• 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?

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.