Kansas Territorial Capitals:
Ft. Leavenworth--October to November 1854
Andrew Reeder, the first Territorial Governor, who was appointed by President Pierce. Reeder's office was in a brick building at the Fort.
Pawnee--June to July 1855
Predominantly pro-slavery delegates arrived on July 2 and after four days adjourned to the Shawnee Mission.
Lecompton--Winter 1855 to Statehood
The fradulently elected legislature at Shawnee Mission voted Lecompton it's capitol.
Free state delegated tried to leave Lecompton for Minneola but Governor James Danver vetoed the move.
The Territorial Legislature assembled in pro-slavery Lecompton but adjourned to Lawrence
Topeka--March 1856 to Statehood
Kansas Legislative History
Missouri Compromise, 1820
Missouri admitted as a slave state.
Maine was admitted as a free state.
Slavery was disallowed in future territories north of 36'30' except within Missouri itself
Compromise of 1850
Admission of California
as a free state;
Strengthened the Fugitive Slave Law;
sovereignty in Utah and New Mexico concerning the question of slavery;
Abolished the slave trade in D.C.;
Federal assumption of
Kansas Nebraska Act, May 30th, 1854
Allows popular sovereignty for Kansas and Nebraska
Shawnee Mission Legislature orders government moved to Lecompton. In the fall proposals are invited to build a capitol.
October 23rd to November 11th, 1855
Topeka Free State Convention, First State Constitution
Free state people of Kansas hold a de facto convention in Topeka.
This was an end-run attempt to establish a Free State government and appeal to Congress it to support it, bypassing the presidential authority claimed by the Proslavery legislature (in Lecompton). James Lane was elected president of the Convention. (held at Constitution Hall, the House of Representatives met on the first floor, the Senate met on the Second).
Based on the Ohio and New York Constitutions, it adopted community property and homestead protection. Vote was given to white males and civilized Indians. Prohibited slavery and invalidated "negro and mulatoo" indentures.
Passed by wide popular margin on December 15th , 1855
Constitution Hall was established as the Capitol for state business.
Charles Robinson was elected Governor.
Decides for the first session of the legislature to be on July 4th of the following year.
July 2nd, 1856
President Pierce forbids the meeting of the Topeka Legislature, ordering Col. Edwin Sumner stationed at Ft. Leavenworth to prevent it's assembly . Jefferson Davis, Secr. of War similarly orders Col. Sumner.
July 4th, 1856
Opening of the Free State Legislature, Constitution Hall Topeka.
Col Sumner marches 400 dragoons to Topeka. Stationing two cannons on Kansas avenue, Col Sumner went to the Senate and order them to disperse, which they did.
Proslavery Legislature in Lecompton calls for an election of delegates to assembly to write a constitution for the state. Free Staters refuse to participate
Proslavery faction assembles and writers the Lecompton Constitution
Constitution includes a grant of 23,000,000 acres of territorial land.
Endorsed by President Buchanan, passes the Senate but is rejected by the House and was returned to face a vote of the citizens of the state. (This is the second state constitution)
July 8th, 1856--
Sen. Stephen Douglas takes up the Topeka Constitution and presents a counter bill which led to the Topeka Constitution being rejected by Congress.
January 5th, 1858--
Free State Legislature convenes at Constitution Hall in Topeka. The Topeka Constitution is once more sent to Congress.
March 15th, 1858--
Constitutional Convention at Leavenworth
Modifies and renames the Topeka Constitution to the Leavenworth Constitution. Gives rights to "all men" and the basic framework of rights to women (thank Clarina Nichols).(Third Constitution)
Leavenworth Constitution is turned down by voters of the state.
July 5th, 1859--
State Convention convenes at Wyndotte. The Wyndotte Constitution, which was modeled after the Leavenworth and Topeka Constitution adopted the now existent boundary lines for Kansas (previous Constitutions extended the western border to just past Denver), voting is narrowed to white males over the age of 21, and women were allowed to participate in school district elections and to own
property. The constitution stated that the legislature was to "provide
for their equal rights in the possession of their children." By this time Kansas the issue of free or slave state has been answered, the proponents of free prevailing. (Fourth and final Kansas Constitution)