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Kansas History - Summer 2014

Kansas History, Summer 2014(Vol. 37, No. 2)

Luther Chapin Bailey, edited by Mark Scott, “Fleeing Missouri Bloodhounds: Pappy Carr’s Escape to Free Kansas.”

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Topeka insurance agent, real estate developer, and writer/historian, Luther C. Bailey regularly met people from all walks of life, and “Pappy” Carr was among those he thought the most interesting. Carr was a Topeka janitor who seemed “the least likely hero” and was “exceedingly reticent in telling his story,” but Bailey believed that the account of Carr’s harrowing escape from slavery in Missouri should be recorded for posterity. He wrote “Fleeing Missouri Bloodhounds,” Pappy Carr’s slave narrative, several years before Carr’s death in 1914. The unpublished story lay forgotten for more than a century in a box of old documents until Bailey’s great-grandson, Mark Chapin Scott, accidentally discovered it in 2013. Scott also edited another previously unpublished Bailey story, an eyewitness recollection of a February 1895 train robbery in western Kansas, which appeared in Kansas History as “Insured against Train Robbers: A Kansas Christmas Tale” (Winter 2009).

Edgar Langsdorf, “Price's Raid and the Battle of Mine Creek.”

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“Wilson's Creek was the first great battle of the war west of the Mississippi, and Mine Creek the last,” concluded historian Albert Castel in his 1968 biography of Confederate General Sterling Price. “Between these events is the story of a lost cause. After Mine Creek came limbo.” With this fascinating conclusion in mind, it seemed wrong to allow the Kansas battle’s 150th anniversary year to pass without recognition. Thus, “Price’s Raid and the Battle of Mine Creek,” which was first published in the autumn 1964 issue of the Kansas Historical Quarterly to mark the centennial of that seminal event in Kansas Civil War history, is being republished by Kansas History in its entirety to commemorate the raid’s sesquicentennial. After fifty years Edgar Langsdorf’s fine study remains an important and interesting contribution to the history of the only Civil War battle between regular Union and Confederate troops fought on Kansas soil. It has been edited for style only, so that it might more closely reflect our twenty-first-century usage, and the editors have added a few clarifying comments and additional secondary source citations to the footnotes to reflect more recent additions to the scholarship.

Virgil W. Dean, editor, “‘I was a prisoner of war.’ The Autobiography of SAMUEL J. READER.”

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Born in Greenfield, Pennsylvania, on January 25, 1836, Samuel J. Reader removed to Kansas Territory in May 1855 and settled on a farm north of Topeka. He was a free-state partisan during the Bleeding Kansas years and member of the Second Regiment Kansas State Militia during the Civil War. He was also a diarist and artist whose voluminous illustrated writings are a valued part of the archival collections at the Kansas Historical Society. “Reader's unique contribution to Kansas history,” wrote George A. Root, a long-time member of the Kansas Historical Society staff, “was a diary which he began when he was thirteen years old and in which he wrote every day to the end of his life. . . . It is illustrated throughout with marginal and full-page sketches, many in water color. During his later years he wrote his ‘Reminiscences,’ based upon the diary.” A relatively small portion of the latter, edited and annotated, covering Reader’s experience as “a prisoner of war” during the last phase of Price’s 1864 campaign is being published for the first time in Kansas History. The complete “Autobiography” is available online through Kansas Memory.

Book Reviews

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Willard Garvey: An Epic Life
by Maura McEnaney
xix + 309 pages, illustrations, notes, index.
Oakland, Calif.: Liberty Tree Press, 2013, cloth $26.95.
Reviewed by Jay Price, professor of history, Wichita State University.

Harry Truman and the Struggle for Racial Justice
by Robert Shogan 
xi + 233 pages, illustrations, notes, bibliography, index.
Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2013, cloth $34.95.
Reviewed by Shawn Leigh Alexander, associate professor of African and African American Studies, University of Kansas.

Edmund G. Ross: Soldier, Senator, Abolitionist
by Richard A Ruddy
xvi + 328 pages, illustrations, notes, bibliography, index.
Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2013, cloth $39.95.
Reviewed by Virgil W. Dean, consulting editor, Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains.

Oklahoma’s Indian New Deal
by Jon S. Blackman
ix + 225 pages, illustrations, notes, bibliography, index.
Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2014, cloth, $24.95.
Reviewed by Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, associate professor of history, Kansas State University, Manhattan.

Standing Firmly by the Flag: Nebraska Territory and the Civil War, 1861–1867
by James E. Potter
xxi + 375 pages, illustrations, notes, bibliography, index.
Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2012, paper $29.95.
Reviewed by Christopher Phillips, professor of history, University of Cincinnati.

Book Notes

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