Welcome to Think, Texas a weekly column about Texas history.
Last week, we studied the importance of post-Emancipation freedom colonies in Texas.
In that column, I cited four main published sources that bolstered our previous understanding derived from interviews with descendants of the independent Black Texans who founded those colonies, which totaled in the hundreds.
These sources are worth repeating: Andrea Roberts primarily digital "Texas Freedom Colonies Project," Michelle M. Mears "And Grace Will Lead Me Home: African-American Freedmen Communities in Austin, Texas, 1865-1928," Richart Ortons "The Upshaws of County Line: An American Family," and Thad Sitton and James H. Conrads "Freedom Colonies: Independent Black Texans in the Time of Jim Crow."
Also last week, I shared some of the salient stories from Sitton and Conrads book. Today, Ill dig out a few more choice historical nuggets, and save others for later. The book is packed with on-the-ground storytelling.
Many interviewees commented on (the) austerities. Interviewed during 1990, Grover Williams recalled with amusement remarkable frugalities and recycling of his early life at the Flat Prairie settlement in Washington County. During cold weather, Williams and his brothers wore "jumper jackets" made of old cotton sack material fastened with baling wire instead of buttons. Baling wire also functioned as all-purpose repair material for the familys Model T Ford and farming equipment.
Williams fashioned turkey bells for their hen turkeys from snuff cans with little rocks inside. Family members wore every item of clothing until it had patches on its patches, then women salvaged every square inch of sound fabric to make into "britches quilts," rough quilts suitable for use on the floor. Williams brother Cecil went a step too far when he recycled his grandmothers plum jelly as pomade. At the rural school the brothers attended, a cloud of flies soon made Cecil a laughingstock.
Ed Stimpson offered a wonderful description of Collin County juke joints where wayward folks from freedmens settlements might or might not show up. Bootleggers circulated among the crowds in these places, identifiable because "they always wore ducking overalls and a coat too big" in which to carry their wares. Local police normally had been paid off by joint proprietors but operated in an unpredictable way.
Sometimes they raided the joint and arrested bootleggers and patrons carrying weapons; sometimes they came in, sat down, drank free booze, and joked with the ladies. Professional gamblers at the juke joint fascinated Stimpson; they were cold, calculating, sober men with hard eyes, who almost always won. Desperate amateurs might cry to their dice, "I need this point bad as a deadman needs a coffin!" but when they played the real gamblers, the dice or the cards rarely fell their way.
(A) common pattern of community origin involved a preacher leader and his assembled congregation colonizing the wilderness. After Emancipation, some freedmen felt the call to preach and gradually drew congregations of believers around them, worshiping in private homes or brush arbors. After a few years of accumulating resources, the ministers located cheap or unclaimed land and white neighbors willing to allow Black people to settle, and the congregation pulled up rent-farm roots and followed their "Moses" into the wilderness.
This exact scenario unfolded for the sharecroppers of John Wynns congregation at Hog Eye (Webberville) in Travis County. After Wynn found unoccupied sand-hill wilderness along the Bastrop-Caldwell county line and whites willing to sell it cheaply, Wynn and most of his congregation launched a wagon train to the promised land one day in the 1870s. The place became known as Wynns Colony and later St. John Colony.
The actual day of Juneteenth each year was first and foremost a great feast and picnic, prefaced by certain ceremonies and competitions. Parades were common if there was someplace to parade. Clarksville near Austin, for example, featured a procession of decorated horsemen accompanying a "Juneteenth Queen" dressed as the Statue of Liberty.
Big baseball games followed the noon meal at many Juneteenths, but Peyton Colony favored horseback competitions. In "needle races, men raced their horses to women partners standing in wagons, handed them a needle to thread then raced back to the starting place. "Cigar races" were similar, but required no partners; the men had to jump up on wagons and light cigars before racing back. Another equestrian competition was called "tournament," with horsemen trying to spear four hanging rings while riding at high speed.
