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Foot Notes on Kansas History (Classic Reprint)

Foot Notes on Kansas History (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Foot Notes on Kansas History

This historical brief is submitted, not with the expectation of turning back to its natural channel the current of Kansas history which has been inverted and appropriated for fertilizing of the arid preserves of non-resident claiments, for re-claiming the arid wastes of an unsuccessful promoter, flushing sewers, and other private uses, 'till hardly a swimmin' hole is left in the natural channel for the disporting of the descendants of those who first struck the fountain from which gushed the waters that should be for the delectation of the whole people. This inverted stream has swollen to an overflowing tide in which orators love to disport, whenever the magic name of Kansas awakens in their minds a train of sparkling thought impatient for utterance; and sweeping with it down the current of time, both wreckage and historic treasures. Floating in its current in Kansas City in 1902, Secretary of the Navy Moody discovered that "It was the men, money and association of Massachusetts that set Kansas Territory on the side of freedom." And our governor, in a late address at St. Louis, for the delectation of a distinguished assemblage, taking a header into its lambent waves brought up a record of the "money and brains furnished by Massachusetts," credited erroneously, with the redemption of Kansas-with the still greater salvage, the form of a discredited and rejected high official that had dropped from the electric chair of state, unshrived and unmourned, now transformed by its regenerative waters into "One of the best of Kansas governors."

Only an Athanasious could stem such an engulfing tide, flowing unvexed in its deepening channel for half a century. But as in the court of history no statute of limitation runs, a protest will be permitted against the mis-statements, perversions, misconceptions and distorted views that form the most striking features of our Kansas histories; untraversed till they are accepted without thought, and repeated till they have become part of the public consciousness. To their errors are added the neglect of the formative conditions out of which the Kansas issue sprung, and the hidden forces that wrought its solution.

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