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Archibald Yell

Gov. Archibald Yell

  • November 4, 1840 - April 29, 1844
  • Democrat
  • August 9, 1797
  • February 22, 1847
  • North Carolina
  • Married and widowed three times-- Mary Scott, Ann Jordan Moore, Mary Ficklin; five children
  • Resigned
  • Representative
  • Army


ARCHIBLAD YELL was born in North Carolina, on August 9, 1797. He fought in the War of 1812, and served under General Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans. He later studied law, was admitted to the bar, and started a successful law practice in Fayetteville, Tennessee. After serving one term in the Tennessee legislature, Yell moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, and was appointed by President Andrew Jackson to direct the federal land office. In January 1835, he was appointed territorial judge of Arkansas, and served until 1837. He was elected to the 24th Congress, and reelected in the 25th Congress, where he served from 1836 to 1839. Yell was elected Arkansas’s second governor, and was sworn into office on November 4, 1840. During his term, he advocated public education, the creation of agricultural schools, and increased funding for educational programs. He also endorsed a stronger control of the state and real estate banks; and recommended a board of internal improvements to help advance railroads, roads, and waterways. On April 29, 1844, Yell resigned from the governorship to run again for Congress. He was elected to the 29th Congress, and served from March 1845 until July 1846, when he left Washington without resigning his seat, to take part in the Mexican war. Yell served as colonel of the 1st Regiment Arkansas Volunteer Calvary, and rose to the rank of brigadier general. General Yell was killed in the Battle of Buena Vista, on February 22, 1847. He is buried at the Evergreen Cemetery, Fayetteville, Arkansas.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Donovan, Timothy P., and Willard B. Gatewood, Jr., The Governors of Arkansas, Essays in Political Biography, Fayetteville; The University of Arkansas Press, 1981

Herndon, Dallas T., Centennial History of Arkansas, Vol. 1, Chicago, Little Rock; The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1922. 3 vols.

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