Slavery

Wikimedia Commons

Seems easy enough, simple and true: once you're free, that’s it--no going back. Free at last. Makes sense.

Well, not so. In the case of more than one slave and former slave, being free for a time, or having been free for months or even years, was not a ticket to ride because by law in these United States it was altogether possible and perfectly legal for a free man or woman to be returned to an owner and thus chained up once more, improbable as that may seem.

Battle of the Spurs

Aug 13, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

There's something vintage Old Testament about the whole story, something that feels like myth. But it happened; and just a bit north of Topeka, an unkept highway marker up on a hill tells part of the story that can't be doubted. What can is far more fascinating.

Bleeding Kansas

Feb 26, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

Since 1920, the Osawatomie/Paola game was the Super Bowl, the game no one missed, the big one that shut down both Kansas towns and most the countryside. For 93 years it went on.

But the rivalry got started long before that, if you read the history. For a time in the 1850s, those two burgs did a whole lot more than mount great passing games. Kansas was bleeding in the 1850s. Just about everyone opening up the sod on the new state's eastern edge did so because they wanted to fight, wanted to win, sometimes at all costs. 

Cultural Continuum 2-02-18

Feb 2, 2018

Siouxland Public Media has two events happening Friday night! Ode celebrates its 2nd anniversary at ISU Design West, and the Morningside College Piano Recital Series presents fortepianist Krisian Bezuidenhout at Eppley and over the air as another Siouxland Arts Live event. Foodbank of Siouxland presents Empty Bowls and lots, lots more!

Religious visions were everywhere in the years preceding the Civil War. Boom towns out west here may have been hell holes for a time, but they were also peopled by starry-eyed believers who claimed their marching orders came from on high.

Tabor, Iowa, sits on a bluff far above the Missouri, the highest point of Fremont County. The place is not in terrific shape today; but Tabor has an epic past, created when fiery abolitionist Congregationalists set up camp here, just across the river from Nebraska.

Today I am recommending the 2013 Pulitzer Prize winning biography The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss.