From February 2015 to January 2016, the Topeka Capital-Journal ran a series of articles by editor Jan Biles. The dozen articles, when compiled, provided an overview of some of the stories connected to the heritage area’s themes of shaping the frontier, the Missouri-Kansas Border War, and the enduring struggle for freedom. Her articles cover the early history of the organization of the heritage area, and provide information that shows why this heritage area’s stories are nationally significant. These articles have been compiled as Freedom's Struggle, a book that the heritage area can give away.

"In a delicately worded dispatch, Maj. Gen. Sterling Price asked guerrilla leader William Quantrill to explain his Aug. 21 raid on Lawrence, Kan., so 'that your acts should appear in their true light before the world.'" 150 Years Ago: Price asks Quantrill to explain his raid on Lawrence, by Rudi Keller, Columbia Daily Tribune, November 2, 2013

"Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area celebrated the presentation of the first Tacha Freedom Award and Billings MVP Awards on Thursday, October 10, 2013, with a luncheon at the Liberty Theatre in Fort Scott, Kansas. Deanell Tacha and Judy Billings were in attendance at the lunch to assist with the presentation of the awards that are named for them. Both women played essential roles in the founding of Freedom’s Frontier." Heritage Area honors founders and award-winners, KOAM Channel 7, Pittsburg, KS: article from news release issued by FFNHA, October 23, 2013

"Jo Shelby’s Confederate cavalry passed this place at 2 a.m. on its rapid retreat to the Osage River after its escape from Brig. Gen. Egbert Brown’s Union cavalry two days earlier at the Battle of Marshall." 150 Years Ago: Shelby’s cavalry retreats toward Osage River, by Rudi Keller, Columbia Daily Tribune, October 15, 2013

"Seven years ago this week, 41 counties of eastern Kansas and western Missouri forever were bound together by the circumstances of history and an act of Congress." Our opinion: Learn lessons of past on Freedom's Frontier, St. Joseph, Missouri, News Press Now, October 9, 2013

"This weekend a Southeast Kansas town will be taking a trip back in time, 150 years to be exact. Baxter Springs is celebrating the sesquicentennial, which is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War." Brad's Beat: Baxter Springs 150th Civil War Anniversary Celebration (short article and video), by Brad Douglas,, October 4, 2013

"The Baxter Springs Sesquicentennial Civil War Celebration, Oct. 4-6, will commemorate the massacre of approximately 100 Union Soldiers at Baxter Springs' Fort Blair nearly 150 years ago, when Confederate guerilla William Quantrill surprised Union soldiers on Oct. 6, 1863, hunting the men down in the autumn chill." Historical society ready for Civil War commemoration, by Tony Coble, Miami News-Record (, October 3, 2013

"The river brought everything to this town, and time has tried to wash it all away. Stores, the courthouse and schools, all long gone. Pretty much everything except a handful of people who cling like bottom mud to this land. They refuse to give in to the river, the weeds and the years." Feisty bunch keeps tight hold on Missouri town’s history, by Donald Bradley, The Kansas City Star, September 25, 2013

"It was guerrilla war, and not unlike Afghanistan today or what happened in Iraq. But this was on native Kansas soil." A Look Back at Quantrill's Raid, 150 Years Later, by Dan Verbeck, KCUR (Kansas City Public Media, 89.3FM), August 21, 2013

"Using letters and witness accounts, the Kansas Humanities Council along with Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area is teaming up to tell the story of Quantrill’s raid in real time over Twitter accounts from several characters." Read a Twitter re-enactment of Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, by Beccy Tanner, The Wichita Eagle, August 20, 2013

"During the 1850s in Kansas and Missouri, the forces on both sides of the slavery issue squared off. The Jayhawkers favoring the Union cause battled the bushwhackers supporting the Confederacy. Many of these border ruffians wanted an excuse to plunder and commit mayhem rather than support their cause." Quantrill’s Raiders rampage in Kansas, by Sheryl Hinman and Glenn Busse, The Register-Mail (Galesburg, IL), August 18, 2013

"William Quantrill, the Confederate guerrilla leader who terrorized the citizens of Kansas and Missouri during the Civil War, was described in the Tribune as a 'cold blooded, heartless but intelligent villain.' And that was well over a year before he cemented his notoriety by leading his gang of several hundred men into Lawrence, Kan., at dawn on Aug. 21, 1863." Massacre in Kansas: Quantrill's Raiders descended on Lawrence, and death rode with them, Chicago Tribune News, August 18, 2013

"William Quantrill, the Confederate guerrilla leader who terrorized the citizens of Kansas and Missouri during the Civil War, was described in the Tribune as a "cold blooded, heartless but intelligent villain." And that was well over a year before he cemented his notoriety by leading his gang of several hundred men into Lawrence, Kan., at dawn on Aug. 21, 1863." Massacre in Kansas: Quantrill's Raiders descended on Lawrence, and death rode with them, Chicago Tribune, August 18, 2013

"Generations of Kansans have been taught that thieving, bloodthirsty Missourians ripped Lawrence men from their families in the early morning hours of Aug. 21, 1863, and shot them in the dusty streets of Lawrence." 150 years later, Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence still stirs deep emotions – on both sides, by Beccy Tanner, The Wichita Eagle, August 17, 2013

"A Lawrence museum is opening a new $300,000 exhibit as the city marks the 150th anniversary of William Clarke Quantrill’s Confederate guerrilla attack on the pro-union town." Lawrence Museum Opens Quantrill’s Raid Exhibit, by Associated Press, reported by WIBW News, August 17, 2013

"Lawrencians and others took advantage of unseasonably pleasant weather Saturday to spend time downtown learning about and reflecting upon the events 150 years ago that shaped the city." Watkins Museum events commemorate Quantrill’s Raid, by Caitlin Doornbos and Nicole Wentling, Lawrence Journal-World, August 17, 2013

