Lecompton, Kansas

City: Lecompton

County: Douglas

State: Kansas

Lat/Long: 39.0333, -95.3833

Lecompton, Kansas is a city in Douglas County, Kansas. Situated in northeastern Kansas on the Kansas River, thirteen miles east of Topeka, Lecompton had its origins in the flood of white settlers that moved into the area after Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Settlement began in 1854, and proprietors established the Lecompton Town Company to transform the town into a large city and the capital of the Kansas Territory. In 1855, the Kansas Territorial Legislature moved from the Shawnee Mission to Lecompton, and the settlement became the headquarters of the pro-slavery party and legislature from 1855 to 1859. The Kansas Territorial Legislature incorporated Lecompton as a city and named it county seat for Douglas County. Pro-slavery Kansans held a constitutional convention in Lecompton from September 7 to November 8, 1857, drafting a pro-slavery constitution for Kansas that the Kansas electorate overwhelmingly rejected. At the height of its prosperity in 1858, Lecompton boasted several large hotels, four churches, a United States court and General Land Office, and a population of upward 1,000 people.

Courtlandt Canby, The Encyclopedia of Historic Places (New York: Facts on File, 1984), 1:510; Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary , 3rd ed. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1997), 638; Wendell H. Stephenson, “Lecompton Constitution,” Dictionary of American History, rev. ed. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976), 4:130; History of the State of Kansas (Chicago: A. T. Andreas, 1883), 351.