Lecompton and the history of the northwestern Douglas County city are gaining some attention in two recent publications.
The Lecompton Constitution is mentioned in the July issue of America’s Civil War magazine in an article about whether President James Buchanan could have stopped the war. Thomas A. Horrocks, an associate librarian of Houghton Library for Collections at Harvard University, wrote the article.
The Lecompton Constitution, written at Constitution Hall, was approved by the U.S. Senate in 1858 and endorsed by Buchanan. But the U.S. House rejected it by eight votes, preventing Kansas from becoming a slave state. Horrocks says the fallout hurt the Democrats’ chances to win the presidency in 1860, allowing Republican Abraham Lincoln the chance to benefit from a fractured Democratic party.
“It just shows you the importance of Lecompton and the significance this Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area has on the history of the United States and the Civil War period,” said Paul Bahnmaier, president of the Lecompton Historical Society.
A recent book also includes Lecompton’s ties to a 20th century president. Kaye Eisenhower Morgan, President Dwight Eisenhower’s niece, recently wrote a book about her grandparents and Dwight Eisenhower’s parents, who met at Lane University and were married in Lecompton in 1885.
The book “The Eisenhower Legacy: A Tribute to Ida Stover Eisenhower and David Jacob Eisenhower” is on sale at the Territorial Capital Museum in Lecompton.
At 2 p.m. June 26, Ida and David Eisenhower’s wedding will be re-enacted as part of Territorial Days in Lecompton at the museum. The year marks the 125th anniversary of their wedding.