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Page 1 of 3, showing 10 records out of 25 total, starting on record 1, ending on 10

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Title | Creator | Date Made Visible | None

James W. Randall to Thaddeus Hyatt

Randall, James W.

In this letter, James Randall of Emporia, Kansas, informed Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, of the drought?s effect on the neighboring population. Many families were destitute after the failure of the corn crop and were considering leaving their homes altogether. Randall hoped that Hyatt could send aid to the starving settlers.

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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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Kansas Emergency Relief Committee accomplishments movie

Kansas. Emergency Relief Commission

This motion picture film documents the various work projects completed in Kansas during President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. It begins with an introduction to the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee personnel, starting with the executive director, John G. Stutz. It then shows the various projects across the state, including the construction of farm ponds and lakes as part of the Water Conservation Program, the renovation and construction of courthouses, schools, libraries, and other public buildings, and the weaving and sewing rooms that produced clothing for needy Kansans. It also includes footage of rabbit drives, dust storms, and women sweeping piles of dust out of their homes. Click on the thumbnails below to play each clip. Click on Text Version for a detailed description of each chapter.

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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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Governor John P. St. John to Horatio N. Rust

St. John, John Pierce, 1833-1916

This informative twelve-page letter, written by John P. St. John, Governor of Kansas, details how the Freedman?s Relief Association has been assisting the black refugees fleeing from the South. St. John was well acquainted with the workings of this association, being a board member himself, and therefore he gave specific details about how many emigrants have found employment. He also discusses the barracks in Topeka that housed around 200 emigrants in need of shelter. Many of these Exodusters were suffering during the cold winter, and St. John mentioned that the association needed lumber to build additional barracks and houses for some of the emigrants. Toward the end of the letter, St. John implored Rust to discover if Illinois (Rust's home state) would be able to accept any of these refugees.

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J. C. Black to Governor John P. St. John

Black, J. C.

This brief letter was written by J. C. Black, a former slave from Paris, Tennessee. According to Black, his white neighbors were saying that black refugees in Kansas were starving and out of work. Black wanted to know if this was true before he moved to Kansas. He asked for a speedy response. 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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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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W. H. Caltin to John P. St. John

This letter from W. J. Caltin included a check for sixty dollars, collected by the citizens of Meriden, Connecticut. This money was to be used to aid black refugees, otherwise known as Exodusters, from the South. Caltin also notified Governor St. John that Meriden had forwarded six or seven barrels of clothing to Elizabeth Comstock, an agent for the Kansas Freedmen?s Relief Association. 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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Mrs. P. Gillespie to John P. St. John

Gillespie, Mrs. P.

In this brief letter, Mrs. P. Gillespie of Nevada, Iowa, enclosed five dollars as a contribution to the Exoduster relief effort in Kansas. 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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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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