Franklin, Kansas

The "Old Sacramento" cannon. Courtesy of the Watkins Museum of History in Lawrence, Kansas.

Notable Events:

  • Founded (1853)
  • Battle of Franklin (June 4, 1856)
  • Attack on Franklin (August 12, 1856)

As one of the three proslavery strongholds in Douglas County, Kansas (along with Fort Saunders and Fort Titus), the town of Franklin, Kansas emerged as a target of Lawrence Free-Staters who were angered at the Sacking of Lawrence in 1856. The abolitionist John Brown led an attack on Franklin, and after a short skirmish, the Free-Staters recovered weapons and ammunition. Later in the same year, Free-Staters attacked the town again, killed six proslavery settlers, and captured the "Old Sacramento" cannon that had been taken from the Liberty, Missouri square and fired on Lawrence during the sacking. Franklin no longer exists, but the site is a few miles to the east of Lawrence, in the general vicinity of Kansas State Highway 10, between the Kansas and Wakarusa Rivers.