The year 1861 was an eventful time for the state of Kansas and the nation. The April 18th issue of the Kansas State Journal proclaimed the start of the Civil War, and at that time, Kansas had been a state for less than three months. The Kansas State Journal, like the majority of other publications in Lawrence during this period, was known for its Unionist affiliation. Josiah C. Trask and Hovey F. Lowman established this “family Republican newspaper” in February of 1861. In the editorial salutatory, they state that “while each of the Free-State journals in the Territory have contributed its full share towards securing our release from political and social thralldom, it cannot be denied that each, to some extent, has fanned the flame of factional strife.”
Learn more about this tumultuous period in Kansas history, and celebrate the 150th anniversary of statehood by exploring the pages of other Civil War era newspapers such as, the Big Blue Union, the Independent, the Smoky Hill and Republican Union, and the White Cloud Kansas Chief, which are now fully-accessible on the Chronicling America website.