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History of Kansas

History of Kansas

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The history of Kansas, argued historian Carl L. Becker
Carl L. Becker
Carl Lotus Becker was an American historian.-Life:He was born in Waterloo, Iowa. He studied at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Frederick Jackson Turner was his doctoral advisor there. Becker got his Ph.D. in 1907. He was John Wendell Anderson Professor of History in the Department of History...

 a century ago, reflects American ideals. He wrote: "The Kansas spirit is the American spirit double distilled. It is a new grafted product of American individualism, American idealism, American intolerance. Kansas is America in microcosm."

Located on the eastern edge of the Great Plains
Great Plains
The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...

, the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

 was the home of nomadic Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 tribes who hunted the vast herds of bison
American Bison
The American bison , also commonly known as the American buffalo, is a North American species of bison that once roamed the grasslands of North America in massive herds...

. The region first appears in western history in the 16th century at the time of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, when Spanish conquistador
Conquistador
Conquistadors were Spanish soldiers, explorers, and adventurers who brought much of the Americas under the control of Spain in the 15th to 16th centuries, following Europe's discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1492...

es explored the unknown land now known as Kansas. It was later explored by French fur trappers
Fur trade
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of world market for in the early modern period furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued...

 who traded with the Native Americans. Most of Kansas became permanently part of the United States in the Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

 of 1803. The southwest portion had a different history of association with Spanish, Mexican and the Republic of Texas
Republic of Texas
The Republic of Texas was an independent nation in North America, bordering the United States and Mexico, that existed from 1836 to 1846.Formed as a break-away republic from Mexico by the Texas Revolution, the state claimed borders that encompassed an area that included all of the present U.S...

 rule before the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848. In the 19th century, the first American explorers designated the area as the "Great American Desert
Great American Desert
The term Great American Desert was used in the 19th century to describe the western part of the Great Plains east of the Rocky Mountains in North America....

."

When the area was opened to Euro-American settlement in the 1850s, Kansas became the first battlefield in what a few years later became the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, as settlers fought over whether the territory would be admitted as a free or slave state. After the war, Kansas was home to Wild West
American Old West
The American Old West, or the Wild West, comprises the history, geography, people, lore, and cultural expression of life in the Western United States, most often referring to the latter half of the 19th century, between the American Civil War and the end of the century...

 towns servicing the cattle trade. With the railroads came heavy immigration
Immigration
Immigration is the act of foreigners passing or coming into a country for the purpose of permanent residence...

 from the East, from Europe, and from Freedmen called "Exodusters". For much of its history, Kansas has had a rural economy based on wheat and other crops, supplemented by oil and railroads. Since 1945 the farm population has sharply declined and manufacturing has become more important, typified by the aircraft industry of Wichita
Wichita, Kansas
Wichita is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kansas.As of the 2010 census, the city population was 382,368. Located in south-central Kansas on the Arkansas River, Wichita is the county seat of Sedgwick County and the principal city of the Wichita metropolitan area...

.

The Paleo-Indians and Archaic peoples


According to the best archaeological and geological evidence available, Paleolithic, mammoth-hunting families moved into northwestern North America from northeast Asia sometime around the end of the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

 (and, some believe, as late as 10,000 BC) by various means. Around 7000 BC, these immigrants entered into North America reaching Kansas. Once in Kansas, the indigenous ancestors never abandoned Kansas. They were later augmented by other indigenous peoples migrating from other parts of the continent. These bands of newcomers encountered mammoth
Mammoth
A mammoth is any species of the extinct genus Mammuthus. These proboscideans are members of Elephantidae, the family of elephants and mammoths, and close relatives of modern elephants. They were often equipped with long curved tusks and, in northern species, a covering of long hair...

s, camels, ground sloth
Ground sloth
Ground sloths are a diverse group of extinct sloths, in the mammalian superorder Xenarthra. Their most recent survivors lived in the Antilles, where it has been proposed they may have survived until 1550 CE; however, the youngest AMS radiocarbon date reported is 4190 BP, calibrated to c. 4700 BP...

s, and horses. The sophisticated big-game
Game (food)
Game is any animal hunted for food or not normally domesticated. Game animals are also hunted for sport.The type and range of animals hunted for food varies in different parts of the world. This will be influenced by climate, animal diversity, local taste and locally accepted view about what can or...

 hunters did not keep a balance, resulting in the "Pleistocene overkill", the rapid and systematic decimation of nearly all the species of large ice-age mammals in North America by 8000 BC. The hunters who pursued the mammoths may have represented the first of north Great Plains cycles of boom and bust, relentlessly exploiting the resource until it has been depleted or destroyed.

After the disappearance of big-game hunters, some archaic groups survived by becoming generalists rather than specialists, foraging in seasonal movements across the plains. The groups did not abandon hunting altogether, but also consumed wild plant foods and small game. Their tools became more varied, with grinding and chopping implements becoming more common, a sign that seeds, fruits, and greens constituted a greater proportion of their diet. Also, pottery-making societies emerged.

Introduction of agriculture


For most of the Archaic period, people did not transform their natural environment in any fundamental way. The groups outside the region, particularly in Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica is a region and culture area in the Americas, extending approximately from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, within which a number of pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 15th and...

, introduced major innovations, such as maize cultivation. Other groups in North American independently developed maize cultivation as well. Some archaic groups transferred from food gatherers to food producers around 3,000 years ago. They also possessed many of the cultural features that accompany semi-sedentary agricultural life: storage facilities, more permanent dwellings, larger settlements, and cemeteries or burial grounds. El Quartelejo
El Quartelejo Ruins
El Quartelejo, or El Cuartelejo is the name given to the archeological remains of the northernmost Indian pueblo and the only known pueblo in Kansas...

 was the northern most Indian pueblo
Pueblo
Pueblo is a term used to describe modern communities of Native Americans in the Southwestern United States of America. The first Spanish explorers of the Southwest used this term to describe the communities housed in apartment-like structures built of stone, adobe mud, and other local material...

. This settlement is the only pueblo in Kansas from which archaeological evidence has been recovered.

Despite the early advent of farming, late Archaic groups still exercised little control over their natural environment. Wild food resources remained important components of their diet even after the invention of pottery and the development of irrigation. The introduction of agriculture never resulted in the complete abandonment of hunting and foraging, even in the largest of Archaic societies.

European visitation and local tribes


In 1541, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado y Luján was a Spanish conquistador, who visited New Mexico and other parts of what are now the southwestern United States between 1540 and 1542...

, the Spanish conquistador, visited Kansas, allegedly turning back near "Coronado Heights
Coronado Heights
Coronado Heights is a hill northwest of Lindsborg, Kansas. It is alleged to be near the place where Francisco Vasquez de Coronado gave up his search for the seven cities of gold and turned around to return to Mexico....

" in present-day Lindsborg. Near the Great Bend of the Arkansas River
Arkansas River
The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. The Arkansas generally flows to the east and southeast as it traverses the U.S. states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The river's initial basin starts in the Western United States in Colorado, specifically the Arkansas...

, in a place he called Quivira
Quivira
Quivira may refer to:*Quivira, a place first visited by Francisco Vazquez de Coronado while in search of the mythical Seven Cities of Gold*Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, a salt marsh located in south central Kansas...

, he met the ancestors of the Wichita people. Near the Smoky Hill River
Smoky Hill River
The Smoky Hill River is a river in the central Great Plains of North America, running through the U.S. states of Colorado and Kansas.-Names:The Smoky Hill gets its name from the Smoky Hills region of north-central Kansas through which it flows...

, he met the Harahey, who were probably the ancestors of the Pawnee
Pawnee
Pawnee people are a Caddoan-speaking Native American tribe. They are federally recognized as the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma....

. This was the first time that the Plains Indians
Plains Indians
The Plains Indians are the Indigenous peoples who live on the plains and rolling hills of the Great Plains of North America. Their colorful equestrian culture and resistance to White domination have made the Plains Indians an archetype in literature and art for American Indians everywhere.Plains...

 had seen horses. Later, they acquired horses from the Spanish, and rapidly radically altered their lifestyle and range.

Following this transformation, the Kansa
Kaw (tribe)
The Kaw Nation are an American Indian people of the central Midwestern United States. The tribe known as Kaw have also been known as the "People of the South wind", "People of water", Kansa, Kaza, Kosa, and Kasa. Their tribal language is Kansa, classified as a Siouan language.The toponym "Kansas"...

 (sometimes Kaw) and Osage Nation
Osage Nation
The Osage Nation is a Native American Siouan-language tribe in the United States that originated in the Ohio River valley in present-day Kentucky. After years of war with invading Iroquois, the Osage migrated west of the Mississippi River to their historic lands in present-day Arkansas, Missouri,...

 (originally Ouasash) arrived in Kansas in the 17th century. (The Kansa claimed that they occupied the territory since 1673.) By the end of the 18th century, these two tribes were dominant in the eastern part of the future state: the Kansa on the Kansas River
Kansas River
The Kansas River is a river in northeastern Kansas in the United States. It is the southwestern-most part of the Missouri River drainage, which is in turn the northwestern-most portion of the extensive Mississippi River drainage. Its name come from the Kanza people who once inhabited the area...

 to the North and the Osage on the Arkansas River
Arkansas River
The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. The Arkansas generally flows to the east and southeast as it traverses the U.S. states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The river's initial basin starts in the Western United States in Colorado, specifically the Arkansas...

 to the South. At the same time, the Pawnee (sometimes Paneassa) were dominant on the plains to the west and north of the Kansa and Osage nations, in regions home to massive herds of bison. Europeans visited the Northern Pawnee in 1719. The French commander at Fort Orleans
Fort Orleans
Fort Orleans was a French fort in colonial North America, the first fort built by any European forces on the Missouri River. It was built near the mouth of the Grand River near present-day Brunswick. Intended to be the linchpin in the vast New France empire stretching from Montreal to New Mexico,...

