Ransom Williams - A Freedman's Life in Texas

Ransom Williams was a hard-working African American farmer living in Texas before, during, and after the Civil War. We know from legal records that he and his wife, Sarah, had been slaves and that they bought a farm, had nine children, and raised horses in an out-of-the-way area of northern Travis County, Texas. We can learn a great deal about the Williams' life by examining artifacts found on their land and by checking out legal documents that help explain how they lived their lives. We can also discover much more about the Williams family by checking out the following activities:

Explore the WHO, WHAT, WHERE & WHEN? Interactive Timeline to see how local, state, and national events might have affected the Williams family between 1850-1890. Click on items in red text to open primary source documents! Click on underlined words to discover their definitions!

The POPULATION PUZZLERS game illustrates the changes in sizes of different racial groups in Texas and the U.S. between 1850-1890. The data reveal some very interesting facts! Play the game to answer some important questions about this data!

The CREDITS AND SOURCES section thanks all the individuals, organizations, and reference works that helped bring Ransom Williams to life in these activities and offers more resources and websites to explore.

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