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Page 1 of 1, showing 8 records out of 8 total, starting on record 1, ending on 8

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Title | Creator | Date Made Visible | None

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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William Hutchinson to Cyrus Kurtz Holliday

Hutchinson, William , 1823-1904

William B. Hutchinson, an abolitionist from Lawrence, Kansas Territory and secretary of the Freemen of Kansas, wrote to Cyrus K. Holliday, free state activist and president of the Topeka Town Association, informing him of his appointment to a secret committee. The fifty-two members were to gather and turn in evidence against those responsible for election fraud. Holliday had also been appointed to the fund-raising subcommittee. In a later written response, Holliday refused these appointments, referring to time-consuming family and business responsibilities.

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A. Finch to Thaddeus Hyatt

Finch, H.

This letter, written from Osawatomie by A. Finch to Thaddeus Hyatt, chairman of the National Kansas Committee, provided general information about the inhabitants of Osawatomie and neighboring areas. It included a list of about half of the settlers residing in Osawatomie at this time, including the four pro-slavery voters. Mr. Finch went into detail about the most fertile areas that would be excellent sites for free state settlements, and about the economic conditions and financial needs of the settlers.

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Testimony of Lemuel Knapp

National Kansas Committee

This testimony, recorded by the National Kansas Committee, describes the Kansas experience of Lemuel Knapp, a settler who emigrated to the area near Fort Riley, Kansas Territory. His statement includes personal information as well as comments on the development of Pawnee City and the role that it played in the early years of Kansas Territory. It also relates an account of how the President ordered the destruction of Pawnee City because the newly drawn boundaries placed it on the Fort Riley Military Reserve.

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George Cutter, Kansas experience

This reminiscence is presumably from the Journal of Investigations in Kansas, which was compiled by the National Kansas Committee under the leadership of Thaddeus Hyatt. George Cutter was with Frederick Brown shortly before the Battle of Osawatomie and, like Brown, he was wounded during an altercation with border ruffians from Missouri. While Cutter was not directly involved in this battle, this reminiscence is still a rather fascinating account of it.

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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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J. D. Webster to James Blood

Webster, J. D.

From Chicago, Illinois, headquarters of the National Kansas Committee, the committee's vice president writes to authorize James Blood to draw on the treasurer for $3,000 "to be expended under authority of the State Kansas Committee." The purpose is to offer "provisions" to needy free state settlers; this was to be the committee's focus, "rather than to aid emigrants to go there."

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The Great Negro Exodus

Harpers Weekly

This article published in the nationally-renown newspaper Harper's Weekly discusses the black exodus from the South, stating that Kansas seemed to be the objective for many of these emigrants. In particular the article discusses the role of the Tennessee Real Estate and Homestead Association, led by Benjamin "Pap" Singleton.

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