Partners Wanted for Short Film Project

Turning Points: Stories of ChangeDeadline: July 31, 2013.
Click here for the application and eligibility requirements.

KHC invites museums, historical societies, public libraries, and other nonprofit cultural and civic organizations to apply for a special short film initiative, Turning Points: Stories of Change. KHC will partner with four organizations to develop 5-minute short films that explore a significant moment of change in each of their communities. This project is supported by a generous gift from Suzi Miner in memory of Kansas historian Craig Miner.

What is a Turning Point? Think of it as an idea, event, action, or moment in time that directly caused decisive change in your community. This change can be social, cultural, or economic, but it ultimately and significantly affected your community’s way of thinking or doing. Need inspiration? Click here for Turning Points project ideas.

Watch this short film to learn more:

Turning Points Promo from Gizmo Pictures on Vimeo.

Contact Leslie Von Holten, program officer, at leslie(at)kansashumanities.org or (785) 357-0359 for more information.

 

The Heart of the Matter

Ready to be inspired?

In 2010, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences created a Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences to address the importance of the humanities in the 21st century. The result is the Commission’s report, The Heart of the Matter. The report’s companion seven-minute film offers perspective about the role of the humanities in creating “a more civil public discourse, a more adaptable and creative workforce, and a more secure nation.”

Work Around the Clock

Over a 24-hour period, on March 14, 2013, photographers documented Fort Scott’s workers for the A Day in the Life of Fort Scott’s Working World photo contest, part of the Gordon Parks Museum’s The Way We Worked in Kansas local project.

So, what did a day in the life of Fort Scott’s working world look like? Here’s a sample of what the cameras captured:

Fort Scott_1

Photo courtesy of Gordon Parks Museum. Copy and reuse restrictions apply.

Fort Scott 2

Photo courtesy of Gordon Parks Museum. Copy and reuse restrictions apply.

Fort Scott 3

Photo courtesy of Gordon Parks Museum. Copy and reuse restrictions apply.

Fort Scott_4

Photo courtesy of Gordon Parks Museum. Copy and reuse restrictions apply.

Click here for a pdf featuring all of the images. Photos courtesy of Gordon Parks Museum. Copy and reuse restrictions apply.

“This project has allowed the Gordon Parks Museum the opportunity to showcase the scope of Fort Scott’s working world, and to showcase our local photographers,” shared Jill Warford, executive director of the Gordon Parks Museum. “This has been an exciting grant to be a part of!”

The photographs are on exhibit at the Gordon Parks Museum through June 23. Click here for more information.

Introduction: Quantrill’s Raid and Order Number 11

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence and the issuance of Order No. 11, KHC is featuring excerpts from the “Quantrill’s Raid and Order Number 11” Shared Stories of the Civil War reader’s theater script. The Shared Stories of the Civil War reader’s theater project is a partnership between KHC and the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.                                                    

On to Lawrence, KS

On to Lawrence, KS, Photo courtesy of: kansasmemory.org, Kansas State Historical Society. Copy and Reuse Restrictions apply.

 This introduction is intended to provide context to the reader’s theater script. It is not a comprehensive examination of events leading up to Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence or the issuance of Order Number 11. It has been developed to remind us to consider the violence and complexities of the time period as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. “Quantrill’s Raid and Order Number 11” reader’s theater script was created using excerpts taken from historical letters and witness accounts, and both historical and contemporary newspaper articles.

Citations for all quotations featured in the script can be found on the Quantrill’s Raid and Order Number 11 Citations page.  Links to the citations page are available on each blog post.                    

Two of the most notorious and unsettled events of the Civil War along the Missouri and Kansas border were Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence in 1863 and the issuance four days later of General Order Number 11.

The era of “Bleeding Kansas” had subsided by 1861, the year the first shots of the Civil War were officially fired at Fort Sumter, though skirmishes over slavery still posed a threat in some parts of the region. Many feared the Civil War would bring renewed violence between Kansas, a “free” state, and Missouri, a state which permitted slavery, but was not officially part of the Confederacy. This was also an era when spontaneous and unauthorized partisans formed pockets of informal militias known as guerrillas.

By the time Kansas became a state in 1861, the population demographics of Missouri and Kansas began to lay in sharp contrast to one another. In Missouri, 75% of Missourians claimed Southern ancestry and were largely immigrants from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. One in eight families held slaves, with three-fourths of these families holding fewer than five.

Missourians ultimately boasted the unique distinction of having dual governments during the Civil War — a provisional Union government, under the political leadership of Governor H.R. Gamble and the military leadership of Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon, and the Confederate-sympathizing Missouri State Guard, led by Governor Claiborne Jackson and Major General Sterling Price.

Kansas, on the other hand, was anything but divided. The years of Territorial Kansas — 1854–1861 — brought political tensions and turmoil as “popular sovereignty” determined the question for the nation: Free or Slave? On January 29, 1861 the answer was clear: Kansas would be admitted into the Union as a free state. Lawrence continued to pride itself on being what one resident called the “citadel of abolitionism” in the West.

