Raw Roots

Excavations for plantation artifacts - and the real truth - are unraveling the genteel gloss covering Texans' old notions about the slave era here

Another board member, Hazel Austin, a retired school principal whose ancestors worked for the McNeill family, expresses her feelings succinctly about the discoveries. "Some of it hurts, but it's the truth," she says. "And you need to know from whence you came."

Abner Jackson found it necessary to buy more and more slaves.
Courtesy of Lake Jackson Historical Museum
Abner Jackson found it necessary to buy more and more slaves.

To use Morris Richardson's words, it would be poetic justice indeed if it should be the enslaved people of Levi Jordan who inspire its rescue -- if the everyday buttons, the healing circles, and the tools of magic created by enslaved people out of cast-off materials should be the means of saving a plantation. And the means to create the place where their descendants -- and all Texans -- can learn the truth about what they went through and how they endured.

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