Kansas History - the history of Kansas
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Kansas   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Kansas History

   
 

Kansas History


The first Native American peoples arrived in what is today the state Kansas, approximately 9,000 years ago. Initially these people were hunter-gatherers, but around 3,000 years some converted to a largely settled agricultural lifestyle and developed permanent dwellings in larger settlements.

In 1541, the Spanish conquistador Francisco Vasquez de Coronado visited the region. During this expedition, the horse was introduced to the Plains Indian, and this greatly altered their lifestyle and range. The Kansa and Osage peoples arrived in Kansas during the 17th century. Other Native American peoples who inhabited present-day Kansas included the Pawnees and the Otoe tribe of the Sioux.

In 1724, the French visited the Kansas river and established a trading post near the mouth of the river. At this time, the territory was part of the area claimed as New France. Kansas became an unorganized territory of the United States following the 1803 Louisana Purchase from France.

In 1806, the Zebulon Pike explored the area, and labelled it as the "Great American Desert". As a result, in the 1820s, the federal government "permanently" set aside the region as Indian territory and closed it to white settlement. Between the 1820s and 1840s, the federal government moved many Native American tribes into the region. Despite the prohibition on white settlement, the Santa Fe trail passed through Kansas, US Army forts were established inside the territory (starting with Fort Leavenworth in 1827), and by the 1850s, many white Americans were illegally squatting in the area and calling for the entire territory to be opened for settlement.

In the 1850s, white settlers began to push for territorial government, and by 1853, Congress had decided that eastern Kansas should be open to settlement. The treaties with Native Americans were renegotiated, and the U.S. Government regained nearly all the land that it had ceded to them "forever" only a few years before. The Indians were then largely relocated to Oklahoma.

In 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Act became law, and established the Nebraska and Kansas Territories. A controversial provision of the Act was that settlers in the territories would decide for themselves whether to allow slavery within the borders ("popular sovereignty"), rather than following the earlier Missouri Compromise which banned slavery North of 36°30'. The Kansas-Nebraska Act led to violence and chaos in Kansas with fighting between pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers, and four different competing constitutions for Kansas, earning the territory the nickname of "Bleeding Kansas". Eventually, Kansas was admitted as the 34th state of the Union on January 29th, 1861 as a free state.

During the American Civil War (1861 to 1865), most Kansans strongly favored the Union. More than 20,000 men were enlisted from the state, a remarkable number considering the state had only 30,000 men of military age. These forces suffered over 8,500 casualties during the war. During the war, many guerilla raids and atrocities took place in the state, the worst of which occured at Lawrence which destroyed much of the city include the massacre of about 200 men and boys. The biggest battle in the state was the Battle of Mine Creek which involved around 25,000 men.

The 1860s also saw the Indian Wars in Kansas and Nebraska, between Cheyennes and Araphoes on one side, and white settlers and the US Army on the other. The worst incident was the massacre of a band of friendly Indians at Sand Creek near Fort Lyon, who were on their own reservation and had been ordered there as a place of safety.

Following the Civil War, many former slaves, known as "Exodusters", moved to Kansas, which was known as the land of John Brown. These Exodusters founded the town of Nicodemus.

Kansas led the way in the prohibition movement: On February 19th 1881, Kansas was the first US state to ban all alcoholic beverages.

Kansas contributed troops to guard the US-Mexico border during the Mexican Revolution (1916), and over 80,000 troops to the US military after the US entry into World War I in 1917.

After World I, there were several legal battles between the state of Kansas and the Ku Klux Klan, which eventually resulted from their explusion from the state. The region also suffered during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and many farmers left the state as a result.

In 1954, Kansas was at the center of controversy in the court case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka which concerned the Monroe Elementary School, one of four segregated elementary schools in Topeka. The US Supreme Court eventually ruled 9-0 that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal" reversing the precedent set by the Court's previous (1899) decision in Cumming v. Richmond County Board of Education.


