Kansas's War: The Civil War in Documents

Overview

When the Civil War broke out in April 1861, Kansas was in a unique position. It had been a state for mere weeks, and already its residents were intimately acquainted with civil strife. Since its organization as a territory in 1854, Kansas had been the focus of a national debate over the place of slavery in the Republic. By 1856, the ideological conflict developed into actual violence, earning the territory the sobriquet “Bleeding Kansas.” Because of this steady escalation in violence, the state’s transition from ...

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Overview

When the Civil War broke out in April 1861, Kansas was in a unique position. It had been a state for mere weeks, and already its residents were intimately acquainted with civil strife. Since its organization as a territory in 1854, Kansas had been the focus of a national debate over the place of slavery in the Republic. By 1856, the ideological conflict developed into actual violence, earning the territory the sobriquet “Bleeding Kansas.” Because of this steady escalation in violence, the state’s transition from peace to war was not as abrupt as that of other states.

Kansas’s War illuminates the new state’s main preoccupations: the internal struggle for control of policy and patronage; border security; and issues of race—especially efforts to come to terms with the burgeoning African American population and Native Americans’ coninuing claims to nearly one-fifth of the state’s land. These documents demonstrate how politicians, soldiers, and ordinary Kansans were transformed by the war.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Its "Bleeding Kansas" slave owner-abolitionist struggles had given the Sunflower State a foretaste of civil war even before it was admitted to the Union. This 296-page collection of primary documents shows the strong effect of The War Between the States, its prelude and its aftermath, had on Kansas.

From the Publisher
“Pearl T. Ponce makes effective use of primary sources to illuminate the tumultuous early history of Kansas. Her study gives voice to a wide array of Kansans on a wide range of topics.”
— Jeremy Neely, author of The Border between Them: Violence and Reconciliation on the Kansas-Missouri Line

Kansas’s War: The Civil War in Documents has much to recommend it and will prove a handy and valuable reference for any scholar interested in territorial or wartime Kansas in the Civil War. . . . Ponce provides insightful introductions to each chapter, offering clear and concise overviews of the issues and themes.”
Journal of Southern History

“A skillful selection of historical documents spanning the decades before, during, and after the Civil War, Kansas's War is a great introductory resource for college level classrooms and libraries.”
Civil War Books and Authors blog

“Pearl Ponce…has effectively tackled the state of Kansas in a fresh and thought-provoking collection of documents, many of which have been hidden in archives or newspapers since John Brown caused all that fuss back in 1856.”
Kansas History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780821419366
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press
  • Publication date: 4/15/2011
  • Series: Civil War in the Great Interior Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 1,458,933
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Pearl T. Ponce is an assistant professor of history at Ithaca College.

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