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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • 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 »

Newspaper Interviews

detail of courtroom sketch showing Judge Parker in profile with stack of law books in foreground

Isaac C. Parker was interviewed on two occasions by reporters for St. Louis newspapers. The first time was in 1875, shortly after his arrival in Fort Smith. He discusses the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas's unique jurisdiction and current opinion on a railroad line through Arkansas and Indian Territory.

Parker's last interview, two months before his death, was in September, 1896, and coincided with the end of the court's jurisdiction over Indian Territory. In this lengthy and personal interview, Parker discusses conditions in Indian Territory, the nature of the cases he heard, his feelings on capital punishment, and how he was perceived by others. Most of the quotes associated with Parker are from this interview.

Did You Know?

reproduction of keelboat on Arkansas River with first fort soldier reenactors

Fort Smith was established on Christmas Day, 1817. Approximately 70 Rifle Regiment soldiers arrived by keelboat after a long journey on the Arkansas River.