Free State Hotel - Lawrence Massacre - Lawrence, Kansas
Posted by: iconions
N 38° 58.265 W 095° 14.171
15S E 306275 N 4315945
Quick Description: This important site in the Lawrence Massacre is located at 701 Massachusetts Street.
Location: Kansas, United States
Date Posted: 7/2/2009 10:04:00 PM
Waymark Code: WM6PNM
Excerpt from the Hotel Eldridge History Page:
The Eldridge Hotel has been an integral part of the history of Lawrence since its founding. The original building on this site was the Free State Hotel, built in 1855 by settlers from the New England Emigrant Aid Society. The Free State Hotel was intended as temporary quarters for those settlers who came here from Boston and other areas while their homes were being built. It was named the The Free State Hotel to make clear the intent of those early settlers: that Kansas should come into the union as a free state.
In 1856, the The Free State Hotel was attacked and burned to the ground by the infamous sheriff Sam Jones, heading a group of pro-slavery forces. Colonel Shalor Eldridge rebuilt the hotel and added another floor, vowing to do the same every time it was destroyed. The hotel stood until 1863 when it was attacked and destroyed once again, this time by Quantrill and his raiders. Quantrill and his men rode into the community of Lawrence and killed over 150 people. Tragically, they burned and destroyed the city that stood as a proud symbol and home for the free state of Kansas and the freedom and rights of individuals everywhere.
Colonel Eldridge promptly rebuilt the hotel and gave it his name, the Hotel Eldridge. To this day, the seal of the city of Lawrence depicts a phoenix rising from the ashes. Its motto is "from ashes to immortality". The seal and motto exhibit the determination by the people of Lawrence to stand and fight for the rights and dignity of people everywhere.
The text from the marker out front of the hotel:
This marks the site of the Free State Hotel erected in 1855 by the New England Emigrant Aid Society. Destroyed by Sheriff Jones and his posse May 21, 1856, and rebuilt by Col. Schaler W. Eldridge. Quantrill and his raiders destroyed Lawrence August 21, 1863, burned the hotel and massacred the citizens. Col. Eldridge restored the hotel which stood until 1926 when it was rebuilt by W.G. Hutson.
Erected April 4, 1940 by the Lawrence Rotary Club