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Special Collections & Archives Abigail Morse

Abigail Barber Morse

"Just then there came a terrible pounding at our front door, and Mrs. Carpenter opened the door. Mr. Carpenter, coming down the stairs answered the question, "Where are you from?" He said, "New York," and the man replied, "You New York fellows are the ones we are after." - From Abigail Morse's account of Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence, August, 1863

Abigail Morse was born on December 7, 1833, in Sherborn, Massachusetts. With her husband, the Reverend Grosvenor C. Morse, she traveled from Massachusetts to settle in Emporia in 1857. In 1863, Abigail witnessed Quantrill's Raid in Lawrence, where she was visiting her sister (during the raid, her sister's husband, Judge Louis Carpenter, was shot and killed). Reverend Morse journeyed to Illinois in 1864 to hire L. B. Kellogg to head the new Normal School in Emporia. After Mr. Morse's death in an accident in 1870, Abigail taught at KSN for three years, and was also preceptress (dean of women). She died in 1925.

See Professor Sam Dicks’ column on Abigail Morse

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