Town settlement by both pro-slavery and free state factions.
Middle and High school
This lesson covers the difficulties of town settlement in Kansas Territory between the proslave and free-state factions. Town settlement was at times a race to see who could bring the most emigrants to Kansas Territory, and in so doing influence the vote on the slavery question on a state and national level.
- KH8B3I2 explain why territorial government was affected by slavery conflict
- KH8B3I6 analyze how the slave debate affect Kansas statehood
- KH11B3I1 describe the development of territorial towns in relation to the slavery issue
- Understand the elements of town development and how it was affected by the conflict over the extension of slavery into the territory
- Using primary sources (letters, advertisements, government documents)
- Why would town development be important in a new territory?
- How were towns created in the 1850s?
- Why was the slave issue connected to town development?
- Groups of students work together to create and “sell” their towns.
- Map key locations and geographical features of northeast Kansas during the territorial period.
- Learn the vocabulary terms preemption, speculation, share, and quitclaim from reading primary source documents.
- Apply knowledge about town settlement through role-playing as a town surveyor, promoter, city clerk, and town commissioner.
- Groups of students create fictitious towns and sell town shares to other students. The towns selling the most shares win.
- Through a random drawing, two towns are determined to be slave towns. The populations of these towns will determine if Kansas is free or slave.
- Discuss the ramifications.
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