The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

posals to Madison. The editors and the Louisiana State Uni-
versity Press are to be congratulated on the choice of the biog-
rapher and the finished product.
J. L. WALLER.
College of Mines and Metallurgy.
The Birth of Kansas. By G. Raymond Gaeddert.
Lawrence: The University of Kansas Publications, Social Science
Studies, 1940. Pp. 232.
This work is the major portion of a doctor's dissertation
presented at the University of Kansas. The author has made
good use of the rich source material of the Kansas Historical
Society in Topeka, relying primarily on contemporary news-
papers, collections of private papers, and on government docu-
ments. With meticulous detail he tells of the political division
over constitutions, railroads, Indians, slavery, offices, and per-
sonal leadership.
Four constitutions were made in less than four years, each
of which was challenged on legality. A long and detailed chap-
ter, the third, is devoted to the controversies of the Wyandotte
convention. Based upon the Ohio Constitution as a model, but
with numerous provisions from other sources, the Kansas Con-
stitution is a composite work with few innovations, "if any."
Among the obstacles used by the politicians to postpone state-
hood were: the Indian rights to southern Kansas, extension of
the boundary line to the Platte River and Pike's Peak, and cer-
tain population requirements and constitutionality.
The Lane-Robinson fight for political patronage ran its inter-
mittent course throughout the story until it became the central
theme in the eighth chapter. This feud split the Free-State
Party, the Republican Party, and the leadership of the State,
and extended into the Federal Government. Kansas, broke and
unarmed, harassed by bandits, secessionists, Missourians, and
Indians, was poorly prepared for the War between the States.
Yet funds were raised and arms provided, both acts increasing
the Lane-Robinson feud over bond scandals and military dic-
tatorship. Impeachments, military raids, and political corrup-
tion colored the history during the conflict.
Such is the story told by Dr. Gaeddert, who admits that it
is not a "flattering picture" of some of the "fathers" of the
State; "but," he adds, "irregularities were not peculiar to Kan-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 44, July 1940 - April, 1941. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146052/. Accessed November 27, 2014.