“Freedom's Crossroads” is always open to the public. Located in downtown Topeka, visit interpretive signage on the Kansas Free State Capitol, Dispersal of the Free State Legislature, the Lane Trail to Freedom, and Topeka Rotary.


Hours

Open to the public. No set hours.

Contact Information

431 S. Kansas Ave (site)
225 SW 12th St (mail)
Topeka, KS 66612
Phone: --

Location Type

Kid-friendly
Interpretive Signs
Walking Tours

Site Info

Parking
Wheelchair
Bus / RV Parking
Group Meeting Room
Group Tours
Parking
Wheel Chair Accessible

This park is situated between two buildings in which nationally historically significant events occurred approximately 100 years apart, both telling important stories of our nation’s enduring struggle for freedom. One is the old Federal courthouse in which the Brown v. Topeka Board of Education trial was held, in the present Topeka post office building across the street from the park. Constitution Hall, adjacent to the park, served as the Capitol building for the Free State Movement to make Kansas a free state, after pro-slavery forces had crossed the Missouri border to elect a pro-slavery legislature, later known as the Bogus Legislature. Here, Free-State legislators wrote the Topeka Constitution in 1855, which intended to make Kansas a free state.

On July 4, 1856, they were dispersed by armed American military forces under order of President Pierce, because the Free-Staters were capturing the nation’s imagination for Freedom, while the Bogus Legislature was meeting and passing numerous pro-slavery laws, as well as the Lecompton Constitution to make Kansas a slave state. Although the Topeka and Lecompton constitutions each passed one house in Congress, neither passed both and Kansas did not become a state until the Wyandotte Constitution was ratified by Congress. This made Kansas a free state just after many southerners had left Congress in accord with secession, leading to the Civil War.

In 2014, the Topeka Rotary Clubs engaged in a major fund drive to build this pocket park with interpretive signage to commemorate the 100 years since the first Rotary club was founded in Topeka.

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