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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

People at First Fort Smith (1817-1824)

The first Fort Smith was established by Major William Bradford and a company of the U.S. Rifle Regiment in December 1817 to maintain peace between local Osage Indians and emigrating Cherokees.

The 1822 Treaty of Fort Smith, negotiated by Col. Mathew Arbuckle, then the fort's commanding officer, and Indian Commissioner James Miller, reconciled most of the difficulties between the Osage and the Cherokee.

Did You Know?

deputy marshals pose with their rifles for a formal portrait

Fort Smith National Historic Site has records of over 1,770 people employed by the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas from 1872-1896. The majority of these employees were U.S. Deputy Marshals.