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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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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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