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Prior to the coming of the Spanish in 1541, the Kansas country was known only to the Indians nomadic bands of hunters and warriors, and the indigenous tribes. Of the latter, Coronado mentions three, the Wichita, Kansa, and Pawnee, and vaguely infers that there may have been more. 


For a decade, the "seven cities of Ci-bola" had been in the minds of Spanish conquistadors; to find and plunder these supposed centers of wealth had been the cherished hope of many adventurers. But only Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, Governor of New Galicia in New Spain, Mexico, comes into the Quivira quest, which grew out of the disappointing Ci-bola experience and is the colorful prelude to Kansas history. 

In 1539 Friar Marcos de Nica, whom Coronado had sent on a preliminary search for the Ci-bola cities, returned with the good news that he had espied one of these wonderful places of "high houses," though only from a safe distance. An expedition was organized, and 300 Spanish "men of quality" gathered at the rendezvous, Compostela (on the Pacific coast below lower California), by Shrovetide of 1540. With Coronado as captain-general, the army started northward, crossed the mountains, and spent the whole of that year in futile marches through what are now Arizona and New Mexico. Winter overtook them at Tiguex (near Bernalillo, New Mexico). By this time they had found that the cities of Ci-bola were merely poor pueblo structures; but one of Coronado's captains, Hernando de Alvarado, while on a minor search, had been told by "an Indian slave" whom he called "The Turk," that far beyond "toward Florida" lay the slave's own land, Quivira, which was rich in gold and silver. He could guide the white strangers to it. 

In the spring of 1541 (April 23) Coronado and his army left Tiguex, hoping to find in Quivira the precious metals Ci-bola could not supply. The Turk led them through "the cow country" into western Texas so far southeastward that at a village on the Colorado River the captain-general called a halt. Their supplies had fallen dangerously low. For 37 days they had followed the Turk and, to conserve their grain supplies, had lived mainly on buffalo meat. Tiguex was "250 leagues" away, and the unknown country beyond might prove barren. Coronado divided his force. Taking with him only "thirty horsemen and six footmen," he headed north to pursue the quest, sending the remainder of his men back to Tiguex to await his return. 

With Coronado went the Turk and another guide. Across the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma Coronado proceeded "until he reached Quivira." His report, October 20, 1541, to his king, reads: "I traveled for forty-two days after I left the force, living all the while solely on the flesh of the bulls and cows which we killed . . . and going many days without water and cooking the food with cow dung, because there is no other kind of wood in all these plains, away from the gullies and rivers, which are few." The chronicler Suceso placed Quivira as "in the fortieth degree," but another authority, mapping the "Province of Quivira," puts it in the thirty- ninth, between the Arkansas River at Great Bend and the confluence of the Republican and Kansas Rivers, at Junction City. 

It was near this place that the Turk was strangled for his treachery, after Coronado had heard that he had tried to incite the Quivira people (Wichita tribe) to kill them. The Turk might have been killed anyway, for by this time one fact was obvious to the angry captain-general: Quivira contained no gold or silver. "These provinces . . ." Coronado wrote, "are a very small affair . . . there is not any gold, nor any metal at all in that country." But he found some satisfaction "on seeing the good appearance of the earth. . . . The province of Quivira ... 950 leagues from Mexico," he conceded, "is the best I have seen for producing all the products of Spain, for besides the land itself being very fat and black, and being well watered by the rivulets and springs and rivers, I found prunes like those of Spain, and nuts and very sweet grapes and mulberries." 

After a stay of 25 days in Quivira, Coronado and his men returned to Tiguex, but by a shorter southwestward route, approximating what later became the Santa Fe Trail. In the summer of 1542, "with less than a hundred men," he reached Mexico City, where he was shorn of his rank and soon died. But the seemingly fruitless journey introduced the horse to the Plains and, by right of discovery, established Spanish claim in the entire western region. 

A Franciscan monk, Juan de Padilla, who had been with Coronado in Quivira, returned to that country in 1542, but was killed by the Indians. For a half century Spanish interest in the far north remained inactive. Then, in 1594, Francisco Levya de Bonilla and Antonio Gutierrez de Humana ventured beyond the Arkansas, traveling northward for twelve days and reaching another river. On their way back they were overtaken and murdered. Don Juan de Onate, in 1601, was the next Spaniard to traverse Quivira. It is probable that more than a century passed before another Spanish party came so far north. 

In the late decades of the seventeenth century, however, the French from Canada began to show active interest in the land west of the Mississippi. In 1673 Louis Jolliet, a trader, accompanied by Father Jacques Marquette, descended the Mississippi River from the mouth of the Wisconsin River to below the mouth of the Arkansas;on the return trip they left the Mississippi at the Illinois. So it hardly seems likely that, as some suppose, Jolliet and Marquette ever reached the Kansas region. Neither did La Salle who, in 1682, descended the Mississippi from the Illinois to its mouth, returning along the same rivers. But there is a Marquette map upon which some Kansas authorities seem to recognize certain topographical features descriptive of Kansas. It was probably drawn from information gained by interrogating Indians with whom the priest came in contact. Marquette in this way learned much about native peoples he never visited. On his map of the Missouri and Kansas region, he marked the names Ouemessourit (Missouri), Kanza (Kaw), Ouchage (Osage), Paneassa (Pawnee), and some others. 

In 1694 "Canadian traders were among the Osage and Missouri tribes," and during the next few years the Spanish authorities in New Mexico had several indications that the French traders were on good terms with the Pawnee. By 1706, when Juan de Ulibarri headed a Spanish expedition out of Santa Fe, it was apparent that the French, operating from the north, were becoming rivals of the Spanish of New Mexico for the trade of the interior. 


