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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

April 30, 1896 Execution

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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?

Trail of Tears Routes

The Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, (Muscogee) Creek and Seminole Indian tribes were forcibly moved to Indian Territory on what became known as the Trail of Tears. The Arkansas River served as a water route to Fort Smith where they received supplies before crossing the river into Indian Territory.