African-American Western Towns By: Jasper and Lena

These towns are located in Nicodemus, Kansas. Founded in 1877 at the end Reconstruction period. The town was named after a legendary African Slave prince who had purchased his freedom. The founders are: W. H. Smith, Benjamin Carr, Jerry Allsap, Reverend Simon Roundtree, Jeff Lenze, and William Edmonds, all from Lexington, Kentucky.

There was mainly African Americans who lived there, the population grew rapidly within 3 years. It had a population of around 500 people plus by 1880 in at least every African american town in the west.

This is a place where all African Americans went to, so that they could be equal and not seen as a lesser person. It was a place where they were surrounded by others like them.


The town symbolizes the pioneering spirit of these ex-slaves who fled the war-torn South in search of "real” freedom and a chance to restart their lives.

By 1887 Nicodemus had gained more churches, stores, a literary society, an ice cream parlor, a lawyer, another newspaper, a baseball team, a benefit society and a band.

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