Emancipation Proclamation

Happy Juneteenth! This holiday marks the end of the official institution of slavery in the United States, and was historically widely celebrated by black Americans. The photo above is of a 1905 celebration in Richmond, Virginia.

On this day in 1865, enslaved people in Texas were informed of their freedom, two years following the Emancipation Proclamation. Also on this day, the Civil Rights Act of 1963 was passed, after an 83 day filibuster in the US Senate. This is the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, meaning that official chattel slavery ended in the United States only six generations ago. 

This is an important day to remember and honor all those who struggled against this titanic evil- those whose names we know, and the countless others whose resistance was not recorded and lost to history. 

Heroes of Emancipation

In celebration of Juneteenth, here are some striking illustrations by James I. DeLoache for Negro Heroes of Emancipation, a book researched and written by Mildred Bond and published by the NAACP as part of its celebration for the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Sojourner Truth

Richard Allen

Frederick Douglass

African-American soldiers in the Civil War

“This has been a labor of love for Mr. DeLoache, who has had as a lifelong interest the visual depiction of the Negro’s struggle for identity and achievement.”

This Day in History: Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United Sates. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

2

June 19th 1865: Juneteenth

On this day in 1865, the abolition of slavery was formally proclaimed in Texas, in an event which has been celebrated as ‘Juneteenth’ (a contraction of ‘June 19th’). President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves in rebelling Confederate states not under Union occupation, on January 1st 1863. However, the proclamation had little effect in areas like Texas which were not under Union control. It was two years later, in June 1865, when Union troops under Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, that abolition came to the state. The Union contingent brought the news that the American Civil War was over, following the surrender of Robert E. Lee in April. Upon his arrival, General Granger read General Order Number 3 declaring slavery abolished, leading thousands of former slaves to leave the state to seek employment or to find their families. Slavery was formally abolished throughout the entire United States with the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in December 1865. Juneteenth was one of the first celebrations commemorating the abolition of slavery in the United States, and served as a poignant time for the black community in Texas and elsewhere to come together in solidarity as they endured the hardship of Jim Crow which followed emancipation. The celebration of Juneteenth waned during the early twentieth century, largely due to financial concerns, but resurged with the onset of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1980, Juneteenth became an official state holiday in Texas, making it the first state-recognised emancipation celebration. Now, Juneteenth is spreading beyond Texas, and has become a day for celebrating African-American achievement, and remembering the legacy of slavery.

“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free”
- General Order Number 3, read by General Granger June 19th 1865

anonymous asked:

You said the Republican party fought against slavery.. That is true, but the Republican party around that time period have more modern Democrat beliefs. They were northerners who believed in equal rights. And the Democratic party in the 1800s had view more similar to modern Republican beliefs. The party's beliefs flip flopped around late 1800s-early 1900s.. The conservative states were always advocating for slavery and oppression. They were also the last states to give women the right to vote.

Originally posted by onemorechapter11

Let’s discuss some history then.

1791 - The Democratic-Republican Party is formed by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson against Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Party. The Democratic-Republicans strongly opposed government overreach and expansion, the creation of a national bank, and corruption.

1804 - Andrew Jackson purchases the plantation that will become his primary source of wealth.

1824 - The Democratic-Republican Party split. The new Democrats were supported by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, and the National Republicans were supported by John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay.

1828 - Andrew Jackson is elected President of the United States.

1830 - Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, whereby the Cherokee and other native tribes were to be forcibly removed from their lands.

1831 - Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, whereby the Supreme Court ruled that Cherokee Nation was sovereign and the U.S. had no jurisdiction over Cherokee lands. Andrew Jackson had already started to enforce the removal of the Choctaw.

1832-33 - The Whig Party is formed in opposition to Jackson’s government expansion and overreach in the Nullification Crisis and the establishment of a Second National Bank. The Whig Party successfully absorbs the National Republican Party.

1838 -  Many Indian tribes had been forcibly removed. Under Jackson, General Winfield Scott and 7,000 soldiers forced the Cherokee from their land at bayonet point while their homes were pillaged. They marched the Cherokee more than 1,200 miles to the allocated Indian territory. About 5,000 Cherokee died on the journey due to starvation and disease.

1854 - The Whig Party dissolves over the question of the expansion of slavery. Anti-slavery Whigs and anti-slavery democrats form the Republican Party with their sole goal being to end slavery.

