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Rock Chalk . . . Terrorist?

More from the Trans-Mississippi . . .


Osceola — still smarting from Civil War — calls on KU to drop Jayhawks as mascot
by The Associated Press and KY3 News
12:15 p.m. CDT, September 19, 2011

OSCEOLA, Mo. — Leaders of a town that was nearly destroyed 150 years ago by a Kansas militia want the University of Kansas to get rid of its Jayhawks mascot because it’s an association with “a group of domestic terrorists.” A resolution passed last week by the Osceola Board of Aldermen also asks the University of Missouri to educate Kansas on the historical origins of the “Border War.”

Osceola, which is 60 miles north of Springfield on Missouri 13, has a population of about 950. The town was a thriving center of commerce on the Osage River and had 2,500 residents on Sept. 22, 1861, when U.S. Sen. Jim Lane led a band of 2,000 “Jayhawkers” in the Kansas Brigade on a two-day siege of the city.

Lane’s men killed a dozen men on the town square, burned nearly all the buildings, and stole all the residents’ property and livestock, as well as cash from the banks. Residents fled and only about 200 people remained after the Jayhawkers left.

While many people know about the raid by a band of Missourians, led by William Quantrill, on Lawrence, Kan., in August 1863, most don’t know that many of the Missouri guerrillas shouted “Remember Osceola” as they burned Lane’s home town. The two attacks were among many along the Missouri-Kansas border during the Civil War between slavery abolitionists like Lane and Southern sympathizers like Quantrill.

Full story is here.

Comments (14) to “Rock Chalk . . . Terrorist?”

  1. While Lane was a free-soiler, I don’t know that anyone would then or should now call him an abolitionist. The two terms are not interchangeable.

  2. “War is Hell”

    Among the booty taken from Oceola were 200 slaves, what is more terroristic than to deprive a man of his freedom based soley on his skin color.

    before the war even started Border Ruffians” operating out of Missouri were raiding into Kansas and murdering Free Soil farmers. That the Free Soilers retaliated was to be expected.

    And many colleges have CW themed names, the UNC Tar Heels, the Tigers of LSU and the Wolverines of Michigan.

    Oceola demanding KU change it’s macot for this raid is like if the Germans of Dresen demanded the RAF change its name for its raid, while like Oceola conveniently forgetting who started it.

  3. This controversy is everything to do with Kansas-Missouri sports rivalry and little to do with history.

  4. here is the resolution Osceola has passed

    City of Osceola, Missouri Condemns “Jayhawk” Mascott
    Recently the City of Osceola, Missouri passed a resolution condemning KU’s “Jayhawk” mascot. The resolution reads as follows:

    RESOLUTION
    On this date, the City of Osceola, after hearing all of the evidence, and for good cause shown, finds the following:
    1.
    That on September 21 – 23, 1861, a group of domestic terrorist, referred to as “the jayhawkers,” sacked the city of Osceola, St. Clair County, Missouri and burned all but four or five of the city’s buildings to the ground.
    2.
    That on or around that date, twelve citizens of Osceola, St. Clair County, Missouri, were executed by said terrorist group.
    3.
    That the above-mentioned occurrence eventually led to William Clark Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, kansas, as Missourians had no choice but to defend themselves from the murderous attacks perpetrated by the jayhawkers, led by Jim Lane and James Montgomery.
    4.
    That when the University of kansas fielded its football team in 1890, it referred to the team as “the jayhawkers,” an obvious celebration of the above-named terrorist group. This term was eventually shortened to “jayhawks,” a name which has since been officially adopted by the University of kansas as the mascot for all its sports teams.
    5.
    That the present-day “jayhawks,” kU alumni, citizens of the state of kansas, et al,, have willfully, wantonly and recklessly disregarded the above-mentioned occurrence when discussing the roots of the “Border War” which currently existed between the University of Missouri Tigers and the University of kansas jayhawks.
    6.
    Whereas, the Civil War Trust, Summer 2011 issue of “Hallowed Ground” published by the National Park Services does hereby acknowledge that partisan forces led by Jim Lane raided and sacked the town of Osceola, Missouri, executing nine men after a hastily arranged court martial.
    IT IS THEREFORE RESOLVED that the City of Osceola, Missouri, by and through its citizens, officially CONDEMNS the celebration of this murderous gang of terrorists by an institution of “higher education,” in such a brazen and malicious manner.
    IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that citizens of the City of Osceola, Missouri requests the University of Missouri to educate the above-named Defendants on the FULL historical origins of the “Border War.”
    IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that no citizen of the City of Osceola or the alumni of the University of Missouri shall ever capitalize the “k” in “kansas” or “kU,” as neither is a proper name or a proper place.

  5. I psted a comment in an SCV webpage but for some reason it was never approved nor was I informed of its rejection.

  6. On reading that, I guess I was wrong. This isn’t just sports rivalry. The guy who wrote this is an even smaller version of Alexander Stephens.

  7. I like how they presume to speak for the alumi of U of Mo .

    IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that no citizen of the City of Osceola or the alumni of the University of Missouri shall ever capitalize the “k” in “kansas” or “kU,” as neither is a proper name or a proper place.

  8. All in good fun. Of course, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

  9. Before the war the Jayhawkers were undoubtedly terrorists, this was during the war and they were an enlisted Union Cavalry regiment. just as Border Ruffians were terrorists but after Sumter they too became Army units, just in the CSA Army.

    the Bleeding Kansas troubles was a war of terrorism and it was started by the pro-slavery faction.

  10. Wow, this really bugs me, given the situation my university is in with its nickname and logo (some of you might be familiar with the controversy over the Fighting Sioux at North Dakota). At least KU can ignore Osceola’s demand. Perhaps the NCAA can step in on their behalf and deem the Jayhawks hostile and abusive ;). This is certainly an interesting post relating the Civil War to a very real modern issue in college sports.

  11. I think their town website has been “Jayhawked!”: http://www.osceolamo.org/

    However, methinks this is more tongue in cheek, perhaps publicity driven. I’ve relatives who still live in and around Osceola. Not like the whole Jayhawker thing is a topic of hot discussion at Sugarfoot BBQ or Vicki’s Cafe. And the cheese factory would certainly not want to upset their kansas clientele.

  12. “Why can’t we all just get along?” – Rodney King

  13. Throwing the word “terrorist” around is not funny. Neither is making light of a brutal struggle that killed many innocent people in both states. Besides, I’m not convinced that this Osceola mayor is kidding.

  14. I think the actions of the Border Ruffians, the Jayhawkers and Red Legs satisfies anybody’s definition of terrorism.
    it was an ugly time.