Kansas History

“Sunny Kansas, with her woes and glory.”

This is an attempt to commence at the beginning and continue to the end of the 19th Century in writing an online Kansas history. A careful study of events will show that the destiny of Kansas was closely bound up with the political developments in Missouri for a period of nearly half a century. Many of the transactions of early times are here first brought into their proper relations in a narrative history of Kansas. Some of these are the accounts of Quivira, of Louisiana, of the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails, of the Overland commerce, of the unique Indian occupancy and the extinguishment of the primal title to the soil, of the Missouri Compromise and its repeal, and of the Provisional Government of Nebraska Territory.

One of the features of this work which will be hailed with satisfaction by students will be found in the Magoffin Papers. These papers discuss the history of Doniphan’s Expedition, and, consequently, that of New Mexico. These papers complete the record and render the explanation of the conquest of New Mexico through Kansas simple and satisfactory.

An effort had been made herein to point out the national aspects of Kansas history. Kansas had her inception in national achievement. In pre-Territorial and Territorial periods the history of Kansas is wholly of national import. The great movements of American life have touched Kansas, and have been touched by Kansas. In colonial times, in the struggle for independence, in the conquest of the Mississippi Valley, in the battle against slavery, in the Civil war, in the stand for social betterment, Kansas under some name and in some form and in some way had borne a part and exerted an influence. Her historians have been too prone to treat her history as a series of local annals and detached events without logical connection with American progress. It is to be hoped that the fertile field of Kansas nationality will be given suitable attention in the future. For in this direction lies her principal glory. Her influence on American life will be found to have been vital, far-reaching, fundamental. And if the highest traditions of Kansas are but kept in mind and insisted on by Kansas in the future this national dominance and leadership will be maintained to the permanent benefit of America—and mankind.

In every country certain interests always endeavor to distort history. Selfishness lies at the root of such efforts. And jealousy—often malice—bears a hand. Kansas had not escaped this fate. The statement of the most elemental historical facts had subjected writers to unmeasured vilification and abuse from these inimical sources. Here, what the record shows to be true is set down without fear or favor.

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