Created by the Kansas-Nebraska Act on May 30, 1854, the Kansas Territory covered all of modern Kansas and a large part of modern Colorado. The status of slavery in the territory was highly controversial and a major cause of the Civil War. The territory ceased to exist on January 29, 1861, when Kansas achieved statehood. The western portion was reorganized and expanded as the Colorado Territory on February 28, 1861. Lecompton was the capital of the Kansas Territory.
"An Act to Organize the Territories of Nebraska and Kansas," 30 May 1854, Statutes at Large of the United States 10 (1855):277-90; "An Act for the Admission of Kansas into the Union," 29 January 1861, Statutes at Large of the United States 12 (1863):126-28; "An Act to Provide a Temporary Government for the Territory of Colorado," 28 February 1861, Statutes at Large of the United States 12 (1863):172-77; History of the State of Kansas (Chicago: A. T. Andreas, 1883), 83-179.