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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.L. Foster to the manager of Kelly's Hotel in Iola, Kansas

A.L. Foster to the manager of Kelly's Hotel in Iola, Kansas
Creator: Foster, A.L.
Date: March 09, 1945
In this letter, from A.L. Foster of the Chicago Urban League to the manager of Kelly's Hotel in Iola, Kansas, details Foster's experiences at the hotel in the winter of 1945. Foster, a passenger on a bus from Ft. Scott to Wichita, was asked to sit in the rear section of the restaurant solely because he was an African American.


A. M. Thomas portrait

A. M. Thomas portrait
Date: Around 1913
A. M. Thomas served as attorney for the Topeka branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) at the time of its founding in March 1913. He was also a member and lay leader of Saint Simon's Episcopal Church in Topeka.


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.


Address to the Voters of Kansas

Address to the Voters of Kansas
Creator: Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891
Date: September 25, 1867
The numerous authors of this pamphlet (Republicans) support the constitutional amendments to approve voting rights for blacks, for women, and to restrict voting rights to "loyal persons." They offer arguments for their position as well as criticizing the Democratic Party in Kansas for their opposition to these amendments. Forty five men signed the document, which was the result of a meeting in Lawrence. The following signed the document S. C. Pomeroy, Atchison; E. G. Ross, Lawrence; S. J. Crawford, Topeka; N. Green, Manhattan; Chas. Robinson, Lawrence; Geo T. Anthony, Leavenworth; Lewis Bodwell, Topeka; R. B. Taylor, editor Wyandotte Gazette; J. P. Root, Whandotte; James Rogers, Burlingame; S. Weaver, Editor Lecompton New Era; L. R. Elliott, Editor Atchison Daily Free Press; W. A. Starrett, Lawrence; Wm. Larimer, Jr., Leavenworth; John Ritchie, Topeka; John Ekin, Topeka; Sol. Miller, Editor White Cloud Chief; A. H. Foote, Lawrence; C. B. Lines, Wabaunsee; R. G. Elliott, Jefferson county; G. A. Crawford, Bourbon county; John Speer, Kansas Tribune; A. Low, Doniphan; R. W. Jenkins, Pottawatomie county; Ed. Russell, Leavenworth; J. H. Pillsbury, Editor Manhattan Independent; S. D. Houston, Manhattan; W. K. Marshall, Atchison; F. G. Adams, Kennekuk; P. L. Hubbard, Atchison; A. Hunting, Manhattan; J. B. Abbott, De Soto; Joseph Denison, Manhattan; T. H. Baker, Manhattan, H. W. Farnsworth, Topeka; I. H. Smith, Topeka; D. R. Anthony, Leavenworth; G. W. Higginbotham, Manhattan; John Pipher, Manhattan, R. L. Harford, Manhattan; Jas. Humphrey, Manhattan; Wm McKay, Manhattan; R. P. Duvall, Manhattan; Pardee Butler, Pardee; and L. F. Green, Baldwin City. Only the language restricting voting to "loyal" persons was passed in the election on November 5, 1867. Blacks and women were not given voting rights as a result of the 1867 election.


Airmail Special Letter: Robert Carter to Mckinley Burnett

Airmail Special Letter: Robert Carter to Mckinley Burnett
Date: March 31, 1953
Attorney Robert Carter acknowledges receipt of a copy of a letter from McKinley Burnett sent with an enclosed memo from Superintendent of Topeka Schools, Kenneth McFarland. Carter advises Burnett that if the McFarland proceeds in this (possible dismissal of Negro teachers) he would immediately initiate a court action. Carter further advises that he would be in Des Moines and that he would be happy to meet any teachers who have received "these notices."


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 Open Letter to the Legislatures of Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado

An Open Letter to the Legislatures of Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado
Creator: Packard, Mrs. E. P. W.
Date: 1883
Mrs. Packard of Chicago, Illinois, was asking the legislatures of Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado for their support for two laws--one to end censorship of the correspondence of inmates of insane asylums and the second to protect the legal identity of married women. The pamphlet explains that she has a petition of 804 signatures that includes the governors the the three states; numerous state, county and municipal officers; various judges; clergymen; and many other respected officials. She includes excerpts from letters of endorsement and 18 of those are Kansans.


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.


An analysis of the proposed right-to-work legislation

An analysis of the proposed right-to-work legislation
Creator: Kansas State Federation of Labor
Date: August 1954
In 1958, Kansas voters ratified the "right to work" amendment to the state constitution. The amendment stated, in part, that "No person shall be denied the opportunity to obtain or retain employment because of membership or non membership in any labor organization..." In this pamphlet, the Kansas State Federation of Labor argues that the purpose of the legislation was to limit the power of organized labor.


A petition on Negro suffrage

A petition on Negro suffrage
Date: 1867
This petition by an unknown group of Kansas residents asks the state legislature to support suffrage for black males. The petitioners support removing the word "white" from articles five and eight of the state constitution. At that time the Kansas constitution limited suffrage to white males. The petition outlines six reasons why suffrage should be extended to black males. In 1867, the state legislature approved an amendment supporting black male suffrage but white male voters defeated the amendment in a public referendum. Voters also defeated a similar amendment supporting white, female suffrage. These proposed amendments followed the Kansas legislature's ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, which defined who were citizens, including Negroes.


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.


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.


Benjamin "Pap" Singleton scrapbook

Benjamin "Pap" Singleton scrapbook
Creator: Singleton, Benjamin, 1809-1892
Date: 1877-1886
Benjamin "Pap" Singleton compiled this scrapbook to document the immigration of many Southern blacks to Kansas during the 1870s and 1880s. Singleton is considered the father of the Negro Exodus, or Exoduster movement. The book contains newspaper clippings, handbills, circulars, and posters promoting the immigration and commemorating it. The marginal notes are from an unknown source sometime after 1950. Some notes give directions to continuing sections. The order and numbering of pages and inserts follows the 1950 KSHS microfilm publication. Some renumbering of pages had occurred since that time. Some page numbers on the original may not reflect the present page order.


Broadside commemorating Emancipation Proclamation

Broadside commemorating Emancipation Proclamation
Date: Between 1917 and 1919
This slide of a broadside shows President Abraham Lincoln in the center with Frederick Douglass and Lieutenant Colonel Otis Duncan to his right. To Lincoln's left is Lieutenant Colonel Franklin A. Dennison and Paul L. Dunbar. Supplementing the portraits in the broadside are civilian and military scenes. The broadside was created during World War I to focus on civil rights for African Americans in the United States.


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.


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: 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 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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