This HTML edition was done by Richard Cochran Jr., the great great grandson of William S. Ray. It is based on a photocopy of a typewritten manuscript that was compiled by David W. Ogden, a distant cousin of Richard Cochran, Jr.
Mr. Ogden compiled the original manuscript on a manual typewriter in the days before home computers were widespread. Photocopies of photocopies of photocopies of the typewritten manuscript had circulated among family members for a long time. The copying machines were not always in good condition, and as the manuscript was repeatedly copied, its readability suffered. In 1991, I typed the entire manuscript into a computer file, so that new, clean copies could be generated. At that time, I did not have access to optical character recognition software or scanning software, so manually retyping the entire work was the most practical way of getting it onto a computer.
As I entered the work into the computer, I tried to maintain as much accuracy as possible. When I found spelling errors or grammatical issues, I preserved them as in the original. The only exception was that the original manuscript consistently used "it's" where "its" was appropriate; I made this correction in multiple places.
In 2011, I converted the 1991 copy of the computer file into HTML, preserving the chapter structure of the original manuscript.
Also in 2011, I searched the web, and found that the "Early Days in Sevier County" part of the work had been published in Volume 4 of Publications of the Arkansas Historical Association, starting on page 170. There are numerous minor differences between the text as published by the Arkansas Historical Association and the text as presented here. It looks like an editor changed some wording slightly, but I have no way of determining which version is more faithful to the original.
My understanding is that a copy of Mr. Ogden's manuscript is contained
in the special collections department of the University of Arkansas
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