Thomas Barber’s death helped mobilize a territory and serve as a focal point on abolition for the nation.
Barber had come to the territory after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, allowing settlers in those territories to determine by popular vote whether to allow slavery.
Pro-slavery and abolitionist groups set up separate communities and constitutions.
During the fall of 1855, the violence between the two factions escalated, helping earn the territory the nickname “Bleeding Kansas.”
On Dec. 6, 1855, Barber was shot and killed by slavery supporter George Clark, who bragged he’d sent another abolitionist “to his winter quarters.”
Barber’s body was taken to the Free State Hotel in Lawrence, where it was placed on display for several days.
Barber became known as the first martyr of “Bleeding Kansas.”
Question: His death inspired what famous 19th century writer to write:
“Never over one more brave
Shall the prairie grasses weep,
In the ages yet to come,
When the millions in our room,
What we sow in tears, shall reap.”
Answer to Wednesday’s question: Eisenhower
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