Kansas was being settled and resettled by populations new to the area, peoples to whom the grassland West was a strange environment. The pre-Civil War occupants remaining were overwhelmed by the numbers of this influx of new people, the most of whom did not remain long in any one place or even in Kansas. Yet, institutions in the western Missouri and the eastern Kansas area, the Missouri river elbow region, maintained a remarkable continuity of development in their own right and in relation to the changing national scene. Although continuity of development may quite properly be stressed, it was in fact a transformation, or a series of successive transformations not only in the local area in question, but in American society as a whole -- a process of interrelations among the localities as foundations and the nation being newly reconstructed.
On the western bank of the Missouri river, Leavenworth was a city most developed and most nearly representative in reflection of that national transformation. But at the same time it contributed to the aggregate which made up the national whole its local variant in a unique setting. As a local case study it puts in comprehensible terms particulars which were the underpinnings of the larger national transition. Atchison, Lawrence, Topeka, Emporia, and Junction City, each in its own way as newer and lesser towns, contributed their unique behavior to the sum total. It is only out of such local foundations, assembled from the several parts of the United States, that the historian can reconstruct accurately an over-all national history.
XII. RAILROAD COMMUNICATION AND REORIENTATION
OF THE MISSOURI RIVER TOWNS AND KANSAS
During the decades of the 1850's and the 1860's the fact is conspicuous that the Missouri river and water communication influenced, if they did not actually dominate, not only the orientation of theatre and other entertainment, but most aspects of the outlook and activities of the inhabitants of the Missouri valley. Until well along in the 1860's most travel necessary to entertainment was dependent upon the river almost as literally as showboats. Whatever the theatrical organization and practices in the East and its large cities, in order to provide continuity and variety along the Missouri river, the resident dramatic company associated with the star system was almost a necessity. Such a combination required the least possible dependence upon mobility, especially during the winter months when the river was closed to navigation. Incidentally, theatre was peculiarly a summer institution outside of the largest cities. The orientation upon New Orleans by way of Cincinnati or by way of St. Louis was based upon long practice interwoven with the multitude of familiar connections and personal relations attendant upon a going concern.
Recruitment of actors for the resident companies at Leavenworth was from St. Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati, or New Orleans, but especially Cincinnati -- the Leonards, George Pardey, Frank Roche Arnold, J. H. Rogers. When the Union Theatre broke up in January, 1864, Chaplin, Mrs. Walters, and other members of the company went to Ben DeBar's St. Charles Theatre in New Orleans.
A study of the New Orleans Theatre of the 1850's and 1860's, both before and after the American Civil War, reveals the major role of that city in relation to the interior river cities, extending to the Missouri river elbow region including Leavenworth. Ben DeBar (1812-1878) came to the United States and New Orleans by way of New York in 1835. Between that date and 1853 when he took over the management of the St. Charles Theatre in New Orleans he had been in both New York and New Orleans. In 1855 he bought a theatre in St. Louis to which he gave his own name. Except for the Civil War period, when the St. Charles was closed, he kept both going, adding in 1873 the Wakefield Opera House to his holdings in St. Louis.
Many, If not most, of the stars who played in the Leavenworth Theatre as related in this essay, played at the St. Charles and DeBar Theatres in New Orleans and in St. Louis, and others. Some of them should be named in order to make the point concrete: McKean Buchanan and Virginia, Blanche DeBar (her mother, Clementine DeBar had married one of the Booth family), C. W. Couldock and daughter Eliza, Lotta Crabtree, Julia Dean, Kate and Susan Denin, Mrs. Mary Gladstane, Eliza Logan, the Maddern Sisters, Emma and Lizzie (Lizzie was the mother of Minnie Maddern Fiske), and Cecile Rush. In the St. Charles stock company at times were George D. Chaplin, Clara Walters, and Mrs. Pennoyer. And the plays presented on the stage were mostly the same at New Orleans, St. Louis, and Leavenworth, so far as conditions permitted. After the Civil War interruption at the St. Charles (DeBar remained in St. Louis and operated throughout the war) the old system was continued substantially as prior to hostilities.  Except for the physical equipment and size of the house, a theatregoer might not be able to distinguish which of the three cities he was in: New Orleans, St. Louis, or Leavenworth.
Even prior to the Civil War the railroads were changing all this, but slowly, because of the momentum of the "going concern," and the reluctance to abandon old and accustomed connections for new and uncertain methods and personalities. Ben DeBar and his enterprises in both St. Louis and New Orleans, continuing after the war as before, were telling examples of persistence of old associations long after railroads had superceded the water navigation which had originally made the cities and his theatrical enterprises in the Mississippi valley possible.
In all lines of business the intervention of the railroad, and the new orientations it provided were not overlooked. In Atchison the dry goods firm of A. S. Parker ran a two-column advertisement in the spring of 1860 announcing that its stock of spring and summer goods had arrived by railroad. About the same time the Western Stage Company, mail contractors, announced that because of the Atchison and St. Joseph railway, connecting with Hannibal and St. Joseph railroad opened in 1859, nearly 12 hours had been gained in mail arrivals. A new stage service for mail and passengers was announced from Leavenworth to Topeka and Lawrence making possible travel from St. Joseph to either of those points in the interior in one day. The river cities were served by railroad packets which began operations with the breaking of the ice. The first task was to distribute among the river towns the good s that had accumulated by rail for river points, or for rail shipment east. 
