Our story begins August 19th, 1863. We find ourselves through the vagaries of fate washed up in the town of Lawrence, Kansas. The war between the states has been raging now for over two years but hostilities along the Kansas/Misouri border have plagued the land for far longer.

Bleeding Kansas, Bloody Kansas or the Border War, was a series of violent events, involving anti-slavery Free-Staters and pro-slavery “Border Ruffian” elements, that took place in the Kansas Territory and the western frontier towns of the U.S. state of Missouri roughly between 1854 and 1858. At the heart of the conflict was the question of whether Kansas would enter the Union as a free state or slave state. As such, Bleeding Kansas was a proxy war between Northerners and Southerners over the issue of slavery in the United States. The term “Bleeding Kansas” was coined by Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune; the events it encompasses directly presaged the American Civil War.

It is a time of great technological change in the world and the Age of Steam is in full flow. Signed into law by the President, Abraham Lincoln on July 1, 1862, the 1862 Pacific Railway Act authorizes extensive land grants in the Western United States and the issuance of 30-year government bonds (at 6 percent) to the Union Pacific Railroad and Central Pacific Railroad.

It is a time when a man with the right talents, connections and desire can make himself immensely wealthy and powerful. Truly America is the land of opportunity.

But opportunity is not there only for men of great wealth and enterprise. Many small homesteaders have been pushing west in an effort of to find a better life far from the constant wars and tyrannies of Europe

It is also a land of mystery, a land where the white man is not wanted.

And then there are the rumours. Talk of dead men walking, Ghosts and superstitions carried from the old countries. Tales of soldiers coming back from the war, soldiers who were seen blown to kingdom come by their own brothers….

Hell on Wheels

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