Does what happened to the Johann Floersch family prove they were deeply engaged in the cause for freedom? What were they doing to support the Underground Railroad?

John Brown, the radical abolitionist, is reported to be transporting slaves out of Missouri through Kansas and onto freedom in the summer of 1850.  Johann Floersch’s homestead is directly along the path, and the ‘Halfway House’, on the property is a popular and known stop.   What role could the Floersch family have played in freeing slaves, and would such activity be a motivation for pro-slavery Wilkerson to find a means to end it and confront Floersch?

Just one year later in October, 1851 the fateful barnyard skirmish occurs with neighbor Hall Wilkerson.  The ‘skirmish’ came about when Floersch livestock wandered into Wilkerson’s barnyard causing damage to the fence. Upon coming to retrieve it, Wilkerson refused to release the property. Is Wilkerson justified in not returning the livestock?

A scuffle ensued, members of the parties engaged in an affray, and unfortunately in the end Wilkerson lay on the ground with a fatal wound to the top of the head. Family members aware of the story have researched this over the last few decades, and to this day questions remain over what really happened and why.

Do you or your family know stories passed along from generations living during this period and location in history? Please share the lore in your comment below and contribute to telling the story of what happened here.

More questions to follow! Please return soon! Meantime, below are activities you can do to learn more.

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Weston Juneteenth Heritage Jubilee

Come to explore this fateful era in American history at the Juneteenth Heritage Jubilee, Saturday, June 15, 2024, Program 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, directions and map below.

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