A Lasting Legacy

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      A Lasting Legacy   1
Journey through the African
American culture and heritage
in Texas—
an experience that includes hardships and triumphs, valor and
determination, influence and change. Beginning in 1528 with
Estevanico (Estevan), a Spanish slave who was the first documented
African-born person to traverse Texas, people of African descent have
greatly influenced our state’s development through numerous
political, economic and ideological contributions.
    By the mid-1700s,
Spanish settlement in what                This travel guide
would become the state of                 attempts to capture
Texas included permanent                  the essence of this
communities, a number of                  important story and
missions and, less commonly,              enrich lives through
presidios (fortifications                 an exploration into
providing protection for nearby           African American
missions). African heritage               history in Texas.
during the early part of
the Spanish period was                         In 1821, under Mexican
represented by biracial people            rule, free individuals of African
(typically of European and                descent were more readily
African descent), some of                 accepted and many prospered.
whom were free, along with                Mexico outlawed slavery in
a relatively smaller number               1829, but exempted Texas
of imported slaves.                       to encourage economic
    After 1803, when the U.S.             development. By 1830,
acquired Louisiana, some                  Mexican President Anastacio
slaves fled across the border to          Bustamante halted the
Spanish Texas seeking freedom             importation of slaves by
and opportunity. These former             Anglo settlers; however,
slaves settled predominately in           many settlers bypassed this
East Texas and made the best              decree by making their slaves
living available to them, despite         indentured servants for life.
racial adversity.

Front cover: Stained glass window by Jean Lacy, Trinity United Methodist
Church, Houston (see page 43); Back cover: Isadore Yett, longtime member
of Mt. Horeb Baptist Church, Blanco (see page 29); Background: A wall panel
shows William B. Travis and his slave, Joe, running during the battle with
Mexican forces, the Alamo, San Antonio (see page 45)

Buffalo Soldier reenactors engaged in a firing exhibit for a school group, Fort Concho,
San Angelo (see page 21)

     Although free individuals                The status of African Americans
of African heritage received                  deteriorated sharply during the
liberties under Mexican law, many             nine years of the Republic, when
fought with the Texians (the                  their lives were defined by slave
term used to describe residents               codes and a constitution that
of Texas before annexation)                   did not grant them full rights as
against Mexico during the Texas               citizens—a situation that did not
Revolution. Many historians                   change drastically when Texas
believe these free persons of                 joined the Union in 1845.
African descent joined the cause                    In 1861, Texas joined the
to protect their status among the             Confederacy and slavery
Anglo settlers. Amid the growing              continued as a backbone of the
number of slaves held by the                  state’s war economy. Many
Texians, some resisted captivity              African Americans served on
in passive ways, such as retaining            the battlefield and helped build
aspects of former African cultures.           forts. Union soldiers of the
Others escaped to freedom.                    62nd Colored Infantry fought
Samuel McCullough, Jr., a free                Confederate soldiers near
individual of African heritage, was           Brownsville in May 1865
among the first Texians wounded               at the Battle of Palmito Ranch—
in the conflict during the seizure            one month after the surrender
of Goliad in 1835. People of                  of Robert E. Lee’s army at
African descent also fought at                Appomattox. Freedom from
San Jacinto, helping Texas earn               slavery came with Lincoln’s
its freedom from Mexico in 1836.              Emancipation Proclamation in

                                              the Fourteenth Amendment to the
                                              U.S. Constitution, which provided
                                              equal protection under the law for
                                              all citizens. The state legislature
                                              and several cities limited the civil
                                              rights and economic options of
                                              newly freed men and women by
                                              adopting restrictions known as the
                                              Black Codes that included the
                                              prohibition of office-holding, jury
                                              service and racial intermarriage.
                                              Several organizations, including
                                              the federal Freedman’s Bureau
                                              and many religious organizations,
             Texas has many Buffalo           attempted to provide education,
             Soldier-related sites. Look      agricultural training and other
for the Buffalo Soldier symbol in the         assistance, but were met with
site descriptions to follow the Buffalo       much resistance from white
Soldier trail of history through Texas.
                                              Texans. Racist, vigilante groups
                                              like the Ku Klux Klan were very
                                              active during this period.
                                                   Federal intervention,
                                              including the imposition of
                                              military rule in 1867, eliminated
                                              the Black Codes and ushered in
                                              an era of substantial contributions
                                              by African Americans. Texas was
   With emancipation,                         officially readmitted to the U.S.
   freed slaves established                   in March 1870, the last of the
   settlements throughout                     former Confederate states to
   the state, as freedmen                     reenter the Union. At the 1868–69
   and their families sought                  state constitutional convention,
   to start new lives.                        where 10 African Americans
                                              served as delegates, the adopted
   1863, but African Americans in             constitution (later replaced
   Texas were not made aware of               by the current 1876 constitution)
   their freedom until June 19,               protected civil rights, established
   1865—now commemorated as                   the state’s first public education
   Juneteenth. Immediately, freed             system and extended voting
   slaves established settlements             rights to all men. Photographs
   throughout the state, as the               of most of the 52 African
   freedmen and their families                Americans who served in
   sought to start new lives.                 the Texas Senate, House
         The Reconstruction Era               of Representatives and two
   (1865–1874) following the Civil            constitutional conventions
   War was particularly challenging           between 1868 and 1900 can
   for African Americans in Texas. An         be seen in the south lobby of
   all-white constitutional convention        the Texas Capitol.
   in 1866 denied suffrage even for
   literate African Americans, and the
   state legislature refused to ratify

     Meanwhile, both before                for bravery “above and beyond
and after the Civil War, the               the call of duty.”
U.S. government constructed a                   Churches have played a
series of fortifications to protect        significant role in Texas’ African
settlers in the West from Native           American culture, with many
Americans and others who                   serving as anchors for the
resisted their advance. Many of            neighborhoods that developed
these frontier forts were protected        around them. These churches
by African Americans known as              were often forces for positive
Buffalo Soldiers, a name given             change by adopting and
by Native Americans because                persistently advocating social
of the similarity of the curly hair        causes. This was evident in
of both the buffalo and African            the struggle for education as
American troopers. Some of these           churches established some of
far-flung and isolated posts were          the first schools and colleges
also home to the Black Seminole            for African Americans in Texas.
Scouts, descendents of early               Colleges, such as Wiley College
African Americans who joined               in Marshall, were established by
Seminole Indian tribes in Florida          churches to advance the cause
to escape slavery and were then            of higher education. In addition to
recruited by the U.S. Army and             church-built schools, a number of
enlisted as privates because of            facilities were created through a
their exceptional tracking skills.         collaborative community effort,
Although Buffalo Soldiers and              where African Americans pulled
Black Seminole Scouts received             together to build their own schools
little respect and even less               and hire teachers. All of these
admiration from the society they           learning institutions have served
sought to protect, they served                           education
                                           as sources of education and pride
with distinction, and 22 were                                  remaining
                                           for area residents, remaining as
recipients of the Medal of                 treasured today as they were in
Honor—the U.S.’ highest                    the past.
military decoration, awarded

Segregation could not                   journalists, community groups
withstand the resolve                   and individuals joined together to
of the Civil Rights                     tear down the unjust boundaries
Movement.                               imposed upon them. These hard-
                                        fought battles won members of
     African Americans, both            the African American community a
urban and rural, carved out a           more equal place in a society that
sense of place and security in          had long denied them basic rights.
the formation of districts and               The African American
neighborhoods in a segregated,          contribution to Texas history has
oppressive American society.            not been fully documented, but
As in the rest of the country,          a long and proud legacy has
African Americans in Texas              undeniably shaped today’s Lone
were drawn to large cities during       Star State mystique. It is through
the 20th century. Rapid industrial-     all Texans’ continued preservation
ization created jobs, leading to the    efforts that the heritage of this
decline of many rural communities       great state will be kept alive.
when younger residents sought           In this travel guide and its
opportunities in urban areas.           companion website, www.african
     Although African American, the Texas
society had been kept separate          Historical Commission presents
through years of entrenched             only a glimpse into those pivotal
cultural norms and the use of Jim       events, historic locations and
Crow laws—state and local laws          cultural landscapes captured by
enacted between 1876 and 1965           historians and scholars. While
that mandated segregation in all        some facets of this history have
public facilities—segregation could     been lost, more will certainly be
not withstand the resolve               uncovered over time. The rich
of the Civil Rights Movement.
           l                            legacy left by previous African
Having grown tired of second-           American generations is an
class status, African American                                o
                                        inheritance of real sto
                                                            stories and
educators, congregations,               real places that define the history
                                        of Texas.

The sites featured in this educational travel guide are organized according to
the 10 heritage regions in the Texas Historical Commission’s nationally award-
winning tourism initiative, the Texas Heritage Trails Program. The African
American cultural and historic sites are listed alphabetically within the heritage
region in which they are located. There is no recommended sequence in which to
visit these sites; city numbers on the map follow the order in which they appear
in the guide.

1 I Bastrop*
2 I Bryan
3 I Calvert

4 I Atlanta
5 I Crockett
6 I Marshall
7 I Nacogdoches

8 I Abilene
9 I Albany
10 I Jacksboro
11 I Menard                                                            37
12 I San Angelo

(PAGE 24)
13 I Austin
14 I Blanco
15 I San Marcos



                                                                  35                      1

Throughout the
text, the following
abbreviations note
a site’s historical significance
with national and/or state
designations and/or markers.

NHL Designated a National
     Historic Landmark
NR   Listed in the National
     Register of Historic Places
RTHL Designated a Recorded
     Texas Historic Landmark
SM Texas Historical
     Subject Marker
HTC Designated a Historic
     Texas Cemetery
Many sites in this guide are also designated as
local landmarks or districts by local municipalities.

              TEXAS INDEPENDENCE TRAIL                               TEXAS MOUNTAIN TRAIL
              REGION (PAGE 32)                                       REGION (PAGE 58)
              16 I Brenham                                           32 I El Paso
              17 I Galveston                                         33 I Fort Davis
              18 I Houston
              19 I Kendleton                                         TEXAS PECOS TRAIL REGION
              20 I Lockhart                                          (PAGE 61)
              21 I Prairie View                                      34 I Brackettville
              22 I San Antonio**                                     35 I Fort Stockton
              23 I Seguin                                            36 I Sheffield
              24 I Texas City
              25 I Washington                                        TEXAS PLAINS TRAIL REGION
              26 I West Columbia                                     (PAGE 64)
                                                                     37 I Lubbock
              (PAGE 50)                                              TEXAS TROPICAL TRAIL
              27 I   Dallas                                          REGION (PAGE 66)
              28 I   Denton                                          38 I Brownsville
              29 I   Emory                                           39 I Laredo
              30 I   Fort Worth                                      40 I Rio Grande City
              31 I   Waxahachie
                                                                     * Also part of the Texas Independence Trail Region
                                                                     ** Also part of the Texas Hill Country Trail Region

                               10             28                                                  4
                                                   27        29
          9                               30
 8                                                 31


11                                                      3
                          14                  1                      21
                               15 20
                                23                                                   24
                      22                                        19






Community members gather for music, Kerr Community Center, Bastrop

1 I BASTROP Also part of the Texas Independence Trail Region
Kerr Community Center
Restored in 2008, the Kerr Community Center, with its two-
story wood-frame construction and white paint, is easy to identify.
Constructed in 1914 by Beverly and Lula Kerr—their house
can be seen nearby—the community center provided a haven
for African American social activities, lodge meetings and other
functions in the segregated South. Additionally, several prominent
black entertainers performed at the center, including the “Grey
Ghost,” blues pianist Roosevelt Williams. During World War II,
the U.S. Army, in keeping with its segregationist policies, used this
building as a United Service Organizations (USO) center for African
American soldiers from Camp Swift. The Kerrs were music teachers
and prominent members of the African American community
in Bastrop. (NR)
1308 Walnut St. • 512.332.2121 •

Ploeger-Kerr-White House
Robert A. Kerr was one of Bastrop’s leading African American
citizens during the late 19th century. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana,
in 1833, Kerr had an Anglo father and, as a result, received a private
education. Kerr arrived in the Bastrop area and took a job with a
local grocery store after the Civil War. His political career included an
appointment as an alternate delegate for the 1872 Republican National
Convention and as an election         educator, the facility features
judge for San Patricio, Refugio,      some African artifacts and a
Calhoun and Victoria                  rotating exhibit. The museum
counties. Local voters elected        is also developing a genealogical
Kerr to the 17th Legislature          and research library.
of Texas (1881–82). He also           500 E. Pruitt St. • 979.775.3961
served as a member of the   
Bastrop School Board in
1893. Kerr and his wife, Sarah,       3 I CALVERT
were the second residents             Calvert School
of this house, constructed            The Calvert School, which
by Prussian immigrant Carl            currently serves Calvert as W.D.
Ludwig Ploeger. (NR)                  Spigner Elementary School,
806 Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr.       was constructed in 1929.
                                      When built, it was the largest
2 I BRYAN                             Rosenwald School (see sidebar,
Brazos Valley African                 next page) in Texas. Today, the
American Museum                       building has been fully restored
This museum houses a unique           and is one of the few Rosenwald
collection focused on the             Schools in Texas that still
African American experience in        operates as a school.
the Brazos Valley. Growing out        801 W. Texas Ave.
of the collections and research
of Mell Pruitt, a retired

