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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Enslaved For His Own Protection

Walter Belt Jr. wants a new Houston reservoir to be named for his ancestor, Martin Allen, but the city reportedly turned the name down because Allen owned a slave and killed an Indian.

According to Belt, the family story goes that a black youth walked onto the property and was given a place to live. The young man was counted as a slave — valued at $800 — only as a way to protect him upon Allen's death.

Belt said there's no proof Allen killed any Indian and, to the contrary, he was respected by local Native Americans when he ran a ferry boat at Harrisburg. However, he cannot verify the negative accounts are false. [Link]

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