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City likely to require test to answer burial puzzle at Ninth and New Hampshire

Some think victims of Quantrill’s Raid may have been buried at site

This is thought to be one of the most accurate sketches of Quantrill's Raid because the artist, Sherman Enderton, was actually present for the raid.

This is thought to be one of the most accurate sketches of Quantrill's Raid because the artist, Sherman Enderton, was actually present for the raid.

October 25, 2012

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On the street

Should a rumored burial site of Quantrill’s Raid victims at Ninth and New Hampshire streets be further investigated before a hotel is built there?

As an engineer, I say move on with it. I don’t think they (those buried) are going to care. They’re dead.

More responses

A Lawrence mystery that dates back to at least 1903 is likely to get solved by a 21st century hotel project in downtown Lawrence.

City officials confirmed they are likely to require the developers of a proposed hotel at Ninth and New Hampshire streets to conduct test excavations to determine whether victims of Quantrill’s Raid are buried at the site.

“We have not lost track of this issue,” said Scott McCullough, the city’s director of planning. “Our plan is to try to get it mediated with the property owners and get some test sites dug before construction begins.”

Several opponents of the proposed hotel project had argued to city officials that the site may well be an unmarked burial ground for several black soldiers who were killed in Quantrill’s Raid. A 1903 master’s thesis by a Kansas University student contends the site was a burial ground for victims of the raid, but historians haven’t been able to find any other corroboration for the claim.

The city’s position that test excavations should be done comes after the Journal-World reported on Wednesday that Kansas’ state archeologist had asked for test excavations on the site.

State Archeologist Robert Hoard sent a letter to City Manager David Corliss in March that said he wanted to discuss the possibility of test excavations occurring on the site before any permits are approved for development of the site.

Those tests did not happen, nor did city officials notify the city’s Historic Resources Commission that the state archeologist had an interest in testing the site. The city’s Historic Resources Commission in late April had a hearing to determine whether the multistory hotel project was appropriate for the area.

A few neighbors of the project mentioned the grave site issue, but McCullough said he does not believe staff members ever alerted the commission that the state archeologist had requested test excavations to occur before development permits were issued.

McCullough said that’s because his office read the letter to mean that the test excavations only needed to be done before a building permit or site plan was issued for the project. Now that the hotel has won its necessary approvals from the City Commission, the project is moving into the building permit and site planning stage.

Increased cost

A spokesman for the project’s development group — which is led by Lawrence businessmen Doug Compton and Mike Treanor — said the city hadn’t yet spoken with the group about doing the test excavations.

“The problem is that you have to pay the archeologist to do all this,” Fleming said. “It won’t be free, and we’re going to excavate the entire site anyway. I guarantee you we’re going to be digging way below six feet.”

But Fleming said he was open to having discussions with the city about the issue.

A neighbor who had originally raised the issue said she wasn’t aware the state’s archeologist had formally requested test excavations. But she said she’s hopeful the tests will now be done. She said having the tests done before construction digging begins would be beneficial.

“In archeology, context is everything,” K.T. Walsh, an East Lawrence neighbor who had raised the issue, said. “How the bones lay, their exact location all can help you piece together a story.”

Hoard, who was out of the office this week and unavailable for comment, also indicated in his letter that a pre-construction excavation would be preferable.

“If burials are present in the lot and disturbed during construction, it would be an unfortunate situation because of the social and historical importance of the burials,” Hoard wrote.

If remains are found on the site, there are state laws that dictate how the bodies must be treated or removed. The grave site issue, however, is not the type of issue that would stop the hotel project from moving forward. Even opponents of the project concede that point.

“It is not about stopping the project It is about our Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, about our Civil War history, and about telling our story,” said Walsh, who previously had spoken against the hotel project. “This could be particularly important in helping understand the long-ignored history of black soldiers who fought in the Civil War.”

Or, Walsh said, it could just be an Al Capone’s safe type of incident, for those who remember Geraldo Rivera’s anti-climatic safe opening.

“I don’t know that there are bones there,” Walsh said.

Historical context

But the 1903 master’s thesis by Lizzie Goodnight raises the question. Some well-documented history also raises the possibility. It is known that an encampment of soldiers were stationed across the street from the Ninth and New Hampshire Street lot.

The story goes that black soldiers were buried in an open trench that was part of construction of the St. Luke AME Church. The letter from the state’s archeologist said property records confirm St. Luke AME bought the lot just 10 days before Quantrill’s raid, so it is conceivable an open trench existed on the property at the time of the raid.

The church following the raid, for reasons not entirely understood, then stopped construction of the church and began work at 900 New York. Neighbors contend that historic property maps show that the site of the church construction has never been built on, and thus has never been excavated since the raid.

Fleming said he thinks it is unlikely that graves are on the site, given that no other historical researcher since 1903 has found evidence of it. But he said construction crews will be instructed to be on the lookout. The hotel project, which is expected to begin work before the end of the year, will excavate the entire site to make way for an underground parking garage.

“We’ll either confirm or deny, that’s for sure,” Fleming said. “It won’t be a mystery for much longer.”