1861 -The election of President Lincoln spurs the beginning of the Civil War.

1862 - Lincoln writes a letter where he declares he wishes to preserve the union regardless of the morals on slavery. He issues the Emancipation Proclamation, whereby all slaves in Union territories had to be freed. As states came under Union control, those slaves too had to be freed.

1863 - Frederick Douglass, former slave and famous Republican abolitionist, meets with Lincoln on the suffrage of emancipated slaves.

1864 - Lincoln revised his position on slavery in a letter to Albert G. Hodges stating “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.”

1865 - Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders at the Appomattox Courthouse to Union victory. After Lincoln’s Assassination, Democrat President Johnson issues amnesty to rebels and pardons the slave owners of their crimes.

1865 - The 13th Amendment which ended slavery passed with 100% Republican support and 63% Democrat support in congress.

1866 - The Klu Klux Klan is formed by Confederate veterans to intimidate black and Republicans through violence, lynching, and public floggings. They gave open support to the Democrat Party.

1866 - The Civil Rights Act of 1866 is vetoed by Democratic President Andrew Johnson. Every single Republican voted and overturned the veto.

1868 - The 14th Amendment which gave citizenship to freed slaves passed with 94% Republican support and 0% Democrat support in congress. The first grand wizard of the KKK, Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest is honored at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

1868 - Representative James Hinds who taught newly freedmen of their rights is murdered by the KKK.

1870 - The 15th Amendment which gave freed slaves the right to vote passed with 100% Republican support and 0% Democrat support in congress.

1871 - The violence of the KKK grew so savage that congress passed the Enforcement Acts to repress their influence.

1875 - Democrat Senator William Saulsbury speaks out against the Civil RIghts Act of 1875, claiming it will allow “colored men shall sit at the same table beside the white guest; that he shall enter the same parlor and take his seat beside the wife and daughter of the white man, whether the white man is willing or not, because you prohibit discrimination against him.“

1884 - A train conductor orders Ida B. Wells, a black Republican woman, to give up her seat and move to the smoking car. Wells was an investigative journalist who worked for a Republican journal to expose the horror of lynching. She advocated for the 2nd amendment rights for blacks so that they could protect themselves, and she denounced the Democratic Party for treating blacks as property unequal to whites.

1892 - Democrat Benjamin Tillman is re-elected to the Senate. He was a white supremacist who boasted his participation in lynchings. He is quoted saying that “as long as the Negroes continue to ravish white women we will continue to lynch them.”

1915 - Democrat President Woodrow Wilson screens KKK promotion film Birth of a Nation. The film pictured blacks as ignorant and violent savages, and the Klu Klux Klan as rescuers and protectors of the civilized world. The popularity of the movie revived the Klu Klux Klan which had previously gone extinct. Reportedly Wilson said about the film that “[it] is like writing history with lightning, and my only regret is that it is all so terribly true.”

1919 - The 19th Amendment which officially gave women the right to vote passed with 82% Republican support and 54% Democrat support in congress.

1924 - Thousands of Klansmen attend the 1924 Democratic National Convention.

1933 -  The chief Nazi newspaper, Volkischer Beobachter, praised “Roosevelt’s adoption of National Socialist strains of thought in his economic and social policies” and “the development toward an authoritarian state.”

1933 - Democrat President Franklin Delano Roosevelt passes the Agricultural Adjustment Act with the well-meaning goal to help farmers and sharecroppers. Instead, though it aided white farmers, it resulted in increased unemployment and displacement of black farmers.

1933 -  FDR established the National Recovery Administration to stimulate business recovery by forcing employers to pay higher wages for less work. This relief program was enforced on a local level and allowed Jim Crow racism to flourish, resulting in many blacks being fired to be replaced by whites. 

1934 -  The Federal Housing Administration is introduced under FDR. The FHA made homeownership accessible for whites, but explicitly refused to back loans to black people or even other people who lived near black people.

1936 - The Roosevelt Administration finally begins vying for the black vote. Though the relief programs neglected blacks, their communities were bombarded with advertisements. FDR began to garner black support though the vast majority remained economically unchanged and locked into poverty.

1942 - FDR orders American citizens of Japanese ancestry from their homes into interment camps without due process after the bombings at Pearl Harbor.

