Exodusters in Kansas

Lesson Author
Required Time Frame
1 class
Grade Level(s)
Lesson Abstract
Students will learn about exodusters coming to Kansas during the reconstruction period.

Teacher would provide the student with a 10-15 minute historical overview of what the term exoduster means and how it relates to Kansas.

Rationale (why are you doing this?)

To teach students about exodusters in Kansas and the factors that contributed to African Americans coming to Kansas during reconstruction.

Lesson Objectives - the student will

A)   Students will be able to define the term "Exoduster". 

B) Using various primary and secondary resources, students will be able to describe a minimum of two push and two pull factors which brought the freedmen to Kansas during / after Reconstruction.

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed

Using visual images available from the KSHS ( specifics provided by the teacher or handed out as photocopy) : "Exodusters" and Kansas’s War, The Civil War in Documents, edited by Pearl T. Ponce

Primary sources


Fully describe the activity or assignment in detail. What will both the teacher and the students do?

Beginning in the late 1870’s, as Reconstrucyion was coming to its conclusion in the South, a "stampede of colored people" moved out, many of them to Kansas. By the 1880’s, several thousand African Americans had left their homes in the Southern United States for a new beginning in Kansas. The teacher will assign background reading and pictures to be analyzed.
The students will analyze and explain the feelings evoked in each image. Using the broadside from 1877, the students will answer the following: 1) What was the cost to join the colony? 2) How do African Americans refer to themselves? Why? 3) What is a militia and why would these people need one?


Assessment: fully explain the assessment method in detail or create and attach a scoring guide

Teacher will grade students on their responses to the activity questions based on participation and accuracy of the answers. Assign a grade for the activity.