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Government and Politics - Federal Government - Federal agencies and programs - Policies and programs - Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854

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Annie Simerwell to Sallie Simerwell

Annie Simerwell to Sallie Simerwell
Creator: Simerwell, Ann
Date: June 18, 1854
In this letter to her sister Sallie, Annie Simerwell explains that she has received news from their parents regarding the passage of the "Nebraska Kansas bill."


Kansas Day for Kansas schools

Kansas Day for Kansas schools
Creator: Copley, L. G. A.
Date: 1882
A brochure of information and exercises for use in every Kansas school containing Kansas history, geography, poems, songs, and politics together with excerpts from the state constitution and a list of Kansas "firsts." Designed especially for January 29th.


Kansas Nebraska Act

Kansas Nebraska Act
Date: 1854
Kansas Territory was officially established in 1854 with the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Congressional debate on the act continued discussion of the question of whether or not slavery would be allowed to expand into newly opened territories. The act provided that each territory would decide the issue through the constitution under which it would enter the Union. Kansas Territory, because of its proximity to Missouri, a slave state, became a political and literal battleground for proslavery and antislavery forces. Contested elections, armed conflict, and recruitment of support from settlers with sympathies to the North and the South contributed to the label "Bleeding Kansas." Soon after the creation of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, settlers from both the South, including Missouri, and the North came to Kansas. Many from the South supported slavery or for political reasons wanted Kansas counted among the states that favored slavery. Those from the North generally opposed slavery in Kansas. Election fraud, intimidation, and some violence resulted when the two sides began to contest the territory. Because partisans inside and outside Kansas exaggerated the clash of arms for their own political advantage, the territory gained a violent reputation. The turmoil in Kansas contributed to the growing tension between the North and the South, which eventually led to the outbreak of the Civil War.


Rebecca Simerwell to Annie and Elizabeth Simerwell

Rebecca Simerwell to Annie and Elizabeth Simerwell
Creator: Simerwell, Rebecca
Date: August 31, 1856
In this letter to her cousins Annie and Elizabeth Simerwell at the Potawatomi Board Manual Labor School in the Kansas Territory, Rebecca Simerwell states that she is pleased to hear that her cousins are safe "in these troubled times and your particularly dangerous situation." Rebecca is concerned for her cousins and their parents because "the accounts we hear from Kansas are prefectly horrifying too bad, almost to believe."


The first settlement in Brown County

The first settlement in Brown County
Creator: Harrington, Grant W., b. 1865
Date: Possibly 1920s
This is a history of the first settlement in Brown County, Kansas. Thurston Chase and James Gibbons marked claims on Wolf river on May 11, 1854.


William E. Goodnow vs. Isaac Haskell

William E. Goodnow vs. Isaac Haskell
Date: 1855
Legal documents regarding the case of William E. Goodnow vs. Isaac Haskell, including testimony given on June 29, 1855 from David Ambrose and H. A. Wilcox to Justice of the Peace S. D. Dyer in Juniata, Kansas Territory. The land claim in question was part of the townsite of Manhattan, Kansas. Ambrose states that Goodnow had planted seeds and hauled timber to a claim before Haskell. Wilcox states that Haskell told him directly he believed he had right to the claim if he built his shanty before Goodnow built a house. Testimony given by Isaac T. Goodnow, brother of William Goodnow, is also included.


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