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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

July 11, 1884 Execution

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Three men were executed in Fort Smith on July 11, 1884. They had been found guilty of three separate crimes. John Davis killed a traveler in the Choctaw Nation in 1883. Jack Womankiller killed a settler in the Cherokee Nation. Thomas Thompson stabbed and beat James O'Holleran to death, throwing the body in a well to escape discovery. Neighbors of the murdered man grew suspicious at his disappearance and mounted a search that located the victim. The motive for each of these crimes was apparently robbery.

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.