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Kansas Kaleidoscope - December 2000/January 2001

(Volume 4, Number 3)

Real People, Real Places

A fun magazine for kids!

Kansas Kaleidoscope, December 2000/January 2001 The Making of Kansas: Territorial Days 1854 - 1861

How Kansas Became a State

January 29 is a very important date for all Kansans. On this day in 1861 Kansas became the newest state in the Union--the 34th. It is the state's official birthday.

Do You Live in "Canzas?"

There is no record as to how the name Kansas was suggested for the new territory or who suggested it. We do know that the Kansas River, named for the Kansa Indians who lived in the area, were the sources for the name.

"I will die fighting for this cause." -- John Brown

On a spring day in May 1800, John Brown was born the third child of Owen and Ruth Brown. Named after his grandfather, young John had a strict upbringing. His father was deeply religious and hated slavery.

Contested Elections

In the 2000 presidential election, there were concerns about accurately counting ballots. These concerns are not new to our system of government. Many votes in the first Kansas elections were, in fact, cast illegally by proslavery Missourians.

John Brown's Legacy

Visitors to the Kansas statehouse in Topeka are introduced to a radical John Brown leading the case for freedom. In 1937, Kansas artist John Steuart Curry was commissioned to paint scenes depicting Kansas history on the second floor of the capitol.

Roads from Fear to Freedom: The Kansas Underground Railroad

Before the Civil War, most Africans who came to the United States were brought to this country as slaves, property of another person. They were brought to plantations in America to provide free labor. Children born to slaves also were slaves for life.

Controversial Capitals

Lecompton was the only official capital of territorial Kansas. Six other towns claimed this title because governmental activities were held there.

Seeing $$$!

What would your money look like if you made it yourself? In territorial Kansas, it was legal for banks and merchants to issue currency and scrip without following any federal regulations.

Clarina Nichols, Proud to be a Jayhawk

Clarina Nichols listened and knitted while those around her wrote the constitution of Kansas. She was the only woman assigned a seat in the convention hall, but she was not allowed to vote on the constitiution.

Territorial governor Andrew Reeder excaped from Kansas by a river boat disguised as a laborer. Tough Times to be a Politician

From 1854 to 1861, ten men were appoointed to the post of Kansas territorial governor by the presidneet of the United States. During those times, there was a lot of conflict and turmoil about who should be in power.

Click here for a large page you can color Departments in This Issue:

  • Quiz Kaleidoscope
  • Where in Kansas Are You?
  • For Parents and Teachers
  • For Further Reading
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Visit History: John Brown State Historic Site in Osawatomie
  • A Kansan You Should Know: Eugene Ware
  • Words to Know
  • Answers to Puzzles
  • Kaleidoscope Challenge
  • Be a Winner!
  • Creating Currency
  • Territorial Seal Coloring Page
  • "What Doesn't Belong" Activity
  • Crossword Puzzle