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Archive for Wednesday, August 5, 2009

14th annual Civil War celebration to begin this weekend in Lawrence

Annual series of performances, lectures and other events starts Saturday

Herschel and Jacqueline Stroud, Topeka, will portray John and Elizabeth Speer in one of the Civil War on the Western Frontier events, which begins Saturday. They stood next to the Speer family marker in Oak Hill Cemetery. Local historian Katie Armitage will lead an evening cemetery walk on Aug. 21, the anniversary of Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence, and visit graves of the victims of the raid. Two sons of the Speers, John M. and Robert, were killed in the raid.

Herschel and Jacqueline Stroud, Topeka, will portray John and Elizabeth Speer in one of the Civil War on the Western Frontier events, which begins Saturday. They stood next to the Speer family marker in Oak Hill Cemetery. Local historian Katie Armitage will lead an evening cemetery walk on Aug. 21, the anniversary of Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence, and visit graves of the victims of the raid. Two sons of the Speers, John M. and Robert, were killed in the raid.

August 5, 2009

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Before the Kansas Jayhawks were a basketball team, they were a faction of ruffians who helped give the state its bloody reputation during the Civil War.

A series of events planned for the upcoming 14th annual Civil War on the Western Frontier aims to commemorate the role they played in American history.

“I think people probably, by and large, don't realize how nationally important what went on here in Kansas was before the Civil War and how big of a role we played in it,” said Maria Butler, community relations coordinator for the Lawrence Public Library.

Butler helped organize several of the Civil War events that will take place from Aug. 8-22 in Lawrence, Lecompton and the surrounding region. Events will include dramatic performances, lectures, living history reenactments and other activities designed to create an understanding and appreciation for the region’s history.

Kansas, and Lawrence in particular, were important players in events leading up to the Civil War.

“The Civil War started in Kansas and not many people know that,” said Kerry Altenbernd of the Black Jack Battlefield Trust. “Douglas County is the site of the true first battle of the Civil War, even though it took place five years before the official start. That makes this area very important.”

Altenbernd will portray John Brown as he gives a tour of Black Jack Battlefield in southeast Douglas County, a place many consider the first battle of the Civil War to have begun. The battlefield is about two miles east of Baldwin City, just south of U.S. Highway 54 on Douglas County East 2000 Road.

“It's never going to stop being a learning experience,” Altenbernd said of his role as John Brown. “Every time I read a different book I get a different perspective.”

Altenbernd, who also will perform at Watkins Museum, 1047 Mass., said the goal of all the events was to share knowledge with community members and to bring Kansas history alive.

“I think it’s important that Kansans themselves understand what their history is like,” Altenbernd said. “If you don’t understand your past or who you are, how can you go into the future?”

Another event, organized by Lawrence Parks and Recreation, aims to get children involved in history by helping them to build life-size, livable mud forts by the Kansas River.

Jo Ellis, recreation instruction supervisor for Lawrence Parks and Recreation said children and their parents would learn about how early settlers constructed housing.

“They go down by the river and actually build two (mud houses) themselves,” Ellis said. “They dig it out and use water from the river. The parents get in there too, helping and digging.”

Comments

puddleglum 4 years, 8 months ago

the past may be behind for you, but some of us have family that has been here longer than kansas has been a state.....and we will not forget.

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Paul R Getto 4 years, 8 months ago

When KU and MU play sports contests, I bet it is the only college game where the two sides are named after each other's local terrorist groups: Tigers and Jayhawks. The past is behind us, but we need to remember why we fought so hard for basic human rights.

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mom_of_three 4 years, 8 months ago

Gee, redlegs aren't even mentioned in the article. hundreds of women and children killed (exaggeration).
And I didn't know we had an argument going, but I guess Quigley wants to start one.... But not gonna....not worth it...

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swan_diver 4 years, 8 months ago

The carnage perpetrated by the Redlegs was 'our' butchery. Slavery, sharecropping, and the poverty of 19th century Southern culture was theirs. Quigly needs to slow down, get off his horse, and get with the program.

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puddleglum 4 years, 8 months ago

yeah jayhawkers!

Quigly must be from mizzuhrah

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Quigly 4 years, 8 months ago

The Red Legs were just as much of murderers of women and children as much as any of the Raiders. The Jay hawker's were just as much as the carnage imposed in this area as any other faction. If not worse. As far as I am concerned they perpetuated the death on 100's of women and children(since that was all that was left after they killed or imprisoned innocent men and young boys. Many of which disappeared of the face of the earth. Where it started who knows. We can argue till or faces are blue about where it began. The FACT is that the Red Legs were just as brutal if not more. They did the same things(like stealing and selling back the slaves to the original plantation owners) Jim Lane is in hell for what he did just as much as Black Bart, Quantril or any of the other Raiders and Red Legs that were involved with Bleeding Kansas and the destruction of Ltown(twice I might add.).

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puddleglum 4 years, 8 months ago

just another bozo: I do declare! are you in favor of states' rights?

bless you, son.

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yankeevet 4 years, 8 months ago

Is there a schedule of events posted?

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maybeso 4 years, 8 months ago

Will there be a cannon fired???

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 8 months ago

Would "commemoration" be a better term than "celebration?"

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mdrndgtl 4 years, 8 months ago

Never been to Jack Black Battlefield, sounds interesting...

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