1953 - Senator Robert Byrd is elected into congress and remains a staunch Democrat until his death in 2010. He was a prominent member in the KKK and praised by Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton.

1955 - Democrat Richard Daley is elected mayor of Chicago. He resisted residential desegregation, defended public school segregation, and used urban renewal funds to build massive public housing projects that kept blacks within existing ghettos.

1957 - The Civil Rights Act of 1957 is passes with 93% Republican support and 59% Democrat support.

1963 - After the assassination of JFK, Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn into office. LBJ was a Democrat remembered by a famous quote: “I’ll have them niggers voting Democrat for the next 200 years.”

1965 - The Voting Rights Act of 1965 passes with 94% Republican support and 73% Democrat support.

1968 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated. MLK voted Republican.

1960-70s - A total of 24 Democratic members of congress switched to become Republican over a 20 year period. The majority of democrats in that time period remained democrats.

1995 - Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama is published. Obama discusses how the urban cities would become the new plantation for blacks under Democrat political bosses: “The plantation, the blacks have the worst jobs, the worst housing, police brutality rampant; but when the so-called black committee man come around election time, we’d all line up and vote the straight Democratic ticket. Sell our souls for a Christmas turkey. White folks spit in our faces, and we reward them with the vote.“

2009 - Hillary Clinton lauds Margaret Sanger, KKK advocate, white supremacist, and eugenicist at the 2009 Planned Parenthood Honors Gala: “I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision. I am really in awe of her, there are a lot of lessons we can learn from her life.”

Me: 1
History revisionism: 0

Originally posted by whiteangelxoxo

neptune in the signs

neptune usually spends 14 years in each sign as part of it’s cycle. as the planet of idealism, illusion, creativity, escapism and spirituality, it tends to represent the cultural ideals of the time.

the aries generation: neptune was in aries from 1861 to 1875 and as such traditionally ariean traits like freedom and independence were in focus. serfdom was abolished in russia in 1861 and the emancipation proclamation of 1863 abolished slavery in the united states.

the taurus generation: neptune was in taurus from 1875 to 1889. this placement idealises security and material possessions and coincides with the so called “gilded age” in the united states. during this time, economic growth was rapid and many famously extravagant homes were built in areas like newport.

the gemini generation: neptune was in gemini from 1889 to 1902, and this generation particularly idealised intellect and communication. in the united kingdom, the “souls” group dominated intellectual life and in france this period encompasses much of the belle époque, during which writers like émile zola and colette first came to prominence. also, this period includes the beginning of the jewish golden age in hungary.

the cancer generation: neptune was in cancer from 1902 to 1916 and during this time the home and family life was idealised. the temperance movement and groups like the anti saloon league gained attention in the united states. the emergence of “new liberalism” in the united kingdom also saw the establishment of the foundational welfare state.

the leo generation: neptune was in leo from 1916 to 1929. the idealisation of youth, glamour and artistic expression can be seen in this period. the flapper subculture famously boomed in the united states and the growing film industry led to the creation of hollywood culture. in paris, many young expatriate authors published daring novels and created a scene where free expression was valued. 

the virgo generation: neptune was in virgo from 1929 to 1943. this placement idealises work, positive work ethics and education. many countries experienced a growth in labour forces and unionisation in this period and the “common man” was idealised in film, particularly in the work of directors like frank capra.

the libra generation: neptune was in libra from 1943 to 1957 and as such marriage and relationships were particularly idealised at this time. much of the post war period in culture was famously characterised by a focus on relationships and the “baby boom” is indicative of this placement.

the scorpio generation: neptune was in scorpio from 1957 to 1970, a period in which the idealisation of sex and transformation is particularly evident. in the united states, the sexual revolution began and psychedelic drugs and rock were tools of personal transformation. politically, protest movements in various countries show the desire for governmental transformation.

the sagittarius generation: neptune was in sagittarius from 1970 to 1985. in this period, the search for spiritual and philosophical meaning was idealised as well as different belief systems. eastern religions grew in popularity across the world and the televangelist phenomenon began. the 1970s are often known as the “me decade” due to the cultural focus on spiritual growth.

the capricorn generation: neptune was in capricorn from 1985 to 1998 and success and business were particularly idealised at this time. globalisation occurred at an increasingly fast pace and a distinct business culture developed, aided by technological advances.

