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Violence disrupts first Kansas election

Violence disrupts first Kansas election

In territorial Kansas’ first election, some 5,000 so-called “Border Ruffians” invade the territory from western Missouri and force the election of a pro-slavery legislature. Although the number of votes cast exceeded the number of eligible voters in the territory, Kansas Governor Andrew Reeder reluctantly approved the election to prevent further bloodshed.

Trouble in territorial Kansas began with the signing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act by President Franklin Pierce in 1854. The act stipulated that settlers in the newly created territories of Nebraska and Kansas would decide by popular vote whether their territory would be free or slave. A few months after pro-slavery forces defrauded Kansas’ first election, the Kansas Free State forces were formed, armed by supporters in the North and featuring the leadership of militant abolitionist John Brown. In May 1856, Border Ruffians sacked the abolitionist town of Lawrence, and in retaliation a small Free State force under John Brown massacred five pro-slavery Kansans along the Pottawatomie Creek.

During the next four years, raids, skirmishes, and massacres continued in “Bleeding Kansas,” as it became popularly known. In 1861, the irrepressible differences in Kansas were swallowed up by the outbreak of full-scale civil war in America.

Bleeding Kansas

Bleeding Kansas, Bloody Kansas, or the Border War was a series of violent civil confrontations in Kansas Territory, and to a lesser extent in western Missouri, between 1854 and 1859. It emerged from a political and ideological debate over the legality of slavery in the proposed state of Kansas.

The conflict was characterized by years of electoral fraud, raids, assaults, and murders carried out in the Kansas Territory and neighboring Missouri by pro-slavery "Border Ruffians" and anti-slavery "Free-Staters." According to Kansapedia of the Kansas Historical Society, about 56 people were killed during the violence. [2] It has been called a Tragic Prelude, an overture, to the American Civil War which immediately followed it.

At the heart of the conflict was the question of whether Kansas, upon gaining statehood, would allow slavery, like neighboring Missouri, or prohibit it — that is, whether it would join the Union as a slave state or a free state. The question was of national importance because Kansas' two new senators would affect the balance of power in the U.S. Senate, which was bitterly divided over the issue of slavery. The Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 called for popular sovereignty: the decision about slavery would be made by popular vote of the territory's settlers rather than by legislators in Washington. Existing sectional tensions surrounding slavery quickly found focus in Kansas.

Those in favor of slavery argued that every settler had the right to bring his own property, slaves in particular, into the Territory. In contrast, some anti-slavery "Free Soil" proponents opposed slavery on religious, ethical, or humanitarian grounds. However, at the time, the most persuasive argument against introducing slavery in Kansas was that it would allow rich slave owners to control the land to the exclusion of poor non-slaveholders who, regardless of their moral inclinations, did not have the means to acquire either slaves or sizable land holdings for themselves. [ citation needed ]

Missouri, a slave state since 1821, was populated by many settlers with Southern sympathies and pro-slavery views, some of whom tried to influence the Kansas decision by entering Kansas and claiming to be residents. The conflict was fought politically as well as between civilians, where it eventually degenerated into brutal gang violence and paramilitary guerrilla warfare. The term "Bleeding Kansas" was popularized by Horace Greeley's New York Tribune. [3] [a]

In Kansas there was a state-level civil war that would soon be replicated on a national basis. There were two different capitals (Lecompton and Lawrence/Topeka), two different constitutions (the anti-slavery Topeka Constitution and the pro-slavery Lecompton Constitution), and two different legislatures, the so-called "bogus legislature" in Lecompton and the anti-slavery body in Lawrence. Both sides sought and received help from outside, the pro-slavery side from the federal government President Buchanan openly helped the pro-slavery partisans. Both claimed to reflect the will of the people of Kansas. The pro-slavers used violence and threats of violence, and free-soilers, who felt they had no choice but to respond with violence. After much commotion, including a Congressional investigation, it became clear that a majority of Kansans wanted Kansas to be a free state. However, this required Congressional approval, and was blocked there by Southerners.

Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state the same day that enough Southern Senators had departed, during the secession crisis that led to the Civil War, to allow it to pass (effective January 29, 1861). Partisan violence continued along the Kansas–Missouri border for most of the war, though Union control of Kansas was never seriously threatened. Bleeding Kansas demonstrated that armed conflict over slavery was unavoidable. Its severity made national headlines, which suggested to the American people that the sectional disputes were unlikely to be resolved without bloodshed, and it therefore acted as a preface to the American Civil War. [4] The episode is commemorated with numerous memorials and historic sites.


Genocide of the California Indigenous peoples Edit

In the latter half of the 19th century the California state government, incited [4] [5] aided and financed miners, settlers, ranchers and people's militias to enslave, kidnap, murder, and exterminate a major proportion of displaced California Native Americans. The latter were sometimes contemptuously referred to as "Diggers", for their practice of digging up roots to eat. Many of the same policies of violence were used here against the indigenous population as the United States had done throughout its territory. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] California state forces, private militias, Federal reservations, and sections of the US Army all participated in a deliberate campaign to wipe out California Indians with the state and federal governments paying millions of dollar to militias who hunted and murdered Indians, [1] [2] Federal Reservations deliberately starving Indians to death by reducing caloric distribution to them from 480–910 to 160–390 [1] and the U.S. Army killed 1,680 to 3,741 California Indians themselves. California governor Peter Burnett even predicted: "That a war of extermination will continue to be waged between the two races until the Indian race becomes extinct, must be expected. While we cannot anticipate the result with but painful regret, the inevitable destiny of the race is beyond the power and wisdom of man to avert." [13] [14] Between 1850 and 1852 the state appropriated almost one million dollars for the activities of these militias, and between 1854 and 1859 the state appropriated another $500,000, almost half of which was reimbursed by the federal government. [15] Numerous books have been written on the subject of the California Indian genocide, such as Genocide and Vendetta: The Round Valley Wars in Northern California by Lynwood Carranco and Estle Beard, Murder State: California's Native American Genocide, 1846–1873 by Brendan C. Lindsay, and An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846–1873 by Benjamin Madley among others. That last book by Madley caused California governor Jerry Brown to recognize the genocide. [2] Even Guenter Lewy, famous for the phrase "In the end, the sad fate of America's Indians represents not a crime but a tragedy, involving an irreconcilable collision of cultures and values" concedes that what happened in California may constitute genocide: "some of the massacres in California, where both the perpetrators and their supporters openly acknowledged a desire to destroy the Indians as an ethnic entity, might indeed be regarded under the terms of the convention as exhibiting genocidal intent." [3] In a speech before representatives of Native American peoples in June, 2019, California governor Gavin Newsom apologized for the genocide. Newsom said, "That's what it was, a genocide. No other way to describe it. And that's the way it needs to be described in the history books." [16]

By one estimate, at least 4,500 California Indians were killed between 1849 and 1870. [17] Contemporary historian Benjamin Madley has documented the numbers of California Indians killed between 1846 and 1873 he estimates that during this period at least 9,400 to 16,000 California Indians were killed by non-Indians. Most of the deaths took place in what he defined as more than 370 massacres (defined as the "intentional killing of five or more disarmed combatants or largely unarmed noncombatants, including women, children, and prisoners, whether in the context of a battle or otherwise"). [18] Professor Ed Castillo, of Sonoma State University, estimates that more were killed: "The handiwork of these well armed death squads combined with the widespread random killing of Indians by individual miners resulted in the death of 100,000 Indians in the first two years of the gold rush." [19]

Anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic violence Edit

Riots defined by "race" have taken place between ethnic groups in the United States since at least the 18th century and they may have also occurred before it. During the early-to-mid- 19th centuries, violent rioting occurred between Protestant "Nativists" and recently arrived Irish Catholic immigrants.