"From an explosion of tweets to a solemn reading of the names of those violently slain, area residents will spend the next several days remembering the watershed event in Lawrence's history." Community prepares to mark 150th anniversary of Quantrill’s raid, by Chad Lawhorn, Lawrence Journal-World, August 16, 2013

"Kansas City's Second Baptist Church celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. The church was founded on the banks of the Missouri River in 1863. One hundred fifty years ago the country was midway through the Civil War, and back then, Second Baptist Church was a mission known as a "Stragglers Camp" located on the south banks of the Missouri River." Kansas City's First Black Baptist Church Marks 150 Year Anniversary, By Stephen Steigman and Steve Kraske, KCUR (Kansas City Public Media, 89.3FM), August 9, 2013

New Book: The Big Divide
- Diane Eickhoff and Aaron Barnhart travel one of America's most historic and divisive borders. The Big Divide, by Diane Eickhoff and Aaron Barnhart, explores the history, differences and cultural resources of the Missouri-Kansas borderlands. Their offering provides a portrait of this area though insightful reviews, thoughts and interesting facts about historic sites in the region. From the “Border War” to Fort Scott, readers will discover the immense and intricate history in America’s heartland, along with the long history of animosity between these two states, their peoples and struggle for identity. Civil War Trust staff sat down with the authors to discuss the unique heritage they found while traveling this “line in the dirt.” Civil War Trust Web site

"This October, ATO Records will release a Civil War-inspired double album titled Divided & United. The LP will feature songs from Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Old Crow Medicine Show, A.A. Bondy, Taj Mahal, T. Bone Burnett, Steve Earle, and Lee Ann Womack, among others. Rolling Stone spoke with Lynn about her recording of 'Take Your Guns and Go, John,' a 150-year-old track about a soldier leaving for war." Hear Loretta Lynn Cover A 150-Year-Old Civil War Song ‘Take Your Guns And Go, John’, Buzz*N@102.9FM (Minneapolis, MN), July 24, 2013

"When the Civil War broke out, most American Indians on the frontier understandably wanted no part of it. They were far from the action, and many had recently been forcibly removed to present-day Kansas and Oklahoma. And yet, many Indians were eventually pulled into 'the white man’s war.'” Fighting the ‘White Man’s War’, by Aaron Barnhart and Diane Eickhoff, The New York Times - Opinionator Blog, July 19, 2013

"The Civil War ended nearly 150 years ago, but Topekans honoring veterans of that conflict Saturday hoped it can still teach something about honoring the country those soldiers fought for." Topekans honor Civil War veterans, urge unity: Attendees urged to help today's returning soldiers, by Megan Hart, Topeka Capital-Journal, May 25, 2013

"The Kansas History Day State Contest was held last month in Topeka...This year’s theme was 'Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events. The Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area Award, a $50 prize, went to Luke Ketter and Anna Suellentrop of Bishop Carroll for their group website, 'Bleeding Kansas: A Fight Over Slavery.' That award recognizes the entry that best exemplifies the ideals of shaping the frontier, the Missouri-Kansas Border War or the enduring struggle for freedom within the heritage area." Wichita-area students advance to national competition, by Suzanne Perez Tobias, The Wichita Eagle, May 10, 2013

"Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site is dreaming big, big enough to help cover a Saturn V rocket with over 250 pieces of local, national and even international artwork." 'Expressions of Freedom and Equality' Exhibit coming to Brown v. Board, by Brian Dulle, Kansas First News, April 30, 2013 - more coverage on this topic: Brown v. Board site to host Dream Rocket Project exhibit: Artwork eventually will cover a Saturn V rocket, Topeka Capital-Journal, April 30, 2013

"Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area is seeking proposals for a comprehensive signage master plan. FFNHA is a federally recognized region of 41 counties in western Missouri and eastern Kansas that share a common history." Heritage Area requests bids for comprehensive signage master plan, Gardner Edge, April 9th, 2013

"Nearly 150 years after the final shots of the Civil War were fired, a new wave of fresh troops will descend on many of America's battlefields on Saturday, but they will wield paintbrushes, trash bags and hammers in the line of duty." Baxter Springs’ fort, other Civil War sites seeking volunteers for annual Park Day, The Joplin Globe, April 4, 2013

The Baker University Speech Choir brought to life a Freedom's Frontier-Kansas Humanities Council "Shared Stories of the Civil War" readers' theater script entitled "Guerrilla Warfare: Bushwhacker and Jayhawkers" as part of their spring break tour of Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area. Missouri State University professor Jeremy Neely moderated a discussion following the performance. Performance on Border War set for March 12, by The Fort Scott Tribune, March 1, 2013. 'Bushwhackers and Jayhawkers,' by The Fort Scott Tribune, March 13, 2013.

The city of Topeka is inviting the public at a meeting Thursday to weigh in and work through the details of a proposed new draft of the historic preservation element of the city’s comprehensive plan. Meeting focuses on update of city's historic preservation plan, by The Capital-Journal, March 6, 2013

"The story of the Kansas-Missouri border war will be brought to life with a planned performance by the Baker University Speech Choir at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, at the Fort Scott National Historic Site. The performance, titled "Guerilla Warfare: Bushwhackers and Jayhawkers," is part of the Shared Stories of the Civil War script series, a reader's theater project the historic site has been involved with the last few years." Performance on Border War set for March 12, by Jason E. Silvers, The Fort Scott Tribune, March 1, 2013

