Monday, March 12, 2018

Growing up Deep in the Heart of East Texas:"The 1910 Slocum Massacre" Series #3

Grant's Colony in Huntsville,Texas is South on Texas Hwy. 19 about 48 miles_lets traveled back to Crockett.From Crockett,Texas traveling on Texas Hwy.19 North just 24 miles is a small town called Slocum,Texas.

In My to speak! An Act of Genocide in East Texas. 

{There are several theories as to what motivated the massacre. According to an account in the Semi-Weekly Courier Times of Tyler, the incident was attributed to a dispute between black businessman Marsh Holley — father of Lusk and Alex Holley — and a white farmer over an unpaid debt. Marsh’s father, Jack Holley, owned several hundred acres of land and sold goods from his store to both black and white customers. He was among those who escaped the violence, leaving behind all he’d worked for. 
         Jack Holley lost his son—and everything he owned—in the massacre.

Another account involved Jim Spurger, a white man alleged to have instigated the event because he reportedly didn’t want to take orders from a black boss on a road maintenance crew. Some said the killings were simply a land grab, as they believed white residents begrudged the prosperity of their black neighbors. 

Another theory, according to newspaper reports, claimed white residents believed black people were planning an attack against them. “The third and the most serious reason which is believed to be directly responsible for the tragedies is the seemingly baseless and unfounded wild reports and rumors which gained currency and which were magnified as they were repeated from mouth to mouth,” read The Dallas Morning News on August 1, 1910. “These were to the effect that the Negroes were preparing to rise and kill all of the white people.” } Source: TIMELINE MAGAZINE Editor: Coshandra  Dillard  

Then as now it was spun by_NEWSPAPERS_across the States _& deemed a Violent Race War, a Race Riot....OTHER than what it really was_"AN UNPROVOKED MASSACRE BY THE WHITE COMMUNITY ON THE BLACK RESIDENTS."
Inaccurately, the Associated Press story reported that 200 black men were arming and more bloodshed was expected. According to the report printed on newspapers front pages across Texas – the armed Negroes were “intent on cleaning out the entire white population.” WRONG!

When this drew NATIONAL attention,a group of Ministers in Washington,D.C. pleaded with President Taft to do something about the violent acts of Whites against Blacks. 

The "MOB KILLINGS" went on for several days until the Texas Rangers stepped in to preserve Law & Order. The details of what happened are very disturbing.All of it was based on lies that the African-Americans in that community had created a mob to kill White people. It was just a matter of Southern White principal and racial hierarchy that the White mobs committed acts of genocide on the Black community. 

The murders of eight men were reported. However, many others were killed in back woods,etc...and never accounted for. Eleven White men were arrested. The Grand Jury indicted seven men. The case was moved to Harris County but were never PROSECUTED...."PURE EVIL". All known victims were unarmed and most were shot in the back;no whites were injured.

Slocum resident Henry Rogers recalls what he knows of the massacre that threatened to rid his town of its black residents more than a century ago. (Ron T. Ennis/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)....

Of course,this HISTORY in Texas and America has been "SWEEP UNDER THE RUG"...(To conceal something in the hopes it won't be discovered by others). More than one hundred years after the slaughter, the incident was detailed in E.R. Bills’ 2014 book, The 1910 Slocum Massacre: An Act of Genocide in East Texas.  

This  book is an excellent source of what happened in the...1910 Slocum Massacre. The Bibliography is very resourceful for further study. Many may find this event unimportant in the History of Racism in Texas and America. I find it very disturbing_especially when I grew up next door to another Generation of Holley's.They were relatives of Jack Holly whose photo is shown above. It is painful to know that in 2018 certain people and their Press sources repeatedly spin the "Black Lives Matter Movement" as a Hate Mob.Just as the group of men lied about the MOB status of the African-Americans in Slocum!

PURPOSE OF BLM....Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an international activist movement, originating in the African-American community, that campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people. BLM regularly holds protests speaking out against police killings of black people, and broader issues such as racial profiling,police brutality,and racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system.THAT IS THE MEANING OF BLM . 

Slocum,Texas...Act of Genocide in East Texas...24 miles from Crockett_Deep in the Heart of East Texas....

Friday, February 16, 2018

Growing up Deep in the Heart of East Texas "Grant's Colony" Huntsville,Texas Series #2

~"Grant's Colony",Huntsville,Texas~

I don't have to imagine the walks through this area thick with tall Pine trees,cones lining the path,etc..leading to Grant's Colony.This is where I grew up_walking the same trails as others before me. I just didn't know that at the end of the trail Grant's Colony _a FREEDOM COLONY_once stood.

Going even deeper into the Woods_as we called it as children_you might see the Moss hanging from the trees. I use to fish with my Grandmother in places like this_where she always carried her cast iron skillet to cook up a few fish for our lunch. It was as she said continuing the "old ways" of  survival. She was a Texas Cherokee_aka_Tsalagiyi Nvdagi .

