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Kansas Territory - Timeline (more)

1854 - 1861

May 26, 1854

Kansas-Nebraska Act passes Congress effective with president's signature, May 30.

July 6, 1854

Republican Party born, Jackson, Michigan.

July 28, 1854

First organized band of New Englanders arrives in Kansas and soon founds the city of Lawrence.

October 7, 1854

First territorial governor, Andrew Reeder, arrives at Fort Leavenworth.

November 29, 1854

Governor Reeder calls the first election in Kansas Territory; vote to elect delegate to Congress--John W. Whitfield, proslavery.

March 30, 1855

Election for members of territorial legislature.

July 1, 1855

So-called "Bogus Legislature" meets at Pawnee.

August 14, 1855

First convention of free-staters gather in Lawrence and call for election of delegates to free-state constitutional convention.

August 16, 1855

Territorial Governor Reeder replaced by Wilson Shannon.

September 5, 1855

Free-staters meeting in Big Springs to form Free-State Party.

October 23, 1855

Free-state delegates assemble in Topeka to draft "Topeka Constitution" prohibiting slavery in Kansas Territory; Charles Robinson "elected" governor.

November 21, 1855

Free-stater Charles Dow killed by proslavery supporter Franklin Coleman; "Wakarusa War."

May 10, 1856

Free-state "Governor" Robinson arrested in Lexington, Missouri.

May 21, 1856

Sack of Lawrence by Sheriff Sam Jones and proslavery forces.

May 22, 1856

Senator Chas. Sumner (R. Mass.) beaten on U.S. Senate floor after "Crime Against Kansas" speech.

May 24, 1856

John Brown's Pottawatomie massacre in Franklin County.

June 2, 1856

Battle of Black Jack, near Baldwin, Douglas County; June 4 - 5, Battle of Franklin, near Lawrence.

August 16, 1856

Battle of Fort Titus, near Lecompton, Douglas County; August 30, Battle at Osawatomie, Miami County.

September 13, 1856

Battle of Hickory Point, north of Oskaloosa, Jefferson County.

November 4, 1856

Presidential election, James Buchannan (D. Pa.) defeated John C. Fremont (R. Calif.).

January 12, 1857

Legislature meets in Lecompton; Democratic Party formed in Kansas.

March 6, 1857

Dred Scott decision handed down by U.S. Supreme Court.

August 24, 1857

Panic of 1857 precipitated by failure of New York financial institutions.

September 7, 1857

Lecompton Constitutional Convention opens.

October 5 - 6, 1857

Free-state victory in the election for territorial legislature.

December 7, 1857

Special session of legislature calls for popular vote on Lecompton Constitution; On December 21, with free-staters refusing to participate in election, Constitution is approved.

January 4, 1858

Lecompton Constitution rejected in second vote in which free-staters participate.

May 18, 1858

Leavenworth Constitution approved by Kansas voters; rejected by U.S. Congress.

May 19, 1858

Marais des Cygnes Massacre, Linn County.

August 2, 1858

Final vote on Lecompton Constitution: 1,926 for to 11,812 against.

August 21, 1858

Lincoln-Douglas debates begin, Ottawa, Illinois; series of seven debates, end October 15.

October 4, 1859

Wyandotte Constitution ratified by Kansas voters.

December 1, 1859

Abraham Lincoln visits Kansas.

December 2, 1859

John Brown hanged for treason at Charlestown, Virginia.

February 12, 1860

Kansas admission bill introduced in U.S. House of Representatives.

November 6, 1860

Lincoln wins plurality in four-way presidential contest.

January 29, 1861

President James Buchanan signed Kansas admission bill.

Entry: Kansas Territory - Timeline (more)

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: April 2010

Date Modified: October 2015

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.