Bleeding Kansas

president Franklin Pierce

Summary and Definition of Bleeding Kansas
Definition and Summary: 'Bleeding Kansas' was the name given to a series of violent confrontations
in Kansas, and the neighboring border towns of Missouri, following the passing of the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act. The conflict known as 'Bleeding Kansas' involved conflicts between Anti-slavery and Pro-slavery militant activists from 1854 - 1861 that reached a state of a low intensity civil war. The border war known as Bleeding Kansas was a crucial point that led to the road to the American Civil war (1861-1865).

Bleeding Kansas for kids
Franklin Pierce was the 14th American President who served in office from March 4, 1853 to March 4, 1857. One of the important events during his presidency was the outbreak of the violent events in Kansas, known in history as 'Bleeding Kansas'.


Bleeding Kansas Border War

 Bleeding Kansas Border War

Bleeding Kansas Border War History
The Bleeding Kansas Border War erupted in 1854 following the Kansas Nebraska Act

● The Missouri Compromise of 1820 admitted Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a slave state which maintained the balance between 'free soil' and 'slave soil'. It also prohibited the extension of slavery north of the 3630′ latitude, as indicated on the map
The Compromise of 1850 contravened the Missouri Compromise by allowing the people of the new territories of New Mexico and Utah to decide whether their states favored or opposed slavery by virtue of Popular Sovereignty (meaning rule by the people),
The 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act allowed white settlers to decide (by popular sovereignty) whether or not to have slavery

Bleeding Kansas Background History for kids
Kansas-Nebraska Act opened up a massive region to slavery using the precedent of the Popular Sovereignty Doctrine. The anti-slavery leaders in the North were furious and launched a ferocious attack against the bill. It provided a focal point for the Abolitionist Movement who mounted a media campaign against the law, applied political pressure to abolish slavery and established a free-soil campaign. Settlers from the south flooded Kansas to acquire lands and vote for the expansion of slavery. Settlers from the North and the East also headed for Kansas intent on preventing the expansion of slavery. Inevitable the two sides became involved in violent confrontations - Bleeding Kansas was a proxy war (the government did participate but various politicians "fuelled the flames".

Bleeding Kansas for kids
President Franklin Pierce had approved of the
Kansas-Nebraska Act and had commented on slavery during his Inaugural Address on March 4, 1853 stating:

 "I believe that involuntary servitude, as it exists in different States of this Confederacy, is recognized by the Constitution."

Senator William H. Seward was a determined opponent of the spread of slavery and said to the Southerners in Congress:

"Come on, then...We will engage in competition for the soil of Kansas,
and God give the victory to the side that is strong in numbers as it is in right."

Origin of the term 'Bleeding Kansas'
The origin of the term 'Bleeding Kansas' is generally credited to Horace Greeley, the editor of the New York Tribune. It is possible that the name was inspired by an Abolitionist poem called
'Our Country's Call'  published on July 17, 1856 in the Davenport (Iowa) Gazette. The first verse of the poem reads as follows:

 "Hear the Nation's call, freemen, one and all,
Hear Poor Kansas' earnest cry:
See her bleeding land lift its beckoning hand;
Sons of freedom, come ye nigh."

Bleeding Kansas Events for kids
As soon as the
Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed, armed "Sons of the South" crossed the border of Missouri and founded the towns of Leavenworth and Atchison. Armed settlers from the North and the East founded the towns of Lawrence, Lecompton  and Topeka. The an election was held. Hundreds of men flooded over the boundary of Missouri and out-voted the free-soil (anti-slavery) settlers in Kansas, and then went home. The territorial legislature, chosen in this way, adopted the same laws of Missouri, including the slave code, as the laws of Kansas. This action brought vicious retaliation from the anti-slavery forces that erupted into the Civil war in Kansas (Bleeding Kansas), which continued intermittently until it merged with the large-scale Civil War of 1861-1865. This event was one of the Causes of the Civil War.

