"Prairie landscape, Nicodemus National Historic Site, 2015." by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Nicodemus

National Historic Site - Kansas

Nicodemus National Historic Site, located in Nicodemus, Kansas, preserves, protects and interprets the only remaining western town established by African Americans during the Reconstruction Period following the American Civil War. The town of Nicodemus is symbolic of the pioneer spirit of African Americans who dared to leave the only region they had been familiar with to seek personal freedom and the opportunity to develop their talents and capabilities. The site was named, at least in part, for a legendary African-American slave featured in abolitionist Henry Clay Work's "Wake, Nicodemus (1864)."

maps

Official visitor map of Nicodemus National Historic Site (NHS) in Kansas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Nicodemus - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of Nicodemus National Historic Site (NHS) in Kansas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/nico/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicodemus_National_Historic_Site Nicodemus National Historic Site, located in Nicodemus, Kansas, preserves, protects and interprets the only remaining western town established by African Americans during the Reconstruction Period following the American Civil War. The town of Nicodemus is symbolic of the pioneer spirit of African Americans who dared to leave the only region they had been familiar with to seek personal freedom and the opportunity to develop their talents and capabilities. The site was named, at least in part, for a legendary African-American slave featured in abolitionist Henry Clay Work's "Wake, Nicodemus (1864)." Formerly enslaved African Americans left Kentucky at the end of the of post-Civil War Reconstruction period to experience freedom in the "Promised Land" of Kansas. Nicodemus represents the involvement of African Americans in the westward expansion and settlement of the Great Plains. It is the oldest and only remaining Black settlement west of the Mississippi River. Nicodemus National Historic Site is located in northwestern Kansas on Highway 24 between Hill City and Stockton. Township Hall and Visitor Center The visitor center is open year round for five (5) days of the week. We are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The visitor center will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year Day. Hours for the center are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm CST. District #1 Schoolhouse District #1 Schoolhouse Nicodemus was the first school district in Graham County, Kansas. They first met in dugouts, and then in a frame building. The current building was built in the early 1900's after a fire destroyed the previous one. The First Baptist Church The First Baptist Church Church seen through a field of prairie grass. Township Hall Township Hall building The Township Hall on a beautiful Spring day. Nicodemus African Methodist Episcopal Church Nicodemus African Methodist Episcopal building Nicodemus African Methodist Episcopal Church Nicodemus Descendants Nicodemus Descendants outside Visitor Center Nicodemus Descendants outisde the park Visitor Center Reconstruction During Reconstruction, the Federal government pursued a program of political, social, and economic restructuring across the South-including an attempt to accord legal equality and political power to former slaves. Reconstruction became a struggle over the meaning of freedom, with former slaves, former slaveholders and Northerners adopting divergent definitions. Faced with increasing opposition by white Southerners and some Northerners, however, the government abandoned effor Picture depictsing former slaves and free blacks voting following the passage of the 15th amendment Nicodemus National Historic Site Nicodemus National Historic Site is settled within the open landscape of the Great Plains of western Kansas. While it may appear as a simple rural community, Nicodemus is a symbol for the strength, determination, and endurance of many African American communities. The town took shape at the end of the Civil War, as former slaves relocated from the south. The structures that served as community pillars and agricultural surroundings continue to define Nicodemus. School District 1 at Nicodemus is surrounded by a flat, open area of low grass, with a jungle gym “Wake Nicodemus:” African American Settlement on the Plains of Kansas Thomas Johnson homesteaded a piece of land just outside of the town of Nicodemus in 1878. Johnson’s grandson, Henry Williams continued to farm it until the middle of twentieth century. Archeology reveals a story of ingenuity, pride, and the struggle to survive in a harsh and punishing environment. The material remains of the farm give glimpses into the web of kinship and community that link not only people and places but also the present and the past at Nicodemus. Residents of Nicodemus The War and Westward Expansion With Federal resources focused on waging the war farther east, both native tribes and the Confederacy attempted to claim or reclaim lands west of the Mississippi. The Federal government responded with measures (Homestead Act, transcontinental railroad) and military campaigns designed to encourage settlement, solidify Union control of the trans-Mississippi West, and further marginalize the physical and cultural presence of tribes native to the West. Painting Westward the Course of Empire Takes its Way showing settlers moving into the American west Service First Agreement Provides Operational and Ecological Benefits NPS and USFWS have operated under a “Service First” agreement for fire management in several NPS units in the Midwest since 2008. The Service First statute authorizes agencies within the US Department of Interior and US Department of Agriculture to conduct shared management activities to achieve mutually beneficial land and resource management goals. The Mid-Plains Interagency Fire Management Zone recently received the NPS Midwest Regional Office Fire Management Award. African American Homesteaders in the Great Plains Homestead National Monument of America and Nicodemus National Historic Site are partnering with the University of Nebraska's Center for Great Plains Studies to discover and share the stories of African American homesteading colonies. Two black men and two black women stand in front of a frame building. The photo is black and white. Exodusters Thousands of African-Americans made their way to Kansas and other Western states after Reconstruction. The Homestead Act and other laws offered blacks the opportunity to escape the racism and oppression of the post-war South and become owners of their own tracts of private farmland. The large-scale black migration from the South to Kansas came to be known as the "Great Exodus," and those participating in it were called "exodusters." Men and Woman gather in front of general store, 1855

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