The Civil War in Missouri in 1861 interrupted river and rail communication. By February, 1862, railroad connections were reestablished to Chicago by way of Palmyra, Mo. , and Quincy, Ill., and stages afforded connections with railroad terminals along the Missouri river.  With the opening of navigation on the river in 1864 and 1865 traffic moved in a similar pattern, with the aid of a steamboat plying between Weston and Kansas City.  The Union Pacific, Eastern division, finished its line from Kansas City to Lawrence late in 1864, and to Fort Riley in December, 1866. The Leavenworth-Lawrence branch was completed in May, 1866. On the Kansas side of the Missouri river, Kansas City was connected with Leavenworth by the Missouri River railroad in July, 1866, and Atchison, September, 1869. On the Missouri side, the Missouri Valley railroad from Kansas City to St. Joseph was completed in December, 1868, but it had served between St. Joseph and Weston since early 1864. The Pacific railroad from St. Louis reached Kansas City in September, 1865, providing the second rail line between the Mississippi river and the Missouri river towns of eastern Kansas. The first bridge across the Missouri river was the Hannibal and St. Joseph railroad bridge serving Kansas City, completed in July, 1869. The river was bridged at Leavenworth in 1872, and at Atchison in 1875. By the end of 1869 the Mississippi river was bridged at Quincy, Ill., as well as the Missouri at Kansas City, affording through rail traffic between Kansas City and Chicago without ferries, and Leavenworth was tied into this route by the Missouri River railroad -- 24 hours to Chicago.
In 1856 Gabay's Dramatic Troupe, a complete theatrical company traveling from town to town was a rare thing in the West. By 1870 a revolution had occurred that was made possible by railroads. The traveling dramatic troupe had gained during the late 1860's while resident theatre had declined or had been eliminate d. In Leavenworth the coming of the James A. Lord Dramatic Company in December, 1869, not only provided the first legitimate theatrical entertainment in that city for a long time, but it was a sign of the completion in large measure of the reorientation of the area upon Chicago by means of rails. 
DR. JAMES C. MALIN, associate editor of the Kansas Historical Quarterly, is professor of history at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and is author of several books relating to Kansas and the West.
42. Atchison Daily Champion, December 19, 1867.
43. Freedom's Champion, Atchison, June 11, October 8, 1859, March 3, April 28, July 28 , August 4, October 6, December 1, 1860, May 11, 18, 1861.
44. Atchison Daily Champion, September 27, 1883, editorial and description of Price's New Opera House; Daily Globe, July 16, 1894.
45. Atchison Daily Champion, April 14, May 12, 14, 1865.
46. Ibid., January 31, February 8, 11, 14, to March 10, 1866.
47. Ibid., March 20, April 5, 10, to June 1, 1866.
48. Ibid., May 29, 1866.
49. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, January 17, 1864.
50. Lawrence Daily Tribune, January 21, 1870; Republican Daily Journal, Lawrence, December 31, 1869, January 16, 19, 30, 1870.
51. Otto F. Fredericks on, "The Liquor Question in Kansas Before Constitutional Prohibition" (Typed Ph.D. thesis, University of Kansas Library, 1931), pp. 163, 346, 347 , 349.
52. Daily Times, Leavenworth, December 1, 13, 1859.
53. Lawrence Republican, April 10, 17, 24, 1862; Smoky Hill and Republican Union, Junction City, May 1, 8, 1862; Leavenworth Daily Times, April 12, May 7, 1862. Addis had carried his photographic business with him.
54. Leavenworth Daily Conservative, June 2, 1863. Lawrence newspapers for this period are not available.
55. Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence, March 19-24, 1867.
56. These aspects of the Kansas scenes will be treated at length in another local case study centering upon Fort Scott.
57. John S. Kendall, The Golden Age of the New Orleans Theatre (Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press, 1952), pp. 286-321, 495-552. The portion of the book cited reviews the main features of DeBar's career. Kendall spelled C. W. Couldock's name Couldrock. Cf., Dictionary of American Biography, v. 4, pp. 466-467; The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, v. 2, p. 346. Kendall misidentified Mrs. Walters, or the indexer did, as all references to her are collected under the name Mary Walters. Evidently her career was not known to Kendall. In other respects the index is quite inadequate.
Other books of some importance to commercial public entertainment, in some cases only because they are the only ones on the particular subject available, are listed here: Philip Graham, Showboats: The History of an American Institution (Austin, University of Texas Press, 1951); Philip D. Jordan, Singing Yankees: The Story of the Crusading Hutchinson Family (Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1946); Edward Mammon, The Old Stock Company School of Acting: A Study of the Boston Museum (Boston, Published by the Trustees of the Public Library, 1945); Carl F. Wittke, Tambo and Bones: A History of the American Minstrel Stage (Durham, N. C., Duke University Press, 1930).
58. Atchison Freedom's Champion, February 24, March 10, 17, 1860.
59. Leavenworth Daily Conservative, February 1, 1862.
60. Ibid., February 16, 1864; Daily Times, February 18, 1865.
61. Leavenworth Daily Commercial, October 17, 1869 ff., adv.; Times and Conservative, February 25, 1870; Evening Bulletin, January 2 9, 1870.
62. For a study of Kansas City in this perspective, see James C. Malin, Grassland Historical Studies: Natural Resources Utilization in a Background of Science and Technology, v. 1, Geology and Geography (Lawrence, the author, 1950), Ch. 22, "After the Civil War," especially pp. 324-338.