"Go West, Young Dukes" is the eighth episode of the seventh season of The Dukes Of Hazzard.
After inheriting his grandfather's estate, Boss Hogg finds a letter from Jesse's great-great grandfather Jeremiah Duke, saying that Jeremiah signed the Duke farm over to Boss Hogg's great-great grandfather Thaddeus B. Hogg in 1872, a time when Hazzard was a cattle town called Sleepy City. Now, Boss evicts the Dukes from the farm, but before they go, they look in Jeremiah's old diary to find out what really happened back then, because the diary might give them a clue as to how to keep the farm out of Boss Hogg's hands. What they find is that Thaddeus Hogg was pressuring Jeremiah Duke to sell the farm. Bo, Luke, and Daisy's great-grandparents, Joe Duke, Hank Duke, and Dixie Duke, came to help Jeremiah, and found themselves up against Hogg's hired help -- Frank James (Nick Benedict) and Jesse James (Paul Koslo). When they could not scare off the Dukes, Hogg framed Hank for horse rustling, and traded Hank's freedom to Jeremiah for the farm. Thinking that he won, Hogg headed for town just as the James boys robbed his safe. They grabbed him and Rufus Z. Coltrane, Rosco's great-great grandfather, and headed for the hills. Did the Dukes of old save the day back then, and will it help the present-day Dukes keep the farm out of Boss Hogg's hands?
Balladeer: Now, in the first place, things look good here, but they ain’t. The Dukes ain’t got a care in the world coz they don’t know what’s coming. Now, there was good on the table but the Dukes don’t live by bread alone. The bills is paid, but money ain’t everything. Even Boss, who had inherited half of his granddaddy’s estate was trippin’ in tall cotton. But even that wasn’t what it looked like. So friends, nothing ain’t what it seems.
Luke is driving as he and Bo are on the road in the General. At the Farm, Daisy is making green beans and Jesse is in unloading the pickup.
Boss is showing Rosco everything his grandfather left him. Boss concludes it was only junk that has been left to him. Boss yells as he looks over all the items as they are brought in. Rosco plays with a bugal and Boss says his great granddaddy always said he loved Boss the best but he left all his money to Boss’ brother and left him junk, like confederate money, worthless stocks, the deed to the Duke Farm. Rosco realizes what he said and shows Boss, shocking him. It is a paper dated June 13 1872 from Jeremiah Duke to Thadius B Hogg.
Boss and Rosco show the Dukes and Cooter the paper. The Dukes wonder if it is counterfeit. Boss says that it looks perfectly legal. Jesse says if the signature it authentic, then it’s legit. They all agree to go to Capital City and have the document checked.
The Dukes and Boss go to see Steven R. Lampke, a graphologist who looks at the deed and a letter from Jeremiah. The signatures matched and Boss tells them that he’s going to calculate what their rent should have been and apply the mortgage to it addition to evicting them from the farm to build a spa resort and gives them 24 hours to leave. The Dukes are shocked and Jesse remarks the house has been in their family for four generations and is the only home they ever known. Bo says they aren’t giving up without a fight and Jesse asks if Bo doesn’t think he wants to fight. Jesse says the law is the law and they need to obey it. Luke and Daisy say there has to be something they can do and Jesse says they are going to pack up and start over. The three kids watch, worried. Luke says they need to make it as easy as they can.
Cooter helps the Dukes as they begin to pack up the living room. Jesse finds Jenny’s diary and shows it to Daisy. He asks what the date was and Luke tells him. Jesse reads the diary on June 12 1872. The Dukes and Cooter get close as they listen to Jesse read.
12 June 1872
Jenny writes about how Thaddeus came to see them for the third time and they refused to sell the farm.
13 June 1872
The barn is burned down on the Duke Farm as a warning. Jeremiah and Jenny head to town, having written to family earlier and were expecting a few to arrive that day.
The Dukes ride into town and meet with Jeeter. While they talk, Thaddeus B Hogg and Rufus Coltrane come out of the Saloon to see them. Rufus tells Thaddeus that he hired a few guys to keep the Duke’s family from coming to help them. Thaddeus expresses that it’s the Dukes and other farmers fault that the town is dying.