The San Francisco Vigilance Movements of 1851 and 1856 have been described as responses to rampant crime and government corruption. But, since the late 20th century, historians have noted that the vigilantes had a nativist bias they systematically attacked Irish immigrants, and later they attacked Mexicans and Chileans who came as miners during the California Gold Rush, and Chinese immigrants. [ citation needed ] During the early 20th century, racial or ethnic violence was directed by whites against Filipinos, Japanese and Armenians in California, who had arrived in waves of immigration. [20]

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Italian immigrants were subject to racial violence. In 1891, eleven Italians were lynched by a mob of thousands in New Orleans. [21] In the 1890s a total of twenty Italians were lynched in the South.

The Reconstruction era (1863–1877) Edit

Immediately following the Civil War, political pressure from the North called for a full abolition of slavery. The South's lack of voting power led to the passing of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, which in theory gave African-American and other minority males equality and voting rights, along with abolishing slavery. Although the federal government originally kept troops in the South to protect these new freedoms, this time of progress was cut short. [22]

By 1877 the North had lost its political will in the South and while slavery remained abolished, the Black Codes and segregation laws helped erase most of the freedoms passed by the 14th and 15th amendments. Through violent economic tactics and legal technicalities, African-Americans were forced into sharecropping and were gradually removed from the voting process. [22]

The lynching era (1878–1939) Edit

Lynching, defined as "the killing of an individual or small group of individuals by a 'mob' of people" was a particular form of ritualistic murder, often involving the majority of the local white community. Lynching was sometimes announced in advance and became a spectacle for an audience to witness. Lynchings in the United States dropped in number from the 1880s to the 1920s, but there were still an average of about 30 lynchings per year during the 1920s. A study done of 100 lynchings from 1929 to 1940 discovered that at least one third of the victims were innocent of the crimes of which they were accused. [23]

Racial and ethnic cleansing took place on a large scale in this time period, particularly towards Native Americans, who were forced off their land and relocated to reservations. Along with Native Americans, Chinese Americans in the Pacific Northwest and African Americans throughout the United States were rounded up and expunged from towns under threat of mob rule, often intending to harm their targets. [23]

The civil rights era (1940–1971) Edit

Though the Roosevelt administration, under tremendous pressure, engaged in anti-racist propaganda and in some cases helped push for African-American employment, African Americans were still experiencing immense violence, particularly in the South. In March 1956, United States Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina created the Southern Manifesto, [24] which promised to fight to keep Jim Crow alive by all legal means. [25]

This continuation of support for Jim Crow and segregation laws led to protests in which many African-Americans were violently injured out in the open at lunchroom counters, buses, polling places and local public areas. These protests did not eviscerate racism, but it forced racism to become used in more coded or metaphorical language instead of being used out in the open. [25]

The modern era (1972–present) Edit

Today racial violence has changed dramatically, as open violent acts of racism are rare, but acts of police brutality and the mass incarceration of racial minorities continues to be a major issue facing the United States. The War on Drugs [26] has been noted as a direct cause for the dramatic increase in incarceration, which has risen from 300,000 to more than 2,000,000 from 1980 to 2000 in the nation's prison system, though it does not account for the disproportionate African American homicide and crime rate, which peaked before the War on Drugs began. [27]

Nineteenth-century events Edit

Like lynchings, race massacres often had their roots in economic tensions or in white defense of the racism. In 1887, for example, ten thousand workers at sugar plantations in Louisiana, organized by the Knights of Labor, went on strike for an increase in their pay to $1.25 a day. Most of the workers were black, but some were white, infuriating Governor Samuel Douglas McEnery, who declared that "God Almighty has himself drawn the color line." The militia was called in, but withdrawn to give free rein to a lynch mob in Thibodaux. The mob killed between 20 and 300 blacks. A black newspaper described the scene:

'Six killed and five wounded' is what the daily papers here say, but from an eye witness to the whole transaction we learn that no less than thirty-five Negroes were killed outright. Lame men and blind women shot children and hoary-headed grandsires ruthlessly swept down! The Negroes offered no resistance they could not, as the killing was unexpected. Those of them not killed took to the woods, a majority of them finding refuge in this city. [28]

In 1891, a mob lynched Joe Coe, a black worker in Omaha, Nebraska suspected of attacking a young white woman from South Omaha. Approximately 10,000 white people, mostly ethnic immigrants from South Omaha, reportedly swarmed the courthouse, setting it on fire. They took Coe from his jail cell, beating and then lynching him. Reportedly 6,000 people visited Coe's corpse during a public exhibition, at which pieces of the lynching rope were sold as souvenirs. This was a period when even officially sanctioned executions, such as hangings, were regularly conducted in public. [29]

Twentieth-century events Edit

Labor and immigrant conflict was a source of tensions that catalyzed as the East St. Louis riot of 1917. White rioters, many of them ethnic immigrants, killed an estimated 100 black residents of East St. Louis, after black residents had killed two white policemen, mistaking the car they were riding in for a previous car of white occupants who drove through a black neighborhood and fired randomly into a crowd of black people. White-on-Black race riots include the Atlanta riots (1906), the Omaha and Chicago riots (1919), part of a series of riots in the volatile post-World War I environment, and the Tulsa massacre (1921).

The Chicago race riot of 1919 grew out of tensions on the Southside, where Irish descendants and African Americans competed for jobs at the stockyards, and where both were crowded into substandard housing. The Irish descendants had been in the city longer, and were organized around athletic and political clubs.

