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date: 02 April 2020


  • Donald Roe


When Kansas was admitted to the Union in 1861, there were approximately six hundred blacks in the state, but by the end of the Civil War in 1865, the black population had grown to about twelve thousand. In the late 1870s, faced with a violent period of Southern “Redemption” during which lynching was a common practice, as well as limited economic opportunity, thousands of African Americans chose to flee the South for the Oklahoma Territory and Kansas. Approximately twenty-six thousand blacks, known as Exodusters, left the South and migrated to Kansas in the 1870s—most of them in 1878–1879 There were Exodusters for example who migrated to widely scattered rural communities in southeastern Cherokee County east central Morris County and other counties Some established small all black towns Nicodemus the most famous of the black towns in Kansas was located in north central Kansas The majority of the ...

A version of this article originally appeared in The Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present.

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