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"Bleeding Kansas"--Border Disputes and Warfare

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Abbott, James B. “The Rescue of Dr. John W. Doy.” Kansas Historical Collection, 1886-1888 4 (1890): 312-323. In a paper delivered to the annual meeting of the State Historical Society in January 1889, Abbott detailed Doy's capture, along with thirteen fugitive slaves, in January 1859, and Doy's rescue from a St. Joseph, Missouri, jail the following July.

Botkin, Theodosius. “Among the Sovereign Squats.” Kansas Historical Collection, 1901-1902 7 (1902): 418-441. These recollections focus primarily on events in early Linn County, Kansas Territory.

Caldwell, Martha B. “The Stubbs.” Kansas Historical Quarterly 6 (May 1937): 124-131. “The Stubbs” was a free-state militia company organized at Lawrence in April 1855 as the Kansas Rifles; includes constitution and by-laws.

Cobb, Ronald Lee. “Guthrie Mound and the Hanging of John Guthrie.” Kansas History 5 (Autumn 1982): 177-183. “[Y]et another example of territorial justice,” according to the author, John Guthrie was lynched in northwest Bourbon County on February 5, 1860, perhaps because of his proslave views.

Connelley, William E. “Col. Richard J. Hinton.” Kansas Historical Collection, 1901-1902 7 (1902): 488-493. Hinton (1830-1901), an English journalist and supporter of John Brown, spent much time in Kansas from 1856 to 1862.

Connelley, William E. “The Lane-Jenkins Claim Contest.” Kansas Historical Collection, 1923-1925 16 (1925): 21-176. Famous territorial land dispute between James H. Lane and Gaius Jenkins led to the death of Jenkins at the hands of Lane; mostly reprints of letters and legal documents.

Connelley, William E. “The Lane Trail.” Kansas Historical Collection, 1913-1914 13 (1914): 268-279. The route to Kansas through Iowa and Nebraska established by James Henry Lane in 1856 for free-state settlers, with detailed maps.

Dickson, Charles Howard. “The True Story of the Branson Rescue.” Kansas Historical Collection, 1913-1914 13 (1914): 280-298. The story of a free-state settler of Douglas County who was arrested by Sheriff Jones and men in November 1855 allegedly because he had witnessed a proslave murder; rescuers included S. N. Wood and J. B. Abbott.

Elliott, R. G. “The Events of 1856. The Twenty-first of May.” Kansas Historical Collection 7 (1901-1902): 521-536. One of Lawrence’s first newspaper editors here analyzes the “slave extensionists” plot to control Kansas Territory and “the [sheriff] Jones invasion” of Lawrence (i.e., “sack of Lawrence”) that occurred on May 21, 1856.

Etcheson, Nicole. “Black Slavery, White Liberty.” North & South 3 (September 2000): 42-58. A fine, relatively brief look at the causes of strife and violence in “Bleeding Kansas.”

Etcheson, Nicole. “‘Labouring for the Freedom of This Territory’: Free-State Kansas Women in the 1850s.” Kansas History 21 (Summer 1998): 68-87. Using Ellen and Harriet Goodnow as two of her prime examples, Etcheson examines “the interplay of politics, domesticity, and western settlement in the lives of nineteenth-century women.”

Ewy, Marvin. “The United States Army in the Kansas Border Troubles, 1855-1856.” Kansas Historical Quarterly 32 (Winter 1966): 385-400. The author concludes that the army was relatively neutral in its efforts to maintain peace in “Bleeding Kansas.”

Fellman, Michael. “Rehearsal for the Civil War: Antislavery and Proslavery at the Fighting Point in Kansas, 1854-1856.” In Antislavery Reconsidered: New Perspectives on the Abolitionists. Lewis Perry and Michael Fellman, eds. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979), 287-307.

Gardner, Theodore. “An Episode in Kansas History: The Doy Rescue.” Kansas Historical Collection, 1926-1928 17 (1928): 851-855. In 1858 Dr. John Doy of Lawrence was charged by a Missouri court with “abducting” slaves.

Gibbens, V. E., ed. “Letters on the War in Kansas in 1856.” Kansas Historical Quarterly 10 (November 1941): 369-379. The 1857 letters of John Lowrie, a free-state participant, reflect on his experiences in and around Lawrence after his return to Indiana.

Green, L. F. “James B. Abbott.” Kansas Historical Collections, 1897-1900 6 (1900): 225-231. Abbott (1818-1897) was a member of the group that freed Dr. John Doy from proslave captivity at St. Joseph, Missouri, July 23, 1859.

