Britt Johnson

The story of Britton “Britt” Johnson is remarkable for many reasons. He was known to have been brave, a loving husband and father and a capable businessman. He was born into slavery although he was a freedman for at least several years before his death. Possibly related to the fact that he was at one time a slave and that his family line seems to have ended without any known descendants, detailed genealogy information about Britt Johnson and his family is still unknown.

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Jane Long

Jane Herbert Wilkinson Long was born on July 23, 1798 to Captain William Mackall Wilkinson (1752-1799) and Ann Herbert Dent Wilkinson (1756-1813) in Maryland. She was the tenth child born to the couple. William M. Wilkinson’s father had died at the age of forty-four when William was only three years old. He had been raised by an uncle, Benjamin Mackall, Jr. William’s family had lived in Maryland as far back as the 1600s. He inherited land from his late father and added to it during his lifetime. His military title of captain came from his service in Lower Battalion, Prince George’s County Militia, 1777, during the American Revolution. Jane’s mother, Ann Herbert Dent also came from a family of early American residents of Maryland, going back at least three generations. Ann’s family also was actively involved in the American Revolution with her father, grandfather and great grandfather all having military titles.

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Z. N. Morrell

Zacharius Nehemiah Morrell is generally given to be his full name, though his exact name and spelling may vary in accounts. Often only his initials Z. N. are used. He was born on January 17, 1803 in South Carolina to John and Darcus Morrell. In his early years, he lived in Tennessee before coming to Texas. He became a Christian as a youth and though he was not formally educated, was an effective minister and a good writer. He was able to chronicle his own life and experiences on the Texas frontier. Though he was a minister, his experiences were similar to those of any other early settler.

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Elm Creek Massacre

October 13, 1864 was a key day in the lives of several north Texas families. In a valley known as Elm Creek, located roughly ten miles south of the town of Newcastle in the western part of Young County, several hundred Kiowa and Comanche tribesmen raided several homes. The settlers (some black and some white) had been living there a while and their homes were scattered along Elm Creek.

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