HAPPY JUNETEENTH: a TEXAS thing, a REPUBLICAN thing (Ferrando Heyward)

Be proud. I say this not because the Texas Legislature recently passed a law making it a holiday. No, I say this so that we can embrace and be proud of this day as a part of Texas history.

I want us to examine this day in it's historical context as well as a part of my promise to equip you for dealing with people regarding CRT. Again, I emphasize that we must acknowledge history: the Good the Bad and the Ugly. If we fail to embrace history, the left, as they do with most topics, will turn it against us rewriting it and using this rewrite to their advantage. So put on your big Republican pants and let's take a stroll down history lane so that you too can be proud of what the Republicans did in the past and recently regarding this day.

First stop the 1850 compromise. In short, it's aim was to address the territories acquired in the Mexican-American War and whether these areas would be free or slave states. At the end of the day, Texas ceded large swaths of land, the territories of New Mexico and Utah, more importantly to this writing slavery was permitted in Texas. Yes, our beloved Texas was a slave state. As the years rolled by the issue of slavery became very intense. In the 1860 residential election, REPUBLICANS, led by Abraham Lincoln supported banning slavery in all the US territories.

Before Lincoln's inauguration, seven slave states with cotton based economies declared secession and formed the Confederacy. In his Mar 1861 inaugural address, Lincoln attempted to calm the fears of the “Southern States by stating“I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the United States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”

However in April 1861 Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter [the catalyst to war]. On Jan 1, 1863 Lincoln made a presidential Proclamation 95 (Emancipation Proclamation) and executive order

That on the first day of January in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom. {note it's important to be nuanced here when discussing this with opposition folks}

Ok ok so the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, so where does Juneteenth come into play? Good question. Although the Emancipation Proclamation officially outlawed slavery in Texas and other rebellious states, enforcement relied on the advancement of Union Troops. Texas being the most remote of the slave states, continued on with the practice; in fact it became a place for the shuffle of slaves within the state as well other states' slave holders sent captives to Texas.

On Jun 19th 1865, Union Major Gen Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX to take command of more than 2,000 federal troops to enforce the emancipation of slaves within Texas. Granger's men marched throughout Galveston reading General Order No 3. The order informed all Texans that, in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, ALL slaves were 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.

So let's recap some of the WHYS. Why is it important Republican thing and Why it's a TX thing.

Why it's an important Republican thing:

  • Abraham Lincoln a Republican

  • Texas Governors during the Civil War and prior under slavery:

1861-1863 Democrat: Edward Clark

1863-1865 Democrat: Frances Lubbock

1865-1866 pro unionist: Andrew Jackson Hamilton appointed military governor by Lincoln aligned himself with the “Radical Republicans” Governor when the 13th Amendment was ratified

Why is it a Texas Thing

Granger's General Order No 3 was read in Galveston TX and was the final nail in the coffin for legal slavery in TX, the last hold out.

All enslaved people were not sitting idle after the Emancipation Proclamation a good number who were able high tailed it out of the state and went and settle elsewhere

Bonus dates for you to know:

  • Watchnight (31 Dec): 01 Jan 1863 Emancipation Proclamation symbolic end of slavery (slavery was abolished in areas controlled by Union forces)

  • Juneteenth: 19 Jun 1865

  • 13th Amendment ratified: 31 Jan 1865

A word of note/caution read up on both the Radical Republicans & the “Lily White” movement. Don't get caught unaware in conversations; this movement almost derailed the progress that the Republican Party made in an attempt to compete with Southern Democrats for popularity and to garner the white vote.



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