, Etienne de Bourgmont, visited the Kansas River
Kansas River
The Kansas River is a river in northeastern Kansas in the United States. It is the southwestern-most part of the Missouri River drainage, which is in turn the northwestern-most portion of the extensive Mississippi River drainage. Its name come from the Kanza people who once inhabited the area...

 in 1724 and established a trading post there, near the main Kansa village at the mouth of the river. Around the same time, the Otoe tribe
Otoe tribe
The Otoe or Oto are a Native American people. The Otoe language, Chiwere, is part of the Siouan family and closely related to that of the related Iowa and Missouri tribes.-History:...

 of the Sioux
Sioux
The Sioux are Native American and First Nations people in North America. The term can refer to any ethnic group within the Great Sioux Nation or any of the nation's many language dialects...

 also inhabited various areas around the northeast corner of Kansas.

Louisiana Purchase



Apart from brief explorations, neither France nor Spain had any settlement or military or other activity in Kansas. In 1763, following the Seven Years War in which Great Britain defeated France, Spain acquired the French claims west of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

. It returned this territory to France in 1803, keeping title to about 7500 square miles (19,424.9 km²).

In the Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

 of 1803, the United States (US) acquired all of the French claims west of the Mississippi River; the area of Kansas was unorganized territory
Unorganized territory
An unorganized territory is a region of land without a "normally" constituted system of government. This does not mean that the territory has no government at all or that it is unclaimed territory...

. In 1819 the United States confirmed Spanish rights to the 7500 square miles (19,424.9 km²) as part of the Adams-Onis Treaty
Adams-Onís Treaty
The Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819, also known as the Transcontinental Treaty or the Purchase of Florida, was a treaty between the United States and Spain in 1819 that gave Florida to the U.S. and set out a boundary between the U.S. and New Spain . It settled a standing border dispute between the two...

 with Spain. That area became part of Mexico, which also ignored it. After the Mexican-American War and the US victory, the United States took over that part in 1848.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition
Lewis and Clark Expedition
The Lewis and Clark Expedition, or ″Corps of Discovery Expedition" was the first transcontinental expedition to the Pacific Coast by the United States. Commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson and led by two Virginia-born veterans of Indian wars in the Ohio Valley, Meriwether Lewis and William...

 left St. Louis on a mission to explore the Louisiana Purchase all the way to the Pacific Ocean. In 1804, Lewis and Clark camped for three days at the confluence
Confluence
Confluence, in geography, describes the meeting of two or more bodies of water.Confluence may also refer to:* Confluence , a property of term rewriting systems...

 of the Kansas and Missouri rivers in present-day Kansas City, Kansas
Kansas City, Kansas
Kansas City is the third-largest city in the state of Kansas and is the county seat of Wyandotte County. It is a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, and is the third largest city in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. The city is part of a consolidated city-county government known as the "Unified...

 (today recognized at the Kaw Point Riverfront Park
Kaw Point
Kaw Point is the name given to the point where the Kansas River terminates at the Missouri River in the West Bottoms area of Kansas City, Kansas. Kaw Point is also where the Missouri ceases its southerly course and turns to flow generally east through the State of Missouri to the Mississippi River...

). They met French fur traders and mapped the area. In 1806, Zebulon Pike
Zebulon Pike
Zebulon Montgomery Pike Jr. was an American officer and explorer for whom Pikes Peak in Colorado is named. As a United States Army captain in 1806-1807, he led the Pike Expedition to explore and document the southern portion of the Louisiana Purchase and to find the headwaters of the Red River,...

 passed through Kansas and labeled it "the Great American Desert
Great American Desert
The term Great American Desert was used in the 19th century to describe the western part of the Great Plains east of the Rocky Mountains in North America....

" on his maps. This view of Kansas would help form U.S. policy for the next 40 years, prompting the government to set it aside as land reserved for Native American resettlement.

After a brief period as part of Missouri Territory
Missouri Territory
The Territory of Missouri was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from June 4, 1812 until August 10, 1821, when the southeastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Missouri.-History:...

, Kansas returned to unorganized status in 1821. In 1821, the Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe Trail
The Santa Fe Trail was a 19th-century transportation route through central North America that connected Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico. Pioneered in 1822 by William Becknell, it served as a vital commercial and military highway until the introduction of the railroad to Santa Fe in 1880...

 was opened across Kansas as country's transportation route to the Southwest, connecting Missouri with the well-established Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe is the capital of the U.S. state of New Mexico. It is the fourth-largest city in the state and is the seat of . Santa Fe had a population of 67,947 in the 2010 census...

. Because of the burgeoning trade, the United States Army set up posts throughout the area. On May 8, 1827, Cantonment Leavenworth, or Fort Leavenworth
Fort Leavenworth
Fort Leavenworth is a United States Army facility located in Leavenworth County, Kansas, immediately north of the city of Leavenworth in the upper northeast portion of the state. It is the oldest active United States Army post west of Washington, D.C. and has been in operation for over 180 years...

, was built to protect travelers.

A section of the Santa Fe Trail through Kansas was used by emigrants on the Oregon Trail
Oregon Trail
The Oregon Trail is a historic east-west wagon route that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon and locations in between.After 1840 steam-powered riverboats and steamboats traversing up and down the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri rivers sped settlement and development in the flat...

, which opened in 1841. The westward trails served as vital commercial and military highways until the railroad took over this role in the 1860s. To travelers en route to Utah
Utah
Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

, California, or Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

, Kansas was an essential way stop and outfitting location. Wagon Bed Spring
Wagon Bed Spring (Kansas)
Wagon Bed Spring , located in Grant County, Kansas, was an important watering spot on the Cimarron Cutoff of the Santa Fe Trail.It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961....

 (also Lower Spring or Lower Cimarron Spring) was an important watering spot on the Cimarron Cutoff of the Santa Fe Trail. Other important locations along the trail were the Point of Rocks
Point of Rocks (Kansas)
Point of Rocks, in Morton County, Kansas, was one of three landmarks by the same name on the Santa Fe Trail. This one was on the Cimarron cutoff. It is now part of Cimarron National Grassland....

 and Pawnee Rock
Pawnee Rock
Pawnee Rock, one of the most famous and beautiful landmarks on the Santa Fe Trail, is located in Pawnee Rock State Park, just north of Pawnee Rock, Kansas, United States. Originally over tall, railroad construction stripped it of some 15 to in height for road bed material...

.

1820s–1840s: Indian territory


Beginning in the 1820s, the area that would become Kansas was set aside as Indian territory
Indian Territory
The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

 by the U.S. government, and was closed to settlement by whites. The government resettled to Indian Territory
Indian Territory
The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

 (now part of Oklahoma
History of Oklahoma
The history of Oklahoma refers to the history of the state of Oklahoma and the land that the state now occupies. Areas of Oklahoma east of its panhandle were acquired in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, while the Panhandle was not acquired until the U.S...

) those Native American tribes based in eastern Kansas, principally the Kansa and Osage
Osage Nation
The Osage Nation is a Native American Siouan-language tribe in the United States that originated in the Ohio River valley in present-day Kentucky. After years of war with invading Iroquois, the Osage migrated west of the Mississippi River to their historic lands in present-day Arkansas, Missouri,...

, opening land to move eastern tribes into the area. By treaty dated June 3, 1825, 20 million acres (81000 km²) of land was ceded by the Kansa Nation to the United States, and the Kansa tribe was limited to a specific reservation in northeast Kansas. In the same month, the Osage Nation was limited to a reservation in southeast Kansas.

The Missouri Shawano (or Shawnee) were the first Native Americans removed to the territory. By treaty
Treaty
A treaty is an express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an agreement, protocol, covenant, convention or exchange of letters, among other terms...

 made at St. Louis on November 7, 1825, the United States agreed to provide:
"the Shawanoe tribe of Indians within the State of Missouri, for themselves, and for those of the same nation now residing in Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 who may hereafter immigrate to the west of the Mississippi, a tract of land equal to fifty miles [80 km] square, situated west of the State of Missouri, and within the purchase lately made from the Osage
."


The Delaware
Lenape
The Lenape are an Algonquian group of Native Americans of the Northeastern Woodlands. They are also called Delaware Indians. As a result of the American Revolutionary War and later Indian removals from the eastern United States, today the main groups live in Canada, where they are enrolled in the...

 came to Kansas from Ohio and other eastern areas by the treaty of September 24, 1829. The treaty described:
"the country in the fork of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, extending up the Kansas River to the Kansas (Indian's) line, and up the Missouri River to Camp Leavenworth, and thence by a line drawn westerly, leaving a space ten miles (16 km) wide, north of the Kansas boundary line, for an outlet."


