Coordinates: Napoleon is a ghost town in Desha County, Arkansas, United States, near the confluence of the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers. Once the county seat of Desha County, Napoleon was flooded in 1874 when the banks of the Mississippi River burst through and destroyed the once-thriving river port town.
In 1852, Bolivar County, Mississippi established Wellington as its county seat, nearly opposite Napoleon, on the east bank of the Mississippi River. No record remains of how the name was chosen. There would have been a natural rivalry between business and civic leaders in Desha County, Arkansas, and Bolivar County, Mississippi, for river-related commerce at the confluence of the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers. In flooding after the Civil War, Wellington was flooded and destroyed as well as Napoleon.
The town was the subject of a chapter in Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi, in which $10,000 had been hidden behind a brick in a building. Twain says he learned of the money's being hidden but, when he tried to retrieve it, discovered the entire town has been washed away in earlier floods.
- "Napoleon (Desha County)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. The Central Arkansas Library System. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
- "Wellington", History of Bolivar County Mississippi, Mississippi Delta Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 1948
- Clemens, Samuel L. (1917). "XXXII, The Disposal of a Bonanza". Life on the Mississippi. New York: Harper & Row. pp. 281–286.
- "Napoleon, Arkansas". Directory of Mark Twain's maxims, quotations, and various opinions. www.twainquotes.com. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-16. Web page includes an 1863 map showing the location of Napoleon, Arkansas.
- Clemens, Samuel L. (1917). Life on the Mississippi. New York: Harper & Row. p. 15.
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