By Kristen Tegtmeier Oertel
In Bleeding Borders, Kristen Tegtmeier Oertel deals a clean, multifaceted interpretation of the essential sectional clash in pre-Civil conflict Kansas. rather than concentrating on the white, male politicians and settlers who vied for keep an eye on of the Kansas territorial legislature, Oertel explores the the most important roles local american citizens, African americans, and white girls performed within the literal and rhetorical conflict among proslavery and antislavery settlers within the zone. She brings consciousness to the neighborhood debates and the various peoples who participated in them in the course of that contentious interval. Oertel starts via detailing the payment of jap Kansas by means of emigrant Indian tribes and explores their interplay with the starting to be variety of white settlers within the quarter. She analyzes the makes an attempt through southerners to plant slavery in Kansas and the finally winning resistance of slaves and abolitionists. Oertel then considers how crude frontier dwelling stipulations, Indian clash, political upheaval, and sectional violence reshaped conventional Victorian gender roles in Kansas and explores women's participation within the political and actual conflicts among proslavery and antislavery settlers. Oertel is going directly to research northern and southern definitions of "true manhood" and the way competing rules of masculinity infused political and sectional tensions. She concludes with an research of miscegenation--not in simple terms how racial blending among Indians, slaves, and whites inspired occasions in territorial Kansas, yet extra importantly, how the terror of miscegenation fueled either proslavery and antislavery arguments in regards to the want for civil conflict. As Oertel demonstrates, the avid gamers in Bleeding Kansas used guns except their Sharpes rifles and Bowie knives to salary battle over the extension of slavery: they attacked each one other's cultural values and struggled to say their very own political wills. They jealously guarded beliefs of manhood, womanhood, and whiteness while the presence of Indians and blacks and the controversy over slavery raised severe questions about the efficacy of those rules. Oertel argues that, finally, many local american citizens, blacks, and ladies formed the political and cultural terrain in ways in which ensured the destruction of slavery, yet they, besides their white male opposite numbers, did not defeat the resilient strength of white supremacy. relocating past a traditional political background of Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Borders breaks new flooring by way of revealing how the struggles of this hugely varied area contributed to the nationwide circulation towards disunion and the way the ideologies that ruled race and gender relatives have been challenged as North, South, and West converged at the border among slavery and freedom.
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Additional info for Bleeding Borders: Race, Gender, and Violence in Pre-Civil War Kansas (Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War)
J. C. ” 31 Missions cultivated an environment in which Indian habits were discouraged, whereas “white” behavior was learned and encouraged. Missionaries provided classes for Indian youth and adults in English, farming techniques, and domestic arts. One early settler observed, “The girls learned to sew, cook, do house work and the boys worked on the farm, helped the blacksmith, did carpentry work and both sexes spent several hours each day . . ” 32 Elizabeth Morse, a Baptist missionary working among the Delawares, reported to Indian agent J.
61 Unless the agents broke the Indians’ will to perpetuate their polygamous ways, the missions and the government would make little progress reforming and “civilizing” the Kaw. 62 In addition to making the nuclear family obsolete, polygamy included a whole host of corollaries that further challenged the mission’s goals. Agent Whitfield connected the practice of polygamy to the mission’s inability to reform Indian gender roles and hence their civilization. Whitfield elaborated on his initial complaints: “They never permit their daugh- 24 r e l igiou s , e c onom ic , a n d se x ua l e xc h a nge i n i n di a n k a n s a s ters to go to school; some man has a claim to them as soon as they are born.
79 It appears that Guthrie was not the only partner in this marriage who possessed talents of arbitration. Guthrie and his wife discussed land deals and credit with the leaders of nearby white settlements, even though Guthrie loathed the endeavor. He complained in his diary, “I have never suffered more anguish of mind than I have suffered within the last month on account of pecuniary embarrass- 29 bl e e di ng b or de r s ments. . ” 80 Guthrie suggested that before he and Quindaro had acquired so much property, life had been poorer but much happier.
Bleeding Borders: Race, Gender, and Violence in Pre-Civil War Kansas (Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War) by Kristen Tegtmeier Oertel