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James Francis comments on Juneteeneth

By Floyd Miller



What Is Juneteenth Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery. It dates back to June 19, 1865. President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had been issued almost three years earlier, in 1862, and had become effective on January 1, 1863 in the Union States. The Civil War had ended. Major General Gordon Granger and the 13th Army Corps was assigned to Texas and the advance reached Galveston on the 16th and 18th of June 1865.June 19th, General Gordon Granger from his headquarters, read the third order of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston. It declared that all salves are free in both Union and Confederate States. The Civil War is over.The word of freedom was talked about first on Galveston Island. General Granger and his 1800 men left Galveston and went on to the mainland telling salves they were free and slave masters to let your slaves go. There were no shots fired to free slaves in Texas.General Granger was relieved of his command of the 13th Corps for doing what he did – reading the third order of the Emancipation Proclamation and telling the plantation owners to let their slaves go. The North had won and the war was over. April 1865.The South was rich in cotton. The only way to harvest cotton at that time was by the hand of slaves. The North was not ready to end slavery because they needed the slaves to harvest the cotton.As we remember this Juneteenth order today, however, we should also remember that General Gordon Granger knew well that true freedom is more than words on a piece of paper. It can only be achieved through dedication, courage and some times it involves great personal risk and sacrifice.Let it be said over and over again, the Emancipation Proclamation is one of the most important public documents in the history of the United States. It ranks only below, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. Note: All of this information has been documented by James Francis from many different resource files. 9405 ID 94205 – pg. 64

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