See the rest here:
- Freedom | Definition of Freedom at Dictionary.com - December 3rd, 2020
- Freedom - Wikipedia - December 3rd, 2020
- After 400 Years, The Reason People Come To America Is Still ... - December 3rd, 2020
- Medicare Advantage Plans for Florida at Freedom Health ... - December 3rd, 2020
- Freedom of Religion or Belief club formed at BYU - The Daily Universe - Universe.byu.edu - September 18th, 2020
- Freedom 76 At Grandview Will Be Live On FloRacing - FloRacing - September 18th, 2020
- Aviation Analysis: Revival of Fifth Freedom Flights? - Sam Chui - September 18th, 2020
- Trump Attacks The 1619 Project: U.S. Wasnt Founded On Slavery And Oppression, It Was Freedom - Moguldom - September 18th, 2020
- PAUL TIYAMBE ZELEZA - Beyond Political Freedom to Inclusive Wealth Creation and Self-Reliance - The Elephant - September 18th, 2020
- Backyard pool will bring joy and freedom to Niagara Falls boy - StCatharinesStandard.ca - September 18th, 2020
- Parson James Talks New Single, Lockdown, and Artistic Freedom - vmagazine.com - September 18th, 2020
- Private Railways Will Have Freedom To Set Their Own Fares: Government - NDTV - September 18th, 2020
- McCarthy focused on election, not Freedom Caucus push to remove Pelosi - Roll Call - September 18th, 2020
- Julian Assange, and Press Freedom, on Trial in London - Democracy Now! - September 18th, 2020
- Heres How to Retire at 45 with Financial Freedom - Investment U - September 18th, 2020
- Freedom and Madison off to a 'super' school year - Conway Daily Sun - September 2nd, 2020
- Freedom and Independence group formed to combat Soviet terror founded 75 years ago today - The First News - September 2nd, 2020
- COMMENTARY: Your freedom hinges on freedom of speech - The Cherokee One Feather - Cherokee One Feather - September 2nd, 2020
- Will it be Freedom Hilly cross country course? - The Macomb Daily - September 2nd, 2020
- Joliet Township Sued Under The Freedom of Information Act; Unauthorized Fees - Edgar County Watchdogs - September 2nd, 2020
- OPINION/LETTER: Gun range noise is the 'sound of freedom' - Cape Cod Times - September 2nd, 2020
- What was the Red Sox best trade-deadline acquisition? Freedom from luxury-tax penalties - The Boston Globe - September 2nd, 2020
- Fortify Your Home on the Cheap, Part 2 - America's 1st Freedom - September 2nd, 2020
- Sen. Gardner touts vaccine progress, pandemic legislation at Steamboat Institute's Freedom Conference in Beaver Creek - Steamboat Pilot and Today - September 2nd, 2020
- 'Zombies of the Corn' haunted attraction set for 8th season of frightful fun in Freedom - TribLIVE - September 2nd, 2020
- President Armen Sarkissian: Artsakh Was the Spark Which Lit the Fire of Freedom - Armenian News by MassisPost - September 2nd, 2020
- One Database to Rule Them All: The Invisible Content Cartel that Undermines the Freedom of Expression Online - EFF - September 2nd, 2020
- Personal freedom is still limited in most of the Islamic world - The Economist - September 2nd, 2020
- 'Mental Freedom' part two - The River Reporter - September 2nd, 2020
- Tuesday Freedom Kicks: Gelmin Rivas to D.C. United, continued fallout at Real Salt Lake, and more - Black And Red United - September 2nd, 2020
- Freedom Means Something Different to Liberals and Conservatives. Heres How the Definition SplitAnd Why That Still Matters - TIME - August 31st, 2020
- Trademark Parody and Freedom of Speech in the U.S. - JD Supra - August 31st, 2020
- D.C., Loudoun lose, Weston to Juve done & more: Freedom Kicks for 8/31/20 - Black And Red United - August 31st, 2020
- Letter to the Editor: The real meaning of freedom - The Bakersfield Californian - August 31st, 2020
- Bass: Exercising freedom to be exposed to COVID-19 - Berkshire Eagle - August 31st, 2020
- Dean Cain: NYC becoming land of the flee as people leave in search of more freedom - Fox News - August 31st, 2020
- In Conversation: Georgia Anne Muldrow on Finding Freedom as Jyoti - FLOOD Magazine - August 31st, 2020
- Watershed moment for freedom of speech: Prashant Bhushan on SC verdict. Read full statement here - Hindustan Times - August 31st, 2020
- Trumps ban of TikTok and WeChat would reduce Americans freedom of speech and harm foreign investment in the U.S. - MarketWatch - August 31st, 2020
- Letter to the Editor: It's All About Freedom - Centralia Chronicle - August 31st, 2020
- CLARK B. HALL: Rare images record freedom in the making - starexponent.com - August 31st, 2020
