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The origins of Juneteenth

by The 100 Companies

While the Emancipation Proclamation ostensibly took effect at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 1863, freedom for more than 250,000 enslaved people in the Lone Star State took in excess of two more years to arrive.

Despite Union soldiers spreading the good news in cities and on plantations across the South, President Lincoln’s decree remained moot in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas.

It was not until June 19, 1865 – when 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay to announce freedom for all enslaved people by executive decree – that “Juneteenth” was declared by the newly freed people in Texas.

ECPR Texas

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