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Page 1 of 4, showing 10 records out of 34 total, starting on record 1, ending on 10

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Title | Creator | Date Made Visible | None

Edmund Burke Whitman? to Franklin B. Sanborn

Whitman, E. B. (Edmund Burke), 1812-1883

E. B. Whitman (letter not signed, but author's identity is pretty clear), an agent in Lawrence for the National Kansas Committee, wrote Franklin Sanborn in Massachusetts regarding his disappointment with the lack of support being given by "our professed friends" in the East. To their discredit, according to Whitman, Massachusetts "supporters" had refused to provide assistance which was desperately needed for the Kansas settlers who had just endured a very "severe winter." He believed false information was being circulated for political purposes by individuals within the Free State movement: "Kansas, bleeding Kansas, is of value to them only so far as it subserves their selfish ends."

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Richard West to John P. St. John

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.

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Elizabeth Comstock to John P. St. John

Comstock, Elizabeth

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.

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

Montgomery, Isaiah T. (Isaiah Thorton), 1847-1924

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.

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Samuel Cabot, Jr. to James Blood

Cabot, Samuel

Samuel Cabot, who was directing a Boston effort to send clothing to Kansas Territory, advises Blood he was aware of the goods that "had been stopped at St Louis by the closure of navigation." He also comments on the reluctance of some to accept relief; these individuals are to be advised that "This supply is not a mere charity but a contribution of the North to soldiers, who have been bravely battling for the case of freedom & in defense of our common rights, against the Slave Oligarchy." Cabot encloses a printed letter titled "Clothing For Kanzas," listing New England contributions.

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Thaddeus Hyatt to Cleaveland

Hyatt, Thaddeus

This rather inspiring letter, written by Thaddeus Hyatt while traveling in Kansas, demonstrates Hyatt's commitment to the National Kansas Committee and his passion for the free state cause. Apparently there was some sort of conflict within the committee that threatened its ability to function, but nevertheless Hyatt was determined to aid the struggling free state settlers in Kansas. He spoke in great detail about some of his travels around the territory, including the inclement weather and his perspective on the pro-slavery and free state settlers that he encountered during his stay.

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Action of Other Cities on the 'Exodus' Question

Wyandotte Gazette

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.

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Billings & Bryant to John Brown, bill of sale for horse wagon

Billings & Bryant,

The state of Iowa frequently served as a relatively safe haven for abolitionist John Brown and his followers during the late 1850s, and Iowa City was on the famous Lane Trail which carried many free-state activists and settlers to and from Kansas. This document, from "Billings & Bryant," indicates that the partners had received $100 from John Brown as payment "in full for a heavy Horse Waggon" that they agreed "to ship immediately to J B Iowa City, Iowa; care of Dr. Jesse Bowen." Bowen was a member of the Kansas Central Committee of Iowa who later lived in Leavenworth, Kansas Territory.

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Report of the majority, 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

United States. Congress. Senate. Select Committee on Negro Exodus

This report, written by the majority party of the Senate select committee investigating the Exodus, outlines the majority?s conclusions about why Southern blacks were emigrating to the North during the post-Civil War period. This committee, composed of majority and minority parties, had taken testimony from hundreds of people having direct knowledge of the exodus movement. In essence, the majority party (the Democrats) concluded that blacks in the South had not emigrated due to ?any deprivation of their political rights or any hardship in their condition? in their home state. Furthermore, the report maintained that aid societies in the North (such as the Freedmen?s Aid Association of Topeka) were working with the Republican Party to encourage black emigration for purely political means. The majority party was composed of three senators: Daniel W. Voorhees (Dem., Indiana), Zebulon B. Vance (Dem., North Carolina), and George H. Pendleton (Dem., Ohio).

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J. Lincoln to John P. St. John

Lincoln, J.

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.

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