Located on the western side of the state of Arkansas and seat of the northern district of Sebastian County, Fort Smith sits at the Oklahoma state line on the Arkansas River. The area used to be an army fort that was named after General Thomas Smith who established it on the site. Another fort was established which played a vital role during the forced removal of the Cherokee and other Native Americans to the Indian territory, now known as Oklahoma, via the Trail of Tears. When the gold rush started in the state of California, Fort Smith was transformed into a depot and the point of departure for those who seek fortune by taking the southern route across the plains. After the end of the American Civil War, the fort largely fell into disuse as the city’s development was not brought sustained with the arrival of the railroad.
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