Combine that with the fact that Totten had only recently arrived a couple of month's before and the fact that his arrival had closely followed the news that Lincoln had been elected and the political stance of the republican party and their praise of John Brown and his willingness to forment a slave rebellion had to have had the people of Arkansas on edge.
While Totten, because of his Arkansas connection was socially very popular in Little Rock, outside of Little Rock he was a repersentive of that same Federal Government. And while it was hoped that maybe he would not be hostile, he did in fact fortify the Arsenal building for defence.
The last part of this whole odd thing is that the majority of the voters in Arkansas were NOT in favor of secession. It wasn't until mid April that this attitude changed. And while everyone seems to think that this change was brought about by Lincoln's call for 75,000 troops after Fort Sumter, It would seem that it was the Governor of the State of Missouri, who informed Arkansas that Missouri was going to seceed and that Arkansas had better get off the way.
In effect if Arkansas didn't seceed and Missouri did, Arkansas would have been completely isolated from the rest of the United States by the "New" Confederate States.