Between 1706 and 1719 the French penetration was steady. In 1708 Canadians explored "three hundred to four hundred leagues" of the Missouri River; and during the next decade the French from the Louisiana capital reached out along other tributaries of the Mississippi. In 1719 Charles Claude du Tisne, sent up the Missouri River by the Governor of Louisiana, visited the Osage villages, near the mouth of the Osage River, and crossed the northeast corner of Kansas to the Pawnee region on the Republican River. The Spanish heard that "he planted the French flag in native villages and even traded in Spanish horses." Don Pedro de Villa2ur, assigned "to drive the French out of the land," left Santa Fe in 1720 with a Spanish force of 42 soldiers, 3 settlers, 60 Indians, and a priest. The route was "always to the northeast from Santa Fe." Possibly the caravan passed through part of Kansas, but the account mentions only three rivers, the Napestle (Arkansas), the Jesus Maria (south fork of the Platte), and the San Lorenzo (north fork of the Platte). Villazur and most of the Spaniards were killed in a battle, thought to have been fought near the town of North Platte, Nebraska. This defeat ended Spanish operations and left the French in undisputed possession. 

The French established themselves more securely in the region in 1722, when Etienne Venyard, Sieur de Bourgmont, erected Fort Orleans near the mouth of the Osage River. Two years later Bourgmont worked among Kansas Indians and penetrated even to the Rocky Mountains. He seemed to have established trading relations with many tribes, but Kansa warriors destroyed Fort Orleans in 1725. 

In 1763 French authority, in all America, came to an end. England, victorious in the long French and Indian War, received the Canadian provinces and all French rights to land east of the Mississippi. New Orleans and Louisiana, west of the Mississippi, had already (1762) been ceded by France to Spain. 

Spain showed little interest in the Quivira country thus regained, yet the development of Kansas began under its ownership. Pierre Laclede Luguest, with Auguste and Pierre Chouteau of the French fur trading family, established headquarters at St. Louis in 1764, and sent agents from there to the Indians of Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska, and Kansas. These agents, although few in number, cleared the paths by which Kansas was to emerge from a little-known region into a definite territory. 

In 1801, by the Treaty of Madrid, which confirmed the 1800 Treaty of San Ildefonso, Louisiana west of the Mississippi was retroceded to France, which by then had renewed its ambitions for a colonial empire and thereby alarmed the recently formed United States. France, under Napoleon, was at the height of its power too dominant a neighbor to be viewed placidly. Recognition of this and other considerations led President Thomas Jefferson to propose the purchase by the United States of west Florida and New Orleans. Napoleon's counter proposal, offering the whole of Louisiana, was accepted. On April 30, 1803, Louisiana, including the Kansas region, became the property of the United States. 

Explorations sponsored by the United States began immediately. In January 1803, before the Louisiana Purchase was consummated, President Jefferson called the attention of Congress to the land west of the Mississippi, pointing out the possibilities of trade and suggesting an appropriation of $2,500 for the purpose of exploring the country and furthering commerce. The appropriation was made, and an exploring party organized under command of Captain Meriwether Lewis and Lieutenant William Clark. 

In March 1804 the Territory was divided into two parts. Land south of the thirty-third parallel was named the Territory of Orleans; that north of the parallel, including Kansas, became the District of Louisiana, attached for legal purposes to the Territory of Indiana. 


On June 26, 1804, Lewis and Clark landed at the mouth of the Kansas River on the first lap of their expedition. By July 4 they had reached a stream in the present Doniphan County, which they named "Independence Creek" in honor of the day, firing an evening gun and rationing out an additional gill of whiskey by way of celebration. Two years later, August 5, 1806, they returned to the mouth of the Kansas with the first reliable information on the climate, topography, and general features of the western country. 

Before the conclusion of the first expedition, a second was organized by the military commandant of Louisiana, General James Wilkinson, and set out from St. Louis June 24, 1806, under command of Captain Zebulon M. Pike. He visited the Osage in Missouri and the Pawnee on the Republican, arriving among the latter on September 25. Here he found a Spanish flag floating over their council tent. The purchase from Napoleon had no fixed western boundary; the United States claimed territory extending to the Rocky Mountains while Spain fixed the line much farther east. Pike demanded that the Spanish flag be hauled down and the American standard be raised in its place, thus putting an end to all Spanish claim east of the Rockies. He turned south to the Arkansas River and followed it to the present site of Pueblo, Colorado, discovering the mountain now known as Pike's Peak. As this was encroaching on Spanish territory, he was captured and taken to Mexico. During his captivity of some months, Pike gathered considerable information as to the possibilities of trade with the Mexican provinces. The accounts of his travels, published in 1810 on his return to the States, directed an avid interest to these provinces. 

Of parts of Kansas he wrote enthusiastically but he saw no possibilities for white settlement in the arid portions of the Louisiana district. "These vast plains of the western hemisphere," his account reads, "may become in time as celebrated as the sandy deserts of Africa; for I saw in my route, in various places, tracts of many leagues where the wind had thrown up the sand in all the fanciful forms of the ocean's rolling wave, on which not a speck of vegetable matter existed." 

Maps, presumably based on Pike's report and showing the desert reaching from the west line of Missouri and Arkansas to the Rocky Mountains, from the Platte to the Red River, were incorporated into the school geographies of that period. This misconception gave rise to the legend of a "great American Desert" that included the whole of Kansas. 


Meanwhile, March 3, 1805, the District of Louisiana was erected into the Territory of Louisiana, independent of the Territory of Indiana and with its own powers of legislation. 

Twelve years elapsed before another expedition was attempted, and during that time a series of events occurred that influenced the future of Kansas. In 1807 Manuel Lisa, a Spanish fur trader, established a number of trading stations about the headwaters of the Missouri River. The Missouri Fur Company was organized the following year by Lisa, together with Auguste and Pierre Chouteau, and a chain of trading posts was established throughout the western country. This company was dissolved in 1812 and was succeeded by the American Fur Company of the Chouteaus, who were beginning to concentrate their activities in Kansas. 

On June 4, 1812, the Territory of Missouri, with its western boundary approximating that of the present State of Missouri, was created from the Territory of Louisiana, leaving the remainder without law or official identification for a quarter of a century. 


The expedition of Major Stephen H. Long a scientific exploration sent out by the Government ascended the Missouri to the present town of Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1819. Long camped there for the winter, then moved south to the Platte and Red Rivers, entered Colorado, where members of his party made the first ascent of Pike's Peak, and returned to the Mississippi via the Red River. His expedition, following in the path of Pike, accumulated scientific data, and introduced the first steamboat to Kansas waters. The Western Engineer entered the mouth of the Kansas on August 10, 1819, and transported his party up the course for one mile. Here the mud left by flood waters made it necessary to turn back and continue up the Missouri. 

