In 1854, Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, a law which enabled territories west of Iowa and Missouri to vote on whether to be “free states” or “slave states.“ Missouri, which permitted slavery, wanted to extend the practice westward. So, wave after wave of Missourians galloped into Kansas to stuff ballot boxes, intimidate local voters, and raise a lot of hell. These Missourians were known as "border ruffians" and "redlegs." There were also other bands of raiders and murderers on the roam, unaffiliated with the slave movement. These marauders were generally known as "jayhawkers," named for the vicious bird that kills for pleasure. The territory became so violent that it was called "bleeding Kansas."
A decidedly different Western with two actors who rarely got juicy roles, The Jayhawkers is a film that rewards discerning viewers.
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