Price’s March to Jefferson City: September 28-October 6, 1864

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Price’s raid on Missouri and Kansas, KHC is featuring excerpts from “Price’s March of 1864” 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.                                                                                                 

Thomas Carney

Thomas Carney. Photo courtesy of:, Kansas State Historical Society. Copy and Reuse Restrictions apply.

READER 5: Price…pushed westward, burning bridges behind him, followed cautiously by an inferior Union force numbering some 6,000, under General A.J. Smith, as a trailer.  Burning the intensely loyal German town of Hermann, on the Missouri River, he brushed by Jefferson City, driving its garrison of some 6,700, after a skirmish, back behind their entrenchments and holding them in durance until his trains had passed safely beyond their reach.  He baffled his pursuers — that had now joined in the chase with cavalry, infantry and artillery, and by steamboat — foraging as he went, replenishing his stores and swelling his ranks with the bands that had been awaiting his advent…

Shalor Winchell Eldridge, Kansas militia.

READER 1: The Governor of Kansas, in response to a request [from the Union army for the calling out of State Militia…complied…when it was known that Jefferson City was in peril.

Captain Richard Hinton, Kansas, Army of the Border.

READER 2: To Kansas Governor Thomas Carney, October 5, 1864:  The rebel forces under General Price have made a further advance westward…about fifteen miles below Jefferson City.  Large Federal forces about St. Louis and below intend to drive him towards Kansas.  Other motives also will induce his fiendish followers to seek spoils and vengeance in this State.  To prevent this, and join in efforts to expel these invaders from the country, I desire that you will call out the entire militia force, with their best arms and ammunition, for a period of thirty days.

Each man should be provided with two blankets or a buffalo robe for comfort, and a haversack for carrying provisions.  No change of clothing is necessary…I will do all in my power to provide provisions and public transportation, but hope every man will be as self-sustaining as possible, and ready to join me in privations, hardships and dangers to aid our comrades in Missouri in destroying these rebel forces before they again desolate the fair fields of Kansas.

General Samuel R. Curtis, Department of Kansas Headquarters at Fort Leavenworth.

READER 4: Naturally disliking to take the citizens of a whole State from their peaceful avocations, this was not promulgated until longer delay would have been fatal.  Sharp fighting was reported…in front of Jefferson City; our forces withdrawing to the trenches.  The telegraph lines between Sedalia and Lexington [Missouri] were cut on the evening of the 8th…The same day all the wires were cut east of Pleasant Hill, indicating the westward advance of the rebels.

Captain Richard Hinton, Kansas, Army of the Border.

READER 2: To Kansas Governor Thomas Carney, October 8, 1864:  Hurry the militia…The enemy is now near Sedalia, and a fight is expected there tonight.  They have burned Syracuse, Lamine and Otterville depots today.  You see, they seem moving steadily westward.  Delay is ruinous.

General Samuel R. Curtis, Fort Leavenworth.

READER 3: The State is in peril!  Price and his rebel hosts threaten it with invasion.  Kansas must be ready to hurl them back at any cost.  The necessity is urgent.  Kansas, rally!

You will do so as you have always promptly done, when your soil has been invaded.  The call this time will come to you louder and stronger, because you know the foe will seek to glut his vengeance upon you.  Meet him, then, at the threshold and strike boldly; strike as one man against him…[W]e must lead a soldier’s life, and do a soldier’s duty.  Men of Kansas, rally!  One blow, one earnest, united blow, will foil the invader and save you.  Who will falter?  Who is not ready to meet the peril?  Who will not defend his home and the State?  To arms, then!  To arms and the tented field, until the rebel foe shall be baffled and beaten back.

Kansas Governor Thomas Carney, October 8, 1864.

READER 1: All the men around us talked of war and nothing but war, once they left aside the daily occurrences of their life.  Of course, we children also talked of war: our dread was always the same, dread of the father being drafted to fight…It was never explained to us how and when and why certain men were drafted and others left.  So we each and every one expected our father to be taken next…

Adela Orpen, Mound City, Kansas.

READER 5: [A] call was made on the Kansas militia to rally for [Price’s] defeat; and such rallying was seldom known!  Hardly a man was left at home.  Even those in their teens, together with the “silver grays,” turned out en masse, and the women were left to take care of home.

