Stark Mad Abolitionists: Lawrence, Kansas, and the Battle Over Slavery in the Civil War Era (Hardcover)
A town at the center of the United States becomes the site of an ongoing struggle for freedom and equality.
In May, 1854, Massachusetts was in an uproar. A judge, bound by the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, had just ordered a young African American man who had escaped from slavery in Virginia and settled in Boston to be returned to bondage in the South. An estimated fifty thousand citizens rioted in protest. Observing the scene was Amos Adams Lawrence, a wealthy Bostonian, who "waked up a stark mad Abolitionist." As quickly as Lawrence waked up, he combined his fortune and his energy with others to create the New England Emigrant Aid Company to encourage abolitionists to emigrate to Kansas to ensure that it would be a free state.The town that came to bear Lawrence's name became the battleground for the soul of America, with abolitionists battling pro-slavery Missourians who were determined to make Kansas a slave state. The onset of the Civil War only escalated the violence, leading to the infamous raid of William Clarke Quantrill when he led a band of vicious Confederates (including Frank James, whose brother Jesse would soon join them) into town and killed two hundred men and boys. Stark Mad Abolitionists shows how John Brown, Reverend Henry Ward Beecher, Sam Houston, and Abraham Lincoln all figure into the story of Lawrence and "Bleeding Kansas." The story of Amos Lawrence's eponymous town is part of a bigger story of people who were willing to risk their lives and their fortunes in the ongoing struggle for freedom and equality.
About the Author
Robert K. Sutton, former Chief Historian of the National Park Service, devoted his career to sharing stories with the public at America's most iconic historic parks. He has written, contributed to, and edited over thirty books and articles on American history. Sutton lives with his wife Harriet Davidson in Bethesda, Maryland. Robert Joseph "Bob" Dole (born July 22, 1923 in Russell, Kansas) is an attorney and politician who served as a US senator from Kansas from 1969 to 1996. He was senate majority leader from 1985 to 1996 and the Republican nominee for president in 1996. Dole is married to former cabinet member and US senator Elizabeth Hanford Dole of North Carolina.