Fort Scott in Bourbon County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Western Hotel: Symbol of Strife
After the army sold Fort Scott in 1855, the infantry barracks located here (reconstructed in front of you) became the pro-slavery Western Hotel. The building across the parade ground directly behind you became the anti-slavery Free State Hotel. The two hotels symbolized the strife over slavery that divided Kansas in the late 1850s, an era known as “Bleeding Kansas.”
Violence visited Fort Scott often during Bleeding Kansas, and the Western Hotel played a role in several incidents over whether Kansas would be free or slave.
[Photo captions read]
Hoping to quell the violence of Bleeding Kansas, the territorial governor convened a peace conference at Fort Scott. Though riot nearly broke out (1858 sketch, above), the conference did temporarily halt hostilities. Historians believe the sketch depicts the Western Hotel.
Rumor alleged that pro-slavers met at the Western Hotel to plot the Marais des Cygnes Massacre, which resulted in the murder of several free staters (1858 woodcut, left). Seeking revenge, free-stater James Montgomery led an armed band to Fort Scott three weeks later. They fired shots into homes and tried to burn the hotel.
Erected 1998 by National Park Service.
Location. 37° Touch for map. Marker is on the grounds of Fort Scott National Historic Site. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Scott KS 66701, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. "A Most Deplorable Condition" (a few steps from this marker); "Hardy, Dashing Looking Fellows" (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Scott Yesterday (within shouting distance of this marker); Civil War Town (within shouting distance of this marker); Medal of Honor (within shouting distance of this marker); Rank, Privilege, and Officers Row (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); "But I Can Fire a Pistol" (about 300 feet away); The Heart of Fort Scott (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Scott.
Categories. • Abolition & Underground RR • Civil Rights • Settlements & Settlers • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 29, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 1,062 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 29, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.