Jackson, James W.: Migration to Colorado
James W. Jackson was only one of the hundreds of African Americans who left Kentucky for the West. According to the U.S. Census, there were 687 African Americans who had left Kentucky and moved to Colorado by 1900. African Americans were being enticed to Colorado, according to author Jesse T. Moore, Jr., in order to keep out the Chinese, who were seen as an economic threat to American labor. African Americans, on the other hand, were viewed as being acclimated to American ways and no real threat.
In 1858, Jackson, born a slave, left the area near Maxville, KY, and settled in Denver, where he became a successful businessman. He was politically active on many levels, becoming the first African American to serve on the Colorado Republican State Committee. He was also invited to speak with President Theodore Roosevelt concerning the condition of African Americans in the U.S.
For more see J. T. Moore, Jr., "Seeking a New Life: Blacks in Post-Civil War Colorado," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 78, no. 3 (Summer, 1993), pp. 166-187.