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Archive for Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Letter: No re-enactment

June 4, 2013

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To the editor:

Will the 1863 Commemorate Lawrence Project please reconsider having actors “re-enact” the Quantrill Raid?  

William Quantrill was a cold-blooded murdering thug who used the excuse of the Civil War to take personal vengeance on Lawrence. He had a list of those he sought to murder. He succeeded in slaughtering over 150 men and boys. He and his fellow thugs apparently assuaged their consciences by sparing the lives of the women and girls while murdering their husbands and brothers and burning their homes.

To “re-enact” his crimes would be like “re-enacting” Timothy McVeigh’s murders in Oklahoma City or even the Boston Marathon bombings. We can remember Quantrill’s infamy without play-acting that will diminish his wickedness. We ought to focus rather on the brave men and women who stood up to him and courageously rebuilt our city.

Comments

KansasPerson 10 months, 2 weeks ago

If it is this you are referring to:

.... I thought it was only a re-enactment on Twitter, not an actual physical Raid with actors running around brandishing pistols.

"People will be able to follow along through the Twitter hashtag #QR1863 or through a live stream of tweets on the 1863Lawrence.com Web site."

Hope this helps!

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Andini 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Re-enactors are for people that can't get roles in regular theater productions.

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IKU57 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Plunderers and militant abolitionists were referred to as "Jayhawkers" or "Red Legs" and both were used as terms of derision towards those from Kansas after the Civil War. The term "Jayhawk" has evolved over the years to a term of pride used by some Kansans. The term "Red Leg" as applied to Kansans has disappeared from common lexicon.

A cattle drive being held up by Jayhawkers is depicted in The Tall Men (1955).

Clint Eastwood's Missourian character in the film The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) took up the Confederate cause after Redleg Jayhawkers from Kansas killed his son and raped and murdered his wife.

Jayhawker Colonel James Montgomery was portrayed in the 1989 film Glory, where he is referred to as "a real Jayhawker from Kansas." They were separated from black and white people all day long.

The 1999 movie Ride With the Devil, directed by Ang Lee, and starring Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich, and Jewel depicts Jayhawkers raiding Missouri homesteads.

In a Gunsmoke episode called "The Jayhawkers", men of that name try to extort money from cattle-drivers by threatening to scatter their herds unless paid off.

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bearded_gnome 10 months, 2 weeks ago

a reenactment would be appropriate. good pople died in Lawrence, many died here precisely because of their values. some, on New Hampshire, died because they were in uniform.

if the reenactment honors those who were killed, then it serves a good purpose indeed. that's why I would hope that a reenactment would highlight those who fel. and, the brave women who resisted.

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fmrl 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I am working on the here and now. I'm not suggesting they stop this commemoration. If you have a dictionary look up the words "squash" and "quash."

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jane_doe 10 months, 2 weeks ago

If you want to change hate, I'd work less on history and more on the here and now. You can't change 1863. But don't squash a commemoration of what makes Lawrence history unique.

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fmrl 10 months, 2 weeks ago

John Brown was a vicious thug too. There were a lot of people in Lawrence stirring up hatred just as there were people on the other side stirring up hatred. This is what hatemongering leads to. Mostly innocent people getting killed.

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oldbaldguy 10 months, 2 weeks ago

some folks forget that the raid was in retaliation for what happened in Missouri. Quantrill did have an axe to grind. A lot of stolen property was auctioned off in Lawrence and Leavenworth. More Missourians died in the Civil War than Kansans. The Missouians died for both sides.

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75x55 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Reenactment, only if most of the nice outbuildings and corrals have considerable caches of stolen Missouri property and horses. After all, there were reasons that the guerrillas came to Lawrence.

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George_Braziller 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Re-enactments aren't so people remember, it's so they don't forget.

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Charles Fogarty 10 months, 2 weeks ago

There's a difference between remembering history and celebrating treason. The rebels during the Civil War were traitors to the Constitution who defended the slow genocide of slavery by some bogus logic about "states' rights." Quantril was a thug. Reenacting his attack in 1863 would be like modern Germans reenacting Crystal Night. No decent person would tolerate it. How about a moment of silence for all the good people who've defended and died for human rights? That seems to be more in line with the Lawrence way of living.

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friendlyjhawk 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Renaissance didn't suggest we keep from passing history forward. He suggested we didn't honor the Quantril killers and plunderers by having people act like them. It is a claim to fame Lawrence loves to remember with rose colored glasses. There is enough killing and plundering going on in Lawrence daily. Are we going to reinact these deeds also?

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Matthew Herbert 10 months, 2 weeks ago

The art of storytelling and the passing of history from one generation to another has been a human tradition for literally the entirety of humanity. Your proposal to cease the telling of history because it's upsetting to you is upsetting to human tradition.

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