Each time I road trip west and back east, I pass through Fort Smith and stay since I have family in the area. As a result I've visited the fort at Fort Smith multiple times, where you can take in the history with a peaceful walk by the river. Last time I was through the fall colors made it all the more beautiful 🍁🍂 Fort Smith was built in 1817 to keep peace between the native Osage and relocated Cherokee who were moved west following the 1803 Louisiana Purchase to open their lands to white settlement 📜
Sitting at the confluence of the Poteau and Arkansas rivers, the fort was on the border of what was then Arkansas and Indian Territories (see the line on the sidewalk?). President Thomas Jefferson assumed western lands were vacant and thought it would take 1,000 years for whites to settle the West. It took just 50 years. By 1824 the frontier pushed west and the army followed, abandoning the fort (later to be reestablished).