Missourians feared Kansas “Jayhawkers” would cross over to loot and destroy civilian property. Kansans, including those in Lawrence, feared the “Bushwhackers” for similar reasons. One of the most notorious raiders was William Quantrill, who had made a name for himself by sacking pro-Union border towns such as Aubry and Olathe.

By June 1863, uneasiness along the border increased and Lawrence mayor George Collamore requested Border Commander Thomas Ewing to send a temporary force to guard the town. Ewing sent 20 men. A month passed. Nothing happened and by July 31, Ewing had withdrawn some of the protection. Three weeks later, on August 21st, 1863 Quantrill’s raiders stormed the town at dawn, taking its residents by surprise.

Four days later, Border Commander Brigadier General Thomas Ewing issued Order Number 11. It mandated that citizens in four Missouri border counties who were unable to establish their loyalty to the Union, must evacuate their homes or move within a mile of a Union post. Property was burned while women and children fled with only the clothes on their backs. Chaos and looting engulfed the border region for weeks.

To this day, Kansans mourn the victims of Quantrill’s Raid, and Missourians remember the damage done to its citizens from Order Number 11.

Questions to Consider:

1. Is violence ever justified?

2. Were Jayhawkers and Bushwhackers fundamentally good people who were unfortunate enough to get caught up in the unfathomable and violent passion of war?

3. Are “normal” peaceful citizens capable of being stirred into violent action?

Check out the first excerpt of the script on KHC’s Blog today!

 

A Hay Town’s Heyday

haytown_agribusinessAgricultural work has changed dramatically since the 1800s when Independence, Kan., was known as a “Hay Town” (a nickname derived from the many homes built from hay bales). Visitors to The Way We Worked: Hay Town to Agribusiness exhibition at the Independence Historical Museum and Art Center experience the changes in farming over the last century through stories from Montgomery County farm families, traditional agricultural implements, and a look at 21st Century agribusiness and agritourism. The exhibition is part of KHC’s The Way We Worked in Kansas initiative and is on display through June 23rd.

On June 23, the museum hosts David Vail, an agricultural historian from Kansas State University, as he presents “A Historical Sketch of the Way We Worked in Montgomery County, KS from 1850 to the Present.” Click here for more information about Hay Town to Agribusiness, including an online gallery of photos from the exhibition.

Civil War on the Western Front

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence and the issuance of Order No. 11, KHC is featuring excerpts from the “Quantrill’s Raid and Order Number 11” Shared Stories of the Civil War reader’s theater script. The Shared Stories of the Civil War reader’s theater project is a partnership between KHC and the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.                                                  

Monument Honoring Victims of Quantrill's Raid

Monument Honoring Victims of Quantrill’s Raid, Photo courtesy of: kansasmemory.org, Kansas State Historical Society. Copy and Reuse Restrictions apply.

NARRATOR: For Kansans and Missourians, there still remain competing opinions about how to remember and commemorate the Civil War on the western front.

READER 1: The Lawrence Massacre will always stand among the marked massacres of the world. In some respects it was unique, and had features of its own that distinguished it from any other. In the suddenness with which it fell, the speed with which it was accomplished, the hatred and vindictiveness with which it was persecuted, the violence and brutality by which it was characterized, it stands alone as something unique in history.

Rev. Richard Cordley, “Memorial Sermon,” August 21, 1892.

Stay tuned for final thoughts on Order No. 11 and the Border Wars tomorrow morning.

Remembering the Raid

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence and the issuance of Order No. 11, KHC is featuring excerpts from the “Quantrill’s Raid and Order Number 11” Shared Stories of the Civil War reader’s theater script. The Shared Stories of the Civil War reader’s theater project is a partnership between KHC and the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.                                                  

1925 Reunion of Quantrill's Raid Survivors

1925 Reunion of Quantrill’s Raid Survivors, Photo courtesy of: kansasmemory.org, Kansas State Historical Society. Copy and Reuse Restrictions apply.

                                                                                                     READER 4: Who and what were the raiders who came to Lawrence to murder and destroy [They] were technically Confederate soldiers, but they received no orders, made no reports, and were in every way as irresponsible as when they were stealing horse and cattle and Negroes on their own account . . . [Quantrill was] a thin, cold, bloodless man with great personal vanity, jealous of all who dared to try to divide the spot-light with him, cruel and relentless in all his methods . . .

The day of restoration and requital will come, and when that eternal day has dawned, joy, God given, unspeakable joy, will have come with the morning.

Charles Sumner Gleed, “The Lawrence Massacre and Its Lessons,” delivered August 21, 1913, Lawrence, Kansas.

READER 5: The story of the raid never grows cold here and the blood of the old settlers who survived the blood lusting raiders, still boils when they read each year of the celebrations at Independence of the very men who shot down their friends and neighbors and relatives and burned their homes and stores.

Lawrence Daily Journal-World, August 21, 1909.

Where does Quantrill’s Raid fit in Civil War history? Tomorrow, watch for the second-to-last blog post!