Bleeding Kansas Battles for kids
The skirmishes and battles fought during the Bleeding Kansas era are the Wakarusa War, the Sack of Lawrence, the Pottawatomie Massacre, the Battle of Black Jack, the Battle of Fort Titus, the Battle of Osawatomie, the Battle of Hickory Point, the Marais Des Cygnes Massacre and the Battle of the Spurs.

Bleeding Kansas Timeline, History and Facts for kids
Interesting Bleeding Kansas Timeline, History and facts for kids are detailed below. The history of Bleeding Kansas is told in a factual sequence consisting of a series of short facts providing a simple method of relating the events in Bleeding Kansas. Notable incidents in the Bleeding Kansas era were the emergence of John Brown as
militant activist, the Wakarusa War, the Sack of Lawrence, the Pottawatomie Massacre, the Battle of Black Jack, the Battle of Fort Titus, the Battle of Osawatomie, the Battle of Hickory Point, the Marais Des Cygnes Massacre and the Battle of the Spurs.

Bleeding Kansas History Timeline Facts for kids

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 1: March 6, 1820: Missouri Compromise

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 2: 1850: The Compromise of 1850, was drafted by Henry Clay, based on the ideas of Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois.

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 3: 1854: Stephen A. Douglas writes the Kansas-Nebraska Act implementing the concept of popular sovereignty

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 4: May 30 1854: President Franklin Pierce signs the Kansas-Nebraska Act leaving the legality of slavery to the will of the people in Kansas Territory

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 5: June 1854: Pro-slavery supporters crossed the border of Missouri and founded the towns of Leavenworth and Atchison.

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 6: June 1854: Eli Thayer of Worcester, Massachusetts founded the Emigrant Aid Society to promote the settlement of anti-slavery groups in Kansas in Lawrence, Lecompton  and Topeka

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 7: June 1854: Abolitionist preacher Henry Ward Beecher collected money to arm anti-slavery settlers with Sharps rifles, that became known as "Beecher's Bibles".

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 8: August 1854: 29 northern emigrants (primarily from Massachusetts and Vermont) arrived in the newly established town of Lawrence, Kansas. 200 more arrived in September 1854.

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 9: November 1854: Thousands of armed pro-slavery men known as "Border Ruffians" pour over the border to sway the forth-coming election

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 10: November 29, 1854: The first election in Kansas and the pro-slavery forces win the election. Andrew H. Reeder was made governor but the election had been compromised by pro-slavery Missourians who had flooded the state

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 11: March 30, 1855: The Pro-slavery Border Ruffians sway the vote in the territorial legislature, oust all free-state members and remove Governor Reeder from office.

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 12: July 2, 1855: The pro-slavery legislature convene in the Shawnee Mission in Fairway, on the Missouri border, and began to pass laws to institutionalize slavery in Kansas

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 13: August 1855: A group of Abolitionist Free-Soilers met at Topeka and resolve to reject the pro-slavery laws passed by the territorial legislature and draft the Topeka Constitution.

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 14: August 1855: The  anti-slavery group form of a rival government called the Free-State Party. They adopt the Topeka Constitution and elect Charles Robinson as Governor

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 15: Violence escalates between the Border Ruffians and the Free-Staters

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 16: October 1855: John Brown arrives in Kansas determined to join the fight against slavery

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 17: November 21, 1855: The minor skirmish called the "Wakarusa War" begins  around Lawrence, Kansas, and the Wakarusa River Valley, when a Free-Stater named Charles Dow is shot by a pro-slavery settler.

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 18: December 1, 1855: An anti-slavery army of 1,500 lays siege to Lawrence. John Brown musters Free-State settlers into a defending army and erects barricades to defend Lawrence

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 19: December 1, 1855: No attack on Lawrence was made as a peace treaty is agreed

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 20: January 24, 1856: President Franklin Pierce declares the Free-State Topeka government to be a "revolution" against the rightful leaders

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 21: March 1856: The official territorial capital was moved to Lecompton, 12 miles from Lawrence

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 22: April, 1856: A congressional committee finds the previous Kansas elections to be fraudulent, pronouncing that the Free-State government represents the will of the majority.

