Text banner: "Wake Nicodemus." Nicodemus arose from the rich prairie soil where great herds of bison once roamed.

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.

Their fliers joined those of other groups encouraging southern blacks to leave home for Kansas. These fliers typically exaggerated the abundance of resources and the low cost of land.

Two brochures promoting Kansas land availability to southern Black settlers. "All Colored People Go to Kansas, on September 5th, 1877, Can do so for $5.00!" boasts one. "Ho for Kansas!" begins the other. Both probably overstated the availability and condition of the land they wanted to sell.

prairie grass (line drawing) Where is Nicodemus? Visit the index for more stories Visit Nicodemus National Historical Park Learn more about Black History in your National Parks Learn about Black History Month events in your National Parks Visit ParkNet