When he was asked, therefore, to go and explore the country with a view to locating colonies, it was not altogether an unknown land to him.While Branscomb and Robinson were exploring, the New England Emigrant Aid Company was busy assembling a "pioneer party" of twenty-nine men to found their city.
The origins of Lawrence also have their roots in the issue of slavery that plagued the United States in the 1800s.
In the middle of the century, in the run-up to the Civil War, Northern Democrats led by Senators Lewis Cass of Michigan and Stephen A.
Douglas of Illinois promoted the idea of popular sovereignty as a middle position on the slavery issue.
Eventually, it was agreed to call the town "Lawrence City" in honor or Amos Adams Lawrence, an abolitionist who, according to Cordley, was "one of the first men of means" to fund the Emigrant Aid Company.
Two years later, in 1857, the Quincy School was started in the Emigrant Aid office before moving to the basement of the Unitarian Church in April. Shortly after Lawrence’s founding, two newspapers were started in the town: The Kansas Pioneer and the Herald of Freedom. A third paper, the Kansas Free State, was also created and began printing in early January 1855.