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Kansas History - Spring 1997

(Vol. 20, No. 1)

Kansas History, Spring 1997

John M. Peterson, editor. "From Border War to Civil War: More Letters From Edward and Sarah Fitch, 1855-1863. Part I."

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Kansas History first published the "Letters of Edward and Sarah Fitch" in the spring and summer of 1989. The Douglas County Historical has since acquired many additional letters from the Fitches' descendants, and the contents are of such interest that we chose to devote space in two more issues of the journal for a portion of this new cache. As editor Peterson notes, "many of the ordinary trials and successes of settlers in a strange and newly-settled land are revealed in the letters Edward wrote" to members of his family, but they also reveal much about political machinations in the troubled Kansas Territory.

Henry J. Avila, "Immigration and Integration: The Mexican American Community in Garden City, Kansas, 1900-1950."

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Making effective use oral histories in addition to many other sources, Avila examines the migratory process that led to the emergence of "a vibrant Mexican community . . . in the rural environs of Finney County and the small town of Garden City." The article also sheds new light on race relations and discrimination as it affected this segment of Finney County's population and explores the role of World War II in the amelioration of some of the more serious abuses.

Carolyn Bailey Berneking, "Pure Food and Water for Kansas: E.H.S. Bailey, the State Laboratory, and the State Board of Health during the Progressive Era."

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Edgar Henry Summerfield Bailey, born in Middlefield, Connecticut, in 1848, joined the University of Kansas faculty in 1883 and was soon acting on his beliefs "that impure foods and polluted waters were among the most important problems that society had to solve." Berneking tells the story of a chemist who made significant contributions to Kansas's Progressive Era public health campaign.

Jeffrey L. Patrick, editor, "'This Regiment Will Make A Mark': Letters From a Member of 'Jennison's Jayhawkers,' 1861-1862."

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Three fascinating letters written by a soldier in Company K of the Seventh Kansas Cavalry to the editor of the Enterprise, Mishawaka, Indiana, make up the bulk of this particular article. As Patrick points out in a helpful introduction, "few newspaper letters were written by members of [Charles] Jennison's regiment during this period," and they take on added importance when it is recognized that the correspondent was a member of Company K, an especially active company commanded by John Brown, Jr.