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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

April 30, 1896 Execution

noose
On April 30, 1896 three men were executed on the Fort Smith gallows. Webber Isaacs, a Cherokee Indian, robbed Mike Cushing, a 60 year old peddler, and then beat him to death. Isaacs tried to burn the body of his victim to destroy evidence of the crime but letters found near the scene confirmed Cushing's identity. In November 1894, George and John Pierce, brothers, murdered William Vandever, their traveling companion, as they rode through the Cherokee Nation. The Pierces robbed Vandever of his horses, mules and a wagon.

Did You Know?

foundation remains of first fort overlooking Arkansas River

The U.S. Army selected a spot overlooking the confluence of the Arkansas and Poteau Rivers for the site of a fort. Soldiers from the Rifle Regiment arrived in 1817 and named the site Fort Smith after their commanding officer, Thomas A. Smith.