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Country: United States
City: Emporia, Kan.
Issues of this title available in Elephind: 104
Items (articles and/or pages) from this title available in Elephind: 416
Earliest Date: 6 June 1857
Latest Date: 6 August 1859
The Kanzas News was established on June 6, 1857, in the then brand new town of Emporia by Preston Bierce Plumb (1837-1891), who had arrived in the Kansas Territory in late 1856 intent on aiding the free-state cause. At the time, Emporia reportedly consisted of three buildings--all under construction. The town had been laid out by citizens of Lawrence, among them, George Washington Brown, the editor of the Kansas Herald of Freedom , and its foreman, Plumb. Plumb became a permanent and prominent citizen of Emporia, and the Kansas News became a voice of the free-state movement in the territory, as well as being Emporia’s only newspaper for its first twelve years.
The Kanzas News was modeled after the Xenia News of Xenia, Ohio, which Plumb had purchased and run at the age of 16. In the first edition of the Kanzas News, Plumb proclaimed his political independence, stating that he would act according to his own “convictions of right and duty” and that he saw “no middle ground between right and wrong--no compromise with evil." With the motto “The People Always Conquer,” Plumb clearly established the paper’s free-state stance, writing that the “struggle now going on between Freedom and Slavery is a death one; one or the other must succumb. The agitation of this question will not and should not stop until every bondsman is made free, or until every poor man (white or black) is made a slave…we shall never cease our warfare with slavery.” The first issue of the newspaper also included Emporia’s town charter, which, among other things, prohibited gambling and the use and sale of “spirituous liquor,” making Emporia the region’s first dry town. Plumb also promoted the idea of providing free 100-acre homesteads to actual settlers. The News covered the proslavery Lecompton constitutional convention in Kansas, which was denounced as the “Bogus Constitution” and the “Felon Constitution.” Later issues covered the Congressional debates over the Lecompton constitution, the Mormon War in the then neighboring territory of Utah, and continuing conflicts between Missouri “border ruffians” and Kansas free-staters.
On July 31, 1858, Joseph Stotler joined Plumb as the Kanzas News as foreman. There was also a change to the title with a substitution of the letter “s” for “z”. Stotler became the paper’s editor when Plumb announced his departure on January 22, 1858. Plumb later served in the Civil War, became an attorney, and embarked on a career in politics, eventually serving as the U.S. Senator from 1877 until his death in 1891. On August 13, 1859, Stotler changed the title of the paper from the Kansas News to the Emporia News, then later in 1881 to the Emporia Weekly News. In 1889, the latter merged with the Emporia Democrat to form the Weekly News-Democrat.
Provided by: Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, KS