Kansas 105

1541-1860 Timeline


Spanish conquistador Francisco Vasquez de Coronado comes in search of the Seven Cities of Gold.


Explorer Charles Claude du Tisne places a French flag in southeast Kansas.


Kansas, along with the Louisiana, territory becomes Spanish land.

Early 1800s

Known as the Konza, Kanza or Kansa, and translated roughly as "the People of the South Wind," the Kaw move from the Ohio River Valley to the Kansas River valley to claim a territory that covers roughly two-fifths of modern-day Kansas and parts of Nebraska and Missouri.


United States purchases Louisiana territory.


June 28 — Meriwether Lewis and William Clark reach the junction of the Kansas and Missouri rivers and name two creeks, Fourth of July and Independence, in celebration of the July 4 weekend.


Zebulon Pike is sent by the U.S. government to explore the Plains. He finds western Kansas "generally dry and sandy, with gravel... and on which not a speck of vegetable matter existed."


Shawnee Indians living in Indiana and Illinois are forced to give up their land and marched to a reservation in Kansas. Many die on the way.


Daniel Morgan Boone, son of the Western frontiersman Daniel Boone, brings the first Methodists to Kansas.


Nine hundred Potawatomi Indians are forced to march 681 miles from their homes in northern Indiana to Sugar Creek Mission in today's Linn County.


Sister Phillipine Duchesne, 72, arrives in Linn County to teach Potawatomie children. The Indians call her "the woman who is always praying."


Between 1842 and 1845, "The Pathfinder," John Charles Fremont, surveys the Oregon Trail and territory, where he meets frontiersman Kit Carson. Fremont's maps of the Oregon Trail spark the migration westward of thousands of settlers.


Fort Mann is built near what is now Dodge City to protect travelers on the Santa Fe Trail. In 1848, it is attacked by Indians.

April 28 — Osage Catholic Mission, now St. Paul, is established. Jesuit missionaries spread Christianity across more than 100 missions in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.


Sept. 17 — Francois Xavier Aubry arrives in Independence after riding the length of the Santa Fe Trail — roughly 900 miles in 5 days and 16 hours, breaking a record.


Aug. 3 — Army recruits near Fort Leavenworth report "Cholera raging to an awful extent among us."


March 5 — Fort Riley is established to protect Kansas' trails.


June 13 — About 2,000 people come to settle in Kansas during the first two weeks it has been declared a territory.


May 21 — Proslavery forces known as Missouri Border Ruffians sack and burn the abolitionist town of Lawrence.


Seth Hays opens Hays House in Council Grove, now the oldest continuously operating restaurant west of the Mississippi River.


Jan. 30 — Leavenworth Daily Times headline about the Pony Express: "Great Express Enterprise! From Leavenworth to Sacramento in Ten Days! Clear the Track and Let the Pony Come Through!"

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