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Ekstrom Library

Government Resources: States: Kansas

KANSAS

Kansas Frontier Forts

Contrary to popular myth and the movies, western forts were not fortresses protecting the Army from Native Americans. The primary role of forts was to maintain peace among tribes, as well as between Native Americans and White immigrants. These outposts played an important role in the U.S. government's Indian policy.

In many cases, early Kansas forts were established to prevent encroachment on native lands or to protect one tribe from another. The opening of the Santa Fe Trail in the 1820s brought many teamsters and traders across Kansas. Expansion of trade across tribal lands met with opposition from the tribes. In response, more forts were built to protect commerce along the trail. Some Kansas forts also served as Indian agencies and distribution points for annuities given to tribes under treaty agreements.  Source: kansapedia

 

The John Brown Cabin

Photograph taken prior to the 1928 enclosure of the cabin. Courtesy of the Kansas Historical Society. John Brown (1800--1859) came to Osawatomie from his farm in upstate New York in October 1855 after three of his sons, who had arrived earlier in the year, appealed to him for help against proslavery forces in the area. While in Kansas, Brown was involved in a number of skirmishes in the so-called Bleeding Kansas" era, including the "battle" of Osawatomie on August 30, 1856.

The John Brown Cabin was built in 1855 by Samuel Glenn, who sold it to Samuel Adair, Brown's brother-in-law. Brown frequented the cabin and occasionally used it as a headquarters for his abolitionist activities. Built about a mile west of Osawatomie, the log cabin was dismantled and reassembled in its present location, John Brown Park, in 1912. A stone pavilion was constructed around the cabin in 1928, however the interior of the cabin remains much as it was when Brown was a frequent visitor and contains much of the original furniture. John Brown only lived in Kansas for about 20 months, but his abolitionist activities leading up to his infamous raid on Harper's Ferry have been closely associated with the state. Source: John Brown Cabin, National Park Service

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