- Tantrum Or Freedom Of Expression Over Face Masks? - wcrz.com - August 31st, 2020
- This is my freedom of speech - Newnan Times-Herald - August 31st, 2020
- There are limits to freedom - Mount Airy News - August 31st, 2020
- Freedom in the Muslim World - Cato Institute - August 31st, 2020
- Shevar Perry to Open Solo Exhibit Moments of Freedom August 24th, 2020 - Suburban Journals - August 31st, 2020
- 'I enjoy the freedom and picking funds': why this doctor ditched his 250,000 NHS pension - Telegraph.co.uk - August 31st, 2020
- Freedom and the pursuit of safety - The Boston Globe - August 10th, 2020
- Columbia Professor Sarah Seo to Talk about 'Cars, Police and Freedom in the United States' on Thursday - Redheaded Blackbelt - August 10th, 2020
- Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand Harry and Meghan and the making of a modern royal family - The Guardian - August 10th, 2020
- She Wanted More Freedom and Meaning From Her Career - The Story Exchange - August 10th, 2020
- This Week in Washington IP: Injunctions for SEPs, How Innovation Flourishes in Freedom, and Reviewing SBIR/STTR at the National Science Foundation -... - August 10th, 2020
- Adolescent bodily integrity and freedom from violence in Ethiopia - Ethiopia - ReliefWeb - August 10th, 2020
- Breaking the loan shackle: How to win freedom from debt - Moneycontrol.com - August 10th, 2020
- Behind The Blue: 'Embattled Freedom' And Confederate Memorials - Patch.com - August 10th, 2020
- Mapping Media Freedom: Big Increase in Threats Reported in Albania During 2020 - Exit - Explain Albania - August 10th, 2020
- Flight to Freedom: Pilot lands in Nueces County to pick up two abandoned dogs due to pandemic and flies them to their new foster home - KIIITV.com - August 10th, 2020
- Opinion | With Trump appointing anti-abortion judges, the fight for reproductive freedom is critical - Street Roots News - August 10th, 2020
- 'Behind the Blue': 'Embattled Freedom' and Confederate Memorials With Amy Murrell Taylor - UKNow - August 10th, 2020
- Trump's Threat to Press Freedom Is Global - Truthout - August 10th, 2020
- OPINION: What freedom means to the United States - The Student Life - August 10th, 2020
- Woman claiming to be from 'Freedom to Breathe Agency' gets into viral exchange with store employee over mask policy | TheHill - The Hill - August 10th, 2020
- UNSW criticised for letter in Chinese with no mention of freedom of speech - The Guardian - August 10th, 2020
- COVID19: Is there freedom in silence? - Financial Mirror - August 10th, 2020
- Freedom and justice for ALL | Other Opinions - Aitkin Independent Age - August 7th, 2020
- Girl Hides Audition From Dad, Finds Her 'Freedom In Singing' Watch What Happens Next - Talent Recap - August 7th, 2020
- Masks to freedom: Wearing masks will bring back freedom - The Milpitas Beat - August 7th, 2020
- Tamika Mallory Of Until Freedom Criticizes The California District Attorneys Association's Request For The NFL To Pull Stephon Clark PSA - PRNewswire - August 7th, 2020
- The never-ending struggle: blending freedom and justice, with a dash of compassion - MinnPost - August 7th, 2020
- Freedom in THE SON! - Blogs - The Hutchinson News - August 7th, 2020
- Pardon our noise, it's the sound of freedom: Jaded Thunder returns - Salina Post - August 7th, 2020
- Introduction to the Freedom of Information Act | News, Sports, Jobs - Daily Mining Gazette - August 7th, 2020
- 'It's the freedom of it': Bikers rally in Stateline ahead of Sturgis, unconcerned about virus - The Spokesman-Review - August 7th, 2020
- Australia has a problem with freedom of speech - The Big Smoke Australia - August 7th, 2020
- Troubled Freedom Foods keeps it in the family for now - The Australian Financial Review - August 7th, 2020
- Letter: Marlboro's Degrees of Freedom can thrive - with innovation, collaboration - Brattleboro Reformer - August 2nd, 2020
- 'Freedom' rally in Twin Falls decries moderate Republicans, public education, masks and the media - bigcountrynewsconnection.com - August 2nd, 2020
- When it comes to freedom of the press, it is 'problematic' in many of the richest countries across the world - USA TODAY - August 2nd, 2020
- Editors opened the doors to Freedom School, then even wider as magazine of black thought - Cambridge Day - August 2nd, 2020
- Memorial honors families that have paid the ultimate price for America's freedom - Standard-Examiner - August 2nd, 2020