The term Arkansas means "Southern Wind" and is derived from a name used by certain other Indians to describe the Quapaws, an early Indian tribe in Arkansas. French explorers had their own versions of the name. Marquette wrote Arkansoa. LaSalle wrote Arkensa. DeTonti's was Arkancas, and LaHarpe wrote Arkansas. The state was spelled Arkansas when it was admitted to the Union in 1836. The pronunciation "Ark-an-saw" was determined by the General Assembly of 1881.
Arkansas Facts, "The 1997 Arkansas Tour Guide", Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201.