|Quantrill’s Raid, Altenbernd’s Commemorative Bandanna, and the Legacy of Julia Louisa Lovejoy
Patricia L. Cummings 1/1/2014
With great interest, last summer I read that Conrad Altenbernd III had just designed a bandanna to commemorate the
150th anniversary of Quantrill’s infamous raid on the city of Lawrence, Kansas on August 21, 1863. Lawrence was
home to many an abolitionist including New Hampshire transplants, Julia Louisa Lovejoy and her husband, Charles, a
Methodist minister. After Quantrill and his raiders attacked the town in “shoot-em-up” fashion, 185 residents were
dead, homes and businesses were in burned ruins, and the local bank had been robbed.
Altenbernd’s great-grandfather hid with his family in a cornfield until the raid was over and thus survived. Lovejoy,
alone at home with her infant son, while her husband was off on church business, ran into the woods. Due to her quick
thinking, they both lived to tell the tale.
The 21" wide x 21 ¼" long bandanna that documents the attack has four circular cartouches, one which has a memorial
wreath partially encircling the words, “Never Forget.” Another circle encloses the image of John M. Speer, Jr., killed
while sleeping at this father’s newspaper office, his death later avenged by his 15 year old brother who killed the only
raider who met that fate. In yet another circle, a map details Quantrill’s route from the bordering state of Missouri, a
slave-holding state. The final enclosed scene depicts (Union) Civil War troops and is a reminder of the soldiers killed
near 9th Street and New Hampshire Street. The textile’s center presents a reproduced drawing, published at the time in
Harper’s Weekly, which shows the destroyed Eldridge Hotel. Only three hundred bandannas were printed and of
those, Altenbernd gave away 100 to local folks.
Quantrill’s Changing Sentiments
History paints William Clarke Quantrill (1837-1865), a Confederate raider, as a bloodthirsty madman. Initially, his
sentiments were anti-slavery but in 1860, he adopted a pro-slavery stance. Historians attribute Quantrill’s change of
heart to his newly-found way of making money by capturing slaves and returning them to their former owners. Active
during the Civil War and trained in guerrilla tactics, Quantrill led the Lawrence raid with about 450 men, targeting boys
and men for execution. Those unfortunate souls killed during this sudden attack ranged in age from 14 to 90 years old,
leaving many a widow and orphan.
Quantrill eventually would succumb to gunshot wounds after he inadvertently encountered Union troops on May 10,
1865 in Kentucky. Only 24 years old at the time of his demise, Quantrill died on June 6, 1865, about a month after
being wounded, leaving his 17 year old bride a widow. They had been married for four years.
Julia Louisa Lovejoy: Staunch Abolitionist
In 1855, Julia Louisa and Charles Lovejoy gathered their worldly possession and moved from New Hampshire to
Kansas. They were committed to keeping Kansas as a place without slavery. To that end, Mrs. Lovejoy waged a
constant letter-writing campaign to northern newspapers in New England to move the public so greatly that money
would be sent to aid the mission she and her husband had undertaken. A collection of her persuasive letters that detail
the circumstances in which she found herself was shared with the Kansas Historical Society by her niece, (historian and
quilt historian, Ellen Webster) in May 1947/
Part I of Julia Louisa Lovejoy’s Letters was published in the journal Kansas Historical Quarterly, and Part II was to
appear in their August 1947 issue, according to a letter written by Ellen Webster to Professor Ernest Sherman, Kimball
Union Academy, dated June 11, 1947. That same piece of correspondence provides information about a few other
notable citizens in the Hebron/Lebanon, NH area. Mrs. Webster mentions Daniel Hardy of Lebanon, Julia’s father
who was a Lebanon, NH resident. Daniel’s grandfather “was massacred at Fort William Henry in 1757,” she noted.
She notes three other men, including “Sergeant John Ordway” who assisted in the Lewis and Clark Expedition in their
unsuccessful attempt to discover a northwest passage. For those unfamiliar with New Hampshire, Lebanon is not far
from Hebron, Ellen Webster’s place of birth and hometown.
Lovejoy’s Diary Notes
Julia Louisa Lovejoy (1812-1882) kept a detailed diary which chronicles her many life challenges including the loss of
her children. In its pages, she often self-effacing reports on her own unworthiness, perhaps thinking that if she were a
better servant of the Lord, the kind of bad things that kept occurring in her life would not happen.
More about Mrs. Lovejoy
The anti-slavery efforts of Mrs. Lovejoy are mentioned in a film about the Civil War by Ken Burns. Information about
her life is also included in “Ellen Emeline (Hardy) Webster (1867-1950): Her Amazing Quilt “Charts,” Her Writings,
and Her Life by (me) Patricia L. Cummings (Quilter’s Muse Publications, 2008). In that 355 page volume book,
currently sold as a pdf file/e-book on a CD-ROM disc), the genealogy of Ellen Webster’s family is delineated providing
a fascinating look at her early ancestors who lived in the rural farm community of Hebron, New Hampshire. The family’
s roots are in England.
Ellen crafted a beautiful quilt block that highlights the names of some family members. The block is quite similar to the
Rollins family quilt block, documented as being from Deerfield, New Hampshire. See the photos and more details in my
The Value of Writing about History
I feel very grateful to all who work diligently to preserve historical stories! I especially enjoy textiles whose purpose is
to celebrate and recall certain important historical events. Many thanks to Conrad Altenbernd III for creating this new
bandanna that ties in with the history of his own family! Without it, I would have never known of his grandfather’s
efforts to keep his family safe.
Another note of appreciation is in order. Louise Traunstein, Groton Historical Society’s Archivist (NH), has worked
tirelessly to lead members of the society in an effort to save and document ephemera, including the letter cited here that
was written by Ellen Webster. In order to appreciate the present, we all need to develop an appreciation of the past.
To that end, I also work diligently. I hope you have enjoyed this brief overview of an important Civil War event that
involved not only residents of Kansas but also some people from New Hampshire.
©Copyright 2014. Patricia L. Cummings, Quilter’s Muse Publications, Concord, NH. All Rights Reserved.