Baker University Speech Choir performance explores the original Border War

FORT SCOTT, KANSAS: Fort Scott National Historic Site will host a performance by the Baker University Speech Choir entitled, “Guerilla Warfare: Bushwhackers & Jayhawkers,” on Tuesday, March 12, at 7:00 PM. Part of the Shared Stories of the Civil War script series, the performance will be followed by an audience discussion led by Jeremy Neely, Associate Professor of History at Missouri State University in Springfield. Neely is an expert on the Kansas-Missouri Border War. Members of the community are

invited to attend this free program, which is made possible through Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area and the Kansas Humanities Council.

In the years immediately preceding the American Civil War, the Kansas-Missouri Border region was center stage for a national war of words and a local war of increasing violence and terror over the issue of whether Kansas Territory would enter the United States as a free or slave state. Two new terms – “bushwhacker” and “jayhawker” – emerged to define and demonize the radical pro-slavers and abolitionists engaged in the fight over irreconcilable ideologies. Yet, retaliation, retribution, and revenge soon became as important as any stated ideology as more and more settlers suffered from the harsh guerilla tactics employed by both sides and took up arms.

“Guerilla Warfare: Bushwhackers & Jayhawkers” is part of the Shared Stories of the Civil War, a collection of readers’ theater scripts created from historical letters, diaries, newspaper articles, and other archival documents from the 1850s and 1860s. The scripts explore the events—the shared stories—that occurred in Kansas and Missouri during the Border War and the Civil War.

The Baker University Speech Choir is an innovative student organization that performs and interprets scripts, letters, or poetry in ways that help the writers’ works come alive to  today’s listeners.

Shared Stories of the Civil War is a partnership between Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area (FFNHA) and the Kansas  Humanities Council (KHC). FFNHA is a partnership of 41 counties in eastern Kansas and western Missouri dedicated to connecting the stories of settlement, the Border War, and the Enduring Struggle for Freedom in this area. KHC is a nonprofit organization promoting understanding of the history and ideas that shape our lives and strengthen our sense of community. For more
information, visit www.freedomsfrontier.org or www.kansashumanities.org.

The event will be held in the Grand Hall, which is accessible to mobility impaired individuals. For more information about the March 12th presentation of “Guerilla Warfare: Bushwhackers & Jayhawkers” at Fort Scott National Historic Site, please contact the site at 620-223-0310 or visit www.nps.gov/fosc.

Fort Scott National Historic Site is a unit of the National Park Service.

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