Edmund J. Carter, one of 397 free blacks in Texas in 1850, made a name for himself in Young County.
The African-American and his family eventually settled around Fort Belknap where they distinguished themselves for their hard work and enterprise. Before they came to Texas, the Carters were already wealthy from their freighting company. Edmund's son, Alexander J. Carter and his wife, Elizabeth Ann, who was white, also helped in the business.
When Edmund Carter immigrated to Texas, the first thing he did was to be recognized as a “man of color” and to be declared a “free man and entitled to all rights of Texas citizenship.” In fact, As Carter traveled from Arkansas to Texas, he found it often necessary to register his affidavit showing himself to be a “free man of color.” This was a major issue, a life and death issue.
Elizabeth Ann Carter played an unusually vital role toward the family's success in farming and stock raising. Another personal business contract took place shortly before Young County's organization in 1856. She entered into a contract with a well-to-do German businessman named Conrad Neuhaus, who had invested in groceries, saloons, gaming, banking and merchandising at Fort Belknap.