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Kansas History - Summer 1999

(Vol. 22, No. 2)

Kansas History, Summer 1999

Justin Dragosani-Brantingham, "'Proud Are We': Private Rhinehart and the College Company of the Twenty-Second Kansas Volunteer."

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In the spring of 1898 several thousand Kansans proudly volunteered to serve their nation in its war against Spain. These soldiers expected to see action in Cuba or the far off Philippine Islands, but most spent their months of service stateside, in several different eastern training camps. Clifford T. Rhinehart, a student at the Kansas State Normal School (KSN), and his compatriots who made up the College Company (Co. H, Twenty-Second Kansas Volunteer Infantry), so-called because it consisted of recruits from KSN, Washburn College, the University of Kansas and the Kansas State Agricultural College, experienced the war at Camp Alger, Virginia, and Camp Meade, Pennsylvania. In addition to some great illustrations depicting camp life, this interesting article includes the text of a journal kept by Rhinehart from July 1 through September 1, 1898. "His candidness, as he shares his daily struggle of attempting to make sense out of the frenzied world around him, helps us understand Kansas and America as they approached the Twentieth Century."

W. Stitt Robinson, "Chautauqua: Then and Now. Presidential Address."

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In his 1998 KSHS presidential address, Professor Robinson explores the history of the Chautauqua, an educational and cultural institution born in western New York, in light of the late twentieth century revival of interest in this grand old institution. The movement, founded in 1874, caught on quickly and spread west; fifteen Kansas cities from Ottawa and Coffeyville to Cawker City and Beloit sponsored annual independent assemblies at some time between 1880 and 1917. And, while these "Mother Chautauqua-like" assemblies were quite successful and continued, "the Chautauqua movement entered a new phase in 1904 with the introduction of the circuits of traveling tents," which remained major attractions throughout the state well into the 1930s.

Barry A. Crouch, "A 'Fiend in Human Shape'? William Clarke Quantrill and His Biographers."

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If there is anything we can say with absolute confidence about Kansas history or historiography, it is that there has always been a nearly insatiable appetite and interest in Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War on the border. And if there is one character, besides the abolitionist John Brown, who has continually intrigued the masses and the scholars, it is William Clarke Quantrill. In "A 'Fiend in Human Shape'?," Gallaudet University history professor Barry A. Crouch reexamines the life and times of the infamous guerrilla leader by analyzing the works of Quantrill's five major biographers: John N. Edwards, Noted Guerrillas, or the Warfare of the Border (1877); William E. Connelley, Quantrill and the Border Wars (1910); Albert Castel, William Clarke Quantrill: His Life and Times (1962); Duane Schultz, Quantrill's War: The Life and Times of William Clarke Quantrill, 1837-1865 (1996); and Edward Leslie, The Devil Knows How to Ride: The True Story of William Clarke Quantrill and His Confederate Raiders (1996). Crouch also reviews a vast amount of additional literature, thus providing an extremely useful historiographical essay that should be of special interest to history teachers and anyone else who wants to be on top of the scholarship without reading it all themselves.