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It Happened in Kansas: Remarkable Events That Shaped History (It Happened In Series)

By Sarah Smarsh

Brand: Globe Pequot
Released: 2010-08-17
Paperback (160 pages)

It Happened in Kansas: Remarkable Events That Shaped History (It Happened In Series)
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It Happened in Kansas features over 25 chapters in Kansas history. Lively and entertaining, this book brings the varied and fascinating history of the Sunflower State to life.

Kansas: The History of the Sunflower State, 1854-2000

By Craig Miner

Brand: University Press of Kansas
Paperback (528 pages)

Kansas: The History of the Sunflower State, 1854-2000
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Kansas is not only the Sunflower State, it's the very heart of America's heartland. It is a place of extremes in politics as well as climate, where ambitious and energetic people have attempted to put ideals into practice-a state that has come a long way since being identified primarily with John Brown and his exploits.

Craig Miner has written a complete and balanced history of Kansas, capturing the state's colorful past and dynamic present as he depicts the persistence of contrasting images of and attitudes toward the state throughout its 150 years. A work combining serious scholarship with great readability, it encompasses everything from the Kansas-Nebraska Act to the evolution-creationism controversy, emphasizing the historical moments that were pivotal in forming the culture of the state and the diverse group of people who have contributed to its history.

Kansas: The History of the Sunflower State is the first new state history to appear in over twenty-five years and the most thoroughly researched ever published. Written to enlighten general readers within and well beyond the state's borders, it offers coverage not found in previous histories: greater attention to its cities-notably Wichita-and to its south central and western regions, accounts of business history, contributions of women and minorities, and environmental concerns. It presents the dark as well as the bright side of Kansas progressivism and is the first Kansas history to deal with the post-World War II era in any significant detail.

Craig Miner has spent almost forty years researching, teaching, and writing Kansas history and has dug deeply into primary sources-especially gubernatorial papers-that shed new light on the state. That research has enabled him to assemble a wider cast of characters and more entertaining collection of quotations than found in earlier histories and to better show how individual initiative and entrepreneurial aspirations have profoundly influenced the creation of present-day Kansas.

Ranging from the days of cattle and railroads to the era of oil and agribusiness, this history situates the state in its own terms rather than as a sidebar to a larger American epic. Miner brings to its pages an identifiable Kansas character to preserve what is distinctive about the state's identity for future generations, echoing what one Kansan said over half a century ago: "Kansas is simply Kansas. May she never be tempted to become anything else."

A history of Kansas

By Anna Estelle Arnold

RareBooksClub.com
Paperback (54 pages)

A history of Kansas
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1914 edition. Excerpt: ...could little more than equal waste and loss. The population of Kansas numbered about 100,000 at the beginning of the war, and about 136,000 at the close. There had been little improvement in the manner of living during the four years. SUMMARY The Civil War began within three months after Kansas became a state. Although Kansas had had no opportunity to recover from the Territorial struggle, it took an active part in the war. General Price threatened to invade Kansas with a large Confederate force, but did not succeed. The Indians committed depredations on the western frontier. The worst feature of the war was the border trouble, of which the Quantrill raid was the climax. During the four years of the Civil War Kansas did not make a large gain in population or in progress. REFERENCES Andreas, History of Kansas, pp. 179-215. Blackmar, Life of Robinson. Crawford, Kansas in the Sixties. Cordley, History of Lawrence. Connelley, Quantrill and the Border Wars. Historical Collections, vol. vm, pp. 271, 352; vol. ix, pp. 430, 455; vol. XI, p. 217; vol. v, p. 116; vol. VI, pp. 305, 317. Prentis, History of Kansas, pp. 143-168. Spring, Kansas, chap. xm. QUESTIONS 1. When did the Civil War begin? How long was this after Kansas had become a state? 2. What part did Kansas take in the war? Explain. 3. What were the three classes of danger to which Kansas was exposed? Discuss each. 4. To which of these does the Price campaign belong? 5. Who was General Price? Give an account of his threatened invasion of Kansas. 6. Who was Quantrill? Give an account of his raid on Lawrence. 7. How long did the Civil War last? 8. How long had it been since Kansas was opened for settlement? What progress had been made? 9. What was the population of kKansas in 1865? It has...

