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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

April 19, 1889 Execution

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Malachi Allen and James Mills were executed by the federal court at Fort Smith on April 19, 1889. Both of these men were found guilty of murder in jury trials held before Judge Isaac C. Parker. On July 15, 1888, Malachi Allen shot and killed Shadrach Peters and Cy Love during an argument over a saddle. When deputy U.S. marshals tried to arrest Allen for the murders, he resisted until wounded. Allen's arm, badly shattered in the shootout, had to be amputated before he was taken to Fort Smith. James Mills was guilty of murdering John Windham in the Seminole Nation on December 15, 1887. No motive for his crime is known.

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.