A period of still deeper significance for the future of Kansas followed. In 1818 the Missouri Territory asked admission to the Union as a slave State; simultaneously, Alabama, also a slave State, asked admission. Alabama was admitted in 1819, balancing the power of the opposing factions, ii free and n slave States. The debates over Missouri resulted in the Missouri Compromise, passed February 17, 1820, providing that Missouri should be admitted as a slave State, but that all future States west of the Mississippi and north of 36 and 30' should be free. On August 10, 1821, Missouri was admitted under the terms of the compromise and the question of slavery shifted to the territory west of the Mississippi, where it was to flare anew in Kansas. Two years later the boundary between Missouri and Kansas was definitely fixed. 

Thomas Hart Benton, Senator from Missouri, began in Congress his championship of western development in 1824, only to meet with opposition such as the following from Daniel Webster: "What do we want with this vast and worthless area, of this region of savages and wild beasts, of deserts, of shifting sands and whirlwinds, of dust, of cactus and prairie dogs; to what use could we ever hope to put these great deserts, or those endless mountain ranges, impenetrable and covered to their very base with eternal snow? What can we ever hope to do with the western coast, a coast of 3,000 miles, rockbound, cheerless, uninviting and not a harbor in it? Mr. President, I will never vote one cent from the public treasury to place the Pacific Coast one inch nearer Boston than it is now." 


The Reverend Isaac McCoy, a missionary to the Indians east of the Mississippi, journeyed to Washington to propose the removal of his charges to western reservations beyond the influence of white settlements. His proposal was favorably received and, in the main, Kansas was selected to provide the reservations, for it was still thought of as desert country and of no value. 

In 1825 the Government arranged treaties with the Osage and Kansa, whereby they gave up their lands in eastern Kansas to make way for the emigrant tribes. The first allotment was granted to the Shawnees; then in rapid succession came the Delaware in 1829; the Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Kaskaskia, Peoria, Wea, and Piankeshaw in 1832; the Sauk and Fox and the Iowa in 1836; the Miami in 1840; and the Wyandot in 1843. All were crowded onto small reservations in the eastern part of the State. 

With them came the missionaries, who had already taught them the rudiments of civilization. Two Presbyterian missions had been established in 1820 for the Osage, the Union on the Neosho River and the Harmony on the Marais des Cygnes. In the spring of 1827 Daniel Morgan Boone, son of Daniel Boone, was sent by the Government to teach farming to the Kansas Indians occupying the southern part of Jefferson County. There he established his family, the first white family in the Territory; his son, Napoleon, born August 22, 1828, was the first white child to be born within the State. In 1829 the Reverend Thomas Johnson introduced Methodism to the Shawnee, establishing a mission near the present town of Turner in Wyandotte County. Four years later the Reverend Jotham Meeker brought the first printing press to the Shawnee Baptist Mission, and on February 24, 1835, he published the first issue of the Shawnee Sun, the first newspaper in Kansas. 

By 1830 trading posts were scattered throughout eastern and central Kansas, reaching from the Platte to the Red River. Within a few years, ferries were strung across the Missouri and Kansas Rivers, roads were cut along the ridges, patches of farm land were cleared and planted, and cabin homes fringed the highways. All this was the work of the Indians, under direction of missionaries and Government agents. 

Captain William Becknell had made the first successful trade journey to Santa Fe in 1821, establishing the route of the Santa Fe Trail. Twelve months later he led the first wagon train along the trail, beginning the valuable commerce of frontier days. As a midway course between Benton's proposals for western development and the opposing view, Congress authorized the survey and marking of the Santa Fe Trail in 1825. Fort Leavenworth was established as "Cantonment Leavenworth" in May, 1827. Westport (now Kansas City, Missouri) became a depot on the Santa Fe Trail in 1833, and ten years later the city of Wyandot (Kansas City, Kansas) was begun by the Wyandot Indians. 


At this time the Government decided to send out another exploration under Lieutenant John C. Fremont. He entered Kansas in 1842, completing his outfit at the trading post of Cyprian Chouteau in Wyandotte County on June 10. With Kit Carson as a guide, Fremont proceeded to explore the Kansas and Platte Rivers, and to survey the South Pass of the Oregon Trail, thereby winning the title of "Pathfinder." He followed this exploration with three more, in 1843, 1845, and 1848. Accounts of these expeditions were published immediately by the Government to direct attention to the West, and in this they were highly successful. 

The war between the United States and Mexico ended with the Treaty of Guadelupe-Hidalgo, ratified May 30, 1848. By its terms, the Rio Grande became the boundary between Texas and Mexico, and the international boundary westward, from El Paso to the Pacific, was established almost as it is now. Northward, the ceded territory reached from a league below San Diego, California, to the Oregon country at 42 north latitude; eastward it reached to the Rocky Mountains. This vast region embraced what was then known as New Mexico and Upper California, and what now corresponds to a strip of Texas;the greater parts of New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona; all of California, Nevada and Utah; and a little of Wyoming. In addition, the treaty of 1846 with Great Britain had established the right of the United States to the Oregon country. Thus in two years the United States cleared from its continental path to the Pacific all conflicting sovereignties as far north as the forty-ninth parallel. 

This resulted in a tremendous increase in migration over Kansas trails. The volume had been swelling since 1843, when the "Great Emigration" to the Oregon country began. Then 900 people in in wagons, and 2,000 horses and cattle, had set out from Elm Grove, Kansas. In 1844 four parties, one of 800 and another of 500 to 700 people, had started westward; and 5,000 had left the Missouri border in 1845. The Mormon trek from Nauvoo, Illinois, "to the western wilderness" started in 1846, and by 1848 most of them had safely reached their new homes in the Salt Lake region. These migrations, however, seem small when compared with that of 1849, when the California gold rush brought 90,000 people through Kansas. Although all these emigrants merely swept through the Kansas country with their eyes fixed on the west, they indirectly affected the region. Civilization was now both west and east of Kansas. In 1850 came the overland stagecoach to Utah and the Pacific coast. The myth of the "Great American Desert" was finally dispelled, and Kansas emerged from obscurity. 

