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Curriculum -- [8] 7th Grade Standards (Remove)
Thematic Time Period -- Immigration and Settlement, 1854 - 1890 (Remove)
Community Life -- Clubs and organizations -- Charitable -- Relief (Remove)
Community Life -- Clubs and organizations -- Charitable (Remove)
Page 1 of 3, showing 10 records out of 28 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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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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New York Daily Tribune, "The Drouth and Famine in Kansas"

New York Daily Tribune

This newspaper article, published in the New York Daily Tribune from October 10, 1860, outlined the basic details of the suffering and destitution of settlers in Kansas. It also included reprints of two circulars originating from Kansas Territory. One was from the Presbytery of Highland, and the other was from the Central Relief Committee based in Leavenworth. The first reprinted circular provided information about the dire situation and gave the names of the members of this committee. The second circular requested that the elders and deacons of each church in Kansas ascertain how many families needed immediate assistance in order to present a full report to the Central Relief Committee.

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Thaddeus Hyatt to James Buchanan

Hyatt, Thaddeus

Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, wrote this letter to the President of the United States in an effort to obtain assistance for the suffering inhabitants of Kansas. He described in detail the needs of the settlers, including their lack of adequate winter clothing and the scarcity of food. According to his personal observations, Hyatt concluded that the only options left to Kansas settlers were exodus or starvation. He also asked that all government lands be removed from the market, especially those in the New York Indian reserve.

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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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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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