After this point, the Indian Removal Act
Indian Removal Act
The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830.The Removal Act was strongly supported in the South, where states were eager to gain access to lands inhabited by the Five Civilized Tribes. In particular, Georgia, the largest state at that time, was involved in...

 of 1830 expedited the process. By treaty dated August 30, 1831, the Ottawa
Ottawa (tribe)
The Odawa or Ottawa, said to mean "traders," are a Native American and First Nations people. They are one of the Anishinaabeg, related to but distinct from the Ojibwe nation. Their original homelands are located on Manitoulin Island, near the northern shores of Lake Huron, on the Bruce Peninsula in...

 ceded land to the United States and moved to a small reservation on the Kansas River and its branches. The treaty was ratified April 6, 1832. On October 24, 1832, the U.S. government moved the Kickapoos to a reservation in Kansas. On October 29, 1832, the Piankeshaw
Piankeshaw
The Piankeshaw Indians were Native Americans, and members of the Miami Indians who lived apart from the rest of the Miami nation. They lived in an area that now includes western Indiana and Ohio, and were closely allied with the Wea Indians...

 and Wea
Wea
The Wea were a Miami-Illinois-speaking tribe originally located in western Indiana, closely related to the Miami. The name Wea is used today as the a shortened version of their many recorded names...

 agreed to occupy 250 sections of land, bounded on the north by the Shawanoe; east by the western boundary line of Missouri; and west by the Kaskaskia
Kaskaskia
The Kaskaskia were one of about a dozen cognate tribes that made up the Illiniwek Confederation or Illinois Confederation. Their longstanding homeland was in the Great Lakes region...

 and Peoria
Peoria (tribe)
The Peoria people are a Native American tribe. Today they are enrolled in the federally recognized Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma. Historically, they were part of the Illinois Confederation.-History:...

 peoples. By treaty made with the United States on September 21, 1833, the Otoe tribe
Otoe tribe
The Otoe or Oto are a Native American people. The Otoe language, Chiwere, is part of the Siouan family and closely related to that of the related Iowa and Missouri tribes.-History:...

 ceded their country south of the Little Nemaha River.

By September 17, 1836 the confederacy of the Sac and Fox, by treaty with the United States, moved north of Kickapoo. By treaty of February 11, 1837, the United States agreed to convey to the Pottawatomi an area on the Osage River
Osage River
The Osage River is a tributary of the Missouri River in central Missouri in the United States. The Osage River is one of the larger rivers in Missouri. The river drains a mostly rural area of . The watershed includes an area of east-central Kansas and a large portion of west-central and central...

, southwest of the Missouri River
Missouri River
The Missouri River flows through the central United States, and is a tributary of the Mississippi River. It is the longest river in North America and drains the third largest area, though only the thirteenth largest by discharge. The Missouri's watershed encompasses most of the American Great...

. The tract selected was in the southwest part of what is now Miami County
Miami County, Kansas
Miami County is a county located in East Central Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 32,787. Its county seat and most populous city is Paola...

.

In 1842, after a treaty between the United States and the Wyandots, the Wyandot moved to the junction of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers (on land that was shared with the Delaware until 1843). In an unusual provision, 35 Wyandot were given "floats" in the 1842 treaty – ownership of sections of land that could be located anywhere west of the Missouri River. In 1847, the Pottawatomi were moved again, to an area containing 576,000 acres (2,330 km²), being the eastern part of the lands ceded to the United States by the Kansa tribe in 1846. This tract comprised a part of the present counties of Pottawatomie
Pottawatomie County, Kansas
Pottawatomie County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 21,604. The county seat is Westmoreland. The county takes its name from the Potawatomi tribe of Native Americans...

, Wabaunsee
Wabaunsee County, Kansas
Wabaunsee County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 7,053. Its county seat is Alma. It is part of the Topeka, Kansas Metropolitan Statistical Area...

, Jackson
Jackson County, Kansas
Jackson County is a county located in Northeast Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 13,462. Its county seat and most populous city is Holton...

 and Shawnee
Shawnee County, Kansas
Shawnee County is a county located in northeast Kansas, in the central United States of America. Its most populous city, Topeka, is the state capital and county seat. The county's population was 177,934 for the 2010 census...

.

Early 1850s and the territory organization


Despite the extensive plans that were made to settle Native Americans in Kansas, by 1850 white Americans were illegally squatting
Squatting
Squatting consists of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied space or building, usually residential, that the squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have permission to use....

 on their land and clamoring for the entire area to be opened for settlement. Presaging event that were soon to come, several U.S. Army forts, including Fort Riley
Fort Riley
Fort Riley is a United States Army installation located in Northeast Kansas, on the Kansas River, between Junction City and Manhattan. The Fort Riley Military Reservation covers 100,656 acres in Geary and Riley counties and includes two census-designated places: Fort Riley North and Fort...

, were soon established deep in Indian Territory to guard travelers on the various Western trails.

Although the Cheyenne
Cheyenne
Cheyenne are a Native American people of the Great Plains, who are of the Algonquian language family. The Cheyenne Nation is composed of two united tribes, the Só'taeo'o and the Tsétsêhéstâhese .The Cheyenne are thought to have branched off other tribes of Algonquian stock inhabiting lands...

s and Arapahoes tribes were still negotiating with the United States for land in western Kansas (the current state of Colorado) – they signed a treaty on September 17, 1851 – momentum was already building to settle the land.

Kansas-Nebraska Act


Congress began the process of creating Kansas Territory in 1852. That year, petitions were presented at the first session of the Thirty-second Congress for a territorial organization of the region lying west of Missouri and Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

. No action was at that time taken. However, during the next session, on December 13, 1852, a Representative from Missouri submitted to the House a bill organizing the Territory of Platte: all the tract lying west of Iowa and Missouri, and extending west to the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

. The bill was referred to the United States House Committee on Territories
United States House Committee on Territories
The United States House Committee on Territories was a committee of the United States House of Representatives from 1825 to 1946 . Its jurisdiction was reporting on a variety to topics related to the territories, including legislation concerning them, and their admission as new states....

, and passed by the full U.S. House of Representatives on February 10, 1853. However, Southern Senators stalled the progression of the bill in the Senate, while the implications of the bill on slavery and the Missouri Compromise
Missouri Compromise
The Missouri Compromise was an agreement passed in 1820 between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States Congress, involving primarily the regulation of slavery in the western territories. It prohibited slavery in the former Louisiana Territory north of the parallel 36°30'...

 were debated. Heated debate over the bill and other competing proposals would continue for a year, before eventually resulting in the Kansas-Nebraska Act
Kansas-Nebraska Act
The Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, opening new lands for settlement, and had the effect of repealing the Missouri Compromise of 1820 by allowing settlers in those territories to determine through Popular Sovereignty if they would allow slavery within...

, which became law on May 30, 1854, establishing the Nebraska Territory
Nebraska Territory
The Territory of Nebraska was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 30, 1854, until March 1, 1867, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Nebraska. The Nebraska Territory was created by the Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854...

 and Kansas Territory
Kansas Territory
The Territory of Kansas was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 30, 1854, until January 29, 1861, when the eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Kansas....

.

Native American territory ceded


Meanwhile, by the summer of 1853, it was clear that eastern Kansas would soon be opened to American settlers. The Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs
Bureau of Indian Affairs
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is an agency of the federal government of the United States within the US Department of the Interior. It is responsible for the administration and management of of land held in trust by the United States for Native Americans in the United States, Native American...

, negotiated new treaties that would assign new reservations with annual federal subsidies for the Indians. Nearly all the tribes in the eastern part of the Territory ceded the greater part of their lands prior to the passage of the Kansas territorial act in 1854, and were eventually moved south to the future state of Oklahoma.

In the three months immediately preceding the passage of the bill, treaties were quietly made at Washington with the Delaware, Otoe
Otoe tribe
The Otoe or Oto are a Native American people. The Otoe language, Chiwere, is part of the Siouan family and closely related to that of the related Iowa and Missouri tribes.-History:...

, Kickapoo, Kaskaskia
Kaskaskia
The Kaskaskia were one of about a dozen cognate tribes that made up the Illiniwek Confederation or Illinois Confederation. Their longstanding homeland was in the Great Lakes region...

, Shawnee, Sac, Fox and other tribes, whereby the greater part of eastern Kansas, lying within one or two hundred miles of the Missouri border, was suddenly opened to white settlement. (The Kansa reservation had already been reduced by treaty in 1846.) On March 15, 1854, Otoe and Missouri Indians ceded to the United States all their lands west of the Mississippi, except a small strip on the Big Blue River
Big Blue River (Kansas)
The Big Blue River is the largest tributary of the Kansas River. The river flows for approximately from central Nebraska into Kansas, where it intersects with the Kansas River east of Manhattan. It was given its name by the Kansa tribe of Native Americans, who lived at its mouth from 1780 to...

. On May 6 and May 10, 1854, the Shawnees ceded 6100000 acres (24,685.8 km²), reserving only 200000 acres (809.4 km²) for homes. Also on May 6, 1854, the Delaware ceded all their lands to the United States, except a reservation defined in the treaty. On May 17, the Iowa similarly ceded their lands, retaining only a small reservation. On May 18, 1854, the Kickapoo too ceded their lands, except 150000 acres (607 km²) in the western part of the Territory. In 1854 lands were also ceded by the Kaskaskia
Kaskaskia
The Kaskaskia were one of about a dozen cognate tribes that made up the Illiniwek Confederation or Illinois Confederation. Their longstanding homeland was in the Great Lakes region...

, Peoria
Peoria (tribe)
The Peoria people are a Native American tribe. Today they are enrolled in the federally recognized Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma. Historically, they were part of the Illinois Confederation.-History:...

, Piankeshaw
Piankeshaw
The Piankeshaw Indians were Native Americans, and members of the Miami Indians who lived apart from the rest of the Miami nation. They lived in an area that now includes western Indiana and Ohio, and were closely allied with the Wea Indians...

 and Wea
Wea
The Wea were a Miami-Illinois-speaking tribe originally located in western Indiana, closely related to the Miami. The name Wea is used today as the a shortened version of their many recorded names...

 and by the Sac and Fox.

The final step in Americanizing the Indians was taking land from tribal control and assigning it to individual Indian households, to buy and sell as European Americans would. For example, in 1854, the Chippewa (Swan Creek and Black River bands) inhabited 8320 acres (33.7 km²) in Franklin County
Franklin County, Kansas
Franklin County is a county located in East Central Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 25,992. Its county seat and most populous city is Ottawa...

