Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson was an Army veteran from Virginia who served in the Indian Territory and remained there after being discharged.

He was arrested for having killed James and John Harris, a father and son who were traveling through Indian Territory toward Texas with a loaded wagon. Wilson is reported to have followed them and then killed them as they slept.

Wilson, who was Black, denied any involvement in the killings, for which there were no witnesses. He was implicated by the testimony of some Wichita men in whom he had confided the killings, apparently expecting them to support the killings of white men.

At trial in the Western District of Arkansas, he was sentenced to death on February 5, 1876. Aaron Wilson was hanged at Fort Smith on April 21, 1876.

Author: Bill Lofquist

I am a sociologist and death penalty scholar at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I am also a Pittsburgh native. My present research focuses on the history of the death penalty in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pa. This website is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about all Allegheny County cases in which a death sentence was imposed. Please share any questions or comments, errors or omissions, or other matters of interest related to these cases or to the broader history of the death penalty in Allegheny County.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: