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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

June 29, 1883 Execution

rope tied as a noose
On June 29, 1883, three men were executed for three separate crimes. William Finch shot and killed two U.S. soldiers who were transporting him to Fort Sill to face charges of desertion. Martin Joseph shot and killed Bud Stephens and then raped and murdered Stephens' wife. Te-o-lit-se, a Creek Indian, shot and killed a traveler, E.R. Cochran, to rob him of the $7.40 he carried. Each of these men pled not guilty to their crimes, but juries convicted them after hearing the evidence at trial. All three later confessed.

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