The Struggles for Freedom on the Missouri/Kansas Border
Extraordinary events in the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area (FFNHA) forever changed America. In the nineteenth century, the nation turned its eyes to the Missouri/Kansas border, where peoples with diverse definitions of freedom collided, inciting and fueling the Civil War. The impact of these events is forever woven into the nation’s fabric.
Shaping the Frontier:
For the half million pioneers who traveled on the Santa Fe, California, Mormon, and Oregon Trials, the Missouri/Kansas border was the jumping off point. In this place where river travel ended, traders, miners, and emigrants purchased provisions and prepared for long overland treks. As they traveled west, many began to see the "permanent" Indian frontier beyond Missouri’s western border as an obstacle to Manifest Destiny.
Missouri/Kansas Border War:
When Kansas was opened for settlement in 1854, a border war ensured, capturing the nation’s attention. The Kansas-Nebraska Act nullified the uneasy balance established by the Missouri Compromise and left the territory’s future slave status in the hands of settlers. The stakes were high for both sides. The violence of the Missouri/Kansas Border War ushered in the Civil War, consumed the region in bloody conflict through war’s end, and devastated communities on both sides of the border.
Enduring Struggles for Freedom:
The nation’s struggle for freedom did not end with the Civil War. Though the war eliminated clashes over geography, efforts to break down society’s barriers continue. Since the Civil War, this place has inspired national policies and ongoing efforts to secure equal freedoms for all Americans.
We began as a grassroots effort through the work of people just like you, who were concerned about our landscape and understood that we have an important, nationally significant story to share. Our themes are strong in shaping the frontier, the Missouri/Kansas Border War and the enduring struggle for freedom.
We appreciate your interest in Freedom's Frontier and look forward to your participation. Join us in our efforts in helping to interpret area history that helped shape a nation.
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Partner Meeting Calendar 2017
January 12 Johnson County Central Resource Library, Overland Park KS
March 9 Historic Truman Courthouse, Independence MO (Agenda PDF)
May 11 Tonganoxie Historical Society, Tonganoxie KS
July 13 Bushwhacker Museum, Nevada MO
September 14 Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site, Olathe KS
November 9 Bates County Museum, Butler MO