Reverend James Shaw, Kansas militia.

READER 1: No one asked to be excused, no matter what his emergency might be.  The public emergency towered above all private considerations.  One gentleman, a banker, had his wedding day set for the second day after the general rally.  But…he marched away with his company, leaving his expectant bride to wait “Till this cruel war was o’er.”  Price, however, kindly delayed his coming, and on Wednesday this gentleman secured a furlough and came home, and was married at the appointed time.  He then returned to the camp, and took his place with his comrades.

Reverend Richard Cordley, Lawrence, Kansas militia. 

READER 4: Within a week, 10,000 of the militia were massed on the border, besides some 2,600 stationed at interior points…All business throughout the state was suspended and the teams and wagons of the country were pressed into service in rushing troops to the front.  The whole arms-bearing population were mobilized and an army of farmers, mechanics and business men, bankers, ministers, lawyers and doctors were hastening to the front…

Shalor Winchell Eldridge, Kansas militia.

NARRATOR: “The Confederates were thus advancing toward a large Union army with a formidable [Union] force on their rear.”

Check back on October 7th to find out if the growing Union forces will put a stop to Sterling and his Confederate troops.

Humanities Happenings (9/27-9/28)

So much to do, so little time! The final weekend of September is jam packed with humanities events in Kansas.

Wichita: Created Equal

slavery by another nameIn the summer of 1958, a group of African American students calmly took seats at the whites-only lunch counter at the Dockum Drugstore in downtown Wichita, launching the first successful sit-in of the modern civil rights era. In commemoration of Wichita’s civil rights legacy and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, KHC and The Kansas African American Museum (TKAAM) in Wichita host the second in a series of Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle discussions featuring the documentary Slavery by Another Name. September 27 at 6:00 PM. Click here for details.

Iola: Keaton & Chaplin

Poster2013Film comedian Buster Keaton was born in Piqua, Kansas, to a family of traveling performers in 1895. Now in its 21st year, the annual Buster Keaton Celebration at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center (seven miles east of Keaton’s birthplace) honors the actor and his work with two days of film and humanities discussions.  This year’s theme, “Keaton, Chaplin, and the Fabulous Fifties,” explores the work of silent film icons Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. September 27-28. Click here for details.

Concordia: A Grand Premiere

Renowned as “the most elegant theatre between Kansas City and Denver,” the Brown Grand Theatre has been home to theatrical performances, concerts, movies, and even wrestling matches since its opening in 1907.  “The Brown Grand Story” documentary short film looks at the theatre’s history and cultural significance to north central Kansas. The film premieres September 28 at 2:00 PM. Click here for details.

SVAF Overall FlyerLucas: Sunflower Arts

Lester Winfield Halbe was an early Russell County photographer who photographed life with unusual clarity. An exhibition and discussion of Halbe’s work is part of the Sunflower Visual Arts Festival, an annual event in Lucas. September 28 at 5:00 PM. Click here for details.

Colby: High & Dry

What was it like to farm on the high plains of Kansas? High and Dry: Farming in Western Kansas is a new exhibition at the Prairie Museum of Art and History that explores agriculture and agribusiness in northwest Kansas. The exhibition opens on September 28 at 6:00 PM. Click here for details.

There are many more humanities events taking place this weekend. Click here for the complete KHC Calendar of Events.


Call for Speakers Bureau Proposals



Deadline: October 18, 2013
Click here for the RFP

KHC is seeking proposals for Speakers Bureau-style presentations that engage with the humanities in a meaningful way for a new Humanities catalog showcasing lectures, activities, and civic engagement opportunities for Kansans.

This past summer, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences released a report underlining the importance of the humanities in civic and cultural life. Our world is one defined by change, and Kansans today need the cultural, historical, and ethical content necessary to both understand the past and move toward the future. As the report concludes, the humanities are “critical to our pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness, as described by our nation’s founders. They are the heart of the matter.” To this end, KHC’s new Humanities catalog will be broad in spirit.

For more information, contact Leslie Von Holten, program officer, at leslie(at)

Humanities Happenings (9/20-9/22)

Autumn arrives this weekend. Fall into the humanities with poetry, film, banned books, and superheroes!

