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Curriculum - 7th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1860s to 1870s (Benchmark 3) - Exodusters (Indicator 5) - Benjamin "Pap" Singleton

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Andrew Atchison to John P. St. John

Andrew Atchison to John P. St. John
Creator: Atchison, Andrew
Date: August 22, 1881
In this letter, Andrew Atchison updates Kansas governor St. John on the condition of the Exoduster settlement near Dunlap, Kansas. Benjamin Singleton had established this colony in May, 1878, and according to Atchison, the black refugees (numbering around 200 families) were thriving. Another goal of Atchison's letter was to investigate the "practicability" of establishing a Business and Literary Academy in addition to their free public school. Atchison and some other white residents of the area had formed the Dunlap Aid Association to assist the Exodusters' efforts to obtain land and employment.

Benjamin "Pap" Singleton

Benjamin "Pap" Singleton
Date: 1880
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.

Benjamin "Pap" Singleton and S. A. McClure

Benjamin "Pap" Singleton and S. A. McClure
Date: 1876
This photograph depicts a steamboat containing freed people in Nashville, Tennessee, with Benjamin "Pap" Singleton and S. A. McClure superimposed in the foreground. Singleton, known as the "Father of the Exodus" for the Exoduster Movement in 1879, organized the Tennessee Real Estate and Homestead Association to facilitate black emigration from the South. His town company founded the Dunlap Colony in Morris County, and a short-lived settlement in Cherokee County, Kansas. His widespread use of advertisements encouraged thousands of former slaves to emigrate to Kansas. McClure was one of his associates and advocate for emigration.

Certificate of Incorporation for the Singleton colony

Certificate of Incorporation for the Singleton colony
Creator: Singleton Town Company
Date: June 24, 1879
This certificate of incorporation laid out the details of the Singleton Colony's town company, including its purpose, term of duration, and number of directors. The document was signed by Benjamin Singleton, William Sizemore, A. D. DeFrantz, Fuel Williamson, George Wade, George Moon, John Elliott, Austin Dozier, John Davis, William Shrout, and John Wade. It was also notarized by Thomas Archer and certified by James Smith, Kansas Secretary of State.

Dunlap Academy and Mission School, Dunlap, Kansas

Dunlap Academy and Mission School, Dunlap, Kansas
Date: Between 1880 and 1899
This photograph portrays the students and teachers of the African American school in Dunlap, Morris County, Kansas. Dunlap was located in eastern Morris County and was established in May 1878. The colony was founded by Benjamin Singleton and the Tennessee Real Estate and Homestead Association. This was the last colony Singleton founded in Kansas.

Ho for Kansas!

Ho for Kansas!
Creator: Singleton, Benjamin, 1809-1900
Date: March 18, 1878
Benjamin "Pap" Singleton, a leader of the Exodus movement and president of the Tennessee Real Estate and Homestead Association, distributed this pamphlet in Nashville, Tennessee, to encourage emigration to Kansas. Singleton would organize transportation for any African Americans eager to escape the discriminatory black codes being instituted in various parts of the South. Singleton and other emigrants believed that former slaves would be able to lead happier lives in a northern state such as Kansas.

"Pap" Singleton songster

"Pap" Singleton songster
Creator: Hickman, Hester
Date: 1877
This pamphlet, sold by Benjamin "Pap" Singleton, the "Father of the Exodus," includes the lyrics for two songs advertising black Southerners' emigration to Kansas. The first song, "The Land that Gives Birth to Freedom," alludes to the hardships of life in Tennessee and the promise of a better life in Kansas. The second song, "Extending Our Voices to Heaven," is a farewell message to those left behind. Lyrics for these songs were written by Mrs. Hester Hickman with arrangement by A. D. DeFrantz. The pamphlet was originally included in the Benjamin Singleton scrapbook.

The Great Negro Exodus

The Great Negro Exodus
Creator: Harpers Weekly
Date: May 17, 1879
This article published in the nationally-renown newspaper Harper's Weekly discusses the black exodus from the South, stating that Kansas seemed to be the objective for many of these emigrants. In particular the article discusses the role of the Tennessee Real Estate and Homestead Association, led by Benjamin "Pap" Singleton.

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