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The Baylor Family Collection, no. 28 - East Texas and Prison Rodeo

John Baylor

Silent | c. 1970-1975

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  •  East Texas Indian Reservation, Alabama-Coushatta Tribes 
  •  Tombigbee Lakes Camping 
  •  Prison Rodeo 
 
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This home movie captures the Baylor family on a trip through East Texas, visiting the East Texas Indian Reservation Alabama-Coushatta and Tombigbee Lake Camping site in Livingston, and attending the Texas Prison Rodeo in Huntsville.
The Alabama-Coushatta tribe of Texas is a federally recognized Native American tribe of Alabama and Koasati peoples located in Polk County. The tribe’s ancestors migrated from what is now Alabama to the Big Thicket region of East Texas in the late eighteenth century due to growing pressures from European-American settlement. Notwithstanding the friendly relations established between the Alabamas and Koasatis with their new neighbors, the tribes once again felt the pressure of increased settlement after the annexation of Texas by the United States in 1845. 
 
In 1853, Alabama Chief Antone, tribal subchiefs, and citizens of Polk County petitioned the Texas legislature for land to establish a reservation. The state approved, purchasing 1,110.7 acres of land to create the Alabama Indian reservation the following year. In 1855, the legislature appropriated funds to purchase an additional 640 acres for the Koasatis, but allegedly found no suitable open land available in Polk County. With the permission of the Alabama people, the Koasatis settled on the Alabama reservation in 1859. Following an additional land grant in 1928, the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation now spans 4,593.7 acres. 

The Baylor Collection is made up of films capturing two generations of the Baylor family, spanning roughly from the late 1940s to 1980. The majority of the films were taken between 1960 - 1980 by John Baylor, and feature his wife, Diane and their three children, Donna, David, and Darin. John and Diane married in 1962 and lived and raised their children in central Austin. In the early 1970s, with the help of John's brother, they built a lake house on Lake LBJ. Much of the footage in the collection is taken either at the lake house, or on road trips to state parks throughout Texas.