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Kansas History - Forthcoming issue

Kansas History, Spring 2024Spring 2024

(Volume 47, Number 1)

“The Vegetarian and Octagon Settlement Companies”
By Russell Hickman, with Albert Gambone, and a foreword by Adam Shprintzen

Written in 1933, Russell Hickman’s article in the Kansas Historical Quarterly brought to life the complicated, confusing, inspiring, and ultimately finite history of the Vegetarian Kansas Emigration Company, which attempted to spread the gospel of meatless meals and moral reform to the banks of the Neosho River. The story was both narratively complete--ending with the colony's disbandment--and incomplete, lacking a consideration of the colony's strong connections to abolitionism. This reconsideration, with a new foreword, includes Hickman's important research as well as a reframing of our conventional sense of historical success and triumphalism. It is also accompanied by a sampling of letters written by one of the colony's members and an ardent abolitionist, John Milton Hadley.

“Little-Known Accounts of the Lawrence Massacre”
Edited and introduced by William D. Haynes

William Quantrill’s notorious raid on Lawrence on August 21, 1863, was well documented by survivors. This article reproduces three obscure accounts written in the raid’s immediate aftermath that vividly describe the murders, property loss, and emotional toll inflicted on Lawrence residents. Elizabeth Peabody wrote in her diary of hurriedly gathering clothing and valuables to be saved should her house be burned like those of her neighbors. While her home and family survived, Peabody noted the names of many Lawrencians who did not, including several prominent citizens. Similarly, William Kempf’s statement for a Leavenworth newspaper provides details on who was killed or robbed, particularly among the dozens of boarders at the Eldridge House, and updates readers on Gen. James H. Lane’s efforts to pursue and overtake Quantrill. The final account included here is an emotional letter written by Priscilla Jones to her sister reporting on the death of their brother Sam and speculating about the family’s prospects in Kansas.

“Marines with Marine Training: Pete Ellis and the Transformation of the Marine Corps”
By Andrew Soneson

On May 21, 1923, Japanese authorities notified the State Department about the death of Earl “Pete” Ellis, a “businessman” originally from Pratt, Kansas, who had died in the Caroline Islands. Upon receiving the news, the Marine Corps rushed to contain the fallout, because Ellis was actually a Marine Lieutenant Colonel on a secret espionage mission to refine potential war plans against Japan. Ellis’s grandfathers were among the first to settle Pratt County, and his trailblazing spirit quickly carried him from the enlisted ranks to become an officer. His career spanned multiple tours in the Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Europe. He was a prolific writer on several military topics, but he is best known for his “Advanced Base Operations in Micronesia” that was published in 1921, which became the initial Marine plan for war in the Pacific. Ellis’s prophecies of that future war are often exaggerated, and this paper argues that higher-level pressure helped Ellis focus Marines on a specific and necessary mission amid Congressional skepticism for funding the Corps.

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