Partisan Cartographers During the Kansas-Missouri Border War, 1854–1861

  • Karen Severud CookEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


A precursor to the American Civil War erupted in Kansas in 1854 after the U.S. Congress gave homesteaders in the Kansas Territory, newly opened for settlement, the right to vote whether Kansas would be a free or slave-holding state. Conflict between settlers from adjoining slave-holding Missouri and anti-slavery settlers from New England resulted in the guerrilla-style Kansas-Missouri Border War, 1854–1861. At the same time, the Territory was being surveyed and mapped for settlement according to the Public Land Survey System. Surviving documents reveal how political views and cartographic activities mingled in the lives of three surveyors active in Douglas County, the site of both Lecompton, the early pro-slavery capital of Kansas, and Lawrence, the Free-State headquarters. While surveying and mapping the Kansas Territory, Albert Dwight Searl, Isaac Cooper Stuck, and John Brown not only promoted its settlement but also put their lives on the line in opposition to slavery.


Section Line Land Transaction Guerrilla Warfare Town Site Land Agent 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of KansasLawrenceUSA

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