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"Free State Battery, 1856"

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Free State Battery, 1856

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Following the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, thousands of settlers poured into Kansas from the North and South, armed for the conflict over slavery. This picture is a daguerrotype of a group of northern Free-State men with their cannon. It was presented to the Kansas State Historical Society in March, 1878, by Col. Thomas W. Higginson.

Higginson was a white abolitionist who had been part of the attempt to break Anthony Burns out of prison. He was also the leader of the 1st South Carolina Volunteers, one of the first black regiments in the Civil War. The inscription which Higginson wrote to accompany the picture says, "Daguerrotype of one of the first Free-State batteries in Kansas. Presented to T. W. Higginson by one of the officers, at Topeka, Kansas, in September, 1856."

Image Credit: Kansas State Historical Society

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Bleeding Kansas

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