, but in 1859 the tract was transferred to individual Chippewa families.

Kansas Territory



Upon the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act on May 30, 1854, the borders of Kansas Territory were set from the Missouri border to the summit of the Rocky Mountain
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

 range (now in central Colorado); the southern boundary was the 37th parallel north
37th parallel north
The 37th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 37 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Africa, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

, the northern was the 40th parallel north
40th parallel north
The 40th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 40 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

. North of the 40th parallel was Nebraska Territory. When Congress set the southern border of the Kansas Territory as the 37th parallel, it was thought that the Osage southern border was also the 37th parallel. The Cherokees immediately complained, saying that it was not the true boundary and that the border of Kansas should be moved north to accommodate the actual border of the Cherokee land. This became known as the Cherokee Strip controversy
Cherokee Strip (Kansas)
The Cherokee Strip of Kansas, in the United States, was a disputed strip of land on the southern border of the state.-Description:In 1825 the Osage Nation was given a reservation in eastern Indian territory in what is now Kansas. In the Treaty of New Echota, May 23, 1836, the northern border of the...

.

An invitation to violence


The most controversial provision in the Kansas-Nebraska Act was the stipulation that settlers in Kansas Territory would vote on whether to allow slavery within its borders. This provision repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which had prohibited slavery in any new states created north of latitude 36°30'
Parallel 36°30' north
The parallel 36° 30′ north is a circle of latitude that is 36 and one-half degrees north of the Equator of the Earth. This parallel of latitude is particularly significant in the History of the United States as the line of the Missouri Compromise, which was used to divide the prosepctiveslave and...

. Predictably, violence resulted between the Northerners and Southerners who rushed to settle there in order to control the vote.

Within a few days after the passage of the Act, hundreds of pro-slavery Missourians crossed into the adjacent territory, selected an area of land, and then united with other Missourians in a meeting or meetings, intending to establish a pro-slavery preemption
Preemption Act of 1841
The Preemption Act of 1841, also known as the Distributive Preemption Act , was a federal law approved on September 4, 1841. It was designed to "appropriate the proceeds of the sales of public lands.....

 upon the entire region. As early as June 10, 1854, the Missourians held a meeting at Salt Creek Valley, a trading post three miles (5 km) west of Fort Leavenworth, at which a "Squatter's Claim Association" was organized. They said they were in favor of making Kansas a slave state
Slave state
In the United States of America prior to the American Civil War, a slave state was a U.S. state in which slavery was legal, whereas a free state was one in which slavery was either prohibited from its entry into the Union or eliminated over time...

, if it should require half the citizens of Missouri, musket in hand, to emigrate there, and even to sacrifice their lives in accomplishing this end.

To counter this action, the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company
Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company
The New England Emigrant Aid Company was a transportation company created to transport immigrants to the Kansas Territory to shift the balance of power so that Kansas would enter the United States as a free state rather than a slave state...

 (and other smaller organizations) quickly arranged to send anti-slavery settlers (known as "Free-Staters") into Kansas in 1854 and 1855. The principal towns founded by the New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

ers were Topeka
Topeka, Kansas
Topeka |Kansa]]: Tó Pee Kuh) is the capital city of the U.S. state of Kansas and the county seat of Shawnee County. It is situated along the Kansas River in the central part of Shawnee County, located in northeast Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was...

, Manhattan
Manhattan, Kansas
Manhattan is a city located in the northeastern part of the state of Kansas in the United States, at the junction of the Kansas River and Big Blue River. It is the county seat of Riley County and the city extends into Pottawatomie County. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 52,281...

, and Lawrence
Lawrence, Kansas
Lawrence is the sixth largest city in the U.S. State of Kansas and the county seat of Douglas County. Located in northeastern Kansas, Lawrence is the anchor city of the Lawrence, Kansas, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Douglas County...

. Several Free-State men also came to Kansas Territory from Ohio, Iowa, Illinois and other Midwestern states.

Bleeding Kansas


Despite the proximity and opposite aims of the settlers, the lid was largely kept on the violence until the election of the Kansas Territorial legislature on March 30, 1855. On that date, Missourians who had streamed across the border (known as "Border Ruffians") filled the ballot boxes in favor of pro-slavery candidates. As a result, pro-slavery candidates prevailed at every polling district except one (the future Riley County), and the first official legislature was overwhelmingly composed of pro-slavery delegates.

From 1855 to 1858, Kansas Territory experienced extensive violence and some open battles. This period, known as "Bleeding Kansas" or "the Border Wars," directly presaged the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. The major incidents of Bleeding Kansas include the Wakarusa War
Wakarusa War
The Wakarusa War was a skirmish that took place in Kansas Territory during November and December 1855 as part of the Bleeding Kansas violence. It centered around Lawrence, Kansas, and the Wakarusa River Valley.- Background :...

, the Sacking of Lawrence
Sacking of Lawrence
In the northern spring of 1856, the Sacking of Lawrence helped ratchet up the guerrilla war in Kansas Territory that became known as Bleeding Kansas.-Background:...

, the Pottawatomie Massacre
Pottawatomie Massacre
The Pottawatomie Massacre occurred during the night of May 24 and the morning of May 25, 1856. In reaction to the sacking of Lawrence by pro-slavery forces, John Brown and a band of abolitionist settlers killed five settlers north of Pottawatomie Creek in Franklin County, Kansas...

, the Battle of Black Jack
Battle of Black Jack
The Battle of Black Jack took place on June 2, 1856, when anti-slavery forces, led by the noted abolitionist John Brown, attacked the encampment of Henry C. Pate near Baldwin City, Kansas. The battle is cited as one incident of “Bleeding Kansas” and a contributing factor leading up to the American...

, the Battle of Osawatomie
Battle of Osawatomie
The Battle of Osawatomie took place on August 30, 1856 when 250-300 Border Ruffians led by John W. Reid and Rev. Marvin White attacked the city of Osawatomie. John W. Reid was intent on destroying free state settlements and then moving on to Topeka and Lawrence to do more of the same. John Brown...

, and the Marais des Cygnes massacre
Marais des Cygnes massacre
The Marais des Cygnes Massacre is considered the last significant act of violence in Bleeding Kansas prior to the outbreak of the American Civil War. On May 19, 1858, approximately 30 men led by Charles Hamilton, a Georgia native and proslavery leader, crossed into the Kansas Territory from...

.
  • Wakarusa War


On December 1, 1855, a small army of Missourians, acting under the command of Douglas County, Kansas
Douglas County, Kansas
Douglas County is a county located in northeast Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 110,826...

 Sheriff Samuel J. Jones laid siege to the Free-State stronghold of Lawrence in what would later become known as "The Wakarusa War." A treaty of peace negotiation was announced amid much disorder and cries for the reading of the treaty shortly afterwards. It quelled the disorder and its provisions were generally accepted.
  • Sacking of Lawrence


On May 21, 1856, pro-slavery forces led by Sheriff Jones attacked Lawrence, killing two men, burning the Free-State Hotel to the ground, destroying two printing presses, and robbing homes.
  • Pottawatomie Massacre


The Pottawatomie Massacre occurred during the night of May 24 to the morning of May 25, 1856. In what appears to be a reaction to the Sacking of Lawrence
Sacking of Lawrence
In the northern spring of 1856, the Sacking of Lawrence helped ratchet up the guerrilla war in Kansas Territory that became known as Bleeding Kansas.-Background:...

, John Brown
John Brown (abolitionist)
John Brown was an American revolutionary abolitionist, who in the 1850s advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to abolish slavery in the United States. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre during which five men were killed, in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas, and made his name in the...

 and a band of abolitionists
Abolitionism
Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery.In western Europe and the Americas abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first...

 (some of them members of the Pottawatomie Rifles
Pottawatomie Rifles
The Pottawatomie Rifles was a group of about one hundred abolitionist Kansas settlers of Franklin and Anderson counties, both of which are along the Pottawatomie Creek...

) killed five settlers, thought to be pro-slavery, north of Pottawatomie Creek in Franklin County, Kansas
Franklin County, Kansas
Franklin County is a county located in East Central Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 25,992. Its county seat and most populous city is Ottawa...

. Brown later said that he had not participated in the killings during the Pottawatomie Massacre, but that he did approve of them. He went into hiding after the killings, and two of his sons, John Jr. and Jason, were arrested. During their confinement, they were allegedly mistreated, which left John Jr. mentally scarred. On June 2, Brown led a successful attack on a band of Missourians led by Captain Henry Pate in the Battle of Black Jack
Battle of Black Jack
The Battle of Black Jack took place on June 2, 1856, when anti-slavery forces, led by the noted abolitionist John Brown, attacked the encampment of Henry C. Pate near Baldwin City, Kansas. The battle is cited as one incident of “Bleeding Kansas” and a contributing factor leading up to the American...

. Pate and his men had entered Kansas to capture Brown and others. That autumn, Brown went back into hiding and engaged in other guerrilla warfare activities.

Territorial constitutions


The violently feuding pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions tried to defeat the opposition by pushing through their own version of a state constitution, that would either endorse or condemn slavery. Congress had the final say.
Topeka Constitution

The Topeka Constitution
Topeka Constitution
The Topeka Constitutional Convention was held in October 1855 in the town of Topeka, Kansas Territory. The convention was held in the town's Constitution Hall...