Commemorating Victims and Survivors

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence and the issuance of Order No. 11, KHC is featuring excerpts from the “Quantrill’s Raid and Order Number 11” Shared Stories of the Civil War reader’s theater script. The Shared Stories of the Civil War reader’s theater project is a partnership between KHC and the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.                                                  

1913 Reunion of Quantrill's Raid Survivors

1913 Reunion of Quantrill’s Raid Survivors, Photo courtesy of: Library of Congress.

NARRATOR: Meanwhile, in Lawrence, survivors of the Raid met to commemorate the losses of their friends and family members. Beginning with the first on August 21, 1891, reunions were held by the Association of Survivors of Quantrill’s Massacre so that “the young generation should learn of the patriotism that actuated those who saved Lawrence from the invaders.” These meetings were not held annually — mainly because of disagreements over how to properly commemorate the event. In 1913, on the 50th anniversary of the raid, a list of survivors was compiled and 200 of the remaining 550 living survivors were in attendance. There were, however, contradictory feelings.

READER 3: The sorrows of those days live with us and the memory of heroism cannot be allowed to perish. But the bitterness is gone.

Lawrence Daily Journal-World, August 22, 1913.

The violence of Quantrill’s Raid lived on in the minds of many nineteenth-century Kansans. Check back tomorrow for a glimpse into their thoughts on the attack.

Episode Four: The Legacy of Quantrill’s Raid and Order Number 11

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence and the issuance of Order No. 11, KHC is featuring excerpts from the “Quantrill’s Raid and Order Number 11” Shared Stories of the Civil War reader’s theater script. The Shared Stories of the Civil War reader’s theater project is a partnership between KHC and the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.                                                  

Harry S. Truman

Harry S. Truman, Photo courtesy of: Library of Congress.

NARRATOR: In the years that followed, Kansans and Missourians chose to remember Quantrill’s Raid and Order Number 11 by holding public commemorations. In 1888, two decades after the Lawrence massacre, the surviving members of Quantrill’s Raiders met in Blue Springs, Missouri. The distinguished guest of the “Ice Cream Social” was none other than William Quantrill’s own mother, Caroline Clarke Quantrill. Between 1888 and 1929, there were 32 reported reunions of Quantrill’s Raiders. Today, members of the William Clarke Quantrill Society meet annually for reunions in western Missouri.

READER 1: [The guerrillas] were an intelligent and well-behaved lot of men, and did not seem possessed of any of the bloodthirsty characteristics ascribed to them. If they ever had, the refining influence of 23 years of peace and civilization have evidently transformed them into good law abiding citizens.

Kansas City Journal, May 12, 1888.

READER 4: But Quantrill and his men were no more bandits than the men on the other side. I’ve been to reunions of Quantrill’s men two or three times. All they were trying to do was protect the property on the Missouri side of the line.

Harry S. Truman.

Tomorrow, find out how survivors chose to commemorate the victims of Quantrill’s Raid.

Reminiscences

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence and the issuance of Order No. 11, KHC is featuring excerpts from the “Quantrill’s Raid and Order Number 11” Shared Stories of the Civil War reader’s theater script. The Shared Stories of the Civil War reader’s theater project is a partnership between KHC and the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.                                                  

Reminiscences of the Women of Missouri During the Sixties

Reminiscences of the Women of Missouri During the Sixties, Image via: Cass County Historical Society.

READER 5: My father was too old for service, but he aided the South in every way he could . . . A southern soldier always got something to eat at our house, and if practical, a place to sleep, and for this he was imprisoned during most of the war, and finally sentenced to be shot.

Finally Order No. 11 was enforced, depopulating and devastating all the border counties south of the Missouri River, the refugees wending their way east and north (they were not permitted to go south) aimlessly, stopping wherever they could get assistance. O, the misery! Old men, women and children plodding the dusty roads barefooted, with nothing to eat save what was furnished by friendly citizens.

Mrs. W.H. Gregg, published in Reminiscences of the Women of Missouri During the Sixties, 1913. 

READER 3: The home of my mother, 70 years old, was burned. She had neither husband or son; she was an invalid, confined to her bed. She was accused of sending a ham of mean to Quantrill’s camp. It was a false accusation, but she owned slaves and had to suffer for it although innocence of the charge against her.

Frances Fristowe Twyman.

READER 4: After General Ewing of the Union army issued his famous Order No. 11, many citizens left their homes and fled for their lives beyond the boundary lines of Jackson County. In many instances their homes, with the accumulated earnings of a lifetime, were burned before their eyes, their stock appropriated or driven to camp, “confiscated,” as it was called. The home thus rudely broken up, the inmates were forced to seek shelter wherever they could find it. I was in Jackson County on a mission of love and mercy for our sick and wounded soldiers, and I remember having counted twenty-nine blackened chimneys which marked the spot where once stood that number of country homes.

Mrs. S.E. Ustick, published in Reminiscences of the Women of Missouri During the Sixties, 1913. 

READER 3: The road from Independence to Lexington was crowded with women and children, women walking with their babies in their arms, packs on their backs, and four or five children following after them — some crying for bread, some crying to be taken back to their homes.

Frances Fristowe Twyman, published in Reminiscences of the Women of Missouri During the Sixties, 1913.

What do you think were the political and personal consequences of Order No. 11? Tune in tomorrow to learn more.