|Fort Smith National Historic Site|
Fort Smith National Historic Site in 2009
|Location||Sebastian County, Arkansas|
|Nearest city||Fort Smith, Arkansas|
|Area||75 acres (30 ha)|
|Established||September 13, 1961|
|Governing body||National Park Service|
|Designated||October 15, 1966|
|Designated||December 19, 1960|
Fort Smith National Historic Site is a National Historic Site located in Fort Smith, Arkansas, along the Arkansas River.
National Historic Site (NHS) is a designation for an officially recognized area of national historic significance in the United States. An NHS usually contains a single historical feature directly associated with its subject. A related but separate designation, the National Historical Park (NHP), is an area that generally extends beyond single properties or buildings, and its resources include a mix of historic and sometimes significant natural features.
Fort Smith is the second-largest city in Arkansas and one of the two county seats of Sebastian County. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 86,209. With an estimated population of 88,037 in 2017, it is the principal city of the Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area, a region of 298,592 residents that encompasses the Arkansas counties of Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian, and the Oklahoma counties of Le Flore and Sequoyah.
Arkansas is a state in the southern region of the United States, home to over 3 million people as of 2018. Its name is of Siouan derivation from the language of the Osage denoting their related kin, the Quapaw Indians. The state's diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozark and the Ouachita Mountains, which make up the U.S. Interior Highlands, to the densely forested land in the south known as the Arkansas Timberlands, to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta.
The park visitor center is now located in the old Barracks/Courthouse/Jail building. Exhibits in the visitor center focus on Fort Smith's military history from 1817–1871, western expansion, Judge Isaac Parker and the federal court's impact on Indian Territory, U.S. Deputy Marshals and outlaws, Federal Indian policy, and Indian Removal including the Trail of Tears. Located on the grounds are the foundation remains of the first Fort Smith (1817–1824), the commissary building (c. 1838) and a reconstruction of the gallows used by the federal court. A walking trail along the Arkansas River includes wayside exhibits on the Trail of Tears. This was also one of the areas Bonnie and Clyde stopped at and they were killed after leaving. Land on the Oklahoma bank of the Arkansas River was authorized to be included in the National Historic Site to preserve a historic viewshed, but has not been acquired.
Isaac Charles Parker was an American politician and jurist. He served as a United States Representative from Missouri and was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas.
As general terms, Indian Territory, the Indian Territories, or Indian country describe an evolving land area set aside by the United States Government for the relocation of Native Americans who held aboriginal title to their land. In general, the tribes ceded land they occupied in exchange for land grants in 1803. The concept of an Indian Territory was an outcome of the 18th- and 19th-century policy of Indian removal. After the Civil War (1861–1865), the policy of the government was one of assimilation.
The United States Marshals Service (USMS) is a federal law enforcement agency within the U.S. Department of Justice. It is the oldest American federal law enforcement agency and was created by the Judiciary Act of 1789 during the presidency of George Washington as the Office of the United States Marshal. The USMS as it stands today was established in 1969 to provide guidance and assistance to Marshals throughout the federal judicial districts. USMS is an agency of the United States executive branch reporting to the United States Attorney General, but serves as the enforcement arm of the United States federal courts to ensure the effective operation of the judiciary and integrity of the Constitution.
The site was established in 1961 in order to protect the remains of two 19th-century U.S. military forts, including a building which once housed the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas. Fort Smith was also notable as a major stop along the "Trail of Tears." It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961.
The United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas is a federal court in the Eighth Circuit.
A National Historic Landmark (NHL) is a building, district, object, site, or structure that is officially recognized by the United States government for its outstanding historical significance. Of over 90,000 places listed on the country's National Register of Historic Places, only some 2,500 are recognized as National Historic Landmarks.
The original fort itself was settled on December 25, 1817 by Major William Bradford to maintain harmony between the local Cherokee and Osage Indians. This time would later be historical referenced as the "First Fort", which ends in 1824 when the U.S. Army abandons Fort Smith after settling Fort Gibson further west.
