tv Book Discussion on The Civil War in Kansas CSPAN September 1, 2015 6:01pm-6:15pm EDT
an cities to her visit literary and historic sites across the nation to hear from local historians. authors, and civic leaders every other weekend on c-span 2's tv and c-span 3's american history tv. with congress on summer recess, the city tours are on city seat -- are on c-span each day at 6:00 p.m. eastern. to topeka on book tv. located in the northeast region of kansas, topeka is its capital city with around 187,000 residents. this was the site of many border anti-slaveryo-and clashes. with the help of our cox
communications partners, for the next hour we will learn about the history of the state from local authors. debra: any of the house is cedarcrest rate of it is just under 6000 square fleet, -- >> the name of the house is cedarcrest. it is just under 6000 square feet, which is the smallest governor's house. >> i have found nothing in the historical record that said this -- this was turbulent time. racism was ubiquitous across the nation. this crash did not get the because ithat it did happened in small-town usa. >> we began with deborah good debra goodrich
bisel.. debra: i had grown up in southwestern virginia. the civil war was everywhere. my great-grandfather was a veteran. it is omnipresent. i'm certainly familiar with the civil war stories. i grew up in the hometown of jeb , the confederate cavalry commander. my favorite movie growing up was "the santa fe trail," where errol flynn played jeb stuart. where i am from the south and you like dead people, i got to know the town to pick up to the cemetery. it is the oldest cemetery around. i came to walk around and i tripped over the grave of cyprus holiday. the man in the mist all caps together. i realize the character from the
were "the santa fe trail" real. it really was holy ground. that is when my fascination with the role of kansas and civil war began. kansas did not earn the name what he kansas by accident. when the kansas-nebraska act was signed in 1854, the very act of just signing that piece of paper was viewed by missouri as an act of war. from the very beginning, every colony, all those original colonies assumed what was to the west of them was theirs. virginia settled kentucky, settled missouri. with that settlement went the mores of the culture and the values, the same from north to south. it was assumed that missouri
would settle kansas, making it a slave state. seenansas-nebraska act was as a pro-southern act. it was viewed as a proslavery act. when northerners decided popular sovereignty will decide the fate of kansas, we are going to send people to settle. that was viewed as an act of war by many missourians who assumed that had it would be theirs. it is so important to note that before there is a slave or issue in kansas, there is economic opportunity. nobody would have cared. nobody would have come had there not been economic opportunity in kansas. we look at the wide open space. we forget there are actually american indians living here at the time and making use of that space. two easterners, it looked like
wide open, unused country. the railroads. the railroads are everything in the 19th century. the very night that topeka is founded, the missouri senator thomas hart benton is standing in maryland making a speech about the rich land of kansas and how the railroad is going to cut through that and open it up for everybody. that is for most on everyone's mine. everyone sees kansas as th land of opportunity. it does not take long for the bloody struggle for that opportunity to begin. as soon as northerners are staking claims, missourians are coming over and tossing them off or destroying the claim marker. probably missouri started it,
but it escalates and both sides take it to incredibly heinous heights. there are rates back and forth d forth-- raids back an across the kansas border almost immediately. the missourians come to toss new englanders off their claims. people are coming from north and south alike, before the economic opportunity, many of them for a new start in the kansas territory. the massacre forces one of the most famous events of that time. hisay of 1856, john brown, sons, and a couple of other followers dragged five men from the cabin and they are shot and hacked to death with broad swords. that effectively cleared that area of southern settlers. the man that -- the men that he
killed were not slaveowners. it is a really complicated story, but they were not slaveowners. that massacre had a lot of mixed views around the nation. when john brown had accomplished, however, was to set the town for what the kansas-missouri border would become. that would rise to new heights with william quantrill in 1863. in 1863, quantrill led a band of about 450 confederate guerrillas across the border to florence, which was the second largest city. lawrence wasn't a factor when anti-slavery capital.
it was the new england stronghold. it was the home of jim lane and john robinson. it is where so many of the people came from that wreaked havoc. quantrill, to lawrence. they hold the town for hours. it is effectively destroyed. 150-200 men are killed. they could have killed every man, woman, and child in town. they had that much control over it. the town is effectively destroyed. there was a cloud of smoke that could be seen for 38 counties. it was if an atomic bomb had gone off. in order 11, which decimated western missouri and -25,000 people off
their land and made them homeless. it was horrific, no matter what side you are on. it was a horrific time. when the civil war finally came to the rest of the nation, kansas had had, of course, a few years of a head start. there are a couple of very notable contributions kansas makes to th war effort. per capita, we send more soldiers to the war than any other state. two is the first kansas color. we raised the first black regiment to fight in the civil war. their service is remarkable on so many counts. they fight before the emancipation proclamation is issued. they have -- the promise of nothing. nothing. they are not fighting with the
promise of their freedom. they are not fighting with the promise of even being paid. nothing. they are fighting with nothing except hope. following the civil war, it is very interesting to note there reunions forrs' many years of quantrill's raid on lawrence. the perpetrators, the men who wrote with contrail -- rode with quantrill, had reunions on the missouri side. that is one example of how the few did not die when the war was over. there is still a lot of animosity between kansas and missouri. now it plays out in sports events rather than on the battlefields, thankfully. animosities died hard.
one of the things that i think remember important to order number 11 -- the federal's try to create a demilitarized zone. the guerrillas in western missouri would not have a safe haven. he effectively cleans out 3.5 border counties along western missouri. had he included kansas, had he cleaned out some of the east kansas counties, had he done things differently, the result might have been different. who was going to put people off their property? those federal soldiers were in kansas. missouri sees kansas do that demand. harry truman is one of the most famous examples. his grandmother, who would not let him in the house with his
blue uniform because she acquainted that with the yankees , and who famously would not sleep in the lincoln room of the white house, and who commented when they would sit down to dinner that some family in kansas was using their good china and good silver. that is a great example of how generations later, those feelings had not died. i was researching in the library of congress in the newspaper room one day. i came across a newspaper in 1856, "the london times." the front page had the headline "war in kansas." the eyes of the world were literally on kansas. iod was sotorial per significant in shaping the war to come. kansas' role in the civil war cannot be overestimated. i think it is overshadowed
because you have the big battles in the east. you have gettysburg and chancellorsville and fredericksburg and all these big battles that overshadow how kansas truly defined the issues, it defined what we would become. the entire civil war is about who inherits the mantle of the revolution. who gets that, north or south? who do we get to be? kansas the fines that. it is all hammered out here in kansas. kansans are the ones who do find it after the war. after the homestead act is enacted, you have all these civil war soldiers moving to kansas. it becomes known as the soldier state. we are the soldier state long before we are the sunflower state because of all these civil war veterans coming west. i don't think you can over