Houston Freedmen's Town 8.5x8.5-60 page full color paperback pictorial history of some of the remaining structures in Freemen's Town. Each book sells for $25 and part of the proceeds will be donated to Freedmen's Town Preservation Coalition.
Trinity United Methodist Church is the oldest African-American congregation in Houston and the first brick church in Texas. The church's cornerstone was laid on March 2, 1843 on a 50 feet x 60 feet lot located on Milam Street. "Records reflect that in the afternoon the Presiding Elder preached to 32 Negro members in the same house in which the whites worshipped."
A small frame building was built on the northwest corner of Milam in 1851 after the formation of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
Freedmen's Town is one if the most endangered, Post Civil War, National Register Historic Districts of its kind in the United States. Freedmen's Town was founded by previously enslaved people and their descendants immediately after Emancipation in 1865.
Since its designation as a National District in 1985, over 500 Freedmen's Town historic structures including six churches have been destroyed and its historic bricks have been damaged and are still in jeopardy. However, thanks to many volunteers and generous donors, six structures on 10 lots have been saved.
Rutherford B.H. Yates Museum is committed to preserving historic structures on their original homesteads and to preserving archaeological resources for the continuous study of Freedmen's settlement nationally and internationally.
Please donate to create an African Heritage, Cultural Research, Educational, and Tourism destination for Texas!
Your Gift will be used toward:
Rutherford B.H. Yates Museum
PO Box 130726
Houston, Texas 77219-0726
All donations are tax deductible. Your donations may be eligible for Exxon Mobile or She'll Employees Easy Match Program.
The Rutherford B.H. Yates Museum, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, incorporated in the State of Texas on December 26, 1996. Grand Founder: Olee Yates McCullough, M.A.
On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln signed and published the Emancipation Proclamation; however, Texas did get the news until June 19, 1865 when General Granger proclaimed the slaves freedom in Galveston. For African Americans, June 19, the anniversary of the day, took on festive traditions and a new name, Juneteenth.
Reverend Jack Yates collected money from his congregation at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, the members of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, and other community leaders, to purchase property to celebrate Juneteenth in Houston, Texas. Resulting in Antioch Baptist, and Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church forming the Colored People’s Festival and Emancipation Park Association. In 1872 to honor of their freedom, they put down $1,000 payment on the purchase of 10 acres of open land for the home of their Juneteenth celebration, Emancipation Park.
The park was acquired by the city of Houston in 1918. During this time Emancipation Park was the only municipal park African-Americans could use until 1939 when Miss Annette Finnigan donated property to the city for a second one, Finnigan Park.
Reverend Jack Yates and two missionaries, Jennie L. Peck and Florence Dysart, founded The Baptist Academy at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in 1885. The Baptist Academy provided opportunities for the former slaves to help them learn about God and develop educationally, economically, and socially. The freed African Americans learned how to read, write, and basic math. The academy also taught trades which enabled the former slaves to become business owners.
The Baptist Academy later became Houston College. The Houston College was the forerunner of Texas Southern University, the Colored College which was established in 1927 to provide an opportunity for African-Americans to receive college training.
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