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Willing to Die for Freedom - Introduction

A Look Back at Kansas Territory, 1854-1861

Kansas Territory was created in 1854. It quickly became the center of attention as the nation battled over whether Kansas would enter the Union as a free or slave state.

Buffum tombstone

Willing to Die for Freedom is an online exhibit inviting you to learn more about "Bleeding Kansas" and its significance to our nation's history.

This online tour is divided into seven sections, plus a timeline.
Click on the first link below to embark on your tour, or visit them in any order.

  1. Flashpoint - Kansas was the flashpoint for the Civil War and the abolition of slavery.
  2. Politics - Many Americans believed Kansas would determine the future of slavery.
  3. Violence - The territory quickly became known as Bleeding Kansas.
  4. Opportunity - People came here to buy cheap land and influence national politics.
  5. Survival - Making a home in Kansas often was difficult.
  6. Freedom - The name "Kansas" meant freedom to many African Americans.
  7. Legacy  - The territorial era set the stage for both good and bad in Kansas history.
  8. Timeline - Outline of important events in Kansas history, with links to learn more.
  9. Constitutions - Kansas had four constitutions, more than any other territory.
  10. Voting game - Test your knowledge about who could vote legally in Kansas Territory.

Willing to Die for Freedom is an online exhibit developed by the Kansas Museum of History to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Kansas Territory.

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