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Texas Independence Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Houston: Museum of Southern History at Houston Baptist University


SOUTHERN GENTILITY AND CHANGE

When considering the gentile world of southern Anglo plantation life before the Civil War, images from the country’s southeastern states typically come to mind. But southern gentility could also be found in the Independence Trail region of Texas where plantation wealth prevailed in key locales, engendering a lifestyle that would ultimately collapse alongside the end of slavery. The Museum of Southern History, located on the campus of Houston Baptist University, helps tell the story of Texas southern gentility in its prime and its dramatic transformation wrought by the Civil War. Museum exhibitions include complete room settings with period furnishings alongside artifacts and objects typical of Anglo affluence in a mid-nineteenth century south. A Victorian dining room, complete with a silk setee and crystal chandelier, compliments an adjacent bedroom furnished with a canopy bed, sewing table, dressers, and crib. The museum also houses the JoAnne Moore Collection, an archive of early photographs including ferrotypes and daguerreotypes which document the members of a family who arrived in Texas in the 1830’s. A remarkable comparison can be observed between the family’s collection of jewelry, displayed in exhibition cases, and its depiction in the photographs while adorning family members. In a nod to the realities of war, the museum also features a Weapons Room where firearms, uniforms and ammunitions are on display, reminders that the country’s dramatic transition during the Civil War required greater sacrifices than simply a change in lifestyle.


Location

  • 7502 Fondren Road
  • Houston, Texas
  • 77074

Contact

Hours & Fees

  • Monday -Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

  • Free


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