The first move to organize Kansas into a Territory, made in 1844, was of small consequence, as were all subsequent movements until 1852. In the spring of that year a half-dozen Missourians met at Union town, Kansas, framed a set of resolutions, which they presented to the Thirty-second Congress, petitioning that the Platte country, comprising the present States of Kansas and Nebraska, be erected into a territory and styled the Nebraska Territory. The bill was not passed. 


The next step was taken by the Wyandote Indians. On July 28, 1853, they met in the council house in Wyandote, organized Kansas-Nebraska into a Provisional Territory and elected a delegate to the Thirty-third Congress. This act was not recognized, nor was the delegate admitted to Congress, but their action precipitated the long debate that resulted in the passage of the Douglas Bill, signed by President Franklin Pierce on May 30, 1854. By this bill the Missouri Compromise was repealed and the Territories of Kansas and Nebraska were organized with the right to determine the question of slavery for themselves. 

In creating the two Territories it was tacitly hoped that Kansas would resolve itself into a slave State and that Nebraska would remain free, thus preserving the balance of power between the free and slave factions. This hope was immediately threatened by a movement in the New England States, begun by Eli Thayer of Massachusetts with the organization of the New England Emigrant Aid Company in 1854. The movement proposed to send 20,000 Free Soilers into Kansas each year, but failed to attract emigrants in any such numbers. Still its existence aroused the pro-slavery advocates, who retaliated with counter organizations known as the "Blue Lodge," "Sons of the South," and others. Both movements proposed a "Squatter Sovereignty." 

The Kansas Territory at that time had no more than 1,500 white persons, approximately 700 of whom were in military service and therefore ineligible for the ballot; the others lived in small groups clustered about the trading posts and Indian missions, and along the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails. But across the State line in the western counties of Missouri, were 80,000 citizens who owned approximately 12,000 slaves. It was to their interest to control the policies of the future State, and their resentment of antislavery activities was particularly intense. Many immediately crossed the Kansas line to "spot" claims, pending further action by the Government. 

In May 1854 treaties were made with the Delaware and Shawnee in eastern Kansas, by which more than two million acres of their reservations were made available to the whites by public auction and preemption. The race for Kansas was on. Settlers poured into the new Territory from Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and especially from Missouri. They came in caravans of prairie schooners or Conestoga wagons, by steamboats, on horseback, on foot in companies and alone. The majority brought their families, their cattle and farm implements, their spinning wheels and looms.

The Territory was then without law. To provide for order until a government could be set up, an association was formed and resolutions were drawn up outlining the rights of the settlers and preparing for the peaceful building of a State. 

Towns were established. Leavenworth, adjacent to Fort Leavenworth, was laid out in June 1854. A month later Lawrence was founded by Charles H. Branscomb and Dr. Charles Robinson, agents of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, as a Free State headquarters; and Atchison was established as a rival proslavery town. Topeka was platted on December 5 by Cyrus K. Holliday, who designed it for the capital which it later became. Before the year was out Palmyra, Louisiana, and Brooklyn were begun along the Santa Fe Trail, with Prairie City, Baldwin City, and Hickory Point in its close vicinity; on the Oregon Trail (locally known as the California Road) Franklin and Wakarusa appeared. 

The first Territorial newspaper, the Kansas Weekly Herald, which began publication in Leavenworth, September 15, 1854, supported slavery; and the Kansas Tribune, a Free State paper, issued its first number on January 3, 1855, at Lawrence. 

The people who ventured into Kansas in the hope of finding peace and well ordered living were fated to deep and persisting disappointment. It was hardly surprising that the Territory attracted a full complement of desperadoes. But few settlers could have predicted the "bleeding Kansas" of the i85o's and i86o's, with border warfare and violent antagonism among its citizens, most of whom were aggressively committed to one side or the other of the slavery issue. 

Andrew H. Reeder of Pennsylvania was named the first Territorial Governor on June 29, 1854, and was inaugurated at Fort Leavenworth on October 7. Under his administration the pro-slavery party, aided by sympathizers from Missouri, gained the ascendancy. At the election of a delegate to Congress on November 29, 1854, Missouri voters dominated the polls; and, at the election of the Territorial legislature on March 30, 1855, abuses were even more flagrant. Four to five thousand armed men from Missouri, inflamed by the speeches of the Southern agitators, Senator David R. Atchison and General B. F. Stringfellow, appeared at the voting places, where they brow-beat judges, stuffed ballot boxes, and otherwise transformed the election into a grim farce. Many of the members elected were residents of Missouri, yet Governor Reeder, under threat of his life, was obliged to issue election certificates. Because of the illegality of the election, the body was dubbed the "bogus legislature," by which term it has since been known. 

Shortly before the election, Reeder, finding accommodations at Fort Leavenworth inadequate, removed the temporary seat of government to the Shawnee Mission in Johnson County. But partly to further his own land speculations, he convoked the first legislature at Pawnee on July 2, 1855. There the body proceeded to take matters into its own hands. It ousted its few Free State members, and voted, over the Governor's veto, to adjourn to the Shawnee Mission, which it did on July 16. There Reeder refused to recognize its acts, contending that the mission was not the authorized seat of government. The body answered with an appeal to President Pierce, who responded by removing Reeder from office on July 29. 


With Daniel Woodson as Acting Governor, the legislature proceeded to adopt the Missouri statutes virtually in toto, merely instructing the clerk to strike out "Missouri" and insert the name of the Territory. Only on the subject of slavery did it show originality. Its enactments on this issue, known as the "Black Laws," provided a death penalty for anyone who, by word or deed, should aid in freeing a slave, and a penitentiary sentence for holding an opinion adverse to slavery. Reaction to these measures was widespread, with newspapers of the North and even some of the South protesting. The proslavery party prepared to enforce them through the Law and Order Society, which was organized on October 3, 1855, at a meeting in Leavenworth. 

Meanwhile Free State advocates countered with a government of their own. In an assembly at Big Springs on September 5, 1855, the acts of the "bogus legislature" were repudiated, the Free State party was formally organized under the leadership of James H. Lane, and delegates were appointed to a constitutional convention which assembled at Topeka on October 23. Here a constitution was drafted and State officers were nominated; at a general election, held December 15, the constitution was ratified, Dr. Charles Robinson was elected Governor, and Lane and Reeder were sent to the United States Senate. They were not seated, the United States Senate refusing to recognize the election. 

