Lecompton, Kansas

The Governor's Mansion, Lecompton, Kansas Territory. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Notable Events:

Lecompton emerged in 1854 as the leading proslavery settlement in Kansas and as a counterpart to the various Free-State towns in Kansas. Originally named "Bald Eagle," Lecompton became the capital of Kansas Territory in 1855 and was home to a proslavery legislature that had been elected by widespread voter fraud, perpetuated by Missourians who crossed the border to vote in the Kansas elections. The proslavery faction wasted little time in drafting the Lecompton Constitution, which proposed the entry of Kansas into the Union as a slave state, but the proposal never received the necessary approval of the federal government. In 1861 the capital moved to Topeka as Kansas became a state, and Lecompton's population and importance dwindled. Today, the population is just around 600, but visitors can visit the old territorial capitol building and see a log replica of "Fort Titus," a proslavery fortified cabin that was located south of Lecompton and destroyed by Free-Staters from Lawrence.