African Americans were denied access to education while enslaved,
but opportunities emerged after emancipation. Though former slaves
quickly sought educational prospects for themselves and their
children, finding schools proved difficult at best. Organized by the
federal government, the Freedmen’s Bureau founded several schools
in the state that offered day and night classes, and several church
societies followed suit. The state established a segregated public
education system that underfunded African American scholastic
activities, limiting student access to books, libraries, educational
resources and buildings.
     In 1917, the Rosenwald               Americans who participated in
Fund was established by                   peaceful sit-ins, filed numerous
Chicago philanthropist Julius             lawsuits and suffered through
Rosenwald, president and                  forceful opposition. While Texas
board member of Sears,                    led desegregation efforts in the
Roebuck and Company, who                  South—with Friona integrating
also served on the Board                  first in 1954, followed shortly
of Directors for Booker T.                by the San Antonio school
Washington’s Tuskegee                     district—the state did
University. Among the fund’s              not completely come into
many social projects was the              compliance until the late 1970s.
rural school building program,                Institutions of higher
which provided matching                   learning were also affected
monies to communities to                  by the legacy of discrimination.
build public schools for African          Segregation led to the
American students. Rosenwald              founding of several African
Schools began forming in Texas            American colleges by religious,
in 1920. By 1932, the school-             government and other
building program had come to              organizations, including Paul
an end, after helping fund more           Quinn College (Dallas), Bishop
than 5,000 schools across the             and Wiley colleges (Marshall),
South, 527 of them in Texas.              Jarvis Christian College
     Segregation continued as             (Hawkins), Mary Allen Junior
a major long-term obstacle for            College (Crockett), Texas
African Americans pursuing an             Southern University (Houston),
education, and it still casts a           Prairie View Agricultural and
long shadow on school systems             Mechanical College—now
today. In 1954, the U.S. Supreme          Prairie View A&M (Prairie
Court found segregated schools            View)—Texas College (Tyler),
to be unconstitutional in the             and Samuel Huston College
Brown v. Board of Education               and Tillotson Collegiate and
case, a ruling that was slow to           Normal Institute, which merged
be implemented throughout the             into Huston-Tillotson in
South. The accomplishment of              1952 (Austin).
school district integration can               Higher education for
primarily be attributed to the            African Americans took a
relentless pursuit of equality            dramatic turn in the late 1940s
in education by many African              when Heman M. Sweatt filed

a lawsuit against the University                  university to open a
of Texas (UT). Sweatt’s                           temporary law school
application met all of the                        for African Americans.
university’s requirements                         Sweatt was among the
except for race. His lawsuit,                     first African Americans
known as Sweatt v.                                to enroll, along with
Painter, challenged                               John S. Chase (see
segregation on the                                David Chapel entry,
basis that no                                     page 25) and Oscar L.
“separate but equal”                              Thompson. In 1952,
law school existed for                            Thompson became the
African Americans in                              first to graduate, with
Texas. While the suit                                 a master’s degree
did not end segregation                                in zoology.
at UT, it
forced the

Sweet Home Vocational and Agricultural High School, Seguin (see page 46)

Bessie Coleman was born in Atlanta, Texas, and grew up primarily
in Waxahachie, picking cotton in her youth to help ease her family’s
monetary woes. Following a brief semester at an African American
college in Oklahoma, where she was forced to quit because of
financial difficulties, Coleman joined her brother for a short time
in Chicago.
     With backing from                        Coleman encouraged
Chicago entrepreneurs,                   African Americans to pursue
Coleman’s dream to fly took her          their dreams and, during a
to Le Crotoy, France, to attend          performance in Waxahachie,
aviation school. Racial                  she refused to give an
segregation prevented the                exhibition on Anglo school
pursuit of her passion in the            grounds unless blacks were
U.S. On June 15, 1921, after 10          permitted to use the same
months of perfecting her skills,         entrances as Anglos. Sadly,
Coleman became the world’s               she died during a test flight
first licensed African American          before a show on April 30,
pilot. She returned to the U.S.          1926. Coleman’s historical
and performed in air shows,              significance is undeniable
earning the nickname “Brave              and was highlighted in 1995
Bessie” because of her                   when the U.S. Postal Service
fondness for daredevil stunts.           issued a commemorative stamp
                                         in her honor.

Bessie Coleman exhibit, Atlanta Historical Museum



Otis Duren holds a photo of his great-grandfather, Bill, a former slave and community
founder, New Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Germany Community

Atlanta Historical Museum
Housed in the historic Texas and Pacific Railroad Depot, the Atlanta
Historical Museum showcases the community’s history with a special
emphasis on child-friendly exhibits, which makes this a great stop
for traveling families. A scale model of a Curtiss Jenny bi-wing plane,
the centerpiece of the museum, and a display honor the town’s most
famous citizen, the pioneering African American pilot Bessie Coleman.
101 N. East St. • 903.796.1892 •

Germany Community
The community name of Germany originated from references to a
German family that settled here. The first African Americans arrived
in this area as slaves. Following the Civil War, a group of former slaves
that included John Burt, George Smith, Lewis Hall and Van and Jane
Benton applied for and received land patents in the area. In 1883, the
community constructed the New Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, which
doubled as a school, and set aside land for a cemetery. The agricultural
community of Germany has never been large, but the church remains
active and hosts several social events throughout the year. (SM)
10 miles northeast of Crockett off SH 21

Willis J. King Administration Building, Wiley College, Marshall

6 I MARSHALL                                   or call in advance to arrange a
Buard History Trail                            guided tour.
This driving tour provides an                  Marshall Convention and
overview of Marshall’s history                 Visitors Bureau
and includes important African                 213 W. Austin St. • 903.935.7868
American sites, such as historic
Wiley College, New Town and                    Wiley College
the Old Powder Mill Cemetery,                  Founded in 1873, Wiley
which includes the graves of                   College was named after Bishop
two of the famous Tuskegee                     Isaac Wiley of the Methodist
Airmen who served in World                     Episcopal Church North. In
War II. The city installed                     1882, Wiley became the first
interpretative markers for                     college west of the Mississippi
each of the stops on the Buard                 River certified by the Freedmen’s
History Trail, which is named                  Aid Society. In 1935, Wiley
in honor of the late Rebecca D.                College’s debate team, coached
Buard, a popular local historian.              by Melvin Tolson, made
Before beginning the tour, stop                headlines when it defeated
by the Marshall Convention                     the University of Southern
and Visitors Bureau to pick up                 California’s national
a trail guide brochure or CD,                  championship team, a feat that

inspired the film “The Great         including shop porters,
Debaters” (2007). One member         servants, maids, cooks and
of the team, James Farmer, Jr.,      groundskeepers for affluent
assisted in founding a major         white families living on nearby
civil rights organization, the       Mound Street. One-story
Congress of Racial Equality          framed dwellings known as
(CORE). In 1962, students            shotgun houses dominate the
from Wiley and Bishop                area. The Gothic Revival-style
colleges held sit-ins at the         1914 Zion Hill Baptist Church
Woolworth’s and Fry Hodge            anchors the neighborhood,
stores in downtown Marshall. (SM)    and the Oak Grove cemetery
711 Wiley Ave. • 903.927.3300        contains graves dating to 1837.                       The Center for East Texas
                                     Studies provides a website with
7 I NACOGDOCHES                      more information. (NR, SM)
Zion Hill Historic District          Roughly bounded by Park
The history of this district         Street, the Lanana Creek,
is typical of many southern          Oak Grove Cemetery and
U.S. communities after the           North Lanana Street
Civil War. Zion Hill was home
primarily to service workers,

Following emancipation, many African Americans set up indepen-
dently sustaining freedmen’s communities throughout the state. They
were established in both rural and urban areas, creating employment
opportunities, a sense of society and a cultural unity that this margin-
alized population had not been allowed to experience freely.
     Shankleville in Newton              population, providing com-
County, for example, became              munity access to commercial
a freedmen’s community, rep-             businesses, schools, churches
resenting the triumph of family          and social services. Although a
bonds over slavery. The Shan-            historic Houston neighborhood,
kle family was torn apart when           Freedmen’s Town’s preserva-
Winnie Shankle was separated             tion has suffered from metro-
from her husband following her           politan growth. (NR, SM)
sale from Mississippi to an East             Many of these freedmen’s
Texas landowner. Undertaking a           communities and businesses
treacherous journey, Jim                 have been absorbed into the
Shankle traveled miles on foot           larger surrounding cities, while
and was eventually bought by             others—including Austin’s
his wife’s owner, reuniting the          San Bernard Historic District—
couple and their three children.         have evolved into identifiable,
With emancipation, the Shan-             ethnically diverse communities.
                                                                            Lareatha H. Clay, former Commissioner, Texas Historical Commission

kles bought more than 4,000              Revitalization of these areas is
acres and established the com-           key to preserving the heritage
munity of Shankleville. Learn            and culture that characterized
more at            the independent African
(SM, HTC)                                American way of life in
     One of the most important           Texas. Urban renewal
urban freedmen’s colonies was            often demolished these
a 40-block residential area in           communities, but revitalization
Houston now called the Freed-            allows the commercial and
men’s Town Historic District.            residential structures, and the
Established in the 1880s–1890s,          rich stories they embody, to
Freedmen’s Town served as the            remain an integral part of
economic and cultural center             contemporary neighborhoods,
for Houston’s African American           cities and society.

Joseph Odom (grandson of Jim and Winnie Shankle) and family, circa
1906, Shankleville


Buffalo Soldier reenactor visits with a family, Fort Phantom Hill, Abilene

                                               8 I ABILENE
                                       Fort Phantom Hill
                                       Interpretive signs provide a
                                       history of this property, which
                                       the U.S. Army established in
                                       1851. Sporadically occupied,
                                       the site served as a frontier
                                       garrison—including a stint
                                       under Confederate control—
                                       and as a stagecoach and mail
                                       stop. The 9th U.S. Cavalry,
Powder magazine,
Fort Phantom Hill, Abilene             a unit of the famous Buffalo
                                       Soldiers (see sidebar, page 22),
fought Comanche and Kiowa Indian forces here in 1869. Visitors to
the site can follow trails among the ruins, which include buildings,
foundations and a large number of now-orphaned chimneys scattered
around the 22-acre property. This site is free and open daily, but it has
limited public facilities. (NR, SM)
            10 miles north of Abilene on FM 600 • 325.677.1309

Period kitchen, Fort Richardson, Jacksboro

9 I ALBANY                                   10 I JACKSBORO
Fort Griffin                                 Fort Richardson State
State Historic Site                          Park and Historic Site
Established in 1867—during                   The U.S. Army built Fort
the Indian Wars, when Kiowa                  Richardson in 1867, and
and Comanche Indians reacted                 Buffalo Soldiers from both the
to U.S. efforts to remove them               10th U.S. Cavalry and the 24th
from their traditional lands by              U.S. Infantry operated here
raiding settlements and
                                             during the 1870s. Now a state
attacking travelers—Fort Griffin
                                             park, the site includes both
served as an active garrison until
                                             restored and reconstructed
1881. It supported, at various
times, Buffalo Soldiers from                 buildings. Guided
companies of the 9th and 10th                tours are offered midday. Fort
U.S. Cavalry and Company E                   Richardson hosts various
of the 24th U.S. Infantry. These             special events, including
soldiers used the fort as a resting          military reenactments. The
point from which they could                  area makes a good spot for
patrol the surrounding areas and             a family vacation, offering a
pursue raiders. Today, Fort                  variety of facilities for travelers,
Griffin State Historic Site, a               including campgrounds and
Texas Historical Commission                  nature trails. (NHL, RTHL, SM)
property, features remains of the                       228 State Park Rd. 61
fort, plus campgrounds, nature                          940.567.3506
trails and Texas longhorn cattle.  
Several events take place at Fort            fortrich
Griffin, including the annual
Living History Days in October
that includes Buffalo Soldier
reenactors. (NR, SM)
          1701 N. U.S. Hwy. 283

Fort McKavett
State Historic Site
The U.S. Army established Fort
McKavett in 1852, but
abandoned it by the end of
the decade. In 1868, the fort
reopened and elements of the
U.S. Army’s four African
American regiments—the
Buffalo Soldiers—used Fort
McKavett during the Indian
Wars. Sgt. Emmanuel Stance,
one of the first Buffalo Soldiers
to earn the Medal of Honor,
was stationed here in 1870. Fort
McKavett State Historic Site is
                                         Buffalo soldier reenactor, Fort Concho,
a Texas Historical Commission            San Angelo
property with restored buildings
and a visitors center featuring          12 I SAN ANGELO
detailed exhibits that tell the real     Fort Concho National
stories behind this place. The           Historic Landmark
site is open daily and also hosts        Established in 1867 and closed
a number of events throughout            in 1889, Fort Concho belonged
the year, including the annual           to the chain of frontier posts
West Texas Heritage Days                 used by the Buffalo Soldiers
in March. (NR, RTHL, SM)                 during the Indian Wars. All four
           7066 FM 864                   regiments of Buffalo Soldiers
           (23 miles west                (the 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry
of Menard) • 325.396.2358                and the 24th and 25th U.S.                Infantry) served at Fort Concho
                                         during its active use as a military
                                         facility. It remains one of the
                                         best-preserved frontier forts in
                                         Texas, with 23 structures on the
                                         grounds, including a museum
                                         and living history exhibit
                                         buildings. Numerous special
                                         events are held on the grounds
                                         throughout the year. Fort
                                         Concho has plenty to see and
                                         hosts kid-friendly events
                                         throughout the summer.
                                         Families on vacation are
                                         encouraged to check the events
                                         calendar and consider stopping
Restored hospital, Fort McKavett State   by for one of the Fun at the
Historic Site, Menard
                                         Fort days. (NHL, NR, RTHL, SM)
                                                     630 S. Oakes St.
                                         or 325.657.4444