Griffith, G. W. E. “The Battle of Black Jack.” Kansas Historical Collections 16 (1923-1925): 524-528. Recollections of John Brown's 1856 victory over Captain Henry Clay Pate and his proslave company, near Baldwin City in southern Douglas County.

Herklotz, Hildegarde Rose. “Jayhawkers in Missouri, 1858-1863.” Missouri Historical Review 17 (April 1923): 266-284. This first in a series of three articles on Jayhawers in Missouri is subtitled “Conditions on the Kansas-Missouri Border, 1854-1858.”

Herklotz, Hildegarde Rose. “Jayhawkers in Missouri, 1858-1863.” Missouri Historical Review 17 (July 1923): 505-513. The subtitle of this second of three articles on Kansas Jayhawkers is “Missouri Prepares to Resist the Jayhawkers, 1860.”

Herklotz, Hildegarde Rose. “Jayhawkers in Missouri, 1858-1863.” Missouri Historical Review 18 (October 1923): 64-101. The activities of James H. Lane, “the greatest Jayhawking leader,” during the first two years of the war, 1861-1862, and in the wake of Quantrill's 1863 raid, are the author's focus here; she found the “Grim Chieftain” to be “an unscrupulous soldier of fortune, and a base and mischievous politician.”

Hougen, Harvey R. “The Marais des Cygnes Massacre and the Execution of William Griffith.” Kansas History 8 (Summer 1985): 74-94. Provides details of the pro-slave “massacre” of five freestaters on May 19, 1858, William Griffith's subsequent arrest, murder trial, conviction, and execution on October 30, 1863.

Hutchinson, William. “Claims for Losses of Kansas Settlers During the Troubles of 1855 and 1856.” Kansas Historical Collections, 1897-1900 6 (1900): 360-365. As with most such claims, satisfaction was slow and awards represented only about 30 percent of claims.

Isely, William H. “The Sharps Rifle Episode in Kansas History.” American Historical Review 12 (April 1907): 546-566. Isely focused here on “one phase of the dramatic” Kansas struggle: “the out put, source, and distribution of Sharps rifles, ‘Beecher Bibles,’ and other arms furnished to Kansas emigrants.”

Jackson, W. Turrentine. “The Army Engineers as Road Surveyors and Builders in Kansas and Nebraska, 1854-1858.” Kansas Historical Quarterly 17 (February 1949): 37-59. Often overlooked in the histories of western settlement and development is the role of the federal government, especially perhaps the military, as facilitator.

Johannsen, Robert W., editor. “A Footnote to the Pottawatomie Massacre, 1856.” Kansas Historical Quarterly 22 (Autumn 1956): 236-241. Reprinted here are two letters—written in 1856 and 1858 by Henry James, a brother in law--pertaining to the family and murder of Allen Wilkinson, “the most prominent” of John Brown's five victims.

Kellow, Margaret M.R. "‘For the Sake of Suffering Kansas’: Lydia Maria Child, Gender, and the Politics of the 1850s." Journal of Women’s History 5 (Fall 1993): 32-49. Child, who was a well-established New York author by the mid-1850s, came to see "the saving of Kansas for Free Soil as crucial to the fight against slavery" and "articulated her ‘zeal for Kansas’ in a story entitled ‘The Kansas Emigrant,’" first published in the fall of 1856.

Kiene, L. L. “The Battle of the Spurs and John Brown's Exit From Kansas.” Kansas Historical Collection, 1903-1904 8 (1904): 443-449. The “battle” of December 20, 1858, occurring during Brown’s flight to Canada just months before the Harpers Ferry raid.

Langsdorf, Edgar. “Thaddeus Hyatt in Washington Jail.” Kansas Historical Quarterly 9 (August 1940): 227-239. Hyatt, a New York capitalist who supported “free” Kansas both physically and financially, was jailed in March 1860 for contempt of Congress after he refused to testify in the John Brown/Harpers Ferry investigation.

Lowell, James H. “The Battle of the Spurs.” Kansas Historical Collection, 1919-1922 15 (1922): 598-599. An “Underground Railroad” incident involving John Brown, north of Horton, January 1859.

Lutz, Rev. John J. “Quantrill and the Morgan Walker Tragedy.” Kansas Historical Collection, 1903-1904 8 (1904): 324-331. Reportedly the first documented incident of William Clarke Quantrill’s treachery occurred in Jackson County, Missouri, December 1860.

Malin, James C. "The Hoogland Examination: The United States v. John Brown, Jr., et al." Kansas Historical Quarterly 7 (May 1938): 133-153. Reflects on events surrounding the Pottawatomie massacre and border conflict in southeast Kansas in 1856.

