Trail of Tears Symposium in Pocahontas

March 20, 2014

This symposium, sponsored by Five Rivers Historic Preservation, Inc. includes speakers from Arkansas and Missouri regarding the 1838 Benge Party of the Trail of Tears journey across Randolph County–from Hix Ferry on Current River in the northeast corner to Miller’s Ford on Spring River south of Imboden, fording four of the county’s five rivers in December and camping four nights here.

Their route across Randolph County is now a part of the National Trail System and an important part of our county and national history.

“The Benge Detachment: A Different Trail of Tears,” a day of programs exploring the history of the Trail of Tears in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri is set for Saturday, March 29 2014, downstairs at the 1872 Randolph County Courthouse in downtown Pocahontas. The program schedule is as follows: Attendance is free.

  • 9:30 a.m. Welcome and opening remarks. Hon. Frank Bigger, mayor, City of Pocahontas, Bill Carroll, board of directors, Arkansas Chapter Trail of Tears Association
  • 10:00 a.m. The Trail of Tears on the Mark Twain National Forest: Past, Present and Future. William MacNeill, zone archeologist, Mark Twain National Forest
  • 11:00 a.m. The Benge Detachment Trail of Tears Route in Southeast Missouri. Rusty Weisman, senior historical preservation specialist, Missouri Department of Transportation 
  • Noon Lunch on your own, or contact Bill Carroll, 870-248-0069, by March 25 if you’d like to dine with meeting attendees at Bella Vita Italian Restaurant.
  • 1:00 p.m. The Benge Group: The Wealthiest Contingent Dr. Daniel Littlefield, director, Sequoyah National Research Center 
  • 2:00 p.m. The Benge Detachment: Local Perspectives on the Route, the Missionaries, the Indomitable Spirits. Joan Gould, preservation consultant, Preservation Matters
  • 3:00 p.m. Tour of Randolph County sites 

All sessions are free. The event is sponsored by Five Rivers Preservation Inc., a group dedicated to preserving the history of Randolph County. For more information, contact Bill Carroll at 870-248-0069 or email

One Reply to “Trail of Tears Symposium in Pocahontas”

  1. BC

    Folks are coming from all over to attend. This is a good opportunity learn about this history and talk with experts and other like minded people.

Leave a Reply