"Welcome to Lecompton, Kansas" Lecompton by basstbn

Lecompton Travel Guide: 15 reviews and 40 photos

Town of historical note

In 1855 the new town of Lecompton (called Bald Eagle at the time) was selected to be the capital of Kansas Territory, six years prior to Kansas' admission to the US as a full-fledged state. Someone decided that Bald Eagle didn't sound dignified enough for a future metropolis and capital and the name was changed to Lecompton. They needn't have bothered. The capital was relocated.

In case you are wondering, you can once again see bald eagles nesting in the area, mainly during the late fall and winter months.

Constitution Hall

Where the Civil War began? Yes - in a political sense, if nothing else. The eyes of a young nation were upon this simple clapboard building in 1857, as the delegates attempted to push through a pro-slavery constitution, while a large contingent of anti-slavery supporters marched into Lecompton to protest. Violence between pro and anti-slavery folks was not new in Bleeding Kansas, and the constitution adopted here brought the United States one step closer to Civil War.

Territorial Capital

In the mid-1850s, the United States Congress appropriated funds for the building of a capital building in the Kansas Territory - at Lecompton. When the adopted pro-slavery state constitution was refused by Congress, it became apparent that Lecompton would not be the site of a state capital, and work ceased on the unfinished structure in 1858. In 1882 it became the home of Lane University.

It is now a historical museum of significance to those interested in the violent pre-Civil War history of Kansas.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Sites of significance for those interested in Civil War, Bleeding Kansas.
  • Cons:No place to eat, no lodging - move on to nearby Lawrence.
  • In a nutshell:An interesting little sidetrip for those interested in Civil War history.
  • Last visit to Lecompton: Oct 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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