1870 is an important year, because all of the Black citizens of the city were
taken for the very first time. The Civil War ended in 1865, bringing freedom to
Ft. Smith's slave population. Several black men had obtained their freedom
when they dared to flee bondage, and joined the 11th United States Colored
Troops in 1863 and 1864. The main black population however would remain
enslaved until 1865. Therefore the Federal Census taken in 1870 is important
because the names of all of the black citizens are recorded.
This list consists of names taken from the official United States Federal
Census, and focuses on the 1870 Sebastian County Census. The names of the
African Americans are included here in the order in which the names appeared on the census.
The list was originally published in the first two issues of The Frontier
Freedman's Journal, and can be seen in its entirety in those issues at Ft.
Smith Public Library in the Genealogy section.
If your ancestors come originally from Ft. Smith, you will hopefully find them
among the persons listed here. At a later date the remainder of the African
American population of Sebastian County will be added to this page.
This list is arranged by township they way they appeared on the census page.
Each line will consist of last name, first name, Age at time of census, Gender,
Race (Black or Mulatto), Occupation if listed, and Birthplace.