Letters to the Editor

Rivalry’s roots

February 25, 2012


To the editor:

In Friday’s front-page hype of the final regular season game between the ’Hawks and Tigers, the attribution of the beginning of the rivalry to William Clarke Quantrill is just silly. If you want a Civil War beginning, you should note the sack of Osceola, Mo., on Sept. 23, 1861, by Lawrence’s own Jim Lane, noted military leader and politician. Both Lane and Quantrill were from Ohio and Quantrill rode with Lane on raids in the 1850s.

The rivalry — oldest west of the Mississippi — began during the administration of Theodore Roosevelt and was based on football, which is far more important than terrorist raids 40-odd years earlier.

I will miss the MU-KU rivalry. But things change.


ThePilgrim 5 years, 11 months ago

Sure it is hype. But it does the necessary thing of upping the rivalry and competition.

And having the Jayhawk mascot in the top banner on the front page of today's newspaper, dressed as John Brown, with gun and BIble in hand, was great.

Finally, we can't look at historical happenings with the lens of today. It is important to look at history through the eyes of the people of the times. Sure it is OK to see what we can learn for today. But everything else is revisionist history.

mom_of_three 5 years, 11 months ago

I think the jayhawk dressed as john brown does a disservice to the hundreds of men and women who came to Kansas and fought to make it an antislavery state, alongside and despite of John Brown.

now, if you want to go back to the start of the border war, you need to go back to the Kansas Nebraska act in 1854, and to the settling of Kansas. There, you will see Missourians threaten to kill anyone who was anti slavery; Benjamin and John Stingfellow, Atchison, and others. Go back to the first sack of Lawrence in 1856 as a border war battle. And in reference to the raids in the original letter in the 1850's, sir, they go both ways. Missourians would raid into Kansas and then Kansas would raid in to Missouri. And the Civil War beginning, as many people note, may have started with the Battle of Black Jack, in June, 1856.

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