( Ok. So if you want any more info on bleeding kansas i wrote a paper over it for my speech class. I took out the beginning and ending parts because they aren't relevant to it.
Ever since the Missouri territory had been divided up and set aside for Indian reservations the Kansas territory had been locked away for white settlers, but in 1854 the Kansas and Nebraska territories were opened to the white settlers from the east. According to The readers companion to American history the territories were opened under the principle of popular sovereignty, which meant that the states could decide if they were to be either free or slave states. At first Missourians flooded into the territory so that when the voting came, they could vote for the state to allow for slavery. However, northern states, such as Massachusetts encouraged people who were anti-slavery to move into the Kansas territory to try to make it a free state. When a census was taken before the actual voting it showed that only 2,905 eligible voters, but when the polls closed in 1855 the tally revealed 6,307 ballots cast. Border ruffians from Missouri had flooded the ballot boxes to vote for Kansas to be a slave state. After this and several other events that would have made hiding a slave a offense that could result in death, the free-staters left and went to form their own government. The Free State men gathered in the town of Lawrence which became the central point for anti-slavery in the territory. The first big event that took place which Kansas got its nickname as Bleeding Kansas was the Pottawatomie Massacre. According to the Great American fact finder, John brown, his sons, and this anti-slavery followers were accused of the murder of 5 proslavery men. The men who were accused of murder were never brought to trial.
Next, between the years of 1855-1858 was when the major battles took place. Lawrence was subject to violence and raids. On May 21 1856 the town was sacked, although there was only one causality which was from the collapse of the Free State hotel. Later, after the war had already begun in 1863 the town was attacked again, but this time resulting in more death and destruction. This was called the Lawrence massacre. The town was burnt to the ground, with only a few buildings still standing. Between 185 and 200 men were killed during the raid. The fighting on both sides was just as brutal though. According to The civil war battle field guide, “The guerilla fighting in Missouri produced a form of terrorism that exceeded anything else in the war. Jay hawking Kansans and Bushwhacking Missourians took no prisoners, killed in cold blood, plundered and pillaged and burned (But almost never raped) without stint.” And “The motives of guerillas and Jayhawkers alike sometimes seemed nothing more than robbery, revenge, or nilihilistic love of violence, but ideology played a part of. Having battled proslavery Missourians for nearly a decade many jayhawkers were hardened abolitionists, intent on destroying slavery and the social structure it sustained.” In these years several other battles took place such as the Battle of Black Jack, Battle of Osawatomie, The Marais des Cygnes
Massacre, and the Wakarusa War.
Finally, after these battles a short time of peace came along for the territory. With the newly appointed governor, John W. Geary, of the territory the fighting stopped for a short time in autumn 1856. According to the Civil war: Brother against brother, Right before James Buchanan because president the proslavery government of Kansas was going to try to apply for statehood. When the election hit the Free-staters boycotted the election and later found out at Lecompton, the territorial capital at the time that the delegates were all proslavery. During this many Freestaters from up north had been flooding into the territory, in hopes of possibly trying to take it as a free state when it did try to enter the union again. With the making of the Lecompton Constitution that would allow slaves in the state, however banning any importation of any other slaves into the state it was defeated. "For the third time Kansas saw an election in which one side or the other declined to participate." President Buchanan brought up the constitution again for the state to vote on; pushing for an acceptance or the state would not be allowed to reapply to the union for several more years. The Constitution was rejected and now that the jayhawkers were vastly overwhelming the bushwhackers it marked an end to the territorial battles before the outbreak of the civil war. And thus allowed for Kansas in 1861 on January 29th to be admitted into the union as the 34th state. It joined as a free state that outlawed any slavery in it.