Haysville & Wichita: Poet Laureate of Kansas

Have you had a chance to attend Poet Laureate of Kansas Wyatt Townley’s “Coming Home to Poetry” reading and discussion? If not, you have two opportunities this weekend: tonight at the Haysville Community Library and September 21st at the Riney Fine Arts Center in Wichita. Click here for details.

Overland Park: Final Saturday

The Latin American Cinema Festival concludes Saturday at the Rio Theatre with a screening of Infancia Clandestina (Clandestine Childhood) a story about “militancy, life undercover, and love.” Peter Haney of the University of Kansas leads the discussion following the screening. Presented by Sociedad Hidalgo. September 21st at 11:00 AM. Click here for details.

Dodge City & Topeka: TALK about Banned Books

Charlotte’s Web and Bless Me, Ultima are both featured in the Lawrence Public Library’s Banned Books Trading Cards series. Kick off Banned Books Week at TALK book discussions of both books. At the Dodge City Public Library, Dana Waters leads the discussion of Charlotte’s Web,  E. B. White’s gentle story of Wilbur the pig and his loyal spider friend. September 21st at 4:00 PM. Click here for details.

Anne Hawkins leads a discussion of Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya at Aldersgate Village in Topeka. When Ultima, a traditional healer, comes to live with young Antonio’s family in New Mexico, his strong Catholic faith is tested. September 22nd at 3:00 PM. Click here for details.


Hutchinson: SUPERMAN-ities

There is a lot of evidence linking Clark Kent’s boyhood home of Smallville to Hutchinson. What better place to host the Graphic Novel & Comic Art Festival? A full day of public programs at the Hutchinson Public Library will explore the superhero, comic, and graphic novel literary genres. The action starts September 21st at 11:30 AM. Click here for details.

Carrying milk

Image from, Kansas Historical Society, copy and reuse restrictions apply.

Newton: Super Women

Isaias J. McCaffery discusses the various ways Kansas women of the late 1800s worked in his “19th-Century Rural Kansas Women at Work” Speakers Bureau presentation at the Harvey County Historical Museum. From work on the farm to teaching to domestic service, discover why a woman’s work was never done. September 22nd at 2:00 PM. Click here for details.

Click here for the full KHC Calendar of Events.

Hometown Teams: Ladies First

Hometown Teams_Title Treatment_SM_color_FNLKHC is pleased to announce a special tour of Hometown Teams, a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition coming to Kansas in 2015. Click here for the eligibility requirements and application.

Hometown Teams explores the ways sports build and unite communities. The enthusiasm and dedication of fans, athletes, and coaches bond us across time, cultures, generations, and geography. Applying to host Hometown Teams? Here are some stories and videos to use as inspiration for your Hometown Teams application as you consider your community’s unique sports story through the lens of the humanities. Note: inclusion of articles and videos in this post is not an endorsement.

Let’s Hear it for the Girls

Title IX legislation banned gender discrimination in federally funded educational programs, but women were playing sports long before then and they continue to break barriers today. Here are some examples:

“Sports is for everyone.” Tonight, tennis groundbreaker Billie Jean King becomes the first sports figured profiled on the  American Masters  PBS series. Learn how King paved the way for generations of female athletes.

A look at women in sports before Title IX. The Sport Journal.

1,561 girls played football last season. ESPN.

“The girl can actually play.” Football delivers a new direction for a Detroit high school student. The PostGame.

Does your community have a “Hometown Teams” story related to women in sports? Click here for more information about Hometown Teams. The application deadline is September 30, 2013.



Four Community Stories to Become Short Films

Turning Points: Stories of ChangeKHC is partnering with four Kansas community organizations to produce a series of 5-minute Turning Points short films. Each short film will explore a pivotal moment in the history of a community. The project is supported by a generous grant from Suzi Miner in memory of Kansas historian Craig Miner.

The four Turning Points short film projects are:

“The Art of Change”
Hays Public Library

The idea for the Hays Arts Council was born nearly 50 years ago over a cup of coffee. Since then, the arts and humanities have been incorporated into the civic life of Hays, providing the abundant power of culture in community collaboration and civic engagement. Luci Bain, project director.

“Navigating Rough Waters”
Kinsley Library

Kinsley repeatedly faced evacuation, damage, and stagnated development because of high water from the Arkansas River and two creeks. To solve the problem, Kinsley’s leaders found themselves navigating citizens who would come together during a disaster, but were divided when it came for finding solutions. Joan Weaver, project director.

