Rare Imprint on the Quantrill Raids on Lawrence, Kansas

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502. [QUANTRILL RAIDS]. CORDLEY, Richard, et al. [Cover title] The Quantrell Raid! An Account of the Burning and Sacking of the City of Lawrence, Kansas, and the Murdering of One Hundred and Fifty of Her Citizens, by a Band of Ruffians under Quantrell, August 21, 1863, as Given by Rev. R. Cordley, Hon. Joseph Savage, J.G. Sands, F.W. Read, and Others, Who Were Eye Witnesses of the Barbarous Scene—Unparalled [sic] in the History of Civilized Warfare. Price 10 Cents. Lawrence: J.S. Boughton, Publisher, 1884. Copyright Applied For. [2], [1] 2-36 pp. 16mo (15 x 9.5 cm), original stitching. Stitching partly broken and first two leaves separated, final page with light brown mark from contact with newspaper clipping. Overall, a very good copy of a very rare, fragile imprint. Checking auction records, Morrison guides, etc. the last copy we find offered was by Goodspeed in 1951 for $12.50.

     First separate edition, the original having appeared in the Congregational Record and then in Boughton & McAllister’s Directory of Lawrence for 1865. Howes B649. Not in Adams, Guns or One-Fifty. Here the original text has been somewhat expanded by inclusion of other accounts besides Cordley’s.

     The text is a blow-by-blow account of this disaster, which the author lays at the feet of the mayor’s secretiveness and the town’s lack of preparation because of complacency. In this well-known revenge raid, Confederate guerilla leader William Clarke Quantrill led several hundred men in a surprise raid on pro-Union Lawrence, August 21, 1863, burning part of the town, killing most of the male inhabitants, and extensively looting. The raiders split up soon after leaving and were never caught. This raid was the second one on Lawrence in a decade and was the worst example of the sectarian, sectional strife that tormented both Missouri and Kansas. The section listing the killed notes sixteen unnamed African-Americans among the dead.

     The main author, Cordley (1829-1904) was an Englishman who moved to the U.S. as a child with his parents. He was a long-time, prominent resident of Lawrence, where he was pastor of the Plymouth Congregational Church. He is also the author of A History of Lawrence, Kansas (1895).


Sold. Hammer: $225.00; Price Realized: $275.63.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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