Comments

KS 2 years, 1 month ago

They lost the South Lawrence Trafficway fight. Now they will focus on another one.

leftylucky 2 years, 1 month ago

McCullough always has an excuse . He should be removed from his position. He spews bovine manure to try to cover up his failures.

TheBigW 2 years, 1 month ago

Yes he does, here is one of my fav's...

(quote)Currently the Airport is zoned GPI (General Public and Institutional). The current zoning allows public institutions and uses but may not allow future industrial or commercial development at the Airport. The GPI district allows recreational facilities uses but would only allow parachuting activities through approval of a special use permit. The City is seeking to have the property rezoned to IG (Industrial General) which would allow better usage of the property for commercial and industrial purposes. However, parachuting is a recreational facilities use that is not permitted in an IG district.. The rezoning process will conclude in August. (quote)

Mr. McCullough seems to think and advises the city to try to regulate with zoning laws the air commerce act, for starters... and a whole host of federal aviation requirements, for example, when the City of Lawrence takes 11.5 million dollars in FAA AIP monies, they signed a contract that said, if they wanted to tell an approved aeronautical activity that the activity is not welcome on the property or in other words use the airport for what it was designed for.... that the City would FIRST call the FAA and ask their permission to tell the approved aeronautical activity they are not allowed. Yet the dimwitted leaders running the show can't seem to understand that concept or the legal binding contract they signed.

aeronautical activity: http://www.faa.gov/airports/resources/publications/orders/compliance_5190_6/media/5190_6b_appZ.pdf

Also strangely enough, if you log into the City of Lawrence website for the airport http://www.lawrenceks.org/airport/ you'll note the paragraph that states:

"An uncontrolled airfield, LWC averages more than 100 daily flight operations of single-engine, twin-engine and business jets. With the assistance of a 5,700 feet runway and Class I Instrument Landing System, LWC is an outstanding all-weather airport for recreational or business flyer."

Hmmmm still advertising to the public that it's open for recreational users.... thought you all changed the zoning out there that makes recreational facilities an unapproved use.

So yes, the planning dept head and few other people at city hall need to go find new jobs, the City of Lawrence wants everyone to play by their local two sets of rules game, they think their local rules trump the federal laws, or that they can make up new zoning that trumps federal law, and they don't like people calling them on that kind of game playing.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

"Fleming said he thinks it is unlikely that graves are on the site, given that no other historical researcher since 1903 has found evidence of it. "

It was already 40-year-old history in 1903, so what subsequent "historical research" does Fleming think there would be, short of excavating the site?

Adrienne Sanders 2 years, 1 month ago

How about finding a mention of it in writing that the 1903 author didn't have access to, by someone was there at the time? That would certainly qualify. (The fact that nothing like that has been found makes it doubtful that there's anything there, IMO.)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

Or, because of the Jim Crow racism that dominated Lawrence well into the 1950's, unmarked graves of black soldiers just wasn't of interest to the People Who Really Matter.

2 years, 1 month ago

They were whites, recruits (not necessarily soldiers) of the Kansas Fourteenth, whose camp was near Warren and New Hampshire.

George_Braziller 2 years, 1 month ago

KT and others have been researching this for months.

JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

and not out of some altruistic desire to preserve history. KT is doing this solely for her own selfish reasons and I doubt she even believes there is anything there.

George_Braziller 2 years, 1 month ago

Like I said. You obviously don't personally know KT.

George_Braziller 2 years, 1 month ago

A "self-centered obstructionist"? I laughed out loud at that description because it's so far off.

Paul Wilson 2 years, 1 month ago

“We have not lost track of this issue,” said Scott McCullough, the city’s director of planning. “Our plan is to try to get it mediated with the property owners and get some test sites dug before construction begins.”

Scott McCullough should be relieved of his duties. You have definitely lost track of the issue.
If tests are requested...then the party requesting the tests should be required to pay for them. Making developers pay for these silly tests is criminal. Pretty funny that right next to this article is an campaign advertisement for a left wing nut job Marci Francisco. Think the obstructionists are left leaning or right? Not a camp I would want to think like.

Matthew Herbert 2 years, 1 month ago

if they find no bones, will Lizzie Goodnight have her master's degree revoked? Lets face it, an absence of bones destroys her thesis.

DennisReynolds 2 years, 1 month ago

How anything gets done in this town is beyond me.

rtwngr 2 years, 1 month ago

Build on the site and the ghosts of the dead soldiers will haunt the hotel. Then we can have "Ghost Hunters" come in and record nothing but inexplicable and inaudible sounds.

JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

I've lived in Lawrence for 22 years. Why is this the first time I've ever heard of this?

JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

Or, they never existed in the first place.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

You have shown a propensity to believe whatever you want to believe, so why would the facts of this situation mean anything to you?

JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

And what "facts" are you basing your opinion on, Bozo. You are a parody poster, right?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

They're outlined in the article. Not that you care about facts.

JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

Now I understand your problem, you don't know what a "fact" is.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

So, am I supposed to respond to this personal attack? Or would that offend your delicate sensibilities? Or are you just goading me so you can run to the admin complaining about what a meany I am?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

So it was a hypocritical, passive/aggressive attempt to insult.

fiddleback 2 years, 1 month ago

Well, look above. Does this sound like a town that's very interested in its history? Most people only know that we hate Missouri in a basketball context.

