June 18, 2020

Juneteenth: A Celebration Commemorating the End of Slavery in the United States


JUNETEENTH: A Celebration Commemorating the End of Slavery in the United States

by A. Alan Manning

PENSACOLA, FL (June 19, 2020)

Juneteenth is a celebration on June 19th that commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States. Its origins can be traced to Texas when, on June 19, 1865, Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger landed at Galveston with news that the Civil War had ended and the slaves were now free. More than two years earlier, President Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation that freed all slaves in the Confederate states, but there were so few Union troops stationed in Texas that Lincoln’s order had little practical impact there. Indeed, for a variety of reasons, before General Granger’s arrival few slaves in Texas were even aware of what Lincoln had done.

Shortly after his arrival, General Granger issued an order that began with “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 hired laborer.” That order was read aloud publicly throughout Texas, and soon all slaves were aware of their emancipation.

Over the years, former slaves in Texas and elsewhere would recount their memories of when they first heard the good news of their freedom. June 19th eventually became a day of celebration for both the former slaves and their descendants, and it was soon coined “Juneteenth.” It was a day of prayer, family, and community gathering. Many former slaves and their descendants made an annual pilgrimage back to Galveston on Juneteenth. On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth became an official state holiday in Texas. Today a number of cities and states are exploring ways to expand awareness of the origins of Juneteenth and to promote knowledge and appreciation of African American history and culture.


A. Alan Manning is a shareholder in Clark Partington’s Pensacola office.  His practice focuses on real estate, finance, business transactions, general corporate and tax matters. He represents banks and other financial institutions, institutional and private investors, developers, commercial landlords and tenants, physician and other medical practices, and manufacturing, service, and technology companies. Contact Alan at 850-432-8331 or amanning@clarkpartington.com.

About Clark Partington:

Clark Partington is the largest business focused firm in the Florida panhandle with offices in Pensacola, Destin, Grayton Beach & Tallahassee.  The firm also maintains a presence in South Alabama with an Orange Beach office.  Since 1976 Clark Partington has grown to over forty lawyers and has served the people and businesses of Florida through an innovative and collaborative approach to practicing law.  Our lawyers are consistently recognized for their service to the profession and excellence in the courtroom.  More information about the firm’s practice, its attorneys, and recognitions may be found at www.clarkpartington.com.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]