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The Santa Fe Trail traversed Kansas from 1821 to 1880, transporting manufactured goods from Missouri and silver and furs from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Wagon ruts from the trail are still visible in the prairie today.
For thousands of years, what is now Kansas was home to numerous and diverse Native American tribes.
Tribes in the eastern part of the state generally lived in villages along the river valleys.
Directly presaging the American Civil War, these forces collided, entering into skirmishes that earned the territory the name of Bleeding Kansas.
Missouri and Arkansas sent settlers into Kansas all along its eastern border.
When it was officially opened to settlement by the U. government in 1854 with the Kansas–Nebraska Act, abolitionist Free-Staters from New England and pro-slavery settlers from neighboring Missouri rushed to the territory to determine whether Kansas would become a free state or a slave state.
Thus, the area was a hotbed of violence and chaos in its early days as these forces collided, and was known as Bleeding Kansas.
The first European to set foot in present-day Kansas was the Spanish conquistador Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, who explored the area in 1541.
In 1803, most of modern Kansas was acquired by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
By 2015, Kansas was one of the most productive agricultural states, producing high yields of wheat, corn, sorghum, and soybeans.) is the 15th-largest state by area and is the 34th most-populous of the 50 states with a population of 2,911,641. Mount Sunflower is Kansas' highest point at 4,041 feet (1,232 m).