Brown Vs. Quantrill: Is Violence Justified?
District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:
Benchmark 2: The student understands individuals, groups, ideas, events, and developments during Kansas territory and the Civil War (1854-1865)
1.(A) describes the concept of popular sovereignty under the Kansas- Nebraska Act and its impact on developing a state constitution.
2 describes how the dispute over slavery shaped life in Kansas Territory (e.g., border ruffians, bushwhackers, jayhawkers, the Underground Railroad, free-staters, abolitionists).
3. (A) analyzes the importance of Bleeding Kansas to the rest of the United States in the years leading up to the Civil War (e.g., national media attention, caning of Senator Charles Sumner, Emigrant Aid Societies, Beecher Bible and Rifle Colony, poems of John Greenleaf Whittier, John Brown).
4.(K) describes the role of important individuals during the territorial period (e.g., Charles Robinson, James Lane, John Brown, Clarina Nichols, Samuel Jones, David Atchison, Andrew H. Reeder)
Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed cite title and other detailed information:
- Chin, Jennie; Kansas Journey Publishing,Topeka; 2003.
- Monaghan, Jay. Civil War on the Western Border. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London; 1955.
- Using approved websites that give factual information on the lives of these two men. Info can come from primary resources with in the web sites, as well as secondary, but cited, information. (List of approved websites attached.)
Full description of activity or assignment.
- Students will be presented a unit describing Bleeding Kansas and the Border War. After the presentation of this unit, students will have been introduced to the important historical figures. The two figures that stand out the most during this time period to seventh graders are John Brown and William Clarke Quantrill. (My students also complete a novel study of The Jayhawkerby Patricia Beatty during this unit, which allows for a lot of emphasis on these figures.)
- Students will be shown images of both Quantrill and Brown and then as a class we will discuss the physical features in which both are alike, and where they differ physically.
- After discussing the physical attributes students will be presented with a Venn diagram. Their assignment will be to complete a graphic organizer of how Quantrill and Brown were alike and/or different in their personalities, beliefs, events/attacks, reasons for the events/attacks, and deaths. Students will have to cite the particular sources where they find their information.
- After finding and citing the information, students will then have to answer four short-answer questions on what they have discovered.
- The questions are:
- During their lives, who was responsible for more violence and/or deaths?
- Looking at the Venn Diagram, which one do you feel was more justified in their violence (Brown, Quantrill, both or neither)? Why do you feel this way?
- If you lived in Missouri during the Border War and Civil War periods, which of these two figures would you be more afraid of? Why?
- In your own words, describe the way that Brown and Quantrill are most alike? In what ways are they most different?
List of approved websites that may be used. (Additional websites may be used, but must be approved by the teacher. You man NOT use Wikipedia)
Kansas State Historical Society: www.kshs.org
Kansas City Public Library (Missouri Valley Special Collections): www.kchistory.org
National Archives at Kansas City: www.archives.gov