the aquarius generation: neptune was in aquarius from 1998 to 2012. in this period, free thinking and inventiveness were idealised. the development of smart phones and the growth of the internet allowed for the development of new ideas. the emergence of social networks resulted in greater connectivity and understanding.

the pisces generation: neptune has been in pisces since 2012 and will be until 2026. during this time, compassion, spirituality and sensitivity will emerge as ideals. this can already be seen in the advances of the LGBTQ+ community and the growth of social activism.

confessionsofasongbird  asked:

so i've heard a very compelling (and for me view changing) theory- the civil war was based entirely on economics and was only declared a war on slavery as a means to prevent other countries who had recently declared slavery illegal from aiding the south- however whenever i bring this up people state that slavery was the one reason but let's be honest people where super into being racist assholes...

YEAH THIS THEORY IS ONE THING AND ONE THING EXACTLY:

BUNK.

FIRST OF ALL, THE UNION’S MOTIVES FOR WAGING “A WAR ON SLAVERY” ARE IRRELEVANT BECAUSE THE UNION WAS NOT THE AGGRESSOR IN THE WAR. NO MATTER WHAT THE MOTIVE OF THE NORTH WAS, THE FACT IS THAT THE SOUTH WAS AIMING TO WAGE A WAR AGAINST ABOLITION. 

THAT WAS THE CONFEDERATE MOTIVE, AS DIRECTLY STATED BY THEIR OWN OFFICIALS. THE SECESSION OF THE SOUTHERN STATES CAME FROM A REACTIONARY PANIC IN THE SOUTH ABOUT THE ELECTION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN (WHO BY TODAY’S STANDARDS IS WISHY-WASHY ON SLAVERY BUT AT THE TIME HE WOULD’VE BEEN CONSIDERED SOMETHING OF A RADICAL BY THE PRO-SLAVERY CAMP) AND THE BELIEF THAT THE NEW ADMINISTRATION WOULD BE MAKING ACTIVE MOVES TO ABOLISH THE INSTITUTION OF SLAVERY, OR EVEN JUST FAIL TO GUARANTEE ITS EXPANSION, GROWTH, AND SURVIVAL. 

“IT WAS ABOUT ECONOMICS” IS A MORE MODERN SMOKESCREEN USED TO WHITEWASH THE MOTIVES OF THE CONFEDERACY (YOU KNOW, THE RIGHT-WING EXTREMIST TRAITORS WHO STARTED THE WAR) SO THAT PEOPLE WOULDN’T CONDEMN THE ENTIRE CONFEDERACY AS PRO-SLAVERY.

IT WAS TECHNICALLY ABOUT ECONOMICS, BECAUSE THE ENTIRE SOUTHERN ECONOMY WAS BUILT ON SLAVERY. THE TRUTH BEHIND “THE CIVIL WAR WAS ABOUT ECONOMICS” IS THAT THE TRAITOR STATES’ VIEW OF ABOLITION WAS “IT’S GOING TO COST US MONEY IF WE CAN’T USE SLAVES!!”

BASICALLY THE RULE OF THUMB IS THAT ANYTIME YOU HEAR SOMEONE SAY “THE CIVIL WAR WAS ACTUALLY ABOUT–” YOU JUST GO AHEAD AND ASSUME THAT PERSON IS TRYING TO VEIL THE CONFEDERACY’S REAL, DOCUMENTED, STATED MOTIVE OF “PRESERVING THE INSTITUTION OF AFRICAN SLAVERY.”

“IT WAS ABOUT ECONOMICS!” TECHNICALLY YES, BECAUSE THE SOUTHERN ECONOMY WAS ENTIRELY RELIANT ON SLAVERY

“IT WAS ABOUT STATES’ RIGHTS!” TECHNICALLY YES, THE CONFEDERACY WAS ARGUING THAT STATES HAD THE RIGHT TO KEEP SLAVERY LEGAL IF THEY WANTED

“IT WAS ABOUT FEDERAL OVERREACH!” TECHNICALLY YES, THE CONFEDERACY WAS WORRIED ABOUT “FEDERAL OVERREACH,” SPECIFICALLY, THEY WERE WORRIED THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WOULD ABOLISH SLAVERY, WHICH THEY VIEWED AS TYRANNY

ALL, AND I MEAN ONE-HUNDRED-PERCENT, OF THE REASONS FOR THE CIVIL WAR HAD ENTIRELY AND EXCLUSIVELY TO DO WITH SLAVERY AND ANYONE WHO TELLS YOU DIFFERENTLY IS EITHER WOEFULLY MISINFORMED OR OR ACTIVELY TRYING TO MAKE THE TREASON OF THE SOUTHERN STATES SEEM MORE NOBLE.