"The new owners of the News Room – now named Black & Gold – are taking fandom to a new low. Owner Zack Cartwright tells KC Confidential he plans on hosting a celebration of the 1863 raid that killed hundreds of men and boys in Lawrence. Cartwright, who pledges allegiance to Mizzou, said the KU-MU rivalry will 'never die,' but didn’t elaborate about why the bar was hosting the event." Former News Room bar to ‘celebrate’ Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, Media KC: A blog about Kansas City media, news, social media and more, January 25, 2013

"No one was sure what became of America’s black Moses after he sought to lead his people to the promised land. Historians could recite virtually every other pertinent detail of Benjamin 'Pap' Singleton’s remarkable life." Mystery of Ol' Pap leads to a KC Grave, by Mike Hendricks, The Kansas City Star, January 25, 2013

"Bushwhacker Museum Coordinator Will Tollerton doesn't just study and display history, he acts it out." Museum coordinator is Civil War re-enactor, by James R. Campbell, Nevada Daily Mail, January 9, 2013

"'We're trying to keep the Civil War in front, but also add a few topics that would be of interest to people in the area,' said Joe Houts, local banker, author and founder of the talks." Tuesday Night Talks returning for another season, by Marshall White, St. Joseph News-Press, January 8, 2013

"The overcast skies of Jan. 1, 1863, ushered in the era of emancipation across the Kansas prairie. The absence of sunshine, though, did not dampen the spirits of the men of the First Kansas Colored Infantry at their camp at Fort Scott. That afternoon they celebrated the issuance of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in what an eyewitness described as the old-fashioned Southern style: barbecue and speechmaking." ‘A Great Fight for Freedom’, by Ronald S. Coddington for Disunion (Disunion follows the Civil War as it unfolded.), New York Times Opinionator Blog, January 3, 2013

The Adair cabin at the John Brown Museum State Historic Site is being adorned for Christmas as Osawatomie’s frontier founders would have decorated it for this Saturday night’s annual holiday celebration. Frontier Christmas at the Adair Cabin, by Colleen Truelsen, Osawatomie Graphic, November 28, 2012

"Cloaked in a top hat, frock coat, pleated shirt and cravat, Paul Bahnmaier is on a frenetic campaign to thrust his 625-person hometown into the spotlight by heralding its seismic yet little-known place in antebellum history: The first step toward Abraham Lincoln’s election as president took place here. A Kansas Town Seeks Fame as a Chapter in Lincoln’s Rise," by John Eligon, The New York Times, November 22, 2012

"My husband and I are fascinated by the Civil War and events that led up to it, notably the Border War between western Missouri and eastern Kansas. Though the Civil War may have officially started when Confederate shots were fired on Union-held Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor on April 12, 1861, the hostilities began in the Midwest much earlier. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 ignited the Border War, and ultimately led to Civil War. Every year we take a trip 'in search of' something Civil War related. This year, with memorial events under way for the war’s sesquicentennial, we visited the area where the Border War took place." Explore the Freedom's Frontier Civil War Sites, by Pam Selbert, special to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 18, 2012

"A Lawrence mystery that dates back to at least 1903 is likely to get solved by a 21st century hotel project in downtown Lawrence. City officials confirmed they are likely to require the developers of a proposed hotel at Ninth and New Hampshire streets to conduct test excavations to determine whether victims of Quantrill’s Raid are buried at the site." City likely to require test to answer burial puzzle at Ninth and New Hampshire: Some think victims of Quantrill’s Raid may have been buried at site, by Chad Lawhorn, Lawrence Journal-World, October 25, 2012

"BUTLER, Mo. -- Earlier this week, the golden prairie-grass pasture here 70 miles south of Kansas City was quiet except for whistling wind and the distant growl of a tractor. Here — on the Old Toothman farm — the First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry set up headquarters 150 years ago, calling it Fort Africa." Black soldiers’ 1862 valor finally recognized at Missouri site, by Maria Rose Williams, The Kansas City Star, October 25, 2012

"Ruth Kerford’s busy life, one marked by her role as a pioneer for civil rights in Kansas City, revolved around family and faith. She died Saturday at the age of 90." Ruth Kerford, a Kansas City civil rights pioneer, remembered: Friends recall how civil rights pioneer, who died at 90, battled injustice by guiding 1950s boycott, by Sangeeta Shastry, The Kansas City Star, October 23, 2012

"Congratulations to the dedicated volunteer force that successfully sought National Historical Landmark status for the Black Jack Battlefield near Baldwin City." Editorial: Landmark accomplishment, by J-W Editorial, October 19, 2012

"The designation of a Civil War battlefield in northeast Kansas as a National Historic Landmark should bring more attention, visitors and funding to a little-known but historically significant site, supporters said." Black Jack Battlefield named a national landmark, The Wichita Eagle (via The Associated Press), October 18, 2012; (via The Associated Press), October 21, 2012

"America, meet the Battle of Black Jack. Leaders with the National Park Service on Wednesday announced the Black Jack Battlefield just east of Baldwin City had been designated as a National Historic Landmark." Black Jack Battlefield designated as National Historic Landmark, by Chad Lawhorn, Lawrence Journal-World, October 17, 2012; Baldwin City Signal, October 18, 2012

"Judge Deanell Tacha will be honored Saturday with a national award for her judicial service, the A. Sherman Christensen Award, given for 'distinguished, exceptional and significant leadership.'” Former judge Tacha to be honored, by Shaun Hittle, Lawrence Journal-World, October 15, 2012

"Deliberations over the Wyandotte Constitution under which Kansas was admitted to the Union were conducted in the Union Pacific Railway building in Kansas City, Kansas...The story of the forming of the fourth and final convention to draft a state constitution for admission to the Union of the Kansas Territory acceptable to Kansans and the Congress will be told in a reader's theater presentation Sunday." Script examines Wyandotte Constitution, by The Capital-Journal, October 4, 2012

