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SLAVE TRANSACTIONS OF GUADALUPE COUNTY, TEXAS
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SLAVE TRANSACTIONS OF GUADALUPE COUNTY, TEXAS. Mark Gretchen. Paperback, 2009, 8.5" x 11", Illus, Index, x + 342 pp.
The sale, mortgage, and conveyance of slaves through the probate process were common elements of a robust slave trade that existed in most of the settled areas of antebellum Texas. These and other slave transactions are fully described in this reference history of the slave trade of an early Central Texas county. Deeds, deeds of trust, probate cases and district court cases are used as source records to provide names and descriptions of slaves that were sold, mortgaged, hired-out, conveyed as property in an estate settlement, or named in a criminal prosecution from 1840 through 1865.
County tax rolls, along with the source records mentioned above are used to identify citizens involved in the slave trade. These include a number of prominent early settlers and veterans of the Texas Revolution, such as, Jose Antonio Navarro, Claiborne West, Ben McCulloch, William P. Hardeman, Manuel Flores, Joseph H. Polley, and William Tom.
Though the focus of this work is on Guadalupe County, slave transactions involving one or more citizens or slaves from Austin County, Bastrop County, Bexar County, Brazoria County, Burleson County, Colorado County, Comal County, Fort Bend County, Gonzales County, Montgomery County, Nueces County, San Augustine County, Travis and Victoria County, Texas are also included. Moreover, the sale of 60 slaves in Huntsville, Alabama, is also documented and described.
From the Preface: "How do you learn about a slave -- someone whose imprint on life was so restricted that even their name was excluded from most official registers, such as census records and tax rolls? That is a challenge faced by almost everyone that researches African-American genealogy. Therefore, the main purpose of this book is to provide as many names as possible of those who lived and worked as slaves in Guadalupe County. It is hoped that this will help those with Guadalupe County slave ancestors trace their family through this era, and begin to tell the stories of some amazing men, women and children whose lives are largely forgotten today."
About the Author: Mark Gretchen is a researcher and librarian with over twenty years of experience in public libraries and municipal government. Most recently he was Assistant Director for the San Antonio Public Library, retiring from that position in March 2008. He has researched African-American genealogy for himself and others for the past ten years. He holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He and wife Thien live in a 100 year old home in Seguin, Texas, and they have two children: Luke and Melissa. His personal interests include baseball history, genealogy and beekeeping.