The volatile environmental conditions of the American Southwest
made Anglo settlement an extremely arduous task. Inevitable friction
between Anglo settlers and Native Americans, as well as bandits and
cattle thieves, created a general atmosphere of lawlessness that the
drastically reduced post-Civil War U.S. military found challenging.
To meet these threats, the U.S. Army stationed troops, many of
whom were African Americans, throughout the region. They were
called Buffalo Soldiers by Native Americans who were reminded of the
buffalo when they saw the soldiers’ thick black hair. Some believe the
name symbolized a respect for the Buffalo Soldiers’ bravery and valor.
     The duties assigned                  Also a result of the U.S. Army’s
to these units ranged from                1869 Consolidation Act, the
escorting settlers, cattle                25th U.S. Infantry Regiment
herds and railroad crews, to              served at numerous posts in
protecting the mail, keeping              Texas in the years after the
roads open and pursuing                   Civil War.
outlaws. Throughout the Indian                 Today, the Buffalo Soldier
Wars era, many U.S. cavalry               story is interpreted through
troops were African American,             many public and private
and they fought more than 170             programs, notably the Texas
engagements. Several of these             Parks and Wildlife Department’s
brave men were recipients of              Buffalo Soldier Heritage and
the Medal of Honor. A few                 Outreach Program, which
Buffalo Soldier units, the 9th            emphasizes Texans’ shared
and 10th U.S. Cavalry Regiment,           western heritage. Buffalo
conducted campaigns against               Soldier history events,
Native American tribes on a               such as the Morton Buffalo
western frontier that extended            Soldier Encampment in
from Montana to Texas and the             Cochran County, take place
Southwest. In 1869, the 24th              around the state. Other events
U.S. Infantry Regiment was                occur at San Angelo’s Fort
organized at Fort McKavett with           Concho and Brackettville’s
the consolidation of the 38th             Fort Clark.
and 41st U.S. Infantry Regiment.

Buffalo Soldier reenactor marches toward post at Fort Phantom Hill, Abilene
(see page 19)

          HILL COUNTRY


The freedman-built, Cumberland-style Haskell House, Clarksville Historic District, Austin

Clarksville Historic District
The Clarksville historic district is one of Austin’s oldest African
American communities and established neighborhoods. A freedman,
Charles Clark, settled the area in 1871, having purchased two acres
outside of Austin specifically for the purpose of forming a district
for freedmen. Austin eventually expanded to encompass the
neighborhood. The construction of the Mopac Expressway through
Clarksville greatly reduced the size of the district, although it has not
diminished the enduring sense of community pride. When visiting the
area, be sure to stop by the Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church at
1725 W. 11th St. (see caption, page 35). (NR, SM)
Bounded by West Lynn, Waterston, West 10th and Mopac Expressway

Connelly-Yerwood House
This house was purchased in 1925 by Dr. Charles Yerwood, an African
American physician. Later, his daughter, Dr. Connie Yerwood Conner,
took ownership, resided in the house and painted it the pink and aqua
colors of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, the oldest Greek-letter
society established by African American women. Following in her
father’s footsteps, Conner worked for the state’s Department of Health
where, despite facing discrimination both as an African American and
as a woman, she eventually rose to the position of Chief of the Bureau
of Personal Health Services. Conner paid special attention to the
problem of child and infant           design feature at the time—
mortality in Texas, which she         increase the functionality of
addressed through programs            the building, allowing it to be
aimed at training midwives,           subdivided into smaller areas.
providing prenatal care and ex-       Nearby, along Maple Avenue,
panding child immunization. (NR)      are other examples of Chase’s
1115 E. 12th St.                      residential architecture.
                                           Chase was the first African
David Chapel Missionary               American architect licensed
Baptist Church                        in the state of Texas, and he
This unique structure was             received numerous accolades
designed, constructed and             for his work, including an
financed by African Americans         appointment to the U.S.
in 1958 as a new home for the         Commission on Fine Arts.
church’s congregation that had        Chase also sought to advance
begun meeting in a blacksmith         the cause of other men and
shop in 1924. The building            women in his field and,
bears witness to the skill of its     in 1971, helped found the
architect, John S. Chase, with a      National Organization of
distinctive roofline that serves      Minority Architects.
to guide the visitor’s eye toward     2211 E. Martin Luther King,
the cross in the sanctuary of the     Jr. Blvd. • 512.472.9748
church. Additionally, the   
folding panels—an unusual
                                            George Washington
                                            Carver Branch Library
                                            and Museum
                                            The Carver Museum and
                                            Cultural Center and the Carver
                                            Branch Library grew out of one
                                            of the first library buildings
                                            in Austin, which later became
                                            the “colored branch” of the
                                            Austin Public Library system.
                                            The small frame structure with
                                            wood siding was constructed in
                                            1926. The building was then
                                            moved to the current location
                                            in 1933, where it was renovated
                                            with brick veneer and reopened
                                            shortly thereafter. In 1947, it
                                            was named in honor of Dr.
                                            George Washington Carver, the
First Baptist Church, one of several
                                            famous African American
churches founded by Jacob                   agricultural scientist, who
Fontaine, Austin
                                            dedicated his life to improving
                                            agronomy throughout the
First Colored                               nation and is known as one of
Baptist Church                              the greatest inventors in
Although the First Colored                  American history. After the
Baptist Church (now known                   completion of the larger branch
as First Baptist Church) began              library to the south, the historic
as a slave congregation, it was             facility was rededicated in 1979
officially organized after the              as the first known African
Civil War in 1867 by the Rev.               American neighborhood
Jacob Fontaine, a former slave              museum in Texas. In 2005, a
(see Gold Dollar entry, next                new museum and cultural
page). Today, the church is                 facility was added to the
considered to be one of the                 campus, housing four galleries,
oldest African American Baptist             a conference room, classroom,
churches in Austin. The current             darkroom, dance studio, 134-
building is the fourth home for             seat theater and archival space.
this congregation. (NR, SM)                 The galleries feature a core
4805 Heflin Ln.                             exhibit on Juneteenth, a
                                            permanent exhibit on African
                                            American families in Austin, an
                                            artists’ gallery and a children’s
                                            exhibit on black scientists and
                                            inventors. Returning to the
                                            library roots of this historic
                                            building, the facility is
                                            developing extensive research
                                            opportunities through the
                                            genealogy center. (NR, SM)
                                            1165 Angelina St. • 512.974.4926

George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, Austin

Gold Dollar                               Teachers State
Newspaper Building                        Association of Texas
This two-story building is                Although currently used as
all that remains of the                   a salon, this modern
African American community                building designed by John S.
of Wheatville, which once                 Chase served as the first
encompassed the area from 24th            permanent headquarters of the
to 26th streets and from Rio              Teachers State Association of
Grande Street to Shoal Creek.             Texas. The association, founded
The Rev. Jacob Fontaine lived             in 1884 by faculty members
here and also published the               at Prairie View State Normal
Gold Dollar—the first African             School (now Prairie View
American-owned newspaper                  A&M), fought to get equal pay
printed in Austin—from this               and working conditions for
location. In the aftermath of the         African American teachers in
Civil War, Fontaine, a former             Texas. Members opposed
slave, rose to prominence as an           segregation in the state’s schools
influential civil, spiritual and          and supported Heman M.
business leader for the Texas             Sweatt’s 1946–50 lawsuit
African American community.               against the University of Texas,
He established several churches           which would allow African
and a variety of businesses, some         Americans to enter the
of which were housed in the               university’s law school. The
Gold Dollar Newspaper                     organization disbanded in
Building, including the First             1966, following the
Colored Baptist Church, New               desegregation of the Texas
Hope Baptist Church and a                 State Teachers Association. (NR)
community grocery store.                  1191 Navasota St.
2402 San Gabriel St.

                                             Webberville and
                                             Webberville Ebenezer
                                             Baptist Church
                                             John F. Webber, an Anglo,
                                             settled in this area with his
                                             African American wife and
                                             children after receiving a land
                                             grant in 1827. Webber sought
                                             to find a place where he and
                                             his family could escape the
                                             discrimination of the
                                             antebellum South. The resulting
                                             community eventually received
                                             a post office and was known
                                             originally as Webber’s Prairie.
                                             The town officially adopted
                                             the name Webberville in 1853.
                                             Cotton brought prosperity to
                                             this small community, which
                                             boasted almost 400 residents
Live music at the Victory Grill, Austin      by the turn of the century
                                             and included cotton gins,
Victory Grill                                grist mills, four general stores,
This building houses one of the              two churches, a cemetery and
oldest blues venues in the state.            several schools. As time passed,
Johnny Holmes founded the                    however, the community began
establishment in 1945,                       to shrink, and the post office
accommodating African                        closed in 1903.
Americans and especially
returning soldiers who could
not go to other blues clubs
in segregated Austin. Holmes
added the Kovac Room in 1951,
providing performance space for
such blues legends as B.B. King,
Bobby “Blue” Bland and Big
Joe Williams. The Victory
Grill was a stop on the “Chitlin
Circuit”—a network of
Southern clubs that gave African
American performers access to
venues during segregation. Be
sure to check out the club’s
website before visiting for
information on music exhibits
and events; the experience of
a live performance brings to
life the Victory Grill’s soulful
musical history. (NR, SM)
1104 E. 11th St.

     The Webberville Ebenezer
Baptist Church was founded in
1868, when resident Matthew
Duty donated land for the
sanctuary construction. Led
by the Rev. Wesley Barrow,
the church was formed as a
mission of the St. John Regular
Missionary Baptist Association.
Although many of Webberville’s
                                     Petyon Colony Lime Kiln, Blanco
former citizens have moved,
the church boasts an active
congregation; out-of-town            14 I BLANCO
members continue to gather           Mt. Horeb Baptist Church
to celebrate holidays and            Established in 1874, the Mt.
special events. When visiting        Horeb Baptist Church served
the church, look to the north,       the residents of Peyton Colony,
across an open pasture, for an       a freedmen’s community
iron fence surrounding a few         named after Peyton Roberts,
stone markers; this is Duty’s        a former slave and one of the
cemetery, where he and several       first freedmen to settle in the
members of his family were           area. The church’s first minister
buried in the 1800s. (SM)            was the Rev. Jack Burch, and its
13 miles east of Austin              original log building doubled as
on FM 969                            a school. The current one-story,
                                     wooden structure demonstrates
                                     common features found in
                                     most Texas African American
                                     churches of that era, with twin
                                     towers that flank its entrance
                                     and tall, arched windows that
                                     run along its sides. (SM)
                                     593 Peyton Colony Rd.
                                     830.833.4183 • 830.395.6726

                                     Peyton Colony Lime Kiln
                                     The people of Peyton Colony
                                     built this lime kiln to make the
                                     ingredients necessary for mortar,
                                     and some of the buildings still
                                     standing in Blanco County were
                                     built with mortar from this kiln.
                                     The restored kiln is now part
                                     of a roadside park that makes
                                     a good place for travelers
                                     to stop. (SM)
                                     Roadside park on FM 165

                                     Mt. Horeb Baptist Church, Blanco

USO and Camp Gary exhibits, Calaboose African American History
Museum, San Marcos

15 I SAN MARCOS                            Wesley Chapel
Calaboose African                          African Methodist
American History Museum                    Episcopal Church
Originally constructed as a                Since 1879, this location has
county jail in 1873, the city              been home to San Marcos’
of San Marcos acquired this                oldest known African
building in 1885 and turned                American congregation,
it into a community recreation             although a succession of
center after the county built              sanctuaries have stood on this
a stone replacement jail. The              site. The church had been
Calaboose (from the Spanish                established for four years when
word meaning dungeon or                    the first building was
local jail), as it came to be              constructed in 1883, and a
called, was enlarged in the                freedmen’s school, operated by
1940s and used as a World                  the church, also met here. (SM)
War II United Service                      224 S. Fredericksburg St.
Organization (USO) center
for African American
servicemen at a time when
segregation kept black and
Anglo soldiers from mingling.
Local African American
historian Johnnie Armstead
fought to preserve the site. Her
contributions included raising
money for renovation, creating
the museum, acquiring most                Church used by oldest known African
                                          American congregation in San Marcos,
of its artifacts and leading the          Wesley Chapel African Methodist
effort to obtain a Recorded               Episcopal Church
Texas Historic Landmark
designation for the building. (RTHL)
200 Martin Luther King Dr.

