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

    Fort Smith

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Men Executed at Fort Smith: 1873 to 1896

drawing of execution of Cherokee Bill showing large crowd gathered around gallows structure.  Cherokee Bill is standing on scaffold with a rope hanging from the cross beam.  Standing in the distance on the scaffold is a woman, Cherokee Bill's mother.

Execution of Crawford Goldsby, alias Cherokee Bill, March 17, 1896

From 1873 until 1896, the federal court conducted executions on the grounds of the courthouse. The gallows scaffold was located against the southeast corner of the wall that surrounded the old fort.

From 1873 through 1896, eighty-six men were executed on the gallows at Fort Smith. All the men executed were convicted of rape or murder. After the Civil War, there was a mandatory federal death sentence in cases of rape or murder.

Of the eighty-six men executed here, seventy-nine were sentenced to death by Judge Parker. During Judge Parker's twenty-one year tenure, a total of 160 death sentences were handed down. Of that number, 43 were commuted to life in prison or lesser terms; 2 were pardoned by the President; 31 had appeals that resulted in acquittals or convictions overturned; 2 were granted new trials and discharged; 1 was shot and killed while attempting to escape; and 2 died in jail while awaiting execution.

Click on each date to learn more about the execution that occurred on that day.

August 15, 1873
John Childers

October 10, 1873
Tunagee, alias Tuni
Young Wolf

April 3, 1874
John Billy
Isaac Filmore
John Pointer

January 15, 1875
McClish Impson

September 3, 1875
First execution under the tenure of Judge Isaac Parker
Edmund Campbell
Daniel Evans
Samuel Fooy
Smoker Mankiller
James Moore
William Whittington

April 21, 1876
Gibson Ishtanubbee
William Leach
Orpheus McGee
Isham Seeley
Aaron Wilson

September 8, 1876
Samuel Peters
Osey Sanders
John Valley
Sinker Wilson

December 20, 1878
James Diggs
John Postoak

August 29, 1879
William Elliot Wiley, alias Colorado Bill
Dr. Henri Stewart

September 9, 1881
William Brown
Abler Manley
Amos Manley
Patrick McGowen
George W. Padgett

June 30, 1882
Edward Fulsom

April 13, 1883
Robert Massey

June 29, 1883
William Finch
Martin Joseph
Te-o-lit-se

July 11, 1884
John Davis
Thomas Thompson
Jack Womankiller

April 17, 1885
William Phillips

June 26, 1885
James Arcine
William Parchmeal

April 23, 1886
Joseph Jackson
James Wasson

July 23, 1886
Calvin James
Lincoln Sprole

August 6, 1886
Kitt Ross

January 14, 1887
John T. Echols
James Lamb
Albert O'Dell
John Stephens

April 8, 1887
Patrick McCarty

October 7, 1887
Seaborn Kalijah, alias Seaborn Green
Silas Hampton

April 27, 1888
Jackson Crow
Owen Hill
George Moss

July 6, 1888
Gus Bogles

January 25, 1889
Richard Smith

April 19, 1889
Malachi Allen
James Mills

August 30, 1889
Jack Spaniard
William Walker

January 16, 1890
Harris Austin
John Billy
Jimmon Burris
Sam Goin
Jefferson Jones
Thomas Willis

January 30, 1890
George Tobler

July 9, 1890
John Stansberry

June 30, 1891
Boudinot Crumpton, alias Bood Burris

April 27, 1892
Sheppard Busby

June 28, 1892
John Thornton

July 25, 1894
Lewis Holder

September 20, 1894
John Pointer

March 17, 1896
Crawford Goldsby, alias Cherokee Bill

April 30, 1896
Webber Isaacs
George Pierce
John Pierce

July 1, 1896
Rufus Buck
Lewis Davis
Lucky Davis
Maoma July
Sam Sampson

July 30, 1896
George Wilson, alias James Casherago

Did You Know?

Children and families helping to raise the garrison flag on Flag Day 2006

The garrison flag flown on the old military parade ground of Fort Smith National Historic Site bears 37 stars and is 20 x 30'. On special occasions visitors assist in raising the huge flag.