How about that boot heel?

Some of the interesting border anomalies came about because of strong willed personalities, and the boot heel of Missouri is a good example of that.  At the time that both Arkansas and Missouri were territories eyeing the promise of statehood, a man by the name of John Hardeman Walker owned a rather large tract of land in the northeast corner of Arkansas territory.

He watched with some anxiety as Missouri took a lead in the road to prosperity.   St. Louis was already a thriving gateway city and large amounts of commerce came directly through that Mississippi river town.  In contrast, Arkansas had no comparable hub of commerce and, although he ran a substantial cattle ranch, Walker could see that the value of his land was considerably diminished because of its association with Arkansas rather than Missouri.

In a very bold move, Walker aggressively lobbied members of Congress prior to their vote on statehood and convinced someone there to redraw the lines so that his land was now a part of Missouri.  The creation of the boot heel was a response to a wealthy landowner convincing representatives that his interests would be better served by a tweak of the map.  Back room deals were happening in Congress as far back as the early 1800’s!

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2 Responses to How about that boot heel?

  1. Really interesting! Count me in as a regular reader.

  2. Thanks Lynette. I’ve got something nifty to report tomorrow! Glad you’re sticking around.

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