Blanton's Bridge

William Clarke Quantrill burned Blanton's Bridge after raiding Lawrence. Image courtesy of the Internet Archive.

Notable Events:

A bridge named after and maintained by Napolean Bonaparte Blanton spanned the Wakarusa River to the south of Lawrence and was a site of several border war events. On May 4, 1856, a proslavery party led by Israel B. Donalson shot and killed an antislavery settler named John Jones at Blanton's Bridge. The attackers justified their actions as eliminating a "damned abolitionist," which was not an uncommon saying in Kansas Territory. Years later on August 21, 1863, William Clarke Quantrill's Raiders left the town of Lawrence devastated. Quantrill moved southward out of town on Louisiana Street and burned Blanton's Bridge in his wake. Blanton and his family hid further down the river to escape the raiders. Today, travelers on East 1400 Road can see the ruins of Blanton's home near the river and several "Quantrill's Trail" signs that designate Quantrill's escape route.