Fort Smith Execution Statistics

Statistical Overview

  • Executions occur for 23 years (August 15, 1873 to July 30, 1896)
  • 86 men put to death total, in 39 separate executions
  • of the 86 total, 79 men were put to death during Judge Parker's tenure (1875-1896)

Racial Breakdown of the Executions

  • 35 American Indians (41%) (includes mixed-bloods)
  • 33 White men (38%)
  • 18 African-Americans (21%)

Number of men executed at one time

  • 18 executions of one man
  • 9 executions of two men
  • 5 executions of three men
  • 2 executions of four men
  • 3 executions of five men
  • 2 executions of six men

Disposition of cases during Parker's tenure

160 people (including 4 women) were sentenced to death by Judge Parker

  • 43 commuted to life or lesser prison sentences by the President
  • 2 Pardoned by the President
  • 31 appeals resulted in acquittals or overturned convictions
  • 2 granted new trials and later discharged
  • 1 shot and killed while attempting to escape
  • 2 died in jail while awaiting execution

Public vs. Private Executions

  • 7 executions were open to the general public (1873-1876)
  • 32 executions allowed only a limited number of spectators (1878-1896)

Attendance at public executions

The seven executions open to the general public attracted large crowds, often coming from the surrounding area.

After 1878, when executions were conducted privately, between 22-45 spectators were present on average.

  • 2,000 - August 15, 1873
  • "A Large Concourse of people..." - October 10, 1873
  • "A vast crowd... one-third being women." - April 3, 1874
  • "... comparatively few spectators." - January 15, 1875
  • 5,000 - September 3, 1875
  • 7,000 - April 21, 1876
  • 1,000 - September 8, 1875

Last updated: April 10, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

301 Parker Ave
Fort Smith, AR 72901

Phone:

(479) 783-3961

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