KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Three Kansas City-area Congress members have introduced legislation to make the Quindaro Townsite a national historic landmark.

Located in Kansas City, Kansas, Quindaro was once a thriving town and a key stop on the Underground Railroad.

Abolitionists founded Quindaro in 1857 as an entry to Kansas on the Missouri River, helping escaped slaves from Missouri and connecting them with the Underground Railroad.

“Quindaro is a vital part of our nation’s history and served as a beacon of hope and freedom for Americans fighting to end slavery in the mid-19th century,” U.S. Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-Kansas) said.

In 2019, the Conservation Management and Recreation Act established Quindaro as a national commemorative site.

Now U.S. Reps. LaTurner, Sharice Davids (D-Kansas) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-Kansas) have introduced the Quindaro Townsite National Historic Landmark Act.

“Quindaro is a significant part of Kansas’ history in the fight for freedom and equality, but for too long, our community has lacked the proper investments needed to preserve this important site,” Davids said.

This new legislation would give the U.S. Interior Secretary more flexibility to provide technical and financial support to local groups working to preserve and educate others about the site.

“Freedom is the foundational principle of American democracy, and the Quindaro Townsite is an important piece of regional history that tells the stories of those seeking to uphold our national commitment to liberty and freedom for all,” Cleaver said.

KCK Mayor Tyrone Gardner said he’s excited and grateful for these local lawmakers’ consideration to elevate Quindaro’s designation and is urging Congress to pass the bill.