A young black Chicagoan, Eugene Williams, paddled a raft near a Southside Lake Michigan beach into "white territory", and drowned after being hit by a rock thrown by a young white man. Witnesses pointed out the killer to a policeman, who refused to make an arrest. An indignant black mob attacked the officer. [30] Violence broke out across the city. White mobs, many of them organized around Irish athletic clubs, began pulling black people off trolley cars, attacking black businesses, and beating victims. Having learned from the East St. Louis riot, the city closed down the street car system, but the rioting continued. A total of 23 black people and 15 white people were killed. [31]

The 1921 Tulsa race massacre was the result of economic competition, and white resentment of black successes in Greenwood, which was compared to Wall Street and filled with independent businesses. In the immediate event, black people resisted white people who tried to lynch 19-year-old Dick Rowland, who worked at shoeshines. Thirty-nine people (26 black, 13 white) were confirmed killed. An early 21st century investigation of these events has suggested that the number of casualties could be much higher. White mobs set fire to the black Greenwood district, destroying 1,256 homes and as many as 200 businesses. Fires leveled 35 blocks of residential and commercial neighborhood. Black people were rounded up by the Oklahoma National Guard and put into several internment centers, including a baseball stadium. White rioters in airplanes shot at black refugees and dropped improvised kerosene bombs and dynamite on them. [32]

By the 1960s, decades of racial, economic, and political forces, which generated inner city poverty, resulted in race riots within minority areas in cities across the United States. The beating and rumored death of cab driver John Smith by police, sparked the 1967 Newark riots. This event became, per capita, one of the deadliest civil disturbances of the 1960s. The long and short term causes of the Newark riots are explored in depth in the documentary film Revolution '67 and many news reports of the times. The riots in Newark spread across the United States in most major cities and over 100 deaths were reported. Many inner city neighborhoods in these cities were destroyed. The April 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee and the June assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in Los Angeles also led to nationwide rioting with similar mass deaths. During the same time period, and since then, violent acts committed against African-American churches and their members have been commonplace.

During the 1980s and '90s a number of riots occurred that were related to longstanding racial tensions between police and minority communities. The 1980 Miami riots were catalyzed by the killing of an African-American motorist by four white Miami-Dade Police officers. They were subsequently acquitted on charges of manslaughter and evidence tampering. Similarly, the six-day 1992 Los Angeles riots erupted after the acquittal of four white LAPD officers who had been filmed beating Rodney King, an African-American motorist. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, the Director of the Harlem-based Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture has identified more than 100 instances of mass racial violence in the United States since 1935 and has noted that almost every instance was precipitated by a police incident. [33]

Twenty-first-century events Edit

The Cincinnati riots of 2001 were caused by the killing of 19-year-old African-American Timothy Thomas by white police officer Stephen Roach, who was subsequently acquitted on charges of negligent homicide. [34] The 2014 Ferguson unrest occurred against a backdrop of racial tension between police and the black community of Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the police shooting of Michael Brown similar incidents elsewhere such as the shooting of Trayvon Martin sparked smaller and isolated protests. According to the Associated Press' annual poll of United States news directors and editors, the top news story of 2014 was police killings of unarmed black people, including Brown, as well as the investigations and the protests afterward. [35] [36] During the 2017 Unite the Right rally, an attendee drove his car into a crowd of people protesting the rally, killing 32-year-old Heather D. Heyer and injuring 19 others, and was indicted on federal hate crime charges. [37]

Bleeding Kansas

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Bleeding Kansas, (1854–59), small civil war in the United States, fought between proslavery and antislavery advocates for control of the new territory of Kansas under the doctrine of popular sovereignty. Sponsors of the Kansas-Nebraska Act (May 30, 1854) expected its provisions for territorial self-government to arrest the “torrent of fanaticism” that had been dividing the nation regarding the slavery issue. Instead, free-soil forces from the North formed armed emigrant associations to populate Kansas, while proslavery advocates poured over the border from Missouri. Regulating associations and guerrilla bands were formed by each side, and only the intervention of the governor prevented violence in the Wakarusa War, launched in December 1855 over the murder of an antislavery settler.

“Bleeding Kansas” became a fact with the Sack of Lawrence (May 21, 1856), in which a proslavery mob swarmed into the town of Lawrence and wrecked and burned the hotel and newspaper office in an effort to wipe out the “hotbed of abolitionism.” The day after the attack on Lawrence, the conflict spread to the floor of the U.S. Senate, where U.S. Sen. Charles Sumner of Massachusetts was viciously beaten with a cane by U.S. Rep. Preston S. Brooks of South Carolina in response to Sumner’s impassioned address regarding the “Crime Against Kansas” committed by supporters of slavery.

Three days after the Sack of Lawrence, an antislavery band led by John Brown retaliated in the Pottawatomie Massacre. After the attack Brown’s name evoked fear and rage in slavery apologists in Kansas. Periodic bloodshed along the border followed as the two factions fought battles, captured towns, and set prisoners free.

A political struggle to determine the future state’s position on slavery ensued, centred on the Lecompton Constitution proposed in 1857. The question was finally settled when Kansas was admitted as a free state in January 1861, but, meanwhile, “Bleeding Kansas” had furnished the newly formed Republican Party with a much needed antislavery issue in the national election of 1860. Claims for $400,000 in damages sustained in the border war were later approved by territorial commissioners.


The Paleo-Indians and Archaic peoples Edit

Around 7000 BC, paleolithic descendants of Asian immigrants into North America reached 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 mammoths, camels, ground sloths, and horses. The sophisticated big-game hunters did not keep a balance, resulting in the "Pleistocene overkill", the rapid and systematic destruction 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. [2]

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 Edit

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, introduced major innovations, such as maize cultivation. Other groups in North America 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 was the northernmost Indian pueblo. This settlement is the only pueblo in Kansas from which archaeological evidence has been recovered. [2]

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.

Etzanoa is an ancient city, that was founded by the Wichita people in about 1450. Etzanoa is located in present-day Arkansas City, Kansas, near the Arkansas River. [3] In 1601, Juan de Oñate visited the city of Etzanoa. Oñate and the other explorers who accompanied him called the city "the Great Settlement". Etzanoa may have been home to about 20,000 people at the time Oñate and his expedition found and explored the city. [4]

In 1541, Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, the Spanish conquistador, visited Kansas, allegedly turning back near "Coronado Heights" in present-day Lindsborg. Near the Great Bend of the Arkansas River, in a place he called Quivira, he met the ancestors of the Wichita people. Near the Smoky Hill River, he met the Harahey, who were probably the ancestors of the Pawnee. [5] This was the first time that the Plains Indians had seen horses. Later, they acquired horses from the Spanish, and rapidly radically altered their lifestyle and range.

Following this transformation, the Kansa (sometimes Kaw) and Osage Nation (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 to the North and the Osage on the Arkansas River 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. In 1720, the Spanish military's Villasur expedition was wiped out by Pawnee and Otoe warriors near present-day Columbus, Nebraska, effectively ending Spanish expedition into the region. The French commander at Fort Orleans, Étienne de Bourgmont, visited the Kansas River 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 of the Sioux also inhabited various areas around the northeast corner of Kansas.

