YELL, Archibald (1797-1847)

YELL, ARCHIBALD, a Representative from Arkansas; born in North Carolina in 1797; moved to Tennessee in his youth and settled in Bedford County; took part in the Creek campaign; participated in the War of 1812 and served under General Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans; studied law; was admitted to the bar of Tennessee and commenced practice in Fayetteville, Lincoln County, Tenn., and continued until 1832; declined the governorship of the Territory of Florida; appointed judge of the Territory of Arkansas by President Jackson in 1832, with residence at Fayetteville, Ark., and served until 1835; upon the admission of Arkansas as a State into the Union was elected as a Jacksonian to the Twenty-fourth Congress; reelected as a Democrat to the Twenty-fifth Congress and served from August 1, 1836, to March 3, 1839; Governor of Arkansas 1840-1844; resigned in 1844; elected to the Twenty-ninth Congress and served from March 4, 1845, to July 1, 1846, when he resigned to take part in the Mexican War; served as colonel of the First Regiment, Arkansas Volunteer Cavalry, and was killed in the Battle of Buena Vista February 22, 1847; interment in Fayetteville Cemetery, Fayetteville, Ark.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1836-1847, 11 items.
Papers of Archibald Yell.

Papers: In the James K. Polk Papers, ca. 1775-1891, 39 linear feet.
Correspondents include Archibald Yell.


Newberry Library
Special Collections
Chicago, IL
Papers: In the Edward E. Ayer Manuscript Collection, 1843, 1 item.
A letter written by Gov. Archibald Yell to Major Gen. Winfield Scott, commander of the U.S. Army, regarding the unprotected state of the Arkansas frontier. Yell writes that "there are not less than 50,000 Warriors within striking distance and but the skeletons of two Infantry Regiments to keep them in check." In order to protect the western Arkansas frontier, Yell requests that the government provide additional military force from Fort Leavenworth to the Red River and that Fort Wayne, Oklahoma be regarrisoned, a post that was abandoned in 1842 by the War Department. He also requests that the 2nd Regiment of Dragoons be posted on the frontier.


New-York Historical Society
New York, NY
Papers: March 26 and 28, 1845. 2 letters.
Finding aid in repository.

  • Hughes, William W. Archibald Yell. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1988.
  • Meek, Melinda. "The Life of Archibald Yell." Arkansas Historical Quarterly 26 (Spring 1967): 11-23; (Summer 1967): 162-84; (Autumn 1967): 226-43; (Winter 1967): 353-78.
  • Yell, Archibald. Speech ... on the Oregon question ... February 7, 1846. Washington: Printed at the Union Office, 1846.
  • ------. To the freemen of Arkansas. [Washington City, Ark.?: N.p., 1838?]