- Founded (1854)
- Squatter Sovereign Published (February 3, 1855)
- Abraham Lincoln Visits (December 1859)
The town became the home of the Squatter Sovereign newspaper, which began life as a proslavery publication but was later purchased by the Free-Stater Samuel C. Pomeroy, who promptly changed the paper into an antislavery publication. By the start of the Civil War, the town's proslavery elements had declined significantly, and it raised three militia companies for Kansas, plus $4,000 to aid the victims of Quantrill's Raid in the Free-State community of Lawrence. The town actually served as a base of operations for jayhawkers, including Charles Metz, who staged raids into Missouri. Today, Atchison is home to approximately 11,000 residents, Benedictine College, and Highland Community College. It is also known as the birthplace of Amelia Earhart.