, which was the first in order, was adopted by a convention of Free-Staters on November 11, 1855. It contained the Free-State principles of barring slavery in the future state of Kansas and excluding all free African Americans from Kansas. The convention was unauthorized by the territorial or federal government, and although the constitution was approved by the people of the Territory at an election held on December 15, 1855, it was never accepted as a legal document.
Lecompton Constitution

The Lecompton Constitution
Lecompton Constitution
The Lecompton Constitution was the second of four proposed constitutions for the state of Kansas . The document was written in response to the anti-slavery position of the 1855 Topeka Constitution of James H. Lane and other free-state advocates...

 was adopted by a Convention convened by the official pro-slavery government on November 7, 1857. The constitution would have allowed slavery in Kansas as drafted, but the slavery provision was put to a vote. After a series of votes on the provision and the constitution were boycotted alternatively by pro-slavery settlers and Free-State settlers, the Lecompton Constitution was eventually presented to the U.S. Congress for approval. In the end, because it was never clear if the constitution represented the will of the people, it was rejected.
Leavenworth Constitution

While the Lecompton Constitution
Lecompton Constitution
The Lecompton Constitution was the second of four proposed constitutions for the state of Kansas . The document was written in response to the anti-slavery position of the 1855 Topeka Constitution of James H. Lane and other free-state advocates...

 was being debated, a new Free-State legislature was elected and seated in Kansas Territory. The new legislature convened a new convention, which framed the Leavenworth Constitution
Leavenworth Constitution
The Leavenworth Constitution was one of four Kansas state constitutions proposed during the era of Bleeding Kansas. The Leavenworth Constitution was drafted by a convention of Free-Staters, and was the most progressive of the four proposed constitutions...

. This constitution was the most radically progressive of the four proposed, outlawing slavery and providing a framework for women's rights. The constitution was adopted by the convention at Leavenworth on April 3, 1858, and by the people at an election held May 18, 1858 (all while the Lecompton Constitution was still under consideration).

President Buchanan sent the Lecompton Constitution to Congress for approval. The Senate approved the admission of Kansas as a state under the Lecompton Constitution, despite the opposition of Senator Douglas, who believed that the Kansas referendum on the Constitution, by failing to offer the alternative of prohibiting slavery, was unfair. The measure was subsequently blocked in the House of Representatives, where northern congressmen refused to admit Kansas as a slave state. Senator James Hammond
James Hammond
James Hammond was an eighteenth-century British poet included in Doctor Johnson's Lives of the Poets....

 of South Carolina characterized this resolution as the expulsion of the state, asking, "If Kansas is driven out of the Union for being a slave state, can any Southern state remain within it with honor?"
Wyandotte Constitution

Following the failure of the Lecompton and Leavenworth charters, a fourth constitution was drafted; the Wyandotte Constitution
Wyandotte Constitution
The present Constitution of the State of Kansas was originally known as the Wyandotte Constitution to distinguish it from three proposed constitutions that preceded it...

 was adopted by the convention which framed it on July 29, 1859. It was adopted by the people at an election held October 4, 1859. It outlawed slavery but was far less progressive than the Leavenworth Constitution. Kansas was admitted into the Union as a free state under this constitution on January 29, 1861.

End of hostilities


By the time the Wyandotte Constitution was framed in 1859, it was clear that the pro-slavery forces had lost in their bid to control Kansas. With this dawning realization and the departure of John Brown from the state, Bleeding Kansas violence virtually ceased by 1859.

Statehood


Kansas became the 34th state admitted to the Union on January 29, 1861.

The 1860s saw several important developments in the history of Kansas, including participation in the Civil War, the beginning of the cattle drives, the roots of Prohibition in Kansas (which would fully take hold in the 1880s), and the start of the Indian Wars
Indian Wars
American Indian Wars is the name used in the United States to describe a series of conflicts between American settlers or the federal government and the native peoples of North America before and after the American Revolutionary War. The wars resulted from the arrival of European colonizers who...

 on the western plains. James Lane
James H. Lane (Senator)
James Henry Lane also known as Jim Lane was a partisan during the Bleeding Kansas period that immediately preceded the American Civil War. During the war, Lane served as a United States Senator and as a general who fought for the Union...

 was elected to the Senate from the state of Kansas in 1861, and reelected in 1865.

Civil War



After years of small-scale civil war, Kansas was admitted into the Union as a free state under the "Wyandotte Constitution" on January 29, 1861. Most people gave strong support for the Union cause. However, guerrilla warfare and raids from pro-slavery forces, many spilling over from Missouri, occurred during the Civil War.

At the start of the war in April 1861, the Kansas government had no well-organized militia, no arms, accoutrements or supplies, nothing with which to meet the demands, except the united will of officials and citizens. During the years 1859 to 1860, the military organizations had fallen into disuse or been entirely broken up. The first Kansas regiment was called on June 3, 1861, and the seventeenth, the last raised during the Civil War, July 28, 1864. The entire quota assigned to the Kansas was 16,654, and the number raised was 20,097, leaving a surplus of 3,443 to the credit of Kansas. Statistics indicated that losses of Kansas regiments in killed in battle and from disease are greater per thousand than those of any other State.

Apart from small formal battles, there were 29 Confederate raids into Kansas during the war. The most serious episode came when Lawrence, Kansas
Lawrence, Kansas
Lawrence is the sixth largest city in the U.S. State of Kansas and the county seat of Douglas County. Located in northeastern Kansas, Lawrence is the anchor city of the Lawrence, Kansas, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Douglas County...

 came under attack on August 21, 1863, by guerrillas led by William Clarke Quantrill. It was in part retaliation for "Jayhawker" raids against pro-Confederate settlements in Missouri.

Lawrence Massacre



After Union Brigadier General Thomas Ewing, Jr.
Thomas Ewing, Jr.
Thomas Ewing, Jr. was an attorney, the first chief justice of Kansas and leading free state advocate, Union Army general during the American Civil War, and two-term United States Congressman from Ohio, 1877-1881. He narrowly lost the 1880 campaign for Ohio Governor.-Early life and career:Ewing...

 ordered the imprisonment of women who had provided aid to Confederate guerrillas, tragically the jail's roof collapsed, killing five. These deaths enraged guerrillas in Missouri. On August 21, 1863, William Quantrill
William Quantrill
William Clarke Quantrill was a Confederate guerrilla leader during the American Civil War. After leading a Confederate bushwhacker unit along the Missouri-Kansas border in the early 1860s, which included the infamous raid and sacking of Lawrence, Kansas in 1863, Quantrill eventually ended up in...

 led Quantrill's Raid into Lawrence
Lawrence, Kansas
Lawrence is the sixth largest city in the U.S. State of Kansas and the county seat of Douglas County. Located in northeastern Kansas, Lawrence is the anchor city of the Lawrence, Kansas, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Douglas County...

, burned much of the city and killed over 150 men and boys. In addition to the jail collapse, Quantrill also rationalized the attack on this citadel of abolition would bring revenge for any wrongs, real or imagined that the Southerners had suffered at the hands of jayhawkers.

Baxter Springs



The Battle of Baxter Springs
Battle of Baxter Springs
The Battle of Fort Blair, sometimes called the Fort Baxter Massacre, or the Battle of Fort Baxter was a minor battle of the American Civil War, fought on October 6, 1863, near the present-day town of Baxter Springs, Kansas....

, sometimes called the Baxter Springs Massacre, was a minor battle in the War, fought on October 6, 1863, near the modern-day town of Baxter Springs, Kansas
Baxter Springs, Kansas
Baxter Springs is a town situated along the Spring River in the extreme southeastern part of Cherokee County, located in southeast Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 4,238...

. The Battle of Mine Creek
Battle of Mine Creek
The Battle of Mine Creek, also known as the Battle of the Osage, was a battle that occurred on October 25, 1864 in Kansas as part of Price's Raid during the American Civil War...

, also known as the Battle of the Osage was a cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

 battle that occurred in Kansas during the war.

Marais des Cygnes



On October 25, 1864, the Battle of Marais des Cygnes
Battle of Marais des Cygnes
The Battle of Marais des Cygnes took place on October 25, 1864, in Linn County, Kansas during Price's Missouri Raid in the American Civil War. It is also called the Battle of Osage, and the Battle of Trading Post...

 occurred in Linn County, Kansas
Linn County, Kansas
Linn County is a county located in East Central Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 9,656. Its county seat is Mound City, and its most populous city is Pleasanton...

. This Battle of Trading Post was between Major General Sterling Price
Sterling Price
Sterling Price was a lawyer, planter, and politician from the U.S. state of Missouri, who served as the 11th Governor of the state from 1853 to 1857. He also served as a United States Army brigadier general during the Mexican-American War, and a Confederate Army major general in the American Civil...

 and Union forces under Major General Alfred Pleasonton
Alfred Pleasonton
Alfred Pleasonton was a United States Army officer and General of Union cavalry during the American Civil War. He commanded the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac during the Gettysburg Campaign, including the largest predominantly cavalry battle of the war, Brandy Station...

. Price, after fleeing south after a defeat at Kansas City, was pushed out by Union forces.


Indian Wars in Kansas




Fort Larned
Fort Larned National Historic Site
Fort Larned National Historic Site, located six miles west of Larned, Kansas, United States, preserves Fort Larned, which operated from 1859 to 1878...

 (central Kansas) was established in 1859 as a base of military operations against hostile Indians of the Central Plain
Great Plains
The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...

s, to protect traffic along the Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe Trail
The Santa Fe Trail was a 19th-century transportation route through central North America that connected Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico. Pioneered in 1822 by William Becknell, it served as a vital commercial and military highway until the introduction of the railroad to Santa Fe in 1880...

 and after 1861 became an agency for the administration of the Central Plains Indians by the Bureau of Indian Affairs
Bureau of Indian Affairs
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is an agency of the federal government of the United States within the US Department of the Interior. It is responsible for the administration and management of of land held in trust by the United States for Native Americans in the United States, Native American...

 under the terms of the Fort Wise Treaty of 1861.

