|The San Francisco Civil War Round Table Meeting
17th February 2011
The meeting started, after everyone had been extracted from the bar, with the Pledge of Allegiance,
led by Winchell Hayward.
A number of first-time guests were introduced, including speaker Tom Lubas and his wife Judy.
The President circulated a list of members' email addresses for updating.
|Jeffrey Vaillant, Wayne Padgett, and Charlie Sweeny, imitating Napolean.
|Charlie Sweeny distributed copies of a paper on Fatalities from Disease and Combat in America's
Principal Wars, and spoke a few words on the issues of military immunization and health care.
Fortunately, most people had finished eating by then.
Debbie Grace reminded those present about the Lee and Grant exhibition at St. Mary's College in
Moraga, through March 20th. Click here for details.
A raffle was held to raise funds for our Sesquicentennial Essay Contest in the San Francisco schools.
The sum of $88 was contributed by enthusiastic bidders for some fine books, a package of fake
Union money, and four beautiful postcards from 1909, commemorating Lincoln's birth centennial.
The President reminded members that the March meeting will be held on the 24th, to allow for
proper observance of St. Patrick's Day on the 17th.
Guest speaker Tom Lubas (above), with the aid of some excellent slides led us though the horrors
of "Bleeding Kansas." In the 1820s there were eleven free and eleven slave states, giving each
side equal representation in the Senate. With the addition of new states, both abolitionists and
slave-owners competed to have the newcomer declare for their side. Tom outlined the political
maneuvering that ensued: the formation of free Maine to balance slave Missouri (1820), the Missouri
Compromise of 1850, and the Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854. From 1854 on, the situation in
Kansas and Missouri rapidly deteriorated and politics became warfare. Bands of armed men,
claiming to support one side or the other, bore names like Bushwhackers, Jayhawkers, Red Legs,
and Guerrillas. Tom dubbed them "opportunistic sociopaths" who indulged in unrestrained slaughter,
pillaging, and plundering. As he recounted the murderous activities of these undisciplined hordes, the
whole tapestry of "Bleeding Kansas" emerged before us.
Tom listed four characters as being outstanding examples of the "sociopaths" who dominated the
scene at the time: Senator James Lane (the snollygoster), General Thomas Ewing Jr. (creator of the
burned district), William Quantrill (one of the very worst), and Bloody Bill Anderson (Quantrill's #2
man and leader of the group that included Frank and Jesse James).
Tom's graphic presentation and professional demeanour left members feeling as though they had
been there - and glad that they hadn't.