Ryan Haun

Emeline, A Houston Case of Black History

1847 Harris County case Emeline, a free person of color v. Jesse P. Bolls highlights a monumental legal victory. Emeline came to Houston as a free woman in the early 1840s, where she and her sons were forced back into slavery by Jesse P. Bolls. They remained Bolls’ slaves for the 18-month duration of the case. She was an illiterate, biracial woman and made the bold decision to take legal action to sue her slaveowner.