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Willing to Die for Freedom - Part 7

A Look Back at Kansas Territory, 1854-1861

What is the Legacy of Kansas Territory?

The territorial period set the stage for both good and bad in Kansas history.

Kansas' reputation as a land of freedom has attracted a diverse group of people, but not everyone has enjoyed the same benefits. The past 150 years of Kansas history are full of contradictions. There are examples of both tolerance and racism:

  • A "free" state that allowed racial segregation
  • A land of opportunity that denied voting rights to Blacks, Indians, and women
  • A place where the promise of cheap land for everyone else came about at the expense of the Indians

The Legacy of Freedom

How well do you know the legacy of Kansas Territory?
Take this short True/False quiz.

  1. Native Americans in Kansas Territory lost most of their lands to White settlers.
    True or False?
  2. In 1925 Kansas became the first state in the nation to oust the Ku Klux Klan.
    or False?
  3. Like Southern states, Kansas had many segregation laws (known as "Jim Crow") in the years after the Civil War.
    or False?
  4. After the Civil War, thousands of Black settlers left Kansas seeking opportunities in the South. They were known as "Exodusters."
    or False?
  5. The Supreme Court's landmark ruling, Brown v Topeka Board of Education, allowed states to operate "separate but equal" schools.
    or False?
  6. Kansas women got the right to vote in school board elections in 1861, but they couldn't vote in state and national elections until 1912.
    True or False?

This concludes the Kansas Museum of History's online exhibit Willing to Die for Freedom.

  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.

Contact us at KSHS.KansasMuseum@ks.gov