October 12, 1887
A murder trial involving Bass Reeves, thought by most to be one of the first African Americans to receive a commission as a U.S. deputy marshal west of the Mississippi River, began in Judge Isaac Parker’s court in Fort Smith (Sebastian County). Reeves had been Parker’s deputy marshal. Later that month, after being found not guilty in the death of William Leach, he returned to work as deputy marshal. He had been rumored to be of considerable wealth, but after the trial, most of his life savings had been depleted. Financially, he never recovered from this ordeal.