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Pawnee is a ghost town in Geary County, Kansas, United States, which served as the first official capital of the Kansas Territory in 1855. , which is located in present-day Fairway. It is believed to be one of the shortest-lived capitals of any U.S. state or territory (tied with Old Colorado City, although Colorado City was never federally recognized).
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One week of glory
Pawnee was located on the far western frontier of newly-settled Kansas Territory, between the new settlement of Manhattan, Kansas, and the U.S. Army post at Fort Riley. Pawnee was first laid out in 1854.
The destruction of Pawnee
Soon after Pawnee lost its designation as capital, Jefferson Davis, the Secretary of War (and future President of the Confederate States of America), decided to wipe-out the Free-State settlement entirely and ordered the borders of Fort Riley expanded to overtake Pawnee. Most of the town was destroyed by the army subsequent to this order. Only the old capitol building was spared at the location; it is now a museum on Fort Riley property and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Blackmar, Frank Wilson (1912). Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Volume 2. Standard Publishing Company. p. 451.