Could the City of Austin Change its Name??

If you want to remove references to Americans who supported slavery, why not go all the changing the name of the City of Austin, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The City of Austin's Equity Office today released a lengthy memo on the places, streets, and landmarks that would have to be renamed or removed if the City is truly committed to removing references to slave holders, and one of the names cited in the memo is 'Austin City Name.'

In reference to Stephen F. Austin, the memo states: "Fought to defend slavery in spite of Mexico's effort to ban it; believed slave labor indispensable for Texas to flourish in its production of sugar and cotton; believed that if slaves were emancipated they would turn into "vagabonds, a nuisance and a menace." Wanted slaveowners to be compensated if their slaves were emancipated."

Several streets and recognizeable names are listed in the memo, including everything named in honor of Dr. William Barton, who is listed as a 'slaveowner who fought Comanches.'  That would include the famous Barton Springs Recreation Area.

The Equity Office points out that the City has already voted to rename Robert E. Lee Road and Jeff Davis Avenue.

The Equity Department suggests removing more than a dozen historical markers around Austin which honor Jefferson Davis, 'C.S.A. Newspapers' and Austin's role as the capital of the Confederate State of Texas.

Several street names are also on the list, including 'Dixie Drive,' 'Confederate Avenue,' and 'Plantation Road.'

Street names include streets in Austin named for Gen. George Littlefield, slave holder Sebron Sneed, Captain Hamilton Metz, Gen. Tom Green, and Confederate Cabinet Member John Reagan.

One of Austin's main streets, Lamar Blvd, is also on the hit list, because Mirabeau Lamar, one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, and a President of the Republic of Texas, is described as "Occupied/Colonized Native land that is now Austin. Slave owner, Native American removal; In 1840, he signed “An Act Concerning Free Persons of Color,” which gave all free blacks then living in Texas two years to get out or face being sold into slavery, and mandating that any free black entering Texas would be enslaved for one year. At the end of that year, if that free person of color could not post bond, they became a slave for life. Convinced that Texas statehood was necessary to protect slavery, lobbied for annexation."

Good news for map makers.  Renaming the City of Austin is designated as only 'medium priority' in the memo.  Many of the street name changes are designated as 'high priority.'No word on what the City of Austin's new name might be.


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