The Hidden History of African American Texans


Doom and Dawn: A True Story of Slavery in Civil War Texas
January 21 at 7 p.m. featuring Pulitzer Prize Winning Author, Historian and Professor, W. Caleb McDaniel.

Join us for the 3rd episode of Hidden History featuring W. Caleb McDaniel, Associate Professor of History and Duncan College Magister at Rice University. McDaniel’s lecture, “Doom and Dawn: A True Story of Slavery in Civil War Texas” covers the story of Henrietta Wood. In 1853, she was kidnapped, enslaved, and forced to march from Mississippi to Texas where she remained enslaved even after the Civil War ended. In 1869 she managed to return home to Cincinnati where she filed a lawsuit for reparations against her kidnapper, eventually winning a remarkable verdict that remains instructive today as Texans debate reparations and the legacies of slavery.

Professor McDaniel will also highlight how digitized resources like those provided by The Portal of Texas History made it possible to reconstruct Henrietta Wood’s story and will share lessons learned from his experiment in “open notebook history.”

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Image Courtesy of The Smithsonian

The 2020 Pulitzer Prize Winner in History
Sweet Taste of Liberty

By W. Caleb McDaniel

Jessie McGuire Dent


Episode 2

Learn about an African American Trailblazer, who, in June 1943, won a lawsuit against the Galveston School Board of Trustees to end the practice of unequal pay for teachers based on their race. Jessie McGuire Dent also co-founded one of the first sororities for African-American women – Delta Sigma Theta.


John Rufus Gibson


Episode 1

Historian Sam Collins, III shares the life of John Rufus Gibson, a name everyone should know. Gibson dedicated his life to the education of youth on Galveston island. His career spanned over 50 years and the impact of his influence is still being felt today. The inspiring story of this man and his family have been hidden for years. It is time to reveal it and celebrate it!



Juneteenth and Ted Ellis Painting “Free at Last”.

Historian Sam Collins, III examines the history of Juneteenth and speaks to the painting of Ted Ellis.

About the Presenter

Historian Samuel Collins, III, is a founding member of The Bryan Museum’s Delegados Advocate Board, which was formed in 2017. Sam serves on several other boards including National Trust for Historic Preservation, Rosenberg Library Trustee, and the Ruby Bridges Foundation (National Board). Sam’s past board service includes Galveston Historical Foundation, Old Central Cultural Center, NIA Cultural Center, Galveston Chamber of Commerce, Galveston Economic Development Partnership, Texas Historical Commission State Board of Review, and Texas A & M University Letterman’s association.