“U.S. National Archives Unearths Original Juneteenth Order”
“For the generations of African Americans who have celebrated Juneteenth, General Order No. 3 is so powerful that it is sometimes read aloud to mark the occasion, alongside or instead of the Emancipation Proclamation.
“The order, issued in Galveston on June 19, 1865, by U.S. Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, informed the people of Texas that all enslaved people were now free:
“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 not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”
“Word then spread quickly among African Americans that the U.S. had ended slavery. White slaveholders were already aware of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, but as the Civil War continued they had not complied, instead bringing more enslaved people into Texas from other parts of the South. Granger backed up his order with 2,000 troops,” by Laurel Wamsley, NPR. Read more