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. It returned this territory to France in 1803, keeping title to about 7,500 square miles (19,000 km 2 ).

In the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the United States (US) acquired all of the French claims west of the Mississippi River the area of Kansas was unorganized territory. In 1819 the United States confirmed Spanish rights to the 7,500 square miles (19,000 km 2 ) as part of the Adams–Onís Treaty 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 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 of the Kansas and Missouri rivers in what is today Kansas City, Kansas (today commemorated at the Kaw Point Riverfront Park). They met French fur traders and mapped the area. In 1806, Zebulon Pike passed through Kansas and labeled it "the Great American Desert" 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.

From June 4, 1812 until August 10, 1821 the area that would become Kansas Territory 33 years later was part of the Missouri Territory. When Missouri was granted statehood in 1821 the area became unorganized territory and contained few if any permanent white settlers, except Fort Leavenworth. The Fort was established in 1827 by Henry Leavenworth with the 3rd U.S Infantry from St. Louis, Missouri it is the first permanent European settlement in Kansas. [6] The fort was established as the westernmost outpost of the American military to protect trade along the Santa Fe Trail from Native Americans. The trade came from the East, by land using the Boone's Lick Road, or by water via the Missouri River. [7] This area, called the Boonslick, was located due east in west-central Missouri and was settled by Upland Southerners from Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee as early as 1812. [8] Its slave-owning population would contrast with settlers from New England who would eventually arrive in the 1850s.

A section of the Santa Fe Trail through Kansas was used by emigrants on the Oregon Trail, 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, California, or Oregon, Kansas was an essential way stop and outfitting location. Wagon Bed Spring (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 and Pawnee Rock.

1820s–1840s: Indian territory Edit

Beginning in the 1820s, the area that would become Kansas was set aside as Indian Territory by the U.S. government, and was closed to settlement by whites. The government resettled to Indian Territory (now part of Oklahoma) those Native American tribes based in eastern Kansas, principally the Kansa and Osage, opening land to move eastern tribes into the area. By treaty dated June 3, 1825, 20 million acres (81000 km 2 ) 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. [9] In the same month, the Osage Nation was limited to a reservation in southeast Kansas. [10]

The Missouri Shawano (or Shawnee) were the first Native Americans removed to the territory. By treaty 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 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." [11]

The Delaware 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." [12]

After this point, the Indian Removal Act of 1830 expedited the process. By treaty dated August 30, 1831, the Ottawa ceded land to the United States and moved to a small reservation on the Kansas River and its branches. [13] The treaty was ratified April 6, 1832. On October 24, 1832, the U.S. government moved the Kickapoos to a reservation in Kansas. [14] On October 29, 1832, the Piankeshaw and Wea 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 and Peoria peoples. [15] By treaty made with the United States on September 21, 1833, the Otoe tribe ceded their country south of the Little Nemaha River. [16]

By September 17, 1836 the confederacy of the Sac and Fox, by treaty with the United States, moved north of Kickapoo. [17] By treaty of February 11, 1837, the United States agreed to convey to the Pottawatomi an area on the Osage River, southwest of the Missouri River. [18] The tract selected was in the southwest part of what is now Miami County.

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). [19] 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 km 2 ), 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, Wabaunsee, Jackson and Shawnee. [2]

Despite the treaties establishing Native American ownership of parts of Kansas, by 1850 European Americans were illegally squatting on their land and clamoring for the entire area to be opened for settlement. Presaging events that were soon to come, several U.S. Army forts, including Fort Riley, were soon established deep in Indian Territory to guard travelers on the various Western trails.

Although the Cheyenne 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 [20] – momentum was already building to settle the land. [2]

Kansas–Nebraska Act Edit

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. No action was taken at that time. 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. The bill was referred to the United States House Committee on Territories, 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 were debated. Heated debate over the bill and other competing proposals would continue for a year, before eventually resulting in the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which became law on May 30, 1854, establishing the Nebraska Territory and Kansas Territory.

Native American territory ceded Edit

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 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, Kickapoo, Kaskaskia, 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. On May 6 and May 10, 1854, the Shawnees ceded 6,100,000 acres (25,000 km 2 ), reserving only 200,000 acres (810 km 2 ) 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 150,000 acres (610 km 2 ) in the western part of the Territory. In 1854 lands were also ceded by the Kaskaskia, Peoria, Piankeshaw and Wea and by the Sac and Fox. [21]

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 8,320 acres (33.7 km 2 ) in Franklin County, but in 1859 the tract was transferred to individual Chippewa families.

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 range (now in central Colorado) the southern boundary was the 37th parallel north, the northern was the 40th parallel north. 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.

An invitation to violence Edit

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'. 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 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, 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 (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 Englanders were Topeka, Manhattan, and Lawrence. Several Free-State men also came to Kansas Territory from Ohio, Iowa, Illinois and other Midwestern states.

Bleeding Kansas Edit

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. The major incidents of Bleeding Kansas include the Wakarusa War, the Sacking of Lawrence, the Pottawatomie massacre, the Battle of Black Jack, the Battle of Osawatomie, and the Marais des Cygnes massacre.

On December 1, 1855, a small army of Missourians, acting under the command of Douglas County, Kansas 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.

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

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, John Brown and a band of abolitionists (some of them members of the Pottawatomie Rifles) killed five settlers, thought to be pro-slavery, north of Pottawatomie Creek in Franklin County, Kansas. 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. 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 Edit

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. [22]

Topeka Constitution Edit

The Topeka Constitution was adopted on November 11, 1855 in Topeka by delegates elected from across the Kansas Territory. This Free State document was in response to the fraudulent takeover of the Territorial government by pro slavery forces seven months earlier. The Topeka Constitution's Bill of Rights proposed "There shall be no slavery in this state." It was ratified by the people of the Territory on December 15, 1855 and presented in Congress in March 1856. It passed in the U.S. House of Representatives but was prevented from a vote in the Senate by pro slavery southern senators.

Lecompton Constitution Edit

The Lecompton Constitution 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 Edit

While the Lecompton Constitution 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. 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 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 Edit

Following the failure of the Lecompton and Leavenworth charters, a fourth constitution was drafted the Wyandotte Constitution 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. [23]

End of hostilities Edit

By the time the Wyandotte Constitution was adopted in October 1859, it was clear that the pro-slavery forces had lost control of Kansas. With this dawning realization and the departure of John Brown from the state, Bleeding Kansas violence virtually ended. The new issue was John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry, a national event, later that month.

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 on the western plains. James Lane was elected to the Senate from the state of Kansas in 1861, and reelected in 1865.

