Archive for Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Statehouse Live: Kansas House approves resolution recognizing Lecompton’s role in state’s history

Legislative leaders to sign resolution at Constitution Hall

Paul Bahnmaier, president of the Lecompton Historical Society, speaks Tuesday, May 3, 2011, in the Capitol after the Kansas House approved a resolution recognizing Lecompton for its role in state and national history.

May 3, 2011, 11:07 a.m. Updated May 3, 2011, 11:27 a.m.

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— The Kansas House on Tuesday approved a resolution that recounts the role that the city of Lecompton played in state and national history.

Lecompton was the territorial capital of Kansas. Located between Topeka and Lawrence, the town has been called the “Birthplace of the Civil War — Where Slavery Began to Die.”

The pro-slavery Lecompton Constitution was rejected by Congress and led to a split in the Democratic Party, which allowed Republican Abraham Lincoln to win the presidency with 39 percent of the vote.

Earlier this year, Paul Bahnmaier, president of the Lecompton Historical Society, had proposed that the Legislature meet for one day in Lecompton as part of observing Kansas' 150th anniversary of statehood.

But legislative leaders said that the Kansas Constitution prevented the Legislature from meeting outside Topeka, although there have been instances where numerous legislators have attended meetings outside the capital.

Legislative leaders are scheduled to visit Constitution Hall in Lecompton on May 20 to sign the resolution. The entire Legislature is invited.

Bahnmaier and Iona Spencer, historian and genealogist of the group, on Monday watched legislators approve the resolution.

State Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence, said the city of Lecompton was trying to remain economically viable, like many small towns in Kansas.

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