Kansas 105

Today's trivia (July 9)

As a soldier and politician, James Henry Lane was one of early Kansas' most colorful and passionate residents.

Not only did he help fuel the Missouri-Kansas border wars during the state's territorial years, but later, when Kansas became a state, he organized American Indians and former slaves into soldiers.

The Tri-Colored Brigade, composed of white, black and American Indian regiments, fought for the Union during the Civil War.

The 1st Colored Volunteer Infantry Regiment was the first regiment of black men to fight for the U.S. Army from a northern state and the first to serve alongside whites.

Lane was born in 1814 in Lawrenceburg, Ind. As a young man, he studied law and, during the Mexican War, served as a colonel.

He came to Kansas in 1855 and quickly joined the Free-State forces, leading Kansans in skirmishes with Missourians. He established a trail used to bring runaways from the Mississippi River across Iowa, through Nebraska and into Kansas.

When the Civil War began, Lane enthusiastically organized the "frontier guard," which went to Washington, D.C., and offered the White House and President Lincoln security until Union troops could arrive. But after just one night with the Kansas guard in the East Room of the White House, Lincoln politely excused them to the White House lawn.

Lane also lost favor with federal officials, particularly Lincoln, when he began organizing former slaves as soldiers.

Question: After the Civil War, Lane committed suicide. How old was he when he died?

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Answer to Friday’s Question: In Elkhart, the high school stadium was named for Thane Baker. Also, a monument near City Hall has Baker's and Glenn Cunningham's pictures and Olympic information.

Check back at Kansas.com Sunday for the answer to today’s question.