Texas Bob Travels

Ashton Villa

2328 Broadway St, Galveston, Texas

Ashton Villa - Galveston, Texas
Ashton Villa - Galveston, Texas

Ashton Villa

Built in 1858-59, the first of Galveston's Broadway "palaces," as well as the first brick house to be built in Texas.

The artistic and eccentric Miss Bettie Brown was mistress of the manor, and her life-size paintings still adorn the showy Gold Room. When the villa was almost razed in 1970, Galveston Historical Foundation led a campaign to save it, and now manages it as a house museum.

Galveston was occupied by Federal Troops October 5, 1862. The following January 1, 1863, Confederate forces under Maj. Gen. John B. Magruder attacked and expelled occupying Union troops from the city of Galveston. During the occupation of Galveston and in the days after June 19th 1865 the Ashton Villa was used as the headquarters for the Union Forces.

Emancipation Proclamation

On June 19th, 1865, eighteen hundred union solders, under command of General .Gordon Granger, landed in Galveston, Texas.; Upon arrival, Granger published several General Orders, outlawing all acts of the Texas legislature since secession, paroling most Confederate soldiers, decreeing that the cotton crop could be sold but only to Northern factors, and most importantly: "The people are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free."

"Since Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of January 1863 had had no practical effect in most of the South, African-Americans in Texas traditionally count June 19, "Juneteenth," as the day they were actually freed, and celebrate it as a major holiday. The rest of Granger's order, however, has been largely forgotten: "The Freedmen are advised to remain at their present homes, and work for wages .

Unlike slaves farther east, very few, less than fifty, Texas slaves fought in black Union regiments. ;Many did run to Mexico, but they had little idea what life in freedom would be like.

;The "forty acres and a mule" that many believed would accompany their liberty was a dream and an aspiration, but nobody ever promised it to them. ;When they discovered that freedom meant freedom to look after themselves after generations of being fed and clothed and told what to do, the result was as grim as Lafayette had predicted to Sam Houston forty years earlier.

It is generally thought (but I could find no conclusive proof) that Granger's general orders; the revelation of the Emancipation Proclamation and the instructions that went with them were read from the balcony ;of the Ashton Villa pictured above.;

;Although Texas is the only state to recognize "Emancipation Day" as an official holiday, it is celebrated in many areas throughout the U.S.

They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts; and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere." The full text of the order reflected the Union Army's experience throughout the South, that the emancipated slaves believed that freedom would include jobs or some other material benefit. ;Texas slaves had been very isolated both from the fighting and from the possibility of escape on the Underground Railroad.

Ashton Villa is now home to the Galveston Island Visitor Information Center.;


© 1998 - - R. McSpadden - All rights reserved
. . . more from www.TexasBob.com
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by Texas Bob Media Services and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website. Through this website you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of Texas Bob Media Services. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them. Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly. However, Texas Bob Media Services takes no responsibility for, and will not be liable for, the website being temporarily unavailable due to technical issues beyond our control.