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Louis Carpenter
Born 14 December 1829(1829-12-14)
New York, U.S.A.
Died 21 August 1863 (aged 33)
Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas
Cause of death Murdered in the Lawrence Massacre
Residence Kansas
Nationality American
Citizenship U.S.A.
Years active 1850–1863
Known for Lawyer, Judge

Louis Carpenter (1829, New York – 1863, Kansas) was a Judge in Douglas County, Kansas and was the highest ranking civic member of the town of Lawrence to be murdered by Quantrill's raiders during the Lawrence Massacre.

Douglas County Kansas[]

Louis Carpenter was a lawyer,[1] and was a Deputy Clerk of Douglas County, Kansas by June 14, 1859.[2] In late 1860 or early 1861, he became Probate Judge of Douglas County, the first case bearing his name as judge being recorded on February 26, 1861, and on September 29, 1862, he was chosen by the Union Party as their candidate for the office of Attorney General of Kansas.[3] He was enumerated in the 1860 federal census of the Kansas Territory as age 29, born in the state of New York.

Lawrence Massacre[]

Judge Carpenter was one of the 185-200 men and boys killed in the Lawrence Massacre on August 21, 1863.[4] He was murdered in his home at 943 New Hampshire Street in Lawrence by members of Quantrill’s Raiders.[5] A detailed account of Judge Carpenter's life and murder in Kansas, and a photograph of him, are posted at the Douglas County Law Library website.[6]


Louis Carpenter was born December 14, 1829 in New York state.[7] His parentage is currently unknown as well as most of his life before coming to Kansas.

Louis married on October 10, 1862 at the home of his bride’s sister and brother-in-law Abigail (Barber) and Grosvenor C. Morse at Emporia, Kansas to Mary E. Barber[8][9][10], who was born ca. 1838 in Massachusetts according to census records. In 1870, his widow was enumerated at Topeka, Kansas; she married second on January 5, 1871 at Emporia, Kansas to John C. Rankin, and was enumerated in Osage County, Kansas in 1900 and 1910. She was a sister of Harriet A. Barber, who never married, and Abigail Barber, who married Grosvenor C. Morse.


  1. 1850 U.S. Census, Kansas Territory, Douglas County, City of Lawrence, p. 33, line 15.
  2. Douglas County Genealogical Society: The Pioneer, Vol. XIII, No. 3 (Spring, 1990), p. 110.
  3. Kerry Altenbernd: "Judge Louis Carpenter",, 2003, retrieved July 11, 2009.
  4. Wikipedia: "Lawrence Massacre",, retrieved July 11, 2009.
  5. Dr. Sam Dicks: "Abigail Morse recalls living through Quantrill’s raid of Lawrence",, Emporia State University, 24 Jul 2001.
  6. Altenbernd: "Judge Louis Carpenter"; URL for the biographical information and photograph is
  7. Kerry Altenbernd: post no. 6292 to the GenForum Carpenter Family Genealogy Forum, 10 Dec 2002, and subsequent e-mails dated 11 Dec 2002 et seq.
  8. Douglas County Genealogical Society: The Pioneer, Vol. IX, No. 3 (Spring, 1986), p. 160.
  9. Dicks: "Abigail Morse..."
  10. Richard Cordley: A History of Lawrence, Kansas from the First Settlement to the Close of the Rebellion, Lawrence Journal Press, Lawrence, Kans., 1895, p. 241.


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