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8,000 students affected, state officials see no trouble adjusting schools to new rule

8,000 students affected, state officials see no trouble adjusting schools to new rule
Creator: Topeka Journal
Date: May 17, 1954
This article discusses how the state of Kansas will work to conform to the ruling made in the Brown v. Board of Education decision on May 17, 1954. The U.S. Supreme Court had ruled that the segregation of schools based on race was unconstitutional. Many cities in Kansas, including Topeka, Atchison, Salina, Wichita, and Pittsburg were already working to integrate their schools. Topeka had an estimated 625 African American students who would be affected by the court's ruling, and the article lists the numbers for other cities and towns in the state.


A. Pierse to Eli Thayer

A. Pierse to Eli Thayer
Creator: Pierse, A.
Date: March 31, 1857
A. Pierse wrote from Washington, D.C. to Eli Thayer in Worcester, Massachusetts. Pierse was born in North Carolina and lived most of his life in the South but had been living in Minnesota Territory for the past seven years. He told Thayer that he planned to move to Kansas in the spring of 1857. Pierse offered Thayer his opinion on what free state supporters should do in Kansas Territory. He informed Thayer that, although he had "Southern opinions on the subject of slavery" and believed the federal government had no right to prohibit slavery in the territories, he was "without prejudice for or against either side" in the debate over slavery in Kansas Territory. Pierse suggested that the best course for free staters to take would be to accept the Dred Scott decision, actively participate in the political process in Kansas Territory, and work for the admission of Kansas as a state with or without slavery. Once Kansas was admitted, he contended, free state supporters would be on firmer legal ground to advocate for the prohibition of slavery, since it was generally accepted that "the people have the power to prohibit slavery in their state." He concluded by stating that once Kansas was a state, free staters could make the case that property would be worth 3 or 4 times more if slavery was prohibited in the state.


A.S. Wilson to Henry J. Allen

A.S. Wilson to Henry J. Allen
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1919-1923 : Allen)
Date: January 24, 1919
A.S. Wilson, an attorney in Galena, Kansas, writes to Governor Henry J. Allen to indicate his interest in a law that would allow second class cities to separate the schools based on "white and colored children." He included a petition with signatures with the letter.


Affidavits of colored men, in report and testimony of the select committee to investigate the causes of the removal of the Negroes from the southern states to the northern states, in three parts

Affidavits of colored men, in report and testimony of the select committee to investigate the causes of the removal of the Negroes from the southern states to the northern states, in three parts
Creator: United States. Congress. Senate. Select Committee on Negro Exodus
Date: 1880
The Senate select committee charged with investigating the causes of the Exodus included this list of sworn affidavits in their report. The affidavits are given by ten black men and one black woman who outlined their treatment while living in Louisiana. Each affidavit includes their full name and parish (county) of residence. Although this source does not directly refer to Kansas, many Exodusters who came to Kansas during the post-Civil War period came from Louisiana.


A lesson of the exodus

A lesson of the exodus
Creator: Topeka Daily Capital
Date: April 23, 1879
This article discusses what lessons may be learned from the black exodus out of the South. The unnamed author maintains that Southerners will realize their dependence upon black labor. Furthermore, Northerners will be encouraged to see that they must continue what they began during the Civil War and that they cannot let white Southerners rule the country.


Alvin and Lucinda Todd family in Topeka, Kansas

Alvin and Lucinda Todd family in Topeka, Kansas
Date: 1946
A photograph of the Todd family (left to right) Alvin, Nancy and Lucinda, taken in Topeka, Kansas. Lucinda Todd was a participant in the Brown vs Topeka Board of Education landmark U.S. Supreme Court case to desegregate schools. She was also the secretary of the Topeka NAACP which brought the Legal Defense Fund to Topeka.


An act to repeal all poll tax laws in the state of Kansas

An act to repeal all poll tax laws in the state of Kansas
Creator: House of Representatives
Date: January 1913
This act was created by the Kansas House of Representatives in an attempt to do away with any poll taxing which required Kansas voters to pay a small fee before being able to cast their ballot. Poll taxing affected people of all races in Kansas. This act was not passed. Poll taxing continued in Kansas until the early 1960s when a federal amendment was passed which made poll taxing unconstitutional in all states.


