Today is June 19th, also known here in Texas as Juneteenth. On this day, we’re reminded of a very important event in the history of Texas and the United States.
In 1854, the National Republican Party was formed to abolish slavery. And though in 1860 the nation elected Abraham Lincoln as its first Republican President, a lot more work would need to be done before former slaves would enjoy full citizenship.
So on January 1, 1863, President Lincoln signed an historic document--The Emancipation Proclamation. However, the news of freedom didn’t reach Texas until Army Maj. General Gordon Granger landed in Galveston in 1865 where on June 19,1865, 149 years ago today, he read General Order Number 3 which included these 4 words: “All Slaves are Free.”
General Granger’s words were based on the principle embedded in our Declaration of Independence, “That All Men Are Created Equal.” Still, more work would have to be done before former slaves could achieve the American Dream.
So, Republican Members of Congress authored and passed the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the United States Constitution, formerly abolishing slavery, granting full citizenship, and establishing the right to vote for former slaves.
Texas State Historical Marker in Galveston, TX for Norris Wright Cuney
Then on July 4, 1867, 125 African American men and 20 Anglos met in Houston at the first Republican State Convention. And a Galvestonian named Norris Wright Cuney, an African American, rose up to be elected Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas.
Bill Calhoun, Chairman
Texas Federation for Republican Outreach
May Slavery & Human Trafficking truly end worldwide! While this day for Texans gives us cause to reflect and celebrate, the reality is that sadly in our own communities in every US City and even more places worldwide, slavery and denied human rights exist unconscionably. We must each do our part to call it out and eliminate it from all society.