                                                                         > FARMING
                                                                         FOR A BETTER LIFE
                                                                         In the face of debilitating cultural practices during and after
                                                                         Reconstruction—including segregation, lynching, Jim Crow laws
                                                                         and forced labor through a corrupt convict lease system—the
                                                                         African American spirit remained strong and resilient. After slavery
                                                                         was abolished, a need for cheap labor on farms and sugar and cotton
                                                                         plantations arose, which was met through a sharecropping and tenant
                                                                         farming system typically comprised of Anglo land owners and African
                                                                         American farmers.
                                                                              This system allowed land             It serves as a living example
                                                                         owners to retain ownership                of the early African American
                                                                         while sharecroppers tended to             lifestyles through a transition
                                                                         the agriculture, making income            from slavery to tenant farming.
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection

                                                                         through a share of the crops.             The University of Texas at
                                                                         A small portion of African                San Antonio Institute of
                                                                         Americans owned their                     Texan Cultures features
                                                                         own land and farms, but                   a sharecropper’s cabin that
                                                                         a greater percentage were                 allows visitors to step into
                                                                         sharecroppers, a form of                  this time of hardship and hope.
                                                                         work that typically led to                Sabine Farms (SM) near Marshall
                                                                         indebtedness to land owners.              housed more than 75 families
                                                                              Although not yet open to             that worked the land through
                                                                         the public at the time of                 tenant farming. While a kinship
                                                                         printing, the Levi Jordan                 was forged, the community
                                                                         Plantation State Historic Site            center is all that remains to tell
                                                                         (RTHL)   is a Texas Historical            the story of this significant time
                                                                         Commission property near                  in Texas history.
                                                                         Brazoria that is being restored.

                                                                         Farm Security Administration client working crops at Sabine Farms near Marshall



Blessed Virgin Mary Chapel, Brenham

African American Catholic Community
This is among Texas’ oldest communities of African American
Catholics. In the late 1840s, the Spann family, settlers from South
Carolina, brought slaves to the area. The Catholic settlers and their
slaves worshipped together at first, and the nearby Old Catholic
cemetery, which is still active, contains markers for both the Spann
family and their slaves, the Sweeds. African American Catholics formed
their own distinct congregation here in 1888 under the leadership of
Father Martin Francis Huhn, who conducted Mass in the same log
building once used by the original settlers and slaves. Descendants of
the Spann and Sweed families continued to share a connection through
their Catholic heritage. In 1969, land deeded to descendants of the
Sweed family by the Spann family became the site of a new church
building, the Blessed Virgin Mary Chapel, and a hall for the African
American Catholic community. More recently, in 1995, the town
constructed the newest church building, which continues to serve
Brenham’s African American Catholics, including descendants of the
Sweed family. (SM)
12 miles northeast of Brenham on SH 105,
then north-northwest on CR 100/Sweed Road

Ashton Villa
James Moreau Brown built
Ashton Villa in 1859 with the
help of a brick mason slave
named Aleck. A statue
commemorates Union Gen.
Gordon Granger, whose forces
occupied Galveston at the end
of the Civil War. Granger is
credited with ordering public
readings of the Emancipation
Proclamation on June 19, 1865,       Ashton Villa, Galveston
officially ending the practice
of slavery in Texas nearly two       the international celebration
and a half years after President     of emancipation known as
Lincoln gave the order and           Juneteenth. Ashton Villa is now
just two months after the            the site of Galveston’s annual
president’s death. According to      Juneteenth celebration, which
some accounts, Granger read          includes a parade down Martin
“General Order No. 3” from           Luther King Boulevard.
the balcony of Ashton Villa,         (NR, RTHL)

and the anniversary of Granger’s     2328 Broadway St.
announcement has grown into

Norris Wright Cuney                        He was also involved in
Historical Marker                          African American fraternal
Norris Wright Cuney was born               organizations, serving as the first
in 1846, in the slave quarters             grand master of the Prince Hall
of Sunnyside Plantation near               Masons from 1875–77. (SM)
Hempstead, to Anglo planter                722 Moody Ave. (on Galveston
Philip Cuney and one of his                County Courthouse grounds)
slaves, Adeline Stuart. His
father sent Norris Cuney to                Reedy Chapel
Pittsburgh, Pa., to attend a               African Methodist
school for African American                Episcopal Church
students, but Cuney left the               The congregation traces its
school following the Civil War.            origins to 1848, when slaves
He worked a variety of odd                 met for outdoor services. In
jobs, including stints as a                1863, Anglo Methodists
riverboat worker, before                   constructed a chapel for
returning to Galveston. In                 their slaves to use; after
Texas, Cuney grew into a                   emancipation, it became home
national leader, giving Texas’             to African Methodist Episcopal
African Americans a voice in               (AME) Church, one of the first
both state and national politics.          AME churches in Texas. The
He was appointed inspector of              current building dates to 1886
customs for Galveston in 1872,             and survived the hurricane of
and became the first African               1900. If the chapel is open,
American to serve as a Galves-             step inside for a moment; the
ton alderman when elected to               distinctive, two-story building
that position in 1883. Cuney               has a beautiful sanctuary with
chaired the Republican State               a high, vaulted ceiling. The
Convention in 1882 and was                 building also features a plaque
a delegate in every national               commemorating Norris Wright
convention from 1876 to                    Cuney. (NR, RTHL, SM)
1892. U.S. President Benjamin              2013 Broadway St.
Harrison appointed Cuney                   409.762.2016
collector of customs in 1889.    

Reedy Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Galveston

                         AFRICAN AMERICANS IN TEXAS:

                         A Lasting Legacy

Churches have been historical pillars of African American society, providing refuge,
community, hope and social advocacy. Above: Congregation of Sweet Home
Missionary Baptist Church, Austin (see page 24). Background: Stained glass window
by Jean Lacy, Trinity United Methodist Church, Houston (see page 43).                    35
    1528–1536 Estevanico (Estevan),
    a survivor of the Narváez                        1867 The first regiment of African
    expedition, accompanies Cabeza                   American troopers—the 9th U.S.
    de Vaca through Texas before being               Cavalry—arrives in Texas, deployed
    rescued by the Spanish military. He              by the U.S. Army in support of
    is able to learn Native American                 protection of the western frontier.
    languages and help the Spanish
    survive in what is now Texas.                    1869 The new state constitution
                                                     recognizes African American men’s
    1829 Attitudes toward people of                  right to vote, serve in office, attend
    African descent are generally more               school and serve on juries. Ten
    tolerant in Mexico than in the U.S.              African Americans serve in the
    during the 18th and 19th centuries,              constitutional convention.
    leading to the abolition of slavery              1873 Freedmen’s Aid Society of
    in Mexico on Sept. 15. However,                  the Methodist Episcopal Church
    Anglo immigration into Mexican                   North establishes Wiley College
    Texas in the 1820s brings increased              in Marshall.
    numbers of slaves, which Mexican
    authorities tolerate for economic                1877 Troop A of the 10th U.S.
    reasons. Even after abolition,                   Cavalry, under the command of
    slavery is overlooked by the                     Capt. Nicholas Nolan, is lost
    Mexican government, though                       while tracking Comanche Indians.
    divisiveness over the issue                      Four Buffalo Soldiers die in what
    contributes to tensions leading to               newspapers call the “Staked
    the Texas Revolution.                            Plains Horror.”

Abraham         Gordon Granger,      Richard Coke,                Norris Wright          John “Jack”
Lincoln,        DeGolyer Library,    Photo Library                Cuney,                 Johnson,
Photo Library   Southern Methodist   of Congress                  Maud Cuney-Hare,       Photo Library
of Congress     University                                        Norris Wright Cuney,   of Congress
                                                                  A Tribune of the
                                                                  Black People

    1835–1836 African Americans,                     1886 Norris Wright Cuney is
    free and enslaved, participate in the            appointed Texas committeeman to
    Texas Revolution.                                the National Republican Party.

    1863 Abraham Lincoln’s                           1902 Voters approve a state
    Emancipation Proclamation,                       constitutional amendment for a
    initially drafted in September 1862,             poll tax to limit African American
    becomes effective on Jan. 1.                     political power.
                                                     1906 Several companies
    1865 Union Gen. Gordon Granger                   from the 25th U.S. Infantry
    arrives in Galveston and announces               are accused of attacking
    an end to slavery in Texas on June               townspeople in Brownsville, and
    19. A state holiday since 1980, the              roughly 165 Buffalo Soldiers are
    event is commemorated annually as                dishonorably discharged as a result
    Juneteenth and is the oldest known               of the “Brownsville Raid.”
    celebration of the end of slavery in
    the U.S.                                         1908 Galveston native Arthur John
                                                     “Jack” Johnson becomes the first
    1865–1874 Reconstruction, a                      African American world
    tumultuous era following the Civil               heavyweight-boxing champion.
    War when the nation reorganized
    economically and politically, ends
    in Texas with the election of Gov.
    Richard Coke in 1874.
    36 36                  
     1917 Racial discrimination against
     men of the Third Battalion, 24th             1942 Marshall native James
     U.S. Infantry leads to the Camp              L. Farmer, Jr., son of a Wiley
     Logan riot in Houston, in which              College professor, helps organize
     approximately 20 people die                  the Congress of Racial Equality
     (including four soldiers). After the         (CORE) to peacefully protest racial
     conflict, 110 soldiers are convicted         discrimination in the U.S.
     by court martial, and 19 Buffalo
     Soldiers are hanged.                         Mess Attendant Second Class Doris
                                                  Miller of Waco is awarded the Navy
     1920–1932 Julius Rosenwald,                  Cross for his heroic actions during
     president of Sears, Roebuck                  the attack on Pearl Harbor.
     and Company, expands education
     opportunities by aiding the effort           1944 In Smith v. Allwright, the
     to build public schools for African          U.S. Supreme Court decides in
     Americans in the South.                      favor of Houston dentist Lonnie
                                                  E. Smith that Texas’ white primary
     1921 Atlanta, Texas, native Bessie           is unconstitutional. The result
     Coleman receives a pilot’s license           of Smith’s lawsuit can also be
     from the French Fédération                   attributed to initial efforts made by
     Aéronautique Internationale to               Lawrence Aaron Nixon of El Paso
     become the first licensed African            in Nixon v. Herndon and Nixon
     American pilot in the world.                 v. Condon.

Julius              Bessie Coleman,                          Melvin Tolson, Doris Miller,
                    National Air and                         Wiley College   Naval Historical
Rosenwald,                                                                   Foundation
Photo Library       Space Museum,
of Congress         Smithsonian Institution

     1929 Prairie View State Normal               1947 To prevent Houston postman
     and Industrial College begins                Heman M. Sweatt from enrolling
     collecting oral histories of former          at the University of Texas School
     slaves. In 1936, the Works Progress          of Law, the Texas Legislature
     Administration establishes the               establishes the Texas State University
     Federal Writers’ Project Slave               for Negroes, which later becomes
     Narratives initiative to continue            Texas Southern University.
     efforts to preserve first-hand
     accounts of slavery in the southern          Melvin B. Tolson and James L.
     U.S., including Texas.                       Farmer, Jr. promote Wiley College’s
                                                  first sit-in at the Harrison County
     1935 The Wiley College debate                Courthouse in Marshall, where
     team defeats the University of               students protest the state
     Southern California, the reigning            Democratic Party’s white primary.
     national champions.
                                                  1950 In Sweatt v. Painter, the
     1936 Dr. Connie Yerwood Conner               U.S. Supreme Court orders the
     becomes the first African American           integration of the University of
     physician on the staff of the Texas          Texas School of Law.
     Department of Health.

    1954 In Brown v. Board of
    Education, the U.S. Supreme Court
    overturns the Plessy v. Ferguson                  1966 Curtis Graves and Joe
    decision and declares separate                    Lockridge are the first African
    schools for African American                      American state representatives elected
    students are unconstitutional.                    since the 1890s; Barbara Jordan is
    Following the decision, two African               elected to the Texas Senate.
    American students integrate into
    an all-Anglo school in Friona. The                1973 Barbara Jordan is elected
    San Antonio school district becomes               the first African American from
    one of the first districts in Texas               a Southern state to serve in the
    to integrate its schools.                         U.S. House of Representatives since
    1955 Thelma White of El Paso
    wins a federal lawsuit against Texas              1979 Houston pharmacist Mickey
    Western College, allowing African                 Leland is elected to the U.S. House
    American undergraduates to enroll                 of Representatives, taking the seat
    at the previously all-Anglo school.               vacated by Barbara Jordan.

James L.      President             Barbara Jordan,               Mickey Leland, Wilhelmina
Farmer, Jr., Lyndon B.              Texas State                   Collection of the Delco,
Photo Library                       Library and Archives          Clerk, U.S. House    Korey Howell
              Johnson,              Commission                    of Representatives
of Congress   LBJ Library                                                              Photography

    1956 To prevent three African                     1980 Juneteenth is officially
    American students from enrolling                  established as a state holiday,
    at Mansfield High School, more                    celebrating Union Gen. Gordon
    than 300 Anglo protesters violate                 Granger’s announcement on June
    a court order in an effort to                     19, 1865, of the Civil War’s end and
    maintain segregation.                             the abolishment of slavery.

    1964 Texas native and President                   1991 Wilhelmina Delco becomes
    Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil                 the first woman and second African
    Rights Act, making Jim Crow                       American Speaker Pro Tempore of
    segregation and discrimination illegal.           the Texas House.

    1965 President Johnson signs the                  1992 Morris Overstreet of
    Voting Rights Act, prohibiting state              Amarillo is the first African
    laws that restrict voting. Johnson                American in Texas elected to
    oversees the implementation of                    statewide office when chosen
    sweeping civil rights reform in the               as Judge, Texas Court of
    U.S. during his presidency.                       Criminal Appeals.

