- Founded (December 5, 1854)
- Topeka Constitution Proposed (December 15, 1855)
- De Facto Antislavery Capital of Kansas Territory (1856-1861)
- Free-State Legislature Names Charles Robinson Territorial Governor (January 15, 1856)
- Federal Soldiers Disperse the Topeka Legislature (July 4, 1856)
- Kansas State Legislature Convenes (March 26, 1861 - Present)
Topeka was one of the most successful of the Kansas towns founded by the New England Emigrant Aid Company (NEEAC) to promote the Free-State cause. While other NEEAC towns, like Lawrence, were similarly important in the Bleeding Kansas era, Topeka became the site of the Free-State legislature and the proposed Topeka Constitution. Between 1856 and 1861, it was an extra-legal capital of Kansas Territory, while the proslavery bastion of Lecompton served as the legally recognized capital. The Free-Staters eventually won the debate over slavery, however, and when Kansas became a state in 1861, Topeka was named the official capital. Today, visitors can investigate the Kansas Museum of History, conduct research at the Kansas Historical Society, and see Constitution Hall, which was built in 1855 and served as the capitol building for the Free-State legislature and the state legislature until 1869. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.