Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes region of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product, the sixth largest population, the 25th largest land area of all U. S. states. Illinois is noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, natural resources such as coal and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, encompasses over 65% of the state's population; the Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway to the Illinois River. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports.
Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics. The capital of Illinois is Springfield, located in the central part of the state. Although today's Illinois' largest population center is in its northeast, the state's European population grew first in the west as the French settled the vast Mississippi of the Illinois Country of New France. Following the American Revolutionary War, American settlers began arriving from Kentucky in the 1780s via the Ohio River, the population grew from south to north. In 1818, Illinois achieved statehood. Following increased commercial activity in the Great Lakes after the construction of the Erie Canal, Chicago was founded in the 1830s on the banks of the Chicago River at one of the few natural harbors on the southern section of Lake Michigan. John Deere's invention of the self-scouring steel plow turned Illinois's rich prairie into some of the world's most productive and valuable farmland, attracting immigrant farmers from Germany and Sweden.
The Illinois and Michigan Canal made transportation between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River valley faster and cheaper, new railroads carried immigrants to new homes in the country's west and shipped commodity crops to the nation's east. The state became a transportation hub for the nation. By 1900, the growth of industrial jobs in the northern cities and coal mining in the central and southern areas attracted immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe. Illinois was an important manufacturing center during both world wars; the Great Migration from the South established a large community of African Americans in the state, including Chicago, who founded the city's famous jazz and blues cultures. Chicago, the center of the Chicago Metropolitan Area, is now recognized as a global alpha-level city. Three U. S. presidents have been elected while living in Illinois: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Barack Obama. Additionally, Ronald Reagan, whose political career was based in California, was born and raised in the state.
Today, Illinois honors Lincoln with its official state slogan Land of Lincoln, displayed on its license plates since 1954. The state is the site of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield and the future home of the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. "Illinois" is the modern spelling for the early French Catholic missionaries and explorers' name for the Illinois Native Americans, a name, spelled in many different ways in the early records. American scholars thought the name "Illinois" meant "man" or "men" in the Miami-Illinois language, with the original iliniwek transformed via French into Illinois; this etymology is not supported by the Illinois language, as the word for "man" is ireniwa, plural of "man" is ireniwaki. The name Illiniwek has been said to mean "tribe of superior men", a false etymology; the name "Illinois" derives from the Miami-Illinois verb irenwe·wa - "he speaks the regular way". This was taken into the Ojibwe language in the Ottawa dialect, modified into ilinwe·.
The French borrowed these forms, changing the /we/ ending to spell it as -ois, a transliteration for its pronunciation in French of that time. The current spelling form, began to appear in the early 1670s, when French colonists had settled in the western area; the Illinois's name for themselves, as attested in all three of the French missionary-period dictionaries of Illinois, was Inoka, of unknown meaning and unrelated to the other terms. American Indians of successive cultures lived along the waterways of the Illinois area for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans; the Koster Site demonstrates 7,000 years of continuous habitation. Cahokia, the largest regional chiefdom and urban center of the Pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, was located near present-day Collinsville, Illinois, they built an urban complex of more than 100 platform and burial mounds, a 50-acre plaza larger than 35 football fields, a woodhenge of sacred cedar, all in a planned design expressing the culture's cosmology.
Monks Mound, the center of the site, is the largest Pre-Columbian structure north of the Valley of Mexico. It is 100 feet high, 951 feet long, 836 feet wide, covers 13.8 acres. It contains about 814,000 cubic yards of earth, it was topped by a structure thought to have measured about 105 feet in length and 48 feet in width, covered an area 5,000 square feet, been as much as 50 feet high, making its peak 150 feet above the level of the pl
A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, Romania and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, in Jamaica. In most of the United States, counties are the political subdivisions of a state; the city, town, or populated place that houses county government is known as the seat of its respective county. The county legislature, county courthouse, sheriff's department headquarters, hall of records and correctional facility are located in the county seat though some functions may be located or conducted in other parts of the county if it is geographically large. A county seat is but not always, an incorporated municipality; the exceptions include the county seats of counties that have no incorporated municipalities within their borders, such as Arlington County, Virginia. Ellicott City, the county seat of Howard County, is the largest unincorporated county seat in the United States, followed by Towson, the county seat of Baltimore County, Maryland.
