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Kansas Territorial Newspapers

Image of front page of the Kansas Daily Tribune, Lawrence Kansas Territory , July 11, 1855These territorial Kansas newspapers, published between September 15, 1854, and January 29, 1861, are available in the collections of the Library/Archives Division of the Kansas State Historical Society.

This bibliography is based on information compiled by the librarians of the Kansas State Historical Society and on Herbert Flint's thesis, "Journalism in territorial Kansas" [submitted to the University of Kansas, 1916], available in the KSHS library [K/ 070.9 / F64].

Papers are listed alphabetically by city. Note: this listing only includes reels containing issues published before 29 January 1861.

Americus (Lyon County)

Americus Sentinel Extra
Initially independent, then Democratic, but became Republican by spring 1860.
Oct. 27, 1860 ...............................................A 1627

Atchison (Atchison County)

Atchison Union
Democratic
June 4, 1859 - Sept. 7, 1861.......................A 1394
Freedom's Champion
A free-state paper connected to the New England Emigrant Aid Company, it continued on the press of the Squatter Sovereign. F.G. Adams and John A. Martin were among those associated with it.
Feb. 20, 1858 - Dec. 20, 1860.......................A 994
Jan. 5, 1861 - Dec. 31, 1863 ........................A 995
Feb. 20, 1858 - June 1, 1861.......................A 998
Kansas Zeitung
A bilingual (German/English) free-state paper.
July 22, 1857 - Nov. 6, 1858......................L 1664
Squatter Sovereign
Begun as a company paper by the Atchison Town Company, this became under editor John Stringfellow the best-known and most notorious of the Kansas pro-slavery papers. Its bloodthirsty editorials (e.g., "scourge the county of abolitionism, free soilism, and every other damnable ism that exists") attracted nation-wide attention. See "'Death to all Yankees and traitors in Kansas': the Squatter Sovereign and the defense of slavery in Kansas," by Bill Cecil-Fronsman (Kansas History, v. 16, no. 1 (spring 1993), pp. 22-33). In March 1857, the paper was sold to Samuel C. Pomeroy, a Massachusetts free-stater who represented the New England Emigrant Aid Company, who turned it into a free-state periodical. Subsequently it was sold to John A. Martin, who renamed it Freedom's Champion.
Feb. 3, 1855 - Dec. 5, 1857.........................A 1044 online

Auburn (Shawnee County)

Auburn Docket
Republican. Published by D.B. Emmert.
Nov. 20, 27, 1860; July 6, 1861 ...................A 1745

Baldwin City (Douglas County)

Kansas Messenger
A Methodist paper "devoted to news, education, and religion."
Jan. 1, 1859 - Jan. 8, 1859................ B 1006

Burlington (Coffey County)

Neosho Valley Register
"Anti-slavery ... Republican." Founded by S.S. Prouty, this was a continuation of the Prairie City Freeman's Champion. Its press originally belonged to Jotham Meeker, who had used it to publish the Shawnee Sun in the 1830s.
     Oct. 4, 1859 - Oct. 24, 1861 ............... B 923

Cottonwood Falls (Chase County)

Kansas Press
Free-State. Founded by S.N. Wood. Subsequently bought by A.I. Baker.
May 30, 1859 - July 2, 1860.......................C 1523

Council Grove (Morris County)

Council Grove Press
"Abolition."
July 23, 1860 - Oct. 6, 1865.......................C 1523
Kansas Press
Free-state.
May 30, 1859 - July 2, 1860.......................C 1523

Delaware (Douglas County)

Kansas Free State
A revival of the Lawrence Kansas Free State.
July 25, 1857 - Oct. 31, 1857 ......................L 2963

Doniphan (Doniphan County)

Kansas Crusader of Freedom
Free-state. James Lane was supposedly part-owner or financier; the paper was considered his organ. Founded by James Redpath. Herbert Flint called it "probably the most brilliant paper in territorial Kansas, largely because of Redpath's rare ability and taste."
Jan. 30, 1858 - Mar. 6, 1858 .......................E 895
Kansas Constitutionalist
Pro-slavery. Founded by Thomas J. Key.
Jan. 7; OCT 7 - Oct. 14, 1857.......................D 373

Elwood (Doniphan County)

