Presentation on theme: "A History of African American Heroes in the Old West"— Presentation transcript:
1A History of African American Heroes in the Old West “Black Frontiers”A History of African American Heroes in the Old West
2Benjamin Singleton, and S.A. McClure, Leaders of the Exodus, leaving Nashville, Tennessee.
3Benjamin "Pap" Singleton Born a slave in 1809At 37 escaped to freedom.Traveled through the South organizing parties to colonize in Kansas.In 1873 nearly 300 Blacks followed him to Cherokee County and founded "Singleton's Colony."Settled Nicodemus in 1877.Between 1879 and 1881, however, the organized movement gave way to an "Exodus" in which tens of thousands of oppressed and impoverished Southern Blacks fled to Kansas and other Northern states.
4Known affectionately as "Pap," Benjamin Singleton died in 1892 Known affectionately as "Pap," Benjamin Singleton died in Through his last years he took great comfort and pride in the role in played as "Father of the Negro Exodus." His burial place is unknown.
5At the time of the Exodus to Kansas, yellow fever ravaged many river towns in Missouri, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Because many of the black migrants who stopped over in these towns -- coming by steamboat, train, or horseback -- were sick, unwashed, and poverty-stricken, it was assumed by city officials that they must be potential disease carriers. This caused great alarm in such cities as St. Louis, which imposed unnecessary quarantine measures to discourage future migrants.
6Engraved mural of Exodusters fleeing yellow fever.
7In February of 1880, more than 900 black families from Mississippi reached St. Louis, en route to Kansas. Some black migrants sought "conductors" to make travel arrangements for them. These conductors would often ask for money in advance and not show up at the appointed departure time, leaving migrants stranded at docks and train stations. The following picture is of refugees on a Levee, in 1897.
15Nicodemus, KansasAs Reconstruction came to an end in the 1870s, many Southern blacks feared they would lose their civil liberties. Known as "Exodusters," thousands fled to a number of newly created black towns, such as Nicodemus. Founded in 1877, Nicodemus was promoted as "the Promised Land." Within two years the community had 700 residents. But bad weather and subsequent crop failures, followed by the Union Pacific Railroad's decision to bypass the town, spelled its doom. Nicodemus was soon deserted.
16First Baptist Church, Nicodemus KansasI am anxious to reach your state ... because of the sacredness of her soil washed by the blood of humanitarians for the cause of freedom."-- S.L. Johnson, black Louisianan in a letter to Kansas Governor John St John, 1879First Baptist Church, NicodemusNicodemus 1855
17Henry Williams and Reece Switzer were early Nicodemus Residents
28Inside a Sod HouseJust dirt walls, sealed with newspapers, or the precious pages of books that were torn from the binding and mixed with spit and mucilage made from the hoofs of dead animals to attempt to seal out the wind. There are perfectly documented accounts of Great Plains residents going insane from the blowing of the wind in winter; especially susceptible were women, who by virtue of the times and their children could rarely go far from the home like these sod houses.