Civil War Edit

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. [23]

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. [24] The most serious episode came when Lawrence, Kansas 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. [25] [26] [27]

Lawrence Massacre Edit

After Union Brigadier General Thomas Ewing Jr. 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 led Quantrill's Raid into Lawrence, 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 Edit

The Battle of Baxter Springs, 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. The Battle of Mine Creek, also known as the Battle of the Osage was a cavalry battle that occurred in Kansas during the war.

Marais des Cygnes Edit

On October 25, 1864, the Battle of Marais des Cygnes occurred in Linn County, Kansas. This Battle of Trading Post was between Major General Sterling Price and Union forces under Major General Alfred Pleasonton. Price, after fleeing south after a defeat at Kansas City, was pushed out by Union forces.

Indian Wars in Kansas Edit

Fort Larned (central Kansas) was established in 1859 as a base of military operations against hostile Indians of the Central Plains, to protect traffic along the Santa Fe Trail and after 1861 became an agency for the administration of the Central Plains Indians by the Bureau of Indian Affairs under the terms of the Fort Wise Treaty of 1861.

Kansas Pacific railroad Edit

In 1863, the Union Pacific Eastern Division (renamed the Kansas Pacific in 1869) was authorized by the United States Congress's Pacific Railway Act to create the southerly branch of the transcontinental railroad alongside the Union Pacific. Pacific Railway Act also authorized large land grants to the railroad along its mainline. The company began construction on its main line westward from Kansas City in September 1863.

Date Major junctions
1863 Kansas City
1864 Lawrence
1866 Junction City
1867 Salina
1870 Denver

In the postwar era, many railroads were planned, but not all were actually built. The nationwide Panic of 1873 dried up funding. Land speculators and local boosters identified many potential towns, and those reached by the railroad had a chance, while the others became ghost towns. In Kansas, nearly 5000 towns were mapped out, but by 1970 only 617 were actually operating. In the mid-20th century, closeness to an interstate exchange determined whether town would flourish or struggle for business. [28]

Cattle towns Edit

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 built stockyards in Abilene, Kansas and helped develop the Chisholm Trail, encouraging Texas cattlemen to undertake cattle drives to his stockyards from 1867 to 1887. The stockyards became the largest west of Kansas City. Once the cattle was drove north, they were shipped eastward from the railhead of the Kansas Pacific Railway. [29]

In 1871, Wild Bill Hickok became marshal of Abilene, Kansas. 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 and a marshal at Hays in the Wild West. In the 1880s at Greensburg, Kansas, the Big Well was built to provide water for the Santa Fe and Rock Island railroads. At 109 feet (33 m) deep and 32 feet (9.8 m) in diameter it is the world's largest hand-dug well. Coronado, Kansas, was established in 1885. It was involved in one of the bloodiest county seat fights 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.

Exodusters Edit

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, which was founded in 1877, was an organized settlement that predates the Exodusters but is often associated with them. [30]

Prohibition Edit

On February 19, 1881, Kansas became the first state to amend its constitution to prohibit all alcoholic beverages. This action was spawned by the temperance movement, and was enforced by the ax-toting 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 today 29 counties are dry counties. [31]

Religion Edit

The city of Topeka played a notable role in the history of American Christianity around the beginning of the 20th century. Charles Sheldon, a leader in the Social Gospel movement who first used the phrase What would Jesus do?, preached in Topeka. Topeka was also the home to the church of Charles Fox Parham, whom many historians associate with the beginning of the modern Pentecostalism movement. [32]

Environment Edit

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 acres (0.65 km 2 ) 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. [33]

Farm life Edit

On the Great Plains 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. [34] 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 was 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. [35]

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, [36] Grange meeting, church activities, and school functions. The womenfolk organized shared meals and potluck events, as well as extended visits between families. [37]

Agriculture manufacturing Edit

In 1947, Lyle Yost founded Hesston Manufacturing Company. The company specialized in farm equipment, including self-propelled windrowers and the StakHand hay harvester. In 1974, Hesston Company commissioned its first belt buckles, [38] which became popular on the rodeo circuit and with collectors. In 1991, the American-based equipment manufacturer AGCO Corporation purchased Hesston Corporation and farm equipment is still manufactured in the city.

1890s Edit

In 1896 William Allen White, editor of the Emporia Gazette attracted national attention with a scathing attack on William Jennings Bryan, the Democrats, and the Populists titled "What's the Matter With Kansas?" [39] 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 during the 1896 United States presidential election. 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 Edit

Kansas was a center of the progressive movement, with enthusiastic support from the middle classes, editors such as William Allen White of the Emporia Gazette, and the prohibitionists of the WCTU and the Methodist Church. [40] 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 shook his faith in a cooperative, selfless, middle-class America. [41]

In 1916, Kansas troops served on the U.S.–Mexico border during the Mexican Revolution. 80,000 Kansans enlisted in the military after April, 1917 when the United States declared war on Germany. They were attached mostly to the 35th, the 42nd, the 89th, and the 92nd infantry divisions. The state's large German element had favored neutrality and were under close watch. Often they were forced to buy war bonds or not speak German in public.

In 1915, the El Dorado Oil Field, around the city of El Dorado, was the first oil field that was found using science/geologic mapping, and part of the Mid-Continent oil province. By 1918, the El Dorado Oil Field was the largest single field producer in the US, and was responsible for 12.8% of national oil production and 9% of the world production. It was deemed by some as "the oil field that won World War I". [42] [43] [44]

While urban areas prospered in the 1920s, the farm economy had overexpanded when wheat prices were high during the war, and had to cut back sharply.

Between 1922 and 1927, there were several legal battles in Kansas against the KKK, resulting in their collapse in the state. [45]

The flag of Kansas 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 by Governor Ben S. Paulen in 1927 for the troops at Fort Riley and for the Kansas National Guard.

Great depression Edit

The Dust Bowl was a series of dust storms caused by a massive drought that began in 1930 and lasted until 1941. The effect of the drought was overshadowed by the plunging wheat prices and the financial crisis of the Great Depression. Many local banks were forced to close. Some farmers left the land but even larger numbers of unemployed men left the cities to return to their family's farm. [46] [47]

The state became an eager participant in such major New Deal relief programs as the Civil Works Administration, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Works Progress Administration, which put hundreds of thousands of Kansans—mostly men—to work at unskilled labor. Most important of all were the New Deal farm programs, which raised prices of wheat and other crops and allowed economic recovery by 1936. [48] Republican Governor Alf Landon also employed emergency measures, including a moratorium on mortgage foreclosures and a balanced budget initiative. [49] The Agricultural Adjustment Administration succeeded in raising wheat prices after 1933, thus alleviating the most serious distress. [50]

World War II Edit

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. [51] 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. [52]

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. [53]

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. [54]

Cold War era Edit

Kansas state law permitted segregated public schools, which operated in Topeka and other cities. [55] On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education 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 racial segregation 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). [56]

During the 1950s and 1960s, intercontinental ballistic missiles (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 was struck by an F5 rated tornado, according to the Fujita scale. The "1966 Topeka tornado" started on the southwest side of town, moving northeast, hitting various landmarks (including Washburn University). Total dollar cost was put at $100 million.

