Edward Fulsom

In August 1881, William Massingill was staying at the home of John Stewart, in the Choctaw Nation. While there, James Hobbs and Edward Fulsom, the only Choctaw of the group, came to the home and shot and killed the two men.

Fulsom was arrested, Hobbs escaped and was never captured.

At trial in Fort Smith, it was learned that Fulsom and Hobbs were in business together stealing cattle and selling whiskey illegally. Stewart’s home, which was also a tavern and a gambling den, was in their territory. When they stopped there, they argued with Stewart before deciding to shoot him. Massingill was killed when he happened into the fight. There is also a suggestion that Fulsom and Hobbs were hired to kill Stewart.

The defense argued that Hobbs was an unknowing accomplice. They also argued that the killings occurred in Arkansas, which would have invalidated federal jurisdiction.

Edward Fulsom was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. He was hanged at Fort Smith, Arkansas, on June 30, 1882. President Garfield’s assassin Charles Guiteau was hanged in Washington, D.C. on the same day.

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.

One thought on “Edward Fulsom”

  1. Willaim Massingill was my ancestor and have often wondered where the actual site of the Stewart house is. My uncle said that William changed the spelling of the last name due to family differences.


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