In this letter, Governor St. John responded to Cunningham's inquiry (from June 18, 1879) about receiving financial assistance to cover the cost of emigration to Kansas. He informs her that there is no society to aid her travel costs, and that the promise of "40 acres and a mule" is a misrepresentation. While he states that he does sympathize with the Southern blacks' situation, he advises Cunningham that emigrants should not come to Kansas if they are destitute. He also provides her with information about Kansas, including the cost of farmland and the typical wage for laborers. Governor St. John, in addition to his official government duties, was also on the board of the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association, This association was formed to provide aid to Exodusters such as Cunningham, but unfortunately the association did not have adequate funding to provide for all the Exodusters fleeing from the South.
Creator: St. John, John Pierce, 1833-1916
Date: June 24, 1879
This source gives students insight into how St. John and other relief workers did not encourage wide scale emigration because Kansas would not be able to provide for all destitute emigrants. This works with other documents related to relief organization and emigration, but would work best when paired with Cunningham's letter to St. John dated June 18, 1879.
Item Number: 210547
Call Number: Governor's Records--St. John--Letterpress Book--Box 5, No. 16
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 210547
Collections - State Archives - Governor's Records - St. John, John P.
Community Life - Clubs and organizations - Charitable - Relief - Freedmen's Relief Association
Curriculum - 7th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1860s to 1870s (Benchmark 3) - Exodusters (Indicator 5) - Emigrant aid organizations
Curriculum - 7th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1860s to 1870s (Benchmark 3) - Exodusters (Indicator 5) - Relatively free land
Date - 1870s - 1879
Government and Politics - State Government - Governors - St. John, John Pierce
Home and Family - Daily life - Settlement
Objects and Artifacts - Communication Artifacts - Documentary Artifact - Letter
People - African Americans - Exodusters
People - Notable Kansans - St. John, John Pierce, 1833-1916
Places - Cities and towns - Topeka
Places - Counties - Shawnee
Places - Other States - Mississippi
Thematic Time Period - Immigration and Settlement, 1854 - 1890
Type of Material - Unpublished documents - Letters