Key facts about the violence experienced in the Kansas Territory prior to the American Civil War.
- Kansas Territory
- Wakarusa War (November 21 to December 9, 1855)
- Sacking of Lawrence (May 21, 1856)
- Pottawatomie Massacre (May 24, 1856)
- Battle of Black Jack (June 2, 1856)
- Battle of Franklin (June 4 – 5, 1856)
- Destruction of Fort Saunders (August 15, 1856)
- Battle of Middle Creek (August 28, 1856)
- Battle of Osawatomie (August 30, 1856)
- Battle of Slough Creek (September 11, 1856)
- Battle of Hickory Point (September 13 – 14, 1856)
- Marais des Cygnes Massacre (May 19, 1858)
- Montgomery’s Raid (December 16, 1858)
- Horace Greeley, publisher of the New York Tribune, reportedly coined the term “Bleeding Kansas” to describe the escalating violence in the Kansas Territory during the 1850s.
- Pro-slavery partisans who operated in Bleeding Kansas were known as Border Ruffians.
- Anti-slavery partisans who operated in Bleeding Kansas were known as Free-Staters and Jayhawkers.
- The Battle of Osawatomie was the largest armed conflict to take place in Bleeding Kansas.
- Recent historical research documents 157 homicides in Kansas between 1854 and 1861. Of those, only fifty-six can be directly attributed to political differences regarding slavery – roughly eight deaths per year. By comparison during the 1850s, Los Angeles County, California experienced homicide rates ranging from 110 to 414 deaths per 100,000 people.
- Much of the hysteria engendered by the turbulence in Bleeding Kansas was a product of sensationalized reports published by Northern and Southern newspapers intended to foment the passions of pro and anti-slavery partisans.
- The politicized accounts of violence that occurred in Bleeding Kansas intensified the sectional polarization that eventually spawned the Civil War.