Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Books from Old State House Museum and Kansas State Historical Society

Local/regional publishing from individuals, towns, museums, historical societies, etc. is one of my favorite sources of reading. Of course, for every gem 'discovered' there are many more poorly researched dirt clods, but I am always scouring bibliographies looking for something that catches my eye. Understandably, they are often very difficult to find, but I enjoy the chase (which often leads to other discoveries) as well as the reward.

Therefore, I was very pleased to receive a trio of promising titles in the mail today that could fit into this category. “The Earth Reeled and Trees Trembled”: Civil War Arkansas, 1863-1864 (Old State House Museum: Little Rock, AK, 2007) has been mentioned here before (see link to table of contents) and from Touch the Elbow's Tom.

The Kansas State Historical Society sent me two books. The first is a short history of of Fort Scott (full title Fort Scott: Courage and Conflict on the Border). It is the first of eight volumes from the society's Kansas Fort Series. I've only thumbed through it, but I am impressed so far.

The Kansas Territorial Reader is a 421 page long collection of 22 essays and edited primary documents. The book is divided into six parts, covering a broad array of subject matters and disciplines:
  • At the Dawn of a New Era
  • The Kansas-Nebraska Act, The Kansas Question, and National Politics
  • Immigration and Settlement
  • On the Ground: Conflict in Kansas Territory
  • Gender, Ethnicity, and Race in Territorial Kansas
  • In the Wake of Bleeding Kansas

Reviews of these titles will appear here in the near future.


  1. Drew,

    Nice banner! And what an attractive look overall -- now you're making me second guess my pedestrian, vanilla template. Judging solely by the spine width on some of those titles, it appears that Mill Springs must have been a more pivotal battle than Fredericksburg or Spotsylvania.

    I look forward to hearing your comments on "The Earth Reeled and the Trees Trembled." I'm going to spend a week at Greers Ferry Lake in July, and that might make some good travel reading.


  2. David,
    The Ark. essay book is next after Beatie3. How did you discover Greers Ferry Lake as a vacation destination? Sounds like fun.

    I'm glad you like the new header. I didn't plan it that way, but I like that the Mill Springs book ended up front and center after all the tinkering. It is one of my very favorite books.

  3. My parents relocated to Arkansas from Iowa in the late 70s (people from Iowa and Illinois used to retire to the Ozarks in droves, and maybe still do), and alighted upon Greers Ferry Lake.

    They're buried on a hillside there now, but I still have two brothers in the area, and all my other siblings are descending upon the lake this summer for a little family reunion.

    I like reading about the Civil War in The Natural State. Pea Ridge and Prairie grove are among my favorite battlefields. On one of these trips, I'm going to try to trace the route of Steele's Camden Expedition.

    But not this trip. This trip will be devoted to fishing, drinking, reading, and devouring unhealthy amounts of grilled meat.



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