Elwood Advertiser
Originally neutral, this subsequently became a free state paper. Thomas Osborne edited it for awhile.
June 25, 1857 - Apr. 22, 1858 ......................D 373
Kansas Weekly Press
Independent free state.
June 5, 1858 - Nov. 20, 1858......................E 895
Elwood Weekly Press
Independent free state.
Nov. 27, 1858 - Jan. 22, 1859......................E 895
Kansas Weekly Press
Independent free state.
Jan. 29, 1859 - Mar. 5, 1859......................E 895
Elwood Free Press
Independent free state.
June 25, 1859 - Oct. 26, 1861.....................D 373

Emporia (Lyon County)

Emporia News
Free-state. A continuation of the Kansas News.
Aug. 13, 1859 - Oct. 18, 1862......................E 540 online
Kansas News
Free state. Founded by Preston Plumb; Jacob Stotler was first foreman.
June 6, 1857 - Aug. 6, 1859......................E 514 online

Fort Scott (Bourbon County)

Fort Scott Democrat
Originally Democratic, became Republican after mid-1859.
Jan. 27, 1858 - Sept. 21, 1861.....................F 541

Geary City (Doniphan County)

Geary City Era
Free-state.
May 23, 1857 - Jan. 2, 1858......................E 895

Grasshopper Falls (Jefferson County)

Grasshopper (1st)
Free-state & Republican. Founded by H. Rees Whiting, J.A. Cody, and S. Ward Smith. Mrs. Cody did most of the work, according to Herbert Flint.
June 5, 1858 & June 12, 1858.....................V 25
June 5, 1858; June 12, 1858......................V 48
Grasshopper Falls Gazette
Republican
Dec. 15, 1860.........V 48
Jefferson Crescent
Free state but opposed organization of Republican Party.
Dec. 25, 1858; Jan. 8, 1859.......................V 48
Jan. 15, 1859; Feb. 5, 1859.......................V 48

Highland (Doniphan County)

Weekly Highlander
Neutral (editors Republican and publishers Democratic). F.A. Root worked there. Supposedly, the type ended up being shot at the Union forces during siege of Lexington, Mo.
Jan. 1, 1859 - Jan. 6, 1859.......................H 384

Iowa Point (Doniphan County)

Iowa Point Weekly Enquirer
Democratic.
July 30, 1858.........L 1457

Junction City (Davis [now Geary] County)

Junction City Statesmen
Democratic.
Oct. 13, 1860.........J 398
Junction Sentinel
Democratic.
May 14, 1859.........J 398
Kansas Statesman
Democratic.
June 30, 1860.........J 398

Kickapoo City (Leavenworth County)

Kansas Pioneer
Originally strongly pro-slavery. Founded November 1854, making it among the first three papers in Kansas. Later had a free-soil editor.
Feb. 28, 1855 - Oct. 10, 1855......................F 773

Lawrence (Douglas County)

Daily Lawrence Republican
see Lawrence Republican
Feb. 12, 1859 .........L 2929
Herald of Freedom
Free-state, and subsidized by Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Co. Destroyed in sack of Lawrence in May of 1856, and revived the following November.
Oct. 21, 1854 - Aug. 28, 1858......................L 190 online
Sept. 4, 1858 - Dec. 17, 1859......................L 191
Kansas Tribune [Weekly]
A free-state paper, founded by the Speer brothers.
Jan. 10, 1855 - June 20, 1855 .....................T 1192
Sept. 15, 1855 - Oct. 24, 1855 .....................T 1192
Jan. 10, 1855 - Oct. 24, 1855......................L 648
Kansas Daily Tribune
1st daily in Kansas. Free-state, founded by Speer brothers. Subsequently moved to Topeka.
July 14, 1855.........L 2963
July 14, 1855.........T 1192
Kansas Free State
Founded by R.G. Elliott & Josiah Miller. Free-State, destroyed during sack of Lawrence 1856. Revived in Delaware, KS.
Jan. 3, 1855 - May 19, 1856 ......................L 2963
Lawrence Republican
Free-state and Republican. Associated with Thacher family. Other contributors included Lane, A.G. Hawes, and Capt. John Brown.
May 28, 1857 - Dec. 29, 1859......................L 697
Jan. 5, 1860 - Nov. 13, 1862 ......................L 698

Leavenworth (Leavenworth County)

