Lawrence, Kansas

Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence, Kansas. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Notable Events:

The town of Lawrence, Kansas was founded by settlers associated with the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Society (later renamed the New England Emigrant Aid Company) along the banks of the Kansas River. The town quickly became a bastion for the Free-State movement, which sought to stop the westward expansion of slavery at the Missouri-Kansas border and support the entrance of Kansas Territory into the Union as a free state. Its prominence as a Free-Stater community made it the target of several uprisings and raids, culminating with the infamous Quantrill's Raid. Today, visitors to Lawrence can take walking tours of the raiders' routes, see the graves of some of the victims, and view several of the surviving homes.