Bill Text: TX HCR17 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Directing the State Preservation Board to initiate steps to provide for the replacement of the Children of the Confederacy plaque with a plaque to honor victims of the state's convict leasing system.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-12-31 - Filed [HCR17 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HCR17-Introduced.html
  87R6394 BHH-D
 
  By: Reynolds H.C.R. No. 17
 
 
 
CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
         WHEREAS, The convict leasing system that flourished in Texas
  in the late 19th and early 20th centuries began soon after the
  passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, which ended slavery or
  indentured servitude in the United States except as a punishment
  for a crime; and
         WHEREAS, Faced with housing and feeding an exploding number
  of new prisoners due to laws that were used to unjustly incarcerate
  free blacks after the Civil War, the State of Texas began leasing
  state prisoners to private businesses in 1867; the state took a
  negligent role in ensuring that the prisoners were treated
  appropriately, and working conditions at the sugarcane
  plantations, stone quarries, iron foundries, and other dangerous
  places were inhumane; and
         WHEREAS, The men and women who were victims of the state's
  convict leasing system suffered grievously, as shown in the remains
  of 95 African Americans that were discovered in 2018 on the grounds
  of the former Imperial Sugar Company State Prison Farm in Sugar
  Land; the remains indicate that amputations, bone breaks, extreme
  dehydration, mosquito-borne epidemics, frequent beatings, and a
  lack of medical care were common; and
         WHEREAS, For more than 30 years, the state's convict leasing
  system, an offshoot of slavery, provided revenue to the State of
  Texas and allowed the state to largely avoid the cost of housing and
  feeding state prisoners; for the businesses that employed the
  prisoners, the convict leasing system was also profitable, allowing
  the businesses to hire labor at a fraction of the appropriate cost;
  and
         WHEREAS, By the time the Texas Legislature passed S.B. 10,
  Acts of the 31st Legislature, 4th Called Session, 1910, to end
  convict leasing, the Capitol, officially completed in 1888, had
  already been built with convict labor; records show that the red
  granite and limestone used to construct the building were quarried
  by state prisoners and that all of the ironworks, including the
  dome, columns, gates, and interior decorative features, were
  fabricated by state prisoners; and
         WHEREAS, It is in the public's interest to create a plaque to
  inform visitors to the Capitol that the Capitol was built with
  convict labor and to show that the men and women who were victims of
  the state's convict leasing system played an important role in the
  history and economic development of Texas; now, therefore, be it
         RESOLVED, That the 87th Legislature of the State of Texas
  hereby direct the State Preservation Board to initiate steps to
  provide for the replacement of the Children of the Confederacy
  plaque with a plaque to honor victims of the state's convict leasing
  system; and, be it further
         RESOLVED, That the Texas secretary of state forward an
  official copy of this resolution to the executive director of the
  State Preservation Board.
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