produced this selection.

William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas
was first published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL.


PART 1: The Organic Act | Population of Kansas - 1854
PART 2: First Political Movements | Country Opened to White Settlers | Land Claimed by Missouri Squatters | Eastern Emigration
PART 3: The Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company | Spirit of the Northern Press | The Emigrant Aid Company of New York and Connecticut
PART 4: Claim Associations | Town Associations | The First Territorial Appointments | The Beginning of Government
PART 5: Gov. Reeder Begins Work | Election Proclamation for First Election
PART 6: Platte County Self-defensive Association | Blue Lodges
PART 7: The First Political Campaign
PART 8: The First Territorial Election | Census of Kansas Territory
PART 9: Council Districts | Representative Districts | Judicial Districts Defined
PART 10: The Election, March 30, 1855 (Part 1)
PART 11: The Election, March 30, 1855 (Part 2)
PART 12: The Election, March 30, 1855 (Part 3)
PART 13: The Election, March 30, 1855 (Part 4)
PART 14: Anarchy Established | Lynch Law Organized
PART 15: The Election of May 22, 1855 | First Territorial Legislature | The Unseating of the Free-Soil Members
PART 16: The Legislature at Shawnee Mission
PART 17: Removal of Gov. Reeder | The Legislature Does Its Work | The Black Laws | The Free-State Movement
PART 18: First Democratic Meeting in Kansas | The First Free-State Convention
PART 19: The Big Springs Convention
PART 20: Nomination of a Congressional Delegate | The Delegate Convention | Elections of October, 1855
PART 21: Election of October 9 (Free-State) | The Topeka Constitutional Convention | The Topeka Constitution
PART 22: Governor Shannon's Arrival
PART 23: The Law and Order Party Organized, Part 1
PART 24: The Law and Order Party Organized, Part 2 | The Arrest and Rescue of Jacob Branson
PART 25: The Wakarusa War, Part 1
PART 26: The Wakarusa War, Part 2
PART 27: Old John Brown | The Companies | Minor Matters | Outside Influences
PART 28: An Investigation Ordered | The Topeka Constitution in Congress | The National Conventions
PART 29: Presidential Election (1856) | The Home Struggle in Kansas
PART 30: The Topeka Legislature
PART 31: Chief Justice Lecompte, Part 1
PART 32: Chief Justice Lecompte, Part 2
PART 33: The Sack of Lawrence | The Pottawatomie Murders
PART 34: War South of the Kaw, Part 1
PART 35: War South of the Kaw, Part 2
PART 36: Excitement in the Northern States, Part 1
PART 37: Excitement in the Northern States, Part 2
PART 38: Dispersion of the Legislature
PART 39: Second Battle of Franklin | The Siege and Capitulation of Fort Titus
PART 40: Troubles North of the Kansas | The Administration of Acting Governor Woodson
PART 41: Battle of Osawatomie | Liberation of Free-State Prisoners
PART 42: Administration of Governor Geary
PART 43: End of the Free-State Raids | Another Attempted Invasion | Arrest of Col. Harvey's Men
PART 44: Close of the Atchison-Stringfellow Campaign
PART 45: The Judiciary
PART 46: More Fear of Lane's Army | Territorial Election | The Free-State Prisoners
PART 47: A Tour of Observation | Topeka Legislature of 1857 | The Territorial Legislature
PART 48: Resignation of Governor Geary | Acting Governor Stanton
PART 49: Administration of Govenor Walker | The Election of Delegates
PART 50: Legislative Apportionment | Free-State Election (August 9) | The Grasshopper Falls Conventions | Lecompton Constitutional Convention
PART 51: Election of October 5, 1857 | The Lecompton Constitutional Convention
PART 52: Free-State Convention at Lawrence | Extra Session of the Legislature | Removal of Stanton and Resignation of Gov. Walker | The Vote on the Lecompton Constitution | The Election for State Officers
PART 53: Third Regular Session of the Territorial Legislature, and Last Session of the Topeka Legislature | Leavenworth Constitutional Convention
PART 54: The Story Retold
PART 55: Denver Appointed Governor | Kansas Affairs at Washington | Resignation of Gov. Denver
PART 56: Samuel Medary Appointed Governor | Disintegration of Old Parties | Organization of the Republican Party in Kansas
PART 57: The Wyandotte Constitutional Convention
PART 58: Col. John A. Martin's Account, Part 1
PART 59: Col. John A. Martin's Account, Part 2
PART 60: The Claim Commision | Territorial Election
PART 61: Drouth and Famine | Resignation of Gov. Medary | The Last Session of the Territorial Legislature


The act organizing Nebraska and Kansas contained thirty-seven sections. The provisions relating to Kansas were embodied in the last eighteen sections, of which the following is a summary:

Section 19. - Defines the boundaries of the Territory, gives it the name of Kansas, and prescribes that "when admitted as a State or States, the said Territory, or any portion of the same, shall be received into the Union with or without slavery, as their constitution may prescribe at the time of their admission." It further provides for its future division into two or more Territories, and the attaching of any portion thereof to any other State or Territory; and for the holding inviolable the rights of all Indian tribes till such time as they shall be extinguished by treaty.

