Ft. Smith, the city from which the largest contingent and the first contingent of African American Deputy Marshals served the Western Frontier, was in competition to become the home of the U.S. Marshal Museum. This website supported that effort, as the history of the U.S. Deputy Marshals is part of the history of the community in general and the African American population included.
In early November 2006 the selection committee came to Ft. Smith and attended a special BBQ luncheon with over 1000 people in attendance.
At that meeting were descendants of one of the US Black Deputy Marshals that served under Judge Isaac C. Parker, the descendants of Neely Factor. The group that met with the selection committee, was prepared to work towards making the case, clearly the most logical one, why this museum belongs in Ft. Smith, the true doorway to the western frontier. African American history is part of Ft. Smith's legacy and it was most definitely a part of the legacy of the U.S. Deputy Marshals. The prototype of the U.S. Deputy Marshals is Bass Reeves, well known as one of the best to serve the western frontier and one of the very first African American US Marshals.
The good news–-is that Ft. Smith WON!!! And the US Marshals Museum will make it’s home where it belongs on the edge of the Western Frontier, in Ft. Smith.
In light of that event, the African American community attended with great enthusiasm the "Bring it Home" BBQ Luncheon. Ft. Smith's history is our history. U.S. Marshals are a part of our history as well. The Freedmen of the Frontier proudly celebrates this accomplishment to bring the US Marshals museum home.