These are a collection of primary-source based theater scripts produced by Kansas Humanities Council in cooperation with Freedom's Frontier.  Shared Stories of the Civil War project features stories created from historical letters, diaries, newspaper articles, and other materials. These voices from history provide insight into how 19th century Americans living in Kansas and Missouri struggled to define the meaning of freedom during the Bleeding Kansas and Civil War years.

Educators are encouraged to use these readers’ theater scripts creatively in their middle school or high school History, English, or Theater classrooms. We invite educators to submit to Freedom’s Frontier any lesson plans or activities they create using the Shared Stories scripts for a chance to receive $1,500 for classroom resources! We will collect and post all submissions on our website to inspire other educators while creating an online repository of lesson plans that engage students in working with primary source material to think critically about how we define freedom in the 1850s, 1860s, and today. For more information about our Shared Stories in the Classroom contest visit here.

The stories are written as reader’s theater scripts intended for use by libraries, museums, art centers, senior centers, and middle/high school or college classrooms. Historians have reviewed all scripts. 

Before the Civil War Topics

Compromise to Conflict: Missouri Compromise & Kansas-Nebraska Act
As the United States expanded into the West, the question of slavery remained unsolved. 
Introduction Essay and Script
Take Home Citations 

G
uerilla Warfare: Bushwhackers & Jayhawkers
For years, guerilla warriors roamed the Kansas-Missouri border and fought on either side of the slavery issue.
Introduction Essay and Script
Take Home Citations

J
ohn Brown: Martyr or Madman
On the night of May 24, 1856, armed men led by abolitionist Brown killed five unarmed pro-slavery supporters along Pottawatomie Creek. 
Introduction Essay and Script
Take Home Citations

J
ohn Doy's Escape
Captured by pro-slavery forces in 1859 and liberated by free state forces six months later. Doy's story illustrates the tensions along the border.
Introduction Essay and Script
Take Home Citations

S
ettling the Kansas Territory
Opened for settlement in 1854, the area attracted many settlers, some with political motivations, other motivated by opportunity. 
Introduction Essay and Script
Take Home Citations

T
he Underground Railroad
Nowhere in the U.S. was the Underground Railroad more dangerous than in western Missouri and eastern Kansas in the late 1850s. This script is longer. Please allow for more time. 
Introduction Essay and Script
Take Home Citations

W
yandotte Constitutional Convention
In 1859, delegates from the Kansas Territory gathered for a fourth and final time to approve the state's constitution, prohibiting slavery and limiting rights for women.
Introduction Essay and Script
Cast of Characters
Take Home Citations


D
uring the Civil War Topics 

Pledging Allegiance 
North or South? Union or Confederacy? The choices grew more complicated in the early months of the Civil War, especially for Missourians living along the border. Please note: This script is longer. Please allow for more time. 
Introduction Essay and Script 
Take Home Citations

Price's March of 1864
In 1864, Confederate General Sterling Price led 10,000 troops across Missouri. While his actions thrilled some, they terrorized others. Please note: This script is longer. Please allow for more time. 
Introduction Essay and Script
Take Home Citations

Quantrill's Raid & Order Number 11
Two of the most notorious events of the Civil War along the border were Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence in 1863 and the issuance of Order Number 11 four days later.
Introduction Essay and Script
Take Home Citations

Rhetoric of the Civil War Press
Newspapers, and their opinions, played a crucial role in shaping public perception of events along the Kansas-Missouri border.
Introduction Essay and Script
Take Home Citations

Skirmish at Island Mound
The First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry was the first African-American Northern regiment to see battle and the first to die at the Battle of Island Mound, Missouri. Please note: This script is longer. Please allow for more time. 
Introduction Essay and Script
Take Home Citations


  

 

 

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