Thursday, July 05, 2018

Because of Cupid

In August of 1857, an ad appeared in the Lecompton newspaper The Kansas National Democrat detailing a scheduled auction of 400 lots in the town of Wheatland. According to the ad, Wheatland was located along the Santa Fe Trail where the roads from Leavenworth through Lawrence to Fort Scott via Paola and Osawatomie met. The biggest clue for where the town of Wheatland was to be located is that it was where Henry Pate fought John Brown, Black Jack Battlefield.
1857 map of Douglas County showing Palmyra, Prairie City, and the Battle of Black Jack
Following Brown's Pottawatomie Massacre, two of his sons were taken captive. The Battle of Black Jack was an effort to get them back. Brown's men were able to overpower Pate and his men and Brown assured their release if his sons were also released.

The town of Black Jack was incorporated in 1857 which makes one wonder if Wheatland was an early name for Black Jack. The auction for the 400 lots was postponed twice in September and then there were no more mentions of Wheatland. Did it become Black Jack or did the town fail before it even began and Black Jack is a wholly separate town? A post office was in Wheatland from July 1856 until November. Black Jack would get its post office in March 1858.
First advertisement for the Wheatland lot auction from the
August 5, 1857 issue of the Kansas National Democrat.
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I have a problem with it, too. I'd rather see Brutus and Gladys get divorced and Brutus move into the basement and then slowly go crazy and then become close friends with a stuffed rabbit that Wilberforce gives him. Who here gets this reference?