1856 LIBERTY SEATED 10C, SMALL DATE PR65
GEM PROOF SURFACES. ONLY 50 STRUCK. CAC.
The true beginnings of the Civil War conflict are often debated to have begun when the Kansas-Nebraska act of 1854 allowed the newly established states to determine their slavery status based on popular sovereignty. The events that unfolded in the years to follow certainly perpetuated this idea. By 1856 Nebraska had easily voted in unity to live as a free state- which made slavery illegal- but Kansas on the other hand quite literally imploded. Thanks to the large influx of pro-slavery and anti-slavery sympathizers into Kansas, the state could not compromise. Instead of logically settling the disagreement, the homesteaders resorted to violence amongst each other. What started the horrific five-year period known as “Bloody Kansas” actually ended with a death toll of over two hundred. Two of the worst events of this horrific time happened five years before the Civil War in 1856; The Sack of Lawrence and the Pottawatomie Massacre, both within three days of each other. As a result of the great Slavery divide, the abolitionists had established a second government within Kansas entitled the “Free-Soil” government. Those who were Pro-Slavery were absolutely fed up with the abolitionists and considered the split treason and wanted the citizens and leaders of Lawrence arrested for it. After time passed and the incident was continuously ignored, Sheriff Samuel J. Jones decided to put matters into his own hands. Jones, a prominent pro-slavery leader, descended upon the town of Lawrence to arrest these treasonous people and put an end to the long debate. Once Jones and his mob of eight hundred men arrived, the people of Lawrence decided against resistance to avoid extra conflict but the mob was still unsatisfied. To curb their rage’s appetite the mob proceeded to destroy two abolitionist newspaper companies, several businesses, and burned down the Free-State Hotel. Finally their lust for destruction was met and the mob retired for the day. This however ignited a fire across the abolitionist nation, even in Congress where fights broke out as a result, but especially in no-nonsense leader John Brown. Brown, a strict religious man, thoroughly believed in the “eye-for-an-eye” motto and thought the only punishment for the raiders was death. In retaliation, Brown and his group of loyal followers descended upon the town of Pottawatomie Creek and sought revenge. During their fury Brown’s men dragged many helpless, and often innocent, victims from slumber armed with broadswords. In the end five victims lay brutally slain by Brown, which escalated the matter to a whole new level. From this point on Brown remained a fugitive and this was not the last time his name would appear in the headline. No one had been killed in the name of anti-slavery yet, but once it was done the fire grew into a tremendous storm that enveloped the nation and eventually developed into the Civil War.