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Date -- 1870s (Remove)
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Community Life -- Clubs and organizations -- Charitable -- Relief (Remove)
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Page 1 of 2, showing 10 records out of 14 total, starting on record 1, ending on 10

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Title | Creator | Date Made Visible | None

Relief!

This poster announces Rev. W. M. Wellman's visit to Goshen, Indiana, and his work on behalf of the Kansas Relief Committee and the Smith County Aid Society. Wellman worked to obtain financial donations for settlers impacted by the grasshopper plague.

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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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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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Henry and Clara Smith to John P. St. John

Smith, Henry and Clara

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.

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

Shoonmaker, S. H. B.

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.

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Charles M. F. Striger to Governor John P. St. John

Striger, Charles M. F.

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.

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Governor John Pierce St. John to Rev. Henry Smith

St. John, John Pierce, 1833-1916

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.

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Roseline Cunningham to John P. St. John

Cunningham, Roseline

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.

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Governor John P. St. John to Roseline Cunningham

St. John, John Pierce, 1833-1916

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.

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

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.

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