If you look near the Parking Garage by the crosswalk to the Arts Center, I believe you'll find a stone marker noting the encampment of black soldiers who were slaughtered as the first wave of raiders entered Lawrence from the south.

JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

Maybe you can get Bob Eye on the case. I hear he has a lot of free time these days.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 1 month ago

This is the reason we're stuck with just a couple of developers in town who are seemingly disliked by so many. All the likable developers who might come here, see stuff like this and move on.

DennisReynolds 2 years, 1 month ago

Why does this not make sense to you? I can't imagine why anyone would be willing to deal with the BS that is involved with building anything in Lawrence.

hipper_than_hip 2 years, 1 month ago

Corliss should be held accountable for this, as the state sent him the letter and he failed to follow up.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

There is apparently a consensus on this thread that any bodies buried there should just be unceremoniously ground up by bulldozers and then reburied at a landfill somewhere. Could it be because, just like any bodies buried in the Haskell Wetlands, they aren't the bodies of dead white folks?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

No to what? Do you think they should just dig the area up and haul anything and everything to a landfill, regardless of what's actually down there?

If the answer is "yes," should the oldest burial plots at Arlington (which contain the bodies of those also killed in the Civil War) be opened up for development? It's pretty close to Washington, so it's prime real estate. Can't let a few bodies stop progress, now, can we?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 1 month ago

The "no" was to your suggestion that race is a motivating factor.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

Really? So you think the reaction would be the same if these were white citizens who had been killed in the raid? How do you know that?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 1 month ago

You're the one who suggested race was a motivating factor and that but for race, people would be acting differently. I see no evidence of that.

How do I know the reaction would be different? I don't, and neither do you. That's your lack of evidence staring you right in the face.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

Sadly, racism is still alive and well in this country. And I think it's quite plausible that if these were white soldiers or citizens, the attitude would be very different about exhuming them with respect and reinterring them equally respectfully.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 1 month ago

What you're really saying is that if this then maybe that. You're speculating, with no real facts to back up your speculation. You're giving your opinion. Fine. We all have opinions. I stated mine as well.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm noting a very strong pattern of indifference towards the unmarked graves of non-white folks. No speculation involved.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 1 month ago

This indifference you speak of, I assume you include yourself in that group. You didn't put markers out there, denoting these (maybe) graves. You brought no flowers. You showed no respect. In the countless threads discussing the project, I recall no mention of long forgotten graves that need to be respected. Quite frankly, Bozo, with regard to this topic, you've behaved exactly as I behaved, in that I never even heard of this until today. But just in case you did know of this for some time, why your indifference? My excuse is that I didn't know of the issue. What's yours?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

There are many good reasons why this is a bad project for downtown and the adjacent neighborhood. There was no need to argue against because of these graves, which aren't a secret just because you didn't know about them. And I'm still not making that argument, despite your attempts to force it on me.

And really, what difference does it make when you learned about it? The city knew about it, and so did the developers, and they are just now getting around to dealing with it. Aren't they the ones who need an excuse? Why do you or I need one?

2 years, 1 month ago

"So you think the reaction would be the same if these were white citizens who had been killed in the raid?"

They were white citizens. The camp that was on the same block as the AME church was of the Kansas Fourteenth, which was a white unit. The 20 soldiers that Goodnight mentions was actually 17, all white, all recruits of the Fourteenth. The idea that they were black soldiers arises only because of the black church property (probably purchased after the camp was established) on the same block as the camp.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

And I'd still like to know if you think we should open up Arlington for development.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm not very familiar with the issue of opening up Arlington for development.

Generally, I will say that the removal of graves for development can be done, though it should be done sparingly and with great sensitivity. But it also seems that graves that are known to exist should be treated differently than graves that are speculated about. Graves that have been remembered could be treated differently than graves that have been long forgotten. Heck, my home might be on top of some grave. Maybe your home. Does that mean for every home built in America some excavation needs to be done, some survey, some study? I don't think so. If it is known that graves are present, that is a completely different issue that the mere speculation about the possibility that maybe, perhaps, some long forgotten, unattended grave might be there.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

So, are you saying that the bulldozers should roll, and everything should be hauled to the landfill, regardless of what may be down there? Does the master's thesis that was written by someone who undoubtedly had access to people who could have had personal knowledge of the graves amount to "mere speculation" in your estimation?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 1 month ago

Where did I say let the bulldozer run. I said with great sensitivity.

The point though is this, Bozo. You oppose development of this project and this appears to be a lifeline in that cause. This isn't about the possibility of graves being there. if that were the case, then markers would have been placed there years ago. Respect would have been shown. Someone who cared would have placed flowers, or shown that there are people out there who care. But the sad fact is that either no one cared or no one really believed there were graves down there. To suddenly express concern or sympathy, when none was shown before, is just a wee bit hypocritical. Either that, or there never was any real belief that there were graves present and this is nothing more than a delaying tactic by people who were opposed to a hotel being built there. Into which category do you belong, Bozo? Are you a non believer who is using this as a delaying tactic or are you a hypocrite?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

Yes, I oppose the project as planned, but nowhere have I said that this should stop the project from going forward, and neither has K.T. Walsh, the "activist" quoted in the article. What's being said is that the area should be excavated very carefully in search of the potential graves, and the bodies respectfully exhumed.

