A lot of people make fun of Juneteenth. If you had been a black living in Texas in 1865 you would have a different point of view. Although Lincoln officially freed all slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation effective January of 1863, it didn’t carry any weight in Texas. So from the period from 1863 through 1865 slaves stayed slaves in most parts of Texas. June 19th, 1865 changed all that…at least officially.
On June 19th 1865, General Gordon Granger took 2000 troops to Galveston Texas where he read General Order 3 that announced slavery ceased to exist, but that all former slaves were to continue to work for their former masters with the difference that they would now receive wages for their efforts. It should also be noted that the General also announced the former slaves weren’t welcome at army installation, nor were they “going to be supported in idleness.” In other words they were free – but on their own. Continue reading