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Biographical Sketch of C. L. Fletcher

C. L. Fletcher, son of B. G. and M. H. (Guthrie) Fletcher was born Jan. 25, 1885. Educated at the Male Seminary and Commercial College, Ft. Smith, Ark.; Married Dec. 23, 1906 to Margaret M. daughter of Alford B. and America (Johnson) Holland. Born July 24, 1886, died Nov. 21, 1911. Two children were born to this union, Loren born Feb. 23, 1909 and Maggie H. born Nov. 7, 1911, died Aug. 27. 1912. Married Lillian Blake Dec. 6, 1913, daughter of B. W. and Sarah H. Blake, born in the state of West Virginia March 24, 1894. Two children were born to this union Jack, born Mar. 12, 1916 and Joe R. born April 13, 1920. Mr. Fletcher was elected County Commissioner of Adair County in...

Slave Narrative of Elsie Pryor

The first Mistis I remember was named Mary Ellis, she was part Choctaw Indian. I don’t remember ole Marster at all. When ole Miss’s daughter got married, ole Miss give her a little nigger girl. That was me an’ when I was a little thing, too. I don’t remember who young Miss married. They didn’t tell little niggers nothin’, we just found out what we could and din’t pay much tention to that. An’ not much ‘tention to what we saw. We was jes like little varmints. They’d cut arm holes and head holes in croker sacks and tell us to put them on and go along to work and we did, too. That was the only garment we would wear. We’d go ‘long totin’ in chips, and wood and just anything they had for us to do. I was sold so many times I hardly knew who my marster and mistis were. First good price come ‘long, away I’d go. They said I was nine years old when the niggers were freed. I din’t know ’cause I couldn’t read nor spell nor nothing. I only knew what they told me and they didn’t tell us little niggers much, and they’d give us a whack up the side of the head if we asked too many questions. The first dress I remember having besides croker sacks, was cotton homespun. They gave us dresses for Christmas. It was plain white. Later we got striped ones. They made our dresses for Christmas. They didn’t waste any sheep wool on us little niggers. We done well to get cotton ones. What they...

Fort Smith Courthouse Photos

Established in 1851, for twenty years, the federal district court for the Western District of Arkansas was based in Van Buren Arkansas. The district had federal jurisdiction over half of the state of Arkansas and all of the Indian Territory. Coinciding with the closure of Fort Smith by the Army in 1876, the federal court was relocated to Fort Smith. For a year the court was housed in a downtown office building; during the summer of 1872, the jail was moved into the old barracks building inside the second fort. That fall, court operations were moved into the upper floor of the barracks. Isaac Charles Parker (October 15, 1838 ? November 17, 1896) served as a U.S. District Court judge presiding over the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas for twenty-one years. He served in that capacity during the most dangerous time for law enforcement during the western expansion. He is remembered today as the legitimate “Hanging Judge” of the American Old West. In 21 years on the bench, Judge Parker tried 13,490 cases, 344 of them were capital crimes. Guilty pleas or convictions were handed down in 9,454 cases. Of the 160 (156 men and 4 women) sentenced to death by hanging, only 79 were actually hanged. The rest died in jail, appealed, or were pardoned. During that time, over 60 US Marshals and Deputy US Marshals were killed in the line of duty serving under Parker. Fort Smith Criminal Records Ft. Smith Courthouse 1889 Ft. Smith Courthourse Looking at the main entrance steps, on the right of the steps next to the window is...

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