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The Missing Freedmen

Our group has been amazing so far. We’ve been working so well together, which is a new experience for me. I’ve never been in a group in which we can share so easily.

As we dove deeper into our general “experience of slaves and freedmen” question, I progressively became more and more interested in the freedmen and their experience. But so far, I have had a lot of difficulty finding out anything about the freedmen. There just seems to be a general lack of information. I plan on going to the County Clerks Office this week and seeing if there is any paperwork regarding freed slaves and how they became freed.

I think the main problem is the lack of information regarding enslaved peoples or freedmen at all. There is very little record of anything in the 1800’s, and that’s the problem. We have to rely on here-say and rumors, like the story of the Underground Railroad tunnel supposedly unearthed in the 70’s. Or the tale that Williamson County was one of the only anti-secession, anti-slavery counties in Texas. Some of these will have no actual solid information behind them. I’d like to believe the story of the tunnel is true. I think that is something that is super cool, to be frank, and an interesting story. But I know I might not ever know the true story. No one may. But even if we rely a bit on hear-say and oral tradition, we will probably get a lot more information. We can compare it to the slave narratives that we’ve been reading, to An Empire For Slavery, to records from other slave states. And somehow we will be able to figure the basic experience of the African-American in Williamson County. It may not be the deepest and most detailed story, but we will have a base.

I’m really looking forward to diving further into Georgetown’s history, and finding out more about the freed experience in Williamson County.

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