Telling The Story of Courage, Ambition, and Fortitude

Kansans have long been documented leaders in civil rights – where community impact spreads beyond the borders to influence... Learn more

African American Experience

Realize the impact John Brown and other abolitionists had on the region during Bleeding Kansas, a prelude to the Civil War, and how the history of Kansas’ statehood is closely tied to these events. From the time Kansas Territory was opened for settlement, proslavery and antislavery forces fought for control of the territorial government.

After the start of the Civil War, African Americans in Kansas formed volunteer military units to fight the Confederates. Walk in the footsteps of the First Kansas Colored Infantry based at Fort Scott, the first African American unit to see action in the Civil War. Explore the history of the Buffalo Soldiers, who were sent to Kansas to fight a series of Indian Wars. After the Civil War, Kansas was advertised as a good place for African Americans to settle.

In 1859, Kansas Constitution opened the state to all settlers regardless of their race. Visit Nicodemus to learn more about the Exoduster movement, and African Americans who created new settlements following the Civil War. Read the blog >>

Follow the African American History Trail through Kansas below! 

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