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

Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves

 
 
Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
1. Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves Marker
Inscription. This statue was erected in 2012 as a result of growing awareness of the extraordinary service of Bass Reeves, an African-American former slave who became a highly respected Deputy U.S. Marshal. The deeds of African-American and Native American lawmen and citizens were often overlooked in standard history accounts for much of the 20th century. A fuller picture of the diversity of the people who contributed to the development of the United States is available at the Fort Smith National Historic Site as well as the various state and tribal sites and museums across the Arkansas River in the former Indian Territory, now the state of Oklahoma.
 
Erected 2012.
 
Location. 35° 23.351′ N, 94° 25.736′ W. Marker is in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in Sebastian County. Marker is on Garrison Ave (U.S. 64), on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Within the Ross Pendergraft Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 Garrison Avenue, Fort Smith AR 72901, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bass Reeves - Lawman on the Western Frontier ( within shouting distance of this marker); The Women’s Jail, 1872-1888 ( within shouting distance of this marker); The Guardhouse, 1849-1871
Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
2. Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves Marker
( within shouting distance of this marker); The Parade Grounds ( within shouting distance of this marker); The Flagstaff ( within shouting distance of this marker); The Bastion That Never Was ( about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Federal Building ( about 300 feet away); Reynolds - Davis Wholesale Grocery Company ( about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Smith.
 
Categories. African Americans
 
Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
3. Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves Marker
Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
4. Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves
Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves Statue image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
5. Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves Statue
Just steps away from this marker.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves Display image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
6. Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves Display
Located in the Fort Smith Museum of History
Photograph courtesy of the Fort Smith Museum of History image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
7. Photograph courtesy of the Fort Smith Museum of History
Deputy Marshal Reeves went into Indian Territory prepared to bring back his captives. His time on the trail was spent with a cook and his chuck wagon, a guard, a least one posse man and a wagon to transport prisoners. Reeves preparedness, his cleverness at disguises, and his determination to carry out the law led to over 3,000 arrests of whites, blacks and Indians. Belle Starr surrendered to Reeves when she learned he had a warrant for her arrest - such was her respect for the Deputy Marshal. By far, the most difficult arrest Bass Reeves ever made was that of his own son Benjamin for the murder of Benjamin's wife. Bass Reeves was never wounded during his time as a Marshal and killed only fourteen men in the line of duty over a 32 year career. When Indian Territory became the state of Oklahoma, Reeves was out of a job. Not ready for retirement, Reeves joined the police force in Muskogee, Ok. He was 70 years of age and walked with a cane! He spent two years as a Muskogee policeman where not a single crime was committed on his beat! Bass Reeves passed away on January 12, 1910 of Bright's disease - kidney ailment - in Muskogee, OK. His passing was mourned by people of every race, color, and creed. Reeves left a legacy of honor, duty, fairness and character that are not only traits of a successful lawman, but ones of a true man - no matter his color.
Belle Star image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, July 13, 2012
8. Belle Star
Photograph located on the The Woman's Jail plaque located within Fort Smith National Historic Site.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 28, 2012, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. This page has been viewed 919 times since then and 84 times this year. Last updated on August 2, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on July 28, 2012, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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