Today a logging and gas lease road winds it's way through to the site of Grant's Colony. At the end of the road called "Grant Colony Cemetery Road "you will find a cemetery. This Freedom Colony is just another part of what could be an unforgotten History but for the newly discovered area _and Thad Sitton & James H. Conrad Book called...

"Freedom Colonies is the first book to tell the story of these independent African American settlements. Thad Sitton and James Conrad focus on communities in Texas, where blacks achieved a higher percentage of land ownership than in any other state of the Deep South. The authors draw on a vast reservoir of ex-slave narratives, oral histories, written memoirs, and public records to describe how the freedom colonies formed and to recreate the lifeways of African Americans who made their living by farming or in skilled trades such as milling and blacksmithing. They also uncover the forces that led to the decline of the communities from the 1930s onward, including economic hard times and the greed of whites who found legal and illegal means of taking black-owned land. And they visit some of the remaining communities to discover how their independent way of life endures into the twenty-first century." 

Grant's Colony was founded by George Washington Grant_a wealthy white Slave owner and landowner. He had somewhat of a Spiritual Awakening after his marriage to Mary Jane_a charter member of the First Christian Church in Huntsville_now known as Disciples of Christ. At the time Grant's profits has enabled him to purchase 11,000 acres of land. 

The Civil War exposed the issues of Slavery in many religious denominations. The Quakers and Disciples of Christ were strict Pacifists and Abolitionists.There belief was that the church and nation should be unified under Christ. Grant's conversion was swift. He dedicated 6,000 acres around Harmon Creek to create this community .He envisioned a community where not only Blacks lived in harmony but Whites as well. He called it_"Harmony Settlement". He partnered with the Freedman's Bureau to create this integrated colony in the 1870s.  However,this is what was happening not only in Texas during this period...& Now_

Any gains the ex-slaves made after the war were rolled back when Texas Gov.Richard Coke & the Democratic Party aligned itself with the White Supremacist group KKK.

Grant's Colony provided the protection and for the most part was a place of peace,more or less. Grant donated land to build two churches,a school and Post Office.

Grant's Colony was run by an all black 12 person Council .It spawned community leaders.Richard Williams a former slave and member of the council was elected to the Texas Legislature in 1870 and re-elected in 1872. The Colony thrived until the 1900's.Grant died in 1889 with substantial debts. But he stated in his Will that the colony remain intact.However, his creditors sold all of his property except the Homestead. 

  ~"The End of Reconstruction"~

"Even as Grant drew cheers at the opening of the Centennial Exposition in May 1876, the collected scandals of his presidency, the country's weak economy, and the Democratic gains in the House led many in the Republican party to repudiate him in June. Bristow was among the leading candidates to replace him, suggesting that a large faction desired an end to"Grantism" and feared that Grant would run for a third term.Ultimately, Grant declined to run, but Bristow also failed to capture the nomination, as the convention settled on Governor Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio, a reformer.The Democrats nominated Governor Samuel J. Tilden of New York. Voting irregularities in three Southern states caused the election that year to remain undecided for several months. Grant told Congress to settle the matter through legislation and assured both sides that he would not use the army to force a result, except to curb violence. On January 29, 1877, he signed legislation forming an Electoral Commission to decide the matter.The Commission ruled that the disputed votes belonged to Hayes; to forestall Democratic protests, Republicans agreed to the Compromise of 1877 in which the last troops were withdrawn from Southern capitals.The Republicans had won, but Reconstruction was over."...Source:History of Grant's Presidency

President Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877)scandals included_
History repeating itself today 2018. 

Grant's Colony is now being researched for artifacts.Researchers are trying to locate descendants of the residents of the colony. 


Monday, February 5, 2018

Growing up Deep in the Heart of East Texas "FREEDOM COLONIES" Series #1

  Growing up in the "Heart of The Piney Woods"of East Texas,little did I know the places my Elders talked about were actually "Freedom Colonies".Well,that's what the Modern Historians call them_"Freedom Colonies". I can only imagine what these hard working people of color may have called them. Authors James Conrad and Thad Sitton explore these communities,created in the 1860s by clusters of newly freed black slaves,usually in the unincorporated areas of the agrarian counties where they were previously enslaved.

I lived in the County Seat of Houston County:Crockett. We were surrounded by small cities like Grapeland, Kennard, Latexo and Lovelady.BUT,the unincorporated areas included Wheeler Springs,Halls Bluff,Cedar Branch,Hopewell,Germany,Cut & Shoot and Pennington. To this day there are some 29 "Unincorporated Communities" in Houston County today. (NOTE:In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not governed by a local municipal corporation; similarly an unincorporated community is a region of land that is not governed by its own local municipal corporation, but rather is administered as part of larger administrative divisions,such as a township,parish,borough,county,city,canton,state,province or country.

