Western History & Genealogy Blog

"Bleeding Kansas"

George Washington Clayton diary

Kansas earned its nickname May 1856 when a pro-slavery faction confronted an anti-slavery group in Lawrence.

The confrontation turned violent.  This incident became known as the "Sacking of Lawrence."  George Washington Clayton was a merchant in Leavenworth City at the time.  He wrote about the episode in his diary.  He also wrote about early Fort Leavenworth, describing the activities of soldiers, Indians and settlers.  Clayton later followed William Larimer to Denver, Colorado.  He established a clothing and mining goods store that helped make him a wealthy man. 

This diary and others are included along with other personal papers in the Clayton College collection (WH1497) available for research at the Western History Department of Denver Public Library.