On June 19, 1865, Union forces arrived in Galveston, Texas and declared to the population of that state that the Emancipation Proclamation had freed its slaves. Called “Juneteenth,” it was initially celebrated in Texas, but it is now recognized in one way or another by 45 states and the District of Columbia. But what is it a celebration of? President Abraham Lincoln had no constitutional authority to free slaves, so no slaves were legally freed under the Proclamation.
As this was the last place that those declared free under the Emancipation Proclamation were informed that they were free, is it presumed that the last of the slaves obtained their freedom on that day? It is presumed wrongly if it is.
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