Nor was this the only move of the Free State party. In April 1855 Dr. Robinson, as agent of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, sent an order to Eli Thayer for 100 Sharp's rifles, which were promptly dispatched and became known as "Beecher's Bibles." These were followed in July by a second shipment which included a small brass cannon. The rifles had a somewhat quieting effect, but it was the quiet before the storm. Through the summer and fall of 1855 animosity smoldered, awaiting only an excuse for an open break. On November 21 Charles W. Dow, a Free State man, was shot and killed by Franklin M. Coleman, a proslavery man, in a quarrel over claim boundaries. Coleman surrendered to the sheriff of Douglas County and was released on bond; Dow's friends organized a posse to bring the murderer to justice. A member of this posse was arrested by the sheriff on a trumpedup charge and was promptly rescued by his friends. These events culminated in the threatened invasion of Lawrence, known as the "Wakarusa War." Border ruffians from Missouri gathered on Wakarusa Creek for the purpose of sacking the town and were deterred only by the intervention of Governor Wilson Shannon and United States troops from Fort Leavenworth. But before order was established a second Free State man, Thomas Barber, had been murdered. 

Displeased with Governor Shannon's interference and bent on the destruction of Lawrence, the proslavery party bided its time until the following May, when a second invasion resulted in a partial destruction of the town. Three days later, May 24, John Brown retaliated with the execution of five proslavery men in the Potawatomi Massacre. Brown's action, the first retaliatory move on the part of the Free Staters, unleashed the extremists of both sides. Captain Henry C. Pate, Deputy United States Marshal, under pretext of arresting Brown, instigated fighting on the south side of the Kansas River, resulting in the battles of Black Jack, Franklin, and Fort Titus, the raiding of Palmyra and Prairie City, and the sacking of Osawatomie. On the north side of the river, at the towns of Atchison, Doniphan, and Leavenworth, Free State families were ejected from their homes and driven out of the Territory. A blockade was established on the Missouri River to prevent further Free State emigration. Lane raised his "Army of the North," and James Montgomery organized reckless young Free Staters into a guerrilla band known as the "Jayhawkers." 


For two years a state of open warfare existed. Armed bands of border ruffians from Missouri made forays into Kansas and were answered by retaliatory companies of Jayhawkers. Men were called out into the night and shot down for no other reason than that they supported or were suspected of supporting the opposite cause. Women and children, regardless of age or condition, were driven from their homes with only the clothing on their backs. Fields were laid waste and towns were sacked, all in the name of the cause, but more often to gratify personal revenge or avarice. On May 19, 1858, a band of proslavery men, led by Charles A. Hamelton, gathered eleven Free State men of Linn County whom Hamelton wished out of the way, herded them into a ravine near the Marais des Cygnes River in the vicinity of Trading Post, and shot them down. 

Under such conditions the gubernatorial office was a hazardous position. In seven years six governors and five acting governors came and went, the Territorial capital was moved about like a chessman, and three State constitutions were written and rejected. Martial law prevailed intermittently, and Free State leaders were indicted and imprisoned for high treason. 

Eventually the proslavery party was shorn of its power. Although openly approved by the Federal Government under Pierce and again under Buchanan, it was always in the minority and had assumed control only by the highhanded policies of its allies from Missouri. In time the Free State party became too powerful to be bullied. The census of 1860 showed a population of 107,206, of which more than seventy per cent was antislavery. 

An election was held March 28, 1859, to decide whether another constitutional convention should be called; an affirmative vote was polled. Delegates convened at Wyandotte on July 5 to frame a fourth constitution, which declared that, "All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." It was ratified by vote of the Territory on October 4, and the bill for admission to the Union was immediately submitted to Congress. The bill was passed by the Senate on January 21, 1861, by the House on January 28, and signed by the President on January 29, making Kansas the thirty-fourth State. 

During this period, Kansas entertained some noted visitors. Horace Greeley came to the Territory in May 1859, and on December i Abraham Lincoln arrived to make campaign speeches in Elwood, Troy, Doniphan, Atchison, and Leavenworth. Four years later, December 22, 1863, John Wilkes Booth appeared at Leavenworth in Richard III. 

In June 1859 a drought set in and continued until November 1860. Crops had been neglected because of guerrilla warfare, and no surplus had been accumulated; the result was famine. Many quit their claims in despair and left the Territory. Those who remained were obliged to look to the East for relief. The New York legislature voted $50,000 for that purpose, and other States were equally generous. 

But despite tumult and calamity the eastern part of Kansas had made some progress. Forty counties had been set up with a generous sprinkling of frontier towns. A weekly mail schedule linked the Territory with the Pacific Coast by means of stagecoach and pony express, while steamboats on the Missouri and Kansas Rivers connected it with the East. There were more than twenty newspapers, a State Historical Society had been formed, churches were numerous, and a State school system had been organized. Tentative provisions had been made for the University of Lawrence, for a penitentiary, and for other State institutions. Tracks for the first railroad, the Elwood and Marysville (now the Union Pacific), had been laid, and industry and agriculture were developing. 


Dr. Charles Robinson was the first Governor of the new State. He at once assembled the legislature and proceeded to inaugurate a State government: establishing courts, organizing additional counties and school systems, and providing for a program of general progress. Before anything could be accomplished, Kansas was called upon to participate in the great national conflict, the Civil War. 

On April 15, 1861, President Lincoln issued a call for 75,000 volunteers. Kansas, only three months a State and still suffering from drought and the ravages of internal warfare, responded with 650 men. At the second call, two companies were organized with no promise of pay, since the new State had no money for military service. The total required of Kansas during the four years of war was 16,654 men. This was oversubscribed by more than 3,000, making a total of 20,097 constituting eighteen regiments, three of which were Indian and two Negro. The first regiment was mustered into service June 3, 1861; the last on July 28, 1864. The most important battle in which Kansas troops took part was that of August 10, 1861, at Wilson's Creek, south of Springfield, Missouri, where approximately 10,000 Confederates were engaged by 5,000 Union men under General Nathaniel Lyon. Lyon was killed, and the Unionists retreated with honor. The Eighth Kansas Volunteer Infantry, led by Colonel John A. Martin of Atchison (who later became the State's tenth Governor), after a year of border patrol service, joined the Army of the Cumberland and fought at Chickamaugua, in the Chattanooga campaign, and marched with Sherman to the sea. It was the only Kansas regiment attached to one of the major armies. 

