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Bleeding Kansas: How Kansas Became A State

Bleeding Kansas: How Kansas Became A State

This training course consists of six two-hour long sessions.

At the end of the 19th century, Charles Robinson, who was the first Governor of the State of Kansas, wrote the following:

“On Kansas soil was gained the first decisive victory against the slave power of this nation. Had her pioneers failed to make Kansas a free State, slavery to-day would have been national and freedom sectional.”

In the 1850s a mighty struggle took place in the newly formed Kansas Territory. The struggle was between men (and women) who wanted Kansas to enter the United States as a free state and those who wanted Kansas to enter as a state in which slavery was legal. Many folks in these parts believe that the American Civil War actually began in 1854 in the Kansas Territory. Find out why.

Like my Civil War classes, the story of Bleeding Kansas will be told by the people who were there. I use their diaries, letters, speeches, and memoirs as sources for this class.


  • Learn why Kansas Territory became the key battleground between pro-slavery and abolitionist interests
  • Learn who the key decision makers were during the events leading to Kansas statehood
  • Learn about the key events that led this period to become known as “Bleeding Kansas.”

Instructor: Dick Titterington, theCivilWarMuse, is an amateur historian who worked at Sprint/Embarq in Information Technology for 17 years before retiring in 2008. While working at Sprint, Dick was a part time instructor for Sprint's University of Excellence and spent over ten years delivering training on advanced software engineering techniques. Following his retirement, Dick has focused much of his energies on an interest in history, particularly the events that took place in Missouri and Kansas before and during the American Civil War.

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