Arthur Capper to Milton Tabor

Arthur Capper to Milton Tabor
Creator: Capper, Arthur, 1865-1951
Date: February 22, 1947
In this letter, Senator Capper responds to an earlier letter sent to him by Milton Tabor, the managing editor of The Topeka Daily Capital. In response to Tabor's comments regarding the rising racial tensions in Topeka, Capper argues that "we must protect these groups who are quite often discriminated against." Furthermore, Capper explains that Washington D.C. had many similar problems because "there is a strong prejudice among the whites here against the Negroes." He also mentions prohibition efforts and the American Red Cross.


Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company depot, Deer Creek, Oklahoma

Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company depot, Deer Creek, Oklahoma
Creator: Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company
Date: May 20, 1931
This photograph shows the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company depot at Deer Creek, Oklahoma. The depot built in 1898, measured 24'x42'.


Attorney Robert Carter to McKinley Burnett

Attorney Robert Carter to McKinley Burnett
Date: September 14, 1951
This letter dated September 14, 1951, is from NAACP Assistant Special Counsel Robert L. Carter to Topeka NAACP Chapter President McKinley Burnett. Carter advises Burnett that the National Chapter of the NAACP would require $5,000 to take the Brown case to the United States Supreme Court. However, Carter explained that the money would have to be raised locally and that nearby NAACP chapters could contribute if they so desired.


Beatrice Coats interview, WWII oral history, Kinsley, Kansas

Beatrice Coats interview, WWII oral history, Kinsley, Kansas
Creator: Coats, Beatrice Josephine (Basgall)
Date: December 29, 2009
This is an interview with Beatrice Coats, part of an oral history project entitled "Patchwork of Dependency: The Effects of WWII on Edwards County, Kansas" conducted by the Kinsley Public Library. The project was supported by a Kansas Humanities Council Heritage Grant. Beatrice talks of her family, education, and the home front during WWII.


Buford Brodbeck interview, WWII oral history, Kinsley, Kansas

Buford Brodbeck interview, WWII oral history, Kinsley, Kansas
Creator: Brodbeck, Buford
Date: December 08, 2009
This interview with Buford Brodbeck is part of an oral history project entitled "Patchwork of Dependency: The Effects of WWII on Edwards County, Kansas" conducted by the Kinsley Public Library. The project was supported by a Kansas Humanities Council Heritage Grant. Buford talks of his family, education, military career, and places of employment.


C. M. Moates to Governor Edward Hoch

C. M. Moates to Governor Edward Hoch
Creator: Moates, C. M.
Date: February 21, 1905
C. M. Moates, M.D. of Leavenworth (Leavenworth County) writes Governor Edward W. Hoch of Topeka (Shawnee County) concerning the segregation of Kansas City (Kans.) High School. Moates requests the Governor veto a bill recently passed by the Kansas Legislature which would segregate the school by building a separate building for black children. The letter reminds the Governor of the Republican Party's traditional stand for Negro rights, cites the dominance of the Republican Party in Kansas, and charges the Kansas Republican Party as behaving like Democrats. The letter notes that the Democratic dominated legislature in Arkansas was considering similar legislation. The letter also cites the efforts of John Brown and Daniel Reed Anthony to make Kansas a free state. Moates claims at some point the Republic Party will need Negro votes and that this law will drive Negroes from the party. He also claims high school segregation will incite trouble between the races. Governor Hoch signed the bill on February 22, 1905. See K. L. Browne to Governor Edward Hoch, February 18, 1905.


Carmen Rodriguez interview, Kinsley, Kansas

Carmen Rodriguez interview, Kinsley, Kansas
Creator: Rodriguez, Carmen Rustica (Molina)
Date: April 18, 2011
This transcript of an interview with Carmen Rodriguez is part of an oral history project entitled "Patterns of Change, Edwards County, Kansas 1950-1970" conducted by the Kinsley Public Library. The project was supported by a Kansas Humanities Council Heritage Grant. Rodriguez talks of her family, education, and her memories of the Edwards County community.


Charles E. Bledsoe to the NAACP Legal Department

Charles E. Bledsoe to the NAACP Legal Department
Creator: Bledsoe, Charles E.
Date: September 5, 1950
In the letter, Charles E. Bledsoe, attorney for the Topeka Chapter of the NAACP, outlines the general nature of Topeka's situation as influenced by local laws. In particular, Bledsoe refers to the Kansas Permissive Law of 1879 that allowed individual school districts to segregate schools if they so desired. However, the law did not mandate school segregation in Kansas. The response to this letter is Kansas Memory item #213410.


Charles I. Baston interview

Charles I. Baston interview
Creator: Baston, Charles I.
Date: May 14, 1992
Charles Baston was born in Lee's Summit, Missouri, on April 24, 1917. He attended grade school and junior high school while still living in Lee's Summit, and after junior high he moved to Topeka to attend the Kansas Vocational Technical School. He moved to Topeka permanently after his World War II discharge. Baston was a member of the executive committee of the local chapter of the NAACP during the Brown v. Board hearings. Much of his interview deals with the NAACPs role in finding plaintiffs in the Brown case, the problem with busing students to segregated schools, and other individuals who were instrumental to the success of this suit. Towards the end of the interview he also talks about how the Brown decision has not reached its full potential because of the racial prejudices that still exist today. Jean VanDelinder conducted the interview. The Brown v. Board oral history project was funded by Hallmark Cards Inc., the Shawnee County Historical Society, the Brown Foundation for Educational Excellence, Equity, and Research, the National Park Service, and the Kansas Humanities Council. Parts of the interview may be difficult to hear due to the quality of the original recording.


Charles Langston to Samuel Wood

Charles Langston to Samuel Wood
Creator: Langston, Charles
Date: June 20, 1867
This letter was written to Samuel Wood from Charles Langston, the leader of the black male suffrage movement in Kansas. Langston addressed two issues; removing the word white from the Kansas Constitution and women's suffrage. The word white prohibited black males from voting in Kansas leaving them powerless. Although Langston did support women's suffrage, he felt their movement was hampering the progress of black male suffrage. Therefore, he was not going to speak on the issue of women's suffrage. Like many Kansans during this time, Langston thought women should wait their turn for their right to vote. Samuel Wood was an influential politician and a supporter of women's suffrage but not black male suffrage. Black men were unable to vote in Kansas until the passing of the fifteenth amendment in 1870.


Charles Langston to Samuel Wood

Charles Langston to Samuel Wood
Creator: Langston, Charles
Date: April 7, 1867
Charles Langston, Leavenworth, Kansas, wrote this letter to Samuel Wood, Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, in response to a letter Wood had written him on April 4, 1867, concerning a suffrage convention in Topeka. Langston was unable to attend and felt misrepresented. Wood claimed Langston thought supporters of female suffrage opposed Negro suffrage, which was not the case. Langston went on to explain that he needed Wood's financial help to secure black male voting rights. Enclosed at the end of the letter is a petition from the State Executive Committee of Colored Men. This proposition asked for two things; a vote in the fall election to remove the word white from the state constitution and funds to further the black male suffrage cause. The vote to remove the word white did not pass in the fall of 1867. Black men had to wait three more years before they received their right to vote in Kansas elections. Charles Langston later served as the principal of the Normal School--Colored in Quindaro, Kansas.


Charles M. F. Striger to Governor John P. St. John

Charles M. F. Striger to Governor John P. St. John
Creator: Striger, Charles M. F.
Date: May 18, 1879
In this letter Charles Striger, a radical Republican from Kentucky, expresses his concern for free blacks in the South. With rather forceful language he berates Southern Democrats for their harassment of blacks. He also asks Gov. St. John to convince the North that it is their duty to aid any refugees seeking solace from Southern white oppression.


Charles W. Waddell to Governor George Hodges

Charles W. Waddell to Governor George Hodges
Creator: Waddell, Charlis, W
Date: June 28, 1914
This letter from Charles W. Waddell was sent to Governor George Hodges to express his thoughts on the possible passage of a Jim Crow law in Kansas. Waddell, a Wisconsin resident and a supporter of Jim Crow, claimed that if the people of Kansas understood who the Negro was, then the law would pass with little opposition. In Waddell's letter he suggests that Governor Hodges supports the passing of the Jim Crow law. Hodges had made a speech to the Kansas House of Representatives in January of 1913 publicly discouraging the passing of any Jim Crow laws in Kansas. The Jim Crow law did not pass. Blacks in Kansas did experience discrimination from Jim Crow laws such as poll taxing and segregated elementary schools. Jim Crow laws were not officially outlawed nationwide until the mid to late 1960s.