Some county seats may not be incorporated in their own right, but are located within incorporated municipalities. For example, Cape May Court House, New Jersey, though unincorporated, is a section of Middle Township, an incorporated municipality. In some of the colonial states, county seats include or included "Court House" as part of their name. In the Canadian provinces of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the term "shire town" is used in place of county seat. County seats in Taiwan are the administrative centers of the counties. There are 13 county seats in Taiwan, which are in the forms of county-administered city, urban township or rural township. Most counties have only one county seat. However, some counties in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont have two or more county seats located on opposite sides of the county. An example is Harrison County, which lists both Biloxi and Gulfport as county seats; the practice of multiple county seat towns dates from the days.
There have been few efforts to eliminate the two-seat arrangement, since a county seat is a source of pride for the towns involved. There are 36 counties with multiple county seats in 11 states: Coffee County, Alabama St. Clair County, Alabama Arkansas County, Arkansas Carroll County, Arkansas Clay County, Arkansas Craighead County, Arkansas Franklin County, Arkansas Logan County, Arkansas Mississippi County, Arkansas Prairie County, Arkansas Sebastian County, Arkansas Yell County, Arkansas Columbia County, Georgia Lee County, Iowa Campbell County, Kentucky Kenton County, Kentucky Essex County, Massachusetts Middlesex County, Massachusetts Plymouth County, Massachusetts Bolivar County, Mississippi Carroll County, Mississippi Chickasaw County, Mississippi Harrison County, Mississippi Hinds County, Mississippi Jasper County, Mississippi Jones County, Mississippi Panola County, Mississippi Tallahatchie County, Mississippi Yalobusha County, Mississippi Jackson County, Missouri Hillsborough County, New Hampshire Seneca County, New York Bennington County, Vermont In New England, the town, not the county, is the primary division of local government.
Counties in this region have served as dividing lines for the states' judicial systems. Connecticut and Rhode Island have no county level of thus no county seats. In Vermont and Maine the county seats are designated shire towns. County government consists only of a Superior Court and Sheriff, both located in the respective shire town. Bennington County has two shire towns. In Massachusetts, most government functions which would otherwise be performed by county governments in other states are performed by town or city governments; as such, Massachusetts has dissolved many of its county governments, the state government now operates the registries of deeds and sheriff's offices in those counties. In Virginia, a county seat may be an independent city surrounded by, but not part of, the county of which it is the administrative center. Two counties in South Dakota have their county seat and government services centered in a neighboring county, their county-level services are provided by Fall River Tripp County, respectively.
In Louisiana, divided into parishes rather than counties, county seats are referred to as parish seats. Alaska is divided into boroughs rather than counties; the Unorganized Borough, which covers 49 % of Alaska's area, has equivalent. The state with the most counties is Texas, with 254, the state with the fewest counties is Delaware, with 3. County seat war Administrative center County town, administrative centres in Ireland and the UK Chef-lieu, administrative centres in Algeria, Luxembourg, France and Tunisia Municipality, equivalent to county in many c
Douglass is a city in Butler County, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 1,700; the first settlement was made at Douglass in 1869. Douglass is named for its founder, Joseph W. Douglass, a storeowner, fatally shot at the town site in 1873 while apprehending a suspected chicken thief. Douglass was incorporated as a city of the third class in 1879. In 1877, the Florence, El Dorado, Walnut Valley Railroad Company built a branch line from Florence to El Dorado, in 1881 it was extended to Douglass, to Arkansas City; the line was leased and operated by the Atchison and Santa Fe Railway. The line from Florence to El Dorado was abandoned in 1942; the original branch line connected Florence, Burns, De Graff, El Dorado, Douglass, Akron, Arkansas City. In 2010, the Keystone-Cushing Pipeline was constructed about 1.8 miles west of Douglass, north to south through Butler County. Douglass is located at 37°31′0″N 97°0′42″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.08 square miles, all of it land.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Douglass has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps; as of the census of 2010, there were 1,700 people, 625 households, 452 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,574.1 inhabitants per square mile. There were 689 housing units at an average density of 638.0 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 96.6% White, 0.4% African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.2% of the population. There were 625 households of which 40.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.4% had a male householder with no wife present, 27.7% were non-families. 24.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.18. The median age in the city was 33.6 years. 29.9% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the city was 48.8% male and 51.2% female. As of the census of 2000, there were 1,813 people, 658 households, 492 families residing in the city; the population density was 2,198.4 people per square mile. There were 733 housing units at an average density of 888.8 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 96.25% White, 0.28% African American, 1.60% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.50% from other races, 1.16% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.65% of the population. There were 658 households out of which 40.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.2% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 25.1% were non-families. 21.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.3% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.13. In the city, the population was spread out with 30.5% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 16.4% from 45 to 64, 14.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.9 males. The median income for a household in the city was $40,833, the median income for a family was $49,875. Males had a median income of $37,000 versus $25,938 for females; the per capita income for the city was $17,965. About 4.5% of families and 6.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.7% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over. Douglass is part of Douglass USD 396 public school district. Monty Beisel, football linebacker in NFL. William Couch, leader of the Oklahoma Boomer Movement and as the first provisional mayor of what became Oklahoma City. James Durham, pitcher in Major League Baseball.
