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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

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?

Parker seated at his bench in 6th Street courtroom

The only known image of Judge Parker in his courtroom is this one from the federal courthouse on Sixth Street which dates from the 1890s. There are no photographs of the courtroom located in the former military barracks.