Section 20. - The executive power and authority vested in a Governor, appointed by the President, to hold his office for the term of four years, or till his successor is appointed and qualified, unless sooner removed by the President of the United States. Duties, not unlike those of other Territorial Governors. Must reside within the Territory.

Section 21. - Secretary of State appointed and subject to removal by the President of the United States; term of office, five years, unless sooner removed; his ordinary clerical duties prescribed; to be Acting Governor, with full gubernatorial powers and functions, in case of the absence of the Governor from the Territory, or a vacancy occurring.

Section 22. - Legislative power and authority of Territory vested in the Governor and a Legislative Assembly, consisting of two branches - a Council and a House of Representatives.

The Council to consist of thirteen members, having the qualifications of voters as elsewhere prescribed, and holding the office for two years. The House of Representatives, at its first session, to consist of twenty-six members, having the same qualifications as members of the Council; the term of service to continue one year. The number of Representatives may be increased by the Legislative Assembly from time to time, in proportion to the increase of qualified voters, to the maximum number of thirty-nine. An apportionment to be made, as nearly equal as practicable, among the several counties or districts, for the election of the Council and Representatives, so as to give to each section of the territory a representation in the ratio of its qualified voters, as nearly as possible.

Previous to the first election, the Governor to cause a census or enumeration to be taken of the inhabitants and qualified voters of the several counties and districts of the Territory, by such persons and in such mode as he may designate. The Governor to appoint time and place of holding the first election, and declare the number of members of the Council and House to which each of the counties and districts is entitled. The person having the highest number of legal votes, as members of either branch, to be declared by the Governor duly elected. In case of a tie vote, or vacancy from other cause, the Governor to order a new election in the county or district where the vacancy occurs.

The Governor to appoint the time and place of holding the first meeting of the Legislative Assembly; "but, thereafter, the time, place and manner of holding and conducting all elections by the people, and the apportioning of the representation in the several counties or districts to the Council and House of Representatives, according to the number of qualified voters, shall be prescribed by law, as well as the day of the commencement of the regular sessions of the Legislative Assembly." The sessions of any one year not to exceed the term of forty days, except the first, which was limited to sixty days.

Section 23 prescribes the qualifications of voters as follows:

Every free white male inhabitant above the age of twenty-one years, who shall be an actual resident of said Territory, and the qualifications hereinafter prescribed, shall be entitled to vote at the first election, and shall be eligible to any office within the said Territory; but the qualifications of voters and for holding office at all subsequent elections shall be such as shall be prescribed by the Legislative Assembly; Provided, that the right of suffrage and of holding office shall be exercised only by citizens of the United States and those who have declared, on oath, their intention to become such, and shall have taken an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the provisions of this act; And provided further, that no officer, soldier, seaman or marine, or others attached to troops in the service of the United States, shall be allowed to vote or hold office in said Territory by reason of being on service therein.

Section 24 limits the scope of Territorial legislation, and defines the veto power of the Governor.

Section 25 prescribes the manner of appointing and electing officers not otherwise provided for.

Section 26 precludes members from holding any office created, or the emoluments of which are increased during any session of the Legislature, of which they are a member, and declares all persons holding offices or commissions under the United States Government, except Postmasters, ineligible, as members of the Legislative Assembly.

Section 27 vests the judicial power in a Supreme Court, District Courts, Probate Courts and in Justices of the Peace. The Supreme Court to consist of a Chief Justice and two Associate Justices, who shall hold a term at the seat of government of the Territory annually. Their term of office to be four years. It also provides for the organization of the lower courts and defines their jurisdiction.

Section 28 declares the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 to be in full force in the Territory.

Section 29 provides for the appointment of an Attorney and Marshal for the Territory - to hold for the term of four years - unless sooner removed by the President of the United States.

Section 30 treats of the nominations by the President of Chief Justice, Associate Justices, Attorney and Marshal, and their confirmation by the Senate, prior to their appointment, and further prescribes the duties of said officers, and fixes their salaries.

Section 31 locates the seat of government of the Territory, temporarily at Fort Leavenworth, and authorizes the use for public purposes of the government buildings.

