The ambitious Archibald Yell was born in 1797 and grew up in a cabin in the wilderness near Waxhaw, North Carolina. He worked on his parents' small farm until he was sixteen, joined Andrew Jackson's army in Tennessee, and later studied law. Jackson awarded Yell with a judgeship in Arkansas and later Yell became the governor of that state. His restless nature led him to run for and win a seat in Congress in 1845, but the promise of adventure begged him to join the Volunteer Cavalry in the Mexican War. He died two years later, leaving behind five children.