Sam Houston State University

Box 2239 | Huntsville, TX 77341

littlejohn@shsu.edu

Professor of History

Co-Chair, University Diversity Committee

Tel: 936 . 294 . 4438

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© 2016-19 by Jeffrey L. Littlejohn

 

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July 31, 2016

Last Saturday, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Joyce E. Taylor and Jeffrey Bashir, two of the grandchildren of Samuel Walker Houston. To listen to the interview, visit: https://www.spreaker.com/user/livinghistory/taylor-and-bashir. To learn a little more about Samuel Walker Houston, his daughter Helen Hope Houston, and his grandchildren Joyce Taylor and Jeffrey Bashir, keep reading. (Special thanks to the Samuel Walker Houston Museum and Cultural Center and Briana Weaver for helping out!)


Born around 1871, Samuel Walker Houston was the son of Joshua and Sylvester Houston, two former slaves who worked for General Sam Houston in Huntsville, Texas. During the 1880s and 90s, Samuel Walker Houston attended the nation's leading black schools, including Atlanta University in Georgia and Howard University in Washington, D.C. At the turn of the century, he returned to Huntsville and founded a training school in the little community of Galilee. Houston's school was one of the first c...

On Thursday, June 9, we arose early and packed the van for the trip from Chicanna Ecovillage (in Xpujil, Campeche) to Chablis Hotel (in Palenque, Chiapas). The drive took the better part of the day, and we arrived around 3:00 pm. After unloading our luggage, we took our laundry to a local business owner, ate dinner, and Brant went swimming with several of the students.

Early the next morning, June 10, we drove to the archaeological site at Palenque. It was a short trip through a lush, green forest. At the entrance to the site, there were numerous Lacandon Mayas, who were selling hats, crafts, food, and drinks. In fact, people took up positions throughout the archaeological zone to sell handicrafts and souvenirs.

Palenque proved to be everything that we hoped it would be: mysterious, imposing, and enshrouded in jungle. The Maya first settled at the site around 100 BCE, and it reached its height between 600 and 800 CE, when it served as a regional power. The city fell into decline during t...

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