A Guide to the Slavery and Abolition Papers, 1814-1866
Slavery in the United States began with the first English colonization at Jamestown and legally continued until ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution in 1865, following the end of the Civil War. In Texas, slavery as an important institution came in 1821 as part of Stephen F. Austin’s colony (although low numbers of slaves had been part of Spanish Texas beforehand). Mexico outlawed in 1823 the purchase or sale of slaves and abolished slavery in Texas in 1830. After the revolution, Texas’ slave population was about 5,000, which increased to 30,000 at the time of statehood. By 1860, slaves were 30% of the total Texas population. During the Civil War, Texas seceded and slaveholders fled to Texas as their states became occupied by Union soldiers, which increased the population to 250,000 slaves. News of Lee’s surrender and of emancipation finally came to Texas on June 19, 1865, and this day is still celebrated as Juneteenth.
This collection contains documents about slaves and their abolition in Texas.
Slavery and Abolition Papers, 1814-1866, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Revised by Laurel Rozema, October 2009.
Detailed Description of the Papers