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Land and Liberty: The Saga of Sam McCulloch

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This is a lesson plan that highlights Sam McCulloch and his contributions to Texas History. Sam McCulloch came to Texas from the United States as a free black man, but had no rights as a citizen under U.S. law. However, under Mexican law Sam was entitled to citizenship and land grants regardless of his race and status. Sam would become a hero of the Texas Revolution but how would the new government treat Sam? Within the Archives of the Texas General Land Office are the original land grant documents of a genuine Texas hero. His name was Samuel McCulloch, Jr. He is reported to have been the first person wounded in the Texas Revolution. Sam McCulloch came to Texas from the United States as a free black man, but had no rights as a citizen under U.S. law. However, under Mexican law Sam was entitled to citizenship and land grants, regardless of his status and color. After serving as a volunteer soldier in the Texas Revolution, Sam, along with other free blacks in Texas, encountered resistance to their rights by the new government and society of the Republic and state of Texas. Because of the emerging influence of the planter class and prevailing racial views, laws were passed that challenged the status of free blacks like Sam. Using primary source documents, students will piece together the challenge and ultimate triumph of Sam’s quest for land grants in Texas. GOALs ★ Describe the early life of Sam McCulloch and his role in the Texas Revolution. ★ Compare Sam McCulloch’s status as a free black during the Republic of Mexico and Republic of Texas eras. ★ Examine how laws and acts passed by the Republic of Texas Legislature affected Sam and his family. ★ Examine the influence of fellow military veterans on Sam’s efforts to secure land grants. ★ Create a culminating project based on research of Sam’s life and times.

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