"Freedom Colonies" where freed blacks made their homes and learned how to make their Communities work for the whole.These Colonies developed in various ways during the Reconstruction Era_Post Civil War. (1)communities just sprang up as a freed slaves families looked to escape plantations creating their own Homesteads.(2)Philanthropic whites who had gotten RICH from slave labor donated land.(3) Some White Opportunist sold land to ex-slaves. NOTE: In (#1) the communities created by ex-slaves on parcels of land had very little interaction with Whites.

From  this_

To this_ 

I often listened while pretending to read or play a game,etc... of the "Goings On" in these Communities during the 1950's.Either around the Dinner Table,Sitting on the Front Porch Swing,at Church Gatherings,while gathering Vegetables in the Garden,picking Blackberries or Figs,feeding the Chickens & Pigs,Backyard Family & Friends Gatherings,Quilting Sessions,Canning Food Sessions,etc. I'd listen in on the Older folks while they played Cards or Dominoes... 

Or at the "Annual Summer Dinner on the Ground Services" at 

"Pastors Anniversary or Homecoming Events...

There were many chances to listen in.I remember my Father speaking of Pennington.He still had many relatives that lived there.Then there was the Wheeler Springs dirt roads with Pine trees towering over the mature Oaks,blue skies and morning glories in bloom.Native Texas Limestone with Quartz Fossils and cream to orange colors dotted the landscape of old buildings.

The Halls Bluff Community Church as in the old days served both Spiritual and Social purposes. 
Cedar Branch Community was created in 1860s,when John and Anna Smith gave their former slaves the land that would become this Freedom Colony.They also gave them a bell for the Church they helped them build.Of which the original bell sits in the tower of the Church constructed in 1924 today.Before phones became common in the 60's BELLS were the primary mode of communication in these colonies.Each bell had its own distinctive sound to announce emergencies and deaths! 

Preserving the Legacy.... of these enterprising people of color can be viewed as stories that need to be told to this GENERATION . 

Buried deep inside the Southern Countryside of America lies a goldmine of  the RESILIENCE of a people who lived in turbulent times~Jim Crow Laws,KKK,~ marching toward FREEDOM.They must NOT be forgotten as "UNFORTUNATELY" those times are still in "A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" ....

NEXT UP: Series #2 Grant's Colony,Huntsville,Texas. 
 Series#3 The 1910 Slocum Massacre:An Act of Genocide in East Texas 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Book Review~You Can Call Me ~Sassenach ...I'm Good with that!

I was determined to read the entire "Outlander Series" in the year of our Lord January 1,2017 to December  31,2017! That Goal was accomplished on December 29,2017...YES! 

The List :
1. OUTLANDER, (1991)
3.VOYAGER (1994)
9. GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE— which she is currently writing and researching_completion and publishing dates have not been announced yet.  

With Eight (8) Books (having approximately 900 pages each)_ I "Guesstimated" 500,000+ Words! BOY was I wrong. Got a MESSAGE from the Author Diana Gabaldon on Facebook saying the actual count...
(Diana Gabaldon Haha! Congratulations! As to your word estimate, though...THE FIERY CROSS _alone_ is 508,000 words. (General word counts are:
OUTLANDER - 300,000
VOYAGER - 380,000
WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD - not sure, but I think about 480,000)


The Author captures your mind from the beginning.You get caught up in Claire & Frank's reunion(1945)_after WWII.

..only to be shaken by a ghostly figure that breezes past Frank as "it" watches Claire in the window.A countryside field trip turns into a nightmare for Frank after Claire goes missing.Claire on the other hand has a mysterious power to hear voices and be transported through time via Ancient Stones. 
Thus,she is "A Time Traveler". Claire arrives in 1743 to meet her first husband as predicted by a Palmist_
James "Jamie" Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser ...

OMG! I fell in love instantly. For you see the Outlander Series became a movie Series (Starz) that kinda follows the content of the Books.The Author even appears in one of the Episodes.When Jamie says things like this_I just.....lose it.

Okay,I'm going to settle down.One Final word,the CASTING is PERFECTION! 

To continue,the Books take you through events in Scottish History,WARS,turmoil, 
Love & more love,Herbal Medicines,Life in the Highlands,KILTS(LOVE),LIES,Deceit, 
Brutality,Family Relations,Patriots,early Colonist in America,Historical Fiction,Mystery,Adventure,Fantasy,

The Settings are in Scotland,France,the West Indies,England & North America.This is a simple overview_there's so much more!May I suggest that you read ALL of the Books in the Order they were written.You will NOT be disappointed. The Author _Diana Gabaldon is an AWESOME Writer.... 

About to start on her Lord John Grey Series.The Series is a sequence of historical mystery novels and shorter works written by Diana Gabaldon that center on Lord John Grey,a recurring secondary character in the author's Outlander series.Secretly,a Homosexual in a time when that fact could get a noose around ones neck very quickly! Starting with Book #1...

"My Reading Chair" ....

After a ZILLION words read in 2017....2018 
let the "Gabaldon Adventures Continue". You can call me ~SASSENACH~ 

              ~Happy Reading Y'all~