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Monuments and Milestones
Early Lawrence, founded in 1854 before Kansas became a state, looked more like a camp site than a settlement. Tents and rough log cabins were the start of the town built on the conviction that Kansas should be admitted to the Union as a free state. Residents of Lawrence suffered the burning of the town only two years after its settlement and then again in 1863 with Quantrill's raid.
The early settlement of Lawrence included German immigrants. With the help of the New England Emigrant Aid Society, enough Germans had come to Lawrence to create a distinct German culture in the community. In 1857, a Turnverein, or athletic and social club, was established at the corner of 10th and New York Streets; By 1860, the Turnverein had forty-six members, just over half the German population in Lawrence. The number of German immigrants to Kansas increased around 1860 because farm land was cheap due to the drought in Kansas.
Important dates during this time period:
1856 – Bleeding Kansas, stuggle over slavery in the territory
1860 – Lincoln elected president
1861 – Start of the Civil War
1862 – Emancipation Proclamation announced
1865 – End of Civil War/Lincoln assassinated
1866 – Congress granted rights of citizenship to all males regardless of race
1869 – Transcontinental railroad completed