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In this article you will find quick facts about Kansas durings its territorial days.  These facts can be found in the Appendix section of "A History of Kansas" by Anna E. Arnold.



There were six Territorial legislatures. The first two were proslavery. Beginning in the four that followed were free-state.


Four constitutions were prepared: the Topeka Constitution in 1855, the Lecompton in 1857, the Leavenworth in 1858, and the Wyandotte in 1859. The Lecompton was the only one that provided for slavery. The State was admitted under the Wyandotte, our present Constitution. It was based on the constitution of Ohio and was drafted by men from both parties.  (Editor's Note:  Learn more about the four constitutions on the Kansapedia website by clicking this link.)


Several different places served as Territorial capitals. When Governor Reeder came to Kansas he kept his office at Leavenworth for about two months, then removed it to Shawnee Mission, which was used as the Territorial capital until the following spring when Governor Reeder named Pawnee as the capital. The Legislature remained at Pawnee only five days and then adjourned to Shawnee Mission, where the Governor's office was kept another year. In August, 1855, the Territorial Legislature selected Lecompton, which continued as the capital during the remainder of the Territorial period. However, when the free-state people gained control of the Legislature in 1858 they made an effort to change the capital to Minneola. Failing in this, they met at Lecompton for each session and then at once adjourned to Lawrence. At an election in November, 1861, the people selected Topeka as the permanent capital of Kansas.

The Topeka Movement

The free-state Government under the Topeka Constitution was organized in the days of the "Bogus Legislature" for the purpose of uniting the free-state people and enabling them to oppose proslavery methods. It was continued until the free-state people gained control of the Territorial Legislature, when it became no longer necessary and was dropped. The principal events were as follows: The convention met in October of 1855, completed the Topeka Constitution in November, and the free-state people voted favorably on it in December. In January of 1856 they elected Charles Robinson governor. Their Legislature met in March, and in the same month they applied for admission to the Union but the bill failed to pass. The Legislature met again in July, but was disbanded by United States troops under Sumner. They met in January of 1857, but the officers were arrested. Two additional meetings were held; one in January and one in March of 1858. Then, having served its purpose, the Topeka movement was at an end.


Source: A History of Kansas / Anna E. Arnold. pp.223-224