Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


This thesis correlates the major issues discussed in the 1880 Senate Report #693 (the Voorhees Committee), an investigation into “The Causes of the Removal of the Negro from the Southern States to the Northern States” with the extraordinary effectiveness of black politicians in Nicodemus, Kansas . For the first time in United States history, enough African Americans had gathered in a locale--Graham County, Kansas--to affect issues of crucial ideological and financial importance to the surrounding whites. The 1700 pages of testimony presented by the Voorhees Committee Report illustrated the complexity of post-Reconstruction racial tensions on a national level while Nicodemus depicted a microcosm of blacks' attempts to form beneficial alliances with whites on a local level. This study, based on the Voorhees Committee testimony and an analysis of political activity in Graham County as reported by Kansas newspapers, argues that the testimony heard by the Voorhees Committee was a harbinger of national African American activism. Simultaneously, blacks in Nicodemus proved they could predominate over whites regarding issues indigenous to the settlement of the West.


Raymond Wilson

Date of Award

Summer 2005

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 2005 Charlotte F. Hinger


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