    38 38                 
                           > BARBARA JORDAN
                           Known for her speaking prowess, Barbara Jordan was a politician and
                           educator who helped shape the political landscape of Texas. Born in
                           Houston on Feb. 21, 1936, she grew up in the historic Fifth Ward
                           neighborhood, attending Texas Southern University and receiving her
                           law degree from Boston University. Returning to Houston in 1960, she
                           practiced law from her parents’ home until she was able to open her
                           own office. Transitioning from law to politics, she campaigned twice
                           unsuccessfully for the Texas Senate in the early 1960s.
                                In 1966, redistricting and              Congress. As a result of her
                           an increased number of African               eloquent speeches, she was
                           American voters contributed                  chosen as the first woman
                           to her political triumph as the              to deliver the keynote address
                           first African American state                 for the Democratic National
                           Senator in Texas since 1883.                 Convention in 1976. Jordan was
                           Jordan excelled in politics and,             a true innovator, recognized by
                           in 1973, successfully ran for the            her induction into the National
Frank Wolfe, LBJ Library

                           U.S. House of Representatives                Women’s Hall of Fame in 1990.
                           from the Eighteenth Texas                    She died in Austin on Jan. 17,
                           District. She was the first                  1996, leaving behind the legacy
                           African American woman from                  of an enduring spirit.
                           a Southern state to serve in

                           Barbara Jordan during interview for Family Circle magazine, 1976
                           Bessie Coleman exhibit, Atlanta Historical Museum, Atlanta
Buffalo Soldier reenactor interprets the story of African Americans in military service
from the Civil War to the present, Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, Houston

18 I HOUSTON                                    Buffalo Soldiers
Antioch Missionary                              National Museum
Baptist Church                                  Founded in 2000, the
John Henry (Jack) Yates, a                      Buffalo Soldiers National
former slave and one of the first               Museum preserves and
ordained African American                       promotes the history and
Baptist ministers in Houston,                   traditions of African Americans
was the inaugural preacher at                   who served in the U.S. armed
one of Houston’s oldest                         forces, including the Buffalo
African American Baptist                        Soldiers. The museum tells the
congregations, the Antioch                      stories of these largely unsung
Missionary Baptist Church. The                  heroes through exhibits and a
church was originally organized                 notable collection of artifacts.
in historic Freedmen’s Town in                  Touted as one of the world’s
1866. The sanctuary, built in                   largest collections of African
1875, stands on a corner in the                 American military memorabilia
shadow of downtown Houston.                     dating from 1770–2000, the
Queen Elizabeth II visited the                  museum is staffed principally
church in 1991, and her picture                 by military retirees who offer
is just one of the church’s many                their personal stories as part of
interesting artifacts and pieces                the tour. An introductory video
of memorabilia. The cruciform                   highlights the role played by
chapel includes a set of                        African Americans in the armed
beautiful stained-glass windows                 forces since the American
and intricately-carved wooden                   Revolution, and the museum
doors. While in the area, be sure               hosts reenactments on
to visit the Sam Houston Park a                 the weekends.
few blocks away, where visitors                              The museum will
can see the house that belonged                              be relocating.
to Jack Yates. (NR)                             Call or check the website
500 Clay St. • 713.652.0738                     before visiting. • 713.942.8920                         www.buffalosoldier
Houston Negro Hospital
The Houston Negro
Hospital (now Riverside
General Hospital) was built
in 1926 in Houston’s Third
Ward. The three-story, Spanish
Colonial Revival-style building
was Houston’s first nonprofit
hospital for African American
patients, and it provided a place
of work for black physicians
who were largely excluded
during segregation from the
city’s Anglo hospitals. Today,
the hospital continues to serve
the community as an active
medical facility. Be sure to
                                         Houston Negro Hospital is now
visit nearby Emancipation Park,          Riverside General Hospital
established in the 1870s by the
efforts of Jack Yates and other
African Americans. Named in              Independence Heights
commemoration of freedom                 Middle-class African American
from slavery, Emancipation               families moved into this
Park also hosts annual                   area and established the
Juneteenth events. (NR)                  neighborhood around 1908.
3204 Ennis St.
                                         Independence Heights was an
                                         important center for African
                                         American businesses, including
                                         retail stores, restaurants,
                                         building contractors,
                                         lumberyards and a blacksmith
                                         shop. Residents also formed
                                         a number of fraternal
                                         organizations and churches
                                         in the community. By 1915,
                                         the community had grown
                                         to more than 400, and the
                                         residents incorporated
                                         Independence Heights
                                         as a city, electing George O.
                                         Burgess as the first mayor. The
                                         city invested substantially in
                                         improvements, including
                                         shell paving for streets, plank
                                         sidewalks and a municipal water
                                         system. In 1929, the growing
                                         city of Houston annexed
                                         Independence Heights. (NR, SM)
Portrait of Rev. Jack Yates, Antioch     Bounded by North Yale Street,
Missionary Baptist Church, Houston       East 34th Street and Loop 610;
                                         State Marker at 7818 N. Main St.

Project Row Houses                           Rutherford B.H.
Shotgun houses, defined as                   Yates House
narrow rectangular residences                Built in 1912, this charming
usually no more than 12 feet                 house sits in the historic
wide and with doors at each                  Freedmen’s Town neighborhood
end, were built in many                      in Houston’s Fourth Ward. The
Southern cities as large numbers             house serves as a small museum
of former slaves migrated                    dedicated to Rutherford B.H.
from the country to the cities               Yates, who graduated from
in search of opportunity. The                Bishop College in Marshall
term “shotgun house” is widely               with a printing degree and later
thought to be a reference to                 went on to teach at the Houston
the idea that a blast of shotgun             Academy. Along with his
pellets could fly straight through           brother, Paul, he founded
all rooms of the house if the                the Yates Printing Company
doors were open. The plan is                 in 1922, and the business
thought to have origins in Africa            continued its operations until
and the Caribbean. This block                1978. The Rutherford B.H.
contains 22 turn-of-the-century              Yates Museum is dedicated
shotgun houses, which have                   to preserving the history of
been converted to house art                  both the Yates family and
exhibitions and studio spaces.               African American printing,
The unique, community-based                  and it includes a number of
project thus brings together                 artifacts found on the grounds.
ideals of historic preservation,             The museum hosts an annual
neighborhood revitalization                  Juneteenth celebration and
and cultural education. Annual               also sponsors special events
events, such as the October art              during African American
and music festival, offer many               History Month (February).
opportunities for visitors to                     The Yates House, which
enjoy this neighborhood.                     belonged to Rutherford’s father
2521 Holman St. • 713.526.7662               Jack Yates, was moved from                     this area in 1994 and now sits
                                             in nearby Sam Houston Park.
                                             Across the street from the
                                             Rutherford B.H. Yates House
Artists rotate through the studios,          is the Colonial-style house
Project Row Houses, Houston
                                             that belonged to the Rev. Ned
                                             Pullum. The Pullum House
                                             was purchased as part of an
                                             ongoing campaign, led by
                                             the Rutherford B.H. Yates
                                             Museum, Inc., to raise capital
                                             for the purchase and
                                             restoration of historic
                                             properties in the Freedmen’s
                                             Town Historic District, which
                                             has already lost many of
                                             its original properties to
                                             nearby construction and
                                             gentrification projects. (NR, RTHL)
                                             1314 Andrews St. • 713.739.0163

                                        Yates House,
                                        Sam Houston Park
                                        This house was built in 1870
                                        and originally sat in nearby
                                        Freedmen’s Town—now
                                        Houston’s Fourth Ward—before
                                        the Houston Heritage Society
                                        moved it to this location to
                                        preserve it. A former slave,
                                        the Rev. Jack Yates played a
                                        prominent role in the religious
                                        and civic life of Houston’s
                                        African American community.
                                        Yates helped found and also
                                        preached at a number of local
                                        churches, including the Antioch
                                        Missionary Baptist Church,
                                        whose beautiful sanctuary
                                        stands just a few blocks from
                                        the park. Yates also helped
                                        found several schools. His
Rutherford B.H. Yates Museum            son’s home, now the Rutherford
features artifacts from on-site
archeological excavations, Houston      B.H. Yates Museum, remains in
                                        its original location in nearby
Trinity United                          Freedmen’s Town.
Methodist Church                             The Yates House contains
Established in 1848 as a slave          a large collection of artifacts
congregation, the Trinity United        and memorabilia from the Yates
Methodist Church continues its          family. The Heritage Society
service today as one of the             hosts tours of the facilities
oldest African American                 and collections. Stop by the
churches in Houston. Members            museum, and register at the
of the congregation helped              entrance desk. Be sure to specify
found a variety of local                the Yates House, as the tour
educational institutions,               generally makes four stops,
including the Freedmen’s Aid            chosen by participants, among
Society, Wiley College and              the various properties in the
Houston Colored Junior                  park. Also, visitors should set
College (later incorporated into        aside time to stroll along the
Texas Southern University), and         paths leading through the park
a number of area schools are            past other historic buildings,
named for members of the                including the 4th Ward
Trinity congregation. The               Cottage. Cell phones are
current sanctuary, built in 1951,       recommended because the
contains a set of large stained-        Heritage Society has a phone
glass windows depicting both            tour for visitors to access
religious and civil rights themes.      and hear information about
Visitors can see the windows            each building.
and read about the history on           1100 Bagby St. • 713.655.1912
the church’s website. (SM)    
2600 Holman St. • 713.528.2356

St. John Colony Cemetery, Lockhart

19 I KENDLETON                                Bates Allen Park, where the
Fort Bend                               museum is located, also features
County Heritage                         a variety of other recreational
Unlimited Museum                        opportunities with plenty of
This museum sits a stone’s              amenities, including restrooms,
throw from the original site of         barbecue pits, a playground, a
Kendleton, a freedmen’s town            fishing pier and boat launch.
founded shortly after the Civil         There are two cemetery sites
War on the banks of the San             along the river, some of the last
Bernard River. The museum               remaining signs of the original
focuses on the lives of African         Kendleton community site.
Americans in the surrounding            Included in the cemetery is
area. The museum’s permanent            the grave marker for Benjamin
exhibits depict the lifestyles of       Franklin Williams, a former
African American settlers and           slave who rose to prominence as
residents from 1865–1965.               a preacher, community activist
Rotating displays focus on              and Texas legislator before
topics of interest like African         settling in the area and
American politics and church            accepting an appointment as
history (Barbara Jordan’s father        Kendleton’s first postmaster.
was a minister in one of the            Bates Allen Park
local churches). Of particular          Take Highway 59 to Exit 2919
interest is the museum’s                and follow the signs
genealogy corner, where                 979.531.8694
volunteers assist individuals on
researching family history.
The museum also hosts
activities, such as quilting
workshops, heritage days,
local art displays and an
emancipation reenactment.

20 I LOCKHART                        Texas for years. The campus
St. John Colony                      has several historic buildings
This freedmen’s community            designed by renowned African
took its name from the St. John      American architects who
Missionary Baptist Church,           studied and later taught at
founded in 1873, shortly after       the university. (NR, SM)
settlers led by the Rev. John        FM 1098 and University Drive
Henry Winn arrived in the area.      936.261.3311 •
Across the road from the church
is the official marker for the       22 I SAN ANTONIO
cemetery, which includes the         Also part of the Texas Hill
graves of many of the colony’s       Country Trail Region
original inhabitants. (SM)           The Alamo
12 miles northeast of Lockhart       Many African Americans,
on FM 672, 0.2 miles east            including Greenbury Logan,
of CR 294/CR 167 intersection        William E. “Bill” Goyens and
                                     Samuel McCullough, Jr., played
21 I PRAIRIE VIEW                    important roles in helping
Prairie View                         secure Texas’ independence
A&M University                       from Mexico during the Texas
This university was established      Revolution (Oct. 2, 1835–
as the Alta Vista Agricultural       April 21, 1836). Texian
and Mechanical College of            forces benefited from the
Texas for Colored Youth when         contributions of both freedmen
the Alta Vista Plantation was        and slaves who made great
deeded to the state in 1876.         sacrifices for their adopted
Later renamed Prairie View           country. At the Alamo,
Agricultural and Mechanical          William B. Travis’ slave, Joe,
University, this was the only        fought in the battle. In an
publicly funded historically         attempt to disparage Texians,
African American college in          Gen. Santa Anna freed Joe after
                                     the battle to tell the story of
                                     how the Mexican Army crushed
                                     the Texian defenders. Although
                                     Joe eventually recounted the
                                     fall of the Alamo to the Texas
                                     cabinet, accounts of the battle
                                     served to galvanize the Texas
                                     revolutionaries into action, as
                                     demonstrated by their famous
                                     battle cry, “Remember the
                                     Alamo!” Visitors can read Joe’s
                                     entire account, as recorded by
                                     William Fairfax Gray, on the
                                     Alamo’s official website. (NHL, RTHL)
                                     300 Alamo Plaza • 210.225.1391

                                     Martha Brown Braxton’s family
                                     farm was established in 1874;
                                     photo from a genealogy display at the
                                     Fort Bend County Heritage Unlimited
                                     Museum, Kendleton

Sweet Home Vocational and Agricultural High School, Seguin

St. Paul United                          23 I SEGUIN
Methodist Church                         Sweet Home Vocational
With a congregation first                and Agricultural
organized in 1866, St. Paul              High School
United Methodist Church                  Sweet Home Vocational and
is one of the oldest African             Agricultural High School
American churches in San                 operated from 1924–1962.
Antonio. The first congregation          Sweet Home was one of the
comprised former slaves and              county’s six Rosenwald Schools,
freedmen from Paine Chapel               financed in part by a donation
Methodist Episcopal Church.              from the Rosenwald Fund,
The current building—                    which provided matching
easily recognizable by the               funds to African American
striking octagonal towers that           communities to build
flank the main doors—was                 public schools. The schoolhouse
constructed in 1922. The                 included a library, four primary
United Methodist Church has              classrooms and a kitchen; the
designated St. Paul United               campus also had several separate
Methodist Church as its 397th            dormitory buildings. Accredited
historical site. (SM)                    as a public high school in 1935,
508 N. Center St. • 210.227.2525         Sweet Home, like many African                     American schools, focused on
                                         training students for industrial
                                         and agricultural jobs following
                                         a strategy for empowering black
                                         communities made popular by
                                         Booker T. Washington’s famous
                                         Tuskegee Institute. Today, the
                                         building serves as a community
                                         center. (NR, RTHL)
                                         3340 Sweet Home Rd.

