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Archive for Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tour recounts telling tale of Quantrill’s Raid

August 21, 2011

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Al Kaine of Overland Park looks down Massachusetts Street as he listens to John Jewell, a retired educator, give a history lesson about Quantrill's Raid on Aug. 21, 1863, during a walking tour Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011. A couple dozen people participated in the tour which stopped by various historic buildings in the downtown area that survived the raid.

Al Kaine of Overland Park looks down Massachusetts Street as he listens to John Jewell, a retired educator, give a history lesson about Quantrill's Raid on Aug. 21, 1863, during a walking tour Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011. A couple dozen people participated in the tour which stopped by various historic buildings in the downtown area that survived the raid.

There’s one legacy of William Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence that doesn’t get much attention: limestone.

Walking on the 900 block of New Hampshire, amateur historian John Jewell pointed out the limestone foundations visible from the back of several Massachusetts Street buildings.

“Those were almost certainly built after the raid,” Jewell said. “They rebuilt the foundations out of limestone so they couldn’t be burned down again.”

Details like that make getting a tour from a local history buff special. Quantrill’s Raid happened 148 years ago today, and to mark the occasion about 40 people took a walking tour Saturday morning to learn how Lawrence’s downtown still shows signs of the devastating attack.

The tour began in front of the Watkins Community Museum of History at 1047 Mass., with the group meandering to Eighth and Vermont streets and finishing at 10th and New Hampshire streets.

Though Jewell covered just a few square blocks, there was plenty of history on the 90-minute tour.

Jewell stopped in front of an unassuming office building at 735 Mass. It didn’t look like a place where a community had regrouped after a massacre.

“This is where the Methodist Church was. People came here to claim bodies,” Jewell said. “About 50 were so burned that they couldn’t be identified.”

Those were sent to a mass grave and later moved to Oak Hill Cemetery, at 1605 Oak Hill Ave., where there is a monument for the raid’s victims.

In all, about 75 percent of Lawrence homes were burned, and 200 men and boys were killed. There were no wood or nails for the coffins, so they searched through the burned-down buildings for materials to make them.

Because of the horror of the raid, we sometimes forget both sides of the Border War committed atrocities, Jewell said.

“The more I read, the less of an angel Jim Lane looks like,” he said, referring to the Lawrence historical figure.

Two years before the raid, Lane led men to Osceola, Mo., and burned most of the town to the ground.

“We talk about terrorism today, but terrorism was really rampant in northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri,” he said. “I would not want either John Brown or the border ruffians knocking on my door.”

Comments

poolside 3 years, 4 months ago

Thank you. This article was factual or 'stated' opinion. Much better than Mr. Mach's.

Vince Brown 3 years, 4 months ago

Yes, there were atrocities on both sides, but Lane, Brown, et. al., were on the right side of the issue. I don't care how much they burned or how many pro-slavers they dispatched. If not for those and other abolitionists some of my ancestors (and possibly myself) would have lived very differrent lives.

Vince Brown 3 years, 4 months ago

Yes, there were atrocities on both sides, but Lane, Brown, et. al., were on the right side of the issue. I don't care how much they burned or how many pro-slavers they dispatched. If not for those and other abolitionists some of my ancestors (and possibly myself) would have lived very different lives.

tyson travis 3 years, 4 months ago

Nice anniversary tour, I'd suggest a couple of erriors be corrected before next year:

(1) The Unitarian Church, built in 1856, was on the west side of the 900 block of Ohio. There is a marker to this fact near the sidewalk. (Torn down in 1893.)

(2) The Methodist Church was the one used as a morgue. It was on the east side of the 700 block of Vermont, where there is also a marker placed. This building lasted until the 1940s. It was roughly behind the present-day House Blg. on Mass, which was the only other surving building in the area. (Front has been remodeled, but a marker is in place.)

Reference: David Dary Pictorial History of Lawrence, Kansas, 1992, pub. by Allen Press.

Ty Travis, Pine Bluff, AR, a Lawrence native.

George_Braziller 3 years, 4 months ago

The Southwestern Bell tower is now on the site.

acouch 3 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for the heads up - it's been corrected.. I looked back at my notes and saw the error was in a mix up I made when putting it in word - not Mr. Jewell's mistake.

TopJayhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

Ain't but three kinds of suns in Kansas.
sunflowers, sun rises, and sons of Bi@@@es

Reta Cosby 3 years, 4 months ago

The same feuds exist today. just under the auspices of democracy and politics. Not necessarily over people in bondage, but the bondage of peoples' money. Class replaces race. Rep... one political group represents Quantrill, while the abolitionists try and protect the down trodden.

Bobo Fleming 3 years, 4 months ago

Q came thru Hesper. My great grandfather was 16 and was hidden in a well so he survived Q. My family were Quakers and were hiding slaves that had escaped from Missouri. OH by the way did I mention that I hate MU. Rock Chalk Jayhawk.

electricsaa 3 years, 4 months ago

There is a lot of history in Lawrence. To truely undrestand what really happened that day one needs to know how what happened in Lawrence at the begining of the civil war . Lawrence was where the first shot was fired. Lawrence played a very big part in the begining of the civil war. As well as the roll the city played in the underground railrad. I gew up in lawrence and my family had kived there since the early 1900s. Take along walk around the back of oak hill cemetary and read all the thom stones. As well as the other old cemetarys that were used in those days. The raid marked a time when the people of lawrence made a very big change in where the city would go and and what they had learned from this. PBS did a very good documentry on all this about ten years ago.

tyson travis 3 years, 4 months ago

Thanks to Aaron for correcting the errors. I wish today's interest in historic preservation had been in existence in 1940, otherwise that simple frame Methodist church on Vermont would never have been torn down, today it could have been moved to an alternate location and preserved as a raid memorial. Back then it was just an old building which had been converted to a dilapidated residence with no reason to save it. I'd like to see a census of today's extant buildings which survived the raid, even though damaged, and made the basis of a comprehensive motor tour in 2013, such as the Bell house, 1004 Ohio, where the owner was killed, or the Hoyt/Towne house at 743 Indiana, spared by the raiders based on the pleas of the female owner. I've seen an early version of this census, maybe the Watkins museum still has it.

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