"The attack on Fort Sumter didn’t start the Civil War in 1861; the war began 10 years earlier, with the publication of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. At least, that’s what Abraham Lincoln claimed, when he met Stowe in 1862 and reportedly greeted her as 'the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.'”A War of Words, by Colleen Glenney Boggs, Disunion - The New York Times (Disunion follows the Civil War as it unfolded.) October 2, 2012

"One hundred fifty years ago, seeking to prevent foreign governments from intervening for the South in an American war, to capitalize on the Union’s recent bloody victory at Antietam and — perhaps above all — to consecrate the war’s unprecedented slaughter to a higher moral purpose, President Lincoln decided to make the war about something more fundamental even than the survival of a nation. He decided to make the war — and the nation it preserved — about freedom." Opinion: 150 years after Emancipation Proclamation, how free are we? by The (New Jersey) Star-Ledger, guest columnist John Farmer Jr., September 30, 2012

"Brown V. Board of Education National Historic Site and Freedom's Frontier NHA are partnering to serve at risk youth with the help of a $10,000 Impact Grant." Explore America’s National Heritage Areas, by Sarah Coquillat, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, September 21, 2012

"To mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam - the bloodiest single day in American military history - photographer Todd Harrington has retraced the steps of ground-breaking Civil War photographer Alexander Gardner." The angles of Antietam: Stunning pictures that retrace the steps of ground-breaking Civil War photographer shot in exact same spots 150 years after bloodiest battle, by Daily Mail Reporter, September 19, 2012

"In 1862, Lincoln made slavery the war's moral cause. But African Americans' freedom – won at such cost – was lost for a century." The Emancipation Proclamation at 150: from civil war to civil rights, by Salamishah Tillet,The Guardian, September 18, 2012

"The American Civil War has held the interest of thousands of people for 150 years. For many people around the world, this interest is not satisfied by reading or writing about the war, but leads them to want to experience it as nearly as possible for themselves. These people become reenactors." Book Review: Battlefields of Honor: American Civil War Reenactors by Mark Elson, reviewed by Rhetta Akamatsu, BLOGCRITICS.ORG, September 17, 2012

"In 1873, Clinton-area residents held a picnic — the Sigel Harvest Home Picnic — to give thanks for the summer’s produce. Nearly 140 years later, about 75 of their ancestors and other community members gathered to continue the tribute." Harvest picnic a celebration of area’s history, by Adam Strunk, Lawrence Journal-World, September 8, 2012

"The Gardner Historical Museum was one of a handful of historical organizations in Johnson County to receive a slice of the Johnson County Heritage Trust fund pie for 2012, Johnson County Commissioners were told Aug. 16. The Gardner museum will receive partial funding of $3,000 for a 'Walk and Talk with the Public' program." Gardner museum receives $3,000 Heritage grant for walking history, by Mark Taylor, Gardner News, August 22, 2012

"In 1863, William Quantrill led a group of marauders from Missouri across the state line into Lawrence, burning the town and murdering as many as 200 men and boys. While Lawrence city leaders mull ways to mark the 150th anniversary of the massacre, no one will be “celebrating” the date, as FOX4 suggests (link to FOX 4, Kansas City - article/video news, August 21, 2012) in a headline published last night." FOX4, something tells me Lawrence won’t be ‘celebrating’ Quantrill’s Raid, Media KC: A blog about Kansas City media, news, social media and more, August 22, 2012

"Maybe it was a bout of early-morning grogginess, or perhaps a more constant affliction of eternal optimism, that clouded the judgement of Ralph Dix. Whatever the case, at 5 a.m. Aug. 21, 1863, Dix thought he could reason with the armed visitors to his town. If you have lived in Lawrence long, perhaps you recognize the date. On that day in 1863, a band of 'border ruffians' led by Missouri raider William Quantrill burned large swaths of the city." Plans in works to mark raid on Lawrence: Quantrill attacked city almost 150 years ago, by Chad Lawhorn, Lawrence Journal-World, August 19, 2012

"The big moment in the elaborate re-creation of the Battle of Lone Jack over the weekend might have been when about 100 rebels whooped their battle cry from the cornfield where they were preparing to face death. Or maybe it was when Marty Rubin sounded his bugle call like a musical cheerleader for his nearly 100 Union brothers in that same battle." Battle of Lone Jack flares again, for a weekend Re-enactment, with guns and colorful characters, exerts a powerful emotional grip, by Lee Hill Kavanaugh, The Kansas City Star, August 19, 2012

"The Historic Sites Board of Review recently voted to list two properties in the Register of Historic Kansas Places and forward more than 15 nominations to the office of the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places in Washington to be evaluated by their professional staff. Twelve of the National Register nominations are the result of a partnership between the Kansas Historical Society and the National Trails System of the National Park Service to document historic resources along the Santa Fe Trail." Board nominates Santa Fe Trail sites to national historic register, byThe Topeka Capital-Journal, August 15, 2012

"Two years ago, when he and his wife finally owned the old place, Steve Brown just stood there, smiling. He’d admired the 1870s farmhouse since he was a kid. He was thrilled to own a piece of history. This piece of Earth probably hasn’t changed in 100 years, he thought. And that’s when his idea was born. It would be the perfect place for the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Lone Jack." Lone Jack readies an unusual Civil War re-enactment: On the 150th anniversary of town’s bloody battle, candlelight tour will tell stories of civilians as well as soldiers, by Lee Hill Kavanaugh, The Kansas City Star, August 15, 2012

"The Oregon and California Trails Association held its annual convention in Lawrence to experience the Oregon and Santa Fe trails that pass through Douglas County and the area’s Civil War history." More than 300 people came for the convention. History draws ‘rut nuts’ to town, by Adam Strunk, Lawrence Journal-World, August 10, 2012

