Today in 1879: The first group of black so-called exodusters, en route to Kansas, arrives in St. Louis aboard the steamer “Colorado.” Eager to escape harsh sharecropper contracts, imprisonment and murder, thousands of African Americans are looking to Kansas as the Promised Land.
Many will pour onto the steamboats nearly destitute and knowing nothing about the state. Tennessee cabinetmaker Pap Singleton, who calls himself the “Father of the Colored Exodus”, will print handbills encouraging the migration.
Later this year, “Singleton Colony” will be established near what will become Emporia, Kansas. But a steamboat strike will slow the migration and, by 1881, the flood of “exodusters” will reduce to a trickle.
It’s today’s Action Calendar!
The Radicals and Progressives “Meet and Eat” is tonight at 5pm at the Orient House Restaurant, 626 South Park Street. More info at 249-0879.
The History of Political Economy Group meets tonight from 6:30 to 8:30pm at 404 South Park Street, Apartment 2 – above the University Audio store, apartment entrance in rear of the building. Newcomers are welcome. Bring snacks and beverages of your choice. More info at 256-1261.
Tonight, author Shannon Klieber will discuss her book “On My Honor: Real Life Lessons from America’s First Girl Scout.” This is at 6:30 at Goodman South Library, 2222 South Park Street. Hosted by Jane Addams Book Club, this is free and open to the public. More info at 266-6395.