The Symposium is SOLD OUT!


But Please still join us for the Saturday evening keynote address and concert at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire Street, at 6:45 p.m. Both are free and open to the public. Author Tom Rafiner is the keynote speaker. The Lawrence Opera Theatre is presenting a concert: For Union & Freedom: Songs of the Civil War.

Disorder on the Border, this symposium at the Carnegie Building, 200 W 9th Street, in downtown Lawrence, examines topics such as women on the border, slavery in Missouri, Bleeding Kansas, the occupation in Civil War Missouri, guerrillas as combatants, and Orders No. 11, in a series of presentations from several noted historians from both sides of the Missouri-Kansas border.

Join us for the latest in our series of symposiums examining the history of Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area! This August, a broad-based group of historians will travel to Lawrence, Kansas, to discuss the conflict and casualties of one of the most divisive periods of American history. Titled


Information: (785) 856-3635

The Watkins Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts Street, just a few blocks from the Carnegie Building, hosts the Friday evening events. Admission to the Saturday symposium presentations at the Carnegie building is $35. On Saturday evening, the keynote of the conference on “Orders No. 11” features author and historian Tom Rafiner and a concert of period music at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire Street. The concert is free and open to the public, and although seating is limited, your symposium admission gives you a seat for the concert as well.

Douglas County Historical Society’s annual program, Civil War on the Western Frontier, also happens this weekend, and offers more presentations, exhibits, and tours focusing on the Civil War and life in early Lawrence. Find a schedule of these events sponsored by the Watkins Museum of History here.

All of the symposium events are within walking distance (a few blocks) of the Eldridge Hotel, 701 Massachusetts Street, which has a historic story of its own to share about the events that happened in Lawrence during the Civil War. Contact the Eldridge at (800) 527-0909 to make your reservations.

Both Civil War on the Western Frontier and the Disorder on the Border symposium encourage participants to gain a better understanding of the events of the late 1850s and early 1860s that shaped our region and influenced national history.

“One of the Freedom’s Frontier guiding principles is to be tolerant and respectful of diverse stories from multiple perspectives,” said Jim Ogle, Executive Director of Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area. “Both the Douglas County Historical Society and the William Clarke Quantrill Society join us in presenting this symposium in that spirit.”


Watkins Museum of History

Friday, August 16

6:30 p.m. – Opening reception, Watkins Museum
7:00 p.m. – Presentation, Resilient Lawrence: Rebuilding after the Civil War, Steve Nowak, Director of the Watkins Museum, and Chair of the Freedom's Frontier Partner Advisory Committee
7:45 p.m. – Presentation, When Eyewitnesses Disagree, Chris Edwards, Musician, Historian, Author
8:30 p.m. – Q & A with Steve and Chris
8:45 p.m. – Following the presentations, take a self-guided walking tour of Quantrill’s raid, and other local history sites, or enjoy your stay at the Eldridge Hotel. As you explore "Mass" Street (the heart of Lawrence's downtown) and the rest of the area surrounding the Watkins Museum, the Carnegie Building, and the Eldridge Hotel, take advantage of the Downtown Lawrence, Inc. passports – featuring great deals at local restaurants and shops – provided by the Watkins to Symposium participants.

Carnegie Building
Saturday, August 17
Morning Session

8:15 a.m. – Doors open for check-in, book sales, exhibit areas & seating.
9:00 a.m. – We welcome symposium speakers and attendees, make announcements, and introduce the morning speakers.
9:20 a.m. – Presentation, Women on the Border, Kay Barnes, Former Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, and a member of the Freedom's Frontier Board of Trustees
10:05 a.m. – Presentation, Slavery in Missouri, Dr. Diane Mutti-Burke, Professor of History at University of Missouri - Kansas City
10:50 a.m. – Morning break
11:00 a.m. – Presentation, Bleeding Kansas, Dr. Randy Mullis, Lt Col, USAF (Ret), Department of Security Studies and Criminal Justice, Professor/Department Chair/Director of Center for Security Studies, Angelo State University
11:45 a.m. – Q & A with Kay, Diane, and Randy; then some announcements about the afternoon session.
12:00-1:30 p.m. – Lunch break; and an opportunity to browse the book sales area, open until 1:00 p.m.


Carnegie Building
Saturday, August 17
Afternoon Session

1:30 p.m. – Settle in for the session as we introduce afternoon speakers.
1:50 p.m. – Presentation, Netherworld of War: The Contours of Occupation in Civil War Missouri, Dr. Chris Phillips, Author, and the John and Dorothy Hermanies Professor of American History and the University Distinguished Professor in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Cincinnati
2:35 p.m. – Presentation, Guerrillas as Combatants: A Call for Research, Dr. Bill Piston, Faculty Emeritus, History Department, Missouri State University
3:20 p.m. – Afternoon break
3:35 p.m. – Presentation, Terrors of the Border: The Lawrence Massacre in Memory and Myth, Dr. Jeremy Neely, Professor of History, Missouri State University
4:20 p.m. – Q & A with Chris, Bill, and Jeremy
4:35 p.m. – It's time for closing remarks for this session of the symposium, announcements about the evening session, and the social hour. It's also your last chance to browse for books! The book sales area is open until 6:00 p.m.

5:00 p.m. – Dinner is on your own. Find what Unmistakably Lawrence has to offer, both downtown and throughout the city, and don't forget your Downtown Lawrence, Inc. passports!


Lawrence Arts Center
Saturday, August 17
Evening Keynote and Concert

6:45 p.m. – We welcome attendees to the Lawrence Arts Center, make the evening announcements, and introduce author Tom Rafiner.
7:00 p.m. – Keynote presentation, Orders Number 11, Tom Rafiner, Historian, Author
7:45 p.m. – Q & A with Tom
8:00 p.m. – For Union & Freedom: Songs of the Civil War, presented by the Watkins Museum of History, and singers of Lawrence Opera Theatre
9:00 p.m. – End of Disorder on the Border Symposium. We thank you for coming. We hope you enjoy the remainder of your stay in Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area, and wish you safe travels home! For a list of other things to do in Freedom's Frontier, check our calendar of events, and learn more about our partner sites on our Places to See pages.

Disorder On The Border is a combined presentation of the William Clarke Quantrill Society Missouri Partisan Rangers, the Watkins Museum of History, and Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area.

(Can't make it to the Disorder on the Border Symposium, or want to read some of the speakers' books in advance of the event? If you purchase books through Amazon Smiles, please support Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area!)

National Park ServiceVisit MissouriKansas Department of CommerceSEK
Web Development by Imagemakers Inc.
Are you sure you want to delete this?
Yes    Cancel