A history of Douglas County KS, may sound rather ho-hum -- until you learn that "Lawrence" is the County Seat. Lawrence, Kansas -- suddenly images of old Western films and Quantrill's Raiders flash across the mind. Similar images also flash across the pages of this 269-page book, reproduced from Richard Cordley's 1895 first hand account A History of Lawrence, Kansas from the First Settlement to the Close of the Rebellion. Amazingly detailed and well-written, the book is a rich source of data for Civil War buffs, genealogical info for those with Douglas County ties, and insights into American history in general and Kansas history in particular. This new spiral bound book is printed on 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 60# bond paper with the front cover protected with a vinyl sheet. Since the original book was darkened with age the print is a little light. The sufferings of these first Kansas pioneers rival those of the pioneers who founded Jamestown and Plymouth -- but for different reasons. Hoping to prevent the spread of slavery into Kansas after passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, many of these settlers left the comforts of their northeastern homes to live on a prairie beset with hardships and ruffians, in order to cast their votes for freedom. But pro-slavery factions had other ideas. This book covers an unusual part of American history. Often skimmed over in text books, it is more often found in the movies, where fact is mingled with fiction. But here we have a true account, an account stranger than fiction -- peace-loving citizens, rigged elections, corrupt officials, heroes and villians, wild speculations, underground governments, escaped slaves, a young Jesse James, and an old John Brown. All leading up to the actual raid itself -- vividly woven memories of the author and other survivors bring to life brutal murders, unwarranted cruelty, helpless onlookers, and narrow escapes as the bushwackers go door to door, street by street, looting, killing and burning. There's a lesson to be learned about letting your guard down, and another about the determination to survive. There are several pictures and drawings of early Lawrence (some better than others), and individual pictures of some of the early residents: Rev. Richard Cordley, Amos Lawrence, Gen. James Lane, Wilson Shannon, Charles Robinson, Sam Walker, Abram Wilder, Oliver Barber, Lyman Allen, Wesley Duncan, Col. James Blood, A.D. Searle, George W. Collamore, Dr. Alonzo Fuller, D.W. Woodward, Paul Brooks, J.G. Sands, Robert Frazer, Gen. George Deitzler, Col. O.E. Learnard, Major Edmund Ross, Col. John Rankin, Edmund Whitman, Franklin Haskell, Samuel Reynolds, John Ross, George Leis, Thaddeus Prentice, George Hutchinson, John Shimmons, John Haskell, Dudley Haskell, Frank Bailey, Charles Smith, R.C. Dix, E.A. Smith, Rev. John S. Brown, C.S. Duncan, Gurdon Grovenor, James Horton, Mrs. O.E. Learnard, Mrs. R. Cordley, Mrs. H.M. Simpson, Mrs. Charles Robinson, Mrs. Sarah Mack-Pinkston, Mrs. Sam Walker, Mrs. S.B. Prentiss, Mrs. O.A. Hanscom, Mary Brooks, Sarah Brown, Lizzie French, Lucy Woodward, Dr. J. F. Griswold, H.W. Baker, Josiah Trask, S.M. Thorpe, William Crutchfield, John L. Crane, O.A. Hanscom, George Ford, Forest Savage, Joseph Riggs, Samuel Kimball, Joseph Savage, R.W. Ludington, P.D. Ridenour, Fred Read, Col. S. W. Eldridge, George Smith, H. M. Simpson, Samuel Riggs, James Emery, Dr. S. B. Prentiss, Dr. Albert Newman, Lathrop Bullene, Charles Edwards, Rev. S. V. Lum, Rev. William Bishop, Rev. Charles Reynolds, Robert Elliott, T. Dwight Thacher, Josiah Miller, J.B. Abbott, John Speer, and William Phillips.