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Memories of the 28th Century

When Slavery Ended

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I might have heard of Junteenth is the past, but I do not recall it. Today I heard, or read, of it several times, so I looked it up. It appears to be the anniversary of when a military officer announced the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865. Apparently, some people got the impression that it was the end of slavery in the U.S.A.. Alas, they were mistaken. Slavery ended in the U.S.A. On December 5, 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified.

There are many people who thought that the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves, but it didn't. Some argue that it freed the slaves in those parts of the C.S.A. that had been conquered by the U.S.A., and that may be true, but in the absence of compensation, it appears to have been an illegal regulatory taking, and it certainly was outside the authority of Mr. Lincoln to make such an edict.

But there is good reason to think that slavery was outlawed by the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration contains the words “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” But the Constitution of Massachusetts, and independent country at the time had slightly stronger words: “"All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness." The slave who brought suit for freedom on that clause were granted freedom, but the didn't become the law of the land; it was only in Massachusetts, and no one pushed the case for freedom on the basis of the Declaration of Independence. As a result, most slaves in the U.S.A. Were not freed until the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified on December 5, 1865. People descended from Black Slaves probably should celebrate that day, unless their ancestors were from Massachusetts.

Such mistakes about dates were very common in earlier times. The fourth of July is celebrated as independence Day in the U.S.A., even though the resolution for Independence was passed several days earlier, and the actual declarations was adopted on July 2, 1776. July 4 was when the declaration was gotten back from the printer.

While I started writing this about the mistaken idea that slaves were freed on June 19, 1865, the real story is that things that are widely regarded as true may not have any basis in fact, and there's nothing new about that, or fake news isn't new.

Presenting lies as fact was made great by Hitler's NAZI Party. It is generally known as “the Big Lie”. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, about the use of a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously". Propagandists learned from that source, and it is said that Trump has a copy of Mein Kampf for consultation.

I am not happy with the direction that this post has gone, but propaganda is propaganda, and it is composed of lies.

When Slavery ended
Big Lie


  1. Danik 2016's Avatar
    I don´t know if this interests you but there is a fragmentary novel called "Juneteenth" by Ralph Ellison. It has to do with the murder of a politician but also, if I rightly remember with the end of slavery.