An excerpt from an 1887 map of Graham County, Kansas, including Nicodemus, an African American community founded in 1877.
The town of Nicodemus, Kansas was founded by a group of African Americans from Kentucky in 1877 as one of the first all-black communities in Kansas. By the 1880s, Nicodemus had several hundred residents, some stores and businesses, a post office, churches, and a school. Part of the appeal for Exodusters to move to a settlement like Nicodemus was the opportunity to claim tracts of land under the Homestead Act. This map of Nicodemus suggests both a small town in the shaded area and expansive surrounding land (shaded in green).