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Meet Kansas Territorial Characters

Guided tour — Constitution Hall State Historic Site, Lecompton

Grades — 7th-8th

Your students will travel back in time to meet some of the "Territorial Characters" of the Kansas territorial period. This unique hands-on learning experience allows students to become reporters for a frontier newspaper.  They will read primary sources documents and see a live performance featuring reenactors portraying famous Kansans of the territorial days. The young reporters then will have the opportunity to interview the actors who will remain "in character" after the performance ends. As an end result of the guided tour students will write articles for the frontier newspaper.


The one-hour performance portion of the tour is set in an 1850s Kansas territorial political town hall meeting. Actors from the Lecompton troupe will portray some of the famous Kansans from that turbulent time period known as "Bleeding Kansas" Join Charles Robinson, Sara Robinson, James Lane, John Brown, Clarina Nichols, Samuel Jones, David Atchison, and Andrew Reeder as they passionately express their feelings on the issue of slavery in Kansas, both pro and con. The program also includes a visit to Constitution Hall State Historic Site.


This tour offers pre- and post-visit material to help teachers provide students with supplemental learning. Included in the pre-visit materials is the Read Kansas! lesson Territorial Characters.

Download PDF with tour information

Cost per student is $2.  One adult enters free for every 10 students.  Additional adults pay $3.

Length of tour: approximately 1.5 - 2.5 hours for the performance, student interviews of the territorial characters, and visits to Constitution Hall State Historic Site and the Lane Museum.

Number of students in a group: For the best experience, we recommend no more than 80 students for the performance and guided tours.

Registration and scheduling: Contact site administrator, 785-887-6520; email Constitution Hall at kshs.consthall@ks.gov. Tours must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.