The Confederate force of General Sterling Price was the only one of the major armies to cross the Kansas border. In September 1864 General Price conducted the expedition known as "Price's Raid" through Arkansas and Missouri. He entered Kansas through Linn County in an apparent effort to reach Fort Scott, met the Unionists at Mine Creek and again at the crossing of the Osage. Here he was turned back into Missouri, after having caused damage to the extent of onehalf million dollars, later to be paid by the Government. 

Though it was not in the zone of battle, the young State had its hands full with guerrilla warfare on its eastern border and Indian uprisings in the western part. Bands of bushwhackers led by William Clarke Quantrill, Bill Anderson, and others and the "Red Legs," so called from the red morocco leggings they wore, were continually active in burning, pillaging, and murdering. On August 21, 1863, Quantrill raided and sacked the town of Lawrence, slaying about 150 of its citizens. In the west the depredations of the Indians made organized resistance imperative. 


National peace closed the conflict in eastern Kansas. Virtually all Indian titles had been extinguished there, and that part of the State was now free to plow its fields, plant orchards and vineyards, develop mines and manufacturing, and extend railroads. By 1870 the agricultural college at Manhattan, the State Teachers' College at Emporia, and the University at Lawrence had been established, as well as various denominational institutions. The first unit of the capital building at Topeka had been completed and was occupied. Coal was being mined in two counties, and gas lights were in use. Meat packing had been established at Wyandotte, and the first beef shipped to New York in refrigerator cars. A cotton gin was in operation at Burlington and woolen mills at Lawrence and Fort Scott. Bridges were spanning the Kansas River at Wyandotte and Topeka, telegraph lines crossed the prairies, and railroad tracks reached a total of 1,283 miles. The population had increased to 362,000, and the improved acreage totaled 1,020,610. 

Up to the close of the Civil War few settlers had ventured on the Plains in western Kansas, for there was no timber for building, and the Indians were hostile. This section of the State was left to another type of pioneer the cowboy. When the Union Pacific Railroad reached Abilene in 1867, Joseph G. McCoy conceived the idea of driving long horned native cattle from Texas to fatten on the convenient buffalo grass before shipping to market. His idea proved profitable and in the next two decades the Plains developed into an immense cow country. Riotous cow towns grew up of which Abilene and Dodge City were typical with saloons, dance halls, gambling dens, and loose women; and made colorful by the cowboy in broad brimmed hat, chaps, and kerchief, accoutered with spurs, lariat, and revolver. 

Infesting the prairies was another group, the border criminals cattle thieves, bandits, and desperadoes who, in turn, called forth such fearless and straight shooting characters as Wild Bill Hickok, Bat Masterson, and Buffalo Bill Cody. In 1871 "Wild Bill" was installed as marshal at Abilene, where he served so effectively that other towns wanted him to act in the same capacity. About the same time "Buffalo Bill" was employed to provide buffalo meat for the Union Pacific workmen. It is said that in 18 months he killed 4,280 buffaloes for that purpose. 

The cattle period was as short as it was lusty. On May 20, 1862, Congress passed the Homestead Law, making it possible to acquire 320 acres of Plains land by homestead and preemption, with special inducements to ex-Union soldiers. On March 3, 1863, it further provided that all Indians should be removed from Kansas, an objective that was gradually accomplished. But the most important factor in populating the range was the railroad. 


To encourage road building, large grants of land were made to the railroad companies. As the tracks were extended, these lands were offered for sale and the companies engaged in extensive advertising to speed up purchase. Pamphlets and circulars were broadcast in the East and in Europe, enticing colonists from England, Germany, Russia, Bohemia, and the Scandinavian Peninsula as well as additional emigrants from the eastern States. Distinguished Europeans were invited to come as visitors. One of these was Grand Duke Alexis of Russia who, with his entourage, was entertained at Topeka by Governor James M. Harvey and the State legislature. Twenty years after the passage of the Homestead Law, lines of barbed wire fence enclosed the range. 

Life for the early Plains settlers was filled with hardships. Buffalo chips were the only fuel, and they had to be gathered from wide areas. Money was scarce and crop failures were frequent. Even the possession of dugouts and sod houses often had to be disputed with rattlesnakes and gophers. In lean times the settlers turned, as had the Indians before them, to the buffalo. Thousands were shot for their hides and other thousands for sport from train windows, leaving carcasses to wolves and bones to the weather. This proved fortunate, for the bones could be sold for fertilizer at from six to ten dollars per ton; when crops failed, gathering buffalo bones became a regular occupation. Another source of revenue was provided by the wild horses. Large herds, descended from horses left by the Spanish, roamed the grasslands and needed only to be caught and tamed. This was an arduous task, but the "bronco busting" settler was undaunted. 

In 1874 a partial drought was experienced and following it came the visitation known to Kansans simply as "the grasshoppers." In 1866 and 1867 these insects had appeared in sections of the State, but in 1874 they came in hordes, filling the air and devouring every particle of vegetation. In the eastern counties sufficient headway had been made to weather the devastation; but in the west, where settlements were new and no surplus had been accumulated, aid again had to come from the East. 

In the same year a colony of Mennonite immigrants from Russia arrived, with enough money to buy land and withstand the grasshoppers. Of far greater importance was the bushel or so of handpicked hard "Turkey Red" wheat carefully stowed away in the baggage of each family. Up to that time attempts to grow wheat on the Plains had not been successful, but the Russian grain was perfectly adapted to these conditions. From this beginning developed the vast wheat fields, which now give Kansas ranking place among the wheat growing States. Ten years later it was able to reciprocate the aid given in 1874 by shipping carloads of corn to flood victims in Ohio. At the same time, a trainload of grain went to Virginia to help in raising a fund for a home for ex-Confederate soldiers. 

The State legislature voted $30,000 in 1876 for the exhibit of native products at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia; this created so favorable an impression that it directed new interest to Kansas and resulted in further increase in emigration. 


