Benjamin "Pap" Singleton was born a slave in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1809. Singleton escaped to Canada to gain his freedom, returning to Tennessee after the end of the Civil War. Seeking a better life for himself and for his fellow emancipated African Americans, he began his efforts to buy land in Tennessee for blacks to farm. His plan failed due to unfair prices set by white landowners. Singleton then looked to Kansas as a potential site for black emigration, organizing the Tennessee Real Estate and Homestead Association with his business partner, Columbus Johnson. This company founded the Dunlap Colony in Morris County and a short-lived settlement in Cherokee County. Although his company did not create many successful colonies, through his advertisements he did help thousands of Exodusters relocate to Kansas, leading to his name as "Father of the Exodus." Singleton also organized a political group called the United Colored Links and later in life he promoted black colonization.