E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Bleeding Kansas. So called because it was the place where that sanguinary strife commenced which was the prelude of the Civil War of America. According to the Missouri Compromise made in 1820, slavery was never to be introduced into any western region lying beyond 36° 30 north latitude. In 1851, the slave-holders of Missouri, by a local act, pushed their west frontier to the river-bank, and slave lords, with their slaves, took possession of the Kansas hunting grounds, declaring that they would lynch, hang, tar and feather any white-livered abolitionist who presumed to pollute the soil. In 1854, thirty New England free-soilers crossed the river in open boats; they were soon joined by others, and dared the slavers to carry out their threats. Many a fierce battle was fought, but in 1861 Bleeding Kansas was admitted into the Union as a free state. (W. Hepworth Dixon: New America, vol. i. chap. 2.)