Monthly Archives: March 2014

Another Arkansas Legend

Last week I discussed one of the Arkansas legends that appeared in His Promise True; this week I’ll talk about another that is not as well-known as the legend of Petit Jean. This week I’ll investigate the background of the legend of Dardanelle Rock, another of Stewpot’s “Indian tales.”

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Truth – or Tourism?

Near the end of His Promise True is a nod to something any person who’s spent much time in Arkansas will find familiar. The old keelboat fiddler, Stewpot, tells an “Indian story” about a girl who dressed as a boy and followed her lover to the New World, only to die and be buried on a mountain top in what became Arkansas Territory. Arkansans will recognize this story as the legend of Petit Jean, associated with Petit Jean State Park on top of Petit Jean Mountain near Morrilton.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure it was a good decision to put the story in the book. I wanted my book to be as historically accurate as possible, and the Petit Jean legend is, most probably, not historically accurate . In fact, trying to find out exactly where the story came from proved to be plenty elusive.

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