(Deb) Welcome to Around Kansas. I’m your co-host, Deb Bisel and we’re
standing in front of the Rice-Tremonti home in Raytown, Missouri and we’re
gonna talk today about the relationship between Kansas and Missouri and
that long boarding war, so please stay with us.
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(Deb) Hi. I’m Deb Bisel. Welcome to Around Kansas, only this time, we’re across the border in Missouri and we’re gonna talk about what the Show-Me state thinks about their Kansas neighbors and with me to do that is Ralph Monaco. Ralph, welcome. (Male) Welcome. Thank you. Thank you for having me. (Deb) Nice to be with you and Ralph doesn’t dress like this every day. He is an attorney in real life, but today, he is dressed as George Caleb Bingham, one of those famous regional artists that helped make Missouri famous and today, we’re at the Rice-Tremonti home in Raytown where they have just reenacted the execution of Order Number 11. Order Number 11 followed on the heels of Quantrill’s Raid into Kansas. So after the raid on Lawrence, then you have General Ewing issuing Order Number 11 and, Ralph, why don’t you tell us what that order was all about? (Male) General Order Number 11, Ewing issued on August 25th, four days after Quantrill and his men destroyed and killed about two hundred people in Lawrence. Ewing was the Commander of the Districts of the Border, which included the two tier counties of Missouri, Jackson, Cash, Bates and Northern Vernon; and then Lafayette, Johnson, Henry, a part of St. Clair County and the western half, the northwestern half of Kansas, actually you draw you a straight line down the middle of Kansas. Anything north of that, Ewing’s District. His headquarters was in Pacific House in Kansas City which still stands and Order Number 11, in essence, decreed that anyone who lived in those counties in Missouri along the border, Jackson, Cash, Bates and Northern Vernon were ordered off the property for fifteen days and that which they didn’t remove, the grains would be destroyed, so it was total eviction of all people. (Deb) Now we might add because not everyone I realize is a student of history, Kansas obviously is a Union state, but so is Missouri. (Male) When Missouri was asked to vote on whether or not to secede from the Union, the people of Missouri in February of 1861 overwhelmingly selected delegates to the convention who were pro-Union and the actual vote in Missouri to secede was eighty-nine to one against secession. Overwhelming sentiments in Missouri, in fact, what’s interesting is during the Civil War where there was a draft going on, drafting men into the military, where in New York, they were rioting over the draft, Missouri filled their roster with volunteers, never had to even have a draft in Missouri. So Missouri was very much committed to the Union, but many of their citizens, especially along the western border, were very much equipped with their southern mindset, so the agricultural community was set from a southern mindset. (Deb) We’re gonna talk a little bit more
about that relationship when we come back to Around Kansas.
(Deb) Welcome back to Around Kansas. I’m Deb Bisel and with me is Ralph Monaco and we’re in Missouri talking about the issuing of Order Number 11, which followed Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence. So the issue of Order Number
11 where you essentially depopulate these Missouri border counties, what’s the relevance today? What’s the lesson in that for us in the modern era?
(Male) Well if you consider what the order was, Ewing said it was out of
military necessity. Forgetting the constitution, in essence, he said that
the need to protect the common good was more significant and more important than individual civil liberty. So in a society of today that is so much possessed by the terrorism of 9-11, how it’s changed our lives, we saw it in the Boston Bombing where they were going into homes looking for the alleged bombers. No one had a search warrant; no one had a right to go in unless you were allowed in and yet people recognized that there was a necessity to take immediate action. That’s what Ewing thought; I don’t care about your civil rights; I don’t care about your civil liberties. I’m dealing with terrorism. Terrorism is more horrific than the basic civil
liberties and, so, we’re gonna ignore the civil liberty in order to
preserve the Union and that’s the relevance of today. (Deb) And that’s a
very basic issue in the Civil War. I mean so many of Lincoln’s actions, you
know, Lincoln, we look back and Lincoln is such a beloved president. He
was not a beloved president in his day, even on the Union side. (Male) When Lincoln abolished the Writ of Habeas Corpus in large areas back east, he did it to preserve the Union, but it was a debate if the president had those powers to do so. Did President Bush have the authority to invade Iraq without a Declaration of War? We see the expansion of presidential war power which really took off in the Civil War and Lincoln was probably one of the first then Jackson that took the power of the presidency to another level that some folks may say was more than just a stretch of presidential authority. So we see that debate today. (Deb) Absolutely. (Male) And it becomes this question of what’s more important, persevering and protecting against terrorism or preserving the basic civil liberties of the individuals whose lives are impacted. (Deb) Now let’s talk about the relationship between Kansas and Missouri. As we saw here today with the reenactment, so much of the bad blood between Kansas and Missouri goes back to when these Missourians were thrown off their property, it’s Kansan’s who are doing it. (Male) Right. You know we had the bad blood under the Kansas- Nebraska Act, which basically nullified the Missouri Compromise. You have the bad blood beginning then. It doesn’t really die down until about 1860. When Lincoln’s elected, many leaders who were a part of the Free Soil Movement in Kansas, saw the golden opportunity to inflict pain and terror on Missouri
and the single largest leader of that was Senator Jim Lane. They saw
Missouri as a place that they could seek revenge and in September of ’61,
Land sends Dan Anthony and Doc Jennison and those boys over into Missouri.
They sack Osceola. They sack the city of Independence. They destroy
property all over Jackson County and steal it and take back to Kansas.
Quantrill and those boys thought that they were just doing nothing more but seeking revenge. Both sides were corrupt. Both sides were terrorists.
