Texas Runaway Slave Project

Stephen F. Austin State University

Today is Juneteenth, commemorating 150 years since emancipation in Texas. An exhibit at the Nacogdoches Railroad Depot brings to life the faces of 45 runaway slaves. The artwork is based on runaway slave newspaper ads in Louisiana and Texas from the mid-1800s. It’s part of the Texas Runaway Slave Project.

Stephen F. Austin State University special collections librarian Kyle Ainsworth compiled a database of 1,400 newspaper ads. These became the inspiration for a new exhibit “Portraits of Freedom.”

Texas Runaway Slave Project

Stephen F. Austin State University will showcase faculty research, scholarship and artistry Thursday at its daylong Bright Ideas Conference. More than 90 poster presentations will be on display, including the Texas Runaway Slave Project.

Kyle Ainsworth, special collections librarian at SFA’s East Texas Research Center, has combed through Texas newspapers compiling hundreds of advertisements and announcements about runaway slaves between the 1830s and 1860s. The project is in a searchable database.