"Civil war buffs may want to visit Watkins Community Museum next week. On Aug. 16 and 18, the museum, 1047 Mass., will commemorate local upheaval during the Civil War as part of the Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau’s event Civil War on the Western Frontier. Saturday’s schedule is chock-full of events including walking tours of Quantrill’s Raid, Civil War era music, and a roll call of all victims of Quantrill’s raid." Museum marks Civil War with events spanning 2 days, by Adam Strunk, Lawrence Journal-World, August 8, 2012

Freedom's Frontier Executive Director Fred Conboy visited Fort Scott and spoke with Rotary on the topic, "Building Community through Partnership with Freedom's Frontier: 'If we don't tell our stories, who will?'" Freedom's Frontier builds community through partnership, Fort Scott Tribune, July 31, 2012

"Making sure the history of Kansas black Civil War soldiers isn’t lost, local civil rights activist C.E. 'Sonny' Scroggins is spearheading a series of celebrations this coming weekend marking the 150th anniversary of the group’s formation." Events mark 150th anniversary of black soldiers, by Phil Anderson, Topeka Capital-Journal, July 29, 2012

"The old well on Brookwood Street in Mission Hills was dug more than 150 years ago, serving as a crucial watering point for the brave souls making their journey along the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails. During the Civil War Battle of Westport, it became a place of relative peace, where soldier from the north and south could quench their thirst without fear of attack. And this Saturday, it will be the final step in one local teen’s journey to Eagle Scoutdom." Scout plans to refurbish little-known Civil War-era well in Mission Hills, Prairie Village Post, July 25, 2012

"Kristie Letter, a high school English teacher from Erie, Colo., said Wednesday she had heard of the term “Bleeding Kansas” but knew only 'the starkest outlines' of what it meant to the nation’s history. As one of 40 educators participating in the 'Crossroads of Conflict: Contested Visions of Freedom and the Missouri-Kansas Border Wars' conference visiting historic sites this week in Kansas and Missouri, Letter said she is learning about the role the two states played in the Civil War." Educators learn about Bleeding Kansas, by Jan Biles, The Topeka Capital-Journal, June 27, 2012 (The educators visited Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area headquarters in Lawrence, as well as other heritage area sites.)

"The Kansas River is the newest addition in the National Water Trails System. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar made the announcement during a press conference Saturday morning utside the Flint Hills Discovery Center." Kansas River receives national designation: Interior secretary visits Manhattan for announcement, The Manhattan Mercury, July 15, 2012

UPDATE: "The Elves of Christmas Present took Tommy Harris and his parents back in time to an 1862 Union troop encampment on Christmas Eve. Tommy Harris and his dad, Howard Harris, were presented with a copy of Harper's Weekly after their journey to the past. Tommy died Monday." Raytown boy who got a special gift from the Elves of Christmas Present has died, by Lee Hill Kavanaugh, The Kansas City Star, July 9, 2012

(The link to the original story has expired, so it has been removed from this page.)

"It took Union troops about six hours to control Bloody Hill during the Battle of Westport. It’s taken Dan Smith and other officers of the Monnett Battle of Westport Fund about six years to acquire much of the surrounding area in the Big Blue Battlefield. They secured three more acres last week." Preservationists see new hope for keeping alive history of Battle of Westport, by Brian Burnes, The Kansas City Star, July 2, 2012

"On Monday a nationally honored fundraiser for Civil War battlefield preservation addressed the editorial board of The Star. He has raised about $10,000 for national preservation efforts. Then he and his dad got back in the van and headed for Civil War sites in Kansas. Andrew Druart, 12, is on summer vacation." 12-year-old Texan promotes Civil War site preservation, by Brian Burnes, The Kansas City Star, July 2, 2012

12-year old Civil War buff Andrew Druart’s Web site.

"So many things can go wrong in a Civil War raid. Someone could jiggle the pickup truck with the camera on it, wrecking one of at least four takes needed to turn 12 riders into 150 angry recruits of William Quantrill bent on raiding Olathe." Quantrill’s raid on Olathe captured this time on film, by Roxie Hammill, special toThe Kansas City Star, June 29, 2012

"The National Park Service is planning a student art contest to commemorate the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation ordering the freeing of slaves." Art contest marks Emancipation Proclamation, by The Associated Press, The Topeka Capital-Journal (, June 28, 2012

Leonard Pitts Jr., author of the historical novel Freeman, said the novel's protagonist, Sam, is based on the thousands of Americans, black and white, who chose to act on their best intentions after Appomattox. Leonard Pitts Jr. takes a leap of faith and a leap back in time in 'Freeman', by Brian Burnes, McClatchy Newspapers, June 27, 2012

"Sometimes, history’s ties to Kansas City are thin as spider silk, but still so robust they must be recounted. Such is the tale of William B. Mumford, hanged for treason 150 years ago. His wife, Mary, who died 100 years ago, rests in our Forest Hill Cemetery." Passionate Civil War tale of William B. Mumford lives on, by Darryl Levings, The Kansas City Star, June 26, 2012

Lecompton Territorial Days:
photo gallery, Lawrence Journal-World, June 23, 2012

"Although the 19th century is long gone, Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm is striving to keep that history alive and exciting this summer with new programs, as well as new twists on old ones." Everything old is new again at Mahaffie site, by Mackenzie Clark, The Olathe News, June 17, 2012

156th anniversary of the Battle of Black Jack
: photo gallery, Lawrence Journal-World, June 2, 2012

"A few days before Memorial Day, Bob Wandel stood before a group of fourth-graders at Deerfield School and shared just why Civil War soldiers should be remembered." As Memorial Day nears, kids get lessons on Civil War, by Christine Metz, Lawrence Journal-World, May 23, 2012

