Tomlinson Hill

Tomlinson Hill is a book, film and interactive project that tells the story of race relations in America through a small community in Central Texas and two Tomlinson families, one white and one black, who trace their ancestry to a slave plantation called Tomlinson Hill. The book begins with the arrival of the first white Tomlinson, a woman married to one of Texas’ wealthiest men, and ends when the last black Tomlinson to live on the Hill dies in 2007. My contemporary on the African American side of the story is LaDainian Tomlinson, one of the greatest running backs the world has ever known.

The film concentrates on present-day Marlin, Texas and how that community struggles with poverty and the legacy of race today. We interview people from all walks of life as they try to find a future for their deteriorating community. This is accompanied by an interactive web site called Voice of Marlin, that stores the oral histories we collected along the way.

To learn more, visit Tomlinson Hill


This book is a rewarding reminder of how a seemingly unremarkable place can be a laboratory for understanding the conflicts at the heart of our national identity. Chris Tomlinson has drilled deep into Tomlinson Hill, and released a gusher of history.
Stephen Harrigan
Author of The Gates of the Alamo