To the editor:
The editorial “Big Birthday” (Journal-World, Sept. 20) states that Lawrence was “founded on the conviction that slavery should be abolished.” The founders from Massachusetts significantly included abolitionists, but the need in Kansas at that time was to keep slavery out of Kansas, not to abolish slavery. That Free State goal, not the abolition of slavery, is what those in Lawrence and Kansas most importantly worked for, and with eventual success. It seems more suitable to think of early Lawrencians as Free Staters instead of abolitionists. As such they played a notable role in the coming of the Civil War.