Constitution Day 2011: Historian Speaks on Kansas’ Role in Civil War History

News Date: 
Tue. 09/06/2011

When most Americans think about the Civil War, Kansas isn’t the first state that comes to mind. But one Kansas historian has dedicated much of his career to researching our state’s struggles and contribution during the war and throughout history.

Dr. Brian Craig Miller, professor of history at Emporia State University and a speaker for the Kansas Humanities Council, will discuss Kansas’ historical significance in a Constitution Day lecture at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 13, in the Davis Administration Building’s Alumni Auditorium on the Friends University campus.

Dr. Russell Arben Fox, director of Friends University’s political science program, will introduce Dr. Miller. A question-and-answer session will follow the lecture. Audience members are invited to join Dr. Miller for a reception after the event on the third floor of the Davis Administration Building.

The lecture, titled “How Much Did Kansas Really Bleed? Kansas, the Constitution, and the Civil War in History and Today,” includes a critical re-examination of how the Civil War affected the state of Kansas and why Kansas’ struggles have been largely ignored in American history.

“Recently, I re-watched the Ken Burns documentary on the Civil War and I was struck with how little attention Kansas received, other than its association with John Brown,” Miller said. “I wondered why Kansas and the border war with Missouri had been ignored.  I constructed this presentation to explore why the Civil War struggle in Kansas had been diminished in the larger collective memory of the American Civil War.”

Dr. Miller has researched, published, and lectured extensively about the public memory of the Civil War, including his books, “The American Memory: Americans and Their History to 1877” and “John Bell Hood and the Fight for Civil War Memory.”

This Constitution Day lecture is free and open to the public, made possible by the Kansas Humanities Council and the Garvey Institute of Law.

For more information, please contact Dixie Madden at 316-295-5611 or For more information about KHC programs contact the Kansas Humanities Council at 785-357-0359 or visit

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Dixie Madden