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Saint Charles

St. Charles is a town in Arkansas County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 230 at the 2010 census. The small town has been at the center of various events in Arkansas' history. St. Charles is best known for the Battle of Saint Charles, which was fought on the White River, which borders the town. St. Charles is also known for being in the White River National Wildlife Refuge.HistoryEarly historyThe area known as St, Charles was within the territory of the Middle Mississippian culture during the Woodland Period of Native American History. In early modern times, possibly after Hernando De Soto's initial exploration of the American Southeast, the area encompassing the whole of Arkansas County and much of Eastern Arkansas became Quapaw territory and remained so until the arrival of French explorers in the 17th Century. After American settlers started to move into the Arkansas territory, A treaty signed in 1818 moved most all of the Quapaw from what is now Arkansas County to the center of the state. By 1833, the Quapaw were no longer in Arkansas. The first settler to set foot in what is Now St. Charles was French Courer des Bois Pierre Pertuis, who moved to the area after having purchased land from the 1797 Spanish land grant. By 1839, Charles W. Belknap owned the site, known briefly as Belknap’s Bluff. He built an adobe house, one of only a few found on the Arkansas frontier. The house served as a hospital for both sides in the Civil War and was a longtime landmark. The name St. Charles first appears with Belknap’s appointment as postmaster in 1850. He platted the town and began selling lots. St. Charles flourished during the 1850s with the shipping of various products on the river. During the Arkansas' territorial period, The county seat was moved from Arkansas Post to Dewitt after many of the larger settlements, including St. Charles, wished to take power from Arkansas post after the Territorial capitol was moved to Little Rock.
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