Tue July 22, 2008
Memphis Moment: The Flatboatmen's War
By Steve Pike
Memphis, TN – Memphis Mayor William Spickernagle wanted to raise money for Memphis by charging a fee for all vessels using the Memphis wharf. To ensure the law would be enforced, he formed two militias and offered the wharf-master the incentive of 25% of all taxes collected. Nearly 500 flatboatmen, however, did not want to pay the tax, and the militias had to be called-in to protect the wharf-master, whose life had been threatened.
Memphis Moments is co-produced by the Pink Palace Family of Museums (http://www.memphismuseums.org) and WKNO-FM and airs on Tuesdays and Thursdays during All Things Considered on the WKNO Stations.