By 1878 the population in the two sections of the State was fairly well defined. The eastern half was occupied largely by the pro and antislavery emigrants of the antebellum period; the western half by late comers from the East, ex-Union soldiers and Europeans. But it was yet to receive the sudden flow of emancipated Negroes, known as the "exodusters." From the close of the Civil War, freed slaves from the South had trickled into Kansas in small numbers; in 1878 lured by the false promise of "forty acres and a mule," southern Negroes came in such numbers that 20,000 are said to have entered the State in four years. The Negro population in 1870 was 17,108; ten years later it had increased to 43,107. Benjamin (Pap) Singleton, a Negro who styled himself the father of the exodus, induced more than 7,000 Negroes to migrate from Tennessee alone. Most of those who came in 1876-78 settled in one of his three colonies Dunlap in the Neosho Valley, Singleton in Cherokee County, and Nicodemus (the only surviving "Exoduster" community) in Graham County. The few who had teams and farm implements procured land or found work on farms; the remainder swelled the growing towns and cities. Subsequent growth of Negro population was relatively slow, the increase in the next fifty years being only 23,000. 

In 1878 Indian troubles were terminated with the last Cheyenne raid in western Kansas. The State, finally at peace, had time to consider a long vexing problem prohibition. The control of liquor had always been a live issue. In 1855 the "bogus legislature" provided for local option with the Dram Shop Law, copied from the Missouri statutes. This law was never satisfactory in Kansas and, to improve upon it, such towns as Emporia, Baldwin, and Topeka adopted measures revoking titles to land on which liquor was sold. The subject of State prohibition was considered at each constitutional convention. Organizations such as the Good Templars were created, embodying the temperance pledge in their constitutions. In 1860 the sale of liquor to Indians was prohibited. The State Temperance Society held its first meeting the following year. The Richard-Murphy Temperance movement swept the State in 1870; in 1873 the Women's Crusade was begun, with groups meeting in saloons to smash containers, spill liquor, and pray with drunken habitues. Through these agencies local prohibition was effected in various counties and towns, but it was not until 1 88 1, under the administration of the eighth Governor, John P. St. John, that the State prohibition law was passed. 

The decade following "the grasshoppers" was exceptionally prosperous and the whole State entered into a boom of speculation. Eastern money, made readily available, was diverted into public and private improvements; with reckless abandon. Land values were boosted, "false front" buildings, erected, "paper" towns were laid out. Then came the drought of 1887, and the boom collapsed. Demands made for loans could not be met, banks and business houses failed, and, especially in the western counties, thousands of settlers who faced foreclosure left the State. 

In 1889 approximately 50,000 Kansas settlers moved to the newly opened land in Oklahoma, leaving the Plains virtually abandoned. Four years later the general panic of 1893, together with another partial crop failure, brought a second period of "hard times." But the State was then too well established to be more than temporarily affected. Eastern emigration soon refilled the western counties, and another succession of good crops restored confidence. Greeley, the last of the State's 105 counties, was organized July 9, 1888, and pioneering days were over. 


The year 1889 was distinguished by the largest corn crop in Kansas history and by the first manufacture of beet sugar. To encourage the latter, a bounty was immediately offered by the State, and beet sugar making is now a staple industry in the southwestern counties. In the same year salt making was begun in the central part of the State, and oil and natural gas were added to the list of industries in 1892. Surplus fuel in the gas producing region brought other manufacturing, such as brick making, zinc smelting, glass, and cement. The value of livestock and farm products increased; in seven years, from 1887 to 1894, it aggregated more than $4,000,000,000, making possible the payment of public and private debts to the amount of $100,000,000. From the first experimental orchard planted at the Shawnee Mission (Johnson County) in 1837, patient care and selection had developed fruit raising throughout the eastern part of the State. In 1876 Kansas apples were awarded the gold medal at the exposition in Philadelphia, giving that product a prestige it still maintains. 

The State's politics kept pace with its social and industrial development. In 1872 Kansas farmers organized a local grange of the Society of Patrons of Husbandry, which had been formed in Washington, D. C, in 1867, to improve farm life. In 1884 the Women's State Suffrage Association was formed; and three years later the movement secured the admittance of women to school, bond, and municipal elections. In the late 1880's a number of farm and labor parties became active. The Farmers' Alliance was most promising, and within two years it had become a power in the State. In 1890 at a State convention called by Benjamin H. Clover, a Cowley County farmer, it joined with the Grangers, Single Tax Club, Industrial Union, Knights of Labor, and others to form the People's or Populist Party. The party first concentrated its efforts to bring about the defeat of Senator John J. Ingalls and mustered enough votes in the State legislature of 1891 to elect William A. Peffer to the office Ingalls had held for 18 years. Populist orators, led by Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Lease, stumped the State, telling the farmers that the "money power" was conspiring to ruin them. Mrs. Lease is remembered for her advice to Kansas farmers "to raise less corn and more hell." By 1892 Populist strength was sufficient to elect the twelfth Governor, Lorenzo D. Lewelling. 

The legislature assembled under Governor Lewelling echoed the turbulence of Territorial days. Both Republicans and Populists claimed the right to organize the house, each holding to its claim with a tenacity that required the presence of the State militia. Speakers from each party occupied the stand, wielding their gavels simultaneously. It is said that, for one night at least, they shared a common blanket back of the rostrum, since neither was willing to yield prerogative to the other. The difference was finally settled by an appeal to the State supreme court, which decided that the Republicans should occupy Representative Hall, the Populists agreeing to meet elsewhere. 


Five Populist Congressmen were elected to office during the days of the party's ascendancy, including the brilliant Jerry Simpson of Medicine Lodge, known in Kansas annals as "Sockless Jerry." Simpson, a cattleman who had been ruined by the disastrous blizzard of 1886, was nominated to represent the Seventh Congressional District in 1890; his ability was recognized when he eloquently opposed the platform adopted by the convention, and the platform was revised to conform with his views. He was twice reelected and ably supported all legislation sponsored by his party during his tenure of office. 

The Populists repeated their victory with the election of Governor John W. Leedy in 1896 then their power waned. Returning prosperity quieted the political upheaval, and the Populists were eventually reabsorbed by the two main parties, the Democratic and Republican. The latter party, offspring of the Territorial Free Soilers, has, in general, been dominant. Of the 27 Governors to date (1938), only five including Walter A. Huxman (193739) have been Democrats. 

