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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

Further Reading On Judge Parker

Much has been written about Judge Parker in the century since his death. Below are an excellent number of sources on the judge, divided into the following categories:

Biographies and History books
General Works
Fiction
Articles
Other Works

BIOGRAPHIES AND HISTORY BOOKS
These are works by professional historians and other scholars that cover the judge and his time at Fort Smith in a fully documented and well-researced fashion.

Burton, Jeffrey. Indian Territory and the United States, 1866-1906: Courts, Government, and the Movement for Oklahoma Statehood. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995.

Harman, S.W. Hell on the Border: He Hanged Eighty-Eight Men. Fort Smith: Phoenix, 1898; reprint, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1992.

Harring, Sidney L. Crow Dog's Case: American Indian Sovereignty, Tribal Law and United
States Law in the 19th Century
. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984.

Harrington, Fred Harvey. Hanging Judge. Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton, 1952; reprint, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1996.

Tuller, Roger. "'Let No Guilty Man Escape': A Judicial Biography of Isaac C. Parker." Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2001.

GENERAL WORKS

These are non-scholarly works written for a general audience. Some of the works written in the 1950s contain errors and misinformation.

Croy, Homer. He Hanged Them High: An Authentic Account of the Fanatical Judge Who Hanged Eighty-Eight Men. Duell, Sloan & Pearce, Inc.--Little, Brown & Co., New York and Boston, 1952.

Emery, J. Gladstone. Court of the Damned: Being a Factual Story of the Court of Judge Isaac C. Parker and the Life and Times of the Indian Territory and Old Fort Smith. New York: Comet Press Books, 1959.

Galonksa, Julie, and Eric Leonard. "In His Own Words: Quotations of Judge Isaac C. Parker," Fort Washington, PA: Eastern National, 2001.

Nichols, Guy, Leo Allison and Thomas Crowson. "Judge Isaac C. Parker: Myths and Legends Aside." Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, n.d.

Shirley, Glenn. Law West of Fort Smith: A History of Frontier Justice in the Indian Territory, 1834-1896. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1957.

FICTION

These are works that address the world in which Judge Parker lived in a fictional fashion.

Hamilton, Bruce. Hanging Judge. New York: Harper, 1948.

Jones, Douglas C. Winding Stair. New York : Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1979.

Kelton, Elmer. Hanging Judge. Thorndike, ME: G.K. Hall, 1969.

McMurtry, Larry and Diana Ossana. Zeke and Ned. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997.

Moore, Lonnie W. Gates of Hell: The Wrath of Judge Isaac Parker. Oroville, CA: L.W. Moore, 1998.

Portis, Charles. True Grit. New York, Simon and Schuster, 1968.

Stanley, Mack. Hanging Judge and his Desperadoes. Spiro, OK: Mack Stanley, 1983.

Thompson, J.M and Fred Bean. Hell on the Border. New York: Signet, 2002.

West, Joseph A. Johnny Blue and the Hanging Judge. New York: Signet, 2001.

ARTICLES

Articles published in a wide variety of media, including historical journals and old west magazines.

Daily, Harry P. "Judge Isaac C. Parker," Chronicles of Oklahoma, XI (March 1933): 673-89.

Dawson, Robert T. "Judge Parker and the Allen Rule." The Journal (Fort Smith Historical Society) (April 1997): 5-6.

Dobbs, G. Byron. "A Lawyer's Appraisal of the Parker Court." The Parapet (Fort Smith, Arkansas, Junior League) February 1969: 6-9.

_____. "Murder in the Supreme Court: Appeals from the Hanging Judge." Arkansas Law Review, XXIX: 47.

Fitzjarrald, Sarah. "Judge Isaac C. Parker 'On Trial.'" The Journal (Fort Smith Historical Society) (April 1988): 14-20.

_____. "Judge Parker Must Have Led a Charmed Life." The Journal (Fort Smith Historical Society) (September 1993): 43-44.

Harrington, Fred Harvey. "Hanging Judge Parker: The Man and Not the Myth." Arkansas Historical Quarterly, V (Spring 1946): 63-77.

Kidder, Bradley W. "Goodbye, Tall Old Oak." The White River Valley Historical Quarterly
(Summer 1998): 3-11.

Miller, John E. "Isaac Charles Parker." Arkansas Historical Quarterly, 31 (1972): 54-57.

Parker, Isaac Charles. "How to Arrest the Increase of Homicides in America." North American Review, (June 1896): 667-673.

Rehnquist, William H. "Isaac Parker, Bill Sikes and the Rule of Law." University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Journal (1983): 485-499.

Semple, William F. "Isaac C. Parker, Judge of the United States Court," The Journal (publication of the Oklahoma Bar Association), 22 (August 25, 1951).

Stolberg, Mary M. "The Evolution of Frontier Justice: The Case of Judge Isaac C. Parker." Prologue, (Spring 1988): 7-23.

_____. "Politician, Populist, Reformer: A Reexamination of "Hanging Judge" Isaac C. Parker." Arkansas Historical Quarterly, LXVII (Spring 1988): 3-28.

Tuller, Roger. "Bigamy in the Indian Territory, 1878-1890." West Texas Historical Association Yearbook, LXVII (1992): 100-112.

OTHER WORKS

An often overlooked category of material includes research papers and theses written on the judge.

Hadley, Roger Henderson. "Isaac C. Parker: The Speeches and the Image." Unpublished Thesis, University of Oklahoma, 1971.

Kidder, Bradley W. "Who Took the Trees? A Review of Timber Trespass Litigation in the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas Under the Administration of Judge Isaac C. Parker,
1875-1896."
Unpublished Thesis, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, 1996.

Murphy, James O. "The Work of Judge Parker in the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas--1875-1896." Unpublished Thesis, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, 1939.

Stolberg, Mary M. "Politician, Populist, Reformer: A Reexamination of Hanging Judge Isaac Parker." Unpublished Thesis, University of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, 1986.

Tuller, Roger. "'The Hanging Judge' and the Indians: Isaac C. Parker and U.S. Indian Policy, 1871- 1896." Unpublished Thesis, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, 1993.

_____. "'Let No Guilty Man Escape': A Judicial Biography of Isaac C. Parker." Unpublished
Dissertation, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, 1996.

Click on the link below to access The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture for further information on Judge Isaac Parker.

Judge Isaac Charles Parker

Did You Know?

Interior of jail cell with box for prisoners to visit with their lawyers

The conditions at the federal jail at Fort Smith were so horrible that it received the nickname "Hell on the Border." Up to 50 men were crowded into one large cell with limited ventilation and poor sanitary conditions.