Road Construction I-540
Traveling West on I-40? To avoid construction delays, do not take Exit 7 (I-540 S). Stay on I-40 west and take Exit 1 Dora. Stay on Hwy 64D for 6 miles and follow signs to Fort Smith. After crossing over the river, turn right on 4th ST & right on Garland. More »
Hell on the Border Jail
During the summer of 1885, a woman named Anna Dawes traveled to Fort Smith and the Indian Territory with her father, Senator Henry Dawes. Anna was very important to the inmates of the federal jail at Fort Smith because she wrote an article describing the conditions of their prison, a place she called a "veritable hell upon earth."
Men who had already been convicted of murder or other violent crimes were confined with the rest in Fort Smith. There was no separation of offenders by crime, meaning that a person accused of horse theft might spend his days listening to the gruesome tales of someone headed for the gallows.
Did You Know?
The Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, (Muscogee) Creek and Seminole Indian tribes were forcibly moved to Indian Territory on what became known as the Trail of Tears. The Arkansas River served as a water route to Fort Smith where they received supplies before crossing the river into Indian Territory.