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1880 census of Farmer Township, Wabaunsee County, Kansas

1880 census of Farmer Township, Wabaunsee County, Kansas
Creator: United States. Census Office. 10th census, 1880
Date: June 1, 1880 through June 2, 1880
This excerpt of a census schedule provides details--including the name, age, race, and occupation--of settlers in Farmer Township in Wabaunsee County, Kansas. The county included a black population (B=Black) who had settled there in 1879 with the help of the Freedmen's Relief Association.


1880 census of Rock Creek Township, Wabaunsee County, Kansas

1880 census of Rock Creek Township, Wabaunsee County, Kansas
Creator: United States. Census Office. 10th census, 1880
Date: June 11, 1880
This excerpt of a census schedule provides details--including the name, age, race, and occupation--of settlers in Rock Creek Township in Wabaunsee County, Kansas. The county included a black population (B=Black) who had settled there in 1879 with the help of the Freedmen's Relief Association.


Action of Other Cities on the 'Exodus' Question

Action of Other Cities on the 'Exodus' Question
Creator: Wyandotte Gazette
Date: April 25, 1879
This article includes information about Exoduster relief efforts in both Topeka and Lawrence. In Topeka, the Kansas Freedmen's Aid Association had appealed to other counties, asking them to form local aid societies to assist refugees in their respective areas. Lawrence citizens held a meeting in Fraser Hall to discuss the Exodus; the attendees recognized the legitimacy of the Exodus and were willing to provide aid and support for the emigrants.


Articles of Corporation and By-Laws of the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association

Articles of Corporation and By-Laws of the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association
Creator: Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association (Topeka, Kan.)
Date: 1879
This pocket-sized booklet contains the articles of incorporation and by-laws of the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association that assisted Southern blacks emigrating to Kansas influencing the Exoduster Movement of 1879. In addition, the booklet includes a listing of the Board of Directors and officers where Governor John P. St. John served as its president.


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.


Elizabeth Comstock to John P. St. John

Elizabeth Comstock to John P. St. John
Creator: Comstock, Elizabeth
Date: June 16, 1881
In this letter Elizabeth Comstock, a former agent of the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association, relates her experiences during her visit to the East coast in 1881. Comstock and some of her New York colleagues had the opportunity to speak with President James Garfield, giving him four main points to consider regarding the Exodus movement. According to her letter, Garfield was devoted to aiding black refugees. She also wrote of other matters, including how some blacks in southern Kansas were displeased about the dissolution of the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association; in contrast, Comstock believed the demise of this association had some positive repercussions.


Governor John P. St. John to Horatio N. Rust

Governor John P. St. John to Horatio N. Rust
Creator: St. John, John Pierce, 1833-1916
Date: January 16, 1880
This informative twelve-page letter, written by John P. St. John, Governor of Kansas, details how the Freedman's Relief Association has been assisting the black refugees fleeing from the South. St. John was well acquainted with the workings of this association, being a board member himself, and therefore he gave specific details about how many emigrants have found employment. He also discusses the barracks in Topeka that housed around 200 emigrants in need of shelter. Many of these Exodusters were suffering during the cold winter, and St. John mentioned that the association needed lumber to build additional barracks and houses for some of the emigrants. Toward the end of the letter, St. John implored Rust to discover if Illinois (Rust's home state) would be able to accept any of these refugees.


Governor John P. St. John to Roseline Cunningham

Governor John P. St. John to Roseline Cunningham
Creator: St. John, John Pierce, 1833-1916
Date: June 24, 1879
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.


Governor John Pierce St. John to Rev. Henry Smith

Governor John Pierce St. John to Rev. Henry Smith
Creator: St. John, John Pierce, 1833-1916
Date: May 13, 1879
Governor John P. St. John wrote this letter in response to Rev. Smith's letter dated May 7, 1879. St. John informed Smith that the only problem with Southern blacks' emigrating into Kansas stemmed from the fact that many emigrants were destitute and in need of financial support. According to St. John, black settlers enjoy the same rights and privileges of white settlers. However, he also warned Smith that, while Kansas has a great deal to offer, the benefits of emigration were sometimes exaggerated. He encouraged Smith to be aware of these misrepresentations. St. John, in addition to his duties as governor, served on the board of the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association.


