Dr. Post is an assistant professor of geography at Kent State University-Stark, North Canton, Ohio 44720
REJECTING VIOLENCE ON THE LANDSCAPE IN LAWRENCE, KANSAS*
Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
2009 American Geographical Society
Volume 99, Issue 2, pages 186–207, April 2009
How to Cite
POST, C. (2009), REJECTING VIOLENCE ON THE LANDSCAPE IN LAWRENCE, KANSAS. Geographical Review, 99: 186–207. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2009.tb00426.x
Great appreciation goes out to James Shortridge, Bob Rundstrom, Derek Alderman, and Nik Hynen, all of whom viewed previous versions of this article. Thanks also to the editors and reviewers who helped make this publication happen. Finally, I am grateful to the librarians and curators in Topeka and Lawrence for their time, effort, and help. Any and all errors are my own.
- Issue published online: 21 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
- guerrilla violence;
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.