Happy Juneteenth, everyone. My prayer today is that repentance, jubilee and Juneteenth will meet in a glorious trajectory of redemption.
Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when people held as slaves in Texas finally learned that the abhorrent practice had ended two years previously, when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
The proclamation freed “all persons held as slaves” in the states that had rebelled against the Union, and Texas was one of them. To understand how it took more than two years for slaves in Texas to learn they were free, you have to know a little bit of history about the Lone Star State.
Before Texas was a state, it was ruled by Spain and later, Mexico. Both governments encouraged the freeing of slaves, but in the 1820s, when slave owners from the Southern states began migrating to Texas to grow cotton, the number of slaves began to grow. When Texas won its independence from Mexico in 1836, slavery was written into the new republic’s constitution.
In 1845, when Texas was annexed to the U.S., there were some 30,000 slaves in the state. By 1850, that number had jumped to more than 50,000. Ten years later, the slave population numbered more than 180,000.
Texas seceded from the Union in 1861 and joined the Southern confederacy. At that point, almost one-quarter of Texas families owned at least one slave. Following the Emancipation Proclamation, Southern slaveholders began moving their human captives into Texas, where few Union soldiers were stationed, and the proclamation could be ignored.
That changed on June 19, 1965, when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger and 2,000 Union soldiers arrived in Galveston and declared all slaves free by reading this proclamation:
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SOURCE: Charisma News