Letters to the Editor

Historical truth

November 19, 2007


To the editor:

The use of the image of Lawrence burning during Quantrill's Raid for a sports related T-shirt is yet another example of individuals not understanding history and the historical significance of a particular event. Let us set the record straight.

William Clarke Quantrill's raid of Lawrence came weeks after the Union army had been victorious in the decisive battle of Gettysburg and only months after Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation, marking the shift of the war effort from a "war to save the union" to a war of freedom and the destruction of slavery.

Quantrill understood this shift and descended on Lawrence, a "nest of abolitionism," with a force of nearly 450 Confederate irregulars and slaughtered 200 people, the worst civilian massacre of the war. Quantrill's Raid had everything to do with race and slavery, and any use of that image to discuss a sports rivalry is not only in poor taste, but is also an attempt to misrepresent a historical event that was not racially benign.

The individuals behind the T-shirt should be ashamed of themselves and the University of Missouri should denounce the use of the image, whether it is affiliated with the shirt's production or not.

Shawn Leigh Alexander,



kansas778 10 years, 5 months ago

Sports fans around the country have become pretty tasteless, but for some reason, Missouri seems to have the worst of the worst. And on top of that, they are showing a real lack of cognitive ability here, as they are proudly wearing shirts that promote an act of terrorism and murder, not something that any academic institution would want to be associated with.

beatrice 10 years, 5 months ago

Historical truth! You can't handle the historical truth!

(pretty good Jack Nicholson impersonation, don't ya think?)

Steve Mechels 10 years, 5 months ago

Yes, it aggravates me too (being nice), but on the other hand it is probably the result of a bunch of drunken MU students who will be cleaning their cars/Nintendos/furniture with these shirts after next week.

Still not good to use the massacre of 100s of people and the destruction of a town on a shirt unless you want to provoke lots of anger. Guess I will stay local and watch the game here in Lawrence. Support the local economy and stay out of fights.

Sigmund 10 years, 5 months ago

Is it all that suprising Missouri and MU fans don't really care what Lawrencian and KU fans think?

kansas778 10 years, 5 months ago

As a sidenote, prior to the Oklahoma city bombing, Quantrill's Raid was the bloodiest act of domestic terrorism in US history.

Joe Hyde 10 years, 5 months ago

For many decades, the irony of this "border war" is that Missouri has succeeded with, and relied upon, black players. This year their quarterback, most of their running backs and almost the entire receiver corps are African/Americans. Given their physical skills and intelligence, you can bet that the state of Missouri would go to war again, with Kansas or anybody, rather than to see these players taken off their squad for a reason as crude and mindless as ethnic origin.

The "border war" -- the Civil War -- is long over, the victors being the moral side that Kansas fell in with. But Missouri won, too, even in losing, as evidenced by the changes it has made in its society and its university sports programs.

What's left, thankfully, is simply an old college rivalry. But it's an intense one, and what happens this Saturday will be one fun game to watch.

labmonkey 10 years, 5 months ago

Mizzou and its fans have shown much classlessness with the antlers, Norm Stewart refusing to spend money in Kansas (too bad Lew Perkins doesn't feel the same way about Missouri), and of course bringing up Cantrell's raiders. Then again, I doubt most frat boys and sorority girls at KU even know what a Jayhawker is.

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