Phyllis Haver, actress during silent film era. George Hill, film director and cinematographer during silent film era. National Register of Historic Places listings in Butler County, Kansas Douglass Township Community Building Extreme Makeover: Home Edition CityCity of Douglass Douglass - Directory of Public OfficialsSchoolsUSD 396, local school districtHistoricalAnswering the Call - Hometown Help on YouTube, from Hatteberg's People on KAKE TV newsMapsDouglass City Map, KDOT
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition of the Louisiana territory of New France by the United States from France in 1803. The U. S. paid fifty million francs and a cancellation of debts worth eighteen million francs for a total of sixty-eight million francs. The Louisiana territory included land from fifteen present U. S. states and two Canadian provinces. The territory contained land that forms Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma and Nebraska, its non-native population was around 60,000 inhabitants. The Kingdom of France controlled the Louisiana territory from 1699 until it was ceded to Spain in 1762. In 1800, Napoleon the First Consul of the French Republic, hoping to re-establish an empire in North America, regained ownership of Louisiana. However, France's failure to put down the revolt in Saint-Domingue, coupled with the prospect of renewed warfare with the United Kingdom, prompted Napoleon to sell Louisiana to the United States to fund his military; the Americans sought to purchase only the port city of New Orleans and its adjacent coastal lands, but accepted the bargain.
The Louisiana Purchase occurred during the term of the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. Before the purchase was finalized, the decision faced Federalist Party opposition. Jefferson agreed that the U. S. Constitution did not contain explicit provisions for acquiring territory, but he asserted that his constitutional power to negotiate treaties was sufficient. Throughout the second half of the 18th century, Louisiana was a pawn on the chessboard of European politics, it was controlled by the French, who had a few small settlements along the Mississippi and other main rivers. France ceded the territory to Spain in the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau. Following French defeat in the Seven Years' War, Spain gained control of the territory west of the Mississippi and the British the territory to the east of the river. Following the establishment of the United States, the Americans controlled the area east of the Mississippi and north of New Orleans; the main issue for the Americans was free transit of the Mississippi to the sea.
As the lands were being settled by a few American migrants, many Americans, including Jefferson, assumed that the territory would be acquired "piece by piece." The risk of another power taking it from a weakened Spain made a "profound reconsideration" of this policy necessary. New Orleans was important for shipping agricultural goods to and from the areas of the United States west of the Appalachian Mountains. Pinckney's Treaty, signed with Spain on October 27, 1795, gave American merchants "right of deposit" in New Orleans, granting them use of the port to store goods for export. Americans used this right to transport products such as flour, pork, lard, cider and cheese; the treaty recognized American rights to navigate the entire Mississippi, which had become vital to the growing trade of the western territories. In 1798, Spain revoked the treaty allowing American use of New Orleans upsetting Americans. In 1801, Spanish Governor Don Juan Manuel de Salcedo took over from the Marquess of Casa Calvo, restored the American right to deposit goods.