"To suddenly express concern or sympathy, when none was shown before, is just a wee bit hypocritical."

The potential existence of the graves has been known all along. There is no "sudden expression of concern." That the city and the developer have chosen not to address this until now was their decision, not mine.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 1 month ago

As I said earlier, I had never heard of this issue until today. But if it's true the city knew and did nothing, isn't it equally true that you knew and did nothing. Nothing to mark the (maybe) graves. Nothing to show respect. Nothing.

You must have commented a thousand times about this project yet I recall not one word of potential graves on this site. Quite frankly Bozo, I don't believe you knew of this before. Gotta call BS on that one.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

You're just being argumentative for the sake of being argumentative. Give it up.

JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

You're really something "special" Bozo.

fiddleback 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm pretty sure life is cheap and bones are worthless with such folks, regardless of race. Remember the mob at last year's GOP primary debate who yelled "Yeah!" before Ron Paul could even answer the question about letting a man without health insurance simply die?

In short, it's still the Wild West in a lot of people's psyches. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/24/why-are-states-so-red-and-blue/

Scott Tichenor 2 years, 1 month ago

So it was OK when there was a liquor store on top of that surface and those other crappy buildings that most of us remember from the 70s and 80s and obviously much earlier? How do we know that art crapper thing in the alley isn't on top of them too?

Maybe they'll find Jimmy Hoffa.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

Reading comprehension problems?

"The church following the raid, for reasons not entirely understood, then stopped construction of the church and began work at 900 New York. Neighbors contend that historic property maps show that the site of the church construction has never been built on, and thus has never been excavated since the raid."

irnmadn88 2 years, 1 month ago

Some detail is missing from this article related to the SE corner of 9th & NH. There once was a time when there were buildings along 9th St at that corner. What once was likely a filling station turned locksmith and a liquor store. There were also several homes between the Salvation Army and the corner before the Arts Center was built. One of those buildings was reputed to be a former brothel and as it has been told to me, a death there was part of what set off the Lawrence Riots in the early 70's. However, between the footprint of the last of these homes and those properties along 9th, there was an empty lot with its southern edge roughly where the wall of the Arts Center is now. So, I assume the grave site is somewhere in the middle of the current gravel lot.

FWIW- near the pedestrian crossing along NH is a plaque that says something along the lines of "Near here, a score of men were killed during Quantrill's raid." A reference perhaps?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

Apparently, you missed this, too.

"The church following the raid, for reasons not entirely understood, then stopped construction of the church and began work at 900 New York. Neighbors contend that historic property maps show that the site of the church construction has never been built on, and thus has never been excavated since the raid."

redrose 2 years, 1 month ago

http://www.lib.ku.edu/mapscoll/web/dgairne.shtml air photos from 1966 show the buildings that existed on that corner. If graves exist they probably were under parking lot of gas station or grassy area not excavated.

fiddleback 2 years, 1 month ago

Yes, the plaque refers to the black unit. Some of their names are here:

http://history.lawrence.com/project/community/quantrill/victims.html

Total casualties from the raid have been raised in recent years because at the time, the black victims were not necessarily included. If remains were actually found, it would be a tremendous opportunity to finally do right by these men.

fiddleback 2 years, 1 month ago

I should correct my implication above that the plaque near the crosswalk refers only to the black soldiers. "Score" means approx. 20, and my link actually just lists the 17 known white recruits who were killed. The number and names of the killed black recruits is unknown.

It would help if Lizzie Goodnight's thesis could be released so we could better understand her estimation of the burial location.

mom_of_three 2 years, 1 month ago

Did anyone ask Katie Armitage? She wrote a book about the Lawrence Raid survivors.

JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

What does this K.T. Walsh woman do for a living?

Joe Hyde 2 years, 1 month ago

Had Quantrill's raiding party not succeeded in entering Lawrence so swiftly, and if this group of Army soldiers had been alerted in time, it is possible the sacking of Lawrence never would have happened, or the extent of destruction and the number of town citizens killed would have been minimized, thanks to those soldiers repelling Quantrill's attack force.

These were men; these were U.S. Army soldiers we're talking about. There seems to be no doubt that their deaths happened in Lawrence. Had their remains been tended to by the Army in the conventional battlefield fashion of the day there'd be no questions today on who was killed and where they are buried. Instead, all we know is they were killed here and buried here. Those men lost their lives in a surprise attack and their bodies are still here somewhere. Since the construction site in question matches many of the historical reference points as a possible mass grave, the site absolutely must be tested for the presence of human remains.

If the remains of those soldiers are found, they should each be identified to the extent possible then buried as a unit with full military honors at Leavenworth National Military Cemetery, if not Arlington National.

fiddleback 2 years, 1 month ago

"Had their remains been tended to by the Army in the conventional battlefield fashion of the day there'd be no questions today on who was killed and where they are buried."