Daily Evening Journal
see Leavenworth Weekly Journal
June 25, 1858 - May 3, 1859......................L 2867
Daily Times
see Leavenworth Times
Aug. 11, 1858 .........L 2867
May 3, 1858..........N 158
Daily Leavenworth Herald
Politics unknown.
Sept. 22, 1860 - June 27, 1861.....................NP 107
Kansas Territorial Register
Free-state. Initially a believer in squatter sovereignty, founder Mark Delahay soon changed his mind. On 22 Dec 1855, the press was demolished and dumped into the Missouri River by Kickapoo Rangers.
July 7, 1855 - Dec. 15, 1855......................L 2891
Kansas Weekly Herald
The first newspaper paper in Kansas. Pro-slavery and Democratic. For awhile favored Douglas. In the fall of 1860, editor R.C. Satterlee was killed by D.R. Anthony. Other owners/editors included Lucien Eastin, William Gill, Wlliam Fain, W.H. Osborne, and W.H. Adams.
Sept. 15, 1854 - Dec. 26, 1857 .....................L 834
Jan. 9, 1858 - May 7, 1859.......................L 835
Sept. 15, 1854 - Sept. 8, 1855 .....................L 2891 online
Kansas Daily State Register
Republican.
Nov. 5, 1859..........L 2887
Kansas Zeitung
Connected with, and perhaps same as, [Atchison] Kansas Zeitung. Flint thinks there were two rival papers, Kansas Zeitung and Leavenworth Zeitung, which subsequently merged.
Nov. 20, 1858 - May 7, 1859 ......................L 1664
Kansas Daily Ledger
Initially independent, tending toward Whig, later became Republican.
Feb. 2, 1858 - April 15, 1859 (incomplete).......L 2887
Feb. 24, 1858 .........N 158
L'estafette du Kansas
Published entirely in French. Apparently Democratic.
Nov. 20, 1858; Dec. 11, 1859; Dec. 25, 1858; and Apr. 30, 1859 ....................L 3212
Jan. 8, 1859 (single issue) ......................L 840
Leavenworth Times [Daily]
Strong free-state paper.
Jan. 25, 1859 - Sept. 28, 1859 .....................L 961
Sept. 29, 1859 - June 11, 1860.....................L 962
June 12, 1860 - Feb. 2, 1861......................L 963
Leavenworth Conservative [Daily]
Gave first news of Kansas admission to Union, founder D.R. Anthony taking the first issue to legislature at Lawrence to give them the news.
Jan. 28, 1861 - Sept. 12, 1861 .....................L 2250
Leavenworth Dollar Dispatch
Douglas Democratic.
Aug. 9, 1860..........L 2867
Weekly Leavenworth Journal
"Kansas state rights, the union, and the rights of the people" Founded by S.S. Goode & a Maj. Wilkes from South Carolina; pro-slavery. In Nov. 1857, sold to G.W. Purkins and others, who made it free-state and anti-Lecompton. Subsequently supported Douglas. The building collapsed in 1859.
Aug. 13, 1856 .........L 2913
Leavenworth Journal
see Weekly Leavenworth Journal
Aug. 13, 1856 - Sept. 18, 1858 .....................L 839
Sept. 24, 1856 - Mar. 12, 1857 .....................L 2913
May 13, 1858 - Sept. 18, 1858 .....................L 2913
Leavenworth Weekly Journal
see Weekly Leavenworth Journal
Aug. 22, 1857 - Apr. 2, 1858 ......................L 2913
Leavenworth Weekly Herald
see Kansas Weekly Herald.
Leavenworth Weekly Times
Free-state.
Mar. 7, 1857 - Mar. 14, 1857 ......................L 1426
Apr. 10, 1858 - Oct. 29, 1859......................L 1426
Jan. 9, 1858..........L 1426
Weekly Leavenworth Herald
see Kansas Weekly Herald.
Aug. 6, 1859 - Mar. 10, 1860 (incomplete)................L 2913
Weekly Ledger
See Kansas Daily Ledger.
Sept. 12, 1858.........L 2913
Young America
Independent and Whig, but tending to free-state.
Oct. 22, 1857 .........L 2916

Lecompton (Douglas County)

Kansas National Democrat
"Devoted to the peace and prosperity of Kansas and the perpetuity of the union." Pro-slavery. Urged adoption of Lecompton constitution.
July 30, 1857 - Mar. 14, 1861 .....................L 1455
Mar. 4, 1858.........N 158
Lecompton Union
Strongly pro-slavery.
Apr. 28, 1856 - June 19, 1857 .....................L 1455

Manhattan (Riley County)

Kansas Express
Republican, founded by Charles De Vivaldi, an Italian refugee.
Aug. 20, 1859 .........M 301
Manhattan Express
see Kansas Express.
Sept. 17, 1859 - Sept. 15, 1860.....................M 301
Western Kansas Express
see Kansas Express.
Sept. 22, 1860 - Sept. 14, 1861.....................M 301

