Telford, Penn. Gretna, La. Levin, foreword by David E. Adventures in the West: Stories for Young Readers. The twenty-six stories collected here-taken from the weekly and monthly readers The Youth's Companion and St. Nicholas , between the years and tell of pioneers, immigrants, cowboys, Indians, miners, teachers, and children coming of age in the American West. The editors introduce each story, providing historical and cultural context for the often complex events and relationships narrated in the tales, as well as biographical information on their sometimes quite notable authors.
After years of collecting and researching the stories, the editors conclude that they "not only reveal what Americans wanted their children to learn, believe, and remember but also reflect society's interests and beliefs at the time" p. What is more, they are enjoyable to read and their collection in this volume allows today's families access to the tales that enthralled their great-, great-great, and even great-great-great grandparents. Dodge By Anna Morddel. There, in , he bought his first dairy to celebrate and record the nation's centennial.
Jim Lane : Scoundrel, Statesman, Kansan by Robert Collins (, Hardcover) for sale online | eBay
For the next three years he wrote, sometimes sporadically, of his life in northeastern Kansas. Anna Morddel, in her introduction to the diaries, notes that Dodge "was no diarist," and entries like the one from April 1, "Today is another busy day and that is all" p. Morddel suggests, however, that the value of the dairies lies in what they tell us about, amongst other things, "the activities of an early farmers' supply store,.
Theodore Lyman. Edited by David W. Lowe, with a forward by John Y.
Author Robert Collins
Theodore Lyman served as aide-de-camp to Gen. During this time, the Harvard-trained naturalist meticulously recorded his day-to-day experiences as a staff officer. Lyman's private notebook entries come "as close to real-time reporting as possible," based as they were on the notations he made during battle. Note that this was a year before the 54th Massachusetts was formed, the subject of the film Glory no discredit meant to their honorable service. The 1st fought valiantly in Kansas against the Confederates. Lane was also an important supporter of making abolition a primary Union goal in the war.
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He played a significant role in persuading Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation of , one of the finer moments in U. Confederate forces remained active in the form of irregular guerrilla cavalry, ready not so much to wage war as a blood feud for many had lost kin and property to Jayhawker bands that despoiled the Missouri countryside. Their leader, the previously mentioned William Quantrill, was an outstanding guerrilla leader and tactician, bold, cunning, and cruel. He and his Wildwood Boys roamed the Missouri forests and emerged only to kill Union soldiers and locals they considered traitors, often before their families.
The Osceola Raid had infuriated Quantrill and he vowed revenge with a specific promise to burn Jim Lane at the stake for his crimes. With the careful planning that marked his operations, Quantrill gave precise instructions to several armed bands to coordinate their movements in separate columns toward their goal, Lawrence, Kansas. Hundreds of rough old country boys rode toward Lawrence with blood in their eyes and slaughter in mind, tough, meaner than snakes, many with human scalps hung from their saddles, each man armed with six or seven loaded revolvers.
Born to the saddle and used to dozing while they rode, they kept on the move for twenty-four hours. They crossed into Kansas in darkness, undetected by Union troops.
Exactly as Quantrill planned, the columns converged just before Lawrence. Hell came to breakfast that early dawn of August 21, The bushwhackers galloped into town, whooping and screaming as they shot down bystanders, and embarked upon an orgy of murder and pillage. Women and small children were spared, one of the few taboos of the border war, but men and even teenage boys were either led out into the street and murdered or shot down where they stood or sat before their shrieking, pleading families.
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The total death toll is estimated at between and , the worst civilian massacre of the Civil War, a deed comparable to WWII atrocities. Every bank and business in the town was robbed and numerous buildings torched, to include all but two businesses. And what of Jim Lane amid all the chaos, arson, and indiscriminate slaughter? With the usual quick instincts that made him a political survivor for so long, Lane threw dignity to the wind, jumped out of a second story window, raced away in his nightshirt, and hid deep in the middle of a thick cornfield.
There he spent several hours crouched amid the cornstalks, screams and angry shouts in his ears, the smell of smoke in his nose, chiggers viciously biting his bare feet and legs. Quantrill expressed his regrets.
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Another bushwhacker, John McCorkle, claimed to recognize three pianos in the house as property looted from Missouri. If this is true, and it may only be Confederate slander, I must wonder, did Lane, in addition to all his other foibles, have some sort of piano fetish? He formed up his men in good order and left well before any organized Union resistance could arrive. A few cavalry troops made some disorganized attacks upon the bushwhackers, but were easily driven off with the patented bushwhacker tactic of a line charge by hundreds of men, each with the reins in his teeth and a six-gun in each hand blazing away as he rode full tilt toward the enemy.
Despite this major setback, Lane emerged alive from the Lawrence Raid and with a viable political career ahead of him. Four days after the raid, on August 25, Gen. Thomas Ewing issued General Order No. As noted before, the Civil War was neither good nor ennobling. Nowhere was this more true than on the Kansas-Missouri border. Lane shrugged off the loss of his house and carried on. Once again, he campaigned vigorously for Lincoln in , giving a key speech before the Grand Council of the Union League that quelled dissent against the increasingly unpopular President.
The war continued to its bitter end. Victory came in and with it should have come the sweet fruits of peace. Yet they were denied to Lane. Lane transferred his allegiance to his successor, Andrew Johnson. The vote alienated Lane from the Radical Republicans who ran Congress. Worse, it appalled many Kansas supporters. By trimming his sails to the prevailing political wind, as he had with his vote for Kansas-Nebraska Act, Lane had once again seriously undercut his own position.
Ever volatile, prone to crippling fits of depression that often laid him in bed for days, Lane plunged into his own deep black morass of despair. He had frequently threatened suicide in the past when things looked bleak. As with his other threats of destruction, he made good on this promise too. In Kansas in , while riding in a carriage with his brother, he threw himself out and shot himself through the roof of the mouth. After ten long days in hideous pain, he died of the wound. And some have become notorious for their violence, like the battle between Woodsdale and Hugoton in Stevens County.
The struggle in Shawnee County was bitter but not violent. Kansas County Seat Conflicts recounts all the fights that author Robert Collins was able to document and research.
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There are fascinating period newspaper accounts, as well as analysis on the causes of these fights. Collins also considers what lessons can be drawn from these many and varied conflicts. This book also contains maps of the counties mentioned.
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