Westport Historical Society Speaker Series

All Library locations will be closed on Sunday, April 20, in observance of the Easter holiday.

Tom Rafiner discusses his latest book Cinders and Silence, the first chronicle of Missouri’s Burnt District – three western Missouri border counties that were plunged from prosperity to devastation after Quantrill’s Lawrence Raid triggered General order No. 11.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
2:00pm @ Westport Branch

The Westport Historical Society and The Westport Library present Tom Rafiner: “Cinders and Silence”

Second Saturday Speaker Series, March 8, 2014, 2:00pm
Westport Library, 118 Westport Road
Speaker’s reception follows at the Harris Kearney House, 40th & Baltimore

Title of Talk: "Cinders and Silence"
Summary: Tom Rafiner will be discussing Missouri's burnt district. His second book, "Cinders and Silence: A Chronicle of Missouri's Burnt District, 1854 to 1870," recovers and shares a history of western Missouri long forgotten. Following General Thomas Ewing's issuance of General Orders No. 11 in August 1863 three Missouri counties along the Kansas border were completely depopulated. Soon after the Civil War the devastation and violence of the area disappeared from historical record.

"Cinders and Silence" provides a detailed history of the burnt district from 1854 to 1863. The violence and destruction began long before the issuance of Order No. 11. This history also explores the reasons for the history's quick disappearance from local memory. Rafiner's talk provides a comprehensive and gripping history of the area, focusing on communities and families.

Bio: Tom Rafiner is an independent researcher and author. Over the last 10 years he has spoken in over 30 counties in Missouri. He has also spoken at the Civil War Museum in Kenosha, Wisconsin, St. Louis' Missouri History Museum and the State Historical Society of Missouri. Rafiner has visited the National Archives in Washington, D.C. five times collecting material for his two books. All of his research focuses on communities and families of Missouri's burnt district.

Tom graduated from the University of Missouri in 1969 and later earned a Masters Degree from UMKC. Following retirement, Tom moved back to Kansas City with his wife Nancy. Tom and Nancy are residents of Parkville.