The First Published Image of Quantrill

The first published image of William Clarke Quantrill was  an original cabinet photo of William Clarke Quantrill taken by Burdge in Independence, Mo. It is estimated that this image was actually taken in 1862 after the battle of Independence when the Confederates still had possession of the town. However, this is factually unknown at present. You will note that his mustache were artistically applied by Burdge, he also artistically enhanced the hair and eyebrows. Again, it is thought that this was done because Quantrill is best known wearing a mustache. This particular copy of this well known and often published image was brought into the Woodlawn Cemetery office and given to Mr. Morgan Linson, the sextant. The person who gave it to him was a woman looking for Quantrill's grave. She said that her relative had fought with Quantrill during the CW. She did not give her name (or it is not known at this late date). She was "quite dismayed" to discover that he was not buried there as she was leaving for California the next day.  Below is the exact image of Quantrill mentioned in the article above. 

EDITORS NOTE: Compare this photo to the other recently discovered images of Quantrill published on our website. Compare the eyes, ears, nose and mouth, and you will find there is no doubt this is the same man. If you are so inclined, you compare it to image of a young Quantrill first published in Leslie's book "The Devil Knows How To Ride." We hope our membership appreciates how fortunate we are to have access to these images. Of the handful of identified first generation Quantrill photograph known to exist, three on them are available for viewing on this website.

Although many different versions of this image exist, this is one of the handful of copies of the original Burdge photographs. In most of the second generations copies of this image it is harder to see that the hair and mustache were "added," yet on the Burdge images the alteration is quite evident. Please bear in mind that numerous first-hand sources documented that the Guerrillas often changed their appearance, sometimes numerous times in one day, in their effort to avoid detection. So that could be another explanation of why the photograph was altered. Additionally considering the political climate in Missouri after the war, any photographs of Quantrill  or his men were concealed for decades after the shooting stopped. In fact today some still refuse to acknowledge that their relatives served under Colonel Quantrill. One of our goals is to replace the false sense of shame with the pride that comes from knowing the facts, that every single Missouri Confederate Partisan was a hero and a patriot. I have no doubt other photographs of Quantrill were taken so I'd expect new ones to surface from time to time.

©Patrick R. Marquis, Quantrillsguerrillas.com. "Permission should be requested and agreed to before using this copyrighted essay and or image."




                                          MEMBERS ONLY SECTION

Text Size