Robert Cotton and his wife, Cynthia, lived in Vian in the Indian Territory in the final days before Oklahoma statehood. On August 6, 1905, Robert, who was Black and had escaped from prison in Tennessee, stabbed and killed his wife.
Once arrested, he confessed. At trial in federal court in Sallisaw, Cotton was convicted of first-degree murder on May 26, 1906, and sentenced to death on June 1.
Robbert Cotton was hanged at Vinita on September 4, 1906.
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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