Hell on the Border: He Hanged Eighty-eight Men
Judge Isaac C. Parker was the scourge of evil-doers during the twenty-one years he presided over the federal court for the Western District of Arkansas, which included Indian Territory. From 1875 to 1896 he handed death sentences to 172 lawbreakers; 88 of them were actually hanged. The fact that 65 of his deputy marshals were slain in the line of duty indicates the unhealthiness of that border country. Judge Parker, often criticized for rigidity, sympathized with victims and their families but not with the criminals who went to the Fort Smith gallows, which could accommodate six at a time.
Hell on the Border, written by S. W. Harman, who was a defense attorney in Judge Parker's court, is one of the seminal books on outlaws and lawmen. These pages were among the first to recount the daring misdeeds of Frank Dalton, a former deputy marshal under the judge's jurisdiction, and his dangerous brothers. Belle Starr, indicted as a horse thief, appears, one in a parade of defendants, notorious and
A reprint of the original and unabridged edition published in 1898, this Bison Book is introduced by Larry D. Ball, who discusses the formation of the famous court.