Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Society Chartered

Wednesday, April 26, 1854

Eli Thayer, founder of the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Society. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

As a response to the popular sovereignty provision in the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Society (soon renamed the New England Emigrant Aid Company) is founded by Eli Thayer and other antislavery advocates to help Free-Staters settle in Kansas Territory. They establish a charter on April 26, 1854 and the organization goes on to support the Free-State cause and found several successful towns, including Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan, and Osawatomie.

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