However, in 1800 Spain had ceded the Louisiana territory back to France as part of Napoleon's secret Third Treaty of San Ildefonso. The territory nominally remained under Spanish control, until a transfer of power to France on November 30, 1803, just three weeks before the formal cession of the territory to the United States on December 20, 1803. A further ceremony was held in Upper Louisiana regarding the New Orleans formalities; the March 9–10, 1804 event is remembered as Three Flags Day. James Monroe and Robert R. Livingston had traveled to Paris to negotiate the purchase of New Orleans in January 1803, their instructions were to purchase control of New Orleans and its environs. The Louisiana Purchase was by far the largest territorial gain in U. S. history. Stretching from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains, the purchase doubled the size of the United States. Before 1803, Louisiana had been under Spanish control for forty years. Although Spain aided the rebels in the American Revolutionary War, the Spanish didn't want the Americans to settle in their territory.
Although the purchase was thought of by some as unjust and unconstitutional, Jefferson determined that his constitutional power to negotiate treaties allowed the purchase of what became fifteen states. In hindsight, the Louisiana Purchase could be considered one of his greatest contributions to the United States. On April 18, 1802, Jefferson penned a letter to United States Ambassador to France Robert Livingston, it was an intentional exhortation to make this mild diplomat warn the French of their perilous course. The letter began: The cession of Louisiana and the Floridas by Spain to France works most sorely on the U. S. On this subject the Secretary of State has written to you fully, yet I cannot forbear recurring to it s
A nomad is a member of a community of people without fixed habitation who move to and from the same areas, including nomadic hunter-gatherers, pastoral nomads, tinker or trader nomads. As of 1995, there were an estimated 30–40 million nomads in the world. Nomadic hunting and gathering, following seasonally available wild plants and game, is by far the oldest human subsistence method. Pastoralists raise herds, driving them, or moving with them, as if with an Apuzzo, in patterns that avoid depleting pastures beyond their ability to recover. Nomadism is a lifestyle adapted to infertile regions such as steppe, tundra, or ice and sand, where mobility is the most efficient strategy for exploiting scarce resources. For example, many groups in the tundra are reindeer herders and are semi-nomadic, following forage for their animals. Sometimes described as "nomadic" are the various itinerant populations who move about in densely populated areas living not on natural resources, but by offering services to the resident population.
These groups are known as "peripatetic nomads". A nomad is a person with no settled home, moving from place to place as a way of obtaining food, finding pasture for livestock, or otherwise making a living; the word nomad comes from a Greek word. Most nomadic groups follow a fixed seasonal pattern of movements and settlements. Nomadic peoples traditionally travel on foot. Today, some nomads travel by motor vehicle. Most nomads live in other portable shelters. Nomads keep moving for different reasons. Nomadic foragers move in search of game, edible plants, water. Australian Aborigines, Negritos of Southeast Asia, San of Africa, for example, traditionally move from camp to camp to hunt and gather wild plants; some tribes of the Americas followed this way of life. Pastoral nomads make their living raising livestock such as camels, goats, sheep or yaks; these nomads travel to find more camels and sheep through the deserts of Arabia and northern Africa. The Fulani and their cattle travel through the grasslands of Niger in western Africa.
Some nomadic peoples herders, may move to raid settled communities or avoid enemies. Nomadic craftworkers and merchants travel to serve customers, they include the Lohar blacksmiths of India, the Romani traders, the Irish Travellers. Most nomads travel in groups of bands or tribes; these groups are based on formal agreements of cooperation. A council of adult males makes most of the decisions. In the case of Mongolian nomads, a family moves twice a year; these two movements occur during the summer and winter. The winter location is located near mountains in a valley and most families have fixed winter locations, their winter locations have shelter for the animals and are not used by other families while they are out. In the summer they move to a more open area. Most nomads move in the same region and don't travel far to a different region. Since they circle around a large area, communities form and families know where the other ones are. Families do not have the resources to move from one province to another unless they are moving out of the area permanently.
A family can move on its own or with others and if it moves alone, they are no more than a couple of kilometers from each other. Nowadays there are no tribes and decisions are made among family members, although elders consult with each other on usual matters; the geographical closeness of families is for mutual support. Pastoral nomad societies do not have large population. One such society, the Mongols, gave rise to the largest land empire in history; the Mongols consisted of loosely organized nomadic tribes in Mongolia and Siberia. In the late 12th century, Genghis Khan united them and other nomadic tribes to found the Mongol Empire, which stretched the length of Asia; the nomadic way of life has become rare. Many governments dislike nomads because it is difficult to control their movement and to obtain taxes from them. Many countries have converted pastures into cropland and forced nomadic peoples into permanent settlements. Nomads move from campsite to following game and wild fruits and vegetables.
