Slocum Massacre,

Slocum, Texas
July 29, 1910

Cause of death: Not Yet Known

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Last updated: almost 6 years ago



One of the darkest moments in Texas history, the Slocum Massacre began on July 29, 1910. After false rumors of an African American uprising were circulated, armed white men from all over the region began pouring into the Slocum area and killing African Americans at will. The carnage went on for two days and though dozens of African Americans were reported slain, authorities identified only eight victims. “Men were going about killing Negroes as fast as they could find them,” said Anderson County sheriff William Black. “And, so far as I was able to ascertain, without any real cause. I don’t know how many [whites] were in the mob, but there may have been 200 or 300. Some of them cut telephone wires. They hunted the Negroes down like sheep.”

The bloodshed led to a racial expulsion and many African Americans abandoned homes, property and businesses and fled for their lives. Sheriff Black and District Judge Benjamin H. Gardner worked diligently to hold the perpetrators responsible and seven white men were indicted; but the case was never prosecuted. Black and Gardner were shortly voted out of office and the indictments they secured were transferred to Harris County and subsequently ignored.

Most of the identified casualties of the Slocum Massacre were interred in an unmarked mass grave which, to date, has not been located. Neither the dead nor their disenfranchised relatives ever received justice or recompense and the white population of the Slocum area was permitted to claim or repurpose the abandoned African American properties as they saw fit and consign the egregious affair to oblivion.

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