Lawrence is the sixth largest city in the state of Kansas and the county seat of Douglas County. Located in northeastern Kansas, it is approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Topeka, and 35 mi (56 km) west of the Missouri state border. Lawrence is situated along the banks of the Kansas and Wakarusa Rivers. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 87,643. Lawrence is a college town and is the home to the University of Kansas and Haskell Indian Nations University.
Prior to Kansas Territory being opened to settlement in May 1854, most of Douglas County was part of the Shawnee Indian Reservation. The Oregon Trail followed the Kansas River through what would become Lawrence and Mount Oread was used as a landmark and an outlook. Dr. Charles Robinson and Charles Branscomb were sent by the New England Emigrant Aid Company to scout for a location for a city. They arrived in the vicinity of Lawrence in July 1854 and noted the beauty of the area and felt the area was well suited for a town.