Well, I'm sure you know that the Civil War didn't have the best track record in that regard, with tens of thousands of soldiers' remains never identified. There's that new PBS documentary clarifying the systemic shortcomings of the period: http://tv.nytimes.com/2012/09/18/arts/television/death-and-the-civil-war-by-ric-burns-on-pbs.html

The fact that these soldiers were black probably further complicates the issue. If white victims were being dumped in a mass grave at Oak Hill, who's going to bother with better treatment or identification for black victims? And who knows if they even could be identified, as it's easy to imagine the raiders being especially brutal and disfiguring with black soldiers...

I do, however, completely agree with the rest of your points. A test is appropriate, and if remains are found, full honors are due.

mom_of_three 2 years, 1 month ago

You are correct fiddleback. We have no idea how many were killed in the Civil War because identification and record keeping was awful. Drew Faust Gilpin just wrote a book about it. There were not dog tags in the Civil War, so if a body was not identifiable, you had no idea who it was. Regiments were scattered during battle so you couldn't do a headcount or roll call, and no idea who could have been captured.
Estimates are always going up for the Civil War dead, now above 600,000. (thats a large percentage compared to the 1860's population. that percentage would be 7 MILLION today)

mom_of_three 2 years, 1 month ago

newspaper article speaks of 25 black soldiers who were killed, another article references 40. So yes, they have to be buried somewhere, you would think.

JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

Where does one begin to look for a 100+ year old Master's thesis? This whole controversy just smacks of the SLT. I think that's why so many people are ready to jump on KT and Bozo. We're on to your little game, girls.

2 years, 1 month ago

I would begin with the KU library. Many (most?) schools require that a master's candidate provide a bound copy of the thesis to committee members and to the library.

Budgets_Smudgets 2 years, 1 month ago

They call it a library. Spencer Research Library. Try it sometime.

JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

So KT Walsh's hobby is researching civil war era battlefields and she just happened to come across this particular paper. She's only interested in the history. Right.

xclusive85 2 years, 1 month ago

It is actually available online through the KU Libraries website. Just search for Lizzie Goodnight. It should bring up her masters thesis titled "Negroes of Lawrence". Then you can download it, although it did take a while to download.

JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

And I was on the record as being opposed to the project, albeit for completely different reasons. I just don't care for this kind of approach. It's stinks like a huge pile of cavalry manure.

JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

One final comment, if there was a gas station on that site the tanks were buried there. If nothing was found then, there's nothing to be found there now. Build it.

MarcoPogo 2 years, 1 month ago

You can get rid of the word "If" because there was a gas station on that corner.

fiddleback 2 years, 1 month ago

See the posts above.There are questions about which parts of the lot would have been excavated, where the fuel tanks would have been, etc.

fiddleback 2 years, 1 month ago

Sorry, but that sequence of burial for many local victims doesn't suggest let alone prove anything of consequence with this particular case. What would make you assume that the burial process for victims was orderly or consistent? The town was destroyed; it was all a total mess! And these were black soldiers, so it's all the more unlikely that they would be buried in the same places. Keep reading.

gatekeeper 2 years, 1 month ago

Lawrence was not "black friendly". Yes, the founders of Lawrence were trying to keep KS from being a slave state, but were not friendly to blacks in general. They still wanted segregation, they just didn't think we should hold any others as slaves. I am always amazed at the lack of understanding of our history in this country. In the early years of Lawrence, black and immigrants were kept on the east side of town. See how that stupid attitude still survives today - hear and see comments all the time about E. Lawrence.

fiddleback 2 years, 1 month ago

"No one took record of who may have been there, marked it, or even visited it again because there were blacks buried there, and they were buried a block off of downtown? Do you hear what you are suggesting? Surely someone would have remembered them, if they were black. Either because 1. they were black. Or, 2. because, well lets see, they were black, and Lawrence was supposedly black friendly? Or did history get that part wrong too because of lack orderly or consistent documentation?"

You seem to be missing the very root of the story, which is that an encampment of soldiers was slaughtered near that intersection when the raiders first entered town. At the time, that was the southern edge of town, so your association with downtown is anachronistic...

Your own research suggests that the mass graves in Pioneer Cemetery were unmarked, so what makes you think that remains afforded even less effort would be marked? Simply because most of Lawrence opposed slavery wouldn't at all mean that they would favor integrated burial sites, and if record keeping was abandoned for white victims, why expect anything different for black victims? But yes, "surely someone would have remembered them," and that's how Ms. Goodnight's thesis developed.

jwhoopes2 2 years, 1 month ago

The point about someone having remembered them and visited the gravesite is problematic. According to Lizzie Goodnight's thesis, "At the time of Quantrill's Raid they had begun to dig the foundation for a church at the corner of New Hampshire and Warren Streets. There was a company of 25 recruits encamped on this site, 20 of them were killed, and thrown in the trenches. The site was abandoned, and a little stone church was built on the corner of New York and Warren" (p. 17). If the recruits (U.S. Army) were not from Lawrence, but somewhere else, their families may well not have known where they were buried and therefore they were not remembered. Other burials of U.S. Army dead are considered hallowed ground. The rude and jeering comments in this discussion are inappropriate given the possible nature of these remains.

jj14 2 years, 1 month ago

Build it and let the ghosts haunt the hotel as revenge!

