Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Degree Discipline



Moving west beyond homes on the Atlantic seaboard resembled a trickle of water during the early history of our country. This volume began to increase as the country grew. When the country became a free and independent nation and acquired lands beyond the Mississippi River, the pour became torrential. The question is: Who were these people pouring into western lands? With current emphasis on black history and the role of the Negro in the making of this country, one would ask another question: Was the Negro a part of the Westward Movement? To find the answers to these questions, the writings of notable western historians were reviewed.

It is the purpose of this study to answer the following questions: Why did the Negro leave homes in Illinois, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and many other Eastern states? What attractions did New Orleans offer? What skills did he bring and occupations did he pursue?

The writer's study will concentrate with the period between 1840 and 1860. It was during the 1840's that the Great Migration to the acquired Western territories began, and ends with the termination of the 1860's when the differences between the North and the South became paramount.

Committee Chair/Advisor

George R. Woolfolk


Prairie View A&M College


© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View





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