Malin, James C. “Identification of the Stranger at the Pottawatomie Massacre.” Kansas Historical Quarterly 9 (February 1940): 3-12. The Brown raid on pro-slave settlers in southern Franklin County, May 24-25, 1856, occurred while the Howard Committee (special congressional committee to investigate the Kansas troubles), and the first mention of the “stranger” appeared in the minority report affidavit of James Harris.

Malin, James C. “Judge Lecompte and the ‘Sack of Lawrence,’ May 21, 1856. Part One: The Contemporary Phase.” Kansas Historical Quarterly 20 (August 1953): 465-494; “Part Two: The Historical Phase.” 20 (November 1953): 553-597. For their own partisan reasons, both pro- and anti-slave factions unjustly, according to Malin, blamed the excesses of Sheriff Jones’ pose on U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Lecompte; Malin uses this incident as an opportunity to comment on numerous territorial issues and incidents.

McKivigan, John R., and Stanley Harrold, editors. Antislavery Violence: Sectional, Racial, and Cultural Conflict in Antebellum America. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1999. Among other items of special interest to Kansans will be the essay by Kristen A. Tegtmeier, “The Ladies of Lawrence Are Arming!: The Gendered Nature of Sectional Violence in Early Kansas.”

Meerse, David E. “‘No Propriety in the Late Course of the Governor’: The Geary-Sherrard Affair Reexamined.” Kansas Historical Quarterly 42 (Autumn 1976): 237-262. Famous and controversial incident stemming from the fatal shooting (by associates of governor) of Douglas County Sheriff William Sherrard at Lecompton in February 1857 and subsequent resignation of territorial Governor John Geary.

Moody, Joel. “The Marais Des Cygnes Massacre.” Kansas Historical Collection, 1915-1918 13 (1918): 208-223. Includes a map showing the route Charles Hamilton took as he gathered the free-state victims of the Linn County atrocity, May 19, 1858.

"Notes on the Proslavery March Against Lawrence.” Kansas Historical Quarterly 11 (February 1942): 45-64. The Siege and sack of the Free-state stronghold in May 1856, as described in diary of proslave participant.

Oertell, Kristen Tegtmeier. “‘The free sons of the North’ vs. ‘The myridons of Border-Ruffianism’: What Makes a Man in Bleeding Kansas?” Kansas History 25 (Autumn 2002): 174-189. Oertell applies the interpretative lens of gender to the study of men and competing versions of manliness in territorial Kansas; free-state men, she concludes, “began to find the utility in cultivating an ideal of manliness that stood ready and willing to strike the first blow.”

Parker, Martha J., edited by Christine Reinhard. Angels of Freedom. Topeka, Kans.: Chapman Publishers, 1999. Angels of Freedom contains numerous biographical essays about people with some connection to the Underground Railroad in western Douglas County—people such as Joseph Gardner, Augustus Wattles, and Henry and Francis Hiatt—and a preface by the late Richard B. Sheridan.

Phillips, Christopher, “ ‘The Crime against Missouri’: Slavery, Kansas, and the Cant of Southernness in the Border West.” Civil War History 48 (March 2002): 60-81. Phillips examines the complex nature Misourians’ attitude toward slavery and its future in Kansas—a melding of Southern and Middle Western values—and the implications this had for “the social and ideological evolution of the very border region they occupied.”

Pierson, Michael D., editor. “‘A War of Extermination': A Newly Uncovered Letter by Julia Louisa Lovejoy, 1856.” Kansas History 16 (Summer 1993): 120-123. This letter is addressed from Lawrence, K.T., August 25, 1856, and appeared in the Concord, N.H., Independent Democrat.

Richmond, Robert W., editor. “A Free-Stater's `Letters to the Editor': Samuel N. Wood's Letters to Eastern Newspapers, 1854.” Kansas Historical Quarterly 23 (Summer 1957): 181-190. One of Kansas’ more colorful late-nineteenth-century characters, S. N. Wood (1825-1891) was, among other things, a journalist who settled first in Lawrence; the four letters were written during the summer of 1854.

Robinson, Sara T. D. “The Wakarusa War.” Kansas Historical Collection, 1907-1908 10 (1908): 457-471. Wife of Free-state leader and first state governor, Dr. Charles Robinson, recounts events of November and December 1855.

Robinson, W. Stitt, editor. “The Kiowa and Comanche Campaign of 1860 as Recorded in the Personal Diary of Lt. J. E. B. Stuart.” Kansas Historical Quarterly 23 (Winter 1957): 382-400. The campaign, as described here by the soon to be famous Confederate general, began at Ft. Riley, on May 15, 1860, under command of Maj. John Sedgwick.

