HAPPY JUNETEENTH 2015 to ALL of my Coffee, Chocolate, Caramel, Cinnamon, and Creamy CRAZY COOL GROOVY Family, Friends, Frats, Fans, Followers, Frienemies, and FANTABULICIOUSTICAL Funky Fresh Fly FOLKS of ALL Shapes, Sizes, Flavors, Persuasions, and Denominations!!!
JUNETEENTH is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the UNITED STATES.
Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major
PLEASE note that this was two and a half years after President ABRAHAM LINCOLN issued the EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION - which had become official January 1, 1863.
The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order.
However, with the surrender of General ROBERT E. LEE in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.
The celebration of June 19, 1865 was eventually coined with the term, JUNETEENTH.
During the CIVIL WAR, POTUS #16 Abraham Lincoln issued the EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION on September 22, 1862, with an effective date of January 1, 1863,
It declared for all slaves to be freed in the Confederate States of America in rebellion and not in Union hands (this excluded Maryland, Delaware, Tennessee, "West" and Southeast Virginia and lower Louisiana, which were occupied by the Union). It also announced that the Union would start recruiting former slaves and free blacks to serve in the military and recruitment began in the spring of 1863.
Slaves often escaped to Union lines for protection and many began to serve in the military. In some areas, contraband camps were set up to house the freedmen temporarily, as well as start schools and put adults to work. Lincoln had urged the governments in the Border States, which had remained in the Union, to free their slaves under a system of gradual abolition and compensation, but none did so. Those slaves were not emancipated until the end of the war.
Even when slaves gained freedom, this was a difficult era. Conditions in contraband camps were crowded, with poor sanitation, as existed in most military encampments. Just as more soldiers on both sides died of disease rather than wounds, because of the social disruption from the war and general harsh conditions, many former slaves died of disease in the years from 1862 to 1870, including from a smallpox epidemic.
More isolated geographically, Texas was not a battleground, and thus its slaves were not affected by the Emancipation Proclamation unless they escaped. Planters and other slaveholders had migrated into Texas from eastern states to escape the fighting, and many brought their slaves with them, increasing by the thousands the number of slaves in the state at the end of the Civil War.
By 1865, there were an estimated 250,000 slaves in Texas. As news of end of the war moved slowly, it did not reach Texas until May 1865, and the Army of the Trans-Mississippi did not surrender until June 2. On June 18, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived at Galveston Island with 2,000 federal troops to occupy Texas on behalf of the federal government.
On June 19, 1865, standing on the balcony of Galveston's Ashton Villa, Granger read aloud the contents of "General Order No. 3", announcing the total emancipation of slaves:
"The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere."PEACE, LOVE, FREEDOM, And JUNETEENTH BLESSINGS;