Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Kansas: The Prelude to the War for the Union / Leverett Wilson Spring -- Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1885.
This history of Kansas was written 20-30 years after the events it describes: Kansas during its colonization just prior to the Civil War. The account describes a near civil war between anti-slavery and pro-slavery residents, with the territorial governors struggling to maintain peace and order. The author writes a good deal about the murders that have been attributed to John Brown and his family and followers. Unfortunately, the book provides too few reminders reagarding the roles of the numerous political and military actors and the temporal sequence of events for the work to be an easy read for someone with little background.