Root, George A., editor. “Extracts from Diary of Captain Lambert Bowman Wolf.” Kansas Historical Quarterly 1 (May 1932): 195-210. Captain Wolf’s account of his pre-Civil War frontier experience on the Plains, 1856-1861, with Company K, First U.S. Cavalry.

Root, George A., editor. “The First Day's Battle at Hickory Point: From the Diary and Reminiscences of Samuel James Reader.” Kansas Historical Quarterly (November 1931): 28-49. Free-staters under James Lane confronted pro-slavery men under H. A. Lowe on September 13-14, 1856, near present Oskaloosa.

Schmeller, Erik S. “Propagandists for a Free-State Kansas: New York Times' Correspondents and Bleeding Kansas, 1856.” Heritage of the Great Plains 23 (Summer 1990): 7-14. Describes the activities and writings of men like William Hutchinson and Richard Hinton, special Times correspondents.

Schoonover, Thomas. “Foreign Relations and Kansas in 1858.” Kansas Historical Quarterly 42 (Winter 1976): 345-352. Bleeding Kansas’ impact on U.S.-Latin American relations; perceived threat caused by frustrated Southern expansionism.

SenGupta, Gunja. “‘A Model New England State’: Northeastern Antislavery in Territorial Kansas, 1854-1860.” Civil War History 39 (March 1993): 31-46. New England abolitionists sought more than the defeat of slavery; they wished to place their “uniquely northeastern tapestry of `Americanism' over the morally and economically vulnerable West.”

Sheridan, Richard B., editor. Freedom’s Crucible: The Underground Railroad in Lawrence and Douglas County, Kansas, 1854-1865: A Reader. Lawrence: Division of Continuing Education, University of Kansas, 1998. This volume contains articles by UGRR participants such as John Bowles and Theodore Gardner and historical pieces by Sheridan, journalist Nancy Smith, and others.

Shively, S. J. “The Pottawatomie Massacre.” Kansas Historical Collection, 1903-1904 8 (1904): 175-187. Right or wrong, the author considers Brown’s May 24-25, 1856, massacre near Dutch Henry crossing a pivotal event.

Smith, Ed. R. “Marais des Cygnes Tragedy.” Kansas Historical Collections, 1897-1900 6 (1900): 365-370. Smith retells the story of the Linn County “massacre” of May 19, 1858, in which five free staters were murdered.

Smith, Nathan, editor. “Letters of a Free-State Man in Kansas, 1856.” Kansas Historical Quarterly 21 (Autumn 1954): 166-172. Henry H. Williams was a Pottawatomie Creek settler who disapproved of John Brown's activity.

Tannar, A. H. “Early Days in Kansas: The Marais Des Cygnes Massacre and the Rescue of Ben Rice.” Kansas Historical Collection, 1915-1918 13 (1918): 224-234. The author of this reminiscence settled in Linn County in 1857.

Watts, Dale. “How Bloody was Bleeding Kansas? Political Killings in Kansas Territory, 1854-1861.” Kansas History 18 (Summer 1995): 116-129. After carefully analyzing the evidence, the author concludes that political killings number about fifty, far less than many have indicated, and that the violence was perpetrated about equally by both sides—free state and proslave.

Watts, Dale E. “Plows and Bibles, Rifles and Revolvers: Guns in Kansas Territory.” Kansas History 21 (Spring 1998): 30-45. Although settlers were not nearly as well armed as popular mythology would have us believe and most did not shoulder their “muskets” in battle, firearms were among the “important tools” used by white Americans to settle the western frontier, and in Kansas “guns also carried a special symbolic meaning in the turmoil of Bleeding Kansas.”

Welch, G. Murlin, edited by Dan L. Smith. Border Warfare in Southeastern Kansas, 1856-1859. Pleasanton, Kans.: Linn County Publishers, 1977. This version of Welch’s study of the violent conflict in Linn and Bourbon counties, originally completed in 1938 as a master's thesis at the University of Kansas, contains additional notes and benefits from ongoing scholarship.

Wilder, Daniel W. “The Story of Kansas.” Kansas Historical Collections, 1897-1900 6 (1900): 336-342. Leavenworth journalist and free-state partisan D. W. Wilder here concentrates on the territorial period.

Woodward, Brinton W. “Reminiscences of September 14, 1856; Invasion of the 2700.” Kansas Historical Collections, 1897-1900 6 (1900): 77-83.Incidents at Lawrence and Governor John Geary's intervention.


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