Senate Research Center S.C.R. 62
By: Ellis et al.
AUTHOR'S / SPONSOR'S STATEMENT OF INTENT
Slavery was a morally abominable institution. Slavery as practiced in the United States was especially brutalizing and dehumanizing, permitting as it did the denial to slaves of all human rights, including the right to marry and to maintain families. Slavery was introduced into Texas by American settlers in the early 1820s and persisted until June, 1865, more than two years after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. Through 1865, the institution of slavery was protected by the constitution and laws of the State of Texas. The experience of slavery in Texas should be adequately reflected in the teaching of the state's history. In spite of the suffering that they were forced to endure, slaves contributed greatly to the economic and cultural development of the state. The contributions made by slaves should be adequately reflected in the teaching of the state's history. The experiences and contributions of Hispanics and Native Americans in Texas should also receive appropriate recognition in the teaching of the state's history.
The 80th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby expresses profound regret for the role that the government of Texas played in maintaining the institution of slavery. In order to document and publicize the experience of slavery in Texas and to help the public appreciate the contributions that slaves and former slaves made to the economic and cultural development of the state throughout the 19th century and beyond, the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Historical Commission, and other appropriate state agencies shall cooperate in designing and developing public exhibits and/or acknowledgments at the State Capitol, at the Bob Bullock Museum, and at certain public institutions of higher education to recognize the contributions of slaves in Texas history, with the initial public exhibits and acknowledgments to be in place not later than December 31, 2008. The legislature hereby requests that the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the house of representatives create a joint interim committee to study and document the specific contributions of African slaves and their descendants to the economic and cultural development of the State of Texas and that similar efforts be undertaken to document and publicize the experiences and contributions of Hispanics and Native Americans in Texas during the 18th and 19th centuries.