Fort Scott offers two formal curriculum based education programs: Life on the Frontier for grades K-4 and Sweep through History for grades 4-8, These programs are offered on specified dates in April and May. (See info below for specific dates and to make reservations for 2015.)
Groups in grades 4-8 who are unable to attend on these dates but still want a similar educational experience can still choose from one or more of the stations on our Conflict on the Border page. Groups in K-4 who are unable to come to Life on the Frontier could still choose from one or more of the stations listed on our Virtual Resource Center. The difference is that at other times of year (due to staffing levels), the site will not be able to accomodate as many stations at one time.
School groups may also elect to take a guided tour of the fort or to participate in a self guided activity. Regardless of what activity your class participates in, you will still benefit from general information about planning an onsite visits, which can be accessed by following the links in the left hand menu under Planning a Field Trip.
So Far From God, So Close to the United States" was the quote that one Mexican leader used to describe his perspective on the Mexican American War. The Mexican-American War led to the acqusition, by the United States, of the American Southwest. Troops stationed at Fort Scott were involved in every major campaign of that war. This program explores the ways in which those soldiers participated.
In the 1840s, Westward Expansion proceeded at an astronomical rate. In less than a decade, land comprising Texas, the American Southwest, California, and the Pacific Northwest all came under control of the United States. Soldiers at Fort Scott had participated in military missions that helped bring that about. By the end of the decade the map of the nation had changed dramatically as the nation fulfilled its' Manifest Destiny of stretching from coast to coast.
In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act which authorized the removal of native tribes living east of the Mississippi River. Many of the tribes had firm roots in their homes in the east and resisted the move West. Some were removed by military force which resulted in tragic consequences. This program explores the catastrophe of Indian removal.
The U. S. Army stationed dragoons at Fort Scott to limit westward expansion, but the events they participated in during the 1840s had the opposite effect. Established as peacekeepers and protectors, dragoons became agents of American expansion, power and destiny. The events in which they were involved in during the 1840s opened up the frontier for westward expansion, for the benefit of some and to the detriment of others.
Prior to became a atate, Kansas was part of Indian Terriitory, which also included Oklahoma and Nebraska. Several Indian tribes in the East were moved to the area forcibly. For many tribes, their forced relocation resulted in tragic consequences. This program examines the stories of three of those tribes that were relocated to the area around Fort Scott.
In 1858 Fort Scott, proponents of pro and anti slavery factions clashed here over an issue whose ramifications continue to resonate in today’s society. the climax of that year was a raid in December 1858 instigated by James Montgomery for the purpose of freeing one of his men from prison. The raid and its aftermath are portrayed in this program.
A variety of emotions and viewpoints about the issue of slavery engulfed the nation in the first half of the nineteenth century. These viewpoints collided in Kansas during the l850s, which led to a series of violent acts in and around Fort Scott in 1858. This program brings some of those moments of 1858 to life as students act out various scenes from that year.
In 1856, free state men in Bourbon County were driven from their lands by extreme pro slavery advocates, known as "Border Ruffians" When the free state men retruned to their claims, the next year, they found pro slavery men already living there. Disputes over land ownership were taken to the Third Judicial District Court in Fort Scott. One such case was that of Southwood vs. Stone. Southwood was a pro slavery preacher who had moved onto land previously occupied by Stone. Trouble ensued.
Fort Scott was the scene of one of the most diverse assemblage of soldiers in the Union Army during the Civil War. The First Kansas Colored Infantry Regiment, which was the first African American regiment to be victorious in combat, was mustered in at Fort Scott in January of 1863. Three regiments of American Indians were also formed in this area. Challenges and victories experienced by both African American and American Indian soldiers are explored in this program.
During the Civil War, over 600,000 soldiers died. Two thirds of these died due to disease, the other third died of combat wounds. Many of these soldiers could have been saved with modern knowledge in techniques. During this program, students will explore theories and treatments of diseases and surgical techniques during the era. Students pretend to be patients, acting out symptoms, and undergo simulated treatment and mock surgery.