Gilead Historical Context

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Nineteenth-Century Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa

Gilead spans 126 years of American history, from 1830 to late 1956. Major historical events, most of which occur in Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa, create a backdrop for the first two generations in the Ames family. The grandfather heads west in 1830 and participates in the 1850s violence in Kansas over the slavery question. A strict abolitionist and totally opposed to the spread of slavery to the territories or to having any state join the Union as a slave state, the militant grandfather knew John Brown (1800-1859) and was willing to engage in gunfights and may have even killed one or more men, all in the name of freedom.

In the decades leading up to the Civil War, people had opposing opinions about whether territories in the West should be allowed to enter the Union as slave or free states. Southerners wanted new states to permit slavery...

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This section contains 812 words
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Buy the Gilead Study Guide
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