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FREEMAN, JACOB E.

FREEMAN, JACOB E. (ca.1841–?). Jacob E. Freeman, who represented Waller, Fort Bend, and Wharton counties in the Fourteenth and Sixteenth legislatures, was born a slave in Alabama around 1841. He arrived in Texas at the age of eleven and apparently assisted his master in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Freeman was a mechanic in the Hempstead area by 1873, when he served on the Waller County grand jury. In July 1873 he participated in the Colored Men's Convention at Brenham, which sought to enhance the status of African Americans in Texas politics. He won election to the Texas House of Representatives for the Fourteenth Legislature, 1874, and served on the Penitentiary Committee. He was elected to the Sixteenth Legislature in 1879. He ran unsuccessfully for the legislature as a People's party candidate in 1886. Although he was a member of the Republican party, Freeman campaigned for a Greenback party candidate for governor in 1878 and for a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 1892. At the time of the Fourteenth Legislature Freeman was married.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
J. Mason Brewer, Negro Legislators of Texas and Their Descendants (Dallas: Mathis, 1935; 2d ed., Austin: Jenkins, 1970). Merline Pitre, Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: The Black Leadership of Texas, 1868–1900 (Austin: Eakin, 1985). Lawrence D. Rice, The Negro in Texas, 1874–1900 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1971). Frank M. Spindler, "Concerning Hempstead and Waller County," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 59 (April 1956).
Paul M. Lucko

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Handbook of Texas Online, Paul M. Lucko, "Freeman, Jacob E.," accessed July 25, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ffrhb.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.