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Keywords:

  • guerrilla violence;
  • identity;
  • Kansas;
  • landscape;
  • memory;
  • monuments

ABSTRACT. Lawrence, Kansas, survived a tumultuous beginning. The young town endured attacks twice, in 1856 and 1863. The second raid, by the guerrilla William Quantrill's troop of more than 400 men, resulted in the deaths of 143 citizens. Lawrence serves as an example of how Americans memorialize unconventional warfare, targeted at citizens, in a material and permanent fashion on the landscape. Small and obscurely placed memorials fill the town, to the point that they have become ordinary. The memorialized landscapes of these tragedies thus display ambivalence toward the past and symbolically reject the loss of lives despite this era's high position in the literature and archival history of the town. Additionally, Lawrence has found alternative sources for its historical identity that do not reflect these tragedies but instead celebrate the city's pioneer establishment. In this article I use a set of methods for reading the memorialized landscape that includes archival and landscape analysis and uncovers the processes that have led to this town's understated and ambivalent memorialization and identity.