"President in Petticoats! Civil War Propaganda in Photographs", May 21, 2012

"A commemoration event of the 156th anniversary of the Battle of Black Jack will be held at the battlefield near Baldwin City on June 2. Four events held during the day range in cost from free to $8." Battle of Black Jack anniversary tours planned, The Topeka Capital-Journal, May 21, 2012

In a recent editorial, titled Energetic advocate: On the occasion of her retirement, Lawrence owes a debt of thanks to one of its most enthusiastic boosters, the Lawrence Journal-World said: "Over the last 30 years, Lawrence has had no more loyal and enthusiastic ambassador than Judy Billings." May 3, 2012

"Not many folks can say their careers actually started off with a bang — a nuclear one, nonetheless. It didn’t look like Judy Billings’ would either. But then a place that has made a habit of changing fortunes came calling: Hollywood. Producers for a television movie not only wanted to film in Lawrence but also wanted to make Lawrence the centerpiece of the movie’s plot. The movie, of course, was 'The Day After.'" Nuclear war to Civil War: Tourism leader has seen city through it all, by Chad Lawhorn,, April 30, 2012

"A former fundraiser with the Kansas University Endowment Association has been named as the next leader of the community’s tourism industry. Fred Conboy was announced Friday as the next president and CEO of Destination Management Inc., the nonprofit group that oversees the management of the Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area." Former fundraiser for KU Endowment chosen to lead community’s tourism industry, by Chad Lawhorn,, April 27, 2012

"The Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area is looking for volunteers to help in its Park Day cleanups beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday." Volunteers needed for site cleanups, Lawrence Journal-World, March 29, 2012

"Volunteers are needed Saturday, which is Park Day, to assist local partners of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area with hands-on Civil War site preservation." Volunteers needed in Douglas County for Park Day, by The Topeka Capital-Journal, March 27, 2012

"The Statehouse has John Steuart Curry's murals. Constitution Hall in downtown Topeka has 'graffiti' more than 150 years old." Constitution Hall uncovers 1850s-era 'graffiti', by Jan Biles, The Topeka Capital-Journal, March 17, 2012

For an update on what's going on with the battlefield, and the Cave Hotel property in Lone Jack, Missouri, read the Spring 2012 Issue of The Acorn - Lone Jack Historical Society's Quarterly Newsletter

Civil War Sesquicentennial events: where to learn what's on
by Sean McLachlan, Gadling travel blog, Feb. 26, 2012

Black History, Your History: True American success stories
- "At a time when slaves were considered property, it was rare that a slave could free himself, let alone become rich. KCTV5's Heather Staggers shares the story of two slaves who did just that and they lived in Independence, MO." KCTV5 (video), Feb. 21, 2012

Black History, Your History: The Whitley Sisters - "Few people get to live for nearly a century and be part of a community's historic fight for change. Heather Staggers met with three such remarkable women right here in Kansas City." KCTV5 (video), Feb. 20, 2012

"It was mostly destroyed by a fire in an 1862 battle. Now a society wants to retell the story of the Cave family. One hundred and fifty years ago, the house was a portion of the now infamous Cave Hotel, where a gruesome battle caused the village streets to run red with blood." Lone Jack museum preserves a part of Civil War history through hotel, by Lee Hill Kavanaugh, The Kansas City Star, Feb. 12, 2012

"The Shawnee County Historical Society will interject some drama into history as it continues Sunday afternoon its Shared Stories of the Civil War Reader’s Theater Project at the historic Ritchie House." Project splices dramatic prose with history, by Bill Blankenship,, Feb. 10, 2012

"Like a blast from the past, Kansas history was brought to life as citizens of the Topeka community gathered at the Ritchie House's Cox Communication Heritage Education Center for the first of the 'Shared Stories of the Civil War' performances that will continue on through the month of February." History comes alive in a 'Hipp' way, by Tanner Ballengee, Washburn Review, Feb. 8-9, 2012

"Women's History Month in March provides a special opportunity for interpreters to teach about 'women's tenacity, courage, and creativity throughout the centuries." Interpreting Women in History by Molly Postlewait - Park Naturalist, Ernie Miller Nature Center, Johnson County (KS) Park and Recreation District. Legacy, National Association for Interpretation magazine, January/February 2012

"Gary Jenkins has produced a documentary (Negroes to Hire) examining slavery in Northwest Missouri. KMBC's Donna Pittman has the story." (YouTube) Aug. 19, 2010

"The House on Wednesday saluted the Buffalo Soldiers who once rode through the San Joaquin Valley of California and protected Sierra Nevada public lands. Despite some Republican resistance, the House approved legislation to study establishing a new national historic trail that could range from Los Banos and Madera to Yosemite and Sequoia national parks. The trail would commemorate the African-American cavalrymen who made the dusty trek around the start of the 20th century." House approves bill to study Buffalo Soldiers national park, by Michael Doyle, (McClatchy Newspapers), Jan. 25, 2012

"If U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fower, and Don Short, Waterloo, Iowa, met in a cafe, they could talk about their backgrounds as farmers. They also could chat about John Deere tractors. That might lead to the topic of National Heritage Areas. Here's where the coffee would cool." National Heritage Areas still in rep's sights: Huelskamp's bill to cut federal cash from program is in committee, by Mary Clarkin, The Hutchinson News, Jan. 23, 2012

"Family members of James Lane have donated a portrait of the controversial Kansas abolitionist commissioned in 1890 by a Topeka newspaper editor to the Lane University and Territorial Capital Museum in Lecompton." Museum gets historic portrait of abolitionist, by Jan Biles,The Topeka Capital-Journal, Jan. 23, 2012

