The Shawnee Indian Mission served as a manual training school for children from the Shawnee, Delaware and other Indian nations from 1839-1854 and continued as a school without manual training until 1862. The territorial governor, Andrew Reeder, established his offices at the mission in 1854. The first territorial legislature met at the mission in 1855 after adjourning from the first territorial capital at present day Fort Riley. During the legislative session the "bogus laws" were passed in an attempt to further slavery in Kansas.
The mission was also a supply point on the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails and an Union camp during the Civil War.
The best part of this attraction is the attractive grounds nestled in a busy suburb, with three of the oldest buildings in Kansas.
Thomas Johnson, the Methodist missionary who founded the mission, is buried in the nearby Shawnee Methodist Mission Cemetery. He was killed in 1865 for his antislavery sentiments.