Jump to Navigation

Free-State Battery Photo

Free-state battery photo

A group of emigrants brought along their own cannon when they came to Kansas Territory.

During the year 1856, the proslavery people of Missouri virtually cut off free-state emigration to Kansas Territory by way of the Missouri River.

Numerous emigrant parties were intercepted and turned back. This circumstance led to an organized emigration to Kansas Territory overland through Iowa. Parties came in companies and were generally armed. These arms were furnished largely by groups in the Eastern states from which the emigrants came.

In a number of instances emigrant parties brought cannons. This daguerreotype shows one of the cannons brought by a company to Topeka in 1856.

Col. Thomas W. Higginson gave this daguerreotype to the Kansas Historical Society in March 1878 with a note in his handwriting: "Daguerreotype of one of the first Free-State batteries in Kansas."

For more on Bleeding Kansas, see the online exhibit Willing to Die For Freedom.

Entry: Free-State Battery Photo

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: April 2004

Date Modified: December 2014

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.