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History & Statehood » Introduction

Before Kansas became the 34th state in the Union, it was a wild, Indian-inhabited world—setting the stage for the legendary backdrop of the Old West. Leading up to Kansas' statehood, it was a hotbed of violence between settlers and Indians, Bushwackers and Jayhawkers, Kansans and Missourians. The excitement continued, even after Kansas became a free state. Dive into the history of Kansas, and discover what an adventure it was to live out the motto "Ad astra per aspera"!

Free State Hotel image
Ruins of the Free State Hotel after the Sacking of Lawrence
Photo courtesy of the State Historical Society of Missouri