In Remembrance of Juneteenth…

Emancipation Day Celebration Band, June 19, 1900. “East Woods,” East 24th St., Austin, Texas. Source: Austin Public Library

The New York Times

July 7, 1865

General Orders, No. 3 – The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a ‘proclamation from the Executive of the United States,’ ‘all slaves are free.’ This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.

The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes, and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts, and that they will no be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.

By command of Maj.-Gen. GRANGER

F. W. Emery, Major, and A. A. G.

The New York Times, July 7, 1865

Pittsburgh Daily Post

July 8, 1865

Advices from Galveston to the 20th, state that Weitzel’s corps arrived there several days before. Galveston is occupied by colored troops, constituting a provost guard for the enforcement of law and order.

Gen. Gordon Granger left Galveston on the 20th June for Houston, with a sufficient force to occupy the city and protect the citizens in the vicinity.

The following general order was issued at Galveston by General Granger on the 19th:

‘The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, ‘all slaves are free.’

This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.’

‘The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts, and that they will not be supported in idleness wither there or elsewhere.’

‘All acts of the governor and legislature of Texas, since the ordinance of succession, are hereby declared illegitimate.’

‘All civil and military officers and agents of the so-called Confederate States government, or of the state of Texas, and all persons formerly connected with the Confederate States army, in Texas, will at once report for parole.

‘All lawless persons committing acts of violence, such as banditti, guerrillas, jay-hawkers, horse thieves, etc., etc., are hereby declared out-laws and enemies of the human race, and will be dealt with accordingly.”

The Pittsburgh Daily Post, July 8, 1865

Galveston Daily News

June 23, 1865

General Orders, No. 3 – The freedmen in and around the City of Houston are hereby directed to remain for the time being with their former owners. They are assured that by so doing they forfeit none of their rights of freedom. An Agent of the Government, whose business it is to superintend the making of contracts between the Freedmen and those who desire to employ them, is expected to be here soon. In the meantime, the Freedmen are advised to be patient and industrious.

No encouragement or protection will be given those who abandon their present homes for the purposes of idleness. If found in this city, without employment, or visible means of support, they will be put at labor, cleaning the streets, without compensation.

The Provost Marshal is charged with the enforcement of this Order.

By order of

Colonel G. W. Clark

Chas. F. Loshe, Post Adj’t”

Galveston Daily News, June 23, 1865

Emancipation Day Celebration, June 19, 1900. “East Woods,” East 24th St., Austin, Texas. Source: Austin Public Library

The Emancipation Day Celebration of 1900, Austin, Texas

Tomorrow marks an occasion and a day of more than passing moment to the old time negro. The young faction of our colored citizens know nothing about the memories of the day save through hearsay, but they enter into the spirit of the celebration each year with much gusto and generally manage to eke out lots of wholesome enjoyment. The 19th of June celebration this year promises to be conducted on quite an elaborate scale. There will be the usual street parades and the usual two factions which hold separate picnics each year. This year, however, there is not that felling prevailing between the two factions which will result in the injury to either celebration picnic, but will rather help them both be a success. The Unioners will hold their celebration at Wheeler’s grove and the old ex-salves will be found at Govalle. This latter picnic will be under the supervision of the old ex-slaves of the county and their friends and promises to be quite an important event.

The celebration at Wheeler’s grove will be in the shape of a grand free barbecue and basket picnic. The program will consist of speaking, roping contests and baseball. The welcome address will be delivered by S. J. Jenkins and will be responded to by Mayor McCall. The emancipation proclamation will be read by Jas. H. Harrison, and L. B. Kincheon will deliver the oration of the day. Then speeches will be delivered by other prominent colored orators.

The order of the parade will be: Chief grand marshal and staff, city band, Georgetown Rifles grand officers in carriages, goddess of liberty and maids of honor, Sunday school children on floats, decorated floats and wagons, baseball players on foot, cattle ropers on horses, labor unions on foot, citizens in vehicles and on foot. The parade will come to the avenue and proceed to the capitol, where they will be reviewed by the state officials.

The following list comprises the officers: Richard S. Smith, president; John Franklin, secretary; Gus Black, treasurer; L. B. Kincheon, orator; Lula Johnson, goddess of liberty; Alex. Chalmers, chief grand marshal.

The Austin-American, June 18, 1900

Texas was the first state to establish Juneteenth as a state holiday under legislation introduced by freshman Democratic state representative Al Edwards (Houston). The law passed through the Texas Legislature in 1979 and was officially made a state holiday on January 1, 1980. After Texas recognized the date, many states followed suit. Currently, 47 of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have recognized Juneteenth as either a state holiday or ceremonial holiday, a day of observance.

Texas Lifestyle Magazine

Categories: Austin (TX), Civil War, emancipation, Galveston (TX), Galveston County (TX), Harris County (TX), Houston (TX), Slavery, Texas, Travis County (TX), U. S. Colored TroopsTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Nadia K. Orton

Professional genealogist and public historian. Graduate of Duke University. President of the Sacred Grounds Project, Inc. Studying historic African American cemeteries and communities.

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