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A visit to Lecompton, "Civil War Birthplace - Where Slavery Began To Die", will take you to the roots of America's Civil War. Lecompton, Territorial Capitol of Kansas from 1856 to 1861, is located just an hour west of Kansas City on I-70 between Lawrence and Topeka, Ks. The Lecompton area encompasses many sites that are part of the Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area, including but not limited to the following.
Begin with a tour of Constitution Hall; a National Landmark, Kansas Historic Site, and finalist as one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas. This 2-story white frame building was built in 1856 and was the site of the writing of the famous Lecompton Constitution which would have admitted Kansas as a Southern state. The rejection of this document split the Democratic Party and led to the election of President Lincoln. The name "Lecompton" was used 51 times during the Lincoln-Douglas Debates. The 30 minute visit will include displays of Territorial Kansas and its impact on the history of the United States and the Civil War.
The tour will include the Territorial Capital Museum, a National Register Site. Construction of the building was begun with an appropriation of $50,000 from the federal government to be the capitol of Kansas and completed as Lane University. The parents of President Eisenhower met and were married here while students in 1884-85. The museum contains 3 floors of Civil War and Victorian artifacts.
As part of the museum tour, visitors will be treated to the play, "Bleeding Kansas". The audience is encouraged to participate as though they were attending an 1850's town meeting. Characters include John Brown, Jim Lane and other Territorial era characters. The museum tour and play are approximately 1.5 hours.
Visitors may also visit Territorial Democratic Headquarters, located overlooking the Kansas River. Bald Eagles often may be seen at this location. 30 minutes.
The United Methodist Church Women will serve a delicious meal consisting of various choices of meats, salad, vegetables and deserts. If desired, following the meal, a 15 minute recital on the 1884 Chickering Grand Piano, previously used in Lane University, is available.
Visit www.lecomptonkansas.com or call 785-887-6520 or 785-887-6148 for more information. You will be glad you visited Lecompton and so will we!
Times can be varied to meet your schedule. The option to have a tour guide meet the bus in Lawrence or Topeka and ride with the group to Lecompton is available.
The cost for this entire package of Civil War History is $20 per person. This includes admission to museums, historic sites, the play and a meal prepared and served at the church*.
* minimum of 20 needed for a church meal; under 20 other arrangements can be made for your group.