LAWRENCE, a city of eastern Kansas, U.S.A., on the Kansas (Kaw) river, 4o m. W. of Kansas City; county seat of Douglas county and the seat of the State university. It is on Federal highways 4o and 73W, and is served by the Rock Island, the Santa Fe and the Union Pacific railways. The population in 1930 (Federal census) was 13,726.
From the plateau bordering the river the city slopes up to heights which command a fine view. In the south-western part of the city, on the ridge called Mt. Oread, is the University of Kan sas (q.v.), which has an enrolment of 5,000. Haskell Institute (est. 1884), a boarding school for Indians conducted by the Fed eral Government, with an attendance of about i,000, is in the southern part of the city. Lawrence is the commercial centre of a rich farming country, and has manufactures of importance.
Lawrence was founded in 1854 by the New England Emigrant Aid Society, and was named after Amos A. Lawrence of Boston, a prominent member of the society. The first colonists were ardent abolitionists, and during the territorial period Lawrence was the political centre of the free-state cause and the object of several attacks from the pro-slavery forces. After the Free-State Party got control of the legislature in 1857, it was practically the capital of the territory (until 1862), as the legislature regularly, after convening in Lecompton, the legal capital, 13 m. up the
river, would adjourn to Lawrence for the rest of the session. It was a noted station on the "underground railway" by which slaves escaped from Missouri and other slave States into free territory. On Aug. 21, 1863, it was the scene of a most distressing episode in the border warfare, when William C. Quantrell, with 400 mounted Missouri bushrangers, raided the town by night and killed 15o defenceless citizens. The city adopted a charter of its own in 1857, as its application to the free-state legislature at Topeka had been denied and it refused to recognize the authority of the pro-slavery legislature which had twice granted one. This action was declared by Gov. Walker to constitute rebellion against the United States, and he placed the town under martial law; but as perfect order prevailed the troops were withdrawn after a few weeks, by order of President Buchanan, and in Feb. 2858, the legis lature legalized the city's charter.
See F. W. Blackmer, "The Annals of an Historic Town," in the Annual Report of the American Historical Association for 1893.