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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Lecompton Capital of Kansas

Located on Highway 40 between Topeka and Lawrence, is the little town of Lecompton. The town may be small, but it packs a lot of history. Today, we stopped at the historical marker along Highway 40. We will revisit this little town to visit the "Constitution Hall" which is where the "Lecompton Constitution" was drafted.

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Inscription
:
In 1855, the new town of Lecompton was named the capital of Kansas Territory. President James Buchanan appointed a governor and officials to establish government offices in Lecompton, and construction began on an elegant capitol building. In the fall of 1857 a convention met in Constitution Hall and drafted the famous Lecompton Constitution, which would have admitted Kansas as a slave state. The constitution was rejected after intense national debate and was one of the prime topics of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. The controversy contributed to the growing dispute soon to erupt in civil war. The Lecompton Constitution failed, in part, because the antislavery party won control of the territorial legislature in the election of 1857. The new legislature met in Constitution Hall, now a National Historic Landmark, and immediately began to abolish the proslavery laws. The victorious free-state leaders chose Topeka as capital when Kansas became a state in 1861.

Erected by
:
Kansas Historical Society and Department of Transportation
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Location:
the roadside rest area at the intersection of US Highway 40 and E 600th Road.

Handicapped Accessibility:
The parking in front of the marker is paved and it can be viewed from the car, so it is fairly accessible.

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