Children! You are cordially invited to attend the Journal's birthday party at Woodland Park

Children! You are cordially invited to attend the Journal's birthday party at Woodland Park
Creator: Lawrence Daily Journal
Date: August 17, 1910
The Lawrence Daily Journal of Lawrence, Kansas, published this advertisement promoting its birthday party for Lawrence children at Woodland Park on August 19. The paper printed a notice alongside this advertisement that discouraged "colored" children from attending the party.


Chris Hansen interview

Chris Hansen interview
Creator: Hansen, Chris
Date: October 5, 1992
Chris Hansen was an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, starting in 1973. In 1984, after the Brown v. Board desegregation case was reopened, Hansen served on the legal team working on this case. The ACLU was representing 17 children and their parents who claimed that the Topeka USD501 district had not fully complied with the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring segregated schools unconstitutional. The case went before the Federal District Court in October 1986, and four years later after an appeal, the court ruled in favor of the petitioners, stating that Topeka Public Schools had not fully complied with the court decision to desegregate. Hansen's interview discusses his involvement in the case, the plaintiffs (including Linda Brown Smith) and his experiences in Topeka. The interview was conducted by Jean VanDelinder. The Brown v. Board oral history project was funded by Hallmark Cards Inc., the Shawnee County Historical Society, the Brown Foundation for Educational Excellence, Equity, and Research, the National Park Service, and the Kansas Humanities Council.


Christina Jackson interview

Christina Jackson interview
Creator: Jackson, Christina
Date: September 20, 1991
Christina Jackson was born on August 15, 1926, in Topeka, Kansas, to Georgia and Jess Edwards. In this interview, Jackson speaks about her experiences at the segregated Washington Elementary School and then at the integrated East Topeka Junior High and Topeka High School. According to Jackson, Washington had very strict teachers who emphasized the importance of learning about African American history. Her children attended Monroe School and, after desegregation, moved to State Street School, which had formerly been a school for white children only. Her children recalled that the faculty at State Street worked hard to integrate the black students, who were for the most part accepted by their peers. It was not until her children entered Holliday Junior High that they struggled with racial discrimination and derogatory comments. Jackson also discusses her work experiences and involvement in social clubs and volunteer organizations. This interview was conducted by Jean VanDelinder and Ralph Crowder. The Brown v. Board oral history project was funded by Hallmark Cards Inc., the Shawnee County Historical Society, the Brown Foundation for Educational Excellence, Equity, and Research, the National Park Service and the Kansas Humanities Council. Parts of the interview may be difficult to hear due to the quality of the original recording.


Citizens Committee on Civil Rights: The People, Fight Back

Citizens Committee on Civil Rights: The People, Fight Back
Date: 1948
This 1948 leaflet was created by the Citizens Committee on Civil Rights and used in conjunction with a citywide petition later rejected by the Topeka Board of Education. The Citizens Committee on Civil Rights was a group headquartered at the home of Lucinda Todd. The leaflet, circulated around Topeka's black community, requested funds to support the effort. Mrs. Todd and Mrs. Dan Sawyer walked the streets of Topeka to get the petition signed by almost every black household.


Citizens of Wellington, Kansas, to Governor George Hodges

Citizens of Wellington, Kansas, to Governor George Hodges
Creator: Citizens of Wellington Kansas
Date: January 11, 1913
This letter was submitted by Jesse Brower on behalf of the citizens of Wellington, Kansas, to Kansas Governor George Hodges concerning the possible passage of a Jim Crow law in Kansas. Brower explained how Jim Crow laws denied black people their basic rights as citizens. The letter goes on to remind Governor Hodges that African Americans had always been loyal, law abiding citizens. He argues that forcing them to live under the rules of Jim Crow would have been shameful and embarrassing. Jim Crow laws were in place in almost all fifty states during this time, especially in the South. Although this particular law failed to pass in Kansas, it would take another fifty-five to sixty years for such laws to be overturned nationwide. The term "Jim Crow" referred to a caricature of a black man in a popular minstrel song of the same name during the late nineteenth century.


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