BLACK TOWNS IN THE OLD WEST

BLACK TOWNS IN THE OLD WEST

TOPIC

Oklahoma became a premier haven for African Americans moving Westward from 1865-1920. By 1890, Oklahoma could claim over 137,000 African American residents living in all black towns across Oklahoma.

Oklahoma

    Oklahoma became a premier haven for African Americans moving Westward from 1865-1920. By 1890, Oklahoma could claim over 137,000 African American residents living in all black towns across Oklahoma.

    By 1920, over fifty towns had been settled by African Americans seeking to escape the hardships and racial injustice so prevalent while living in the South after the Civil War (1861-1865). These early settlers discovered they could open businesses, govern their own communities, vote, and own homes while living in peace and harmony.

    Recent research has now brought to light several prominent early-established Black Towns, in Oklahoma. They included Langston, Oklahoma.

    When President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation "stating that the public lands in the Oklahoma District were opened to settlers at noon on April 22,1889," Edwin P. McCabe, an African American who served as the state auditor in Kansas for four years and as the state auditor in Oklahoma for ten years, decided to seize the moment of opportunity by purchasing 320 acres of land whereby the town of Langston, Oklahoma was established in 1890.

    He named the town after John Mercer Langston (1829-1897), the first African American Congressman elected from Virginia in 1888. Edwin McCabe set up his own company - the McCabe Town Company in 1889 and sent his own agents into the South seeking to attract African Americans with new opportunities by settling in Langston. Mr. McCabe also set aside forty acres of land which provided for the Land Grant College called Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University in 1897. The University was later renamed Langston University in 1941.

    Edwin P. McCabe:

    Birth:   Oct. 10, 1850
    Troy
    Rensselaer County
    New York, USA Death:   Mar. 12, 1920
    Chicago
    Cook County
    Illinois, USA  
    When President Benjamin Harrison issued a Proclamation "stating that the public lands in the Oklahoma District were opened to settlers at noon on April 22,1889," Edwin P. McCabe, an African American who served as the state auditor in Kansas for four years and as the state auditor in Oklahoma for ten years, decided to seize the moment of opportunity by purchasing 320 acres of land whereby the town of Langston, Oklahoma was established in 1890.
    He named the town after John Mercer Langston (1829-1897), the first African American Congressman elected from Virginia in 1888. Edwin McCabe set up his own company - the McCabe Town Company in 1889 and sent his own agents into the South seeking to attract African Americans with new opportunities by settling in Langston. Mr. McCabe also set aside forty acres of land which provided for the Land Grant College called Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University in 1897. The University was later renamed Langston University in 1941.
      Burial:
    Topeka Cemetery
    Topeka
    Shawnee County
    Kansas, USA
    Plot: Section 19


    Additional Info
    Owner:
    bgill -Contributions private
    Created:
    June 12, 2007
    Modified:
    February 1, 2010
    View count:
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