Lincolns’ Horde Celebrates Kansas Anti-Slavery Roots On Trip To Lecompton

LCOMPTON — Abraham Lincoln(s) visited Lecomptonit is historical society on Saturday – about 30 of them.

The visitors were members of the Lincoln Presenters Associationa group of men and women across the United States who like to embody Abraham or Mary Todd Lincoln.

“We are living historians, you might call us, or living history re-enactors,” said Michigan-based ALP member Kevin Wood. “Our goal is really to bring these very important characters in our history to life.”

The association’s visit to Lecompton was part of its three-day annual conference in Kansas – the first in three years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the conference was mostly held near Leavenworth, its final day included a day trip to Lecompton.

Saturday’s event included presentations and tours of Civil War-era historic sites in Lecompton. This included a play centered on the Bleeding Kansas period, a civil war between slavery and anti-slavery supporters in Kansas in the 1850s – in which the Lincolns participated from the public.

Murray Cox, ALP treasurer and conference organizer, said the importance of Saturday’s visit and events was to educate people about the role Kansas — and Abraham Lincoln — played in the war. civil.

“The Civil War basically started here,” Cox said. “The role Kansas played not only in the Civil War, but also in how it affected Lincoln.”

For each lecture, the ALP tries to visit a location strongly associated with the Lincoln family or history. This led the association to choose Leavenworth for this year’s conference.

When Lincoln was “testing the political climate” for the next presidential election in the late 1850s, he made a week-long stopover in Kansas. He gave several speeches condemning slavery throughout this trip, and his last before leaving Kansas was at the Planters House Hotel in Leavenworth.

of Lincoln visit to kansas in 1859 included a handful of towns, and although there is no concrete evidence of this, one of them is said to have been Lecompton. The city was also the draft site of the Lecompton Constitution, a proposed pro-slavery document that never came into effect but contributed to the controversy that led to the Civil War.

Besides being the “birthplace of the civil war“, some think that lincoln would not have become the 16th president had it not been for the political split caused by the document.

ALP intended to educate the country on historical events like these. Some of the organization’s members represent Lincoln for the occasional school event or parade, while others are full-time presenters.

So how do you become a Lincoln presenter? Wood said in some cases it comes down to physical appearance.

“At some point someone probably said to us, ‘You look like Abraham Lincoln,'” he said. “But in most cases it’s for people who have an interest in preserving our history and helping people remember it.”

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