Recent personalities Edit

Kansas was home to President Eisenhower of Abilene, presidential candidates Bob Dole and Alf Landon, and the aviator Amelia Earhart. Famous athletes from Kansas include Barry Sanders, Gale Sayers, Jim Ryun, Walter Johnson, Maurice Greene, and Lynette Woodard.

The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame chronicles the history of competitive athletics in the state.

College sports Edit

Kansas sports history includes several significant firsts. The first college football game played in Kansas was the 1890 Kansas vs. Baker football game played in Baldwin City. Baker won 22–9. [57] The first night football game west of the Mississippi was played in Wichita, Kansas in 1905 between Cooper College (now called Sterling College) and Fairmount College (now Wichita State University). [58] Later that year, Fairmount also played an experimental game against the Washburn Ichabods that was used to test new rules designed to make football safer. [59]

In 1911, the Kansas Jayhawks traveled to play the Missouri Tigers for what is considered the first homecoming game ever. [60] The first college football homecoming game ever televised was played in Manhattan between the Kansas State Wildcats and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. [61] [62]

The 1951 season saw the Southwestern head coach Harold Hunt gain national recognition for rejecting a touchdown in a game against Central Missouri. Hunt informed the officials that his player had stepped out of bounds, nullifying long touchdown run. Not a single one of the referees had been in a position to see him do so, but they agreed to nullify the touchdown, and returned the ball to the point where Coach Hunt said Johnson had stepped out. A photo of the run later confirmed Coach Hunt's observation. [63]

On October 2, 1970, a plane crashed that was carrying about half of the football team for Wichita State on their way to play a game against Utah State University. 31 people were killed. [64] The game was canceled, and the Utah State football team held a memorial service at the stadium where the game was to have been played. [65]

Professional sports Edit

The history of professional sports in Kansas probably dates from the establishment of the Minor League Baseball Topeka Capitals and Leavenworth Soldiers in 1886 in the Western League. [66] [67] The African-American Bud Fowler played on the Topeka team that season, one year before the "color line" descended in professional baseball. [67]

In 1887, the Western League was dominated by a reorganized Topeka team called the Golden Giants – a high-priced collection of major leaguer players, including Bug Holliday, Jim Conway, Dan Stearns, Perry Werden and Jimmy Macullar, which won the league by 15½ games. [67] On April 10, 1887, the Golden Giants also won an exhibition game from the defending World Series champions, the St. Louis Browns (the present-day Cardinals), by a score of 12–9. However, Topeka was unable to support the team, and it disbanded after one year.

The first night game in the history of professional baseball was played in Independence on April 28, 1930 when the Muscogee (Oklahoma) Indians beat the Independence Producers 13 to 3 in a minor league game sanctioned by the Western League of the Western Baseball Association with 1,500 fans attending the game. The permanent lighting system was first used for an exhibition game on April 17, 1930 between the Independence Producers and House of David semi-professional baseball team of Benton Harbor, Michigan with the Independence team winning with a score of 9 to 1 before a crowd of 1,700 spectators. [68]

Stephen Douglas, the Democrats, and the Kansas Question

The other national figure damaged by John Brown’s raid and the further sectional polarization that followed in its wake was Lincoln’s longtime rival from Illinois, Senator Stephen Douglas. Brown’s assault on the South further emboldened disunionists in the region and drove a wedge between these Fire-Eaters and Douglas, the presumed Democratic front-runner.

Douglas, the original author of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, had long harbored presidential aspirations. He fell short in 1856, succumbing at the Democratic convention to the eventual winner, James Buchanan of Pennsylvania. The next three years were full of frustration for Douglas, who had proposed that the new law’s “popular sovereignty” provision (allowing the settlers in a territory to decide for themselves whether slavery would be legal or not) would democratically heal divisions in Kansas. One of the central conflicts between Douglas and the Southern wing of his party (a wing that would be essential to winning the nomination in 1860) was Kansas’s proslavery “Lecompton Constitution.”

In 1857, three years after Douglas’s Kansas-Nebraska Act became law, the territorial legislature—which was overwhelmingly proslavery since Senator David Rice Atchison led 5,000 Missourians into Kansas to stuff ballot boxes and suppress the Free-State vote in 1855—convened to craft a state constitution, dubbed the “Lecompton Constitution.” The new compact explicitly enshrined slavery in the proposed state and protected slaveholders’ rights, despite the growing majority of bona fide antislavery settlers in Kansas, many of whom had boycotted the referendum on the new constitution. Far from popular sovereignty, it was a glaring example of a constitution not matching the political outlook of the people it was supposed to represent.

President Buchanan, though a Northerner, remained a strong supporter of slavery and slaveholder’s rights, and he endorsed the Lecompton Constitution but many other northern Democrats, led by Douglas, sided with the Republicans in opposition to the glaringly proslavery document. Though defeated twice—once by territorial voters in Kansas and again in the U.S. House of Representatives—the Lecompton Constitution widened the gap between the Northern and Southern wings of the once-solid Democratic Party.

Douglas’s best arguments for himself as a Democratic standard-bearer in 1860 were his so-called moderation on the slavery issue and his political viability in each section of the country. None of his rivals could boast a similar national appeal, but his political opponents in the Deep South and within the Buchanan administration did everything they could to weaken his candidacy. Ever since his introduction of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Douglas had advanced the doctrine of popular sovereignty, but the Supreme Court ruled in the 1857 Dred Scott v. Sandford case that the Constitution protected slavery in all the territories.

If need be, the Fire-Eaters were willing to rend the nation over the issue of protecting slavery in all the territories.

Then, during his 1858 debates with Abraham Lincoln, Douglas only narrowly ensured his reelection to the U.S. Senate by adopting the Freeport Doctrine, which looked to many Southerners like a way to nullify Dred Scott. Increasingly, Southern Fire-Eaters began to profess a willingness to tear the party asunder and to stop a Douglas candidacy in its tracks at the Democrats’ nominating convention, set for Charleston. And, if need be, the Fire-Eaters were willing to rend the nation over the issue of protecting slavery in all the territories.

Violence disrupts first Kansas election - HISTORY

The Compromise of 1850 brought relative calm to the nation. Though most blacks and abolitionists strongly opposed the Compromise, the majority of Americans embraced it, believing that it offered a final, workable solution to the slavery question. Most importantly, it saved the Union from the terrible split that many had feared. People were all too ready to leave the slavery controversy behind them and move on. But the feeling of relief that spread throughout the country would prove to be the calm before the storm.

