Saturday, April 27, 2013

How Dallas Got Its Name

Repairing obscured history reminded me of the interactive map of the 1860 Census in the NY Times. One of the icons in the map shows that Dallas County, Alabama was a 77% slave county in 1860. The soil there is described as a rich, black soil, good for growing cotton. This band of soil extends to an area of Texas called Dallas. Dallas, Texas was the second biggest collection point for cotton in the world in the 1880s. The reason for calling the Texas city and county Dallas is obscure but perhaps it was originally to signal that it was a good place to have slaves and grow cotton. In a twist of fate or, more honestly, public relations, Dallas subsequently may have found other explanations for its name.