Craighead County, Arkansas

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Craighead County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2000 census, the population was 82,148. The 2007 Census estimate shows the county increasing to 92,640 people. It is included in the Jonesboro, Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area. Craighead County is Arkansas's 58th county, formed on February 19, 1859, and named for state Senator Thomas Craighead. The county has two county seatsJonesboro and Lake City.[1] It is one of several dry counties within the state of Arkansas, in which the sale of alcoholic beverages is largely prohibited.

Contents

History

Craighead County was part of the territory claimed by France on April 9, 1682 by René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle who laid claim to all of the land drained by the Mississippi River and its assorted tributaries. LaSalle's claim was named Louisiana in honor of Louis XIV, King of France.

The Treaty of Fontainebleau (1762) was signed between France and Spain and ownership of the Louisiana territory west of the Mississippi River was transferred to the Spanish crown as a result of the Seven Years' War and Craighead County became a Spanish possession.

Spain remained in control of the territory encompassing the county until October 1, 1800 when Napoleon Bonaparte forced Spain to return the lost territories to France under the Treaty of Ildefonso. Napoleon maintained grandiose plans to establish a vast French Empire in Louisiana but the Royal Navy prevented him from transferring troops or settlers to the acquired territories.

Fear was high in the United States that Napoleon would attempt to close the Mississippi River to American trade. President Thomas Jefferson inquired about purchasing an area near the mouth of the river to ensure that it would stay open to American goods. Napoleon, having realized that his plans could not come to fruition, offered to sell the United States the entire territory of Louisiana, including Craighead County, for $23,213,568.

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