Slavery in Texas

A Lesson Plan for 7th Grade Texas History Teachers

Composed by Shannon McKinley


TEKS Addressed in this Lesson: 


such as computer software, databases, media and news services, biographies,

interviews, and artifacts to acquire information about Texas.


Summary of the Task:


          In order to introduce the students to the topic of study, teachers should pass out the summary “Slavery in Texas.”  After receiving this brief history, the students will proceed with the lesson.  This lesson will provide students with information from the 1860 census and also with information from slave narratives.  Through the use of various sources, the students will ultimately be able to answer two essential questions regarding Texas history.  First, they will use the data to examine the reasons why slavery existed in Texas.  Once they discover the purpose of slavery, the students will then be able to use the data to analyze the relationship between slavery and the Civil War.


          This lesson presents information about slavery and Texas through four different analytical tools:  maps, spreadsheets, charts, and slave narratives.  The teacher may choose to have the students work with all four types of information, or the teacher may prefer to divide the classroom into groups, with each group working with a specific type of data.  If the teacher chooses to do the lesson in groups, at the conclusion of the lesson, each group should present their findings to the class.  This allows the groups to compare the conclusions they drew from one source of information to the conclusions drawn by other groups who used other sources of information.  At the conclusion of the lesson, the students will not only have a better understanding of the importance of slavery in Texas history, but they will also discover that both obtaining and presenting historical information can be done through a variety of measures.


Assign the Students to work with the following data:


Map:  Slave Populations in Texas Counties, 1860

Map:  Cotton Production in Texas Counties, 1860

Spreadsheet of 1860 Data

Charts Related to Slavery in Texas

Slave Narratives


Bibliographical Information:


Campbell, Randolph B.  An Empire for Slavery : The Peculiar Institution in Texas, 1821-1865.   Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, 1989.


Moneyhon, Carl H.  Republicanism in Reconstruction Texas.   Austin:  University of Texas Press, 1980.


Rawick, George P.  The American Slave:  A Composite Autobiography, Vol. 4, Texas Narratives:  Parts I and II.  Wesport: Greenwood Publishing Company, 1941.


Scammon, Richard M. and Alice V. McGilliray, eds.  America at the Polls 2:  A Handbook of American Presidential Election Statistics, 1968-1984.  Washington:  Congressional Quarterly, 1988.


“Texas Slave Narrative:  Green Cumby,” [], June 20, 2003.


 U.S. Bureau of the Census, Agriculture of the United States in 1860:  Compiled from the Returns of the Eighth Census. Washington, D.C., 1864.


“U.S. Historical Census Browser”, [], June 20, 2003.


***Counties that were missing either agricultural or secession vote information have not been included in the data sets.