Kansas contributed four regiments to the Spanish American War. One of them, the 20th under Colonel Frederick Funston, made a remarkable record in the Philippines; the 23rd, composed of Negroes, was sent to Cuba, arriving in time to see the Spanish depart ; while the other two, the 2ist and 22nd, were trained and held in readiness, but did not leave the.States. 

In the 1890's another militant leader appeared on the Kansas horizon:a round faced little woman with a hatchet Carry Nation. Although "dry" in theory, Kansas was still "wet" in fact. Mrs. Nation, driven by her experiences with a drunken husband, set out to remedy the evil. She smashed saloons with zeal and won for herself a permanent place in history, although her actual accomplishments were little more than a ripple on the pool of the State's "wetness." The problem of liquor is still vexing. In 1937 the State legislature legalized the manufacture and sale of beer of 3.2 per cent alcoholic content. Sterner liquors, although legally banned,are frankly in evidence in many communities. 

In other matters the State government has proved competent. In 1883 when the railroads, grown exceedingly wealthy, threatened to become autocratic, the State executive council elected a board of railroad commissioners to curb their power by fixing freight and passenger rates and regulating working conditions. A special session of the legislature was called in 1884 to deal with the foot and mouth disease that was scourging Kansas cattle. In 1889 the eight hour labor law was enacted and the first Monday of September set aside for the observance of "Labor Day." In 1894 a board of irrigation was appointed and an appropriation of $30,000 was made for irrigation experiments. 


Other socially progressive action was taken as the need arose. A text book commission and a traveling library commission were established. Laws were passed on compulsory education and child labor, and a juvenile court was created. Pensions were provided for indigent mothers. An appropriation of $100,000 was made for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Legislation was enacted to regulate the oil industry, and was later made applicable to meat packing, flour milling, and other manufacturing. A bluesky law, regulating and supervising investment companies, was passed. The public utilities commission was established, weights and measures were standardized. A State highway commission was created and a better roads program was launched. The State printing plant was set up, and the State budget system was started. 

In 1913, under the administration of Governor George H. Hodges and preceded only by six other States Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Washington, and California Kansas extended complete suffrage to women and increased their number in administrative offices from one to twentythree. The next administration, under Governor Arthur Capper, waged war on the unfair practices of the natural gas companies and eventually put an end to a litigation that involved thousands of dollars in fees to political lawyers and constituted one of the worst of judicial scandals in the State. 

Kansas furnished more than its quota for the World War. Altogether, 80,261 Kansans saw service. The Kansas National Guard became part of the 35th Division. Under the Selective Service Act, Kansans were in the 89th, the 35th and the 42nd (Rainbow) Divisions, and were in action at Saint Mihiel and in the Argonne. But the State perhaps made its greatest contribution through its farmlands and its training camps Camp Funston and the School of the Line at Fort Leavenworth. 

A unique political campaign was conducted in Kansas during the War. Henry J. Allen, although personally engaged in Red Cross Service in France, was nominated and elected Governor by the largest majority ever polled in the State. He resigned from the Red Cross and came home to assume the gubernatorial office on January 13, 1919. 

The following autumn Alexander Howat, president of the Kansas district union of the United Mine Workers of America, called a strike of the Kansas coal miners. Reacting to the War, the entire country was then in a state of unrest, and strikes were frequent in many lines of industry. In the preceding three years, 364 strikes had been called in the mines of Kansas, and in the fall of 1919 the coal supply was exhausted. Kansas faced a fuel famine. The Governor obtained a State's receivership for the mines and mined coal with volunteer labor made up of college students, members of the American Legion and others, protected by the Kansas National Guard. 


With the crisis over, the Governor sought to prevent recurrence of trouble. In 1920 an extra session of the legislature was called and the Court of Industrial Relations was organized. In this court was vested the power to control strikes and to fix a minimum wage for the miners. Its establishment the first attempt at compulsory arbitration in the United States drew the attention of the Nation to Kansas (see INDUSTRY, COMMERCE AND LABOR). The court was abolished by the State legislature in 1925. 

Under the administration of Governor Jonathan M. Davis, a bonus of $25,000,000 was distributed to exservice men in 1923. The following year the Ku Klux Klan, nationwide in its scope, threatened the political, racial, and religious freedom of the State and brought William Allen White into the race for Governor on an antiKlan platform, a gesture described by the Kansas City Star as "one of those successful failures through which civilization edges forward." 

In 1930, Dr. John R. Brinkley entered the gubernatorial race and, under stress of depression conditions, was almost elected. His candidacy came from a desire for vindication. On September 17, 1930, his license was revoked by the Kansas State Medical Board on charges of quackery and malpractice in his hospital at Milford; five days later he announced his candidacy for Governor. During his campaign, he promised free text books, free medical clinics, hundreds of miles of paved roads, and a free lake in every county, with no increase in taxes. 

During Governor Alfred M. Landon's administration a cash basis law was passed in 1933, putting the State on a "pay-as-you-go" policy. Governor Landon's successful administration under this law, and his reelection in 1934 as the only Republican State executive elected west of the Hudson River, led to his nomination as the Republican candidate for the Presidency in 1936. Kansas, however, returned a plurality of more than 60,000 for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and elected its fifth Democratic Governor, Walter A. Huxman, of Hutchinson. 

Kansas has weathered many calamities and earned its motto, "To the Stars through Difficulty." Internal strife at once tragic and fantastic ravaged the State in its early decades. Blizzards, droughts, floods, and grasshopper plagues brought death and destruction. But progress has been steady. Where once roamed the Indian and the buffalo, there are now orchards and vineyards, dairy farms, and endless fields of wheat, corn, and alfalfa. The vest pocket village, with its lone towering grain elevator and general store, is the meeting place for farmers who live miles apart. The radio and the automobile has rescued him from isolation. Broad ribbons of concrete criss cross the prairies, and the trains of 17 great railway systems steam through the State. Packing plants, flour mills, and mines give employment to thousands of workers. Oil derricks point skyward, and huge power houses churn out electricity. Remedial measures, carried out cooperatively by Federal, State, and local agencies, are solving the three-fold problem of flood, drought, and soil depletion.