Guide for Teachers
Ransom Williams was a hard-working African American farmer living in Texas before, during, and after the Civil War. Based on archeological evidence and historical records, we know that he married, bought a farm, had nine children, and raised horses in a secluded area of northern Travis County (see www.texasbeyondhistory.net/ransom/index.html).
We can learn a great deal about Williams’ life from artifacts found on his farm and from government documents pertaining to his family. But how can we envision the larger picture of life for this African American family living in Texas during such a tumultuous period of history? How might state-wide events have influenced the lives of Ransom Williams and his family and other African Americans? What events occurring nation-wide might have had consequences for them socially, economically, and politically?
The following activities were designed for grades 7 & 8, but can easily adapted for other grade levels:
Who, What, Where, and When?
The Ransom Williams Farmstead exhibit includes a Teachers section with several correlated lessons. These include:
Freedom Colonies and Beyond - Life After Slavery. In this classroom lesson, students learn what Freedom Colonies were and identify Texas Freedom Colonies on a map. Students work in cooperative groups to research positive and negatives aspects of African-American life within the Freedom Colonies after slavery.
After Slavery: Exercising the Rights of Citizenship in 19th-Century Texas
Ransom Williams Exhibit on Texas Beyond History
African American History Timeline: 1801-1900
America’s Civil War
Civil Rights Era Timeline: 1954-1971
Texas Transportation Museum