Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Something I learned from doing yesterdays post;
The author of the gospel Song 'Amazing Grace" had been the Captain of a Slave Boat..
And another thing:
California recognized Juneteenth as a holiday in 2000.
What I would love to hear:
Arnold Schartzenegger, the "Governator" of California, saying in his thick accent "Emancipation Proclamation". I would also like to hear him say 'Hydrogen Hum-Vee".

The question was raised as to why it took so long for the slaves in Texas to find out about the Proclamation. There are three theories:
There is the story of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another, is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations. And still another, is that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation.

I would bet they are all true.

And here is an observation:
The following line appears throughout the Internet regarding Juneteenth.
"Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States."
Can someone please tell me what would be another Holiday commemorating the ending of Slavery in the United States? Did I miss one?

It should be noted that Slavery was not really banned in the United States until December 6, 1865 with the ratification of the 13 Amendment to the Constitution.
Mississippi did not Ratify this Amendment until 1995!

This is still not the post I wanted to do about the Emancipation Proclamation. It was a very interesting and controversial document and did much for the country without really having freed a single slave.


Akelamalu said...

All three reasons you've stated sound more than plausible!

GEWELS said...

I'll ask my BRILLIANT son the question of another holiday commemorating the end of slavery. This is his field. If he don't know of one-there ain't one.

GrizzBabe said...

I agree with you that all three explanations probably occured. Nothing is ever completely cut and dry. The truth is usually very complex.

Mother of Invention said...

I'd believe all 3 stories as well. And where did Mississippi get off with not signing that until 1995?!! Does that mean if they had had any slaves, (I don't imagine there were any but..)no one would technically get in any trouble? Yikes!

(Hey, Steve, my niece just got a job in Dallas after 6 years university in the US! Now she has to get the green card etc.)

Old Lady said...

Mother-Mississippi probably had the worst economic blows dealt during the war. Some of the civilians actually lived in trenches during that time in a state of siege. In my opinion the states that received the worst economic blows also went without education or much of an economy after and bear the most resentment with the perception that the negro was the cause of their plight. Mississipi depended on the cotton trade almost wholly. Their ports shipped the cotton that the state grew. This type of anger and hate was fostered from generation to generation while the state's economy floundered and poverty was far reaching for all inhabitants.

In hindsight, had the slave states gone ahead and agreed to the change in status of slave state to free state it would have had a minimal impact on the economy, though I do believe a migrant caste system would have evolved.

Overall, there was no clear or well thought out plan to free the slaves and balance the economy. The government was trying to funnel the vast influx of immigrants from Ireland and other European countries to other parts of the country for gainful employment. Slavery was causing a economic imbalance nationally.

I am convinced that had this situation not existed that nothing would have been done about slavery at all.

It just goes to show that government will do more for money than human rights. We serve as the conscience of the government by keeping it fair and straight!

Thanks Steve for my soapbox and please correct any misinterpretations of history that I have made.

steve said...

Thanks to all for your comments, but Ol lady takes the cake, don't She?
Tym, thank you so much for your input and perspective. i do these historical posts not because I am an expert, but because I am not and its a great excercise in memory and then trying to look up an, verify and add on to what I know, or think I know.

I could look through a lot of volumes before I found anything that was as direct and to the point as your comment.

Barbara said...

Mississippi has always been just a little slow when it comes to issues of color. My God -- 1995!

Old Lady said...

Steve-I think you are a master of history! I love your historical posts as I always learn something from them. I have learned quite a bit about the Civil War because my husband is keenly interested in it (being from Minnesota and all). Again thanks for you patience and understanding when I get long winded!

steve said...

Every word of yours adds value to my day!

steve said...

To reinforce what Ol Lady says....
Vicksburg Missiissippi citizens lived in caves during the siege, dug out of the bluffs....the city finally surrendered on July 4th 1863...
The 4th of July was not celebrated in vicks burg for the next 80 years!!!

Mother of Invention said...

Thanks OL! I still find it amazing that there wasn't more pressure from the whole country to bear down on Mississippi to sign.