Note: Do not rely on this information. It is very old.
Kansas (state)Kansas (state), one of the United States of America, lies between 37° and 40° N. lat. and 94° 38' and 102° W. long. It is bounded by Nebraska on the N., Colorado on the W., Missouri on the E., and Indian Territory on the S. The length from E. to W. is about 400 miles, the breadth 210 miles, and the area 82,080 square miles. The surface is a rolling prairie, rising by imperceptible degrees from about 800 feet on the E. border to 3,000 feet or 4,000 feet in the N.W. The Missouri, which skirts the state on the N.E., is the only navigable river. The S. portion of the state is drained by the Arkansas and its affluents, the N. portion by the Kansas, and its head streams, the Republican Fork and the Smoky Hill Fork. Although extremes of heat and cold sometimes occur, the climate is on the whole equable, the temperature averaging 53° Fahr. annually, and the weather is generally clear and bright. The E. part of the state is one vast coalfield; there are extensive beds of rock-salt, and lead and zinc are found in large quantities in the S.E.; Kansas is also noted for its good building-stones, including the "Leavenworth marble," "Permian limestone," and several other varieties. The chief industries are agriculture and stock-raising. Nearly one-fifth of the surface is under wheat, maize, and oats. The other industries include the cultivation of sorghum cane and manufacture of sorghum sugar, beef- and pork-packing, and the manufacture of agricultural implements, and there are many flour-mills and foundries. The state contains 106 counties and is represented by two senators and seven members of Congress. The local legislative and administrative bodies are elected at intervals of two years. For several years after 1854, when Kansas became a territory, a fierce struggle was carried on between the anti-slavery and pro-slavery parties, resulting finally in the victory of the former. It was admitted into the Federal Union in 1861. The capital is Topeka (q.v.).