J Good Good 2 years, 1 month ago

It seems like a lot of people have no reading comprehension. It isn't going to stop the construction of the blessed hotel. But if there are remains they need to be found and treated with respect. Lawrence has recently been recognized for it's important place in American history whether you agree or not.

muddfoot55 2 years, 1 month ago

I agree. Any unmarked remains found during construction should be treated with respect. I think it is everyone's responsibility to make sure that happens. I think testing now before construction crews are on site is in everyone's best interest. Why wait until the workers and bulldozers are on site and have to wait because the 2nd scoop of earth contains bones.

JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

KT and Bozo have taken the worst beat down in this story that we've seen in a long time. Both should be embarrassed to show themselves for a long time.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

If you send that out in an email to enough people, it'll become "the truth." Or at least "truthy."

xclusive85 2 years, 1 month ago

"In the early part of '63 the Bridge joining North and South Lawrence was completed, and a Congregational Church was established. Then came the great event, Quantrill's Raid. The negroes suffered no more in proportion than the white people. Several negroes were killed, and what they had was destroyed. The whites again came to their aid, and divided what they had with them."

The above is from Lizzie Goodnights masters thesis "Negroes of Lawrence". It is actually pretty interesting. It is a little hard to read since it is hand written.

JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

It's just a funny coincidence that the property has sat there for 150 years, had gas tanks buried in the ground, multiple owners own it, but it wasn't until someone decided to block some sunlight from hitting KT Walsh's dilapidated house of horrors that the buried bodies mentioned in some 100 year old Master's thesis came to light. A funny coincidence I tell you.

I never thought I'd be cheering for Doug Compton, but it's just awfully hard to like people like KT Walsh.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

That was petty. But at least you're consistent in your posting behavior.

JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

Like I've said a million times, bozo, the regular people in Lawrence have it worse than anyone. Caught between the right wing ideologues in Topeka and the left wing nut cases in Lawrence. Welcome to being a major part of the problem. Why not become part of the solution for once in your, what I'm sure is a marvelous, life. And quit running around with selfish, self centered fruitcakes like KT Walsh.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

Are you sure you want to grovel in pettiness with Jack?

MarcoPogo 2 years, 1 month ago

That was not my answer. And to think that you were ragging someone else in this thread about their reading comprehension...

Here endeth the lesson.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

Sometimes answers aren't provided literally. This was one of those times.

JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

KT Walsh sure knows a few things about pettiness.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

Don't flatter yourself-- I seriously doubt that she's ever read even one of your posts.

JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

How could she, she's too busy researching civil war history.

JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

KT Walsh sure knows a few things about pettiness.

webmocker 2 years, 1 month ago

Just curious, have you ever talked to KT Walsh?

jwhoopes2 2 years, 1 month ago

As noted in the article, the information about this burial site appears in a 1903 KU Master's thesis in Sociology by Lizzie E. Goodnight. The thesis is archived in KU's Spencer Research Library. Its title is “Negroes of Lawrence.”

On p. 17 of the thesis, there is a reference to an unmarked mass grave of twenty U.S. Army soldiers at the corner of 9th and New Hampshire. It reads as follows:

"African Methodist Episcopal, St. Luke was founded in 1868. The first meetings were held in a blacksmith shop in the 700 block on Massachusetts Street. At the time of Quantrill's Raid they had begun to dig the foundation for a church at the corner of New Hampshire and Warren Streets. There was a company of 25 recruits encamped on this site, 20 of them were killed, and thrown in the trenches. The site was abandoned, and a little stone church was built on the corner of New York and Warren. This one was used several years before the present brick structure was added in front."

Note that it is not clear that the "recruits" were African-American. However, the fact that they were buried without honors or markers suggests that may well have been the case.

The possibility of a trench holding a mass grave of U.S. Army soldiers killed during Quantrill's raid on Lawrence makes it especially compelling to handle this issue as responsibly as possible with the best available archaeological methods and technology.

jwhoopes2 2 years, 1 month ago

From the website of the Kansas Historical Society:

"KSA 75-2741 through 75-2754 protects unmarked burials in Kansas and the human remains and associated objects that come from them. Unmarked burials are those that do not have headstones, are not in demarcated cemeteries, and are not noted in maps, deeds, or other records. The law makes it illegal to disturb unmarked burials and prohibits the possession or display of human remains and associated objects from unmarked burials." http://www.kshs.org/p/unmarked-burial-sites-preservation/14677

2 years, 1 month ago

jwhoopes2: "However, the fact that they were buried without honors or markers suggests that [they were African American]"

Actually, the probability is that they were white:

"Near the center of the town, [Quantrill's raiders] came upon an encampment of twenty-two recruits of the Fourteenth Kansas, which they literally trampled into the ground, killing seventeen of the young men. They also attacked a nearby camp of colored recruits, but most of these managed to flee to safety." -- Albert Castel, "Civil War Kansas" (1997) p.129

Now, the 14th was a white unit, but the important point is that these men were "recruits" of the fourteenth, not members. As was often the case, they were probably brought in by a recruiter but had not yet been mustered - so technically they weren't soldiers. They would not have been buried with honors for they had earned none. Their camp was in the block between New Hampshire and Mass, and Berkeley and Warren. So Goodnight here is probably referring to the 14th.

