Archive for Thursday, June 24, 2004

Local history

June 24, 2004


To the editor:

If you love local history, or even if you don't, you will revel in Chautauqua events of the next few days in Lawrence. With a theme "Bleeding Kansas," six professional scholars will portray famous persons with connections to Kansas, 1857-1859. Starting Friday, for five days, presentations will be made in a large tent in South Park. Throughout the celebration there will be workshops, tours, events for children, concession stands, breakfasts, etc. Schedules are available in brochure form or at Most events, except sponsored tours and breakfasts, are free.

Portrayed will be Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, Clarina Nichols, David Atchison and John Brown. Each will be in period dress.

There is one other portrayal, unique to the Lawrence celebration. At 9:30 a.m. Sunday in Plymouth Congregational Church, my wife and I will portray the Rev. Richard Cordley, pastor of Plymouth Church during the period 1857-1904, and his wife, Mary. The presentation is titled "Pastor Cordley Remembers."

"Cordley" will describe events in his life and the life of Lawrence and Plymouth in their first 50 years, including Quantrill's Raid, harboring a runaway slave (Lizzie), and building the church in which Plymouth still worships today. Both of us will be in the 19th century attire and will be speaking as if it were 1904 and we were addressing the Plymouth Congregation of that day. Donna will provide the children's service about events in 1854.

We invite you to join us for this portrayal of one of Lawrence's most prominent and beloved citizens.

Harold and Donna Riehm,


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