Reynolds’s political map of the United States, designed to exhibit the comparative area of the free and slave states and the territory open to slavery or freedom by the repeal of the Missouri Compromise

New York: Wm. C. Reynolds and J.C. Jones, 1856.

With portraits of Fremont and Dayton, the first candidates for President and Vice President of the newly founded Republican Party.  The map graphically depicts the sharp geographical boundaries that the issue of slavery had created and the statistical tables at the foot of the map draw attention to the overwhelming economic (as measured by property, manufacturing, and farms) and social superiority (as measured by newspapers, libraries, churches) of the free states over the slaves states.

Part of the Hervey Priddy Collection. Gift, 2019.

DeGolyer Map Collection



Pictorial Monogram of the State Government of Texas, 1873

Austin, Tex., 1873

A composite print of the 1873 Texas legislators, including six African Americans, each of whom is profiled in the Handbook of Texas Online:

Meshack (“Shack”) Roberts

Roberts, Black legislator during Reconstruction, was probably born in Arkansas. In 1844 O. B. Roberts moved him to the area of Gilmer, Texas, as a slave. During Roberts's service in the Confederate Army, Shack Roberts took care of his master's family and property. After the war O. B. Roberts returned and provided him with some land and material with which to build a double log cabin for his family. Two years later the Ku Klux Klan whipped Roberts and left him for dead by a roadside near Gilmer. The exact reason for the attack is unknown. Roberts survived and soon moved to Marshall, where he worked as a blacksmith, served as a Methodist minister, and involved himself in politics. In 1873, at a time when the Democratic party was again gaining strength throughout the state, Roberts, a Republican, was elected to the Thirteenth Legislature as a representative from the Fifth District, which included Rusk and Harrison counties. He replaced Mitchell Kendall. As a legislator Roberts was interested in improving the education of Blacks in the state. One observer noted that his use of humor and sarcasm when addressing the House elicited the laughter and favor of his fellow legislators. He also served as a vice president at the Republican state convention of 1873 and helped to establish Wiley College, the first Black college-level institution west of the Mississippi. Roberts won reelection to the Texas House of Representatives in 1874. In 1875 he campaigned in support of a constitutional convention and spoke at the Radical Republican convention in Henderson alongside David Abner, Sr., another Black legislator from Harrison County.

Henry Moore

Henry Moore, politician, was born a slave in Alabama around 1810. He may have purchased his freedom before he arrived in Texas about 1842. He was a farmer when he was elected to the Twelfth and Thirteenth legislatures in predominantly black Harrison County. During the Twelfth Legislature (1870) Moore served on the Militia Committee in the House of Representatives and displayed an interest in public school legislation. In the Thirteenth Legislature (1873) he sat on the Roads, Bridges, and Ferries Committee and supported legislation to establish the Hallsville Masonic Institute of Harrison County. Moore lost an election for the state Senate in 1880. He had a wife named Harriet and three daughters in 1870. The 1880 federal census reported Moore's occupation as gardener. He does not appear on census reports for Harrison County after 1880.

Henry Phelps (b. ca. 1829)

Phelps, politician, was born a slave in Virginia around 1829. He worked as a sharecropper and could neither read nor write, according to the 1870 federal census report. Phelps was living in Fort Bend County by 1869, when he became a charter member of the Union League of the county. The same year, he served as a member of the board of appeals that supervised voter registration and determined election results for Fort Bend. In 1872 voters from Wharton, Austin, and Fort Bend counties elected Phelps as a Republican to the Texas House of Representatives for the Thirteenth Legislature. He sat on the Roads, Bridges, and Ferries and the Penitentiary committees and introduced a bill designed to prohibit racial discrimination among railroad passengers. After completing his term in the legislature, Phelps worked as an inspector of hides for Fort Bend County. The 1870 federal census reported that he had two children and a wife named Maria. Phelps did not appear in later census reports for Fort Bend County.

James H. Washington (1850-1916)

James H. Washington, Black legislator and politician during Reconstruction, was born at Fredericksburg, Virginia, in May 1850. He attended school at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, and, after graduation, lived with his mother, three sisters, and brother in Washington, D.C. In the early 1870s Washington moved to Texas and settled in Navasota, where he served as principal of the city school for Blacks. At the Republican party state conventions of 1872 and 1873 he acted as a vice president. At the Colored Men's Convention of 1873 (see BLACK STATE CONVENTIONS) he served on the state executive committee and on the committee on address. That same year Washington was elected to the Thirteenth Legislature as a representative of Grimes County. On September 4, 1873, he married Mary F. Campbell, the daughter of Baptist missionary Israel S. Campbell. They had one daughter. Washington moved from Navasota to Galveston in 1874 and served on the city council as an alderman from the Eighth Ward. He also held a position as an inspector of customs in Galveston. In 1876 he again acted as a vice president at the Republican state convention. At the Republican state conventions of 1884, 1888, and 1890, he served as a member of the state executive committee. In 1890 Washington moved to La Marque, where he cultivated a small truck farm and raised chickens until his death on December 23, 1916. He is buried in the Galveston city cemetery.

