By Kristen Tegtmeier Oertel
In Bleeding Borders, Kristen Tegtmeier Oertel bargains a clean, multifaceted interpretation of the imperative sectional clash in pre-Civil struggle 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 american citizens, and white girls performed within the literal and rhetorical conflict among proslavery and antislavery settlers within the sector. She brings cognizance to the neighborhood debates and the various peoples who participated in them in the course of that contentious interval.
Oertel starts by means of detailing the cost of japanese Kansas by means of emigrant Indian tribes and explores their interplay with the growing to be variety of white settlers within the zone. She analyzes the makes an attempt by means of southerners to plant slavery in Kansas and the eventually profitable resistance of slaves and abolitionists. Oertel then considers how crude frontier residing 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 study 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 merely how racial blending among Indians, slaves, and whites encouraged 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 conflict over the extension of slavery: they attacked every one other's cultural values and struggled to claim their very own political wills. They jealously guarded beliefs of manhood, womanhood, and whiteness whilst 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 girls formed the political and cultural terrain in ways in which ensured the destruction of slavery, yet they, besides their white male opposite numbers, didn't defeat the resilient strength of white supremacy.
Moving past a traditional political background of Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Borders breaks new floor by way of revealing how the struggles of this hugely assorted area contributed to the nationwide circulate towards disunion and the way the ideologies that ruled race and gender kinfolk have been challenged as North, South, and West converged at the border among slavery and freedom.
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Additional resources for Bleeding Borders: Race, Gender, and Violence in Pre-Civil War Kansas
19 Slaves also lived at Fort Scott and Fort Leavenworth in the 1840s; for example, Maj. Gen. George A. McCall, who was sta- 38 a n t i sl av e ry a n d p ro sl av e ry i de ol o gi e s i n ac t ion tioned at Fort Scott in 1844, owned at least one slave, a young man named Jordan. Soldiers at Fort Leavenworth such as Chaplain Leander Kerr and Col. Hiram Rich kept slaves of their own in addition to employing some who were hired out by their masters from Missouri. Maj. Richard W. 20 But the largest group of enslaved blacks who lived in Kansas prior to 1854 resided on or near the mission, where Reverend Johnson kept slaves and Indians to labor in his fields and tend to his affairs at the Manual Labor School.
Hindman used the red skin to represent the Indian’s essence as an animal-like being, incapable of using rational language and dependent instead upon physical gestures and grunts to communicate. In fact, white descriptions of Indians often aligned them with the animal world, and posited beliefs that the Indians lived in a state of nature. ” 72 The “half-breed” daughter, by marrying a white man, especially a white man of property and social standing, slowly stepped inside the privileged sphere of whiteness.
We are strong; we are a great nation. They are wandering nomads over the plains, with no more habitation than the buffalo has. They go with the buffalo. . They live upon the buffalo, and with the buffalo, and range over those vast plains. . 68 Doolittle recognized the difficulty of subduing the Indian presence by force alone. “Capturing and slaughtering” served its purpose temporarily, but he acknowledged the need for other means of addressing the “Indian problem” (undoubtedly turning toward Christian missions for an answer).
Bleeding Borders: Race, Gender, and Violence in Pre-Civil War Kansas by Kristen Tegtmeier Oertel