2/12/2019

Quindaro Townsite a step closer to National Commemorative Site designation

Contact: Sarah Little or Stacey Daniels (202) 224-4774

Senate Passes Legislation to Designate Quindaro Townsite
a National Commemorative Site

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate passed a lands package that included language authored by Senator Roberts (R-Kan.) to designate the historic Quindaro Townsite as a National Commemorative Site. Senator Roberts introduced this legislation last year alongside former Rep. Kevin Yoder’s (R-Kan.) companion bill in the House.

Quindaro was founded by abolitionists in 1857 and became a Free State port of entry and stop on the Underground Railroad. The town provided a route for slaves to escape from Missouri and helped stop slavery from spreading west. Quindaro was abandoned and became overgrown, but was rediscovered during an archaeological dig in the 1980s.

“The Quindaro Townsite played an important role during a significant time in our nation’s history,” said Sen. Roberts. “Its location on the Underground Railroad, as well as anti-slave rhetoric published in the town’s local paper, the Quindoro Chindowan, attracted many abolitionists to the community during the town’s boom. The town’s residents, surrounding landowners and Native Americans all worked together to help many slaves to freedom. I applaud former Congressman Yoder’s leadership on this important preservation of our state’s proud history and look forward to the bill being signed into law.”

The Quindaro Townsite is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Designating the site as a National Commemorative Site will help foster more investment and preservation at the site.

The Quindaro Underground Railroad Museum, currently houses the artifacts of the townsite. It is currently a part of the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area. In 2005, Senator Roberts and then Senator Sam Brownback introduced legislation, signed into law, to establish the Heritage Area. 

“The importance of Quindaro, and this chapter in our nation’s history, are of particular importance to me,” Roberts said. “My great grandfathers were Mr. A. G. Patrick and Mr. John Wesley Roberts. They were Kansas pioneers, frontier newspapermen and outspoken abolitionists during the mid-1800's. They played prominent roles in the fight to establish Kansas as a free state.”
Designating Quindaro as a National Commemorative Site is supported by the following groups: The Quindaro Ruins/ Underground Railroad- Exercise 2019, Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, University of Missouri - Kansas City History Department and Center for Midwestern Studies and Johnson County Community College. 

Senator Roberts will work with the Kansas House delegation to move the bill in that chamber.

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