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Archive for Monday, November 5, 2012

State archeologist finds no Civil War graves at Ninth and New Hampshire development site; plans no more testing

November 5, 2012, 11:33 a.m. Updated November 5, 2012, 6:17 p.m.

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The search for unmarked graves at the corner of Ninth and New Hampshire streets turned up a host of bones Monday morning, but they’re not the type of bones that shed any light on whether victims of Quantrill’s Raid are buried at the site.

They’re more like the type that might provide clues of what was for dinner years ago.

They were cow and pig bones.

A crew with the state archeologist’s office spent nearly seven hours Monday excavating a 50-foot by 50-foot area on the southeast corner of the intersection, seeking either to prove or dispel speculation that victims of Quantrill’s Raid were buried on the site that has been approved to house a multistory hotel.

After a day’s worth of work, State Archeologist Bob Hoard was ready to declare the case closed.

“I’m certain there are not burials here, but it is possible to be wrong about anything,” Hoard said.

The test excavations come just weeks ahead of construction work that is scheduled to start for a multistory hotel project planned by Lawrence businessmen Doug Compton and Mike Treanor.

Test excavations for grave sites get under way Monday morning at the southeast corner of Ninth and New Hampshire streets. Observing the dig and ready to sift through any evidence are Robert Hoard, state archeologist, center, and Gina Powell, right, contract archeologist, both with the Kansas Historical Society.

Test excavations for grave sites get under way Monday morning at the southeast corner of Ninth and New Hampshire streets. Observing the dig and ready to sift through any evidence are Robert Hoard, state archeologist, center, and Gina Powell, right, contract archeologist, both with the Kansas Historical Society.

Hoard asked to do the test excavations based on a 1903 Kansas University master’s thesis that contends victims of Quantrill’s Raid were buried in an open trench that existed on the site at the time of the raid.

Historical documents show that Lawrence’s St. Luke AME Church had bought the lot just 10 days before Quantrill’s raid. The master’s thesis contends there was an open trench on the site because construction of a new church recently had begun.

But Hoard said Monday’s dig produced no evidence that a trench ever had been dug on the site. A large backhoe dug a series of rows — 6 feet to 8 feet deep — across the 50-foot by 50-foot site. Hoard or his assistant watched every scoop of dirt turned. Hoard was prepared to begin hand excavations if there was any sign — such as a change in the color or consistency of the soil — that indicated the soil previously had been disturbed.

No such signs ever emerged. The crew did find two cisterns and the outline of a small house or storage shed. As for the cow and pig bones, Hoard said that wasn’t too unexpected. He said there is evidence of a boarding house being located near the corner, and it is likely a cook for the house occasionally would have butchered livestock on the site.

“They probably would throw some of the remains into the yard or an empty lot,” Hoard said. “It probably is just what they would think of as kitchen debris.”

Katherine “K.H.” Harris, a neighbor who lobbied for the archeological investigation, was on the site when Hoard declared it to be free from graves. Harris said she was satisfied Hoard had done a thorough examination.

“I’m disappointed, though,” Harris said. “I wanted something to be here because it would have been a fantastic piece of our history.”

Hoard said the development group will pay for the bulk of the costs related to the archeological testing. The developers will pay for the cost of the backhoe and operator, while Hoard and his assistant’s time will be covered by the normal state salary. Hoard didn’t yet have an estimate for how much the test excavation had cost.

If remains had been found, the hotel project would have been allowed to continue construction once a state-appointed review board determined how best to remove or preserve the graves.

Hoard asked for the excavations despite there being no evidence of graves on the site other than the 1903 master’s thesis, whose author didn’t provide details about how she determined graves were on the site.

“I came into this with an open mind,” Hoard said. “There was enough evidence to support that it was a possibility.”

Construction on the hotel project will include an underground parking garage that will require the entire corner to be excavated. Hoard said if remains are found during construction, the construction crews will be responsible for notifying local law enforcement.

Construction work is expected to begin next month on the hotel. =

Comments

bearded_gnome 1 year, 5 months ago

now, back to the original topic of this article ...

I suppose they'll be sending in the salamander wranglers next!!! lol

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bearded_gnome 1 year, 5 months ago

a while ago boohoozoo spouted: I'm sure you'll find comfort in the many volumes of white supremacist literature and videos you have around the house.

uh no, in fact it is you who is the racist, clown, judging people by race. if you met me and my family you would be so incredibly embarrassed by your own words! you assume so much to your own foolishness. and you continue to make race relatios worse.

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Pork_Ribs 1 year, 5 months ago

You guys just don't get it yet. Bozo voices what all liberals actually think but won't say out loud. From his president all the way down to his angry self...they are the modern day racists. Deplorable?....No...just the scary truth about liberals. They seek to divide people over race and wealth. Don't seek to shut him up...he is the window that we can learn from. He is what people with integrity strive not to be like. He is a great example of what not to be. I have shown his posts to my teenagers many times. Something to laugh at? Yes. But better something to learn from and teach youth that the reason there are so many leaches in this country, as evident by the election last night, is that there are so many people like Bozo...The king of the something-for-nothing crowd that demonize success and divide people by race. They seek to make white people feel guilty for the sins of the past...and expect you to give them something for them. It's all they have left. I respect his opinion and hope he continues to fill his role as this forums perfect example of a modern day liberal.

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bearded_gnome 1 year, 5 months ago

sadly, this isn't the first time that boozo has abused race baiting. also, he's used class warfare too. sadly, sounds like his president.

no excuse.

and now, thus race relations are worse since the election of Obama in Amerika. thank you.

now you see how.

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Pork_Ribs 1 year, 5 months ago

Snap....to judgement. I was actually defending him genius.

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Flap Doodle 1 year, 5 months ago

Pork if you really think someone saying that bozo is deserving of censure or contempt is one of the most irresponsible descriptions you've read, you really need to get out more.

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bearded_gnome 1 year, 5 months ago

jwhoopes, in answer to your question: my paternal ancestor, had the same name as I save for the middle, great great grand father (perhaps I've forgotten one great in thar) served in northern blue, was wounded, in n iowa artillary unit though being fom northwest Mo.

he always said "was like a little skeeder bit me in tha head" so I am told. of his civil war injury.


yes, as usual, boozo has been deplorable on this topic.

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1 year, 5 months ago

Speaking of perceptions of Lawrence, here's the beginning of one newspaper column from about 3 weeks before the raid (August 1, 1863) laughing at the very idea of Quantrill attacking:

The Very Latest From Lawrence

Lawrence is sage. The beleaguered City Of Martyrs, at last, thanks to the exuberant energy of its people, is in such a condition of defense that we only fear the cowardly guerilla will not penetrate even to the suburbs.

Barber, Shombre, Hoyt, - sleep in peace on the lofty crest of Oread! For these, your old comrades and brethren are still awake. The old Missouri foe will never enter Lawrence save to be welcomed to an “inhospitable grave.”

You can rest assured no “six hundred light brigade” of bushwhackers can scare Lawrence. We are accustomed to these things.

Mac and I are on a tour of observation. Sixteen Malkoffs guard the city on the easterly approaches. Four Redans stand ready to belch their flamely terrors on the South. Oread, with its ancient earthworks, is on the west. The subtle Kaw runs between us and the north, and, in awful silence, the iron-clads of Lawrence float upon its waters.

Who fears for the safety of our northern Vicksburg? Like the impudent boy of old, I say, “Go up, Baldhead!”...

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jwhoopes2 1 year, 5 months ago

With perceptions of Lawrence liberal activists as "a freak show," one wonders whether a version of the mentality of Quantrill and his "bushwhackers" might not still be with us today. If Lawrence persists as an island of blue in a sea of red, might not hostile terrorist attacks--whether actual or metaphorical--happen yet again?

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jwhoopes2 1 year, 5 months ago

What was the quantity and quality of archaeological investigation done prior to recent construction on other corners of 9th (formerly Warren) and New Hampshire?

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oldbaldguy 1 year, 5 months ago

I suspect on the day of the event, my 15 year old future great great grandfather was active as a Missouri bushwacker in Jackson and Clay Counties. I do know he was shot and wounded in the leg that year in a firefight with Union troops in Missouri.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 5 months ago

Look at Bozo, everyone. Rationalizing like a pro. You have to admire it on some level.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 5 months ago

It's hard to pout when I'm grinning ear to ear at your being proved wrong for the 10,000th time.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 5 months ago

And there's the rub. Bozo, KT, etc never cared about bones. They think they are more important than anyone else. Self centered ninnies. That area is full of them and their junk filled yards.

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MarcoPogo 1 year, 5 months ago

I picture the little lady from "Poltergeist" standing in the middle of property saying "This lot...is cleeeean."

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 5 months ago

The state has a relatively clear policy on what to do about suspected unmarked graves, and the search was done in accordance with that policy.

The city, however, has no clear policy on development downtown. The policy mainly consists of letting developers do whatever they want, neighbors and neighborhoods be damned.

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jwhoopes2 1 year, 5 months ago

Where were your ancestors and what were they doing on August 21, 1863?

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jwhoopes2 1 year, 5 months ago

Thinking of 9th & New Hampshire, or really the whole downtown area, as Lawrence's Ground Zero puts things in a different light.

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jwhoopes2 1 year, 5 months ago

The contrast behind the expenses people begrudge to investigate the details of Quantrill's Raid vs. those of 9/11 is stark. The contrast between local commemoration of that event and the nation's commemoration of 9/11 even more so. http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/sep/9/new-york-stunning-911-memorial-carries-high-price-/

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jwhoopes2 1 year, 5 months ago

An 1897 account of "the Quantrell Massacre" that mentions the names of the young Union recruits, ages 18 to 21, for whose bodies the State Archaeologist was searching yesterday: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/hns/kansas/fisher3.html

The author's comments on why the citizens of Lawrence suffered so in this violent terrorist attack of 150 years ago are worth considering. The contrast between concern for investigation and commemoration of the events and victims of September 11, 2001 and those of August 21, 1863 is sobering.

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jwhoopes2 1 year, 5 months ago

I'm grateful to Bob Hoard for doing his job well, to Bob Schumm and the City Commission for taking this research seriously, and to the developers for paying the burdensome expense of seven hours of equipment and operator to undertake such a careful excavation to investigate a century-old mystery in the history of Quantrill's Raid. One only needs to visit the grave of George Burt, a victim of the raid buried in the tiny Davis Cemetery (behind the Pennzoil on 6th St.), to realize how dramatically our landscape has changed in 150 years and how fragile and ephemeral the traces of our nation's violent history actually are. I hope this is just the first of many events to remind the citizens of Lawrence of the lives lost and lessons learned on that fateful day in August 1863. I hope its150th anniversary next year will be commemorated with appropriate solemnity and respect for those who paid for their beliefs with their lives so that others could enjoy freedom.

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streetman 1 year, 5 months ago

Can't wait to see what delay tactic will be used next by the opponents of this project -- they can use the time and money waste game plan used by the SLT opponents -- probably a lot of the same goons. Perhaps those old, handy spirits can be trotted-out -- the sacred-ground-unless-it's-a-casino routine.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 5 months ago

That entire neighborhood is a freak show. Drive around down there sometime. JK and KT and BO "artists" I'm sure.

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none2 1 year, 5 months ago

I have to say this whole thing seemed so silly. I cannot imagine anybody burying bodies only one block west of a growing town's main street. Lawrence was a booming community at that time. He raid was simply a setback. The city residents at the time would have been smart enough to consider that such urban usage would not have been prudent. No matter how much a community respects and wishes to honor their dead, land that close to downtown Mass. Street would have been to valuable to use the land that way.

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LJ Whirled 1 year, 5 months ago

"state archelogist"

Ahem ... how does a guy reach the Office of the Repealer?

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blue73harley 1 year, 5 months ago

Whew! Good thing they didn't find some rare frog species. That could have caused another city block to have been bulldozed to mitigate the situation.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 5 months ago

Does anyone know what grade the Master's thesis received? I think it's time to revisit that topic.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 5 months ago

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Where's Bozo.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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nugget 1 year, 5 months ago

Any of Dennis' old dolls buried there maybe? Would that suffice?

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lunacydetector 1 year, 5 months ago

i had a dream i saw dead people......but it wasn't the southeast corner, it was the northeast corner (where there's a parking lot and a bank)

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alcoholbliss 1 year, 5 months ago

Geraldo Rivera would have been so disappointed, could have been another devastating blow to his career . Glad no one called him.

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MarcoPogo 1 year, 5 months ago

It's just like the Arrowhead Project from "The Mist"!

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1 year, 5 months ago

Well, it was a long shot anyway. Thanks, Dr. Hoard, for taking a look.

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Clara Westphal 1 year, 5 months ago

My mother used to live close to 11th and Rhode Island St. There was a bronze marker on the easement on the northwest corner stating that it was the site where many men and boys were killed by Quantrill's men.

The marker was moved for safe keeping when some street repair was going on. The last time it was seen as reported in the LJW, it was in former City Manager Wildgren's office. This might be a clue as to where those bodies are buried..

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Keith Richards 1 year, 5 months ago

So everyone in this state pays for it except the wealthy owners of S-Corps, LLCs, etc.

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lawslady 1 year, 5 months ago

The Kansas State Historical Society is a state agency. The state archelogist (Mr. Hoard) works for that state agency. The work they are doing appears to be in furtherance of carrying out the duties that are assigned to them by state law (the unmarked burial act) which was put into law in the 1980's after the Native Americans persuaded the Kansas legislature that unmarked graves deserved as much protection as marked graves. If you want to read the actual law, you can start here; http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2011_12/statute/075_000_0000_chapter/075_027_0000_article/075_027_0047_section/075_027_0047_k/

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Liberal 1 year, 5 months ago

Who is paying for the Historian and the test excavation?

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 1 year, 5 months ago

Shhhh, I will tell you a secret...

Check the controlled fill area where the excavation from the parking garage was dumped.

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