"The Kansas Museum of History is planning a full day of activities Jan. 27 to mark the 151st anniversary of the state's admission to the union. The state's birthday is actually two days after the events, Jan. 29, a Sunday. Kansas became a state in 1861, on the eve of the nation's Civil War." Museum plans activities to honor Kansas statehood, AP story covered by and Jan. 20, 2012 and Jan. 26, 2012

"Watchdog fan Maggie Finefrock wonders about a marker near the picnic area off Red Bridge Road in Minor Park. The marker recalls the forcible roundup in 1838 of more than 850 Potawatomi Indian people, who were marched that autumn from Indiana to a reservation near present-day Osawatomie, Kan." The Watchdog | Minor Park marker recalls tragic trek of Potawatomi people, The Kansas City Star, Jan. 9, 2012

"Just like the settlers who traveled along trails toward westward expansion, John Mark Lambertson has his eyes set on several new sites. Lambertson, 55, recently retired as the longtime director of the 21-year-old National Frontier Trails Museum in Independence. He is moving to Colorado, but after nearly 19 years in the directorship, Lambertson isn’t necessarily slowing down." Trails Museum director retires: Lambertson led museum’s expansion, by Adrianne DeWeese, (The Examiner), January 2, 2012

Not long ago, the Black Archives was locked up and closed in an old firehouse. Now new director Doretha Williams will help bring the collection back to life in its permanent home in the Historic 18th and Vine Jazz District. The archives’ one-of-a-kind collection, which tells the story of the region’s African-American community, had been considered at risk of deteriorating. But now the photographs, papers and artifacts are stored safely in renovated quarters, a former Kansas City Parks and Recreation maintenance building. After years of uncertainty, Black Archives has found its way, by Brian Burnes, The Kansas City Star, Jan. 2, 2012

"The leader of Lawrence’s tourism efforts announced that she’ll be retiring in early 2012. Judy Billings will step down in mid-February as president and CEO of the not-for-profit Destination Management Inc., which oversees the Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area." Tourism leader to retire early next year: Judy Billings helped ‘put Lawrence on the map’, by Chad Lawhorn,, Dec. 9, 2011

"The stories, the history and the importance of the Border War between Kansas and Missouri can be learned at the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area Exhibit in Lawrence, Kansas. The exhibit opened in July 2011 in the Carnegie Building located on Ninth and Vermont streets." The Freedom' Frontier Exhibit, by Emily McCartney, JOUR 301 - Research and Writing, A collection of journalism student work, Dec. 7, 2011

"The last time Constitution Hall had new limestone walls was 156 years ago when it was the first stone building constructed in Topeka. On a sunny afternoon this past week, masons James Creech and Gumaro Martinez hosed down the restored limestone walls on the west side of Constitution Hall." Constitution Hall re-emerging on S. Kansas Avenue, by Steve Fry, The Capital-Journal, Dec. 3, 2011

"Kansas in the next 150 years will rely less on agriculture as the backbone fueling its economy and more on the ingenuity and resilience of its urban residents to thrive...Still, Kansas will survive, said experts and officials who were asked about what our state – celebrating its 150th birthday in 2011 – will look like 150 years from now. Not only will the state survive, they say, it might even become kind of hip." Bigger cities, fewer towns – Kansas in the next 150 years, by Beccy Tanner, The Wichita Eagle, Nov. 20, 2011

"Sarah Rosetta Wakeman was the first of nine children. At age 19 Sarah left home looking for work. She quickly learned that by disguising herself a man, she could make more money. She was soon hired as a boatman on a coal barge. Army recruiters assumed she was a man and asked her to enlist. Contamination and infection were not understood at that time. (Civil War) Soldiers were stricken and died by the thousands. Sarah was among those afflicted." Never Too Late To Honor Women Vets, by Bill Lilienthal, Mesquite Citizen Journal, Nov. 17, 2011

"History buffs will be predisposed to appreciate "Resurrection 150" One-Act At Missouri History Museum, based on the true story of Rufus Vance, a freed slave who joined the Union Army and fought in the Battle of Island Mound near Kansas City." by Katherine Comfort-Mason,, Nov. 16, 2011

Film student Lou Schumaker opines: "Despite the fact that the Civil War ended almost 150 years ago, it is still being fought in movie theaters and TVs across the nation — and this time, the U.S. is losing. Though the Union won the war, the Confederates won the story....documentarian and Civil War expert Ken Burns said 'history is written usually by the victors, and it’s the first time where history was written by the losers.'" Schumaker: Cinema glorifies Confederacy, (University Daily), Nov. 15, 2011

Almost 150 years after his death, thieves have stolen part of Lincoln's tomb. The Associated Press reports that state officials found a 3-foot copper sword is missing from one of the Civil War statues at his gravesite in Springfield’s Oak Ridge Cemetery. Copper Kleptos Hit Lincoln's Tomb, by Josh Mogerman,, Nov. 12, 2011

Book covers Civil War in Baptists' own words - "People debate what caused the Civil War, but Baptists of the era from both North and South agreed it was fought over slavery, says Bruce Gourley, author of Diverging Loyalties: Baptists in Middle Georgia during the Civil War." Article by Bob Allen, Associated Baptist Press, Nov. 8, 2011

National Parks go fee-free for Veterans Day weekend
- "In honor of Veterans Day, the National Park Service has declared a fee-free weekend. Starting tomorrow, and running through Sunday, all entry fees into America's national parks will be waived." by Kraig Becker (RSS feed), Gadling, a blog from AOL Travel,  Nov. 10, 2011

Oklahoma's largest Civil War battlefield may become National Park - "The Honey Springs Battlefield Park in Oklahoma may become a new addition to the National Park Service," the Tulsa World reports. The Battle of Honey Springs was the largest in Oklahoma (then Indian Territory). White soldiers were a minority on both sides. by Sean McLachlan (RSS feed), Gadling, a blog from AOL Travel, Nov. 7, 2011