Frank and Jesse James, who were hired by Rufus to scare off anyone named Duke, spot the stage coach. Jesse explains that they are changing plans, as the Sheriff let it slip that there will be $100,000 on the stage. They determine to rob the stage and kill all the witnesses. They move on the coach, taking it before announcing that if anyone is named Duke they need to come out first. Joe comes out and Hank arrives. They run the two men off but the horses get spooked, running away with Dixie. Joe and Hank chase after it and Joe climbs onto the stage, pulling the reigns as Hank grabs the horses, stopping it. Jesse and Frank flee from the men that are left. The James brothers swear to get the money. The Dukes return the coach and talk about what happened. They decide to keep Hank and Dixie’s identities secret and allow everyone to think only Joe could come. They all head into town again, Hank taking a longer route.
Thaddeus is playing poker by cheating. Rufus arrives and accidentally reveals it to the other player. They go outside and Thaddeus is still angry. They see the coach arrive and watch along with Jeremiah, Jenny, and Jetter as Joe and Dixe get out. Thaddeus and Rufus are surprised to learn there was a Duke that made it on the stage. Joe officially meets Jeremiah and Jenny. Jeremiah introduces Jeeter as a family friend and Joe introduces Dixie as a woman he met who is arriving in town looking for work. Joe explains the others apologize but they couldn’t get there. Thaddeus and Rufus come over to officially meet Joe. Joe and Dixie explain about the attack of the two gun hands. Joe, Jenny, and Jeremiah leave for the farm. Dixie asks for a job at the saloon and while Thaddeus admits he doesn’t have the business to hire anyone, maybe having her there could bring in new customers. He and Rufus carry the money box into the saloon to put in the safe.
As Jeremiah, Jenny, Jeeter, and Joe have pie; Joe explains about Hank and Dixie being his cousins and that they lied to hide it from Thaddeus as the men who attacked them knew Dukes were coming to help. Jeeter says it is possible it could be the James brothers as he has heard they are in those parts. Joe disagrees, thinking they wouldn’t work for Hogg but Jeeter says that when killing comes naturally you’ll work for anyone who pays the price. Jenny and Jeremiah suggest Joe get the others and leave but Joe refuses. He decides to go into town to warn Hank and Dixie.
After getting changed for work, Dixie talks to the bartender, who was watching a fly. The bartender remarks the fly is the only on who’s come up to the bar all week. Dixie asks if he’s offered free lunches and he says all that brought in was the fly and his friends. The bartender is stunned when a man comes in. Hank comes in and orders two drinks before pulling Dixie aside. He asks where Hogg and the Sheriff are and she says they are upstairs. In Hogg’s office, he is taking a bath while Rufus washes his back. They fight over his duck, accidentally pulling the head off.
Frank and Jesse arrive. Jesse thinks the horse tied out looks familiar. Frank looks inside to see Hank drinking with Dixie. Jesse goes through the saddle bag to see the man’s name was Hank Duke. Rufus and Thaddeus play pool. Jesse and Frank come up and tell them that there is a second Duke and he’s at the bar. Frank and Jesse are willing to kill him but Hogg tells them all they are going to frame Hank for horse thieving. Rufus and Thaddeus leave to start framing the Dukes. Frank asks Jesse if he’s going to let them run the show and Jesse remarks he’s letting Hogg bury himself.
Joe arrives at the saloon and sees he’s too late as Frank and Jesse are approaching Hank and Dixie. He waits by the door as Frank pulls Dixie away from Hank. Hank tells them to leave her alone. A fight breaks out between Hank and the James brothers and Joe joins in. The Dukes gain the upper hand but the fight is stopped when Thaddeus and Rufus come in. Dixie tries to explain that the James brothers started the fight but Thaddeus hushes her before asking about the brown horse outside. When Hank says it’s his, they accuse him of horse thieving. Hank throws Jesse at Hogg and Rufus to allow Joe to escape. Frank and Jesse chase after Joe while Hank is arrested. After losing sight of Joe, they decided ‘the hell with him’ and head back to steal Hogg’s money.
Hank tells Hogg and Rufus they aren’t going to get away with this but they reveal that they know he’s a Duke.
