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.