Memphis Moment: The Flatboatmen's War

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.

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