Minneola (Franklin County)

Kansas Leader
Free-state.
Feb. 24, 1858 .........N 158

Mound City (Linn County)

Mound City Report
Republican.
Nov. 16, 1860 .........B 64

Olathe (Johnson County)

Olathe Herald
Democratic. The press was destroyed by Quantrill during the Civil War.
Aug. 9, 1860; Apr. 11, 1861.......................O 1145

Osawatomie (Miami County)

Southern Kansas Herald
Free-state.
Jan. 16, 1858 - Aug. 7, 1858........P 1021

Oskaloosa (Jefferson County)

Independent
Independent free-state.
July 11, 1860 - Dec. 30, 1865 .....................O 228

Palermo (Doniphan County)

Palermo Leader
Republican.
Nov. 19, 1859 .........J 432

Palmetto (Marshall County)

Palmetto Kansan
Pro-slavery and Democratic.
Feb. 24, 1858 .........N 158

Prairie City (Douglas County)

Freemen's Champion
Free-State and Republican.
Jan. 25, 1857 - Sept. 16, 1858 .....................L 2995 online

Quindaro (Wyandotte County)

Kansas Tribune
Apparently a continuation of the Chindowan.
Sept. 20, 1860.........K 729
Quindaro Chindowan
Free state. A town-company organ controlled in part by Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company.
May 13, 1857 - June 12, 1858 .....................K 728

Sumner (Atchison County)

Sumner Daily Gazette
Primarily a free-state campaign sheet for the legislative elections.
Oct. 1, 1857.......................................P 1096
Sumner Gazette
Free state and Republican.
May 15, 1858 .....................................N 158
Sept. 12, 1857 - Aug. 27, 1859 (incomplete).........S 744

Tecumseh (Shawnee County)

Kansas Settler
Free-state.
Mar. 3, 1858..........N 158
Feb. 3, 1858 - Apr. 7, 1858.......................R 228
Tecumseh Note Book
Democratic and pro-slavery.
Aug. 13, 1857 - Oct. 2, 1857 ......................R 228

Topeka (Shawnee County)

Daily Kansas Freeman
Free state, published during the Topeka constitutional convention.
Oct. 23, 1855 - Nov. 10, 1855......................T 2561
Kansas Daily Tribune
see under Lawrence
Jan. 5, 1857 - Mar. 29, 1858 ......................T 1192
Kansas Freeman
Free-state. C.K. Holliday had an interest.
Sept. 26, 1855 - Feb. 9, 1856......................T 2609
Kansas State Record
Republican.
Oct. 15, 1859 - Mar. 9, 1861 ......................T 1174
Kansas Tribune
see under Lawrence.
Dec. 10, 1855 - Mar. 10, 1859......................T 2636
Topeka Tribune (1st)
see under Lawrence.
Mar. 24, 1859 - Dec. 29, 1860......................T 1192
Mar. 24, 1859 - Dec. 8, 1860 ......................T 2636
Dec. 15, 1860 - Oct. 4, 1862 ......................T 2637

Troy (Doniphan County)

Doniphan County Dispatch
Democratic.
Nov. 8, 1860..........T 2253

White Cloud (Doniphan County)

White Cloud Kansas Chief
Independent-Whig, tending toward free-state. Herbert Flint says that the first issue was printed with the aid of slave labor. One of the few papers that advocated voting in 1857 election. Published by Sol. Miller.
June 4, 1857 - Aug. 30, 1860......................W 552 online
Sept. 6, 1860 - Sept. 24, 1863 .....................W 553 online

Wyandotte (Wyandotte County)

Commercial Gazette
"Republican ... favor making Kansas a free state." Began in 1858? Published by S.D. MacDonald, then MacDonald & Taylor, Aug. 25-Sept. 29, 1860; R.B. Taylor, Oct. 6, 1860-Jan. 19, 1861.
June 4, 1859 - June 27, 1863 .....................K 78
Western Argus
Democratic and pro-slavery. Often considered an organ of the administration.
May 2, 1858 - Mar. 2, 1861.......................K 541
Wyandott Citizen
Democratic and free-state. Published by E. Abbott.
KSHS owns several original issues between 9/25/1857 and 12/5/1857 which are not yet on microfilm. Please consult staff for assistance.
Wyandott City Register
Free-state. Published by M.W. Delahay.
July 25, 1857 - Oct. 3, 1857......................K 729