                                                                                      > FROM SANDLOTS
                                                                                      TO SUPERSTARS
                                                                                      Pow! That’s the sound the ball made when Satchel Paige’s mighty
                                                                                      fastball hit the catcher’s glove.
                                                                                          San Antonio native John                 Through high school,
                                                                                      Miles knows because he faced           city and corporate athletic
                                                                                      the legendary Negro Leagues            programs, the African American
                                                                                      pitcher on several occasions.          community in Texas shared an
                                                                                      Before Jackie Robinson broke           enthusiastic companionship
                                                                                      Major League Baseball’s (MLB)          and sportsmanship. They
                                                                                      color barrier in 1947, the Negro       continue to serve as
                                                                                      Leagues were the only option           galvanizing entities today.
Galveston County Historical Commission 1867 Settlement Historic District Collection

                                                                                      for Texas athletes like Miles,         Many small-town Texas
                                                                                      who “just wanted to play ball.”        sandlots launched the careers
                                                                                          In the 1920s, the Texas            of skilled ballplayers who
                                                                                      Negro League produced stars            went on to become all-stars
                                                                                      with remarkable skills who             in the Negro Leagues,
                                                                                      rivaled their MLB counterparts.        including Calvert’s Andrew
                                                                                      Miles once hit home runs in 11         “Rube” Foster, Giddings’
                                                                                      consecutive games (an                  Hilton Smith and Seguin’s
                                                                                      unmatched accomplishment               Smokey Joe Williams. Each
                                                                                      in MLB history), and Austin            of them, along with Wells,
                                                                                      native Willie Wells, a clutch          ultimately received their due
                                                                                      hitter and formidable fielder          recognition when they were
                                                                                      known as the “Shakespeare              inducted into the National
                                                                                      of Shortstops,” gained fame            Baseball Hall of Fame by the
                                                                                      in the 1940s as a respected            Veterans Committee.
                                                                                      player-manager with the Negro
                                                                                      Leagues’ Newark Eagles.

                                                                                      Segregated Pan American Oil baseball team in the 1930s, Texas City

Seguin-Guadalupe County                24 I TEXAS CITY
Heritage Museum                        The 1867 Settlement
In 1869, James, Hiram and              Historic District
Wallace Wilson opened the H.           The 1867 Settlement
Wilson & Co. pottery shop              Historic District is the only
and operated it until 1884. The        Reconstruction-era African
three former slaves had split off      American community in
from the business once owned           Galveston County. The Bell,
by their former master, John M.        Britton, Caldwell and Hobgood
Wilson. By their success, both         families, whose patriarchs were
in building a business and as          African American cowboys,
craftsmen creating unique              pioneered the community,
pottery, the freedmen                  which was self-sustained for
demonstrated that African              more than 100 years. The
Americans could be prosperous          men survived the hardships of
entrepreneurs at a time when           slavery, including being torn
Southern Anglos actively sought        from their families during the
to keep former slaves tied to the      Civil War to serve their masters
land as sharecroppers. Although        on the battlefield and drive
the location of Wilson                 cattle for the Confederacy.
Potteries has now become               When freedom came in June
an archeological site that is          1865, the men worked on
listed in the National Register of     the Butler Ranch in north
Historic Places and received an        Galveston County; some had
official Texas Historical Subject      been slaves of the Butler
Marker, the story continues to         family. In 1867, they began
be told today at the Seguin-           contracting acreage from Judge
Guadalupe County Heritage              William Jones with money
Museum through a pottery               earned by driving cattle up
artifact display.                      the Chisholm Trail to Kansas.
114 N. River St. • 830.372.0965        After the Civil War, Judge Jones              set aside the only land in the
                                       county available for purchase
                                       by freedmen who could
                                       get testimonials from local
                                       businessmen proclaiming their
                                       good morals and work ethics.
                                       Many descendants of the
                                       original pioneers still reside or
                                       own property within the historic
                                       community boundaries, where
                                       trail rides and horses are
                                       common sights. Tours are
                                       available, and interpretative
                                       kiosks are located throughout
                                       the district. The oldest
                                       structure, the 1887 Frank Sr.
                                       and Flavilla Bell home, is being
                                       restored for development as a
                                       community museum. (NR, SM, HTC)
                                       117 S. Bell Dr.

                                       Wilson pottery, Seguin-Guadalupe
48                Heritage Museum, Seguin
                                       the personal lives of enslaved
                                       people in Texas. (SM)
                                       12300 Park Rd. 12 (at FM 1155)

                                       26 I WEST
                                       Varner-Hogg Plantation
                                       State Historic Site
                                       Following Stephen F. Austin
                                       to Texas, Martin Varner and
                                       several slaves settled on this land
                                       in 1824. In 1834, Varner sold
                                       the land to the Patton family,
                                       who brought a large number
                                       of slaves to the property and
Sugarcane cooking pots, Varner-Hogg    established it as a sugar
Plantation State Historic Site,        plantation that operated
West Columbia
                                       continuously until the Civil
                                       War. Slaves made bricks by
25 I WASHINGTON                        hand and constructed many
Washington-on-                         buildings on this site, including
the-Brazos State                       the plantation house and slaves’
Historic Site                          quarters. The line of bricks that
The 293-acre state historic site       surrounds the large kettle is all
marks the original town location       that remains of the sugar mill,
of Washington, an important            where slaves processed sugarcane
political and commercial center        to produce molasses by boiling
in early Texas. Delegates to the       it in kettles. The availability
Convention of 1836 met here            of brick materials was
to draft and sign the Texas            probably one reason why this
Declaration of Independence            site appealed to the original
and create a constitution for the      settlers, and income derived
new Republic. The Star of the          from the manufacture and
Republic Museum has several            sale of bricks may have
displays dedicated to the roles        supplemented the plantation’s
of African Americans in                agricultural production.
the Republic, including                Varner-Hogg Plantation
contributions made during              State Historic Site, a Texas
the Texas Revolution. Stop by          Historical Commission
the Barrington Living History          property, is open regularly
Farm, where visitors can               for guided tours. (NR, RTHL)
participate in daily activities        1702 N. 13th St. • 979.345.4656
alongside costumed interpreters
who explain the lifestyles and
technologies of Texans 150 years
ago and perform some of the
same tasks on the farm as its
original residents. The farm also
includes replica quarters where
visitors can learn more about


Slave-made chairs of wood and straw or bark, African American Museum of Dallas

African American Museum of Dallas
This museum houses documents and art relating to the African
American experience. The museum’s permanent displays include
African artifacts, folk art, furniture and decorative pieces. As part of
its mission to educate the public about African American history and
culture, the museum hosts a variety of functions, including special
exhibits, lectures, workshops, music festivals and other events.
3536 Grand Ave. in Fair Park • 214.565.9026 •

Booker T. Washington High School
for the Performing and Visual Arts
Constructed in 1922, Booker T. Washington High School replaced the
older Dallas Colored High School. The student body traces its origins
to 1892, when the Dallas Board of Education created the segregated
city’s first African American high school. During its first 17 years of
operation, the often-overcrowded school served every African American
student in Dallas County. In 1976, facing court-ordered desegregation,
the Dallas Independent School District redesignated Booker T.
Washington as a magnet school for artistically gifted students aspiring
to future careers in the performing and visual arts.
2501 Flora St. • 972.925.1200 •

Texas has long been a hub for musical innovation. Western swing,
rock ’n’ roll, conjunto, country and the blues were all greatly
influenced by Texans. When the Great Depression hit, many jazz and
blues musicians moved to cities like Houston, Dallas and Galveston,
where they created a style known as Texas blues—a melding of jazz
and blues. African American jazz and blues musicians with ties to
Texas include legends Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willie Johnson,
pianist and singer Charles Brown, singer and guitarist Robert
Johnson, swing-era composer Eddie Durham and jazz guitarist Charlie
Christian—to name just a few.
    Jefferson’s originality on            Johnson cut his tracks in an
the guitar, accompanied by his            unknown room of the hotel
distinctively high-pitched voice,         in November 1936. Although
earned him the title “Father of           he died at age 27 in 1938,
the Texas Blues.” Jefferson was           this influential singer and
one of the most popular blues             guitarist was awarded the
singers of the 1920s, and his             Grammy Recording Academy’s
musical style influenced the               Lifetime Achievement Award in
likes of vocalist “Texas                  2006. The Gunter Hotel lobby
Nightingale” Sippie Wallace,              contains several displays
singer/guitarist Aaron Thibeaux           commemorating the recording
“T-Bone” Walker, singer/                  session and Johnson’s
guitarist Sam “Lightnin’”                 impressive, but short career. (NR)
Hopkins and singer/guitarist                   Interactive exhibits housed
Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter.             in the Museum of Regional
    The Gunter Hotel in San               History in Texarkana relate
Antonio is the site of one of             stories of Scott Joplin, dubbed
Robert Johnson’s two recording            the “King of Ragtime,” along
sessions. Hailed posthumously             with Ledbetter’s enduring
as “King of the Delta Blues,”             musical legacy.

Musical heritage mural, Deep Ellum Historic District, Dallas (see next page) 51
Deep Ellum
Historic District
Prior to World War II, when
segregation divided Anglo
and black residents in Dallas,
African American commerce
clustered in Deep Ellum.
In the 1920s–30s, blues
musicians Blind Lemon
Jefferson, Bessie Smith and
Sam “Lightnin’” Hopkins
played in the district’s clubs.
Today, there are a number of
shops, live music venues and
sidewalk cafés in this area, where
colorful and innovative murals
decorate many of the walls.
Bounded by Elm,
Commerce, Oakland and
Good Latimer streets

Cemetery Memorial
Freedman’s Cemetery, as the
name suggests, belonged to a
community of former slaves
established in this area after the
Civil War. Dedicated in 1869,
the cemetery closed in the
1920s and suffered from both
neglect and vandalism. In the           “The Sentinel” depicts an African
                                        warrior, Freedman’s Cemetery
1930s–40s, the construction             Memorial, Dallas
of an expressway and a major
intersection eliminated most
                                        graves, which were carefully
of the remaining above-ground
                                        relocated, and the local
reminders of the cemetery. In
                                        community constructed this
the late 1980s, efforts to expand
                                        memorial. Sculptures by David
the city’s Central Expressway
                                        Newton tell the story of
led members of the local
                                        African Americans and their
community, including
                                        descendants’ journey from
descendants of those buried
                                        slavery to emancipation. Poems
in the cemetery, to wage a
                                        around the perimeter also
successful campaign to halt
                                        commemorate those originally
freeway construction long
                                        buried here. (SM)
enough for an archeological
                                        Southwest corner
survey and excavations of the
                                        of North Central Expressway
cemetery and the relocation
                                        2700 Lemmon Ave.
of those interred within it.
Between 1991–94, an
archeological investigation
uncovered more than 1,000

Juanita J. Craft                          projects in Fort Worth, Houston
Civil Rights House                        and San Antonio. Built in the
The Juanita J. Craft Civil Rights         Beaux Arts style, the Knights
House is one of only three                of Pythias building served as
house museums in the                      the social and business center
nation honoring major                     for Dallas’ African Americans.
female figures in the modern              Besides providing a venue for a
civil rights movement. Craft,             wide array of notable speakers
a leading civil rights and social         and performers, including
justice reformer, lived in this           Marcus Garvey, George
1920 Craftsman bungalow for               Washington Carver and the
35 years. She organized 185               Fisk Jubilee Singers, the
National Association for the              building provided office space,
Advancement of Colored People             often in short supply in the
(NAACP) branches and dozens               segregated city, for African
of youth councils across Texas,           American professionals.
and helped lead efforts to                     Through fraternal
desegregate the University of             organizations such as the
Texas School of Law, North                Knights of Pythias and Masons,
Texas State University (now               as well as political activism,
University of North Texas)                African Americans gained
and the State Fair of Texas.              prominence in Texas.
She participated in four                  By persevering to lift
presidential conferences, was             social barriers and
elected to two terms as a Dallas          determination to create
city councilwoman and was                 a better life for their families
honored with Dallas’ highest              and communities, early Texas
civic honor, the Linz Award. In           leaders emerged, such as
addition to this site, Dallas has         William McDonald, a Fort
named a park, recreation center           Worth businessman, politician
and post office after Craft. (NR, RTHL)   and founder of the Fraternal
2618 Warren Ave. • 214.671.0992           Bank and Trust Company, the
                                          chief depository for the state’s
Knights of Pythias Temple                 African American Masonic
The Grand Lodge of the                    lodges. Women also found
Colored Knights of Pythias                recognition as members
Temple was completed in 1916.             of social and cultural
Designed by William Sidney                organizations—such as
Pittman, a renowned African               Jack and Jill of America,
American architect, it is                 Inc. and The Links—and
considered one of the most                as leaders of education,
distinctive buildings in the              humanitarian and
Deep Ellum district. Influential          political causes.
architect Pittman, married to             2551 Elm St.
Portia Washington, daughter
of Booker T. Washington,
moved to Dallas in 1913 and
was the first practicing African
American architect in Texas. He
designed at least seven major
projects in Dallas, as well as

