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named for the river, which is named for the native people, from French variant of Kansa, native name of the Siouan people who lived there (1722). It is a plural (see Arkansas). Established as a U.S. territory in 1854, admitted as a state 1861. Related: Kansan.
Note: In the 1850s, the state came to be known as “bleeding Kansas” because of the violence between hostile free-staters and pro-slavery settlers.
North American Indians of Siouan linguistic stock who lived along the Kansas and Saline rivers in what is now central Kansas. It is thought that the Kansa had migrated to this location from an earlier prehistoric territory on the Atlantic coast. They are related to the Omaha, Osage, Quapaw, and Ponca.