The Civil War 150 Years: The Washington Eight
- Take a look at "the eight cotton hoods worn by Confederate conspirators after Lincoln's assassination. As part of the ongoing 150th anniversary of the Civil War at the Smithsonian Institution, the Around the Mall team will be reporting in a series of posts on some of the illustrative artifacts held by the museums from that epic battle.", Around the Mall Blog, Oct. 4, 2011

"For Lane and others, the fight between North and South was an opportunity to gain 'revenge' for 'old scores from the early Kansas troubles.'” Disunion: "James Lane’s Revenge," article by Nicole Etcheson, The New York Times, Oct. 26, 2011

Director Joe Hursey hopes Miami County Historical Museum's stint as the No. 1 spot to visit on Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area Web site drives traffic to the museum. Web site places museum in top spot, by Annie Vangsnes, Miami County Republic, Oct. 27, 2011

150 years ago, a primitive Internet united the USA
- "Long before there was an Internet or an iPad, before people were social networking and instant messaging, Americans had already gotten wired." (AP),, Oct. 23, 2011

Fort Scott National Historic Site will present "Pledging Allegiance," a Shared Stories of the Civil War reader's theater script. Shared Stories is a partnership between Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area and the Kansas Humanities Council. Shared Stories of the Civil War on tap at historic site, by Jason E. Silvers, The Fort Scott Tribune, Oct. 21, 2011

The Pony Express ended 150 years ago as the telegraph to California was completed and the Civil War raged in St. Joseph. Patee House Museum events mark Pony Express demise. St. Joseph, Oct. 16, 2011

BU professor: Civil War death toll higher than previously estimated: "A history professor has come up with an estimate 130,000 deaths higher than the traditional 620,000. "The death toll is the most important measure of the war's social, economic and demographic impact." by Debbie Swartz,, Oct. 11, 2011

Interesting other coverage on this story:
Civil War was even bloodier than thought, by Lee Bowman, The Korea Times, Nov. 10, 2011

Civil War abolitionist John Brown, as portrayed by Kerry Altenbernd, will make an appearance in Nevada, MO. John Brown re-enactor to visit Nevada," Nevada Daily Mail, Oct. 6, 2011

The Civil War’s impact on the historical legacy of African Americans will be examined by a panel of scholars and historians at Kansas City Kansas Community College. KCKCC to host Civil War panel, by Alan Hoskins, Kansas City Kansan, Oct. 5, 2011

Applications for a new grant in Douglas County (KS) had to qualify under one or more of five categories: historic structures, natural areas, agriculture/farming, Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, and pre-settlement history." Conservation grant applications span ‘large and small, rural and urban’, by Mark Fagan,, Oct. 3, 2011

Johnson County (KS) Library activities in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, including book discussions, community issues forums, author visits and other programs, examine how historical events shaped our community., Sept. 26, 2011

"Quantrill’s raid on the abolitionist stronghold of Lawrence, Kan., is generally seen as the immediate provocation for Order No. 11. Lawrence was only the latest in a long line of cities and villages reduced to smoke and ashes." Civil War: Order No. 11 reduced border to a wasteland, by Andy Ostmeyer,, Sept. 24, 2011

Plenty of Civil War history to explore in your backyard - "Battles will be re-enacted, books will come out, and everyone is having several opportunities to revisit history and learn how the war divided Missouri in an especially bitter and complicated way." Reporter Jeff Fox, The Examiner, Sept. 17, 2011

The dark side of the Jayhawks' nickname
- "Apparently, not everyone finds the Jayhawk mascot or nickname quite so harmless. Osceola, MO, passed a resolution condemning a 'celebration of this murderous gang of terrorists by an institution of ‘higher education’.'" ESPN college basketball blogger Eamonn Brennan, Sept. 16, 2011

More coverage of this story:

Says Kansas: Rock, chalk, take a walk, Las Vegas Review Journal, Sept. 18
Missouri Town Calls for End of U. of Kansas’ Jayhawk Mascot
,The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 16
Missouri Town Demands Kansas Lose Jayhawks Nickname, Stop Existing, by Jason Kirk, SB (Scoreboard) Nation, Sept. 16 Missouri town wants Kansas to ditch Jayhawks, blogger Tom Fornelli, Sept. 16
Town seeks end of ‘Jayhawk’ name - Osceola: ‘Terrorists’ shouldn’t be lauded, by Rudi Keller, Columbia Daily Tribune (with link to a pdf download of the resolution), Sept. 15

Despite a battle that raged just a cannon shot away from the courthouse square, the Civil War spared this riverside town. "Lexington looks back 150 years" by Lee Hill Kavanaugh,The Kansas City Star, Sept. 16, 2011

The New York Times Disunion Series follows the Civil War as it unfolds. Jeremy Neely's article, Exploding Kansas, depicts what happened along the Missouri-Kansas border. Sept. 12, 2011

The Daily Star-Journal
in Warrensburg, Missouri, recently featured the Freedom's Frontier maps and the Johnson County Historical Society in an article on Sept. 6, 2011. (No link available without a subscription.)

Civil War One Fifty
, a five-part series commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the Missouri-Kansas border region's unique place in the bloody four-year conflict. The Kansas City Star, April 13-Aug. 27, 2011.

The Washington Post is providing ongoing special coverage of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War through a Civil War 150 section.

Access 1861-1865 issues of Harper's Weekly, a popular newspaper which featured illustrations and in depth stories on important people and events of the war.

Revising the Civil War Record (about the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry), by Kenneth J. Cooper in the online news source, The Root, Feb. 4, 2010

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