Kansas Pacific railroad



Date Major junctions
1863 Kansas City
Kansas City Metropolitan Area
The Kansas City Metropolitan Area is a fifteen-county metropolitan area that is anchored by Kansas City, Missouri and is bisected by the border between the states of Missouri and Kansas. As of the 2010 Census, the metropolitan area has a population of 2,035,334. The metropolitan area is the...

1864 Lawrence
Lawrence, Kansas
Lawrence is the sixth largest city in the U.S. State of Kansas and the county seat of Douglas County. Located in northeastern Kansas, Lawrence is the anchor city of the Lawrence, Kansas, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Douglas County...

1866 Junction City
Junction City, Kansas
Junction City is a city in and the county seat of Geary County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 23,353. Fort Riley, a major U.S. Army post, is nearby...

1867 Salina
Salina, Kansas
Salina is a city in and the county seat of Saline County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 47,707. Located in one of the world's largest wheat-producing areas, Salina is a regional trade center for north-central Kansas...

1870 Denver
In 1863, the Union Pacific Eastern Division (renamed the Kansas Pacific in 1869) was authorized by the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

's Pacific Railway Act to create the southerly branch of the transcontinental railroad
Transcontinental railroad
A transcontinental railroad is a contiguous network of railroad trackage that crosses a continental land mass with terminals at different oceans or continental borders. Such networks can be via the tracks of either a single railroad, or over those owned or controlled by multiple railway companies...

 alongside the Union Pacific. Pacific Railway Act also authorized large land grant
Land grant
A land grant is a gift of real estate – land or its privileges – made by a government or other authority as a reward for services to an individual, especially in return for military service...

s to the railroad along its mainline. The company began construction on its main line westward from Kansas City in September 1863.

Cattle towns



After the Civil War, the railroads did not reach Texas, so the herdsman brought their cattle to Kansas rail heads. In 1867, Joseph G. McCoy
Joseph McCoy
Joseph "Cowboy" McCoy was a 19th century cattle baron.Born in Sangamon county, Illinois, he is often cited as the inspiration for the phrase "The Real McCoy" because of his reputation and reliability and because he referred to himself by that phrase Joseph "Cowboy" McCoy (December 21, 1837 –...

 built stockyards in Abilene, Kansas
Abilene, Kansas
Abilene is a city in and the county seat of Dickinson County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 6,844.-History:...

 and helped develop the Chisholm Trail
Chisholm Trail
The Chisholm Trail was a trail used in the late 19th century to drive cattle overland from ranches in Texas to Kansas railheads. The portion of the trail marked by Jesse Chisholm went from his southern trading post near the Red River, to his northern trading post near Kansas City, Kansas...

, encouraging Texas cattlemen to undertake cattle drives to his stockyards from 1867 to 1887. The stockyards became the largest west of Kansas City
Kansas City Metropolitan Area
The Kansas City Metropolitan Area is a fifteen-county metropolitan area that is anchored by Kansas City, Missouri and is bisected by the border between the states of Missouri and Kansas. As of the 2010 Census, the metropolitan area has a population of 2,035,334. The metropolitan area is the...

. Once the cattle was drove north, they were shipped eastward from the railhead of the Kansas Pacific Railway
Kansas Pacific Railway
The Kansas Pacific Railway was a historic railroad company that operated in the western United States in the late 19th century. It was a federally chartered railroad, backed with government land grants. It operated many of the first long-distance lines in the state of Kansas in the 1870s,...

.

In 1871, Wild Bill Hickok
Wild Bill Hickok
James Butler Hickok , better known as Wild Bill Hickok, was a folk hero of the American Old West. His skills as a gunfighter and scout, along with his reputation as a lawman, provided the basis for his fame, although some of his exploits are fictionalized.Hickok came to the West as a stagecoach...

 became marshal of Abilene, Kansas
Abilene, Kansas
Abilene is a city in and the county seat of Dickinson County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 6,844.-History:...

. His encounter there with John Wesley Hardin resulted in the latter fleeing the town after Wild Bill managed to disarm him. Hickok was also a deputy marshal at Fort Riley
Fort Riley
Fort Riley is a United States Army installation located in Northeast Kansas, on the Kansas River, between Junction City and Manhattan. The Fort Riley Military Reservation covers 100,656 acres in Geary and Riley counties and includes two census-designated places: Fort Riley North and Fort...

 and a marshal at Hays
Hays, Kansas
Hays is a city in and the county seat of Ellis County, Kansas, United States. The largest city in northwestern Kansas, it is the economic and cultural center of the region. It is also a college town, home to Fort Hays State University...

 in the wild west. In the 1880s at Greensburg, Kansas
Greensburg, Kansas
Greensburg is a city in and the county seat of Kiowa County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 777. Greensburg is also home to the world's largest hand-dug well....

, the Big Well
Big Well (Kansas)
The Big Well, in Greensburg, Kansas, USA, is a water well that was designed to provide water for the Santa Fe and Rock Island railroads. It was built in 1887 at a cost of $45,000, and served as the municipal water supply until 1932....

 was built to provide water for the Santa Fe and Rock Island railroads. At 109 feet (33.2 m) deep and 32 feet (9.8 m) in diameter it is the world's largest hand-dug well. Coronado, Kansas
Coronado, Kansas
Coronado, now a siding on the Union Pacific railroad in Wichita County, Kansas, United States, was once a thriving community. Platted in 1885, Coronado was involved in the bloodiest county seat fight in the history of the American West. The shoot-out on February 27, 1887, with boosters—some...

, was established in 1885. It was involved in one of the bloodiest county seat fights
County seat war
A county seat war is a phenomenon that occurred in the American West as it was being settled, although incidences elsewhere, such as in West Virginia, have been also been recorded. As new towns sprang up and county lines were drawn, there was intense competition for the status and tax benefits...

 in the history of the American West. The shoot-out on February 27, 1887, with boosters — some would say hired gunmen — from nearby Leoti left several people dead and wounded.
when it was

Exodusters


In 1879, after the end of Reconstruction in the South, thousands of Freedmen moved from Southern states to Kansas. Known as the Exodusters, they were lured by the prospect of good, cheap land and better treatment. The all-black town of Nicodemus, Kansas
Nicodemus, Kansas
Nicodemus is a small unincorporated community in Graham County in North Central Kansas, located 2000 ft above sea level in the middle of the Great Plains region of the United States. The community was founded in 1877 and is named for an African American who escaped enslavement...

, which was founded in 1877, was an organized settlement that predates the Exodusters but is often associated with them.

Prohibition


On February 19, 1881, Kansas became the first state to amend its constitution to prohibit all alcoholic beverages
Prohibition in the United States
Prohibition in the United States was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, in place from 1920 to 1933. The ban was mandated by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and the Volstead Act set down the rules for enforcing the ban, as well as defining which...

. This action was spawned by the temperance movement
Temperance movement
A temperance movement is a social movement urging reduced use of alcoholic beverages. Temperance movements may criticize excessive alcohol use, promote complete abstinence , or pressure the government to enact anti-alcohol legislation or complete prohibition of alcohol.-Temperance movement by...

, and was enforced by the ax-totting Carrie A. Nation beginning in 1888. After 1890 prohibition was joined with progressivism to create a reform movement that elected four successive governors between 1905 and 1919; they favored extreme prohibition enforcement policies, and claimed Kansas was truly dry. Kansas did not repeal prohibition until 1948, and even then it continued to prohibit public bars, a restriction which was not lifted until 1987. Kansas did not allow retail liquor sales on Sundays until 2005, and most localities still prohibit Sunday liquor sales. By the Alcohol laws of Kansas
Alcohol laws of Kansas
The alcohol laws of Kansas are among the strictest in the United States, in sharp contrast to its neighboring state of Missouri , and similar to its other neighboring state of Oklahoma...

 today 29 counties are dry counties
Dry county
A dry county is a county in the United States whose government forbids the sale of alcoholic beverages. Some prohibit off-premises sale, some prohibit on-premises sale, and some prohibit both. Hundreds of dry counties exist across the United States, almost all of them in the South...

.

Religion


The city of Topeka played a notable role in the history of American Christianity around the beginning of the 20th century. Charles Sheldon
Charles Sheldon
Charles Monroe Sheldon was an American minister in the Congregational churches and leader of the Social Gospel movement...

, a leader in the Social Gospel
Social Gospel
The Social Gospel movement is a Protestant Christian intellectual movement that was most prominent in the early 20th century United States and Canada...

 movement who first used the phrase What would Jesus do?
What would Jesus do?
The phrase "What would Jesus do?" became popular in the United States in the 1990s and as a personal motto for adherents of Evangelical Christianity who used the phrase as a reminder of their belief in a moral imperative to act in a manner that would demonstrate the love of Jesus through the...

, preached in Topeka. Topeka was also the home to the church of Charles Fox Parham
Charles Fox Parham
Charles Fox Parham was an American preacher and evangelist. Together with William J. Seymour, Parham was one of the two central figures in the development and early spread of Pentecostalism...

, whom many historians associate with the beginning of the modern Pentecostalism
Pentecostalism
Pentecostalism is a diverse and complex movement within Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, has an eschatological focus, and is an experiential religion. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek...

 movement.

