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Curriculum - 7th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1860s to 1870s (Benchmark 3) - Exodusters (Indicator 5) - Exoduster settlements

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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 Nicodemus Township, Graham County, Kansas

1880 census of Nicodemus Township, Graham County, Kansas
Creator: United States. Census Office. 10th census, 1880
Date: June 8, 1880 through June 23, 1880
This census schedule provides details--including the name, age, race, and occupation--of both white and black settlers in Nicodemus Township in Graham County, Kansas. This township had been settled by Exodusters in 1877 along the south fork of the Solomon River. Today, the town of Nicodemus is the only surviving Exoduster settlement west of the Mississippi River.


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.


About Nicodemus, The Daily Journal

About Nicodemus, The Daily Journal
Creator: Lawrence Daily Journal
Date: April 30, 1879
This article from the Lawrence Daily Journal discusses a newspaper article from the Chicago Tribune written during the Exoduster Movement in 1879 providing a brief history of the black community of freed people at Nicodemus, Kansas settled in 1877. Nicodemus is now a historic site administered by the National Parks Service.


All colored people that want to go to Kansas

All colored people that want to go to Kansas
Creator: Nicodemus Town Company
Date: 1877
This broadside advertises the availability of land in Nicodemus, Graham County, Kansas encouraging African-American immigration to Kansas. As noted on the poster, some African-American residents of Lexington, Kentucky, were moving to Nicodemus and consolidating themselves with the Nicodemus Town Company. Nicodemus was settled in 1877, and is the only surviving all-black settlement west of the Mississippi that was settled by former slaves during the post-Civil War Reconstruction period. It is now a historic site administered by the National Parks Service.


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.


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.


District No. 1 School in Nicodemus, Kansas

District No. 1 School in Nicodemus, Kansas
Date: 1977
This is an exterior view of the District No. 1 school building in Nicodemus, Graham County, Kansas. This schoolhouse, which forms part of the National Parks Service site, was built in 1918. It was built on the site of the first school in Graham County, which had been constructed in 1887 but was later destroyed by fire. The school closed in the 1950s. Nicodemus was an Exoduster settlement in Kansas, established in 1877.


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.


Nicodemus, Kansas

Nicodemus, Kansas
Date: 1885
This photograph captures the bustling main street in Nicodemus, Graham County, a settlement founded by Exodusters in 1877. It includes a number of townspeople and the Williams Mercantile store. The building on the far left is believed to be the First Baptist Church. The new First Baptist Church was built in 1907 around this church; once the new building was completed, Nicodemus residents demolished the original church. The new building is now part of the National Parks Service historic site.


Nicodemus Town Company certificate

Nicodemus Town Company certificate
Creator: Nicodemus Town Company
Date: Between 1880 and 1882
This certificate for the Nicodemus Town Company was used to acknowledge membership which, along with a five dollar fee, was required of every emigrant seeking to settle in Nicodemus. The certificate is blank. Nicodemus, in Graham County, was an Exoduster settlement founded in 1877. A driving force behind the creation of the colony was William R. Hill, whose name appears on the bottom of the certificate.


Nicodemus article

Nicodemus article
Date: September 2, 1886
This untitled article from the Nicodemus Western Cyclone newspaper outlines how the residents of Nicodemus were building comfortable homes and persevering through hardship. The settlement in Nicodemus had been established by black Exodusters in 1877, and is today the only surviving all-black Exoduster town west of the Mississippi. Presently, the town is a historic site administered by the National Parks Service.


Part 12: Exodusters, in first annual report of the Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics

Part 12: Exodusters, in first annual report of the Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics
Creator: Kansas Bureau of Labor
Date: 1886
This excerpt of the Kansas Bureau of Labor report includes only Part 12, the portion of the report focusing on the Exodusters in Wyandotte, Kansas. The report includes transcribed testimonies of Exodusters as well as a detailed table showing statistics compiled from seventeen families, including their location, ages, health, and occupations. The report also includes a few references to Exodusters in Topeka.


The largest colored colony in America!

The largest colored colony in America!
Creator: Nicodemus Town Company
Date: 1877
This advertisement for Nicodemus, Graham County, Kansas, describes the location of the colony near the Solomon River and the town company's plans to build more houses, businesses, and other public buildings. The trustees were quick to note that they will not build any saloon or "houses of ill fame" during the first five years of settlement. Nicodemus was settled in 1877 and is the oldest surviving black community west of the Mississippi River. Today the town is a National Parks Service site and is open to visitors.


To the colored citizens of the United States

To the colored citizens of the United States
Creator: Nicodemus Town Company
Date: July 2, 1877
This advertisement introduces the Nicodemus Town Company, stating that they have claimed a town site in Graham County, Kansas, near the Solomon River. It also describes the surrounding area, stating that "we are proud to say it is the finest country we ever saw." William R. Hill, a white supporter of this colony, also served as the president of the town company. At the end of the advertisement is a short song about Nicodemus. The town is now a historic site administered by the National Parks Service.


Wilmer Walton to John P. St. John

Wilmer Walton to John P. St. John
Creator: Walton, Wilmer
Date: February 7, 1881
This letter, by the correspondent for the Labette County Freedmen's Relief Association in Parsons, Kansas, described the condition of black refugees in the area. Walton thanked Governor John P. St. John for his financial support, and explained how Walton had been visiting the suffering refugees and distributing aid as best he could. He also encouraged the governor to continue supporting relief efforts. St. John, in addition to his official duties as governor, was a board member of the Kansas Freedmen's Relief Association.


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