Slavery and Freedom in Texas: Stories from the Courtroom, 1821-1871
In these absorbing accounts of five court cases, Jason A. Gilmer offers intimate glimpses into Texas society in the time of slavery. Each story unfolds along boundaries - between men and women, slave and free, black and white, rich and poor, old and young - as rigid social orders are upset in ways that drive people into the courtroom.,br>
One case involves a settler in a rural county along the Colorado River, his thirty-year relationship with an enslaved woman, and the claims of their children as heirs. A case in East Texas arose after an owner refused to pay an overseer who had shot one of her slaves. Another case details how a free family of color carved out a life in the sparsely populated marshland of Southeast Texas, only to lose it all as waves of new settlers "civilized" the county. An enslaved woman in Galveston who was set free in her owner's will - and who got an uncommon level of support from her attorneys - is the subject of another case. In a Central Texas community, as another case recounts, citizens forced a Choctaw native into court in an effort to gain freedom for his slave, a woman who easily "passed" as white.
The cases considered here include Gaines v. Thomas, Clark v. Honey, Brady v. Price, and Webster v. Heard. All of them pitted communal attitudes and values against the exigencies of daily life in an often harsh place. Here are real people in their own words, as gathered from trial records, various legal documents, and many other sources. People of many colors, from diverse backgrounds, weave their way in and out of the narratives. We come to know what mattered most to them - and where those personal concerns stood before the law.
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INTODUCTION White Slaves and Ownership Rights in Central Texas
CHAPTER ONE Sex Race and Family on the Gulf Coast
CHAPTER TWO Slave Resistance and Class Conflict in the Redlands
CHAPTER THREE A Free Family of Color on the Borderland
CHAPTER FOUR Lawyers and Slaves on Galveston Island
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Slavery and Freedom in Texas: Stories from the Courtroom, 1821–1871
Jason A. Gillmer
Limited preview - 2017
accessed through Ancestry.com Ann’s attorneys Austin Betsy Betsy’s Brady Calcasieu Calcasieu Parish cattle Charles Clark Colorado County Corbett County Deed Book County District Court Court Minute Book David David Prophet Delaide District Court Minute East Texas Elijah enslaved family’s Franks Galveston Weekly Gammel Heard Henderson Honey Houston ibid Jefferson County Jefferson Cty John John’s Journey through Texas jury knew land Laws of Texas lawyer legislature Limestone County lived Louisiana marriage Miles neighbors Olmsted Orange County Orange County District owner Parish person of color petition plantation Potter Price race Republic of Texas residents river Runaway Scrape San Augustine County San Augustine Cty Schedule 1—Free Inhabitants shlrc slaveholding slavery slaves Sobrina Stancel story Tempe Testimony of Clarisa Texans Texas State Gazette Texas Supreme Court town transcript of trial tslac U.S. Bureau U.S. Census Webster Wharton County wife William Ashworth William Pitt Ballinger woman Wygall