                                                with its high archways and
                                                beautiful stained-glass windows,
                                                was completed in 1927. The
                                                building has many features in
                                                common with Allen Chapel
                                                African Methodist Episcopal
                                                (AME) Church, in nearby Fort
                                                Worth; accomplished architect
                                                William Sidney Pittman, who
                                                designed that sanctuary, is
                                                also linked to this building.
                                                Today, the renovated St. Paul
                                                United Methodist Church is
                                                at the center of the downtown
                                                arts district, right across from
                                                the Booker T. Washington High
Dallas’ Queen City Heights                      School for the Performing
Historic District was established               and Visual Arts. The church
during Reconstruction
                                                hosts regular music events,
                                                including a jazz night, and
                                                has a permanent display of
Queen City Heights
                                                archeological items excavated
Historic District
                                                by University of Texas students
Farmers and workers settled
                                                and other items that tell the
here during Reconstruction,
                                                story of the church and Dallas’
and Queen City Heights
                                                Freedmen’s Town.
continued to attract working-
                                                1816 Routh St. • 214.922.0000
class African American families
as Dallas grew throughout the
20th century. The district’s
                                                Tenth Street
growth helped spur the
                                                Historic District
development of surrounding
                                                This is one of the few remaining
African American neighbor-
                                                freedmen’s towns in the South
hoods. The Dallas Historical
                                                that still retains a significant
Society periodically offers tours
                                                amount of its original
of the district. Exline Park,
                                                construction. Look for the
at the corner of Eugene and
                                                smaller shotgun houses—the
Latimer streets, is a nice stop
                                                homes have rectangular floor
for a picnic or rest. (NR)
                                                plans with adjoining rooms,
Bounded by Eugene,
                                                rather than hallways—and their
Cooper, Latimer, Kynard
                                                larger counterparts, the double
and Dildock streets
                                                shotgun and camelback houses.
                                                Most of these dwellings were
                                                built prior to World War II, and
                                                a few date to the 1890s. (NR)
St. Paul United
                                                Roughly bounded by East
Methodist Church
                                                Clarendon Drive, South
Organized in 1873 to minister
                                                Fleming Avenue, I-35 East,
to former slaves, this is one of
                                                East 8th Street and the east
the oldest African American
                                                end of Church, East 9th
congregations in Dallas. The
                                                and Plum streets
distinctive red-brick structure,

Denton County African American Museum is housed in a restored home from
Quakertown, an early African American neighborhood in Denton

28 I DENTON                                29 I EMORY
Denton County African                      A.C. McMillan African
American Museum                            American Museum
Built in 1904, the house that              Alfred Clifton McMillan
holds the Denton County                    was a notable teacher and
African American Museum                    administrator in Rains County
once belonged to an African                for 36 years. He received degrees
American Quakertown in                     from Texas College and East
Denton. The house was moved                Texas State University, spent
in 1922 to southeast Denton,               much of his career as a teacher
after the city forcibly relocated          and principal of Sand Flat
the Quakertown community to                School (a Rosenwald School
make way for the Denton Civic              that the McMillan Museum is
Center Park. Today, the house              active in preserving) and, later,
has been moved close to its                was principal of Rains County
original setting in downtown               Junior High School. His family
Denton. In addition to                     has been central to the effort
chronicling the lives of the               to tell the story of African
African American families                  Americans in this part of
of Denton County and the                   northeast Texas. The museum
Quakertown experience, the                 has exhibits and artifacts on
award-winning museum has an                Reconstruction in Texas,
interesting collection of papers           Rosenwald Schools, sports and
and medical supplies of Dr.                art, and its collection is built
Edwin D. Moten, Denton’s                   largely from artifacts donated by
first African American doctor.             the community.
The museum also hosts special              418 S. Texas St. • 903.474.0083
events, and groups can schedule
guided tours.
317 W. Mulberry St.

Tudor Gothic Revival sanctuary, Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church,
Fort Worth

30 I FORT WORTH                              Founded in 2001, the National
Allen Chapel                                 Multicultural Western Heritage
African Methodist                            Museum highlights the
Episcopal Church                             important contributions
The Allen Chapel African                     of these ethnically diverse
Methodist Episcopal Church                   cowboys to the unique culture
was organized in 1875, and                   of the West. The museum also
William Sidney Pittman drew                  celebrates the contributions
up the designs for this sanctuary            of other African Americans,
in 1914. The building’s design               such as the Buffalo Soldiers,
demonstrates a modified Tudor                the Tuskegee Airmen and early
Gothic Revival-style, with tall              African American flying pioneer
stained glass windows and a                  Bessie Coleman. Formerly
bell tower on one corner. To                 known as the National Cowboys
see another well-preserved,                  of Color Museum and Hall of
architecturally similar structure,           Fame, the museum’s Hall of
visit St. Paul United Methodist              Fame recognizes individuals
Church in Dallas. (NR, RTHL, SM)             who were instrumental in the
116 Elm St. • 817.332.5071                   formation of Western history,
                                             such as Bill Pickett and Bose
National Multicultural                       Ikard. The museum hosts a
Western Heritage Museum                      variety of events, including
In the Wild West, when Anglos                weekly workshops, children’s
and non-Anglos tended to                     storytelling and holiday events.
move in separate social spheres,             3400 Mount Vernon Ave.
cowboys were an unusually                    817.534.8801
integrated lot; one-third or       
more of the working cowboys
in Texas were African American,
Latino or Native American.

Stop Six Historic African                   Joshua Chapel
American Neighborhood                       African Methodist
This working-class African                  Episcopal Church
American neighborhood, once                 First organized in 1876, Joshua
the sixth stop on the Northern              Chapel African Methodist
Texas Traction Company line                 Episcopal (AME) Church took
running between Dallas and                  its name from the Rev. Joshua
Fort Worth, was originally                  Goins, who founded AME
known as Cowanville.                        churches throughout Texas.
Throughout the neighborhood                 William Sidney Pittman
visitors will see early-20th-               designed the two-story, red-
century houses. The school                  brick sanctuary, constructed in
at 5100 Willie St. was                      1917. The Romanesque Revival-
built in 1924 with funding                  style design features walls of
from the Julius Rosenwald                   large windows supported by
Foundation, much like                       exterior buttresses. Periodically,
Booker T. Washington                        the Ellis County Museum hosts
High School in Dallas.                      tours of the church and lectures
Bounded by Rosedale, Loop                   about Pittman, and the church
820 South and Miller streets                is open during the annual
                                            Gingerbread Trail event. (RTHL)
31 I WAXAHACHIE                             110 N. Aiken St.
Wyatt Street Shotgun                        www.rootsweb.ancestry.
House Historic District                     com/~txecm/index.htm
Built from 1900–1935, the
Wyatt Street shotgun houses
feature a design—three to five
rooms with no hallways—
with origins in Africa and the
Caribbean. Built and inhabited
by the city’s booming African
American population, shotgun
houses were cheap to build,
and their narrow designs
allowed for good airflow, an
important consideration in
hot climates prior to the
advent of air conditioning.
Shotgun housing was
a common
building type
the South
from Recon-
struction to the
early 20th century. (NR)
East side of the 300 block
of Wyatt Street

Northern Texas Traction Company sign, Stop Six Historic
African American neighborhood, Fort Worth


“The Errand of Corporal Ross,” Fort Bliss, El Paso

Buffalo Soldier Memorial of El Paso
In 1866, the U.S. established six regiments of African Americans,
eventually known as Buffalo Soldiers, which served on the western
frontier, particularly in the set of actions collectively described as the
Indian Wars. The six original military units included the 9th and 10th
U.S. Cavalry, and the 38th, 39th, 40th and 41st U.S. Infantry. From
1866–1901, several of the Buffalo Soldier regiments garrisoned at Fort
Bliss. Erected in 1999, “The Errand of Corporal Ross” is a memorial
statue depicting Corp. John Ross, Troop I of the 9th U.S. Cavalry,
riding on horseback, rifle in hand, against the Mescalero Apache
Indians during the Guadalupe Campaign.
           By the Robert E. Lee gate entrance
           to the Fort Bliss Military Base
915.568.3390 •

Dr. Lawrence Nixon’s Office/McCall Neighborhood Center
This community center honors the memory of Dr. Lawrence Nixon,
an African American physician whose legal battles helped secure
voting rights for blacks in Texas. A small collection of artifacts within
the building pays tribute to this important civil rights leader, while a
plaque outside the center commemorates Nixon and noted African
American soldier Henry O. Flipper. (SM)
3231 Wyoming Ave. • 915.566.2407

Memorial Gymnasium
In 1966 at Texas Western
College, now the University of
Texas at El Paso (UTEP), Don
Haskins became the first coach
ever to start a squad of five
African American players in a
championship basketball game.
The team beat the University
of Kentucky in College Park,
Maryland, to win the National
Collegiate Athletic Association
basketball championship,
                                     1966 NCAA Men’s Division I
and the event is credited with       basketball championship team
breaking the color barrier           members Togo Railey and Willie
                                     Cager, Memorial Gymnasium, El Paso
in college sports. Haskins
described it further in his          to see the UTEP Miners play at
autobiography, Glory Road,           the Don Haskins Center, built
which later was produced into        in 1976.
a film of the same name that         The University of Texas
focused on the game. The             at El Paso
school’s basketball teams no         East Robinson Avenue and
longer play their home games         North Oregon Street (south of
at Memorial Gymnasium, but           the Don Haskins Center)
basketball fans can plan ahead       915.747.5103
Old Fort Bliss                          33 I FORT DAVIS
Fort Bliss                              Fort Davis National
The adobe buildings at Old Fort         Historic Site
Bliss are replicas of the original      Fort Davis was an active
fort and serve as the center for        military post from 1854–1891,
the children’s bicultural living        except for a brief period during
history program. Each year,             and following the Civil War.
living history educators provide        In 1867, four companies of the
tours to explain the legacy of the      9th U.S. Cavalry rode into the
fort, where Buffalo Soldiers were       fort to reestablish and rebuild
stationed from 1866–1901. The           the military post. All of the
site features an animal cemetery        regiments of Buffalo Soldiers—
to honor the animals that served        including the 9th and 10th
military personnel at Fort Bliss.       U.S. Cavalry and the 24th
The base also has several other         and 25th U.S. Infantry—
museums, historic homes and             headquartered here at some
displays that visitors can enjoy        point during the Indian Wars
while on post. (SM)                     period. The site highlights
          Pleasanton and                the experiences of the Buffalo
          Sheridan streets              Soldiers in an introductory film
915.568.3390                            detailing the fort’s history,              historic buildings, parade
fort_bliss_museum.htm                   grounds and museum exhibits.
                                        Living history interpreters tell
                                        the story of the enlisted men,
                                        officers and civilians who lived
                                        at the fort. Education days,
                                        Junior Ranger Day and Fort
                                        Davis Frontier Day (held
                                        the Saturday of Labor Day
                                        weekend) also provide visitors
                                        with learning opportunities.
                                        Fort Davis is administered by
                                        the National Park Service.
                                        (NHL, NR, SM)

                                                101 Lt. Henry Flipper Dr.

Above: Restored Fort
Davis barracks with
century plant;
Right: Replica cartridge
belt, Fort Davis National
Historic Site



Black Seminole scout buried at the Seminole Indian Scout Cemetery,
Fort Clark, Brackettville

Black Seminole Indian Scout Cemetery
The descendants of escaped slaves and Florida’s Seminole Indians, the
Black Seminole Indian Scouts were known as unparalleled trackers
and fearless combatants. The U.S. Army organized the scout unit in
1870, and the scouts were stationed at Fort Clark in 1872, when the
cemetery was first established.
     Four of the scouts buried here—Adam Payne (Paine), Isaac Payne,
John Ward and Pompey Factor—received the Medal of Honor. Look
for the small carving at the center of the soldiers’ tombstones of a
reproduction of the Army’s version of the medal, which has a five-
pointed star, surrounded by a wreath and containing a representation
of the goddess Minerva. When visiting this site, set aside time to see
the museum at Fort Clark to gain a more thorough understanding of
the Buffalo Soldiers and Texas military history. (SM, HTC)
           3 miles west of Old Fort Clark
           on RM 3348

Black Seminole Scout 1st Sgt. Ben July, Fort Clark Springs, Old Guardhouse
Museum, Brackettville

