Shawnee Methodist Mission

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Shawnee Mission
Shawnee Methodist Mission, East Building, Kansas City vicinity (Johnson County, Kansas).jpg
East Building in 1940
Location 3403 W. 53rd Street, Fairway, Kansas
Coordinates 39°1′59.2818″N 94°37′26.796″W / 39.033133833°N 94.62411000°W / 39.033133833; -94.62411000Coordinates: 39°1′59.2818″N 94°37′26.796″W / 39.033133833°N 94.62411000°W / 39.033133833; -94.62411000
Built 1839
Governing body State of Kansas
NRHP Reference # 66000345
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 15, 1966[1]
Designated NHL May 23, 1968[2]

Shawnee Methodist Mission was established by missionaries in 1830 to minister to the Shawnee tribe of Native Americans. The Shawnee Methodist Mission is today a museum located in the town of Fairway, Kansas. The site is administrated by the Kansas Historical Society as the Shawnee Indian Mission State Historic Site.

Formed in 1830 at Turner, Kansas, the mission relocated to its present location in 1839. The Shawnee Methodist Mission was the second capital of the Kansas Territory,[3] holding that designation from July 16, 1855, to the spring of 1856.

the Shawnee Methodist Mission is the origin of the Shawnee Mission, Kansas name used by the United States Postal Service to refer to the Kansas City Metropolitan Area suburban communities in northeastern Johnson County as well as the Shawnee Mission School District which serves those communities.

The Shawnee[edit]

The "Fish" Shawnee tribe was moved from its traditional Ohio home to the unorganized territories set aside for Native Americans (in the future state of Kansas) under the terms of a treaty dated November 7, 1825.[4] The mission was initially built on land near the American Shawnee Indian Tribe reserve in Turner by Reverend Thomas Johnson, in order to convert the recently relocated tribe to Christianity.

During the 1830s, the Shawnee's most venerated men, including Tenskwatawa "the Shawnee Prophet", were frequently at the mission. The Prophet was Tecumseh's younger brother and had fought with him against the United States earlier in the century, leading the Shawnee in Tecumseh's absence at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. Following defeat in this battle, he took his men to the British Canadian colonies, where he was placed under virtual house arrest for years following the end of the War of 1812. He was eventually allowed to return to the Shawnee to help them move from Ohio to Kansas, and he died in 1836 at his village (the present site of Kansas City, Kansas).

The new mission[edit]

The mission was located at its original site from 1830 to 1839. In 1839, the mission was built its present-day Johnson County location, where an Indian boarding school was opened. From 1839 until its closure in 1862, the Shawnee Mission served as a manual training school for Native Americans, principally from the Shawnee and Delaware tribes.

The Shawnee Mission also served as the second capital of the Kansas Territory. The capital was moved to the mission on July 16, 1855, after pro-slavery delegates to the Territorial Legislature voted to depart the first capital at Pawnee. It served as territorial capital until the spring of 1856, when the seat of government was moved to Lecompton. While the capital was located at Shawnee Mission the legislature promulgated the controversial pro-slavery laws that sparked Bleeding Kansas violence. During the American Civil War, the site also served as a camp for Union soldiers.

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1968.[2][5]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2006-03-15. 
  2. ^ a b "Shawnee Mission". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-06-28. 
  3. ^ History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people ed. and comp. by Perl W. Morgan. Chicago, The Lewis publishing company, 1911. (cf., When the first territorial legislature met at Pawnee on July 2, 1855, at the order of Governor Reeder in a stone building erected for its use, it unseated the free state members, seated the pro-slavery men instead, and then passed a bill "to remove the capital temporarily to Shawnee Manual Labor School." It did this because the Shawnee mission was well known as a center of pro-slavery sympathy.)
  4. ^ Shawnee treaty
  5. ^ ___website down Add later____ (____, 19__). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination:" (pdf). National Park Service.  Check date values in: |date= (help) and Accompanying ___ photos, exterior and interior, from 19___ PDF (32 KB)

External links[edit]