• Rifle Regiment arriving at Belle Point, 1817. Artwork by Michael Haynes

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

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Biography of Judge Parker

I am the most misunderstood and misrepresented of men. Misrepresented because misunderstood. '"
-Judge Isaac C. Parker, 1896

Remembered today simply as 'the Hanging Judge,' Isaac Parker grew up on an Ohio farm, became a frontier attorney, and had a thirty-five year career in public service. He served as a city attorney, state judge, two-term representative to Congress, and for twenty-one years was a federal district judge in Fort Smith.

The following links provide a brief glimpse into the details of the life of this "most misunderstood of men."

Click here to start with Parker's early years in Ohio.

Did You Know?

Park staff and volunteers demonstrating using lindstock and slowmatch to ignite the cannon's primer

The soldiers who came to Fort Smith in 1817 were still using some 18th century technology and drill. The cannon was discharged using a lindstock and slowmatch to ignite the primer, which originally was loose powder or a turkey quill filled with powder.