Saturday, June 26, 2021

Juneteenth and the Emancipation Proclamation

On June 25, 2021, one Clarence Lusane, a professor of political science at Howard University, posted an article in the Washington Post titled The Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery. Here’s what did.

The most notable error was in failing to mention that the Emancipation Proclamation did not address slavery in the Confederate state of Tennessee. Lusane wrote:

After a year and a half of war, Lincoln came to believe that the only way to save the Union was to abolish slavery. In August 1862, he drafted the Emancipation Proclamation, which was to take effect Jan. 1, 1863, with his signature. Because he saw it as a war measure, the order freed only the enslaved people in states “in rebellion against the United States.” (...) That last clause outlines exactly what the Emancipation Proclamation did: Free some and not others. It did not apply to enslaved people in the five non-Confederate states noted above.

The Proclamation did not impact slaves in Tennessee or in certain other areas of the Confederacy.

Of the discussion of West Virginia, West Virginia was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, after the Emancipation Proclamation.

See the IPBiz post On the meaning of "Juneteenth" , published more than one year before the Lusane piece.

IPBiz agrees with Lusane as to the date of the 13th Amendmnet:

As a legal matter, slavery officially ended in the United States on Dec. 6, 1865, when the 13th Amendment was ratified by two-thirds of the then-states — 27 out of 36 — and became a part of the Constitution.

A reader of a 2011 IPBiz post had written

Actually, the 13th Amendment was enacted on December 18th, 1865. So your Monday Morning Quarterbacking WAS WRONG too, even after you performed research.

That 2011 IPBiz post New Jersey and the 13th Amendment raises another issue: the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in New Jersey, which DID EXIST at the time of the Civil war.


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