In February of 1880, more than 900 black families from Mississippi reached St. Louis, en route to Kansas. Some black migrants sought "conductors" to make travel arrangements for them. These conductors would often ask for money in advance and not show up at the appointed departure time, leaving migrants stranded at docks and train stations.

Picture: Refugees on Levee, 1897. Carroll's Art Gallery. Photomural from gelatin-silver print Prints and Photographs Division (105) Prints and Photographs Division (105). Source: 


In 1874 Benjamin Singleton and his associates formed the Edgefield Real Estate and Homestead Association in Tennessee. This association sought out the best locations for black settlements. Singleton tried to establish a well-planned and organized movement to Kansas, but by 1879, the unruly, mass Exodus had overwhelmed his efforts.

Picture: Benjamin Singleton, and S.A. McClure, Leaders of the Exodus, leaving Nashville, Tennessee. Photomural from montage. Historic American Building Survey Field Records, HABS FN-6, #KS-49-12 Prints and Photographs Division (107). Source:


Picture: The Shores family near Westerville, Custer County, Nebraska. Courtesy of the Nebraska State Historical Society, Solomon Butcher Collection