“New Hope in the Heartland”
The Seed House — Casa de la Semilla, Wichita & Ulysses

As many rural communities struggle with the negative effects of depopulation, immigrants from Latin American and Southeast Asia are sparking a renaissance of entrepreneurs and renewed cultural vitality in Ulysses. Armando Minjarez, project director.

“Signs for a Culture”
Deaf Cultural Center, Olathe

When a new highway sign directed travelers to the Kansas School for the Deaf, it brought parents and students, but also curious travelers, researchers, and others interested in learning more about Deaf culture. The need for community outreach led to the establishment of the Deaf Cultural Center to educate the general public about the various types of hearing loss and to preserve and share the rich heritage of this community. Julie Theel and Sandra Kelly, project directors.

Public film premieres and discussions will be held at the conclusion of the project. Follow KHC on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Humanities Happenings (9/7)

What a day! Saturday, September 7th is chocked full of humanities events in Kansas.

book festival flyer-jpegTopeka: A Capitol Idea

Join Poet Laureate of Kansas Wyatt Townley as she presents “Coming Home to Poetry” at the Kansas Book Festival on the grounds of the State Capitol. Bring your coffee; KHC will provide the humanities. September 7th at 9:00 a.m. Click here for details.

Augusta & Lawrence: A Good TALK about Hard Times

Susan Anne Carlson leads a TALK book discussion of The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan, a masterful overview of the dust storms of the 1930s and their consequences for agriculture and people on the Great Plains, at the Augusta Public Library. September 7th at 10:30 a.m. Click here for details.

Dust storm in Elkhart, 1935. Image via Library of Congress.

Speaking of the “Dirty Thirties,” save the date for two Dust Bowl presentations by former Speakers Bureau presenter Kate Meyer. On Wednesday, September 11th, Meyer presents “‘You Need a Contingent Against Your Feet’: The Dust Bowl and Eroded America” at Nerd Nite Lawrence. On October 2nd, she presents “Art and the Dust Bowl” at the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas. Fun fact: The Worst Hard Time is also the Lawrence Public Library’s Read Across Lawrence selection.
Image: Dust storm in Elkhart, 1935. Courtesy of Library of Congress.

Overland Park: Watch and Discuss

The Latin American Cinema Festival continues at the Rio Theatre with a screening of Violeta Se Fue Al Cielo (Violeta Went to Heaven), the story of Chilean folksinger and pop icon Violeta Parra. Tamara Falicov of the University of Kansas leads a biligual discussion in English and Spanish after the film. Sponsored by Sociedad Hidalgo. September 7th at 11:00 a.m. Click here for details.

Kansas_State_Fair_LogoHutchinson: An Af-FAIR to Remember

In commemoration of the Kansas State Fair’s 100th anniversary, the International Fiber Collaborative presents 100 Years of Agriculture: Past, Present, and Future, an exhibition featuring textile art, essays, and oral histories exploring the impact of agriculture in Kansas. September 7-16th. Click here for details.


Hometown Teams: You’re Only As Old as You Feel

Hometown Teams_Title Treatment_SM_color_FNLKHC is pleased to announce a special tour of Hometown Teams, a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition coming to Kansas in 2015. Click here for the eligibility requirements and application.

Hometown Teams explores the ways sports build and unite communities. The enthusiasm and dedication of fans, athletes, and coaches bond us across time, cultures, generations, and geography. Applying to host Hometown Teams? Here are some stories and videos to use as inspiration for your Hometown Teams application as you consider your community’s unique sports story through the lens of the humanities. Note: inclusion of articles and videos in this post is not an endorsement.

Spanning Generations

When it comes to sports how old is too old? As people live longer, many are staying physically active well into their sixties, seventies, eighties, and beyond. Here are a few examples:


“You’re never too old to chase a dream.” Swimmer Diana Nyad is the latest among many older athletes. The Washington Post

“Go, Grandma!” A profile of pickleball at the National Senior Olympics. NPR

Are there older athletes in your hometown? What sports activities do they participate in? How does older athletes’ actives lifestyles affect their quality of life and the life of your community?

Click here for more information about Hometown Teams. The application deadline is September 30, 2013.