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William Clarke Quantrill correspondence

Call Number: RH MS 75


This collection includes letters from William Clarke Quantrill to his mother, Caroline Clarke Quantrill, preceding and up to the raid of Lawrence, Kansas in 1863. Also included in the collection is the correspondence of William W. Scott, editor of the Iron Valley Reporter and friend of Mrs. Quantrill, who attempted to help Mrs. Quantrill obtain the truth about her son. This correspondence consists of letters between Scott and people who allegedly had known Quantrill or had, in some way, been involved with his activities.


  • Creation: 1855 - 1906


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of William Clarke Quantrill (1837-1865)

William Clarke Quantrill was born in Canal Dover, Ohio in 1837. He came to Kansas as a young man, and taught school for a while before he became active in the border wars of Kansas and Missouri between free state and pro-slavery forces in the fight for Kansas statehood during the territorial era of 1854-1861.

Quantrill fought on the Confederate side during the Civil War, participating in guerrilla warfare. His most infamous act as a guerrilla leader was the sack of Lawrence in the early morning of August 21, 1863. Quantrill died two years after the raid in a military hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.


1 linear foot (2 boxes containing 101 items)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

RH MS 75

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, W. H. Murray, 1920; purchase, H. C. Revercomb, 1941.

Guide to the William Clarke Quantrill Collection
William Clarke Quantrill correspondence
Finding aid prepared by pg, April 1976. Finding aid encoded by mg, 2004. Finding aid revised by lmw, 2020.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
William Clarke Quantrill correspondence, Kansas Collection, RH MS 75, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States