In this issue: Oral History Resources, Cherokee County, Event at the Bullock Museum, TxFCP Program Updates, and more!

Freedom Colony Feature

Freedom Colonies Feature:
Cherokee County

Cherokee County, in East Texas, has 19 located freedom colonies and seven that are not located or need more research. Cherokee County illustrates how much we can learn from your public input! Settlements identified for Cherokee County are: Blount’s Chapel, Bulah, Church Hill, Cuney, Delmer, Elm Grove, Green Chapel, Holly Springs, Jacksonville, Lost Ball, Macedonia, Mount Comfort, Mount Haven, Mount Olive, New Hope, Old Larissa, Pine Grove, Pine Hill, Pleasant Plains, Pleasant View, Rock Hill, Shady Grove, St. Thomas Chapel, Sweet Union, Weeping Mary, and Woodville.

Settlements in Cherokee County that are not located or verified are Blount’s Chapel, Delmer, Holly Springs, Lost Ball, and Macedonia. Even when a freedom colony is located, more information is always needed – we hope we can learn more from you!

Cuney, Texas

The community around Cuney began as Andy in the 1870s, named for early landowner Andrew Bragg. From its early history, the community situated itself as a magnet for new Black settlement. According to Flossie Herndon Dixon McMillan “news spread like wildfire that there was a town established by freed slaves for freed slaves.”

Around 1902, the settlement became a flag stop on the newly built Texas and New Orleans Railroad. In the mid-1910s, H.L. Price and other investors formed a land company and platted a townsite they named Cuney.

“Their slogan was “Come! Come! Come to Cuney! Help us build a town where you can have your own churches; where your children can have their own schools!” In Grandpa’s words, “Be somebody!” And they came in droves. They came walking with their meager belongings on their backs. They came walking laden with hoe on their shoulders. They came in buggies. They came with trunks on back of wagons. They came with just the clothes on their backs. “Come! Come! Come to Cuney!” And they came in droves.” – Flossie Herndon Dixon McMillan

Highway 175 bypassed the center of Cuney. As Flossie Herndon Dixon McMillan put it, “Around the late ’20s, early ’30s, when Highway 175 was built, it bypassed the small thriving town…since then, there have been many changes. All of the businesses are gone. The Masonic Hall is also gone. The post office moved to Highway 175. The cotton gin was moved to the new Highway also. Cuney as I knew it is no more.” Though the community has changed, it still persists with churches and a community center and in 1983 it was the first black town to be incorporated in Cherokee County.

Do you have more information about freedom colonies in Cherokee County? Share your story!

Would you like your freedom colony featured in a future newsletter? Email us!

Top 10 Counties that need more information: Freestone, Panola, San Jacinto, San Augustine, Hopkins, Gonzales, Wilson, Cherokee, Bastrop, Gregg

These counties have the highest percentage of known settlements that have not yet been located or need more research. Do you have information about freedom colonies in these counties? Let us know!

TxFCP Holiday Special

Oral History Resources

Thanksgiving is coming up, and this year many of us will be gathering together with family and friends. You likely already have the equipment you need to conduct an oral history interview or digitize items in the family scrapbook!

Here’s our “quick start” guide for preserving invaluable stories and memories this holiday:

TxFCP News

Reclaiming Our Stories at the Bullock Museum

We were so honored to have over 50 attendees join us at the Bullock Texas State History Museum for our event and workshop on October 30th in Austin!

Tremedous thanks to our partner and host, the Bullock Texas State History Museum (reminder: Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow is on view until November 28th!) and a very heartfelt thanks to our collaborative partners who enriched the event:

Grant Opportunity

The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Telling the Full History Preservation Fund Grant open until December 15.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Telling the Full History Preservation Fund Grant application period is open! The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Telling the Full History Preservation Fund is a one-time grant program to interpret and preserve historic places of importance to underrepresented communities across states and territories of the United States. Applications are due Wednesday, December 15. Learn more.

TxFCP Program Updates

Program Updates

These are short updates from our initiatives – we have more information and resources available at the links below!

  • Black Land Resources: The Federation Of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund is hosting “Forward 2022: National Heirs Property Conference” December 1-3, online. This is a good opportunity to learn about title clearance and wealth-building opportunities on family land.
  • Texas African American Cemetery Registry: Do you know and care for a Black cemetery? Please enter it in the registry! Click through for cemetery preservation resources.
  • Adopt-A-County: Are you interested in joining our community of freedom colony researchers? Learn more and sign up!
  • Volunteers and Partnerships: Are you interested in working with The Texas Freedom Colonies Project? Send us a request via our Intake Form!

Questions or comments? Email us! Thank you for reading!