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The State Parks of Arkansas - The Natural State: E-Newsletter

Corps of Discovery Spirit Still Lives
Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) and William Clark (1770-1838) set out in May 14, 1804 to explore and map the American West. Lewis and Clark were accompanied by a crew of men, the "Corps of Discovery" and later, the Shoshone Indian guide and interpreter Sacajawea (also spelled Sacagawea) and her infant son. Lewis and Clark travelled by river and by land from St. Louis, Missouri, to the Oregon coast (Fort Clatsop), and back again.
President Thomas Jefferson commissioned Lewis to head an expedition to explore the newly-bought Louisiana Territory in order to further commerce (trade). Jefferson also wanted information on the plant and animal life of the American West. This was the first official expedition to cross the continent to the Pacific Ocean. Lewis chose Clark as the

co-leader of the expedition; the two men had been friends since childhood.
Lewis and Clark's journey took 2 years, 4 months, and 10 days; they covered over 8,000 miles. Their expedition was the first to describe the grizzly bear; they also sent a prairie dog back to President Jefferson (these animals were not previously known to Europeans). Upon their return as heroes, Jefferson named Clark the Indian agent for the West, and he appointed Lewis as Governor of the new Louisiana Territory (but Lewis died soon after).

The State of Arkansas was part of the Louisiana Purchase, which led to the exploration journey of Lewis and Clark. Today, Historic Washington still interp
rets the lifestyle of the early settlers to early Arkansas Territory. Publication of early memoirs by participants in the Corps of Discovery may have inspired people to travel to and settle in these newly acquired American territories. Indulge your spirit of discovery with further reading and a visit to the park in Washington, Arkansas.

Activities to help students of history learn more

17th annual Free

Bluegrass Festival
Saturday May 18th at Historic Washington State Park
The Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce will hold its 17th annual Free Bluegrass Festival Saturday May 18th at Historic Washington State Park.  The Festival will be held around the 1874  Courthouse on the west side of the park.  In case of rain the festival will move inside one of the park buildings.

    The festival will begin at 10am and continue until approximately 8pm.  The headline group will be Rounder Recording Artists “Blue Highway”.  Also featured will be Eddie & Martha Adcock of Nashville, TN.  Other groups include the Hartley Family of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, High Mountain Grass of Magnolia, Arkansas, and the Hempstead County Melody Boys of Hope.  Each group will perform two sets.

     Those attending should bring their lawn chairs.  The Williams Tavern Restaurant will be open in the park.  The park also has a gift shop which has cold drinks and snacks.

      Persons attending the Bluegrass Festival are reminded the city of Hope will hold the official dedication for the new AMTRAK stop in Hope on May 18th at 10am.  For information visit

      For information on the Bluegrass Festival phone the Chamber at 870-777-3640.  Information is also available at…For information on the day of the show phone Mark Keith at 870-826-6737

Scholarship Available in Hempstead County

Applications are now being accepted for the Second Annual Washington Community Library scholarship. The amount of the scholarship is $250.

With the exception of the Washington Community Library Board and their dependents, any Hempstead County resident who plans to attend an institution of higher learning this fall is eligible to apply. High school students who will be taking concurrent credit classes and students already enrolled in a college or university are welcome to apply.

Contact Maggie Barry at for details or to request an application. Applications must be received no later than June 1, 2013. Special thanks to the donors who made this scholarship possible.

Sick Man
Nurse Appreciation Week
Nurse Appreciation Week got me to looking at some items relating to 19th century nursing. I found this one which is particularly interesting in light of characteristics of my family in the nursing profession.

"The more quiet the nurse the better. Often sewing, knitting, or any other employment which would assist the nurse in passing the time, proves a source of real suffering to her patient. Reading in a quiet voice, combing the hair, gently rubbing the palms of the hand, will often induce sleep, when anodynes fail. Another important matter not to be lost sight of in a nurse is a cheerful obliging temper. Be always ready to humor a sick person in every thing that will do them no harm; never think of your own trouble, when you can, in the smallest particular, add to the comfort of the sick...It is not well to cross a sick person, if it can be avoided. A person with a gloomy disposition is unfit to take charge of the sick."

[Source: Plasters, Poultices and Paregoric:The Civil War Medicinal Cookbook]

Receipt and Recipe

While preparing for a hearth and kitchen program, I came across some great recipes that have been taken from a long ago hand written recipe book and perfected to modern cooking. All the hard work to keep the great flavor of the period has paid off and I want to share a couple of these with you.


3cups flour

1/2teaspoon salt

1 1/2cups sugar

1/2pound butter, room temperature

3large eggs, room temperature

2 1/2teaspoon caraway seeds

Sugar for rolling

Preheat oven 375. Lightly grease two cookie sheets.

Sift flour and salt into large bowl. Set aside. With electric mixer, cream butter and add sugar gradually. To flour, add very well beaten eggs, butter mixture, and seeds. Beat vigorously with wooden spoon to combine well. By hand, gently knead ingredients into a ball of soft dough. If the weather is warm and the dough too soft to shape, you can refrigerate it for a couple of hours. Roll teaspoonfuls of the dough on a very lightly floured work surface, forming long thin ropes (about 5 inches). Roll the ropes in a plate of sugar. Place the ropes on prepared baking sheets, curling them into a circle and gently pressing ends together. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are very brown. Cool cookies on a rack. They crisp when they cool.

Variations: The caraway seeds are unexpected and a lovely complement to this sweet cookie. For a sweet, decadent cookie, substitute toffee candy bits for the seeds. This dough can be made into little crunchy cakes by placing scant cup portions into well buttered and sugared muffin tins.

Carrot Pudding

1/2pound peeled, grated carrots

5large eggs (omit 2 egg whites)

1cup cream

1pound home-style white bread, crust removed, torn into small pieces

1/2package frozen puff pastry, defrosted (optional)

1/4to 1/2 cup white wine or sherry

1/2cup butter, melted

2tablespoons sugar

1/2teaspoon grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter a 6-8 cup baking dish 2-3 inches deep. If you wish to use the puff pastry base, roll it out a little thinner and place it on the bottom and up the edges of your pan. Refrigerate until ready to use. Mix all remaining ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl. Pour the mixture over the pastry or directly into the prepared pan if no pastry is used. Bake for 1 hour or until pudding appears set in the middle and nicely browned.

Note: Dark brown sugar can be substituted for the white sugar and add 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger. Try serving a wedge of this for lunch or as a first course for dinner on a plate of green salad lightly tossed with a lemon vinaigrette.



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  Historic Washington State Park
P.O. Box 98
Washington, AR 71862

Phone: (870) 983-2684
Fax: (870) 983-2736

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