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Descendant of Former Slave Owners Seeks Out Descendants of Their Former Slaves

Descendant of Former Slave Owners Seeks Out Descendants of Their Former Slaves

As a kid, Houston Chronicle business columnist Chris Tomlinson was fascinated by family stories of his great-grandfather coming to Texas as a pioneering settler of the American West. But as he grew older, he started to understand the story wasn’t as glorious as he thought — his ancestors were slaveholders.

Just five years ago, Tomlinson finally cast aside years of reluctance to research the sometimes brutal stories of his white ancestors and the stories of the slaves they owned, many of the descendants of which still live around the site of his family’s former central Texas plantation.

Houston Matters’ Michael Hagerty sat down with Chris Tomlinson to find out what he learned about a place called Tomlinson Hill.

Tomlinson Hill Documentary 
Chris Tomlinson interview on NPR’s Fresh Air

About the Author

Michael Hagerty

Michael HagertyMichael Hagerty is the Senior Producer for Houston Matters. He has a degree in journalism from Abilene Christian University and has served as news director for NPR and PBS stations around Texas and The West, including: KUNR-FM in Reno, Nev.; KNPB-TV in Reno, Nev.; and KWBU-TV/FM in Waco, Texas. He got his start on the air as a college student hosting Morning Edition at KACU-FM in Abilene, Texas. A native of the Chicago area and an avid Cubs fan, Michael spent four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.View all posts by Michael Hagerty →