The Chisholm Trail: A History of the World's Greatest Cattle Trail

By Sam P. Ridings

Ridings Sam P
Paperback (608 pages)

The Chisholm Trail: A History of the World s Greatest Cattle Trail
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This frontier classic is one of the best books written about the world’s greatest cattle trail, the Chisholm Trail, a trail that was approximately eight hundred miles long, running from San Antonio, Texas to Abilene, Kansas. It is a comprehensive book about the cattle drives of our western frontier and the interesting characters associated with them. Such characters include Charles Goodnight, Charles A. Siringo, Joseph G. McCoy and various Indian Chiefs and gunslingers.

After the Civil War, many cattlemen saw that there was money to be made in moving cattle northward. Joseph G. McCoy built shipping pens at Abilene, which became known as the terminating point of the Chisholm Trail. When the trial was most active, millions of cattle and mustang accompanied their drivers on the two to three month journey that it took to travel across. This book is the story of those cattle and their drivers, who fought through Indian ambushes, stampedes and cattle rustlers.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

True Tales of Old-Time Kansas: Revised Edition

By David Dary

Univ Pr of Kansas
Paperback (336 pages)

True Tales of Old-Time Kansas: Revised Edition
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  • kansas
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"Authentic history, delightfully told" is the way Ray A. Billington, renowned historian of the Old West, described this collection. David Dary, award-winning chronicler of life on the frontier plains, is at his entertaining best in these thirty-nine episodes, sagas, and tales from Kansas's vigorous, free-spirited past. Many of the stories appeared in Dary's True Tales of the Old-Time Plains, but that book, out of print for several years, focused on the Great Plains in general. This new edition, revised and with additional stories and a new title, pulls together tales about people, animals and events in what is today Kansas, including the old territory of Kansas (1854-1861) that stretched from the Missouri River westward to the summit of the Rocky Mountains.

Many of the tales capture the romance, excitement, and adventure of the Old West, while others have the tempo of a quiet life surrounded by the immensity of the plains and prairies. There are well-known characters: Bill Cody, the Dalton gang, the Bloody Benders, William Clarke Quantrill, Abraham Lincoln, and Frederic Remington, who once owned a Kansas sheep ranch and later was a silent partner in a Kansas City saloon before he became a well-known artist.

And there are stories, too, about little-known characters such as Prairie Dog Dave Morrow, who made his living capturing live prairie dogs. Dary relates tales of lost treasure and sudden riches, of outlaws and "jayhawk" raiders, of massacres and heroics. A generous number of illustrations help bring the tales to life.

Birds of Kansas Field Guide

By Stan Tekiela

Adventure Publications Inc.
Paperback (300 pages)

Birds of Kansas Field Guide
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Make bird watching in Kansas even more enjoyable! With Stan Tekiela's famous field guide, bird identification is simple and informative. There's no need to look through dozens of photos of birds that don't live in Kansas. This book features 115 species of Kansas birds, organized by color for ease of use. Do you see a yellow bird and don't know what it is? Go to the yellow section to find out. Fact-filled information, a compare feature, range maps and detailed photographs help to ensure that you positively identify the birds that you see.

The Kansas City Athletics: A Baseball History, 1954-1967

By John E Peterson

Brand: McFarland Company
Paperback (352 pages)

The Kansas City Athletics: A Baseball History, 1954-1967
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The Athletics spent thirteen seasons in Kansas City before moving to Oakland--a colorful history despite one of the worst records in baseball history. Even so, many of the players who were part of the world championship teams in Oakland in the 1970s began their careers in Kansas City. This work presents the relatively short history of the Kansas City franchise from 1954, when Arnold Johnson purchased the Philadelphia Athletics and moved the team to Kansas City because of the financial benefits the city provided, to 1967, when Charles Finley moved the team to Oakland (after unsuccessful attempts to move it to Dallas, Atlanta, Louisville, Milwaukee and Seattle). In the 1950s, the team was called "a Yankee farm team" because of the numerous trades with the Yankees that favored the latter. The author re-evaluates these trades and concludes that they were not as one-sided as previously thought and really did benefit the team. The author also carefully considers Charles Finley's intentions to keep the team in Kansas City and his reasons for having to move them to Oakland.

