Law west of Fort Smith: a history of frontier justice in the Indian Territory, 1834-1896
Centering on the career of "Hanging Judge" Isaac C. Parker, this book is "a startling reminder of what really went on in the Old West."-The New YorkerFor twenty-one years, from 1875 to 1896, Isaac C. Parker, Judge of the U.S. Court of the Western District of Arkansas, was the law west of Fort Smith, holding exclusive jurisdiction over 74,000 square miles and 60,000 people in Arkansas and Indian Territory. In this colorful yet carefully researched account of the "Hanging Judge," Glenn Shirley also traces the careers of such famous criminals as the Daltons, Belle Starr, the Buck gang, and Cole Younger; records the processes of the court; and tells how the district's 200 deputy marshals worked against overwhelming odds to bring justice and order. The appendix includes a chronology of the 79 hangings ordered by Parker; a list of commutations and pardons, reversals and acquittals, and bonds fortefied; and two of the Judge's famous charges to the jury, in themselves notable documents of legal history. Glenn Shirley, who has written widely on western law and outlaws, is also the author of Pawnee Bill: A Biography of Major Gordon W. Lillie and the editor of Buckskin Joe: The Memoirs of Edward Jonathan Hoyt."This is far the best and most readable book on Judge Parker and his hanging court."- Stanley Vestal, Daily Oklahoman"A startling reminder of what really went on in the Old West before the dime novel and Hollywood turned it into a kind of primrose path." -New Yorker"This book is top-quality and exciting history engagingly told."-New York Times Book Review
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accused April Arkansas arrest August Belle Belle Starr bench Bill Cook body brought charge Cherokee Bill Cherokee Nation Cherokee Outlet Choctaw Nation Chronology of Hangings citizens Cole Younger committed Congress convicted crime criminal Dalton dead death defendant Deputy Marshal District Attorney District of Arkansas duty Elevator enforcement escape evidence execution fact federal fired gallows gang George Maledon grand jury guard guilty Harman Heck Thomas Henry Starr horse human Ibid Indian Chieftain Indian country Indian Territory indictment innocent jail James Judge Parker July June jurisdiction justice Kansas killed Labreu land liquor malice aforethought March miles Missouri Murder Murder Murder Negro night November offenses officers Oklahoma outlaw posse President prisoners proposition punishment robbed robbery rode Rogers Rufus Buck sentenced shot Starr Statutes Supreme Court Tahlequah testimony Texas tion took trial United States court wagon West Western District William Wilson Winchester witnesses wounded