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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fort Smith in Sebastian County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

The Gallows

 
 
The Gallows Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
1. The Gallows Marker
Inscription. With the largest criminal jurisdiction of any federal court at the time, the Western District of Arkansas handled an extraordinary number of murder and rape cases. When a jury found defendants guilty in these capital cases, federal law mandated the death penalty. In Fort Smith, that meant an execution by hanging on a “crude and unsightly” gallows.

A visitor to the city in 1893 recommended constructing a new gallows to evoke the “sacredness and majesty of the law.” This was never achieved and a year after the last execution, the city of Fort Smith destroyed the gallows structure.

“I do not desire to hang you men. It is the law.” Judge Isaac C. Parker
 
Erected by Fort Smith National Historic Site National Park Services, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 35° 23.26′ N, 94° 25.807′ W. Marker is in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in Sebastian County. Marker is on Parker Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 301 Parker Avenue, Fort Smith AR 72901, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Executions at Fort Smith (here, next to this marker); Defending Freedom
The Gallows Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
2. The Gallows Marker
(within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Wall (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederates Occupy The Fort (within shouting distance of this marker); The Officerís Quarters (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Meeting of Nations (about 300 feet away); Clues from the Past (about 300 feet away); Barracks, Courthouse, Jail (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Fort Smith.
 
Categories. GovernmentNotable Places
 
The Gallows Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
3. The Gallows Marker
The Gallows image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
4. The Gallows
The Gallows image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
5. The Gallows
Judge Isaac C. Parker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
6. Judge Isaac C. Parker
Judge Isaac C. Parker sentenced 160 people (four of whom were women) to hang, of these 79 men were hanged.
The Gallows image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
7. The Gallows
Photograph courtesy of the Fort Smith Museum of History image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
8. Photograph courtesy of the Fort Smith Museum of History
This sketch is the only known image of the gallows. It depicts the execution of Crawford Goldsby, alias Cherokee Bill, on March 17, 1896. Although cameras were prohibited at hangings, a young man captured the scene with a Kodak, which he quickly hid in his coat. The sketch was later taken from that photograph.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. This page has been viewed 431 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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