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.

United States House of Representatives Lower house of the United States Congress

The United States House of Representatives is the lower house of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper house. Together they compose the national legislature of the United States.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders.

Arkansas U.S. state in the United States

Arkansas is a state in the southern region of the United States, home to over 3 million people as of 2018. Its name is of Siouan derivation from the language of the Osage denoting their related kin, the Quapaw Indians. The state's diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozark and the Ouachita Mountains, which make up the U.S. Interior Highlands, to the densely forested land in the south known as the Arkansas Timberlands, to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta.



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.

Jenny Lind is an unincorporated community in Sebastian County, in the U.S. state of Arkansas.

Sebastian County, Arkansas U.S. county in Arkansas

Sebastian County is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 125,744, making it the fourth-most populous county in Arkansas. The county has two county seats, Greenwood and Fort Smith.

Cane Hill College United States historic place

Cane Hill College, originally Cane Hill School, was the first institution of higher learning in Arkansas. It operated in Canehill, Arkansas from 1834 until 1891.

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.

Paris, Arkansas City in Arkansas, United States

Paris is a city in Logan County, Arkansas, United States, and serves as the county seat for the northern district of Logan County; its southern district counterpart is Booneville. The population was 3,532 at the 2010 United States Census.


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]

Arkansas House of Representatives Lower house of the Arkansas General Assembly

The Arkansas House of Representatives is the lower house of the Arkansas General Assembly, the state legislature of the US state of Arkansas. The House is composed of 100 members elected from an equal amount of constituencies across the state. Each district has an average population of 29,159 according to the 2010 federal census. Members are elected to two-year terms and, since the 2014 Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution, limited to sixteen years cumulative in either house.

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]

Clifton R. Breckinridge Confederate military officer and politician

Clifton Rodes Breckinridge was a Democratic alderman, congressman, diplomat, businessman and veteran of the Confederate Army and Navy. He was a member of the prominent Breckinridge family, the son of Vice President of the United States and Confederate General John C. Breckinridge and the great-grandson of U.S. Senator and Attorney General of the United States John Breckinridge.

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.

John Isaac Moore American politician

John Isaac "Ike" Moore was a member of the Arkansas Senate and Acting Governor of the U.S. state of Arkansas.


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.

Related Research Articles

Jim Guy Tucker American politician

James Guy Tucker Jr. is an American lawyer and Arkansas political figure. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 43rd Governor of Arkansas, the 15th Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas, Arkansas Attorney General, and U.S. Representative.

Jeff Davis (Arkansas governor) American politician

Jeff Davis was a Democratic politician who served as the 20th Governor of Arkansas from 1901 to 1907 and in the United States Senate from 1907 to 1913. He took office as one of Arkansas's first New South governors and proved to be one of the state's most polarizing figures. Davis used his silver tongue and aptitude for demagoguery to exploit existing feelings of agrarian frustration among poor rural white farmers and thus build a large populist appeal. However, since Davis often blamed city-dwellers, blacks and Yankees for problems on the farm, the state was quickly and ardently split into "pro-Davis" or "anti-Davis" factions.

David Pryor United States politician

David Hampton Pryor is an American politician and former Democratic United States Representative and United States Senator from the State of Arkansas. Pryor also served as 39th Governor of Arkansas from 1975 to 1979 and was a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1960 to 1966. He served as the interim chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party, following Bill Gwatney's assassination.

Bob Cowley Riley was an American educator and politician who served as Acting Governor of Arkansas for 11 days in 1975. He had previously been a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1946 to 1950, the mayor of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in 1966 and 1967, and the 12th Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas from 1971 to 1975. Riley wore a black eyepatch because of an injury sustained in World War II.

James Henderson Berry American politician

James Henderson Berry was a United States Senator and served as the 14th Governor of the State of Arkansas.

Xenophon Overton Pindall American politician

Xenophon Overton Pindall was a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives, Arkansas State Senate and Acting Governor of the U.S. state of Arkansas.

Daniel Webster Jones (governor) Confederate Army officer and American politician

Daniel Webster Jones was the 19th Governor of the U.S. state of Arkansas.

James Paul Clarke American politician

James Paul Clarke was a United States Senator and the 18th Governor of Arkansas.

William Meade Fishback American politician

William Meade Fishback was the 17th Governor of Arkansas and U.S. Senator-Elect for Arkansas.

Augustus Hill Garland American politician

Augustus Hill Garland was an American lawyer and Democratic politician from Arkansas, who initially opposed Arkansas' secession from the United States, but later served in both houses of the Congress of the Confederate States and the United States Senate, as well as became the 11th Governor of Arkansas (1874-1877) and the 38th Attorney General of the United States (1885-1889).

Henry Massey Rector 6th governor of Arkansas

Henry Massie Rector was an American politician who served as the 6th governor of Arkansas from 1860 to 1862.

John Pope (Kentucky politician) American politician

John Pope was a United States Senator from Kentucky, a member of the United States House of Representatives from Kentucky, Secretary of State of Kentucky, and the third Governor of Arkansas Territory.

Ambrose Hundley Sevier American politician

Ambrose Hundley Sevier was an attorney, politician and planter from Arkansas. A member of the political Family that dominated the state and national delegations in the antebellum years, he was elected by the legislature as a Democratic US Senator.

John E. Miller American judge

John Elvis Miller was a United States Representative and United States Senator from Arkansas and later was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas.

Thomas M. Bowen American judge

Thomas Mead Bowen was a state legislator in Iowa and Colorado, a Union Army officer during the American Civil War, a justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court, briefly the Governor of Idaho Territory, an elected judge in Colorado and a United States Senator from Colorado.

Ray Thornton American judge

Raymond Hoyt "Ray" Thornton Jr. was an American attorney and politician. He was a Democratic U.S. Representative for Arkansas' 4th congressional district from 1973 to 1979 and the 2nd district from 1991 to 1997.

Kim Dexter Hendren is a Republican currently serving in the Arkansas House of Representatives. He is a former member of the Arkansas State Senate who served as Minority Leader and chairman of the Energy Committee. Term-limited, he left the Senate in January 2013.

The government of Arkansas is divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. These consist of the state governor's office, a bicameral state legislature known as the Arkansas General Assembly, and a state court system. The Arkansas Constitution delineates the structure and function of the state government. In the early 21st century, Arkansas has four seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and two seats in the U.S. Senate.

Marcus Edward Richmond is a businessman from Harvey, Arkansas, who is a Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives for District 21, which encompasses portions of his own Scott County as well as Perry, Garland, Yell, Crawford, Sebastian, and Polk counties in the western portion of his state.


  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.
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