The Persistence of Antebellum Planter Families in Postbellum East Texas

by Linda Sue Newland

Institution: University of North Texas
Year: 1998
Keywords: Planter families; Postbellum Texas; Texas families; Texas, East  – History.; Plantation owners  – Texas, East  – History.
Record ID: 1696245
Full text PDF: http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277933/


The effect of the Civil War and Reconstruction on the southern planter elite remains a topic of interest to historians. Did the war ruin the planter class? Or, did they maintain economic, geographic, or social persistence? This study focuses on the persistence from 1850 to 1880 of five East Texas large planter families who owned one hundred or more slaves in 1860. An analysis of data primarily from county, state, and federal records formthe basis of this study. Four families persisted as wealthy influential members of their postbellum communities. One family remained geographically persistent but not wealthy. The experiences of these families suggest that large East Texas planter families found it possible to persist in spite of the Civil War and Reconstruction.