Neither side was justified in what they did. I’m a firm believer of what
Bingham would have felt. He was for the Union. Bingham supported the Union, served in the Union Army, was a Captain in Company C under Major Van Horne, was completely against secession and yet came out vocally against Order Number 11, which people seem to think that Order Number 11, he was like criticizing the Union Army. He says, No, I wasn’t criticizing the Army. Those men I depicted in my painting weren’t even Union soldiers. They were Jayhawks. They were Red Legs from Kansas who were no different than Quantrill and his bushwhackers and guerrillas. So you have both sides and Bingham’s thing was a tyrant has thrown people out of their home who were at peace, who were not under arms and this was nothing more than a continuation of the so-called bad blood between Missouri and Kansas.
(Deb) That’s really well put and very relevant for today. Stay tuned for a
little more of Around Kansas.
(Deb) Welcome back to Around Kansas and with me is my good from Greg Higginbotham and we’ve been reenacting today or recreating the setting for George Caleb Bingham’s famous painting, Order Number 11. Now why go to all that trouble and it was a pretty difficult task and just talk a little bit about how that went. (Male) That was a difficult task and I think we did it because we kind of had an obligation to history I think to do that today. A hundred and 50 years this summer was the Order Number 11 or Marshall Law devastated three counties, three and a half counties, I guess you could say, and it affected thousands of people. It later became known as the Burnt District because they burnt all the crops in the field and they stole livestock. They committed murders and it disrupted the citizens of those counties at a time when they really were looking forward to the autumn. They had crops in the field. They had livestock that was gonna need to be tended to and butchered and they had a lot of duties to do as agrarians and, so, I think it was important that we reenacted that famous painting because first off, it had never been done before. I think we’ve actually put it on an original wet plate tin type, if you may. (Deb) With Robert Szabo, who’s an incredible, incredible photographer. (Male) Yes, nationally known, has done some work for National Geographic and probably one of the better wet plate artists in the nation and I agree and, you know, we’ve worked off of Bingham’s original painting and there’s lots and lots of things we can talk about in that painting, talk about the significance of it, why he painted it, when it was done, if there’s small, little artist liberties that were taken in that, how accurate it is. I mean
there’s all kinds of things we can say about Marshall Law. It was done in
print by the thousands and the legend says that it was distributed in Ohio
to ruin General Ewing’s life when he had political aspirations. So we
reenacted the thing just because we’re historians and it’s something
special that we like to go the extra mile and do something special and, so,
we’ve got a candlelight arranged tonight that we’re gonna include Order
Number 11 in, but we wanted to look and say, Hey, you know, we’ve come to a point now where we want to try to do something completely different, so let’s put together a group of living historians, a group of people that we
feel really comfortable with placing in this painting. We use a fairly nice
backdrop and we did it and it took a while and what it did, Deb, it
probably took us almost a half an hour, forty minutes to actually put it
together before you actually put the plate in the cabinet and we had the
original steel engraving out. We were looking at it to make sure all the
figures were posed just right and we did it and by golly, the finished
product, you know, when it was in the water, I thought, That’s worth the
time and the effort for what we just did, and I think more importantly was we had a lot of public here that were young, old and they all got to see
something that they had probably never seen before and it was also
something that they probably maybe had never read about and they would hopefully never have to experience something like that. (Deb) Hopefully.
(Male) Yeah, hopefully and by golly, everyone I think came out of the whole program with an idea, with maybe some different or a better idea of what occurred here, you know, a hundred and fifty years ago this summer.
(Deb) You know I believe the estimate twenty-five thousand people were
displaced by Order Number 11 and following the war or at some point, some of those people came back, not all of them did. Often they didn’t have anything to come home to and you’ve got to make a way, you know, in the meantime, so that permanently had an impact on the population, on the families that were here, on settlement in other counties, you know, people fled to other counties, to other states, so there are people living where they are today as a direct result of that order. (Male) Exactly and we know for a fact that, you know, there was a book just finished about Order
Number 11 just recently. It’s probably the best work that’s been done.
(Deb) Ralph Monaco’s. (Male) Ralph Monaco’s book. (Deb) Yeah, we were just visiting with Ralph. (Male) Oh good. Okay, so that’s, yeah, that’s probably the best book that’s been done regarding Order Number 11 or Marshall Law here during the Civil War and, you know, I know I say that in this war, everyone suffered in some way or another and whether it was they lost a loved one or a relative or whether they lost someone who had been a friend, they lost property and it’s just a sad part of American history, but it’s a part that we really need to pay close attention to because this was a war in Missouri like a war in no other part of the United States. We can talk about the big battles in the east. You could talk about Gettysburg. You can talk about Franklin, Tennessee, Chickamauga, Vicksburg, all these large battles that took place, but, you know, all of these small, little battles
in this area I would say amounted to more suffering and ruin of any place
in the whole United States during that four years of war. (Deb) I think
it’d be hard for us to find people who have suffered more than Missourians.
(Male) And we call it what, the Ten Year War? (Deb) Yeah. (Male) Out here, I tell those folks, I go out east, I said, You know your war started in
1861. Well yeah, And our war back in Missouri started in about 1855, and I said, Did you know that? And they said, No, not really. I said, Oh, yeah,
we got quite a head start one your all, and I said I always said, It was
kind of like the Spanish Civil War with the Second World War. You know out here, we were kind of the Spanish Civil War and we were the testing bed for what was gonna go on in four years, you know, the struggle in four years and we kind of tested out exactly what we were gonna do. So it’s kind of an odd way to look at it, but I do think that we might have been one of
the places where this whole thing got started. According to a lot of
historians, this was the head of the match. This was the flame. This was
the flame that started that war. (Deb) Thanks for joining us on this
episode of Around Kansas as we visit Missouri and I hope you can join us
next week because we just had way too much today to get it all into one
episode, so there’s gonna be a lot more next week and as you will see, from today’s episode and next week’s as well, Kansas and Missouri may not be able to get along, but they can’t get along without each other.
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