(Words by John Greenleaf Whittier, 1854; to the tune of Auld Lang Syne)
CALL TO KANSAS
(Words by Lucy Larcom, 1855; to the tune of Nelly Bly)
With the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, controversy over the slavery issue intensified. Nullification of the Missouri Compromise and the provision for allowing residents of territories asking for admittance to the Union as states to vote on whether or not slavery would be permitted led to considerable agitation on both sides of the volatile slavery debate. Missourians were, of course, strongly in favor of Kansas entering the Union as a slave state. Consequently large numbers of Missourians, especially along the Kansas-Missouri border, began moving over into Kansas to swell the ranks of those voting for it to become a slave state. Abolitionists and others in the North who wanted to see Kansas enter the Union as a free state also began moving into Kansas. Emigrant Aid organizations were formed in the North to recruit and assist willing emigrants to locate in Kansas. The 2nd New England Emigrant Aid Co., came to Lawrence in 1854 from Boston and attracted considerable attention as they left Boston by singing the Song of the Kansas Emigrants. The song had words by the well known Abolitionist poet, John Greenleaf Whittier, and was sung to the popular tune of Auld Lang Syne. We have combined that song with one by New England poet, Lucy Larcom, who wrote the words to Call to Kansas in 1855 and set it to the tune of another popular song of the time, Nelly Bly. We would like to thank Selda Grauerholz of Coffeyville, Kansas, for calling our attention to these songs.