• 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 21, 1876 Execution

drawing of rope tied as a noose
On April 21, 1876, five men were executed on the gallows at Fort Smith. With a motive of robbery, Gibson Ishtanubbee and Isham Seely murdered a white farmer and his housekeeper on May 10, 1873. William Leech also killed to rob his victim. He murdered his traveling companion on March 8, 1875, as they rode through the Cherokee Nation. When Orpheus McGee shot and killed Robert Alexander on April 20, 1874, he said he did so for revenge. McGee claimed that Alexander had murdered a friend of his. On October 12, 1875, Aaron Wilson killed James Harris with an axe and then shot and killed Harris' 12 year old son. Again, the motive was theft.

Did You Know?

Parker seated at his bench in 6th Street courtroom

The only known image of Judge Parker in his courtroom is this one from the federal courthouse on Sixth Street which dates from the 1890s. There are no photographs of the courtroom located in the former military barracks.