Saturday, March 31, 2012

A study in Border Wars

DSC02904 DSC02908 DSC02905 This trip was a trip back in history to the original Border Wars, and I began to understand where the terminology in the rivalry between Missouri and Kansas athletics came from. Back in the mid-1800s the issue of slavery polarized the nation. The site of the Massacre of Marais des Cygnes took place in Kansas territory, less than 1200 feet from the state of Missouri. Missouri permitted slavery and wanted Kansas to do the same. The fight over slavery erupted into violence, giving rise to the name of "Bleeding Kansas". On this site, a proslavery group captured 11 unarmed antislavery men and forced them to march towards the MO border. When they reached this point, the captives were lined up in this ravine and shot. DSC02911 DSC02913 DSC02914 In the background behind Jerry (taking the photo) stood a two-story log "fort", occupied after the massacre by abolitionist John Brown. John Brown stayed briefly, but long enough to liberate 11 slaves in Missouri and escort them all to freedom in Canada. The cemetery contains the remains of most of the men massacred at Marais des Cygnes along with the memorial marker.

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