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Historical commission looking to correct errors

Letter to the Editor
Wednesday, February 6, 2019

To the Editor:

Your newspaper ran an editorial by Jordan Buckley in the Sunday edition on his concerns regarding slavery and Cape’s Dam. I regret that Mr. Buckley did not contact me. As the chair of the county historical commission, I would have liked the opportunity to address his questions concerning this topic. Our contact information is available on our website at www.hayshistoricalcommission.com.

Members of the Hays County Historical Commission are currently conducting research on the history of Cape’s Dam, in addition to the other dams and mills along the upper San Marcos River. This research is focusing on primary documents rather than secondary sources and anecdotal information. We believe it’s important to present as accurate of an historical account as possible. As a volunteer organization, this research takes time. I’m certain Mr. Buckley and the public understands this. 

The Hays County Historical Commission realizes mistakes were made in the past and memorialized on historical markers. Even the Texas Historical Commission understands this and has tried to correct errors when discovered in the more than 16,000 historical markers across the state as funds and staffing allow. The price of a historical marker is currently $1,875. Unfortunately, correcting historical facts is an expensive undertaking. 

As historians, we believe it’s important to be as objective as possible about history. History is an important tool in being able to understand the past. It is through a deeper understanding of the events and people of the past that we can forge a stronger society today. I recognize that history can be used as a propaganda tool or to promote personal agendas. That is not the intention of the Hays County Historical Commission. 

We look forward to presenting our research on Cape’s Dam to whoever is interested, when it is completed. There are still questions that need to be answered with accurate documentation. 

We are open to any new information the public would like to share with us concerning the history of Hays County. We encourage anyone to contact us with important documentation they have discovered. I invite Mr. Buckley to contact me if he would like the information in his possession to be included in our research on Cape’s Dam. 

Thank you,

Kate Johnson

Chair Hays County Historical Commission