The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985

Notes and Documents
The End of Slavery in Texas: A Research Note
RANDOLPH B. CAMPBELL*
B LACK TEXANS CELEBRATE THE END OF SLAVERY ON JUNE 19, OR
Juneteenth as it is popularly called, because Major General Gor-
don Granger arrived at Galveston on that day in 1865 and proclaimed
the freedom of all slaves in the Lone Star State.x His General Order
Number 3 reads as follows:
The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclama-
tion from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This in-
volves 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 freed-
men 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 mili-
tary posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or
elsewhere.2
Granger's order was not immediately effective, of course, but most
slaveholders became aware of it and freed their bondsmen during the
summer of 1865.8 Thus June 19 quite properly became the symbolic
*Randolph B. Campbell is professor of history at North Texas State University. He
is the author of numerous studies in antebellum southern history, including two book-
length monographs: A Southern Community in Crisui: Harrison County, Texas, 185o-188o
(Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1983) and Wealth and Power in Antebellum
Texas (College Station, Tex.: Texas A&M University Press, 1977). He is currently work-
ing on a history of slavery in Texas.
1The celebration of June 9ig, 1865, by Texas blacks is well known, but documentation
is provided by Joe B. Frantz, Texas: A Bicentennial History (New York, 1976), 115, and
Rupert Norval Richardson, Ernest Wallace, and Adrian N. Anderson, Texas, the Lone
Star State (3rd ed.; Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1970o), 2o6.
2Granger's order is in Daniel S. Lamont (comp.), The War of the Rebellion: A Com-
pilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington,
D.C., 1896), Series I, Vol. 48, Part 2, p. 929.
3Alwyn Barr, Black Texans: A History of Negroes in Texas, 1528-1971 (Austin, 1973),
39-40.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101210/. Accessed September 19, 2014.