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General Order No. 3

News of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas (1865) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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General Order No. 3 was an American legal decree issued in 1865 enforcing the Emancipation Proclamation to the residents of the U.S. state of Texas and freed all remaining slaves in the state. The general order was issued by Union General Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865, upon arriving at Galveston, Texas, at the end of the American Civil War and two-and-a-half years after the original issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. The Order, and Granger's enforcement of it, is the central event commemorated by the holiday of Juneteenth, which originally celebrated the end of slavery in Texas.

Original handwritten record of General Order No. 3 held in the National Archives

The order was not read aloud by the Union Army, but it was posted around town, and communicated to most African Americans by slavemasters.[1] News of the Emancipation Proclamation had reached Texas and been covered in Texas newspapers, but due to the lack of Union military presence, it had not been enforced.[1]