IAFREMON-L ArchivesArchiver > IAFREMON > 2011-03 > 1299874651
From: "" <>
Subject: [IAFREMON] S. F. Nucholls and the "Civil Bend War"
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2011 20:17:31 -0000
This is a Message Board Post that is gatewayed to this mailing list.
Surnames: Nuckolls, Hall, Mason, Vickeroy, Pearman, Wyatt, Williams,
Message Board URL:
Message Board Post:
THE FREMONT COUNTY SUN. February 27, 1902. (A scissoring from the Conservative.) "NUCKOLLS SLAVES". -- It was not long after Harpers Ferry that the Nuckolls negroes were run off, causing the greatest indignation among the people of this city (Nebraska City). The Nebraska City News for Saturday, Nov. 29, 1858, contained this notice: "Quite a sensation was created in town yesterday morning by the fact being known that two female servants had been enticed away from our townsman, Mr. S. F. Nuckolls, by some vile white-livered abolitionist. Many of our citizens are out in search of the runaways. They escaped Thursday evening. Mr. Nuckolls offers a reward of of $200 for their apprehension and delivery to him in Nebraska City. They will doubtless be found in some abolition hole."
CIVIL BEND RAID.
Everything pointed to Civil Bend as the refuge of the negroes. So the first posse to begin the pursuit headed for that place. There were seventeen men in all, among others: William B. Hall, Grant Hall, Robert Mason, George Vickeroy, Fountain Pearman, W. D. Wyatt and S. F. Nuckolls. The first place to be visited was the home of a Mr. Williams, the foremost anti-slavery man of that section. Williams not only refused to permit his house to be searched, but began such tirade against the party that a brother of S. F. Nuckoll's, becoming angry struck Williams and effectively silenced him. The men continued the pursuit, despite some attempted resistance on the part of the Bend inhabitants, until the entire party was arrested by a company of Abolitionists from Tabor. Trial was quickly arranged for the next day, and all but two of the Nebraska City men were set at liberty; Grant and W. B. Hall remained as hostages for the return of the party.
On the following day the fifteen men prepared to return, and with them some sixty others, all fully armed. About three o'clock in the afternoon the ice became firm enough to cross on, and the entire party marched on to the Bend, where they found the hostages in a school house surrounded by a band of abolitionists. Frightened at the strength of the Nebraska force the Iowa men quickly disbanded, leaving their prisoners free to join their friends.
The Williams incident was taken into court where a Fremont county jury awarded Williams a considerable sum for damages. He invested this money in a large barn, and opened a hotel and feed stable for the use of people traveling to and from Nebraska City. One night two strangers sojourned with Mr. Williams. That evening the barn was found on fire. The ropes to the wells were cut and the strangers had vanished.
The route which the "nigger thieves" selected as the best suited for their purpose is thus chronicled by C. N. Karstens, who while not immediately connectd with the abduction, was cognizant of it: "The party after securing the negroes from the Nucholls, home, went up the river to a point a few hundred yards above the Wyoming station. Here they were met by a party from Iowa who had been instructed to come over in a skiff and take the refuges away. They took the darkies to Civil Bend. When the pursuit of the negroes was heard of, they were hastily driven on to the next station."
There are two stories as to the manner in which the negroes were smuggled past the posse, for the latter reached the Bend soon after the slaves left, and the two parties must have passed shortly afterwards. One story is that when capture seemed imminent a large dry goods box was secured and placed in a hayrack. Then with the negroes under the box and hay piled high above,they drove serenely on, even going so far as to point out the road to Council Bluffs as the direction in which party with some negroes had disappeared. In the other version, a lumber wagon with lumber instead of hay figures as the mode of conveyance. Personally we prefer the more plausible and picturesque hayrack. -- James S. Jackson in the Conservative.
The author of this message may not be subscribed to this list. If you would like to reply to them, please click on the Message Board URL link above and respond on the board.