Kansas History - Winter 2015-2016
(Volume 38, Number 4)
Ramon Powers and James N. Leiker, eds., "Remembering the Battle of Punished Woman’s Fork: The 2013 Scott City Symposium"
In late September 2013, the community of Scott City, Kansas, commemorated the 135th anniversary of the Battle of Punished Woman’s Fork, site of the final military engagement between the U.S. Army and American Indians in the state of Kansas. This battle occurred within the context of a series of events known variously by whites as “Dull Knife’s raid,” and by Northern Cheyennes as “the homecoming trail,” or—the consensus term used by academic and public historians—the Northern Cheyenne Exodus. Having been relocated to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) in 1877, the Indians were beset by disease, poor nutrition, bad relations with fellow Native people, and simple homesickness. In 1878, 353 Northern Cheyennes led by Chiefs Dull Knife (Morning Star) and Little Wolf left their southern reservation and fled north toward their native Montana lands. This collection of articles, scholarly essays and personal recollections, edited by Ramon Powers and James N. Leiker, who together authored The Northern Cheyenne Exodus in History and Memory (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2011), does more than tell the story of an Indian-U.S. Army confrontation; it records for Kansas History readers, and indeed for posterity, the spirit of the 2013 symposium—a spirit of remembrance and reconciliation.
Norman E. Saul, “William Allen White and the Russian Revolution”
In his approaches to the Russian Question after the 1917 revolutions, William Allen White—the internationally-known editor and publisher of the Emporia Gazette—was flexible, understanding, positive, yet perplexed as to possible courses of action. He clearly opposed the interventionist, non-recognition stance of his Republican Party in the 1920s, but, like others, remained a loyal supporter of the party in local and national elections. Perhaps, according to distinguished historian Norman Saul, professor emeritus of history and Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Kansas, this reflected White’s rural and small-town moderate roots, as opposed to urban machine operations of the Democratic Party. One thing is certain, however; he was dedicated to improving both Kansans and Americans knowledge regarding the broader world in which they lived, using his writings and lectures to prepare them for the grand events on the international scene.
Richard Macias, “B-25 Production and Test Flying at the Kansas City Bomber Plant”
The B-25 bomber was a significant weapon in America’s World War II arsenal. Designed and used primarily as a medium bomber, it also was modified to perform several other roles such as skip bomber, strafer, and airborne artillery. Many of these B-25s were produced and prepared for duty in North American Aviation’s Kansas City, Kansas, facility. In “B-25 Production and Test Flying,” Richard Macias, a longtime Kansas City area firefighter who has conducted extensive research on World War II aviation, particularly the American and British contributions toward the Allied victory, reviews the origin, development, and production at the Kansas defense plant, and examines the pre-flight procedure, test flying, modifications performed, and notable mishaps. Macias’s previous Kansas History article, “‘We All Had a Cause’: Kansas City’s Bomber Plant, 1941–1945,” was published in the winter 2005–2006 issue and focused on production, plant operations, and employment.
Hearts Beating for Liberty: Women Abolitionists in the Old Northwest
by Stacey M. Robertson
xiv + 303 pages, illustrations, notes, index.
Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014, cloth $32.95
Reviewed by Ginette Aley, adjunct professor of history, Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas and Carey Fellow, History Department, Kansas State University, Manhattan.
Fostering on the Farm: Child Placement in the Rural Midwest
by Megan Birk
viii + 234 pages, illustrations, notes, index.
Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2015, cloth $55.00
Reviewed by Marilyn Irvin Holt, independent historian, Abilene, Kansas.
Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab
by Steve Inskeep<
421 pages, illustrations, notes, index.
New York: Penguin Press, 2015, cloth $29.95
Reviewed by Troy D. Smith, assistant professor of history, Tennessee Tech University, Cookeville, Tennessee.
The Notorious Luke Short: Sporting Man of the Wild West
by Jack DeMattos and Chuck Parsons
xxii + 326 pages, illustrations, notes, index.
Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2015, cloth $29.95
Reviewed by Juti A. Winchester, assistant professor of history, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas.
The Cherokee Kid: Will Rogers, Tribal Identity, and the Making of an American Icon
by Amy M. Ware
317 pages, illustrations, notes, index.
Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2015, cloth $37.50
Reviewed by Kerry Wynn, associate professor of history, Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas.