The Legislature enacted systems for the licensing of professionals. The requirements it set were minimal. Any free, white male could practice law by applying to the Supreme Court or District Court of the Territory for admission. [Council Journal 122] No bar exam was required but an oath that the prospective attorney would support the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Fugitive Slave Law was. [1855 Statutes, 118] Some judges were quite liberal in granting licenses. William Tecumseh Sherman, of Civil War fame, was a Leavenworth lawyer for a short time, without ever studying law or having any legal experience. After he began his practice, he mentioned to a judge one day the thought of possibly being admitted to the bar. The judge suggested Sherman stop by the clerk's office to get a license on the ground of "general intelligence." Sherman was one of the "ample number" of lawyers in Leavenworth County, totaling 162 in 1858, or one lawyer for every 70 people. [Wilson, How the Law, 33]

William T. Sherman (1820-1891)

A West Point graduate, he served with distinction in the Mexican War but found little success as a banker and lawyer in California and Kansas before the Civil War.

Admission to the practice of medicine was a similar process, requiring only a certificate from a local practitioner. [House Journal 337] Later, the 1859 Legislature incorporated the first Kansas Medical Society with power to issue certificates to all its members, to grant licenses to respectable physicians who were not graduates of medical colleges, and to organize auxiliary societies in Kansas counties. In 1860 the Kansas Society adopted the American Medical Association code of ethics and started on the long road to professional respectability. [Blackmar, History, Vol.2, 261]

Other statutes covered Coroners [House Journal, 198] Auctioneers [House Journal 249] and Apprenticeship. Representative Jonah Weddle introduced a bill to license those important public voices, the Ministers of the Gospel, [House Journal, 266] but the bill did not pass. Church organization among the settlers in Kansas was well underway. One writer recorded the beginnings [McCabe, Churches, 422]:

BaptistJune 1855Atchison
CatholicAugust 1855Leavenworth
CongregationalistOctober 1854Lawrence
Evangelical LutheranOctober 1855Leavenworth
MethodistJuly 1854Hickory Point
PresbyterianJanuary 1856Leavenworth
United Presbyterian1857Franklin County
Society of FriendsFebruary 1856Leavenworth County
German Methodists1860Dickinson County
German Lutherans1861Leavenworth

Charles Clark