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Posted by Brian from Shawnee on June 21, 2005

In Reply to: Slavery posted by Smokey Stover on June 19, 2005

: : : : : JUNETEENTH -- "Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond." Accessed June 19, 2003.

: : : : : "What is Juneteenth? -- Juneteenth, or June 19, 1865, is considered the date when the last slaves in America were freed. Although the rumors of freedom were widespread prior to this, actual emancipation did not come until General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas and issued General Order No. 3, on June 19, almost two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation." juneteenth/info.html Accessed June 19, 2003.

: : : : Hey, that's tomorrow. Thanks, ESC, for the information. Now if only we could get rid of actual, as opposed to legalized, slavery in every country, including the U.S., we would really have something to cheer about. But I'm willing to keep Lincoln in the highest esteem, even of it were only for this one act. But it's not, of course. I have a mature lilac growing next to the back door, and every spring when it comes into bloom I think of Walt Whitman's "When lilacs last in the dooryard bloomed," with more than a little emotion. Washington may have been "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." But Lincoln is surely second, and deservedly so.

: : : : P.S. I don't wish to seem indifferent to our British friends by harping on our local history here. Please, friends across the water, feel free to pour your hearts out about your British heroes. SS

: : : British?

: : : DFG (Eireann go bragh.)

: : In Britain we were about 30 years ahead!

: : "After 1830 when the mood of the nation changed in favour of a variety of types of reform, the antislavery campaign gathered momentum. In 1833 Wilberforce's efforts were finally rewarded when the Abolition of Slavery Act was passed. Wilberforce, on his death-bed, was informed of the passing of the Act in the nick of time. The main terms of the Act were:
: : all slaves under the age of six were to be freed immediately
: : slaves over the age of six were to remain as part slave and part free for a further four years. In that time they would have to be paid a wage for the work they did in the quarter of the week when they were "free"
: : the government was to provide £20 million in compensation to the slave-owners who had lost their "property."

: : Sadly, we still have a lot of racial discrimination. However, the Church of England has just appointed its first ever black Archbishop, a Ugandan born former Ungandan High Court Judge wwho left his native country at the time of Idi Amin and went to theological college in the UK.

: Apologies to David. The word "British" always suggests to me the Celtic inhabitants of the British Isles, as well as the present inhabitants of the main island. And congratulations to Dr. Briggs, for having a government enlightened enough to have banished slavery in 1830. In the Western Hemisphere only Cuba, Puerto Rico and Brazil seem to have hung onto slavery longer than the U.S. World-wide, legalized slavery seems to have ended in the 1960s. Unfortunately, illegal slavery exists all over, most evident among immigrants (legal or otherwise) who arrange for the illegal entry of others into countries that seem to offer opportunity, like the U.S., in exchange for contracts that turn their clients into slaves, and which their clients, for fear of deportation, are powerless to protest. The exploitation of these slaves has given rise to such expressions as "sweatshops" and "white slavery" (much of which is not white, of cou rse). There are an estimated 27 million people living as slaves today around the world. About 30 years ago there was a prosecution for slavery in the city where I live. A rich doctor had an immigrant woman (Thai, I think) working as his housekeeper in conditions that the prosecution successfully claimed were slavery. The poor woman had no way out, as she thought she would go to jail if she complained. (The doctor had got her into the country by adept lying.) SS

The Emancipation Proclamation, which took effect on January 1, 1863 actually only freed slaves in territories "in rebellion against the United States". It did not free any slaves in slave-states like Kentucky and the newly created West Virginia, which fought on the Union side, nor did it free any slaves in previously captured Confederate territory. The slaves in Confederate territory were of course only theoretically free until the Union army arrived, county by county, to free them. All slaves in the U.S. became free with the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution on December 18, 1865. Nevertheless the Emancipation Proclamation was the death knell for slavery in the U.S.

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