December 3 program explores heroism or villainy of abolitionist John Brown

John Brown, as painted by John Steurt Curry.

160 years ago this December, John Brown was executed following the raid on Harper’s Ferry. On Tuesday, December 3, 7 p.m., Ottawa University Associate Professor Ryan Louis will present “Commemorating John Brown: Hero, Villain, or Neither?” at the Ottawa campus of Neosho County Community College, 900 East Logan, in Ottawa, Kansas. To say that John Brown is a polarizing historical character does not do justice to the sheer intensity with which people and communities remember him, says Ryan Louis. Brown is commemorated in more than a dozen states and around…

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Diary of Reuben Smith, Kansas Settler and Civil War Soldier, presented by author Lana Wirt Myers October 21

Lana Wirt Myers, author of The Diaries of Reuben Smith, Kansas Settler and Civil War Soldier

Neosho County Community College, 900 E Logan, Ottawa, KS Sunday, October 21, 2018, 2 p.m. In 1854, after recently arriving from England, twenty-two-year-old Reuben Smith traveled west, eventually making his way to Kansas Territory. There he found himself in the midst of a bloody prelude to the Civil War, as Free Staters and defenders of slavery battled to stake their claim. For fifty years, Smith wrote fascinating narratives about all he observed and experienced during territorial days, the border war, civil war, and early Kansas politics (he served three terms…

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