Henry and Clara Smith to John P. St. John

Henry and Clara Smith to John P. St. John
Creator: Smith, Henry and Clara
Date: May 7, 1879
Henry Smith and his daughter, Clara, wrote this letter to Kansas Governor John St. John requesting information about black emigration to Kansas. Smith wrote on behalf of his community in Marshall, Texas, saying that a number of people were hoping to emigrate because they were unable to make a living due to discriminatory practices. According to the letter, some of the Smith's white neighbors were threatening to follow black emigrants if they attempted to leave the area (to what end is unclear). In addition to his role as Kansas governor, St. John served on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association.


Isaiah T. Montgomery to Governor John P. St. John

Isaiah T. Montgomery to Governor John P. St. John
Creator: Montgomery, Isaiah T. (Isaiah Thorton), 1847-1924
Date: May 23, 1879
Isaiah T. Montgomery of Hurricane, Mississippi, wrote Governor John P. St. John of Topeka, Kansas, concerning the migration of twenty five families of black refugees from Mississippi to Kansas. Montgomery described the difficulties faced by the families and a visit he made to Kansas to assess their conditions. He also critiqued the relief programs in Kansas and made recommendations for assisting present and future migrants. In addition, the letter addresses Montgomery's broader effort to establish a community for black refugees in Kansas and the oppressive conditions under which blacks lived in Mississippi. Montgomery dictated a letter sent to him from William Nervis regarding the conditions of the refugees. During 1879 and 1880 a mass exodus of blacks from the deep South, known as the Negro Exodus, overwhelmed the state's ability to accommodate the refugees. These refugees were called Exodusters. Governor St. John established a Freedman's Relief Association to assist the migrants but its efforts were largely seen as a failure.


J. C. Black to Governor John P. St. John

J. C. Black to Governor John P. St. John
Creator: Black, J. C.
Date: April 28, 1881
This brief letter was written by J. C. Black, a former slave from Paris, Tennessee. According to Black, his white neighbors were saying that black refugees in Kansas were starving and out of work. Black wanted to know if this was true before he moved to Kansas. He asked for a speedy response. In addition to his service as Governor, St. John also served on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association.


J. Lincoln to John P. St. John

J. Lincoln to John P. St. John
Creator: Lincoln, J.
Date: 1881
J. Lincoln, a resident of Belvidere, Illinois, wrote this letter to obtain more information about the condition of black refugees in Kansas. Apparently Lincoln had planned on sending clothing to Elizabeth Comstock (an agent of the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association), but one of his neighbors said such a donation was unnecessary because there were no suffering emigrants in Kansas. Lincoln wanted to know the truth about this matter. Kansas governor St. John was on the board of the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association.


John W. Robinson to John M.S. Williams

John W. Robinson to John M.S. Williams
Creator: Robinson, John W
Date: November 15, 1860
John W. Robinson wrote from Manhattan, Kansas Territory to John M. S. Williams. Robinson thanked Williams for his $25 donation to the relief fund for Kansans suffering from the effects of drought.


Kansas Refugees

Kansas Refugees
Creator: Chicago Inter-Ocean
Date: Between 1880 and 1881
Horatio N. Rust, secretary of the Southern Refuge Relief Association, sent this letter to the editor of the Chicago Inter Ocean to pass along news from Elizabeth Comstock, agent of the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association based in Topeka. Comstock feared for the health of 500 refugees, and so Rust asked for contributions of money, bedding, or clothing to send off immediately.


Kansas Territory citizens to the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America

Kansas Territory citizens to the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America
Date: c. 1860
This unsigned statement was written to protest "the practice of taxing the people of the Territories for the support of a Government in which they are not represented." The residents of Kansas Territory complained that they had had no voice in how these tax dollars were appropriated, and they asked this "honorable body" to remit to them these taxes. Since this was during the drought of 1860, they declared that they would use these funds for famine relief.


