Compendium of the World's Progress. Dodd, Mead and Company. p. 63. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  69. ^ Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Somerset Publishers, Inc. 1998. p. 145. ISBN 978-0403098507. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  70. ^ Monthly Checklist of State Publications. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. 1917. p. 61. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  71. ^ Capace, Nancy (January 1, 1998). Encyclopedia of Arkansas. p. 147. ISBN 9780403098507. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  72. ^ a b Capace, Nancy (January 1, 1998). Encyclopedia of Arkansas. p. 148. ISBN 9780403098507. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  73. ^ "John Ellis Martineau". National Governors Association. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  74. ^ "unknown". Weekly Town Talk. Alexandria, Louisiana. March 17, 1928. Retrieved December 13, 2018. Memphis, Tenn., March 15: ... Attending the conference were: Judge Martineau, who until yesterday was governor of Arkansas...
  75. ^ "Arkansas Chief Resigns". Lincoln Journal Star. Lincoln, Nebraska. March 15, 1928. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  76. ^ a b "Bob Cowley Riley". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  77. ^ R.H., Melton; Michael Haddigan (May 29, 1996). "Three Guilty in Arkansas Fraud Trial". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  78. ^ "GOP wins one in Arkansas – Republican Party; Mike Huckabee | Campaigns & Elections | Find Articles at". FindArticles. Archived from the original on January 7, 2008. Retrieved October 16, 2008.
  79. ^ "Rockefeller sworn in as lieutenant governor". Blytheville Courier. Blytheville, Arkansas. November 19, 1996. Retrieved December 13, 2018.

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