As Hogg and Rufus go to leave for the Duke Farm, they find one of the wagon wheels have broken off. Rufus says he’ll go get Jeeter but Hogg decides they don’t have time for that. They take a different wagon and head out, telling Rufus his plan to get the Dukes to sign over their land to keep Hank from prison. As they leave, Joe arrives. He goes inside, calling Dixie and telling her they are in trouble. Dixie sits at a table, without a care in the world and Joe says he needs to save Hank even if he has to blow up the jail. Dixie says she doesn’t think he needs to do that before calling him over to the table. She explains the saloon supplies meals to the prisoners and they plan how to break Hank out.
Thaddeus and Rufus arrive and tell Jeremiah and Jenny about Hank. They say Hank can go to jail for life and that is if he isn’t executed. Jeremiah and Jenny are offered a chance to save him if they sell the land.
Dixie takes Hank his lunch, slipping him a gun
Jeremiah agrees to sell the land as it’s not worth their family getting hurt over. They sign over the farm while Thaddeus also signs over his agreement to drop all charges.
Hank calls the deputy down and pulls a gun on him, forcing the deputy to allow him out of prison.
Jeeter, Joe, and Dixie wait for Hank. Jesse and Frank arrive at the saloon. As Hank meets up with the others, they all hear an explosion. They realize the saloon is being robbed and Joe explains that the money that is in the saloon wasn’t Hogg’s, it was passing through. The others agree to look into it. Jeeter gets him and Dixie a gun. Dixie and Jeeter stay near the shop to cover them as Hank and Joe go up to the roofs. Jesse and Frank come out and learning they are surrounded, they rake Thaddeus and Rufus hostage. Dixie gets the horses and Joe and Hank jump down onto them from the roof. All three chase after the brothers.
The four notice the Dukes are chasing after them on the horses. The James brothers try to get Rufus to make the horses go faster. The Dukes catch up and Joe and Hank jump on the wagon, taking down Frank and Jesse. Dixie helps Rufus and Thaddeus stop the wagon.
Thaddeus returns the Farm to the Dukes in gratitude
Jesse finishes reading the diary to everyone’s joy. Jesse says the deed was buried ‘at the doorway to Hades filled with stones that only the likes of the James boys would crawl under’. They talk and Luke figures out it’s a cemetery. Jesse says it’d be Boot Hill. As they go outside they see Boss and Rosco are waiting with a bulldozer to destroy the house. The Dukes tell him to wait as they are going to prove the farm is theirs. The Dukes and Cooter leave and Boss and Rosco chase after them to find out what they know.
The group all arrive at the Boot Hill Cemetery and Cooter says it’s where they buried horse thieves and bank robbers, asking if anyone brought a shovel. The Dukes find the box with the deed hidden in it and they are shocked to see the paper. Boss says it has to be registered and when Rosco goes to arrest them Daisy throws Rosco to the ground. Bo pulls down Boss’ hat and he and Luke flee. Rosco and Boss chase after them but they lose the boys when Bo jumps over a grain tower and Rosco lands in it. They register the paper and the Duke Farm is left in the Duke’s possession. The Dukes and Cooter celebrate
Balladeer: Boss and Rosco weren’t able to move. Boss couldn’t get his hands on the note that transferred the property back to the Dukes. So, Boss had to settle for his monthly mortgage payment and get off the Duke Farm, or be charged with trespassing. Once again, the Dukes had won out. I’ll just tell you. Them folks in Hazzard got themselves some kind of karma that just keeps on keeping on.
- Tom Wopat as Luke Duke and Hank Duke
- John Schneider as Bo Duke and Joe Duke
- Catherine Bach as Daisy Duke and Dixie Duke
- Denver Pyle as Uncle Jesse and Jeremiah Duke
- Ben Jones as Cooter Davenport and Jeeter Davenport
- James Best as Sheriff Rosco Coltrane and Rufus Z. Coltrane
- Sorrell Booke as Boss Hogg and Thaddeus B. Hogg
- Waylon Jennings as The Balladeer
- This episode explores an earlier generation of the Duke Family as well as the Davenports, Coltranes, and Hogg's.
- This is the second episode told primarily in the past. The first was Happy Birthday General Lee, where the majority of the episode is the Duke Family recalling how they got the General.
- While in the bath, Thaddeus expresses needing his duck. Boss Hogg also uses a rubber duck while in the bath.
- Frank and Jesse James were last mentioned at the end of Repo Men and the Celebrity Speed Trap when Dottie West sang "Even if you were Jesse James."