Lane and Quantrill II
Program InformationSeries: A Moment in Time
Year Produced: 2009
In the years leading up to the American Civil War, the territory of Kansas was the scene of extensive guerrilla warfare. James Henry Lane led a band of free-soil raiders.
A Moment in Time is a brief, exciting and compelling journey into the past. Created to excite and enlighten the public about the past, its relevance to the present and its impact on the future, A Moment In Time is a captivating historical narrative that is currently broadcast worldwide.For more information visit: http://amomentintime.com
Lead: In the years leading up to the American Civil War, the territory of Kansas was the scene of extensive guerrilla warfare. James Henry Lane led a band of free-soil raiders.
Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.
Content: Lane grew up in Indiana, studied and practiced law there and, as a colonel, distinguished himself leading Indiana regiments in the Mexican War. Returning home he served as lieutenant governor and as a Democratic representative to the Congress of 1853. In Washington he was known as a pro-slavery Democrat and supported the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This was a legislative compromise on the question of slavery that enshrined the principle of squatter sovereignty. Whether slavery would be permitted in Kansas was to be determined by the majority of settlers. The group, pro-slave or free, who got there first with the most made the decision.
Lane migrated to Kansas in 1855 but soon after shifted his allegiance, joining the Free Soil Party. He presided over the constitutional convention in Topeka which framed an anti-slavery state constitution. This frustrated the pro-slave settlers and thus began the bloody border war that offered a preview of the wider Civil War to come. Lane raised a free-soil guerrilla group that raided pro-slavery centers in the territory.
In 1861 when Kansas was admitted to the Union, Lane was elected U.S. Senator and in Washington he became a close friend and supporter of Abraham Lincoln. As brigadier general of volunteers, he commanded "Lane's Brigade" which conducted operations against Confederate forces in western Missouri. Particularly vicious was his September 1861 raid on Oceola in St. Clair County. The brigade looted and burned everything on their path to Oceola, reasoning that since they were in Missouri everyone was a rebel and therefore fair game.
In 1863 he raised one of the first regiments of African-American troops to fight for the Union and just barely escaped capture during William Quantrill's raid on Lawrence, Kansas in August of that year. After the war he was reelected senator but his support for the moderate President Andrew Johnson made him the subject of bitter criticism at home. A man of violence, he died by violence--taking his own life in July 1866.
Next time: Quantrill and the raid on Lawrence.
At the University of Richmond, this is Dan Roberts.