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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

Stories from the Federal Court Era

detail of late 19th century sketch of Fort Smith courtroom showing lawyers and prisoner

Detail of Courtroom Sketch

Collection of Fort Smith NHS

The heroic deeds of Fort Smith's deputy marshals and the heinous crimes of outlaws in the Indian Territory have provided inspiration for numerous novels and movies. But, the true stories of the men and women associated with the Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas at Fort Smith are just as fascinating as the fictional depictions.

Also check out:
People of the Federal Court Era
Federal Court Era Places

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.