The “Goose Question”

bleeding-kansas-goose-question-blogDuring the days of “bleeding Kansas,” as pro and anti-slavery forces fought over the soul of the place, there was a code when talking about the subject. You couldn’t just come right out and say, “are you pro slavery?” or “are you anti-slavery?” Wasn’t considered polite. So instead, you’d be asked “where do you stand on the goose question?” If you stood right on the goose question, you supported slavery. And if you didn’t stand right, you were probably shot on sight. In another time and another place, there was also a code in Wyoming Territory when discussing homesteaders, who were moving in with their barbed wire and ticking off ranchers to no end. Historian Rans Baker of the Carbon County Museum said the code when talking about hatred of the homesteader was to talk about the “the rustler problem.”

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