Alex and Morn Gentry, Former Slaves

This undated photograph pictures former slaves, Alex and Morn Gentry, at their home near Carlton, Hamilton County. According to the accompanying newspaper clipping, the Gentry siblings were born in Washington County, and moved to Hamilton County at an early date with their owner, Captain (Frederick B.) Gentry. When freed following the Civil War, Captain Gentry gave them a cabin and a small plot of land where they continued to live. Alex and Morn are said to have returned briefly to Washington County during a period of Indian raids. Finding the Ku Klux Klan to be more troublesome, they moved back to their Hamilton County abode where Alex helped his former master fight the Indians. Both of the Gentrys were highly respected and enjoyed recounting tales of the Indian incidents.

During the Depression, out-of-work writers were employed by the Federal Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration to compile local histories and other works. In seventeen states including Texas, their efforts included the compilation of slave narratives -- oral histories with former slaves -- written in the dialect of the speaker. Local slave narratives are available in the Federal Writers' Project Fort Worth City Guide Records housed in Special Collections.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram Collection, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington