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Showing Grand Saline in TX...

Basic Information
Type of PlaceIndependent City or Town
Metro Area?Independent City or Town
Politics c. 1860?Don't Know
Unions, Organized Labor?Don't Know

Sundown Town Status
Confirmed Sundown Town?Surely
Year of Greatest Interest
Was there an ordinance?Don't Know
Sign?Perhaps, Some Oral Evidence
Still Sundown?We Have Data on How it Changed

Census Information

Tell Us More About This Town
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Method of Exclusion
Violent Expulsion;Reputation

Main Ethnic Group(s).

Group(s) Excluded

"According to several oral history subjects I interviewed in the 1980s and 1990s, East Texas' Grand Saline (Van Zandt County) was not all black in the late nineteenth century but did have a sizable black population. Sometime during or after Reconstruction (I was unable to do better than that) whites attacked the black residents in a city wide pogrom, killing all who were unable to escape. According to one interviewee, the mass killings were followed by mutilation of the corpses for public display. Thereafter it became a notorious 'sundown' town; I don't think any signs were necessary. That reputation continued well into the late twentieth century. I'm not sure of its current population, but a couple of 1980s interviewees mentioned its all white status with considerable pride." -posted to the web, 2006 Andrew Puller, former slave and Beaumont resident, interviewed some years ago, reported that in Grand Saline "dey had a big sign dere wid 'Nigger, don't let de sun go down on you here' on it." Nearby TX Resident. "we used to play them in sports. They were a very well known as a 'sundown' town to me as a child. Our coaches used to threaten to drop the black kids off in Grand Saline (as a sick joke) for misbehaving on the school bus to and from games. I do believe that they had a sign at their city limits stating "don't let the sun go down on you, nigger" -- or something like that. A nearby TX resident remembers a sign in Grand Saline and had an African American friend who avoided the town. A resident has pointed out that as of June 2014 there are 5 black families living in Grand Saline and the sign has been removed.
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