Portal:Kansas Information

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Introduction

Flag of Kansas.svg

Kansas /ˈkænzəs/ ( About this sound listen) is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States. Its capital is Topeka and its largest city is Wichita, with its most populated county being Johnson County. Kansas is bordered by Nebraska on the north; Missouri on the east; Oklahoma on the south; and Colorado on the west. Kansas is named after the Kansas River, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native Americans who lived along its banks. The tribe's name (natively kką:ze) is often said to mean "people of the (south) wind" although this was probably not the term's original meaning. For thousands of years, what is now Kansas was home to numerous and diverse Native American tribes. Tribes in the eastern part of the state generally lived in villages along the river valleys. Tribes in the western part of the state were semi-nomadic and hunted large herds of bison.

Kansas was first settled by Americans in 1827 with the establishment of Fort Leavenworth. The pace of settlement accelerated in the 1850s, in the midst of political wars over the slavery debate. When it was officially opened to settlement by the U.S. government in 1854 with the Kansas–Nebraska Act, abolitionist Free-Staters from New England and pro-slavery settlers from neighboring Missouri rushed to the territory to determine whether Kansas would become a free state or a slave state. Thus, the area was a hotbed of violence and chaos in its early days as these forces collided, and was known as Bleeding Kansas. The abolitionists prevailed, and on January 29, 1861, Kansas entered the Union as a free state, hence the unofficial nickname "The Free State."

Selected article

Fortscottks.JPG

Fort Scott National Historic Site is a historical area under the control of the United States National Park Service in Bourbon County, Kansas, United States. Named after Mexican–American War General Winfield Scott, during the middle of the 19th century it served as a military base for army action in what was the edge of settlement in 1850. For the next quarter century, it was used as a supply base and to provide security in turbulent areas during the opening of the West to settlement, a period which included Bleeding Kansas and the American Civil War.

The current national historic site protects 20 historic structures, a parade ground, and five acres (20,000 m²) of restored tallgrass prairie, inside the city of Fort Scott. It is open to visitors most days of the year.

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Spotlight city

Topeka, Kansas.JPG

Topeka ( Kansa: Tó Ppí Kˀé) is the capital city of the U.S. state of Kansas and the county seat of Shawnee County. It is situated along the Kansas River in the central part of Shawnee County, located in northeast Kansas, in the Central United States. The population was 122,377 at the 2000 census, and it was estimated to be 122,647 in the 2007 census. The Topeka Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Shawnee, Jackson, Jefferson, Osage, and Wabaunsee counties, had an estimated population of 226,268 in the year 2003. Three ships of the US Navy have been named USS Topeka in honor of the city.

In the 1840s, wagon trains made their way west from Independence, Missouri, on a 2,000 miles (3,000 km) journey following what would come to be known as the Oregon Trail. In the early 1850s, traffic along the Oregon Trail was supplemented by trade on a new military road stretching from Fort Leavenworth through Topeka to the newly-established Fort Riley. After a decade of Bleeding Kansas abolitionist and pro-slavery conflict, the Kansas territory was admitted to the Union in 1861 as the 34th state. Topeka was finally chosen as the capital, with Dr. Charles Robinson as the first governor. In 1862, Cyrus K. Holliday donated a tract of land to the state for the construction of a state capitol. Construction of the Kansas State Capitol began in 1866. It would take 37 years to build the capitol, first the east wing, and then the west wing, and finally the central building, using Kansas limestone. Home to the first African-American kindergarten west of the Mississippi River, Topeka became the home of Linda Brown, the named plaintiff in Brown v. Board of Education which was the case responsible for eliminating the standard of "separate but equal", and requiring racial integration in American public schools.

Selected image

Riley (Kansas) County Courthouse 1.jpg
Credit: Kevin Zollman
Riley County Courthouse in Manhattan Kansas.

Important dates in Kansas' history

July–August 1541 
Coronado explores Kansas
April 30, 1803 
Louisiana Purchase Treaty signed
May 30, 1854 
Kansas Territory organized
July 29, 1859 
Constitution adopted by convention
January 29, 1861
Kansas becomes 34th state
August 21, 1863
Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence
Spring 1879
Exodusters
February 19, 1881 
First state to Constitutionally prohibit alcohol
1890s
Populist Revolt
July 1951
Great Flood of 1951
May 17, 1954 
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

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State facts


State symbols:

The American Bison, Kansas' state mammal.

Selected biography

James Manney Hagaman, founder of Concordia, Kansas

James Manney Hagaman 1830 - January 18, 1904 was a lawyer, land agent, newspaper editor, and the founder of Concordia, Kansas. He and his wife settled in what is now Cloud County in 1860. In addition to founding the town of Concordia, he is credited with leading the movement to separate what was then Shirley Township from Washington County in 1866.

In 1866, the people of Shirley Township sent Hagaman to Kansas Governor Samuel J. Crawford with the petition requesting the right to organize as a county. The governor granted permission and Shirley Township became Shirley County (later "Cloud" County).

Hagaman was elected county clerk and promptly became a candidate to be the first to represent Shirley County in the Kansas House of Representatives, losing to John B. Rupe. In 1868, he ran again for the Kansas House and this time won, barely defeating a man named Donoho. He later served two terms as Mayor of Concordia from 1878-1880 and also served five terms on the city council.

As Hagaman rose to political power in the state of Kansas, he faced political opposition in the town of Clyde, Kansas from several sources. In her book on the history of Concordia, Janet Pease Emery wrote:

"Jim Hagaman was done with Clyde. He swore it would never be the county seat. If it took every ox, cow, and horse he owned, he'd see that the courthouse went elsewhere -- even if he had to build a town himself.
Madder than hops, Hagaman took out a claim in Lincoln Township and founded Concordia."

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Kansas news

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