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 23: April, 1856: The pronouncement is ignored by President and the pro-slavery legislature remains in power

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 24: May 21, 1856: A group of Border Ruffians entered the Free-State stronghold of Lawrence and burn the Free State Hotel, two newspaper offices and ransack homes and stores

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 25: May 22, 1856: Violence erupts in the Senate chambers. South Carolina Democrat Preston Brooks is seriously injured in an attack by Massachusetts Free Soil Senator Charles Sumner

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 26: May 24, 1856: The "Pottawatomie Massacre." A group led by John Brown kill 5 pro-slavery settlers along Pottawatomie Creek near Osawatomie, the incident becomes known as the "Pottawatomie Massacre."

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 27: June 2, 1856: The Battle of Black Jack. John Brown leads a Free-State militia attack on a pro-slavery militia led by Henry Clay Pate  near Baldwin City. The Battle of Black Jack becomes the first proper battle of the Bleeding Kansas Border War

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 28: July 4, 1856: President Franklin Pierce sends federal troops to break up an attempted meeting of the Free-State government in Topeka

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 29: August 16, 1856: The Battle of Fort Titus, near Lecompton. Free-Staters led by Captain Samuel Walker win the Battle of Fort Titus

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 30: August 1856: Battle of Osawatomie. John Brown leads a force against 400 proslavery soldiers in the "Battle of Osawatomie".

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 31: August 1856: Thousands of pro-slavery men form into armies and march into Kansas

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 32: September 13, 1856: The Battle of Hickory Point in which pro-slavery defenders surrendered to the free-state militia

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 33: October 1856: A new territorial governor, John W. Geary, takes office and manages to persuade both sides to keep the peace.

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 34: October 1856: John Brown leaves the state, as hostilities decrease

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 35: 1857-1858: The peace agreement is broken broken by intermittent skirmishes and violent outbreaks

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 36: 1857: The Lecompton Constitution, a pro-slavery document, is written in response to the anti-slavery position of the 1855 Topeka Constitution

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 37: March 4, 1857: James Buchanan is inaugurated as president

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 38: March 1857: James Buchanan approves the Lecompton Constitution

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 39: April 3, 1858: The Leavenworth Constitution, drafted by a convention of Free-Staters, was adopted by the convention at Leavenworth April 3, 1858, and by the people at an election held May 18, 1858.

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 40: May 19, 1858: The Marais des Cygnes Massacre. A Pro-slavery militia from Bates County, Missouri round up and kill 5 citizens during the Marais des Cygnes Massacre in Linn County

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 41: January 31, 1859: The "Battle of the Spurs". A Federal posse reach John Brown and slaves he is leading to freedom near Holton, Kansas, but flee when confronted

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 42: July 1859: The Wyandotte Constitution was the fourth, and last, constitution voted on by the people of Kansas Territory. The Wyandotte Constitution was drawn up at Wyandotte (now part of Kansas City) and rejected slavery.

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 43: October 4, 1859: The Wyandotte Constitution was approved by a vote of 10,421 to 5,530

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 44: April, 1860: The United States House of Representatives voted to admit Kansas under the Wyandotte Constitution. Senators from the south  left their seats as southern slave states seceded from the Union and the Senate passed the Kansas bill.

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 45: January 29, 1861, Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 46: March 4, 1861: Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated as President of the United States

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 47: March 4, 1861: Seven slave states formed the Confederacy (South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas)

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 48: March 16, 1861: Four more states join the Confederacy (Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas)

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 49: April 12, 1861: The Civil War begins when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter.

Bleeding Kansas Timeline Fact 50: May 10, 1865: The Civil War is fought for 4 years, 3 weeks and 6 days before it finally ends in 1865

Bleeding Kansas History Timeline Facts for kids

Black History for kids: Important People and Events
For visitors interested in African American History refer to Black History - People and Events. A useful resource  for teachers, kids, schools and colleges undertaking projects for the Black History Month.

Bleeding Kansas - President Franklin Pierce Video
The article on the Bleeding Kansas provides an overview of one of the Important issues of his presidential term in office. The following Franklin Pierce video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 14th American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1853 to March 4, 1857.

Bleeding Kansas

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