Historic Caleb Thomas’ Log Cabin Project HCAA KE37 (2018)

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On a bluff overlooking the Cibolo Creek in Boerne there stands today a small one-room log cabin built by Caleb Thomas between 1910 and 1918.

Caleb’s Cabin about 2016. The fire place is on the north side of the cabin. Photo by Mark Holly.

Most of what we know of Caleb is what he told others—his oral history. Caleb was born into a life of enslavement in about 1848 in or near Vicksburg, Mississippi. He was an African-American who served as a house boy to this owner. His owner did not set his slaves free in 1863 as dictated by Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, rather he set Caleb and the rest of his slaves free in 1865 at the end of the Civil War.

Buying and selling African-Americans into enslavement in the USA had been a practice beginning about 1619 in Jamestown. In 1863 there were an estimated 4 million enslaved African-Americans in the USA. In Texas about 30% of the population was estimated to have been enslaved African-Americans. (Read more)