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Title | Creator | Date Made Visible | None

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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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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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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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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Governor John Pierce St. John to Rev. Henry Smith

St. John, John Pierce, 1833-1916

Governor John P. St. John wrote this letter in response to Rev. Smith?s letter dated May 7, 1879. St. John informed Smith that the only problem with Southern blacks? emigrating into Kansas stemmed from the fact that many emigrants were destitute and in need of financial support. According to St. John, black settlers enjoy the same rights and privileges of white settlers. However, he also warned Smith that, while Kansas has a great deal to offer, the benefits of emigration were sometimes exaggerated. He encouraged Smith to be aware of these misrepresentations. St. John, in addition to his duties as governor, served on the board of the Kansas Freedmen?s Relief Association.

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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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Governor John P. St. John to Roseline Cunningham

St. John, John Pierce, 1833-1916

In this letter, Governor St. John responded to Cunningham?s inquiry (from June 18, 1879) about receiving financial assistance to cover the cost of emigration to Kansas. He informs her that there is no society to aid her travel costs, and that the promise of ?40 acres and a mule? is a misrepresentation. While he states that he does sympathize with the Southern blacks? situation, he advises Cunningham that emigrants should not come to Kansas if they are destitute. He also provides her with information about Kansas, including the cost of farmland and the typical wage for laborers. Governor St. John, in addition to his official government duties, was also on the board of the Kansas Freedmen?s Relief Association, This association was formed to provide aid to Exodusters such as Cunningham, but unfortunately the association did not have adequate funding to provide for all the Exodusters fleeing from the South.

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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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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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