Section 32 provides for the election of a delegate to Congress, and abrogates the Missouri Compromise. It reads as follows:

And be it further enacted, That a Delegate to the House of Representatives of the United States, to serve for the term of two years, who shall be a citizen of the United States, may be elected by the voters qualified to elect members of the Legislative Assembly, who shall be entitled to the same rights and privileges as are exercised by the delegates from the several other Territories of the United States to the said House of Representatives; but the delegate first elected shall hold his seat only during the term of Congress to which he shall be elected. The first election shall be held at such times and places and be conducted in such manner as the Governor shall appoint and direct; and at all subsequent elections the times, places and manner of holding the election shall be prescribed by law. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be declared, by the Governor, to be duly elected, and a certificate thereof shall be given accordingly. That the Constitution and all laws of the United States which are not locally inapplicable shall have the same force and effect within the said Territory of Kansas as elsewhere within the United State, except the eighth section of the act preparatory to the admission of Missouri into the Union, approved March sixth, eighteen hundred and twenty, which being inconsistent with the principle of non-intervention by Congress with Slavery in the States and Territories, as recognized by the legislation of eighteen hundred and fifty, commonly called the compromise measures, is hereby declared inoperative and void, it being the true intent and meaning of this act not to legislate Slavery into any Territory or State, nor to exclude it therefrom, but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States; Provided, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to revive or put in force any law or regulation which may have existed prior to the act of the sixth of March, eighteen hundred and twenty, either protecting, establishing, prohibiting or abolishing slavery.

Section 33 prescribes the manner and amount of appropriations for the erection of public buildings and other Territorial purposes.

Section 34 reserves, for the benefit of schools in the Territory, and States and Territories hereafter to be erected, out of the same, sections numbered sixteen and thirty-six in each township, as they are surveyed.

Section 35 prescribes the mode of defining the judicial districts of the Territory, and appointing the times and places of holding the various courts.

Section 36 requires officers to give official bonds in such manner as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe.

Section 37 declares all treaties, laws and other engagements made by the United States Government, with the Indian tribes inhabiting the Territory, to remain inviolate, notwithstanding anything contained in the provisions of this act.

Under the provisions of the foregoing act, Kansas was to be settled; its Government established, and its institutions decided by the incoming settlers.

Hale, in his "History of Kansas and Nebraska," published in 1854, says: "Up to the summer of 1854, Kansas (sic) and Nebraska have had no civilized residents, except the soldiers sent to keep the Indian tribes in order; the missionaries sent to convert them; the traders who bought furs of them, and those of the natives who may be considered to have attained some measure of civilization from their connection with the whites." To which should be added, the persons sent out by the Government to teach agriculture, and the arts of handicraft to the Indians. There were on several reservations, Government farmers, blacksmiths, carpenters, etc., whose descendants, still living, justly claim to be sprung from the first families of Kansas.


The white inhabitants of Kansas Territory, at the time of its organization, consisted of nearly 700 soldiers and army attaches, and perhaps nearly as many more civilians living at the missions and trading posts in the Territory.

The soldiers, with some few families of the officers and others, were stationed at three points, viz.: Forth Leavenworth, 2 companies, 13 officers and 158 men, with perhaps 70 others, families, servants, etc.; Fort Riley (then building), 4 companies, 16 officers and 228 men, with laborers, number unknown; and at Walnut Creek P. O. the troops, formerly garrisoned at, and recently removed from, Fort Atkinson, on the Arkansas River, 1 company, 2 officers and 75 men.

The remaining whites were settled at the following points:

Elm Grove, a transient dwelling place for traders.

Council Grove, the rendezvous of the Santa Fe traders, where were five or six trading posts, two blacksmiths' shops, and the Kau (sic)Indian Mission, with a permanent population of perhaps thirty whites.

Delaware Post Office, ten miles above the mouth of the Kansas River, where were three trading posts, a blacksmith's shop, etc., with a white population not exceeding a dozen.

The Wyandot Nation had living with them on their reservation, several families of whites with their descendants. They had come in with the tribe when they occupied their land in 1843. Some of them had intermarried with the tribe, and altogether made a white and half-breed community of perhaps a hundred. The names of thirty-five voters appear on a poll-list kept at an election held October 12, 1852.

Shawnee Mission, three miles from Westport, Mo., one mile from the State Line, and about eight miles from the mouth of the Kansas River, was under the superintendence of Rev. Thomas Johnson, of the Methodist Episcopal Church (South.) The white population consisted of his family and assistants - say ten persons.

Shawnee Baptist Mission, two miles northwest of Johnson's, was the home of Francis Barker and family.

The Friends' Shawnee Labor School, three miles west of Johnson's mission, had two or three Quaker families. The school had some thirty Indian pupils, who were instructed in agriculture and the mechanical and domestic arts. The farm connected with the school contained over two hundred acres of land fenced and under cultivation.

