Maria Franklin






This book was created as part of a multi-year historic archeological project sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and under the direction of Dr. Scott Pletka and Jon Budd. The project was initiated because of federal and state laws that require consideration of cultural resources that may be impacted by development. The project involved archival research, oral history, and archeological investigations at a site called the Ransom and Sarah Williams farmstead in southern Travis County, Texas. An African American family occupied the farmstead beginning in 1871, and perhaps earlier, through about 1905. This book is a collection of oral histories gathered through interviews with people who grew up in the rural vicinity of the Williams farmstead, and also in East Austin; their recollections pertain to Travis and Hays Counties mainly during the first half of the twentieth century. The memories are primarily those of African Americans who are descendants of slaves—people whose lives were impacted by the legacy of slavery and who lived through the Jim Crow and civil rights eras. The story of how and why this book came into existence is important because it demonstrates the viability of community-based research in publicly funded cultural resources management archeological projects.

Licensing Statement

This is a work for hire produced for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), which owns all rights, title, and interest in and to all data and other information developed for this project under its contract with the report producer. The report may be cited and brief passages from this publication may be reproduced without permission provided that credit is given to TxDOT and the firm that produced it. Permission to reprint an entire chapter, section, figures or tables must be obtained in advance from the Supervisor of the Archeological Studies Branch, Environmental Affairs Division, Texas Department of Transportation, 125 East 11th Street, Austin, Texas, 78701.


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