AS FOR WHY IT WAS “DECLARED A WAR ON SLAVERY” BY THE NORTH– LINCOLN DID THIS BY ISSUING THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION WHICH DECLARED ALL SLAVES IN THE REBEL STATES FREE. OF COURSE, THEY WERE REBEL STATES AND WOULD NOT OBEY AN ORDER FROM THEIR ENEMY, BUT THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION WAS NEVER MEANT TO ACTUALLY FREE ANYONE, IT WAS MEANT TO SEND THE MESSAGE THAT LINCOLN’S ATTITUDE HAD CHANGED FROM “I DON’T CARE IF SLAVERY IS ABOLISHED AS LONG AS THE WAR ENDS” TO “SINCE THE WAR HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT SLAVERY AND NOTHING ELSE, WE HAVE TO ABOLISH SLAVERY TO END THE WAR, EITHER SLAVERY IS ABOLISHED OR THE WAR DOESN’T END.”

HAPPY JUNETEENTH!!

For those who don’t know what it is:

JUNETEENTH

JUNE 19th

Two months after Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865, effectively ending the Civil War, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger steamed into the port of Galveston, Tex. With 1,800 Union soldiers, including a contingent of United States Colored Troops. Granger was there to establish martial law over the westernmost state in the defeated Confederacy.

On June 19, two days after his arrival and 150 years ago today, Granger stood on the balcony of a building in downtown Galveston and read General Order No. 3 to the assembled crowd below.

“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free,” he pronounced.

This was the first time many in the crowd had learned of the Emancipation Proclamation, which President Lincoln had issued two and a half years before.

White slaveholders had suppressed the news of the decree freeing the slaves in Confederate territory not under Union control.

“We all walked down the road singing and shouting to beat the band,” a Texas freedwoman recounted.

“Black men pitched their hats high in the muggy June air,” according to another report.

“Men and women screamed ‘We’s free! We’s free!’ ” Others left town, in what became known as “the scatter.”

The jubilation following Granger’s announcement in Galveston moved across Texas, quickly reaching the state’s 250,000 enslaved people.

A year later, a spontaneous holiday called Juneteenth — formed from the words June and nineteenth — began to be celebrated by the newly freed people of Galveston and other parts of Texas.

In 1867, Austin, the state capital, saw its first Juneteenth celebration under the direction of the Freedmen’s Bureau, the federal agency created to provide relief to people displaced by the Civil War.

Embraced as an exuberant day of jubilee, Juneteenth combined a history lesson and a political rally with the gospel hymns and sermons of a church service.

Barbecue was soon added to the mix — this being Texas — with strawberry-flavored red soda water to wash it down.

In time, rodeos, baseball games and family reunions all became part of Juneteenth tradition.

As former slaveholders attempted to maintain their control, this display of freedom was often met with violence.

Juneteenth revelers sought the relative safe haven of black churches — a poignant irony given the tragedy on Wednesday night in Charleston, S.C. Some of these churches began raising money to buy land on which to mark Juneteenth.

In Houston, two black congregations collected pennies and nickels until a 10-acre parcel was purchased for $800 in 1872 and named Emancipation Park, which is still used today.

The festival of freedom spread across the former Confederacy in the late 19th century.

And as African-Americans moved north, they carried this celebration of liberation with them.

As Isabel Wilkerson wrote in “The Warmth of Other Suns,” her prizewinning account of the Great Migration: “The people from Texas took Juneteenth Day to Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, and other places they went. Even now, with barbecues and red soda pop, they celebrate June 19, 1865.”

Granger’s order was momentous, but it was no magic bullet. Even with the ratification of the 13th Amendment in December 1865, the emancipated people of Texas, and the rest of America, confronted violent resistance as they attempted to claim the promise of their liberation. Any small gains came in the face of whips and guns, followed by the well-documented decades of Jim Crow laws and Klan terror.

Officially neglected, over time Juneteenth lost much of its resonance in the black community.

