In 1686, Henri de Tonti established a trading post known as "Poste de Arkansea" at the Quapaw village of Osotouy. It was the first semi-permanent French settlement in the lower Mississippi River Valley. Over the years, the Post relocated as necessary due to flooding from the Arkansas River, but its position always served of strategic importance for the French, Spanish, American, and Confederate military. Arkansas Post became part of the United States following the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. By 1819, the post was a thriving river port and the largest city in the region and selected as the first capital of the Arkansas Territory. Today, the memorial and museum are located outside of Gilett and commemorate the multi-layered and complex history of the site. Located on a peninsula bordered by the Arkansas River and two backwaters, the site offers excellent fishing and wildlife watching opportunities.