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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?Probably

Census Information
TotalWhiteBlackAsianNativeHispanicOtherBHshld
1860
1870
1880
1890
1900
1910
1920
193017993
19401641163650
195018101
196045403
1970225722461103
1980
199026301
200030282784185114282103
2010
2020

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Method of Exclusion
Violent Expulsion;Reputation

Main Ethnic Group(s).
Unknown

Group(s) Excluded
Black

Comments
"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.
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