William T. Brown

William Brown, Ralph Tate, and several other men formed a crew of workers employed cutting hay at Fort Sill, Indian Territory in August 1880. When Brown and one of the men got into an argument and then a fight, Brown retrieved his gun and, intending to shoot the man, shot and killed Tate.

Brown fled. Tate’s father pursued him doggedly, with one report suggesting the pursuit lasted for weeks and covered hundreds of miles. Once Brown was captured, he was taken to Fort Smith and arrested. He confessed.

Brown was convicted of murder on March 3, 1881, and sentenced to death. With four other men, he was hanged on September 9, 1881.

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.

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