Mrs. P. Gillespie to John P. St. John

Mrs. P. Gillespie to John P. St. John
Creator: Gillespie, Mrs. P.
Date: January 17, 1881
In this brief letter, Mrs. P. Gillespie of Nevada, Iowa, enclosed five dollars as a contribution to the Exoduster relief effort in Kansas. In addition to his role as governor of Kansas, St. John also served on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association.


Orville Chester Brown to unknown

Orville Chester Brown to unknown
Date: June 24, 1856
This letter, presumably written by Orville Chester Brown, is an excellent example of a free state perspective on the events of 1856 in Kansas Territory. Speaking in rather eloquent terms, the author expresses anger at the United States government for their refusal to aid free state settlers.


Richard West to John P. St. John

Richard West to John P. St. John
Date: January 18, 1881
Richard West, a resident of Barton Station, Alabama, wrote this letter to Kansas governor St. John requesting information about available land in Kansas. West was a farmer who described in some detail many of the concerns facing emigrants, including transportation and other expenses. In addition to his role as governor of Kansas, St. John also served on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association.


Roseline Cunningham to John P. St. John

Roseline Cunningham to John P. St. John
Creator: Cunningham, Roseline
Date: June 18, 1879
Roseline Cunningham, a black schoolteacher from Westpoint, Mississippi, wrote this letter to Kansas governor John St. John concerning emigration to Kansas. Cunningham, like many other Exodusters, was unable to make a living in the South and sought information about settling in Kansas. She also wanted to know if there was a governmental agency or society that would help her (and her neighbors) cover the cost of emigration. Governor St. John served on the board of the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association.


S. H. B. Schoonmaker to Governor John P. St. John

S. H. B. Schoonmaker to Governor John P. St. John
Creator: Shoonmaker, S. H. B.
Date: May 17, 1879
S. H. B. Shoonmaker of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, wrote this letter to Governor St. John on behalf of the black residents of his parish (county). He asked the governor a number of specific questions, including how these black emigrants could obtain land, where they should settle, and whether there were relief organizations that could assist the refugees. In addition to his service as governor, St. John also served on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association.


Samuel Baker to John P. St. John

Samuel Baker to John P. St. John
Creator: Baker, Samuel
Date: March 7, 1882
Samuel Baker of Columbia, South Carolina, wrote this letter to Kansas governor St. John requesting information about housing for freed blacks. Apparently, there were around 10,000 blacks in South Carolina wanting to escape racial oppression in the South, and Baker desired more information and advice about relocating these people to Kansas. In addition to his service as governor, St. John also served on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association.


Samuel F. Lyman to Hiram Hill

Samuel F. Lyman to Hiram Hill
Creator: Lyman, Samuel F.
Date: October 13, 1856
Samuel Lyman wrote from Northampton, Massachusetts, to Hiram Hill, also in Massachusetts, regarding Hill's responsibility to raise money for aid to Kansas. Lyman reminded Hill of the suffering occurring in the Territory. He added in a postscript that although Samuel Pomeroy had recently delivered provisions to people in KT, they were only enough to last a few days.


Susan B. Anthony to Governor John P. St. John

Susan B. Anthony to Governor John P. St. John
Date: April 21, 1879
Susan B. Anthony has enclosed a $10.00 subscription for the Kansas Freedman's Relief Association in this letter to Governor John P. St. John. She also wrote that she wanted to meet with St. John to discuss the "speediest method" to bring about United States citizenship and equal rights for women.


W. H. Caltin to John P. St. John

W. H. Caltin to John P. St. John
Date: January 29, 1881
This letter from W. J. Caltin included a check for sixty dollars, collected by the citizens of Meriden, Connecticut. This money was to be used to aid black refugees, otherwise known as Exodusters, from the South. Caltin also notified Governor St. John that Meriden had forwarded six or seven barrels of clothing to Elizabeth Comstock, an agent for the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association. In addition to his role as Kansas governor, St. John served on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association.


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