But it has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years. Spurred by a revival of pride in African-American traditions long denied or suppressed, Juneteenth has gained official recognition — although not necessarily full legal holiday status — in a number of states, starting, appropriately, with Texas, which made Juneteenth a paid holiday for state employees in 1980.

Still, 150 years after its birth, Juneteenth remains largely unacknowledged on America’s national calendar. Many Americans are unaware of its existence, or its roots. Sadly, that ignorance of Juneteenth reflects a deeper issue: the continued existence of two histories, black and white, separate and unequal.

Frederick Douglass voiced that fundamental divide in a memorable speech on July 4, 1852. “The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me,” he said. “This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine.”

Juneteenth is the flip side of the Independence Day coin. One hundred and fifty years after General Granger told the enslaved people of Texas they were free, Juneteenth is viewed by many of those who are aware of it as an “African-American holiday.”

That perception unfairly diminishes the fundamental significance of Juneteenth. The day should be recognized for what it is: a shared point of pride in the symbolic end of centuries of racial slavery — a crime against humanity and the great stain on America’s soul. As meaningful as Independence Day itself, Juneteenth completes the circle, reaffirming “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as the rights of all, not a select few.

Even the vaunted Emancipation Proclamation failed to free a single slave. It only applied to rebel territory, and specifically exempted those parts of the South that were at the time (January 1863) occupied by federal armies. The president “has proclaimed emancipation only where he has notoriously no power to execute it, observed the New York World, while the London Spectator cynically noted that “the principle [embodied in the Emancipation Proclamation] is not that a human being cannot justly own another, but that he cannot own him unless he is loyal to the United States.” Indeed, federal troops who occupied Southern territory often enslaved the slaves for their own uses.
—  Thomas J. DiLorenzo “Abraham Lincoln and the Triumph of Mercantilism” Reassessing the Presidency: The Rise of the Executive State and the Decline of Freedom, edited by John V. Denson, Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 2001. p. 229
2

“Exactly why we changed the test!” the Sphinx exclaimed. “You already knew the answer. Now second question, what is the square root of sixteen?” 

“Four,” Annabeth said, “but—”

“Correct! Which U.S. president signed the Emancipation Proclamation?” 

“Abraham Lincoln, but—”

“Correct! Riddle number four. How much—”

“Hold up!” Annabeth shouted.

Harriet Tubman Didn’t Like Abraham Lincoln

During an interview with a writer named Rose Belle Holt in 1886, Harriet Tubman stated that she did not like Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War and only learned to appreciate him after her friend, Sojourner Truth, told her Lincoln was not an enemy but a friend to African-Americans.

The statement came after Holt asked Tubman if she ever visited Lincoln at the White House:

“No, I’m sorry now, but I didn’t like Lincoln in them days. I used to go see Missus Lincoln, but I never wanted to see him. You see we colored people didn’t understand then [that] he was our friend. All we knew was that the first colored troops sent south from Massachusetts only got seven dollars a month, while the white regiment got fifteen. We didn’t like that. But now I know all about it and I is sorry I didn’t go see Master Lincoln.”

Tubman said she eventually changed her mind after Sojourner Truth told her Lincoln was “our friend” and had gone to the White House in October of 1864 to thank Lincoln for signing the Emancipation Proclamation, according to the book Harriet Tubman: Slavery, the Civil War, and Civil Rights in the 19th Century:

“The two women initially held very different opinions of President Lincoln, however. Tubman questioned Lincoln’s motivation for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation and critiqued what she perceived as his slow and reluctant embrace of black freedom. She also blamed Lincoln for the policies that perpetuated unequal pay and treatment for black solders. Sojourner Truth, in contrast, readily accepted Lincoln’s reputation as the ‘Great Emancipator’ and remarked after meeting him in the fall of 1864 that she ‘had never treated with more kindness and cordiality than I was by the great and good man Abraham Lincoln, by the grace of God President of the United States for four more years.‘”

Sojourner Truth told her that Lincoln appreciated the visit but felt he only did what any president would have done in his shoes.

For the rest of her life, Tubman regretted not meeting Lincoln and thanking him for ending slavery. One of her close friends, Helen Tatlock, said during an interview with Earl Conrad in the 1939:

“I remember very clearly Harriet saying, and repeating, very often, that she did not know Lincoln. It was a deep sorrow and regret of her later years. She never recovered from that in any way.”