Richard Williams (b. ca. 1822)

Richard Williams, a slave who later served in the Texas legislature, was born around 1822 in South Carolina. Williams arrived in Texas in 1856 and lived in Huntsville as a slave. He was a mechanic and minister. He was elected to the Twelfth Legislature, which met in 1870, and won a disputed election to the Texas House of Representatives for the Thirteenth Legislature in 1872. A clerical error by election officials apparently caused a delay in determining the election's outcome, and Williams did not take his seat in the Thirteenth Legislature until February 1873. He represented Walker, Grimes, and Madison counties and served on the Public Lands and Land Office Committee. He also sat on the Private Land Claims Committee in the Twelfth Legislature and joined the Radical Republican Association, organized to sustain vetoes of railroad spending bills by Governor Edmund J. Davis. In the Thirteenth Legislature Williams unsuccessfully introduced a bill to establish a normal school at Harmony in Walker County, expressed opposition to the convict lease system, and successfully sponsored a measure that authorized Walker County to levy a tax to repair the jail and courthouse. The legislature also passed Williams's bill that incorporated the Texas Wells and Irrigation Company. Williams was married and owned property valued at $1,000 in 1870.

Matthew (“Matt”) Gaines (1840-1900)

Matthew Gaines, Black senator and Baptist preacher, was born on August 4, 1840, to a slave mother on the plantation of Bernardo Martin Despallier in Pineville, near Alexandria, Rapides Parish, Louisiana. Gaines learned to read by candlelight from books smuggled to him by a White boy who lived on the same plantation. Gaines, however, never told who the boy was, but it may have been young Blaz Philipe II Despallier. The boys were about the same age, and Blaz did attend school.

Gaines escaped to freedom twice but each time was caught and returned to slavery. His first escape came after 1850, when he was sold to a man from Louisiana and was subsequently hired out as a laborer on a steamboat. Using a false pass, he escaped to Camden, Arkansas. He left Arkansas six months afterwards and made his way to New Orleans, where he was caught and brought back to his master. Later, Gaines was sold to a Texas planter from Robertson County, and in 1863 he made another escape attempt. His destination was Mexico, but he made it only as far as Fort McKavett in Menard County before being caught by the Texas Rangers. He was taken back to Fredericksburg and remained in that area until the end of the Civil War. During his tenure as a slave in Fredericksburg, Gaines worked as a blacksmith and a sheepherder. After Emancipation Gaines settled in Burton, Washington County, where he soon established himself as a leader of the Black community, both as a minister and a politician. During Reconstruction he was elected as a senator to represent the Sixteenth District in the Texas legislature.

Gaines was a vigilant guardian of the rights and interests of African Americans. Among the many issues he addressed were education, prison reform, the protection of Blacks at the polls, the election of Blacks to public office, and tenant-farming reform. To encourage educational and religious groups to work toward educational improvement in their communities, Gaines sponsored a bill that called for exempting such organizations from taxation. Buildings and equipment used for charitable or literary associations were also exempted; the bill became law on June 12, 1871. Gaines was also responsible for the passage of a bill authorizing his district to levy a special tax for construction of a new jail. His concern for prison reform stemmed from his concern for the protection of Blacks from mob violence. In keeping with this belief, Gaines waged an unrelenting war in the Senate for the passage of the Militia Bill. It was Gaines's feeling that if Blacks were protected (via the Militia Bill) in the exercising of the Fifteenth Amendment, they could make a difference at the polls. Hence, after the successful passage of the Militia Bill, Gaines made a concerted, but unsuccessful, effort to drum up support to elect a Black Texan to the United States House of Representatives. Gaines was very sympathetic to the plight of the Black masses. He was one of the few Blacks who served in the legislature from 1870 to 1900 to voice an opinion in opposition to the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1872. As such, he proposed a law (which failed) to give the tenant the first lien on the crop. (see FARM TENANCY.)

Gaines was elected to a six-year term to the Senate, but served only four years because his seat was challenged when he was convicted on the charge of bigamy in 1873, and he subsequently relinquished his post. The charge was overturned on appeal, and he was reelected, but the Democratic and White majority seated his opponent. Gaines continued to be active in politics and made his political views known in conventions, public gatherings, and from his pulpit. He died in Giddings, Texas, on June 11, 1900.

DeGolyer Library, Prints & Photographs, Ag2013.0005x



54th Anniversary Emancipation Proclamation, 1865-1919, Thursday and Friday, June 19-20, 1919 at Herman’s Park, Fort Worth, Texas.

Dallas: Dallas Express Print, 1919.

This unique survival is a graphic reminder of the importance of “Juneteenth” to the African American community. Rectangular panels, surrounding center panel, advertise Fort Worth area African-American businesses, some illustrated, as well as other firms, including barber shops, tailors, undertakers, insurance companies, grocers, shoe repairers, cafes, hotels, the Ft. Worth Hornet ("a progressive race paper"), and the Northern Texas Traction Co., one of the oldest interurban lines in Texas, running between Dallas and Fort Worth.

Portrait of "O.C. Crook, Fort Worth, Texas" in center.

"Speaker of the day, Hon. W.H. Ericcs, followed by other prominent speakers."

DeGolyer broadside collection, E185.93.T4 A15 1919



This portrait honors Dallas native Julia Scott Reed (1917-2004), who in 1967 became the first African American writer to join the Dallas Morning News staff. Her column “The Open Line” featured articles on Black community issues, politics, religion, race relations, and other current events.

Prior to joining the Dallas Morning News, Reed had a distinguished career, beginning in 1951, with the Dallas Express, the leading African American newspaper, covering such major stories as the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education desegregation case and in 1963, the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Tragically, a stroke in 1978 brought her career to a premature close.

DeGolyer Manuscripts A2006.0009. Gift of Gayle Coleman, 2006