The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168130 Message #4061078
Posted By: Stilly River Sage
23-Jun-20 - 07:05 PM
Thread Name: Juneteenth - another US Independence Day
Subject: Juneteenth - another US Independence Day
In 2020 the observation of Juneteenth, June 19, 1865, when slaves in Texas finally learned that they were free, took on greater significance in the immediate aftermath of the George Floyd murder.
12 Things You Might Not Know About Juneteenth
BY Stacy Conradt
June 19, 2018
(Updated: May 27, 2020)
2. There are many theories as to why the Emancipation Proclamation wasn’t enforced in Texas.
News traveled slowly back in those days—it took Confederate soldiers in western Texas more than two months to hear that Robert E. Lee had surrendered at Appomattox. Still, some have struggled to explain the 30-month gap between Lincoln’s proclamation and the enslaved people’s freedom, leading to speculation that some Texans suppressed the announcement. Other theories include that the original messenger was murdered to prevent the information from being relayed or that the federal government purposely delayed the announcement to Texas to get one more cotton harvest out of the enslaved workers. But the real reason is probably that Lincoln's proclamation simply wasn't enforceable in the rebel states before the end of the war.
5. Not all enslaved people were freed instantly.
Texas is a large state, and General Granger's order (and the troops needed to enforce it) were slow to spread. According to historian James Smallwood, many enslavers deliberately suppressed the information until after the harvest, and some beyond that. In July 1867 there were two separate reports of enslaved people being freed, and one report of a Texas horse thief named Alex Simpson whose enslaved people were only freed after his hanging in 1868.
Considering how significant the date, it's sad that it took Texas until 1980 to make it a holiday, and it isn't a paid holiday, it's just a date on the calendar.
Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863. It took until December 6, 1865 to ratify the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to remove all forms of slavery.