John Sebastian Little

Last updated
John Sebastian Little
AR Little John.jpg
21st Governor of Arkansas
In office
January 8, 1907 (1907-01-08) February 15, 1907 (1907-02-15)
Preceded by Jeff Davis
Succeeded by John Isaac Moore
as Acting Governor
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from Arkansas's 4th district
In office
March 4, 1903 January 14, 1907
Preceded by Charles C. Reid
Succeeded by William B. Cravens
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from Arkansas's 2nd district
In office
December 3, 1894 March 3, 1903
Preceded by Clifton R. Breckinridge
Succeeded by Stephen Brundidge, Jr.
Member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
BornMarch 15, 1851
Jenny Lind, Arkansas
DiedOctober 29, 1916(1916-10-29) (aged 65)
Little Rock, Arkansas
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Jane Irwin (1861-1953)

John Sebastian Little (March 15, 1851 – October 29, 1916) was an American politician who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives and the 21st Governor of the U.S. state of Arkansas.



John Sebastian "Bass" Little was born in Jenny Lind in Sebastian County, Arkansas, the son of Jesse Eaton Little and Mary Elizabeth (Tatum) Little, and grandson of Eaton Tatum and Charlotte Bruer (Reynolds) Tatum. Little attended Cane Hill College in Washington County for one term.

Little taught school and studied law. He was admitted to the Arkansas bar in 1873, and in 1876 he was elected prosecuting attorney of the 12th Judicial District. He served in that position until 1882.

Little married Elizabeth Jane Irwin on January 4, 1877, in Paris, Arkansas.


Little served in the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1884, and in 1886 was appointed judge in the Twelfth Judicial Circuit and served for four years. [1]

In 1894 he was elected to fill the unexpired term of U.S. Representative Clifton R. Breckinridge. He served in the United States House of Representatives until 1907 when he resigned his seat to take office as Governor of Arkansas. [2]

Little was inaugurated in January 1907, and shortly thereafter suffered a nervous breakdown which left him unable to execute his political duties. He was succeeded by the president of the Arkansas state senate, John Isaac Moore.


Little left Arkansas and went to the Texas gulf coast in an effort to rehabilitate. Little never recovered and died in Little Rock, in the Arkansas State Hospital for Nervous Disorders. He is buried at the City Cemetery in Greenwood.

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  1. "John Sebastian Little(1907)". Old State House Museum. Archived from the original on November 14, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  2. "Arkansas Governor John Sebastian Little". National Governors Association. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jeff Davis
Democratic nominee for Governor of Arkansas
Succeeded by
George Washington Donaghey
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Clifton R. Breckinridge
Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Stephen Brundidge, Jr.
Preceded by
Charles C. Reid
Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
William B. Cravens
Political offices
Preceded by
Jeff Davis
Governor of Arkansas
Succeeded by
John Isaac Moore
Acting Governor