Tragic Prelude: Bleeding Kansas

Tragic Prelude: Bleeding Kansas

by Karen Zeinert
     
 

Editorial Reviews

VOYA
In her latest book, Zeinert offers a historical account of the violence of Bleeding Kansas, the unofficial battle over slavery in the territory of Kansas during the 1850s. It begins with the actions of abolitionist John Brown and his 1856 attack on proslavery settlers in retaliation for their earlier raid on Lawrence, Kansas. The ensuing two-year territorial reign of terror pitted neighbor against neighbor, the Jayhawkers, or antislavery guerrillas, versus proslavery supporters. The narrative backtracks to the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act, a bill introduced by Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas, admitting both states into the Union and granting settlers the right to decide for themselves on the issue of slavery. Public response to the bill, along with the electioneering between the two groups, tells the tale of Bleeding Kansas and eventually leads to the start of the Civil War in 1861. Unfortunately, Zeinert's narrative is only useful as a resource for a research paper. By lacking a more detailed time line and additional information on the cast of characters, students who usually enjoy reading the subject matter probably will not find it entertaining. Moreover, because some students might not know the meaning of Jayhawker or Free Stater, a glossary would have been helpful. Nevertheless the oral histories highlighted throughout the text offer an insider's view of the survivors' thoughts, opinions, and feelings during this period of history. Index. Photos. Maps. Biblio. Source Notes. Further Reading. Chronology. VOYA CODES: 3Q 1P J (Readable without serious defects; No YA will read unless forced to for assignments; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Linnet Books/Shoestring, 105p,$25. Ages 12 to 15. Reviewer: Kimberlee Ried SOURCE: VOYA, February 2002 (Vol. 24, No.6)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Zeinert has done a competent job of discussing what is probably one of the most complicated aspects of earlier U.S. history. A short introduction explains the creation of the Kansas Territory by the enactment of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. This piece of federal legislation set the stage, or was the prelude, as the author has aptly chosen to call it, for the Civil War. Next comes a map of the area, an annotated listing of the major players, and a chronology. Then the text clearly illustrates how the question of slavery in Kansas, which was to be determined by the people of the state, became a national issue with groups from the North and the South sending money, arms, militia, and settlers to support the various factions in Kansas. The conflict is described in terms of the people involved-settlers, Free Staters, abolitionists, politicians (local, territorial, and federal), pro-slavery Southerners, Jayhawkers, border ruffians, and bushwhackers. A time line dates from 1854 to 1861 when Kansas finally achieved statehood and Fort Sumter was fired upon. Period photos and reproductions of many of the notables associated with this conflict appear throughout. Excerpts from diaries of those involved add to the authenticity of the text. (There are two minor errors: the date of the Louisiana Purchase is incorrect, and Lecompton is misspelled.) A fascinating and enlightening title, and a must for any collection of Civil War-era material.-Eldon Younce, Harper Elementary School, KS Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780208024466
Publisher:
Shoe String Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/28/2000
Pages:
105
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 10.04(h) x 0.59(d)
Age Range:
11 - 14 Years

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