Danger waiting in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Hank and his family left their home in Buck Creek, Iowa. They followed the Missouri River to Council Bluffs where they would cross by ferry over the Missouri River into Nebraska.
Why did Hank's Pa decide on homesteading in Nebraska?
In the winter of 1853 General A. C. Dodge, one of the Iowa senators was traveling through Fremont County on horseback on a tour of investigation of the condition of western Iowa, its settlement, and the character of the country west of the Missouri. He became impressed with the importance of organizing all the country now included in Kansas and Nebraska as Nebraska Territory, and on his return to Washington he introduced such a bill. When it came back from the committee on territories, of which Senator Douglas was chairman, it was so amended as to provide for the organizing of two territories, one to be called Kansas and the other Nebraska." This movement was to be called the The Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 and created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska. Since Kansas was the scene of many bloody battles between those who wanted slavery and those who did not, and since this treaty protected the settlers from dealing in the slave traffic, it seemed to be the safest place.
(Excerpt from Chapter 10, The Butler Brothers, where Hank decides to explore the riverfront.
A commotion from a near by saloon caught Hank's attention. He walked to the open door and looked in. The two men who had almost run him down earlier were arguing with a young Union soldier. The scar-faced man shouted, “What’d ya say, Yankee?"
“I said,” replied the soldier shaking his fist at the Butler brothers, “That the northern states will never allow slavery."
Scarface turned to his brother. “Did ya hear that, Hector?” Hector sneered his answer, “the only good Yank is a dead Yank!” At this the two men shoved the soldier out of the door. He stumbled and fell against Hank’s legs. Hank fell on top of the soldier. In an instant the scar-faced man pulled a pistol from his belt and aimed it at the soldier.
Hank froze! The gun barrel pointed directly at him- - - -.
Read more of Hank's adventures in this saga of pioneers of the Wild West.
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