It’s not that surprising that Tubman would questioned Lincoln’s true feelings about slavery and race because it is something that is still hotly debated today. Lincoln was widely inconsistent on these issues and often contradicted himself, according to the book The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner:

“Lincoln was strongly antislavery, but he was not an abolitionist or a Radical Republican and never claimed to be one. He made a sharp distinction between his frequently reiterated personal wish that ‘all men everywhere could be free’ and his official duties as a legislator, congressman, and president in a legal and constitutional system that recognized the South’s  right to property in slaves. Even after issuing the Emancipation Proclamation he continued to declare his preference for gradual abolition. While his racial views changed during the Civil War, he never became a principled egalitarian in the manner of abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass and Wendell Phillips or Radical Republicans like Charles Sumner.”

Even Frederick Douglass‘ opinions on Abraham Lincoln as the “Great Emancipator” shifted as he also struggled to determine exactly where Lincoln stood on the subject of race. Douglass once angrily stated in 1862 that he felt Lincoln was pro-slavery but was masquerading as an anti-slavery advocate, then he wrote in 1865 that Lincoln was “emphatically, the black man’s President,” but a decade later, at the unveiling of an Emancipation Proclamation monument in Washington D.C., told the white audience “you are the children of Abraham Lincoln. We are at best only his step-children.”

Douglass did note, however, that no matter how people may perceive Lincoln on the issue of slavery, what Douglass did know of Lincoln was that “in his heart of hearts he loathed and hated slavery.”

The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth

Photo:  Juneteenth day celebration in Texas. 1900. 

Juneteenth is one of the most important events in our nation’s history. On “Freedom’s Eve” or the eve of January 1, 1863 the first Watch Night services took place. On that night, enslaved and free African Americans gathered in churches and private homes all across the country awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation had taken effect.

At the stroke of midnight, prayers were answered as all enslaved people in the Confederate States were declared legally free. Union soldiers, many of whom were black, marched onto plantations and across cities in the south reading small copies of the Emancipation Proclamation spreading the news of freedom.

But not everyone in Confederate territory would immediately be free. Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was made effective in 1863, it could not be implemented in places still under Confederate control. This meant that in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas, enslaved people would not be free until much later. On June 19, 1865 that changed, when enslaved African Americans in Galveston Bay, TX were notified by the arrival of some 2,000 Union troops that they, along with the more than 250,000 other enslaved black people in the state, were free by executive decree.

Photo:  Publishers throughout the North responded to a demand for copies of Lincoln’s proclamation and produced numerous decorative versions including this engraving by R. A. Dimmick in 1864. National Museum of American History, gift of Ralph E. Becker. 

The post-emancipation period known as Reconstruction (1865-1877) marked an era of great hope, uncertainty, and struggle for the nation as a whole. Formerly enslaved people immediately sought to reunify families, establish schools, run for political office, push radical legislation and even sue slaveholders for compensation. This was nothing short of amazing! Not even a generation out of enslavement, African Americans were inspired and empowered to completely transform their lives and their country.

In my opinion, Juneteenth (as that day was called by the freed enslaved people in Texas) marks our country’s second independence day. Though it has long been celebrated among the African American community it is a history that has been marginalized and still remains largely unknown to the wider public.

The historical legacy of Juneteenth shows the value of deep hope and urgent organizing in uncertain times. The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a community space where that spirit can continue to live on – where histories like this one can surface, and new stories with equal urgency can be told.


Tsione Wolde-Michael is the Writer/Editor for the Office of Curatorial Affairs, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. She is also a Doctoral Candidate in History at Harvard University.

A Letter From James Baldwin To His 14 Year Old Nephew, from The Fire Next Time, read by RM.

Early-1963, 100 years after Abraham Lincoln called for the release of all Confederate slaves by way of the Emancipation Proclamation, renowned author James Baldwin wrote the following moving letter to his 14-year-old nephew, James, and offered some advice.

Have a listen. 

Made with SoundCloud

Photo:  Juneteenth celebration in Texas, 1900. 

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19th, 1865, following the end of the Civil War, Union General Gordon Grander issued General Order No. 3 to free the remaining enslaved people in the United States  — two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln.

The order said: “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 rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer.”

Juneteenth celebrations are held to reflect, celebrate, and remember the continued contributions of African Americans to the United States.