A hundred and thirty years ago, the Bailey family of Kansas broke through the Missouri River defenses at Fort Leavenworth and quickly trapped and massacred the army sent to stop them at Gallatin, Missouri. Rampaging at will among the helpless farmers of Iowa, they slaughtered every male they encountered, corralled the women into slave pens, and loaded their wagons with the loot of a hundred devastated towns. Riding far ahead of the main Bailey force, an allied clan, the Dabneys, siezed the ferries across the Mississippi and spread the devastation deeper into the Midwest. By the time their vanguard was turned back at Lima, Ohio, they had cut a deep gash of destruction across half the Midwest.
For the next fifty years, Dabney raids out of Illinois were an annual event. Wisconsin learned almost immediately that it was better just to pay them off rather than face another invasion. Ohio built a great line of ditches, towers and walls along the Wabash and cringed in anticipation of the next attack. Michigan took some nasty hits; so did Tennessee. Then something amazing happened.
George, the new leader of the Baileys, allowed merchants from Memphis to rebuild St. Louis. Having been raised among the luxuries of civilization, George had a taste for the finer things, but he realized that two generations of genocide had driven civilization out of reach. The Dabneys of Illinois were in his way, so in exchange for converting to Non-Denom and giving Shelby County trading rights in his kingdom, he got to borrow an armada of river boats from Memphis to attack and anihilate the Dabneys. It took several years, but finally, the Baileys established mastery over the whole region from the Missouri to the Wabash.
That was eighty years ago. Since then, the civilization of the Midwest has seaped back into Iowa, and there is almost no relic of the territory's original, barbarian past.
Except the name. The original kingdom that had been wiped out by the Baileys had covered almost exactly the same area as the current Territory of Iowa, but because it had originated east of the Mississippi and spread west by conquest, it had been called the State of Illinois. Now Illinois is no longer a state, only a a place.
Last Updated January 2003
Copyright © 1999-2003 Matthew White