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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

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    Traveling West on I-40? To avoid construction delays, do not take Exit 7 (I-540 S). Stay on I-40 west and take Exit 1 Dora. Stay on Hwy 64D for 6 miles and follow signs to Fort Smith. After crossing over the river, turn right on 4th ST & right on Garland. More »

January 15, 1875 Execution

drawing of rope tied as noose
On January 15, 1875 McClish Impson was executed at Fort Smith. In murder charges filed on July 22, 1873, Impson was accused of shooting the victim, a man whose identity was never known, in the back. Found guilty in a jury trial in November 1874, Impson received a death sentence. On the scaffold he confessed to the crime and said his father's teachings had brought him to the gallows. Impson was one of seven men executed by the federal court in Fort Smith before Judge Isaac C. Parker arrived. This execution was the last to occur under the tenure of Judge William Story.

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.