HORNSBY, RACHEL HAMILTON
HORNSBY, RACHEL HAMILTON (183?–191?). Rachel Hamilton Hornsby, slave and freedwoman, was born in the mid-1830s in Randolph County, Alabama. As a slave, she belonged to Andrew Jackson Hamilton, who moved her to Travis County, Texas, in 1847. She married Nathaniel Grumbles, another Travis County slave, during the 1850s and gave birth to her first child, James Grumbles, on March 4, 1857. Since she and her husband were slaves, this marriage had no legal standing. Just before the Civil War Hamilton freed Rachel, and she found work as a hired servant in Austin. Free blacks, however, could not remain in antebellum Texas without permission from the state legislature, so she was arrested and held in jail in Austin until she could be placed under the control of a "guardian." She chose Aaron Burleson and returned to slavery as a nurse to his invalid daughter, Maggie. After emancipation, Rachel left her slave husband and, on May 20, 1870, married Robert Hornsby, a former slave of the Hornsby family in Travis County. They had five children together and supported themselves by farming. Rachel Hornsby lived to be more than seventy-five years and died sometime between 1910 and 1920. Her son, James Grumbles, lived in Travis County into the late 1930s and contributed his mother's story to the WPA Slave Narratives in 1937.
George P. Rawick, ed., The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography, Supplement, Series 2 (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1979).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Randolph B. Campbell, "Hornsby, Rachel Hamilton," accessed February 25, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhobh.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on June 20, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.