The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.
Fort Gibson is a historic military site located next to the present day city of Fort Gibson, in Muskogee County Oklahoma. It guarded the American frontier in Indian Territory from 1824 until 1888. When constructed, the fort lay farther west than any other military post in the United States; it formed part of the north–south chain of forts intended to maintain peace on the frontier of the American West and to protect the southwestern border of the Louisiana Purchase. The fort succeeded in its peacekeeping mission for more than 50 years, as no massacres or battles occurred there. The fort site is now managed by the Oklahoma Historical Society as the Fort Gibson Historical Site. It is a National Historic Landmark.
As a result of the increased tension between the local settlers and the Indians following the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the U.S. Army created a second Fort Smith near the original's ruins in 1838. This is the beginning of the historical "Second Fort" period. During General Zachary Taylor's command of the fort in the 1840s, it became a supply depot for other forts within the Indian Territory until its capture during the Civil War in 1863 by Union troops. It remained a supply depot to other forts in the region until it was no longer occupied in an official capacity by 1871; historically the end of the "Second Fort" era.
The Indian Removal Act was signed into law on May 28, 1830 by United States President Andrew Jackson. The law authorized the president to negotiate with southern Native American tribes for their removal to federal territory west of the Mississippi River in exchange for white settlement of their ancestral lands. The act has been referred to as a unitary act of systematic genocide, because it completely discriminated against an ethnic group, to the point of certain death of vast numbers of its population. The Act was signed by Andrew Jackson and it was strongly enforced under his administration and that of Martin Van Buren, which extended until 1841.
Zachary Taylor was the 12th president of the United States, serving from March 1849 until his death in July 1850. Taylor previously was a career officer in the United States Army, rose to the rank of major general and became a national hero as a result of his victories in the Mexican–American War. As a result, he won election to the White House despite his vague political beliefs. His top priority as president was preserving the Union, but he died sixteen months into his term, before making any progress on the status of slavery, which had been inflaming tensions in Congress.
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The most studied and written about episode in U.S. history, the Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.
A small city grew around the fort, eventually becoming the seat of the U.S. Court for the Western District of Arkansas which presided over the western half of Arkansas and Indian Territory. Its first judge was a man named Isaac C. Parker who took charge of the court from 1875 to 1896.
Historic Washington State Park is a 101-acre (41 ha) Arkansas state park in Hemsptead County, Arkansas in the United States. The museum village contains a collection of pioneer artifacts from the town of Washington, Arkansas, which is a former pioneer settlement along the Southwest Trail. Walking interpretive tours are available throughout the 54 buildings. Washington served as a major trading point along the Southwest Trail, evolving into the Hempstead county seat and later the capital of Arkansas from 1863 to 1865 when Little Rock was threatened during the Civil War. The original plat of Washington was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 as the Washington Historic District.
Fort Larned National Historic Site preserves Fort Larned which operated from 1859 to 1878. It is approximately 5.5 miles (8.9 km) west of Larned, Kansas, United States.
Fort Scott National Historic Site is a historical area under the control of the United States National Park Service in Bourbon County, Kansas, United States. Named after General Winfield Scott, who achieved renown during the Mexican–American War, during the middle of the 19th century the fort served as a military base for US Army action in what was the edge of settlement in 1850. For the next quarter century, it was used as a supply base and to provide security in turbulent areas during the opening of the West to settlement, a period which included Bleeding Kansas and the American Civil War.
San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park is a Florida State Park in Wakulla County, Florida organized around the historic site of a Spanish colonial fort, which was used by succeeding nations that controlled the area. The Spanish first built wooden buildings and a stockade in the late 17th and early 18th centuries here, which were destroyed by a hurricane.
Fort Robinson is a former U.S. Army fort and now a major feature of Fort Robinson State Park, a 22,000-acre (8,900 ha) public recreation and historic preservation area located 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Crawford on U.S. Route 20 in the Pine Ridge region of northwest Nebraska.
Bass Reeves was the first black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River. He worked mostly in Arkansas and the Oklahoma Territory. During his long career, he was credited with arresting more than 3,000 felons. He shot and killed 14 outlaws in self-defense.
The Battle of Honey Springs on July 17, 1863, was an American Civil War engagement and an important victory for Union forces in their efforts to gain control of the Indian Territory. It was the largest confrontation between Union and Confederate forces in the area that would eventually become Oklahoma. The engagement was also unique in the fact that white soldiers were the minority in both fighting forces. Native Americans made up a significant portion of each of the opposing armies and the Union force contained African-American units.
Fort Smith National Cemetery is a United States National Cemetery located at Garland Avenue and Sixth Street in Fort Smith, Sebastian County, Arkansas. It encompasses 22.3 acres (9.0 ha), and as of the end of 2005, had 13,127 interments.
Fort Yuma was a fort in California located in Imperial County, across the Colorado River from Yuma, Arizona. It was on the Butterfield Overland Mail route from 1858 until 1861 and was abandoned May 16, 1883, and transferred to the Department of the Interior. The Fort Yuma Indian School and the Saint Thomas Yuma Indian Mission now occupy the site. It is one of the "associated sites" listed as Yuma Crossing and Associated Sites on the National Register of Historic Places in the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area. In addition, it is registered as California Historical Landmark #806.
Fort Richardson was a United States Army installation located in present-day Jacksboro, Texas. Named in honor of Union General Israel B. Richardson, who died in the Battle of Antietam during the American Civil War, it was active from 1867 to 1878. Today, the site, with a few surviving buildings, is called Fort Richardson State Park, Historic Site and Lost Creek Reservoir State Trailway. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963 for its role in securing the state's northern frontier in the post-Civil War era.
Ned Christie, also known as NeDe WaDe in Cherokee, was a Cherokee statesman. Ned was a member of the executive council in the Cherokee Nation senate, and served as one of three advisers to Chief Dennis Bushyhead. He was notable for holding off American lawmen in what was later called Ned Christie's War, after being accused, wrongfully according to testimony in 1918, of murdering a United States Marshal. This gave him notoriety as an outlaw, and he was eventually killed by lawmen.
Fort Omaha, originally known as Sherman Barracks and then Omaha Barracks, is an Indian War-era United States Army supply installation. Located at 5730 North 30th Street, with the entrance at North 30th and Fort Streets in modern-day North Omaha, Nebraska, the facility is primarily occupied by Metropolitan Community College. A Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve unit, along with an Army Reserve unit occupy the periphery of the 82.5 acres (33.4 ha) fort. The government deeded all but four parcels of the land to the community college in 1974.
The Confederate State Capitol building in Washington, Arkansas was the capital of the Confederate state government of Arkansas, during 1863–1865, after Little Rock, Arkansas fell to Union forces in the American Civil War. It is located within Historic Washington State Park, and is a National Historic Landmark.
Fort Washita is the former United States military post and National Historic Landmark located in Durant, Oklahoma on SH 199. Established in 1842 by General Zachary Taylor to protect citizens of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations from the Plains Indians it was later abandoned by Federal forces at the beginning of the American Civil War. Confederate troops held the post until the end of the war when they burned the remaining structures. It was never reoccupied by the United States military. After years in private hands the Oklahoma Historical Society bought the fort grounds in 1962 and restored the site. Today the Fort Washita Historic Site and Museum is a tourist attraction and hosts several events throughout the year.
The Judge Isaac C. Parker Federal Building, also known as the Fort Smith U.S. Post Office and Courthouse, in Fort Smith, Arkansas, was built in 1937 in Classical Revival style. It served historically as a courthouse of the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, and as a post office. It was renamed in 1996 for the famous "hanging judge" Isaac C. Parker, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
William Bradford was a commissioned officer in the United States Army during the War of 1812 and the period after the war. He is best known for having supervised the construction of the first Fort Smith on what was to become the western boundary of Arkansas Territory in 1817–1818. He served as commander of the new fort from 1818 until February 1822.