Birdseye view of Lawrence, Kansas (1869)

A. Ruger's Birdseye map of Lawrence, Kansas in 1869.
Birdseye view of Lawrence, Kansas
Birdseye view of Lawrence, Kansas image detail
Date: 1869
Author: A. Ruger
Dwnld: Full Size (12.8mb)
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This map isn't part of any series, but we have other Kansas maps that you might want to check out.

Lawrence, Kansas [gmap] is another city that many in my peer group feel like they must pay lip-service to hating.

Seems like my state and their state had bad blood in the 19th century and some folks from my state led by a guy named Quantrill went to Lawrence and burned it to the ground (these events were chronicled in the Ang Lee film Ride With the Devil, which was boring).

The long and the short of it was that Kansas was right on most all the particulars and we were just being assholes.

Now fast-forward 150 years and I'm supposed to hate their school by way of extending a disagreement in which I'm now backing the side that massacred unarmed innocents in the name of defending generational enslavement of a race of people? Smacks of being proud of one's ignorance. Not to mention the fact that by far the biggest chunk of MU students are from the STL region; had they lived during the time of Bleeding Kansas they would've been much more likely to lean, ideologically, towards Kansas' side of that beef. Even couched as tradition, the whole thing amounts to an unappealing depiction of Missouri, and only serves to paint us as bullies or idiots; pick your poison.

I'm not even a pacifist or anything, I swear. I mean, if it'd been some sort of fair fight or some enormous pitched battle where – after heroically overcoming an equivalent force of Kansans – we then elected to burn down Lawrence, I'd be like "hell yeah" and I'd be bringing that up all the time. But what really happened was that a couple hundred well-armed guys ambushed, like, 20 guys armed with shovels, and then raped and killed a lot of women. Think about that when you buy all that Quantrill shit.

Sports rivalries are great, but why can't we just play for ownership of a bell, or an axe, or a cannon or something like two normal states? Or, hell, just pair off and fight in the parking lot? It's always gotta be this town-burning shit. (Also and unrelated: Lawrence is a fun town and I've had a lot of good times there.)

So Lawrence, from a University of Missouri graduate: I apologize. Y'all were right.

Rant over; the map is good but not great.

For more maps and images from this period in the region's history, visit the Kansas Historical Society.

Birdseye view of Lawrence, Kansas image