By Stephanie Andrews, Library Assistant
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission joins Texans across the state in celebrating the holiday known as Juneteenth. The state holiday honors the anniversary of June 19, 1865, which was the day Texans were officially notified that slavery had ended in the United States.
While President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was in place as of January 1, 1863, Texas did not consider itself under the United States’ control and, therefore, considered itself exempt from the proclamation. It wasn’t until General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston on June 19, 1865, with a force of federal troops and General Order Number 3, that Texas slaves were officially freed. The general order states that the “people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”
Juneteenth is an opportunity for Texans to participate in the various celebrations that take place across the state every year. Over the generations, Juneteenth has been celebrated with parades, picnics, and dancing. To honor this historic occasion, we have gathered resources from our collections to help enrich Texans’ knowledge of the holiday.
To find out more about Juneteenth’s history and celebrations over the years, visit our webpage from the About Texas section of our website. If you would like to find more resources in our collections pertaining to Juneteenth, search our catalog or visit our Archives and Manuscripts webpage to learn more about our archival materials.
Resources Available Include:
U.S. House, 54th Congress, 1st Session (H. Doc. 369, Part 2). “General Order Number 3,” 1896. U.S. Documents Collection. Y 1.1/2: SERIAL 3437. GeneralOrders3_Juneteenth
Let’s Pretend: Mae Dee and Her Family Join the Juneteenth Celebration, 1978. Ada DeBlanc Simond. Main collection. 976.431 SI56J.
Juneteenth at Comanche Crossing, 1983. Doris Hollis Pemberton. Main Collection. 976.400496073 P369J.
Juneteenth Texas: Essays in African-American Folklore, 1996. Francis Edward Abernathy. Texas Documents Collection. Z N745.7 T312f No.54.
Juneteenth!: Celebrating Freedom in Texas, 1999. Anna Pearl Barrett. Main Collection. 394.263 B275j.
Texas Monthly, “Texas Primer: Juneteenth,” 1988. Chester Rosson. Main Collection. 976.4005 T312mo V.16 No.1-6.
Subject Vertical File, “Juneteenth Celebrations,” various dates. Main Collection. Vertical File Index.