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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

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  • Road Construction I-540

    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 »

April 13, 1883 Execution

rope tied as a noose
Robert Massey was executed on April 13, 1883 for a crime he committed almost two years earlier. In the summer of 1881, he and Edmond Clark drove a cattle herd from Dodge City to Dakota Territory. On December 1, Massey shot Clark in the back of the head. The crime occured on the South Canadian River, 200 miles from Fort Smith. After the murder, Massey dumped the body in a hole near the camp site and burned Clark's clothing and saddle. The apparent motive was robbery as Massey took the proceeds from the cattle sale, along with Clark's horse and pistol. Massey was arrested the following April with Clark's gun still in his possession.

Did You Know?

reproduction of keelboat on Arkansas River with first fort soldier reenactors

Fort Smith was established on Christmas Day, 1817. Approximately 70 Rifle Regiment soldiers arrived by keelboat after a long journey on the Arkansas River.