Hunting and gathering describes early people's subsistence living style. Following the development of agriculture, most hunter-gatherers were either displaced or converted to farming or pastoralist groups. Only a few contemporary societies are classified as hunter-gatherers. Pastoral nomads are nomads moving between pastures. Nomadic pastoralism is thought to have developed in three stages that accompanied population growth and an increase in the complexity of social organization. Karim Sadr has proposed the following stages: Pastoralism: This is a mixed economy with a symbiosis within the family. Agropastoralism: This is when symbiosis is between clans within an ethnic group. True Nomadism: This is when symbiosis is at the regional level between specialised nomadic and agricultural populations; the pastoralists are sedentary to a certain area, as they move between the permanent spring, summer and winter pastures for their livestock. The nomads moved depending on the availability of resources. Nomadic pastoralism seems to have
Battle of Black Jack
The Battle of Black Jack took place on June 2, 1856, when anti-slavery forces, led by the noted abolitionist John Brown, attacked the encampment of Henry C. Pate near Baldwin City, Kansas; the battle is cited as one incident of "Bleeding Kansas" and a contributing factor leading up to the American Civil War of 1861 to 1865. In 1854, the U. S. Congress had passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act which stipulated that the residents of these territories would decide whether they wished to enter the Union as a slave or free state; this doctrine became known as popular sovereignty. Organized groups from the North sent thousands of abolitionist supporters to Kansas in an attempt to tip the balance in favor of free state advocates, to counter settlement from pro-slavery supporters from Missouri; as a result, pro- and anti-slavery groups had frequent clashes culminating in the Battle of Black Jack. On May 21, 1856, Henry C. Pate participated with a posse of 750 pro-slavery forces in the sacking of Lawrence, which destroyed the Free State Hotel, two abolitionist newspaper offices and their printing presses.
They looted throughout the village. The next day, Congressman Preston Brooks from South Carolina physically attacked Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts in the Senate chambers with a cane, he continued hitting after the senator was unconscious. Three days a band of men, led by John Brown and comrade Captain Shore, executed five proslavery men with broadswords at Pottawatomie Creek. Brown's men let James Harris return home to the cabin of Harris; this incident became known as the Pottawatomie massacre. Following the massacre, three anti-slavery men were taken prisoner, including two of John Brown's sons. On June 2, 1856 Brown and 29 others fought the battle of Black Jack; this started after Brown's two sons were held prisoner by Pate. The five-hour battle went in Brown's favor and Pate and 22 of his followers were captured and held for ransom. Brown agreed to release them as long; the town of Black Jack was established in 1855 as a trail town on the Santa Fe Trail. The town became incorporated in 1857 and the threat of border warfare was still a problem in Black Jack.
At its peak, Black Jack contained a tavern, post office, blacksmiths, a hotel, general store, doctor's office and two churches but by the end of the Civil War, Santa Fe traffic began to dwindle and soon the town was abandoned. Some historians, including Clay Thomas of the Baldwin Historical Society, consider the Battle of Black Jack to be the first true battle of the American Civil War though no army representing the Union or the Confederacy was involved; the event, cited as the beginning of the war is the attack on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, by Confederate troops on April 12, 1861. The site of the battle is located near U. S. Highway 56, about three miles east of Baldwin City, is within Robert Hall Pearson Memorial Park, designated by the state of Kansas in honor of one of Brown and Shore's fighters who gave a handwritten account of the battle. Signs placed throughout the battle site point out where the battle ended. Efforts are underway to preserve both the Pearson Memorial Park and the Ivan Boyd Prairie Preserve across the road.
