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Page 1 of 2, showing 10 records out of 20 total, starting on record 1, ending on 10

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Title | Creator | Date Made Visible | None

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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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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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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Wilmer Walton to John P. St. John

Walton, Wilmer

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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Andrew Atchison to John P. St. John

Atchison, Andrew

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.

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Samuel Baker to John P. St. John

Baker, Samuel

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.

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