Killing Charles Dow

By "The Cowboy" Jim Gray
THE WAY WEST

Wakarusa Creek is fed by several branches that drain the rolling landscape beginning about 10 miles southwest of Topeka. The creek flows to the east for approximately 80 miles, passing just south of Lawrence before emptying into the Kansas River a mile east of the town of Eudora.

With the opening of Kansas Territory to settlement, the Wakarusa valley, with good timber and flowing water, drew families early. The proximity to Lawrence initially drew Free State settlers, however, pro-slavery partisans from Missouri followed, taking claims as well. Their opposing political views were so polarized that the two factions found no common ground.

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