Faculty Publications

Title

Historical geography of an all-black frontier town

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Bulletin of the Illinois Geographical Society

Volume

41

Issue

2

First Page

3

Last Page

25

Abstract

During reconstruction the idea of migration from the South was a popular idea. A small number of men interested in profitable land promotion schemes recruited colonists to migrate to Kansas with the expectation of establishing all-black towns. A total of eleven colonies were promoted in Kansas. Nicodemus is the only all-black town settled during reconstruction, west of the Mississippi River, that survived. Approximately 800 freed slaves immigrated to Nicodemus during 1877 and 1878. Nicodemus was representative of many towns settled during the period. What sets it apart is its racial identity. Lack of a railroad and the Dust Bowl resulted in a declining population and continues to plague this community. August 2, 1998, Nicodemus, Kansas, became a National Historic Site. This case study focuses on the historical geography of this all-black frontier town.

Original Publication Date

12-1-1999

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