• 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?

Portrait of Anna Dawes

A woman was responsible for the building of a modern federal jail at Fort Smith, AR, in 1888. Anna Dawes, daughter of Sen. Dawes of MA, visited the "Hell on the Border" jail in 1885 and wrote an article describing its conditions. When read in Congress, money was quickly approved for a new jail.