Center for Kansas Studies
Spring 1995 Newsletter
Washburn Center for Kansas Studies Newsletter

Summer and fall courses offered at WU
Minor in Kansas Studies

Students who wish to minor in Kansas Studies will find that one course is being offered this summer, and four courses in the minor are being offered in the 1995 fall semester.

 Kansas in the Movies (EN190) will be taught by Tom Averill during the first 5-week summer session. This class will meet from 1:45 to 3:40 Monday through Thursday.

 Students will view several Kansas movies, such as "Wizard of Oz," "The Learning Tree," "In Cold Blood," and "Splendor in the Grass" and compare these films with the books.

 Kansas Folklore (EN 393B) will be taught in the fall semester by Tom Averill. This class will meet on Thursday, from 1 to 3:40 p.m.

 Kansas Ecology (BI 170) is a telecourse that will be taught by Dr. Ross Johnson. This class will meet on Saturdays from 8 to 9:20 a.m. The course will explore the natural environment of Kansas from its geology and geography through its climate, to the types of plants and animals found in the state.

 The third course in the fall is American state and Local Government )PO 107). This course will meet at 10 on MWF. It examines the institutions and state and local government.

 The fourth course is Internship in State and Local Government (PO 307). Both political sciences courses will be taught by Dr. Loran Smith.

 Tour planned:

 Z Bar/Spring Hill Ranch
On May 20 the Center for Kansas Studies sponsored its last event of this year, a tour of the Z Bar/Spring Hill ranch near Strong City. This ranch has been in the news several times since it was opened to the public for the first time in December 1994.

 We will visit the imposing three-story, 114-year-old limestone mansion of the wealthy cattle baron, Stephan F. Jones, who came to Chase County in 1878. The tour will also include a large barn, out buildings, and a walk across the tall-prairie to the Lower Fox Creek one-room school built in 1882.

 Arrangements have been made with Barbara Zurhellen, site coordinator for the tour. It will cost $4.00 per person and be open to the first 25 individuals to make reservations. Contact Lyle Baker at 231-1010 extensions. Contact Lyle Baker at 231-1010 extension 1475 for additional information or reservations.

 By Marilyn Geiger, director

Jayhawkers, bushwhackers: Civil War Guerrillas

 A savage guerilla war between Union sympathizers and pro- slavery supporters of the Confederacy raged along the border between Kansas and Missouri from 1861 to 1865. The region was scene of almost unbelievable death and destruction.

 The story of those heartbreaking years in a far-flung theater of the American Civil War is told in Thomas Goodrich's book "Black Flag: Guerilla Warfare on the Western Border, 1861-1865."

 "Thousands died, millions of dollars in property were lost, entire populations were violently uprooted and cast to the wind," writes Goodrich. "It was also here that some of the greatest atrocities in our national experience occurred. By any standard the war on the Western Border was a catastrophe of monumental proportions."

 Using a wide array of firsthand reports, including diaries, letters and contemporary newspaper accounts, Goodrich describes in detail this guerrilla war.

 Black Flag describes the actions of Jayhawkers, Bushwhackers, Red Legs, and other Unionist and Confederate guerilla bands that operated along the bloody border between the states. Will Quantrill, John Brown, Jesse and Frank James, Younger and William F. Cody are some of the characters in the book.

 Goodrich is a professional writer whose focus is the Civil War. He is also the author of "Bloody Dawn: The Story of the Lawrence Massacre."

 Black Flag: Guerilla Warfare on the Western Border, 1861-1865
by Thomas Goodrich
Bloomington: Indiana University Press 1995

Robert Haywood writes about the Victorian West in Kansas cattle towns

 By Rachel Vukas

 The rugged life of the cowboy and the end-of-the trail wild rip-roaring cowtowns of the 1870s have been well-documented by both historians and fictional writers. Places such as Dodge City have been romanticized to mythical proportions, and it has become a common belief that cowtowns were generally lawless and uncivilized. Although the rowdy, flamboyant element was a major part of cowtown existence, another vital aspect of these towns has been overlooked: the Victorian influence on the values and behaviors of many of the citizens.

 In "Victorian West: Class and Culture in Kansas Cattle Towns," C. Robert Haywood presents the argument that "cattle towns" the term preferred by the polite citizenry, had two major classes. These two distinct populations existed side by side and consisted of the civilized or polite class of stable settlers, including merchants, bankers, professionals and public officials, and the lower class of entertainment like saloon owners, musicians, actors and prostitutes.

 To support his thesis, Haywood examines three cattle towns in great detail: Wichita, Caldwell and Dodge City. Although dissimilar today, these three towns are representative of cowtowns in the late 1800s whose economies were based on the Texas-trade of cattle trailing.

 As Easterners moved west, they brought the generally accepted Victorian attitudes and values with them. The uncivilized or "rowdy" cowboy class either rebelled against these values or simply did not adhere to them.

 The polite society, on the other hand, not only practiced Victorianism, but attempted to impose its values on the town to recreate the civilization of the Eastern part of the United States.

 This thoroughly researched work is fascinating reading as Haywood describes the two diverse populations and their forced interaction. Using newspaper articles and personal manuscripts of the time, the author illustrates the divisions, clashes, and inter- workings of the two classes.

 For example, in Wichita the drygoods store and the mercantile store were situated between two saloons, requiring the civilized ladies to pass by at least one of the disreputable joints to do necessary shopping. In some areas the two populations were quite separate, as the uncivilized class did not attend church, nor were they invited to social gatherings such as lawn parties, croquet games or literary readings. Yet other events that held wide appeal, such as the circus or a political rally, brought both groups together.

 Numerous examples of social activities and everyday life like weddings, births and deaths illustrate the existence of these two.

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