Old Guardhouse Museum                       the Civil War. With the end
The well-preserved Fort Clark               of the Civil War and slavery,
served as the post for numerous             this group of Black Seminoles
Buffalo Soldier infantry and                returned to the U.S., where the
cavalry units. In particular, the           U.S. Army recruited them to
Black Seminole Indian Scouts                form the Black Seminole Indian
were stationed here and served              Scouts. The fort’s history and
alongside Buffalo Soldiers of the           legacy, from the Black Seminole
24th and 25th U.S. Infantry.                Indian Scouts through the 2nd
The scouts descended primarily              U.S. Cavalry Division (the
from runaway slaves who found               only African American cavalry
refuge in the swamps of Florida.            division in World War II), have
Black Seminoles endured a                   been painstakingly preserved
forced migration from Florida               and researched by the Fort
to reservations in Oklahoma                 Clark Historical Society. The
after 1838. Deprived of the                 guardhouse serves as a museum
right to bear arms and faced                to highlight the fort’s history,
with the threat of enslavement              including pictures, artifacts
in the South, the group that                and memorabilia from several
eventually became the Black                 African American military units.
Seminole Indian Scouts left the             The area is accommodating
reservation under the direction             to travelers looking to stay
of a leader named John Horse                overnight, with camping,
and moved to Mexico prior to                lodging and RV facilities
                                      military buildings at the site
                                      include officers’ quarters,
                                      barracks, a guardhouse and
                                      prisoner cells. The museum
                                      features an informational video
                                      as well as photo exhibits on the
                                      Buffalo Soldiers. Each year on
                                      the third Saturday of October,
                                      the city celebrates Old Fort Day
                                      with living history exhibits.
                                      (NR, SM)

                                                 300 E. 3rd St.

                                      36 I SHEFFIELD
                                      Fort Lancaster
                                      State Historic Site
                                      The U.S. Army established
                                      Fort Lancaster in 1855 near an
                                      important crossing of the Pecos
                                      River on the military road
                                      between San Antonio and El
                                      Paso. The garrison’s principal
                                      work was in providing escorts
                                      for mail carriers, wagon
                                      trains and settlers. Buffalo
                                      Soldiers from the 9th U.S.
                                      Cavalry used this sub-post of
                                      Fort Stockton for a few years
available, along with
                                      following the Civil War, and
attractions that include a
                                      several engagements between
spring-fed pool, playground
                                      the soldiers and Native
and golf course. (NR, RTHL)
                                      Americans took place in
          Fort Clark
                                      this area. Fort Lancaster
          Just west of
                                      State Historic Site, a Texas
Brackettville on Highway
                                      Historical Commission
90 West
                                      property, is open to visitors,
                                      who may walk through the
                                      ruins and peruse a museum
                                      exhibit that contains a variety
35 I FORT                             of artifacts found during
STOCKTON                              excavations of the site
Historic Fort Stockton
                                      conducted in the 1970s.
Established in 1858, Fort
                                      Events offered at Fort Lancaster
Stockton is notable for its
                                      include archeology awareness
association with Buffalo Soldiers
                                      days and living history
from the 9th U.S. Cavalry,
                                      education days. (NR, SM)
who made it their headquarters
                                                 8 miles east of
beginning in 1867. Companies
                                                 Sheffield on U.S. 290
of the 10th U.S. Cavalry also
served at the fort during its
19 years of activity. Today,
the original and reconstructed

                                                                            Milton Adams, Photographer

C.B. Stubblefield in his original Stubb’s Bar-B-Que restaurant, Lubbock

Chatman Hospital
Chatman Hospital (now Chatman Community Health Center) was
opened in 1945 by Dr. Joseph Alvin Chatman. For many years, it was
the only medical facility in this segregated city for African Americans.
Among his contributions to the community, Dr. Chatman spoke in
local churches, participated in politics and served on the board of Texas
Southern University and the Lone Star State Medical Society. The two-
story cast stone building, designed by architect Louis Fry, suffered a
major fire in 1987, but was restored in 1993 and re-opened in 1994.
2301 Cedar Ave.

Stubb’s Memorial
Christopher B. Stubblefield was born in Navasota, and his family
moved to Lubbock in the 1930s to pick cotton. “Stubb” learned to
cook in local establishments and, later, oversaw daily meal preparations
for as many as 10,000 soldiers as a staff sergeant during the Korean
War. In 1968, he opened a barbecue restaurant that became a center of
Lubbock’s music scene, attracting regular performers such as Joe Ely,
Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Stevie Ray Vaughan. The restaurant burned
in the 1980s, and Stubb moved it to Austin, where it continues to be
a mainstay of food and live music. Stubblefield died in 1995, and a
memorial statue was erected in 1999 on the site of the original Stubb’s
Bar-B-Que. The site still features concerts and musical fundraisers.
108 E. Broadway St.
From the Coastal Plains to Big Bend to the Panhandle, African
American cowboys and ranchers occupy a definitive place in Texas
history. As many as one in three cowhands in the late 19th century
was likely of African descent. While many of the first African American
cowboys in Texas were born into slavery, after emancipation these
Western legends blazed their own trail by developing herds, ranches
and farms, leading cattle drives and demonstrating savvy roping and
riding skills at area rodeos.
    William “Bill” Pickett, the          in Weatherford (SM), which
first African American honoree           commended him for his loyalty
in the National Rodeo Hall of            and “splendid behavior.”
Fame, became renowned for his                Daniel Webster “80 John”
bull submission technique,               Wallace was one of the first
bulldogging, in which he would           African American ranchers in
bite the bull’s upper lip.               Mitchell County. His parents
Pickett performed in a number            were slaves, but he was born
of rodeos and shows all over             after emancipation and later
the world, and bulldogging               pursued his dream of ranching.
competitions continue today.             Wallace first established
Mathew “Bones” Hooks and                 himself as a cattle driver and
James “Jim” Perry both                   wrangler, while saving money
established outstanding                  for his own herd and land.
reputations for roping skills,           Becoming a well-respected
paired with unmatched bronco             rancher with more than 12
busting and horsebreaking                640-acre sections and more
abilities, which were sought             than 500 head of cattle,
across the state.                        Wallace left behind a legacy
    Bose Ikard, a prominent              of hard work and success.
frontiersman and traildriver,            The ranch house he built and
worked with Charles                      raised his family in is preserved
Goodnight and Oliver Loving              at the National Ranching
on what became known as the              Heritage Center in Lubbock.
Goodnight-Loving Trail. Ikard            An exhibit at the American
and Goodnight were lifelong              Windpower Center in Lubbock
friends, and Goodnight                   showcases his and other
commemorated Ikard’s life with           African American contributions
a granite marker on his grave            to ranching history in Texas.

Bill Pickett statue, Fort Worth Stockyards                                65


Exhibit on stable duty during frontier fort period, Fort Ringgold, Rio Grande City

Palmito Ranch Battlefield
The Battle of Palmito Ranch was the last land battle of the Civil
War. It took place on May 12–13, 1865, weeks after the Confederate
surrender at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia. Union foot soldiers,
including some from the 62nd U.S. Colored Infantry stationed on
Brazos Island on the Texas Coast, came ashore on the night of May 11
en route to seize Brownsville. The Confederate troops outnumbered
the Union forces and also possessed artillery and cavalry units. The
Union troops were forced to retreat to Brazos Island. When visiting
this site, watch for the marker, as the site is largely undeveloped and
not obvious from the road. Also, a good pair of walking shoes or boots
is recommended. (NHL, NR, SM for Battle of Palmito Ranch)
12 miles southeast of Brownsville on Highway 4

Fort McIntosh Historic District
Fort McIntosh served as the post for numerous African American
infantry and cavalry units who patrolled the area and guarded the
nearby international crossing of the Rio Grande. Laredo Community
College now uses the buildings, which have signs denoting their
original purposes. A gallery in the library contains a collection of
paintings and photos of the fort. (NR, RTHL, SM)
            Laredo Community College Campus
            West end of Washington Street

40 I RIO                              men to open fire with their
GRANDE CITY                           Gatling guns. One person was
Fort Ringgold                         injured and, although official
Established during the U.S.-          investigations into the incident
Mexico War, this fort became          did not result in any charges,
the site of a racial confrontation    the U.S. Army relocated the
in 1899. Buffalo Soldiers of the      Buffalo Soldiers to avoid further
9th U.S. Cavalry, fresh from          conflict. Today, the remaining
victories in Cuba during the          buildings of the fort belong to
Spanish-American War, came            the local school district and are
to Fort Ringgold refusing to          still in use. (NR, SM)
tolerate racial segregation                     Fort Ringgold
in the local community and                      Campus
harassment by its civilian            East Highway 83
population. Tensions between
the troops and local residents
resulted in a disturbance on the
night of Nov. 20, when Lt. E.
H. Rubottom ordered his

Headquarters for Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th U.S. Cavalry, Fort Stockton (see page 63)

For more information about the sites in this brochure, visit, or contact the sources listed below
for site locations and hours, as well as details about events and other
local attractions. Many information centers are closed weekends; please
contact in advance. To obtain a free Texas State Travel Guide, call
800.8888.TEX, or visit

Bastrop                                        Atlanta
Chamber of Commerce                            Chamber of Commerce
512.303.0558                                   903.796.3296               
Bryan                                          Crockett
Bryan-College Station Convention               Crockett Area Chamber
and Visitors Bureau                            of Commerce
979.260.9898                                   936.544.2359               
Calvert                                        Marshall
Chamber of Commerce                            Convention and Visitors Bureau
979.364.2559                                   903.935.7868                    
                                               Convention and Visitors Bureau

Convention and Visitors Bureau
Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce
325.396.2365                Unidentified African American pioneer,
                                     Calaboose African American History
San Angelo                           Museum, San Marcos (see page 30)
Convention and Visitors Bureau
                                     Chamber of Commerce
TEXAS HILL COUNTRY                   830.833.5101
TRAIL REGION               
                                     San Marcos
                                     Convention and Visitors Bureau
Convention and Visitors Bureau

                                                                                                         San Antonio
                                                                                                         Convention and Visitors Bureau

                                       Galveston County Historical Commission 1867 Settlement Historic
                                                                                                         Convention and Visitors Bureau
                                                                                                         Texas City
                                                                                                         Texas City-La Marque Chamber
                                                                                                         of Commerce

                                       District Collection
                                                                                                         Washington County Chamber
                                                                                                         of Commerce
Above: Knights of Pythias parade,
Texas City (see page 48); Below:
Stained-glass detail, Joshua Chapel,                                                                     West Columbia
Waxahachie (see page 57)                                                                                 Chamber of Commerce
TEXAS INDEPENDENCE                                                                                       979.345.3921
TRAIL REGION                                                                                   
www.texasindependence                                                                                    TEXAS LAKES TRAIL REGION                                                                                      
Brenham                                                                                                  Dallas
Washington County Chamber                                                                                Convention and Visitors Bureau
of Commerce                                                                                              214.571.1000
Galveston                                                                                                Convention and Visitors Bureau
Convention and Visitors Bureau                                                                           888.381.1818
                                                                                                         Fort Worth
Houston                                                                                                  Convention and Visitors Bureau
Greater Houston Convention                                                                               800.433.5747
and Visitors Bureau                                                                            
800.446.8786                                                                                Waxahachie
                                                                                                         Chamber of Commerce
Kendleton                                                                                                972.937.2390
Central Fort Bend                                                                              
Chamber Alliance
281.342.5464                                                                                             TEXAS MOUNTAIN                                                                                  TRAIL REGION
Lockhart                                                                                                 El Paso
Chamber of Commerce                                                                                      Convention and Visitors Bureau
512.398.2818                                                                                             800.351.6024                                                                        
Prairie View
Waller Area Chamber
of Commerce

Volunteer amid rubble of 19th-century dam on Las Moras Creek used in Black Seminole
Scouts encampment for irrigating crops, Old Guardhouse Museum, Fort Clark (see page 62)

Fort Davis                                    TEXAS PLAINS TRAIL REGION
Chamber of Commerce                 
800.524.3015                                  Lubbock                             Convention and Visitors Bureau
Brackettville                                 TEXAS TROPICAL
Chamber of Commerce                           TRAIL REGION
Fort Stockton
                                              Convention and Visitors Bureau
Chamber of Commerce
                                              Convention and Visitors Bureau
Iraan-Sheffield Chamber
of Commerce
432.639.2232                               Rio Grande City
                                              City of Rio Grande City

                The Texas Heritage Trails Program
                The Texas Historical Commission is a leader in implementing and
                promoting heritage tourism efforts in Texas. The Texas Heritage Trails
                Program is the agency’s award-winning tourism initiative.


The Texas Historical Commission promotes the highest national standards for
historic preservation and does not endorse the relocation of historic structures
without thorough documentation of the building on its original site. The professional
processes required for such action are intended to record and preserve historic
properties for the full enjoyment and education of present and future generations.

      All photos are by Randy Mallory unless otherwise credited.

      Additional photos can be viewed in the THC’s photo gallery


      This travel guide is made possible through the Texas Historical
      Commission’s partnership with the Texas Department
      of Transportation, Office of the Governor—Economic
      Development and Tourism, Texas Parks and Wildlife and
      Texas Commission on the Arts.

Concept Development
Advisory Committee:
Dr. Alwyn Barr, Historian/Author
Gail Beil, Historian
Donna Carter, Commissioner, Texas Historical Commission
Lareatha H. Clay, former Commissioner, Texas Historical Commission
Dr. Maceo Dailey, University of Texas at El Paso
Delicia Daniels, Wiley College
Alecya Gallaway, Galveston County Historical Commission
Karen Riles, formerly with Austin History Center
and staff members of the Texas Historical Commission

For additional copies of this booklet, call 866.276.6219,
or visit
The Texas Historical Commission, the state agency for historic preservation,
administers a variety of programs to preserve the archeological, historical and
cultural resources of Texas.


                                           It’s like a whole other country.

Funding provided through TxDOT’s Statewide Transportation Enhancement Program
© 2010 Texas Historical Commission. 12/10—200K

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