Nicodemus National Historic Site

Aerial view of Nicodemus National Historic Site
Aerial view of Nicodemus, Kansas

National Park Service, Nicodemus National Historic Site


This National Historic Site contains Nicodemus Historic District National Historic Landmark, the most successful all-black township established by African Americans to escape oppression in the post-Reconstruction South and to establish independent communities. Knowing the unfulfilled dreams of Southern blacks for self-determination and land ownership, two highly ambitious men, a black minister named Reverend W.H. Smith and a white land promoter named W.R. Hill founded Nicodemus in 1877. They formed Nicodemus Township Company with five African Americans to create an all-black town for profit. They mainly recruited African Americans from Kentucky and Tennessee. The original settlers of Nicodemus organized the town using the five pillars of many African American communities: religion, education, home ownership, business, and civic government. Nicodemus represents the involvement of African Americans in the western expansion and settlement of the Great Plains. It is the oldest and only remaining all Black Town west of the Mississippi River. Nicodemus characterizes the pioneer spirit of African Americans who left the only region that they were familiar with in search of personal freedom, personal achievement and ownership. Today Nicodemus continues to be important to our nations' history because the town serves as a focal point for all people to renew their spiritual and emotional connections of family, community, and ancestors.


Last updated: March 31, 2012

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Mailing Address:

Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration
Statue of Liberty National Monument

New York, NY 10004


(212) 363-3200

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