Oceans of Kansas: A Natural History of the Western Interior Sea (Life of the Past)

By Michael J. Everhart

Michael J Everhart
Released: 2005-06-29
Hardcover (344 pages)

Oceans of Kansas: A Natural History of the Western Interior Sea (Life of the Past)
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"The bright midday sun glinted off the calm waters of the Inland Sea and silhouetted the long, sinuous form of a huge mosasaur lying motionless amid the floating tangle of yellow-green seaweed. Twenty years old and more than thirty feet in length, the adult mosasaur was almost full-grown and was much larger than any of the fish or sharks that lived in the shallow seaway. A swift and powerful swimmer over short distances, the mosasaur used surprise and the thrust of his muscular tail to outrun his prey with a short burst of speed." ―from Chapter One

Although Kansas is now high and dry, at one time the state, like most of the Midwest, was under water. Until the land finally rose above sea level during the final years of the Late Cretaceous, the area was covered by a succession of oceans whose geologic record is preserved in the sedimentary rock that covers the Great Plains.

Oceans of Kansas tells the story of the five million years when giant sharks, marine reptiles called mosasaurs, pteranodons, and birds with teeth flourished in and around this shallow sea. The abundant and well-preserved remains of these prehistoric animals were the source of great excitement in the scientific community of the day when they were first discovered in the 1860s. Two of the best-known fossil hunters of the time, E. D. Cope and O. C. Marsh, competed vigorously to recover the best specimens. During the past 130 years, thousands have been collected and sent to museums around the world.

Michael J. Everhart tells the fascinating story of their discovery, re-creates the animals and the world in which they lived, and presents the fruits of the latest research into the natural history of America’s ancient inland sea.

The Mafia and the Machine: The Story of the Kansas City Mob

By Frank Hayde

Barricade Books
Paperback (240 pages)

The Mafia and the Machine: The Story of the Kansas City Mob
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The story of the American Mafia is not complete without a chapter on Kansas City. The City of Fountains has appeared in the The Godfather, Casino, and The Sopranos, but many Midwesterners are not aware that Kansas City has affected the fortunes of the entire underworld. In The Mafia and the Machine, author Frank Hayde ties in every major name in organized crime-Luciano, Bugsy, Lansky-as well as the city's corrupt police force.

Miracle Moments in Kansas City Royals History: The Turning Points, the Memorable Games, the Incredible Records

By Jeff Deters

Sports Publishing
Hardcover (184 pages)

Miracle Moments in Kansas City Royals History: The Turning Points, the Memorable Games, the Incredible Records
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Since their founding in 1969, the Kansas City Royals have provided memorable moments to generations of fans in America’s heartland and beyond.

Miracle Moments in Kansas City Royals History is the ultimate tribute book for die-hard fans of the team from the City of Fountains. Jeff Deters recounts the most memorable moments in Royals history, including:

Steve Busby’s throwing two no-hitters in each of his first two season, a first for a big-leaguer;
George Brett’s hitting .333 to win his first batting title while leading the Royals to the AL West championship in 1976;
Brett’s second batting title in 1980 as he just misses batting .400 for the season;
Dick Howser’s firing by the Yankees and revenge five years later as he manages the Royals to a championship in 1985;
Bo Jackson’s electrifying but brief career as a Royal while starring for the Los Angeles Raiders;
The Royals’ sweep of the Orioles in the 2014 ALCS to return to the World Series in 29 years;
The magnificent 2015 season capped by a World Championship.

Miracle Moments in Kansas City Royals History is much more than just a comprehensive resource. It recounts the hidden stories behind one of the most successful franchises in baseball..


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