In 1970, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Baldwin City, Baker University professor and playwright Don Mueller and Phyllis E. Braun, Business Manager, produced a musical play entitled The Ballad Of Black Jack to tell the story of the events that led up to the battle; the Ballad Of Black Jack played as part of the city's Maple Leaf Festival from 1970–83 and again from 2001-05. It played in nearby Lawrence in 1986 and in 2006 and 2007 as a part of Lawrence's Civil War On The Western Frontier program. In 2012 the National Park Service designated the battlefield a National Historic Landmark. List of battles fought in Kansas List of National Historic Landmarks in Kansas National Register of Historic Places listings in Douglas County, Kansas The Black Jack Battlefield and Nature Trust "Santa Fe Trail Site" View From USGS Aerial Photographs
Lawrence is the county seat of Douglas County and sixth-largest city in Kansas. It is located in the northeastern sector of the state, astride Interstate 70, between the Kansas and Wakarusa Rivers; as of the 2010 census, the city's population was 87,643. Lawrence is a college town and the home to both the University of Kansas and Haskell Indian Nations University. Lawrence was founded by the New England Emigrant Aid Company, was named for Amos Adams Lawrence, a Republican abolitionist from Massachusetts, who offered financial aid and support for the settlement. Lawrence was central to the "Bleeding Kansas" period and was the site of the Wakarusa War and the Sack of Lawrence. During the American Civil War, it was the site of the Lawrence massacre. Lawrence began as a center of free-state politics. From here, its economy diversified into many industries, including agriculture and education, beginning with the founding of the University of Kansas in 1865, Haskell Indian Nations University in 1884, as well as several private and public schools.
Prior to Kansas Territory being established in May 1854, most of Douglas County was part of the Shawnee Indian Reservation. During this period, the Oregon Trail ran parallel to the Kansas River through the area where Lawrence would be situated and a hill known as "Hogback Ridge"; this area was used as an outlook by those on the trail. While this territory was technically unopened to settlement prior to 1854, there did exist a few "squatter settlements" in the area just north of the Kansas River. Lawrence was founded "strictly for political reasons" having to do with the issue of slavery, debated in the United States during the early-to-mid 1800s. Northern Democrats, led by Senators Lewis Cass of Michigan and Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois promoted the idea of "popular sovereignty" as a middle position on the slavery issue. Proponents of this doctrine argued that it was more democratic, as it allowed the citizens of newly-organized territories to have final say in regards to the permissibly of slavery in their own lands.
Douglas made popular sovereignty the backbone of his Kansas–Nebraska Act—legislation that repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska—which passed in Congress in 1854. Around this time, the Christian abolitionist and Protestant minister Richard Cordley noted that "there was a feeling of despondency all over the north" because the bill's passage "opened Kansas to slavery was thought to be equivalent to making Kansas a slave state." This was because nearby Missouri allowed slavery, many rightly assumed that the first settlers in Kansas Territory would come flooding in from this state, bringing their penchant for slavery with them. In time, anger at the Kansas-Nebraska Act united antislavery forces into a movement committed to stopping the expansion of slavery. Many of these individuals decided to "meet the question on the terms of the bill itself" by migrating to Kansas, electing antislavery legislators, banning the practice of slavery altogether.
These settlers soon became known as "Free-Staters". In his book A History of Lawrence, Cordley wrote: The most systematic and extensive movement, was made "The New England Emigrant Aid Company"... The men engaged in it, Eli Thayer, Amos A. Lawrence, others, began their work at once, arousing public interest and making arrangements to facilitate emigration to Kansas; as early as June, 1854, they sent Dr. Charles Robinson, of Fitchburg, Mr. Charles H. Branscomb, of Holyoke, to explore the territory and select a site for a colony... Robinson his party climbed the hill along this spur, looked off over what was afterwards the site of Lawrence, they marked the magnificence of the view. Whether they thought of what might afterwards occur is not known; when he was asked, therefore, to go and explore the country with a view to locating colonies, it was not altogether an unknown land to him. Branscomb was tasked with exploring the Kansas River up to about the location of Fort Riley, whereas Robinson scouted land near Fort Leavenworth and the nearby city of the same name.
The two chose this site because it was the "first desirable location where emigrant Indians had ceded their land rights." The area was attractive because it was close to not only on the Oregon Trail, but the Santa Fe and the 1846 Military Trails. Concurrent with Robinson and Branscomb's exploration, the New England Emigrant Aid Company was soliciting some of its members into settling in Kansas. At first, the New England Emigrant Aid Company had wanted to send a somewhat sizeable group of settlers to claim the land. A cholera outbreak in the Missouri Valley preve