As the Civil War approached, 1850s Kansas was center-stage for the brewing conflict. Pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions battled it out for control of the state with knives, guns, even with cannons. Located on the banks of the Missouri River, Leavenworth was a bustling city where, as one historian has written, “robberies, stabbings, lynchings, hangings, tarrings and featherings were not at all uncommon.” In short, it was a pretty rough place
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