According to William Elsey Connelley (Quantrill and the Border Wars, 1909 - see the map on p.335.) the camp of the black recruits (First Kansas Colored, I believe) was at Massachusetts and Berkeley, a block or so closer to the edge of town and not directly in the path of Quantrill's charge into town. That explains why most of them were able to escape.

2 years, 1 month ago

I should say that the camp of the black recruits was on the other side of Mass and Berkeley, going up toward Vermont.

When Goodnight says, "There was a company of 25 recruits encamped on this site, 20 of them were killed," she is referring to the Fourteenth, which was encamped on the same block as the AME church foundation digging. The soldiers of the First Kansas Colored were not encamped on that site, but kitty-corner and closer to the edge of town. There is no reason to assume that Goodnight is talking about black soldiers "on this site" just because a black church congregation owned a lot on the same block.

fiddleback 2 years, 1 month ago

Yes, 17 white recruits were killed, but my link below referred the 21st rather than the 14th:

http://history.lawrence.com/project/community/quantrill/victims.html

So if presumably fewer than 10 black recruits were killed, you could argue the probability that any remains found would more likely be white. But again, it's difficult if not impossible to know the decision process in the attack's wrenching aftermath, and it was a black church's property. If remains are found, they would likely be impossible to further identify beyond just "Army recruit remains."

In the meantime, it would seem more fruitful for the LJW to help us to better understand the history of construction on this lot, esp. the gas station, and get a better idea of the extent of the area that's never been excavated...

2 years, 1 month ago

I suspect your link is incorrect in naming "the twenty-first." At the time of the Lawrence Raid, Kansas had only fourteen regiments (excluding the First Colored Kansas), the highest-numbered being the Fourteenth. Governor Carney had announced literally the day before the raid that he has authorized Charles "Doc" Jennison to raise the Kansas Fifteenth, to which 2LT Beam later belonged. http://www.kansasguardmuseum.org/dispunit.php?id=25

The Kansas 21st did not come into existence until 1898, when it was raised to fight the Spanish American War. So since the plaque says 17 recruits were killed, and Castel says 17 recruits of the 14th were killed, and the 14th was camped "on the site" (i.e. on the same block) then the overwhelming evidence is that Goodnight is referring to white soldiers.

I'm not arguing that no black recruits were killed or even buried there; any of them killed would have been "strangers" just like the 14ths' recruits and are good candidates for mass burial. I'm merely saying that the evidence we have points the other way. Those who never fail to find racism in others are doing so against the evidence in this case.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

No one knows whether there are bodies there for sure, much what their race is.

But I don't think it's any coincidence that many of those who are most unconcerned about whether there are unmarked graves in this location are also highly offended by our black president.

And many of these same folks are downright gleeful at the prospect of the desecration of the burial plots in the Haskell Wetlands by the construction of the SLT.

2 years, 1 month ago

"No one knows whether there are bodies there for sure, much [less] what their race is."

Hmmm, this is from the poster who earlier remarked: "Could [this apathy] be because, just like any bodies buried in the Haskell Wetlands, they aren't the bodies of dead white folks?" Since your question presumes that these aren't the bodies of white folks, then you must know what their race is, no?

Ms. Walsh made an erroneous leap in logic when she went from "black church" to "black soldiers." And you have followed along and attempted to paint anyone who disagreed with you as a racist who doesn't care because they "aren't the bodies of dead white folks." Not only is such a remark uncharitable, but it flies in the face of the evidence we do have. If Ms. Goodnight is correct that there are bodies there from the camp on that spot, they are probably the bodies of the white recruits of the Kansas Fourteenth.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

I'll take your word for it that these bodies are white, and not black.

But it's irrelevant to the statement I made. Sadly, the possibility that they might be black is all that some on this forum need to be completely calloused about the treatment of those bodies as they are exhumed.

fiddleback 2 years, 1 month ago

Yes, it must have been an error as Beam actually led the 14th. I seem to remember Ang Lee's film Ride with the Devil depicting this unit being trampled at the beginning of the raid...

classclown 2 years, 1 month ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus

If you send that out in an email to enough people, it'll become "the truth." Or at least "truthy."

October 26, 2012 at 12:44 p.m.

=======================================

Is that how you got on the "bodies are buried there" bandwagon?

Although I frankly believe you didn't really care until you heard they may have been black which then gave you the chance to get to jump in here and call everybody a racist.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

There's no bandwagon. The information is from a master's thesis written in 1903. Please try to keep up.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

In fact, there were many people who expressed displeasure at the construction of the Arts Center on property that had previously been single-family housing stock (but no history of graves,) and the construction of the parking garage on the site of the massacre of the recruits during the Quantrill's raid.

fiddleback 2 years, 1 month ago

I saw reference above to bones being found when they excavated for the garage. Is that true? Is there any source to confirm that or the objections to the garage's construction on the approximate massacre site? I can't recall how long ago that structure was built...

jhawkinsf 2 years, 1 month ago

There seems to be a certain suspicion that opponents of the hotel project are using this grave possibility issue simply as a way of delaying the project or just sticking it to the developer. I'm going to propose something and I'd really like to hear from the opponents of the project.

If in fact there was a massacre and burial on this site, then U.S. soldiers and/or recruits that may be buried there deserve the utmost thanks from all of today's citizens. They deserve utmost respect and dignity from us all and they need an appropriate burial. As they were defending their city, their state and their country, they deserve all of those things from us all. As such, whatever costs associated with this should be borne by us all. Take the money from the city coffers and pay whatever amount you opponents want to spend. We can offset those costs with cuts in services, leave some potholes unfilled, whatever.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

The developers of this project have known from very early on that these graves may exist there. If they haven't factored the reinterring of these remains, especially after having received substantial subsidies for this project, I have no sympathy for their callousness (or yours.)

jhawkinsf 2 years, 1 month ago

Your "sudden" concern for these graves is beyond suspicious, Bozo. It's a delaying tactic for a project you oppose. Nothing more, nothing less. And I have no concern for your name calling coming from a person whose entire argument is based on hypocrisy.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm not involved in any aspect of this project. I fail to see how a few posts here calling for the developers to do the right thing can have any effect whatsoever on this project. It'll be the decisions made by the developers, the city and the state that determine the schedule of this project.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 1 month ago

You're hoping for a SLT redux. And of course, you're defining "doing the right thing" as something they should do, but not you.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

SLT? WTF does that have to do with this situation?

And why should I have to do anything? I'm not the one going after these graves with massive shovels and bulldozers.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 1 month ago

Hey Bozo, is your real name Emily Litella? You sound just like her. Your reporting of the news has the same flavor.

'They are black graves, white graves, no graves, I think graves, maybe graves. Oh heck, you're all being insensitive because the President is black. Anyway, the graves out by Haskell aren't white, I mean, if they exist. Right!!! You respect, not me respect, you pay, not me pay.' "Never mind".

Instead of SLT, this has been an audition for SNL. Thank you. Don't call us, we'll call you.

Mike Ford 2 years, 1 month ago

I have to laugh....when minorities are disrespected by building whether it's Native American students at Haskell or Civil War era African American soldiers what do the archie bunkers do to cover themselves???? they accuse the descendants of these people who suffered at the expense of White America of playing the race card. Guess what.....when minorities have lands taken under duress of false pretenses or a whole race of people are freed by the Emancipation Proclaimation and yet Jim Crow laws reign upon the US from the 1870's to the 1960's affecting African, Latino, and Native peoples until the Brown Ruling of 1954 or the Civil Rights Acts of 1964-65 you do have a problem of being a culture guilty of wrongdoing and willfully ignorant enough to accuse those who survived your culture's brutality. Ignorance and blame shifting is no excuse. Both the soldier's graves and the wetlands should be protected by executive order. It's happened before. Maybe a second term brings this......

2 years, 1 month ago

"Civil War era African American soldiers..."

Well that's perhaps the biggest irony of them all - a white complainer uses the graves of white soldiers to slow a white developer by playing the racial guilt of white Lawrencians like Charlie Daniels plays a fiddle. There's not a peep of evidence that a single black soldier is buried on site. Not a peep. And yet with a single phrase "the long-ignored history of black soldiers" a certain segment of white Lawrencians fall all over themselves to prove how not-racist they are.

That's the power of a race card well played - it's the argument that without evidence captures the feelings of white knight liberals who are willing to go to the mat (or at least comment on web sites) to demonstrate their not-racism. And how well they sleep. Not-racism, FTW.

But hey, if you think that the President of the US is going to issue an executive order to save white graves that might not even exist in a college town in Kansas based on the hope (I do not use that word loosely) that blacks just might be buried there too, more power to you. I hope you get a pony for Christmas, too.

FWIW, I think the dig ought to take place, just to find the truth. But enjoy the race card, knowing that now that Obama has proven that a black man can be just as poor a president as a white one, that the power of the race card is melting. Melting. What a world, what a world...

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 1 month ago

What a swirling mass of mumbo jumbo. You're either for putting whatever's down there, clay and bodies, white or black, or just clay, in a landfill or a cemetery, as appropriate, or you just don't care. Which is it?

2 years, 1 month ago

I'm not sure which part of "FWIW, I think the dig ought to take place, just to find the truth" is so difficult to understand.

fiddleback 2 years, 1 month ago

All the sneering that this issue is merely a delaying tactic makes no sense. It says clearly in the article: "The grave site issue, however, is not the type of issue that would stop the hotel project from moving forward. Even opponents of the project concede that point."

Likewise, I think people who shrug at history and even at the bones of those who bled on this soil, while arguably boors, don't qualify as racists for that alone. Sure, I get the irony that they root for a highway being built over American Indian graves and a hotel on top of white or black soldier graves. But let's just stick with identifying this disregard for human remains as churlish and move on.

I wish we could just discuss this as the historical opportunity it presents rather than trot out all the old baggage and character attacks.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 1 month ago

Still no physical evidence of graves along the SLT.

JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

If they wanted to avoid suspicion that this was an effort to punish Compton or delay construction they should have chosen someone other than dumpster diving KT Walsh to be the spokesperson.

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