Leavenworth, Kansas

City: Leavenworth

County: Leavenworth

State: Kansas

Lat/Long: 39.3000, -94.9167

Leavenworth, Kansas is the county seat of Leavenworth County, Kansas. Located in northeastern Kansas on the Missouri River, twenty-two miles northwest of Kansas City, Missouri, Leavenworth is the oldest city in Kansas. Originally home to the Kansa and other Native American nations, the United States acquired the territory that would become Leavenworth with the Louisiana Purchase. In 1827, the U.S. Army established Fort Leavenworth in the area to protect the Santa Fe Trail. In 1854, pro-slavery emigrants from Missouri, responding to the Kansas-Nebraska Act, moved into the region, establishing a settlement near the fort. In 1855, the village became the first incorporated community in the Kansas Territory. Citizens adopted the name Leavenworth after the adjoining military installation. Leavenworth became an important transit and supply point for trade with the West. During the Bleeding Kansas crisis, Leavenworth became a center for both pro-slavery and anti-slavery agitation.

Nicole Etcheson, Bleeding Kansas: Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2004); Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary, 3rd ed. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1997), 392, 570, 637; Courtlandt Canby, The Encyclopedia of Historic Places (New York: Facts on File, 1984), 1:303, 508.