Border Disputes in Southeast Kansas, 1856-1858


David Stone

Date of Graduation

Spring 2002


Master of Arts in History



Committee Chair

William Piston


Bleeding Kansas is often mentioned in Civil War histories but usually only in general terms. Discussions of Kansas are usually limited to events that occurred between 1854 and 1857 in the Lawrence region in the northwestern part of the state. John Brown is the most recognized figure from Kansas, due mainly to the Pottawatomie Massacre. He often overshadows other significant individuals, such as James Montgomery. This is surprising because Brown's activities in Kansas were limited, intermittent, and did not receive a great deal of approval from free state forces in southeastern Kansas. Montgomery remained active in Kansas from beginning to end and had a strong and loyal following. Although a few attempts have been made at comprehensive histories of Bleeding Kansas, a seminal work on the subject has not been written. The events of 1856-1858 not only illustrate the volatility of Kansas but the important role it played in the coming of the Civil War. Emphasizing 1858 illustrates the critical role James Montgomery played in southeast Kansas. Southeastern Kansas and individuals such as James Montgomery deserve a closer look by Civil War historians.

Subject Categories



© David Stone