Article Title

After Slavery: The Rubin Hancock Farmstead, 1880-1916, Travis County, Texas


From 1984 to 1987, a series of survey, testing, and excavation projects was undertaken by the Texas State Department of Highways and Public Transportation (SDHPT, now the Texas Department of Transportation, TxDOT) at site 41TV875, the Rubin Hancock farmstead in Travis County. In 1998, TxDOT contracted with Prewitt and Associates, Inc., to complete the analysis, report production, and curation requirements for the mitigation work on both the prehistoric and historic components of the site.

The results of the prehistoric investigations are reported in a separate volume (Gadus et al. 2000). This volume details the history and archeology related to occupation of 41TV875 by the African American Hancock family from ca. 1880 to 1916. All previous investigations by SDHPT are discussed in detail. Using previous and current research, a thorough history of the Hancock family is presented. Rubin and his wife, Elizabeth, as well as many of their family members, had been slaves of the prominent Austin judge, John Hancock. Upon emancipation, Rubin and his three brothers along with their families became landowning farmers in the area north of Austin, which eventually developed into the small African American community of Duval. This historical research has been linked to the archeological features and material culture to develop an understanding of rural African American lifeways in central Texas at the turn of the century. This analysis has been compared and contrasted with research done at several other localities, including the adjacent Anglo American community of Waters Park, the African American community of Friendship in Delta County, and the farm owned by African American Ned Peterson in Brazos County.