Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Tallgrass Prairie Faith, Strong City, KS

“Kansas, said our greatest statesman, John J. Ingalls, is the child of Plymouth Rock. In the beginning of the settlement of Kansas, the State was invaded by immigrants from New England or sons and daughters of New Englanders, who came to Kansas to make this a Free State…there is your ideal Puritan civilization: a prosperous people, burdened neither by an idle luxurious class who are rich, nor taxed to support a sodden and footless class verging upon pauperism. A sober people practically without a criminal class, an intelligent people in so far as intelligence covers a knowledge of getting an honest living, saving an occasional penny, and living in a rather high degree of common comfort; a moral people in so far as morals consist in obedience to the legally expressed will of the majority with no very great patience for the vagaries of protesting minorities. A just and righteous people in so far as justice concerns the equitable distribution of material things, and righteousness requires men to live at peace among men of good-will. A free people in so far as freedom allows men and women to have and hold all that they earn, and makes them earn all that they get. But a people neighbor minded in the Golden rule, a people neighbor bound by ties of duty, by a sense of obligation, by a belief in the social compact, in the value of the herd, in the destiny of the race. All these social totems are concentrated in the idea of God in the Kansas heart. We say in Kansas that the Republican Party and the Methodist church were the spiritual forces that controlled the State. ‘Ad astra per aspera,’ to the stars by hard ways, is the easy approach to grace, no royal road to happiness, no backstairs to beneficence. There is no earthly trail paralleling the primrose path in which one can avoid the wrath of God and the lady next door. Life and liberty are indeed highly esteemed in Kansas; but the pursuit of happiness only upon conditions set forth in the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, and their interpretation by the Kansas statutes.”

--William Allen White: “Kansas: A Puritan Survival,” Nation, April 19, 1922 (Prominent owner/editor of the Emporia, Kansas Gazette)

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