Farming



Environment


Early settlers discovered that Kansas was not the "Great American Desert," but they also found that the very harsh climate—with tornadoes, blizzards, drought, hail, floods and grasshoppers—made for the high risk of a ruined crop. Many early settlers were financially ruined, and especially in the early 1890s, either protested through the Populist movement or went back east. In the 20th century, crop insurance, new conservation techniques, and large-scale federal aid have lowered the risk. Immigrants, especially Germans and their children, comprised the largest element of settlers after 1860; they were attracted by the good soil, low priced lands from the railroad companies, and (if they were American citizens) the chance to homestead 160 acre (0.6474976 km²) and receive title to the land at no cost from the federal government.

The problem of blowing dust came not because farmers grew too much wheat, but because the rainfall was too little to grow enough wheat to keep the topsoil from blowing away. In the 1930s techniques and technologies of soil conservation, most of which had been available but ignored before the Dust Bowl conditions began, were promoted by the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) of the US Department of Agriculture, so that, with cooperation from the weather, soil condition was much improved by 1940.

Farm life


On the Great Plains
Great Plains
The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...

 very few single men attempted to operate a farm or ranch; farmers clearly understood the need for a hard-working wife, and numerous children, to handle the many chores, including child-rearing, feeding and clothing the family, managing the housework, feeding the hired hands, and, especially after the 1930s, handling the paperwork and financial details. During the early years of settlement in the late 19th century, farm women played an integral role in assuring family survival by working outdoors. After a generation or so, women increasingly left the fields, thus redefining their roles within the family. New conveniences such as sewing and washing machines encouraged women to turn to domestic roles. The scientific housekeeping movement, promoted across the land by the media and government extension agents, as well as county fairs which featured achievements in home cookery and canning, advice columns for women in the farm papers, and home economics courses in the schools.
Although the eastern image of farm life on the prairies emphasizes the isolation of the lonely farmer and farm life, in reality rural folk created a rich social life for themselves. They often sponsored activities that combined work, food, and entertainment such as barn raisings, corn huskings, quilting bees, Grange meeting, church activities, and school functions. The womenfolk organized shared meals and potluck events, as well as extended visits between families.

1890s


In 1896 William Allen White
William Allen White
William Allen White was a renowned American newspaper editor, politician, author, and leader of the Progressive movement...

, editor of the Emporia Gazette attracted national attention with a scathing attack on William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan
William Jennings Bryan was an American politician in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. He was a dominant force in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as its candidate for President of the United States...

, the Democrats, and the Populists titled "What's the Matter With Kansas?" White sharply ridiculed Populist leaders for letting Kansas slip into economic stagnation and not keeping up economically with neighboring states because their anti-business policies frightened away economic capital from the state. The Republicans sent out hundreds of thousands of copies of the editorial in support of William McKinley
William McKinley
William McKinley, Jr. was the 25th President of the United States . He is best known for winning fiercely fought elections, while supporting the gold standard and high tariffs; he succeeded in forging a Republican coalition that for the most part dominated national politics until the 1930s...

 during the United States presidential election, 1896
United States presidential election, 1896
The United States presidential election held on November 3, 1896, saw Republican William McKinley defeat Democrat William Jennings Bryan in a campaign considered by political scientists to be one of the most dramatic and complex in American history....

. While McKinley carried the small towns and cities of the state, Bryan swept the wheat farms and won the electoral vote, even as McKinley won the national vote.

Progressive Era


Kansas was a center of the Progressive Movement, with enthusiastic support from the middle classes, editors such as William Allen White
William Allen White
William Allen White was a renowned American newspaper editor, politician, author, and leader of the Progressive movement...

 of the Emporia Gazette, and the prohibitionists of the WCTU and the Methodist Church. White in his novels and short stories, developed his idea of the small town as a metaphor for understanding social change and for preaching the necessity of community. While he expressed his views in terms of his small Kansas city, he tailored his rhetoric to the needs and values of all of urban America. The cynicism of the post-World War I world stilled his imaginary literature, but for the remainder of his life he continued to propagate his vision of small-town community. He opposed chain stores and mail order firms as a threat to the business owner on Main Street. The Great Depression
Great Depression in the United States
The Great Depression began with the Wall Street Crash of October, 1929 and rapidly spread worldwide. The market crash marked the beginning of a decade of high unemployment, poverty, low profits, deflation, plunging farm incomes, and lost opportunities for economic growth and personal advancement...

 shook his faith in a cooperative, selfless, middle-class America.

In 1916, Kansas troops served on the U.S.–Mexico border during the Mexican Revolution
Mexican Revolution
The Mexican Revolution was a major armed struggle that started in 1910, with an uprising led by Francisco I. Madero against longtime autocrat Porfirio Díaz. The Revolution was characterized by several socialist, liberal, anarchist, populist, and agrarianist movements. Over time the Revolution...

. 80,000 Kansans enlisted in the military after April, 1917 when the United States declared war. They were attached mostly to the 35th, the 42nd, the 89th, and the 92nd infantry divisions. The state's large German element was luke-warm at best towards the war effort.

Between 1922 and 1927, there were several legal battles Kansas against the KKK, resulting in their expulsion from the state.

The flag of Kansas
Flag of Kansas
The flag of the state of Kansas was adopted in 1927. The elements of the state flag include the state seal and a sunflower. This original design was modified in 1961 to add the name of the state at the bottom of the flag.- Official description :...

 was designed in 1925. It was officially adopted by the Kansas State Legislature in 1927 and modified in 1961 (the word "Kansas" was added below the seal in gold block lettering). It was first flown at Fort Riley
Fort Riley
Fort Riley is a United States Army installation located in Northeast Kansas, on the Kansas River, between Junction City and Manhattan. The Fort Riley Military Reservation covers 100,656 acres in Geary and Riley counties and includes two census-designated places: Fort Riley North and Fort...

 by Governor
Governor of Kansas
The Governor of the State of Kansas is the head of state for the State of Kansas, United States. Under the Kansas Constitution, the Governor is also the head of government, serving as the chief executive of the Kansas executive branch, of the government of Kansas. The Governor is the...

 Ben S. Paulen in 1927 for the troops at Fort Riley and for the Kansas National Guard
Kansas National Guard
The Kansas National Guard, is the component of the United States National Guard in the U.S. state of Kansas. It comprises both the Kansas Army National Guard and the Kansas Air National Guard. The Governor of Kansas is Commander-in-Chief of the Kansas National Guard when in state use...

.

Great depression


The Dust Bowl
Dust Bowl
The Dust Bowl, or the Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands from 1930 to 1936...

 was a series of dust storm
Dust storm
A dust / sand storm is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid and semi-arid regions. Dust storms arise when a gust front or other strong wind blows loose sand and dirt from a dry surface. Particles are transported by saltation and suspension, causing soil to move from one place and deposition...

s caused by a massive drought that began in 1930 and lasted until 1941. The effect of the drought combined with the financial crisis of the Great Depression
Great Depression in the United States
The Great Depression began with the Wall Street Crash of October, 1929 and rapidly spread worldwide. The market crash marked the beginning of a decade of high unemployment, poverty, low profits, deflation, plunging farm incomes, and lost opportunities for economic growth and personal advancement...

, forced many farmers off the land throughout the Great Plains. This ecological disaster caused an exodus of many farmers to escape from the hostile environment of Kansas. As the world demand for wheat plummeted after the Depression began in 1929, rural Kansas became poverty-stricken. The state became an eager participant in such major New Deal relief programs as the Civil Works Administration
Civil Works Administration
The Civil Works Administration was established by the New Deal during the Great Depression to create manual labor jobs for millions of unemployed. The jobs were merely temporary, for the duration of the hard winter. Harry L. Hopkins was put in charge of the organization. President Franklin D...

, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration
Federal Emergency Relief Administration
Federal Emergency Relief Administration was the new name given by the Roosevelt Administration to the Emergency Relief Administration which President Herbert Hoover had created in 1932...

, the Civilian Conservation Corps
Civilian Conservation Corps
The Civilian Conservation Corps was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18–25. A part of the New Deal of President Franklin D...

, the Works Progress Administration
Works Progress Administration
The Works Progress Administration was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of unskilled workers to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads, and operated large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects...

, which put tens of thousands of Kansans to work add unskilled labor. Republican Governor Alf Landon
Alf Landon
Alfred Mossman "Alf" Landon was an American Republican politician, who served as the 26th Governor of Kansas from 1933–1937. He was best known for being the Republican Party's nominee for President of the United States, defeated in a landslide by Franklin D...

 also employed emergency measures, including a moratorium on mortgage foreclosures and a balanced budget initiative. The Agricultural Adjustment Administration succeeded in raising wheat prices after 1933, thus alleviating the most serious distress.

World War II


The state's main contribution to the war effort, besides tens of thousands of servicemen and servicewomen, was the enormous increase in the output of grain production. Farmers nevertheless grumbled about price ceilings for their wheat, production quotas, the movement of hired hands to well-paid factory jobs, and the shortage of farm machinery; they lobbied the Congress to make sure that young farmers were deferred from the draft.

Wichita, which had long shown an interest in aviation, became a major manufacturing center for the aircraft industry during the war, attracting tens of thousands of underemployed workers from the farms and small towns of the state.

The Women's Land Army of America (WLA) was a wartime women's labor pool organized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It failed to attract many town or city women to do farm work, but it succeeded in training several hundred farm wives in machine handling, safety, proper clothing, time-saving methods, and nutrition.

Cold War era


Kansas state law permitted segregated public schools, which operated in Topeka and other cities. On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education
Brown v. Board of Education
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 , was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 which...

unanimously declared that separate educational facilities are inherently unequal" and, as such, violate the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees all citizens "equal protection of the laws." Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka explicitly outlawed de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

racial segregation
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

 of public education facilities (legal establishment of separate government-run schools for blacks and whites). The site consists of the Monroe Elementary School, one of the four segregated elementary schools for African American children in Topeka, Kansas (and the adjacent grounds).

