The Story of Kansas

Today’s Trivia (Feb. 4)

Pardee Butler was tarred and feathered, whipped 39 times and strapped to a log and set adrift on the Missouri River with the letter “R” for Rogue painted on his forehead.

He settled in a part of Kansas in the summer of 1854 that flourished with pro-slavery sentiment. For the next three decades, his voice and writings often came to the forefront of Kansas news.

Once, a vigilante crowd demanded he either be hanged or drowned. Instead, some in the crowd reasoned it would be better to set Butler, a non-swimmer, adrift on the river, strapped to two logs.

As they set him adrift, he told the crowd:

“Gentlemen, if I am drowned I forgive you.æ.æ.æ. If you are not ashamed of your part in this transaction, I am not ashamed of mine. Good-bye.”

Butler survived the incident and later wrote:

“Floating down the river, alone and helpless, I had opportunity to look about meæ.æ.æ.”

His accusers had placed a makeshift flag on his raft accusing him of being an agent of the Underground Railroad.

Butler managed to free himself and pull the flag down. He used the staff to paddle to shore.

Question: What did Pardee Butler do for a living? Why?

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Answer to Thursday’s question: The GI Bill