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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

September 3, 1875 Execution: First Execution Under Judge Parker

collage of photos of first six men executed under Judge Parker
While federal executions began in Fort Smith in 1873, the one that occurred on September 3, 1875 was the first under Judge Isaac C. Parker. Of the six men hanged in Fort Smith on that day, three committed murder to rob their victims. Daniel Evans and William Whittington killed their traveling companions for the cash and goods they carried, while Samuel Fooy murdered a school teacher for $250. Edmund Campbell murdered Lawson Ross and his wife in revenge for an insult. The motives of the final two men remain unknown. Smoker Mankiller shot and killed his neighbor, and James Moore, a hardened killer, made Officer William Spivey his eighth victim.

Did You Know?

Portrait of Anna Dawes

A woman was responsible for the building of a modern federal jail at Fort Smith, AR, in 1888. Anna Dawes, daughter of Sen. Dawes of MA, visited the "Hell on the Border" jail in 1885 and wrote an article describing its conditions. When read in Congress, money was quickly approved for a new jail.