Houston Matters

Juneteenth: Celebrating 150 Years of Freedom

Posted on · On this day 150 years ago, slaves in Texas learned they were free. June 19th became known as Juneteenth, a day for freed slaves to celebrate their emancipation. To mark this 150th anniversary, Michael Hagerty tells us more about the first Juneteenth, how Juneteenth celebrations have evolved over the years and about a new resource to help […]

Houston Matters

Novel Questions Events Surrounding 1860 Dallas Fire

Posted on · Silent We Stood is a novel that considers whether Texas played a bigger part in the abolitionist movement during the 1800s than many historians believe. Author Henry Chappell’s story begins with the fire that broke out in Dallas in July of 1860. There was fear that the fires marked the start of a Texas slave […]

Houston Matters

Nelly Norris: Freed Slave Fights Attempts to Re-Enslave Her

Posted on · In the early 1800s in Texas, the law of the land required any freed slave to carry documentation on them at all times proving their free status. There were some who tried to profit from the law by trying to re-enslave those caught without their paperwork – as if they were unclaimed property. Recently discovered […]

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Waller County Landfill, NIMBY, and Juries: Houston Matters for Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014

Posted on · An ongoing battle over a proposed landfill in Waller County underscores how “NIMBYism” plays into so many important issues and ideas. From landfills to power plants, prisons to shopping malls, airports to seaports, there are all manner of developments that some communities may find valuable, provided they’re located someplace else. Toxic waste dump? Sure! Just “not […]

Houston Matters

Descendant of Former Slave Owners Seeks Out Descendants of Their Former Slaves

Posted on · As a kid, Houston Chronicle business columnist Chris Tomlinson was fascinated by family stories of his great-grandfather coming to Texas as a pioneering settler of the American West. But as he grew older, he started to understand the story wasn’t as glorious as he thought — his ancestors were slaveholders. Just five years ago, Tomlinson […]