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Buckner-Barker Family papers

Identifier: 060

Scope and Contents

The Buckner-Barker Family Papers pertain to several generations of an African American family with multi-generational ties to Kansas. The collection consists mostly of typescripts of poems authored by John L. Buckner, but also contains photographs, newspaper clippings, a privately published book of poems by John D. Barker, son-in-law of John L. Buckner, as well as an interview and other documents that relate the family history.

The collection includes a small number of newspaper clippings through several generations of the family. Photographs include those of Almeda Phillips, Lynette Buckner, John L. Buckner, and John and Eva Barker, taken around the time of their 70th wedding anniversary and during the wedding of their daughter Theresa to artist Hale Woodruff. Two family photographs are also present. The history of the family is provided in two documents. The first is a transcript of an interview with Allena Carey, daughter of John D. Barker, who discusses the story of her great-great grandmother, Lamoneha, and her abduction and transport to the United States as part of the international slave trade, as well as the lives of various generations of the family in Kentucky and Kansas. The second document is a typescript of "records written by Robert J. Buckner" regarding the history of the Buckner Family. The materials allow insight into African-American life in Kansas, from the late nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century. Recollections of the Topeka flood of 1903 are included.

The unpublished epic and short poems of John L. Buckner are also included in this collection as typescripts and hand scripts. Buckner’s themes include the Haitian Revolution, African-American history and historical figures, temperance, and his Christian faith. Although self-educated, Buckner's poems portray an accomplished poetic mind and style. In addition, privately published book of poems by Buckner's son-in-law, John D. Barker, is also present.


  • Created: 1906-1975
  • Other: Date acquired: 01/01/1985


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright to these papers has not been assigned to the Amistad Research Center. It is the responsibility of an author to secure permission for publication from the holder of the copyright to any material contained in this collection.

Biographical Note

The Buckner-Barker Family's history in the United States dates back to the eighteenth century. Family lore recounts that Lamoneha, the mother of Almeda Phillips (1800-1906), was lured onto a slave ship in Africa and transported to the United States. Almeda Phillips was born into slavery on the Cave Johnson Plantation in Kentucky. Upon emancipation, she lived in Ohio, Canada, and finally in Kansas with her daughter Lynette Buckner (b.1840). Almeda was married to Roger Bush, widowed, and remarried to Noah Phillips.

Lynette Phillips Buckner, daughter of Almeda and born into slavery, married John L. Buckner on August 25, 1859, at the plantation of Judge Short in Kentucky. John L. Buckner was born in Canada and after marrying Lynette, they returned to Canada. In 1870, the Buckners moved to Kansas. Lynette and John Buckner had nine children, including Eva Buckner. John L. Buckner was self-educated and penned many poems, including several in the epic form. The poems demonstrate his knowledge of world history, the revolution in Haiti, the racial oppression of his time, and a keen sense of his African-American heritage.

Eva Buckner (1871-1966) married John D. Barker (1868-1960) in 1888. They had seven children, including Theresa Ada Barker (1903-1995) and Allena Carey. John D. Barker passed the United States Civil Service Examination and worked for the Post Office. He was also a privately published poet, whose themes were largely about home and family. Eva and John Barker celebrated over seventy years of marriage. Theresa Ada Barker married the artist Hale Woodruff in June 1934. They had one son, Roy, born in 1935.


0.40 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Source of Acquisition

Theresa Barker Woodruff

Method of Acquisition


Related Materials

The Amistad Research Center also holds a small collection of Theresa A. Woodruff's papers, as well as those of her husband, Hale Woodruff.

Processing Information

Collection processed in September-October 2011.

Buckner-Barker Family papers
Wayne S. Naugle and Christopher Harter
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Amistad Research Center Repository

6823 Saint Charles Avenue
Tilton Hall, Tulane University
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