Houston Matters

Restored Harris County Documents Shed New Light on the Slocum Massacre

In July of 1910, violence broke out in the East Texas farming community of Slocum. Numerous African Americans were killed by whites. But the details of exactly what happened are murky. Newspaper reports from the time say between eight and 22 people were killed. Other accounts suggest the total could be far higher — more […]

Slocum Court Document CloseupSlocum Massacre Book CoverIn July of 1910, violence broke out in the East Texas farming community of Slocum. Numerous African Americans were killed by whites. But the details of exactly what happened are murky. Newspaper reports from the time say between eight and 22 people were killed. Other accounts suggest the total could be far higher — more than a hundred.

And while several white men were indicted in the aftermath, none was ever brought to justice for the murders — even after the cases were transferred to a different jurisdiction far to the south — Harris County.

That’s where the office of Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel came across documents related to those court proceedings and restored them.

Chris Daniel tells Michael Hagerty about the restored documents, sets the scene concerning what led to the violence and explains what relevance he thinks the story has for today.

The Texas Legislature passed a resolution officially acknowledging the event in 2011, and an historical marker was erected there in 2016.

MORE: 
Remembering The Slocum Massacre (Texas Monthly, Feb. 1, 2016)
Slocum Massacre Highlights Historical Double Standard In The South (NPR, Jan. 15, 2016)
The 1910 Slocum Massacre: An Act of Genocide in East Texas (Book by E.R. Bills)

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