The American Baptist Mission, at Briggsvale, near Delaware P. O., where the Rev. John G. Pratt, aided by Miss E. S. Moore and three other female assistants, taught an Indian school of some thirty children of the Delaware tribe and carried on a small farm of twenty acres. There was here a dwelling house, church and schoolhouse and a few sheds and outbuildings.

Saint Mary's Mission, near the bank of the Kansas River, in what is now Mission Township, Shawnee County, where was Right Reverend J. B. Meige, D. D., Bishop of the Apostolic Vicarate of the Indian Territory east of the Rocky Mountains - "Bishop of Messenia, in partibus infidelium." There were three stations connected with the mission within a radius of twenty miles - on Soldier, Mission and Shunganon Creeks. The Catholic population (mostly Indians) reported from the mission in 1854 was 1,600. There were employed here four priests and seven women, of the order of "Ladies of the Sacred Heart."

The Baptist Mission and Labor School, also in Mission Township, Shawnee County, was under the charge of Rev. John Jackson. Dr. D. L. Croysland was there as a Government physician, also Jonas Lykins, who had a farm in the vicinity, and others whose names are not remembered. Probably fifteen or twenty whites (men, women and children) were connected with or lived near this mission.

The Catholic Osage Mission, in what is now Neosho County, on the Neosho River, was under the charge of Rev. John Schoenmaker, assisted by two clergymen of the "Society of Jesus" and several laymen. The girls' school was in charge of eight "Sisters of Loretto," Mother Concordia being Superior. The boys' school was in charge of Rev. Theodore Heinman and eight lay brothers. Connected with this mission were ten missionary stations, at as many Indian villages, within a radius of sixty miles, where monthly Catholic services were held by some of the priests. The Indian Catholic population was reported as between six and seven hundred. The whites numbered not far from thirty.

The Iowa and Sac and Fox Mission, in Iowa township, in what is now Doniphan County, was in charge of Rev. Samuel M. Irvin, who had as school assistants Miss Sarah Rea and Mr. James Waterman. There was a farm of 115 acres under cultivation, run by a farmer named Harvey W. Forman. At the Indian agency (Great Nemaha), near by, were several white families. At the mission and in the vicinity were perhaps forty whites.

Several trading posts were scattered over the Territory, which boasted of quite a population at certain seasons of the year, while at others they would be nearly or quite deserted. One of the most considerable of these was in what is now Dover Township, Shawnee County. It was in 1852 a place of importance, being on the California trail, near the only rocky ford on the river. The Indian annuities were disbursed there, and eight or ten Indian traders had buildings there. It is stated that at one time there were as many as fifty buildings there. It was known as Uniontown, and although in 1854 it had fallen into the sear and yellow leaf, there were still some inhabitants remaining. There were also at least a dozen families, mostly connected with Indian traders, who had settled and were living near the Kansas River, in the neighborhood of Uniontown, at that time. Indeed, counting the whites connected with the neighboring missions, it came nearer being the nucleus of a civilized white community than any other point in the Territory.

The soldiers stationed in the Territory could, in no wise, be counted as an element in the organization, since they had no vote and were forbidden by army regulations from taking any part in civil affairs.

The residue of the white population did not probably comprise more than a hundred voters. Many of those connected with the Catholic Missions were of foreign birth and were absorbed, to the exclusion of all political and civil affairs, in proselyting the Indians and in planting firmly in their minds the tenets and principles of what they deemed the true faith.

Of the Protestant missionaries, nearly all were educators, humanitarians and philanthropists, who had, with a commendable self-sacrifice, put behind them long ago all interest in political questions, and were laboring, with singleness of purpose, to bring the dusty children of their adoption into the light of Christian civilization. They had little interest in the question of slavery until it was forced upon their notice, and revived into activity their old-time convictions and prejudices, which had ceased to be living or dominant elements in their remote and isolated fields of labor. One or two exceptions will be noted further on.

The traders and a majority of the settlers were educated in the pro-slavery school of the neighboring State of Missouri, and their lots in temporal affairs seemed to be cast with those of that State. At that time, the predominance of sentiment, if there was sufficient to rise above indifference, was favorable to slavery. Certain it is, that it could have been established without any local hindrance or opposition. In its existing conditions, Kansas was a most promising, unoccupied field, with its eastern portals set wide open by the recent enactments, through which the slaveholders were invited to enter in, without let or hindrance, and occupy the land.

Along the western border of Missouri, in the counties adjoining Kansas, was a population of nearly 80,000 whites, who held 12,000 slaves. They represented, in the coming contest, the great slave-holding State of Missouri, having, according to the Federal census of 1850, 592,004 whites, 87,442 slaves, and 2,618 free-colored inhabitants, and which had a more direct interest in the formation of the new Territory, with institutions in accordance with its own, than all others combined.

[TOC] [part 2] [part 1] [Cutler's History]