During the 1950s and 1960s, intercontinental ballistic missile
Intercontinental ballistic missile
An intercontinental ballistic missile is a ballistic missile with a long range typically designed for nuclear weapons delivery...

s (designed to carry a single nuclear warhead) were stationed throughout Kansas facilities. They were stored (to be launched from) hardened underground silos. The Kansas facilities were deactivated in the early 1980s.

On June 8, 1966, Topeka, Kansas
Topeka, Kansas
Topeka |Kansa]]: Tó Pee Kuh) is the capital city of the U.S. state of Kansas and the county seat of Shawnee County. It is situated along the Kansas River in the central part of Shawnee County, located in northeast Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was...

 was struck by an F5 rated tornado
Tornado
A tornado is a violent, dangerous, rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. They are often referred to as a twister or a cyclone, although the word cyclone is used in meteorology in a wider...

, according to the Fujita scale
Fujita scale
The Fujita scale , or Fujita-Pearson scale, is a scale for rating tornado intensity, based primarily on the damage tornadoes inflict on human-built structures and vegetation...

. The "1966 Topeka tornado" started on the southwest side of town, moving northeast, hitting various landmarks (including Washburn University
Washburn University
Washburn University is a co-educational, public institution of higher learning in Topeka, Kansas, USA. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as professional programs in law and business. Washburn has 550 faculty members, who teach more than 6,400 undergraduate students and...

). Total dollar cost was put at $100 million.

Recent personalities


Kansas was home to President Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 of Abilene, presidential candidates Bob Dole
Bob Dole
Robert Joseph "Bob" Dole is an American attorney and politician. Dole represented Kansas in the United States Senate from 1969 to 1996, was Gerald Ford's Vice Presidential running mate in the 1976 presidential election, and was Senate Majority Leader from 1985 to 1987 and in 1995 and 1996...

 and Alf Landon
Alf Landon
Alfred Mossman "Alf" Landon was an American Republican politician, who served as the 26th Governor of Kansas from 1933–1937. He was best known for being the Republican Party's nominee for President of the United States, defeated in a landslide by Franklin D...

, and the aviator Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Mary Earhart was a noted American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first woman to receive the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross, awarded for becoming the first aviatrix to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean...

. Famous athletes from Kansas include Barry Sanders
Barry Sanders
Barry Sanders is a former American football running back who spent all of his professional career with the Detroit Lions in the NFL. Sanders left the game just short of the all-time rushing record...

, Gale Sayers
Gale Sayers
Gale Eugene Sayers also known as "The Kansas Comet", is a former professional football player in the National Football League who spent his entire career with the Chicago Bears....

, Jim Ryun
Jim Ryun
James Ronald Ryun is an American former track athlete and politician, who was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1996 to 2007, representing the 2nd District in Kansas. In the 2006 election, Ryun was defeated by Democratic challenger Nancy Boyda...

, Walter Johnson
Walter Johnson
Walter Perry Johnson , nicknamed "Barney" and "The Big Train", was a Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher. He played his entire 21-year baseball career for the Washington Senators...

, Maurice Greene
Maurice Greene (athlete)
Maurice Greene is a retired American track and field sprinter who specialized in the 100 meters and 200 meters. He is a former 100 m world record holder with a time of 9.79 seconds. During the height of his career he won four Olympic medals and was a five-time World Champion...

, and Lynette Woodard.

See also



  • History of the Midwestern United States
  • Great Plains
    Great Plains
    The Great Plains are a broad expanse of flat land, much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland, which lies west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. This area covers parts of the U.S...


Surveys and reference

  • Arnold, Anna Estelle. A history of Kansas (1914) old textbook online edition
  • Blackmar, Frank W Kansas; a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. (1912) online edition, old alphabetical encyclopedia
  • Cutler, William G. History of the State of Kansas (1883), detailed, reliable older history
  • Davis, Kenneth. Kansas: A History (1984)
  • Dean, Virgil W., ed. John Brown to Bob Dole: Movers and Shakers in Kansas History (2010), 27 short biographies by scholars
  • Gille, Frank H. ed. Encyclopedia of Kansas Indians Tribes, Nations and People of the Plains (1999)
  • Miner, Craig. Kansas: The History of the Sunflower State, 1854–2000 (2002) (ISBN 0-7006-1215-7), the newest standard history
  • Napier, Rita, ed. Kansas and the West: New Perspectives (University Press of Kansas, 2003), 416pp; essays by scholars
  • Rich, Everett, ed. The Heritage of Kansas: Selected Commentaries on Past Times (1960) 852pp; essays by historians and primary sources online
  • Richmond, Robert. Kansas, A Land of Contrasts (4th ed. 1999)
  • Socolofsky, Homer E. Kansas Governors (1990)
  • Socolofsky, Homer E. and Huber Self. Historical Atlas of Kansas (1992)
  • Stuewe, Paul K., ed. Kansas Revisited: Historical Images and Perspectives (2nd ed. 1998), essays by scholars
  • Wishart, David J. ed. Encyclopedia of the Great Plains, University of Nebraska Press, 2004, ISBN 0-8032-4787-7. complete text online; 900 pages of scholarly articles
  • Zornow, William, Kansas, A History of the Jayhawk State (1957)

Specialized studies

  • Bader, Robert S. Hayseeds, Moralizers, and Methodists: The Twentieth-Century Image of Kansas (University Press of Kansas, 1988)
  • Campney, Brent M. S. "'This is Not Dixie:' The Imagined South, The Kansas Free State Narrative, and the Rhetoric of Racist Violence" Southern Spaces 6 September 2007 online
  • Carman, J. Neale. Foreign-Language Units of Kansas, I. Historical Atlas and Statistics (1962) detailed introduction to foreign settlement, with immigration statistics and detailed maps showing ethnic clusters.
  • Castel, Albert. A Frontier State at War: Kansas, 1861–1865 (1958) online
  • Dick, Everett. Vanguards of the Frontier: A Social History of the Northern Plains and Rocky Mountains from the Earliest White Contacts to the Coming of the Homemaker (1941) online
  • Entz, Gary R. "Religion in Kansas," Kansas History, Summer 2005, Vol. 28 Issue 2, pp 120–145, emphasis on the Civil War, Progressive Era, immigrants, and the civil rights movement
  • Goodrich, Thomas War to the Knife: Bleeding Kansas, 1854-1861 (1998).
  • Ham, George E., and Robin Higham. Rise of the Wheat State: A History of Kansas Agriculture 1861-1986 (1987)
  • Ise, John. Sod and Stubble: The Story of a Kansas Homestead (U of Nebraska Press, 1972) online
  • Luebke, Frederick C., ed. Ethnicity on the Great Plains (1982)
  • McQuillan, D. Aidan. Prevailing over Time: Ethnic Adjustment on the Kansas Prairies, 1875–1925 (1990) online
  • Malin, James. The Grassland of North America: Prolegomena to its History (1956) excerpts, pioneering environmental history
  • Malin, James. History and Ecology: Studies of the Grassland (1984)
  • Miner, Craig. West of Wichita: Settling the High Plains of Kansas, 1865-90 (1986) excerpt and text search
  • Reynolds, David. John Brown, Abolitionist (2005) (ISBN 0-375-41188-7), favorable to Brown
  • Van Sant, Thomas D. Improving rural lives: A history of Farm Bureau in Kansas, 1912-1992 (1993)
  • Villard, Oswald Garrison, John Brown 1800-1859: A Biography Fifty Years After (1910). full text online

Historiography

  • Averill, Thomas Fox. "Kansas Literature. A Review Essay." Kansas History 25 (Summer 2002): 141–165. online
  • Coburn, Carol K. "Women and Gender in Kansas History. Review Essay." Kansas History 26 (Summer 2003): 126–151. online
  • Grant, H. Roger. "Kansas Transportation. Review Essay." Kansas History 26 (Autumn 2003): 206–229. online
  • Hurt, R. Douglas. "The Agricultural and Rural History of Kansas. Review Essay." Kansas History 27 (Autumn 2004): 194–217. online
  • Leiker, James. "Race Relations in the Sunflower State. A Review Essay." Kansas History 25 (Autumn 2002): 214–236. online
  • Nichols, Roy F. "The Kansas-Nebraska Act: A Century of Historiography." Mississippi Valley Historical Review 43 (September 1956): 187-212. in JSTOR
  • Socolofsky, Homer E. and Virgil W. Dean. Kansas History: An Annotated Bibliography (1992) excerpt and text search
  • Turk, Eleanor L. "Germans in Kansas. Review Essay." Kansas History 28 (Spring 2005): 44–71. online

Primary sources

  • Averill, Thomas Fox, ed., What Kansas Means to Me: Twentieth-Century Writers on the Sunflower State (University Press of Kansas, 1991)
  • Becker, Carl L. "Kansas," in Essays in American History Dedicated to Frederick Jackson Turner (1910), 85–111, famous interpretation. online pp 85-111; Reprinted in Everett Rich, ed., The Heritage of Kansas: Selected Commentaries on Past Times (1960), pp 340–59
  • Robinson, Sara. Kansas, Its Interior and Exterior Life: Including a Full View of Its Settlement, Political History, Social Life, Climate, Soil, Productions, Scenery, Etc. (1856) full text online
    • Courtwright, Julie. "'A Goblin That Drives Her Insane': Sara Robinson and the History Wars of Kansas, 1894-1911." Kansas History 25 (Summer 2002): 102–123. online
  • Stratton, Joanna. Pioneer Women: Voices from the Kansas Frontier (1982), autobiographical accounts excerpt and text search
  • White, William Allen. "What's the matter with Kansas?" (1896) online

External links