On December 14, 1853, Augustus C. Dodge of Iowa introduced a bill in the Senate. The bill proposed organizing the Nebraska territory, which also included an area that would become the state of Kansas. His bill was referred to the Committee of the Territories, which was chaired by Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois.

Douglas had entered politics early and had advanced quickly at 21 he was Illinois state's attorney, and by age 35 he was a U.S. Senator. He strongly endorsed the idea of popular sovereignty, which allowed the settlers in a territory to decide for themselves whether or not to have slavery. Douglas was also a fervent advocate of Manifest Destiny, the idea that the United States had the God-given right and obligation to take over as much land as possible and to spread its "civilizing" influence. And he was not alone. A Philadelphia newspaper expounded Manifest Destiny when it proclaimed the United States to be a nation rightfully bound on the "East by sunrise, West by sunset, North by the Arctic Expedition, and South as far as we darn please."

To fulfill its Manifest Destiny, especially following the discovery of gold in California, America was making plans to build a transcontinental railroad from east to west. The big question was where to locate the eastern terminal -- to the north, in Chicago, or to the south, in St. Louis. Douglas was firmly committed to ensuring that the terminal would be in Chicago, but he knew that it could not be unless the Nebraska territory was organized.

Organization of Nebraska would require the removal of the territory's Native Americans, for Douglas regarded the Indians as savages, and saw their reservations as "barriers of barbarism." In his view, Manifest Destiny required the removal of those who stood in the way of American, Christian progress, and the Native American presence was a minor obstacle to his plans. But there was another, larger problem.

In order to get the votes he needed, Douglas had to please Southerners. He therefore bowed to Southern wishes and proposed a bill for organizing Nebraska-Kansas which stated that the slavery question would be decided by popular sovereignty. He assumed that settlers there would never choose slavery, but did not anticipate the vehemence of the Northern response. This bill, if made into law, would repeal the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which said that slavery could not extend above the 36' 30" line. It would open the North to slavery. Northerners were outraged Southerners were overjoyed.

Douglas was stubborn. Ignoring the anger of his own party, he got President Pierce's approval and pushed his bill through both houses of Congress. The bill became law on May 30, 1854.

Nebraska was so far north that its future as a free state was never in question. But Kansas was next to the slave state of Missouri. In an era that would come to be known as "Bleeding Kansas," the territory would become a battleground over the slavery question.

The reaction from the North was immediate. Eli Thayer organized the New England Emigrant Aid Company, which sent settlers to Kansas to secure it as a free territory. By the summer of 1855, approximately 1,200 New Englanders had made the journey to the new territory, armed to fight for freedom. The abolitionist minister Henry Ward Beecher furnished settlers with Sharps rifles, which came to be known as "Beecher's Bibles."

Rumors had spread through the South that 20,000 Northerners were descending on Kansas, and in November 1854, thousands of armed Southerners, mostly from Missouri, poured over the line to vote for a proslavery congressional delegate. Only half the ballots were cast by registered voters, and at one location, only 20 of over 600 voters were legal residents. The proslavery forces won the election.

On March 30, 1855, another election was held to choose members of the territorial legislature. The Missourians, or "Border Ruffians," as they were called, again poured over the line. This time, they swelled the numbers from 2,905 registered voters to 6,307 actual ballots cast. Only 791 voted against slavery.

The new state legislature enacted what Northerners called the "Bogus Laws," which incorporated the Missouri slave code. These laws levelled severe penalties against anyone who spoke or wrote against slaveholding those who assisted fugitives would be put to death or sentenced to ten years hard labor. (Statutes of Kansas) The Northerners were outraged, and set up their own Free State legislature at Topeka. Now there were two governments established in Kansas, each outlawing the other. President Pierce only recognized the proslavery legislature.

Most settlers who had come to Kansas from the North and the South only wanted to homestead in peace. They were not interested in the conflict over slavery, but they found themselves in the midst of a battleground. Violence erupted throughout the territory. Southerners were driven by the rhetoric of leaders such as David Atchison, a Missouri senator. Atchison proclaimed the Northerners to be "negro thieves" and "abolitionist tyrants." He encouraged Missourians to defend their institution "with the bayonet and with blood " and, if necessary, "to kill every God-damned abolitionist in the district."

The northerners, however, were not all abolitionists as Atchison claimed. In fact, abolitionists were in the minority. Most of the Free State settlers were part of a movement called Free Soil, which demanded free territory for free white people. They hated slavery, but not out of concern for the slaves themselves. They hated it because plantations took over the land and prevented white working people from having their own homesteads. They hated it because it brought large numbers of black people wherever it went. The Free Staters voted 1,287 to 453 to outlaw black people, slave or free, from Kansas. Their territory would be white.

As the two factions struggled for control of the territory, tensions increased. In 1856 the proslavery territorial capital was moved to Lecompton, a town only 12 miles from Lawrence, a Free State stronghold. In April of that year a three-man congressional investigating committee arrived in Lecompton to look into the Kansas troubles. The majority report of the committee found the elections to be fraudulent, and said that the free state government represented the will of the majority. The federal government refused to follow its recommendations, however, and continued to recognized the proslavery legislature as the legitimate government of Kansas.

There had been several attacks during this time, primarily of proslavery against Free State men. People were tarred and feathered, kidnapped, killed. But now the violence escalated. On May 21, 1856, a group of proslavery men entered Lawrence, where they burned the Free State Hotel, destroyed two printing presses, and ransacked homes and stores. In retaliation, the fiery abolitionist John Brown led a group of men on an attack at Pottawatomie Creek. The group, which included four of Brown's sons, dragged five proslavery men from their homes and hacked them to death.

The violence had now escalated, and the confrontations continued. John Brown reappeared in Osawatomie to join the fighting there. Violence also erupted in Congress itself. The abolitionist senator Charles Sumner delivered a fiery speech called "The Crime Against Kansas," in which he accused proslavery senators, particularly Atchison and Andrew Butler of South Carolina, of [cavorting with the] "harlot, Slavery." In retaliation, Butler's nephew, Congressman Preston Brooks, attacked Sumner at his Senate desk and beat him senseless with a cane.

In September of 1856, a new territorial governor, John W. Geary, arrived in Kansas and began to restore order. The last major outbreak of violence was the Marais des Cynges massacre, in which Border Ruffians killed five Free State men. In all, approximately 55 people died in "Bleeding Kansas."

Several attempts were made to draft a constitution which Kansas could use to apply for statehood. Some versions were proslavery, others free state. Finally, a fourth convention met at Wyandotte in July 1859, and adopted a free state constitution. Kansas applied for admittance to the Union. However, the proslavery forces in the Senate strongly opposed its free state status, and stalled its admission. Only in 1861, after the Confederate states seceded, did the constitution gain approval and Kansas become a state.

