The account of the Black Seminoles in Texas begins in Florida. Slavery had been abolished in Spanish Florida since the late 1600s and the area became a refuge for freed as well as fugitive slaves. Though some were taken as slaves by the Native tribes that resided there, those of African descent are generally believed to have interacted peacefully with the native tribes, with some amount of intermarriage and more significantly, the adoption of the tribal ways and customs. The people known as Seminoles are sometimes referred to as being a conglomeration of a number of tribes living in the area, including the Creek Tribe, although the Creek Tribe is also usually referred to separately. Tribes included the Lower Creeks, Mikusukis and Apalachicola, among others and they are believed to have migrated there from the areas now represented by the states of Georgia and Alabama.
Category Archives: black history
Bass Reeves was a groundbreaking lawman in the West. Most people who know his name would be aware that he was born a slave and became a respected law officer mostly in the area that became Oklahoma, long before it became a state.
Reeves was born into slavery in 1838 in Crawford County, Arkansas on the property of former Arkansas state legislator, William Steele Reeves. His last name was that of the owner William Reeves and his first name is believed to have been in honor of a grandfather by the name of Bass Washington.
After the success of the book and film Hidden Figures which generated much deserved recognition for NASA employees Katherine Jonson, Dorothy vaughan and Mary Jackson, the book with the eye catching title of Hidden Genius: Frank Mann, the Black Engineer Behind Howard Hughes came to our attention. It is the story of Frank Calvin Mann, as told by H. T. Bryer.
Nathan/Nathaniel “Nat” Love was born into slavery but became a well known cowboy, even publishing a book on his life experiences, “The Life and Adventures of Nat Love, Better Known in the Cattle Country as ‘Deadwood Dick’.” The book can be purchased or downloaded free from various sources.
We first became acquainted with the name John Avery Lomax, Sr. when we found a 1942 recording of “Goodbye Old Paint,” which song is attributed to singing cowboy Charley Willis. The following is a brief overview of the many achievements of John Avery Lomax and son Alan James Lomax.
(Image credit: findagrave.com)
Daniel Webster Wallace was born in Victoria County in 1860 in slavery. He grew up learning to be a cowboy and received his first wages when he was only fifteen years old. At the age of seventeen, he made a solo horseback ride of four hundred miles from Victoria through Indian country to far southwest Texas near the edges of Runnels and Taylor counties to seek employement with buffalo hunting expeditions, but instead went to work for Sam Gholston, a rancher and veteran Indian fighter. About one year later, he went to work for an outfit known as the N.U.N. which ran 8,000 head of cattle.
Christine Nix was hired in 1994 and became an officer with the Texas Rangers after serving in the military and as a police officer in Temple before moving to another state. She later returned to Texas, moving to Austin. She happened to live near the Texas Department of Safety office which helped to spark her interest in returning to law enforcement.