Toward Harpers Ferry and War

Kansas nonetheless remained an intense national controversy, especially in the 1858 senate election in Illinois. Stephen Douglas, running for re-election, faced a powerful challenge from Republican Abraham Lincoln. In lengthy debates throughout the state, the two men argued over the meaning of popular sovereignty and its effects on Kansas and the nation.

Despite the recent Dred Scott decision, in which the Supreme Court ruled that the Missouri Compromise’s prohibition against slavery was unconstitutional, Douglas insisted that settlers could keep slavery out of a territory by refusing to enact a slave code. Lincoln accused Douglas of being part of a conspiracy to nationalize slavery, of which the Kansas-Nebraska Act and Dred Scott were both pieces.

The most profound difference between Lincoln and Douglas was that Douglas took a “don’t care” policy by insisting that white men’s rights to vote on slavery were the highest morality. Lincoln insisted that slavery was a moral wrong, with a stigma placed on the institution by the nation's founders, and should not be expanded. Although the Republicans, led by Lincoln, made a strong showing, the apportionment of the state legislature was such that Douglas was reappointed to his Senate seat (prior to the 17th Amendment in 1913, U.S. senators were not directly elected) and kept his political career alive.

Americans paid less attention to Kansas after the Lecompton controversy subsided, but all was not quiet in the territory. In May 1858, a proslavery band gathered up a group of Free-State men and shot them down along the Marais des Cygnes River. Free-State guerrilla James Montgomery continued activities in southern Kansas, raiding Fort Scott and killing a local man.

John Brown returned to Kansas in the winter of 1858-59 and led a raid to liberate a group of Missouri slaves. Brown’s return to the territory proved temporary. With the support of Eastern backers known as the Secret Six, Brown used his credentials as “Captain” Brown, of Kansas fame, to raise money for the attack on Harpers Ferry. Despite the failure of the raid, Brown’s subsequent martyrdom fixed him in the public mind as the archetypal figure of Bleeding Kansas.

Brown was not a typical Free-Stater. He had arrived in the territory after the Free-State movement formed, participated only peripherally in Free-State politics, and disdained more reserved Free-State leaders, including Robinson and Lane, as “old women.” But like abolitionist Lydia Maria Child, many Americans viewed Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry as evidence of how Bleeding Kansas had polarized the national debate over slavery.

When he went to the gallows, Brown was not alone in believing that “the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with Blood.” Blood had been shed in Kansas, and still more blood would be shed in the years to come.

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The Hate We Give: Voting Against Violence

Lifting your voice can be subversive. This is a lesson learned by Starr Carter, the main character in Angie Thomas’s debut novel The Hate You Give. A year ago I purchased the book because I wanted to know what had my teenage niece and over 300,000 other readers buzzing. In spite of its title that gave a nod to hip-hop legend Tupac, I expected the book to be a typical Young Adult (YA) novel filled with teenage angst, self doubt and a neatly packaged conclusion that solved all of life’s problems just long enough to set up a sequel. Over the last 10 years the most popular YA novels have been dominated by muggles, wizards, werewolves and young people chosen to fight for the honor of their district. Thomas shattered that mold by crafting a complex narrative of the repeated messages that tell young people their lives have less meaning than others simply because of where they live, who they love and how they look. The book is an affirmation of the beauty of young people and their ability to challenge the boundaries of community both real and imagined: “Your voices matter, your dreams matter, your lives matter. Be the roses that grow in the concrete.” Let’s be roses. Together.” Although the focus of The Hate U Give centers on an unarmed young person dying at the hands of law enforcement, recent events remind all of us that violence disrupts our collective sense of peace and pursuit of freedom.

Violence is at its core, a denial of the humanity that dwells within each of us. Not just some of us. Not just those who look like us, who vote like us or who worship like us. All of us. And yet in the last week we have witnessed three of the most violent acts of domestic terrorism in recent memory. It began in Louisville, Kentucky where an armed White supremacist attempted to enter a house of worship before targeting and executing two innocent customers in a grocery store. While some pundits and media figures tried to dismiss the shootings as an isolated occurrence, Maurice Stallard and Vickie Jones were slain by the pervasive hate that continues to fester in this country. It is a hatred that paints difference as a threat rather than progress.

The shooter’s initial attempt to breach a mid-week prayer service in a predominantly Black church connects to the longstanding tradition of undermining Black peace by targeting houses of worship. In 1963, four little girls — Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, and Cynthia Wesley — were murdered at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in a city nicknamed “Bombingham” because of the frequent use of explosives to reinforce racial segregation. Three years ago, nine parishioners at Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina were murdered by a twenty-two year-old whose hatred was stoked by various social media sites that act as a haven for white supremacists. The shooter’s hatred claimed the life of Susie Jackson who at 87 years-old, had lived through the violence of Jim Crow only to die during the so-called post-racial era of American politics.

Hundreds of miles away from Kentucky, a Florida man launched one of the largest assassination attempts against U.S. political leaders in history. Even as President Trump resisted using the word “terrorism,” the mailing of pipe bombs to former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, along with current Senators Corey Booker and Kamala Harris make it clear that the notion of democracy as a peaceful exchange of ideas is little more than a myth. Peace shouldn’t be partisan. Nor should hatred be the tie that binds those who feel politically alienated. Within days law enforcement officials were able to track the packages to a man whose social media accounts revealed that he had been radicalized over the last two years. From attending campaign rallies to plastering his van with stickers and mantras that denigrated various groups, this homegrown terrorist was emboldened by divisive rhetoric that justifies violence in the name of putting America first.

Indeed nationalism is the very political ideology used to justify the wholesale slaughter of 6 million Jews across Europe. Elie Wiesel once wrote, “for the dead and the living, we must bear witness.” We, collectively, can never forget the 11 parishioners of the Tree of Life Synagogue who were killed by a man who shared his hatred of Jews and other groups with fellow social media users. His hatred was magnified by networks like Fox News that provided a platform for people to spread dangerous conspiracy theories that accuse Jews of bankrolling a migrant “invasion” at the southern border to disrupt the upcoming midterm elections. This hatred infects the very fabric of our country and permanently paints certain groups as beyond the protections of citizenship. These aren’t isolated instance of hate. This is the hate we give when we refuse to soundly reject politicians and policies that promote fear in the name of partisanship.

In eulogizing the children killed during the Sixteenth Street bombing, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminds us that “we must be concerned not merely about who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers. Their death says to us that we must work passionately and unrelentingly for the realization of the American dream.” As we stand just one week away from one of the most significant elections of our time, we have the opportunity to vote against hatred in all its many manifestations. It’s time.

Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean is an associate professor of political science at Quinnipiac University where she writes about American politics, political psychology and public policy. You can follow her on Twitter @KBDPHD.

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Watch the video: Official Video for CYCs Youth Campaign Against Election Violence. (January 2022).