Myth #4: The Juneteenth Order was basically a Texas version of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Fact: General Orders No. 3 stated unequivocally “all slaves are free,” but it also contained patronizing language intended to appease planters who didn’t want to lose their workforce. Forty-one words of the brief 93-word order urged enslaved people to stay put and keep working.
“The freed are advised to remain at their present homes, and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts; and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”
Sam Collins: “The last two sentences advised the freedmen to remain at their present homes and work for wages. So you’re free, but don’t go anywhere.”
Ed Cotham: “Many years later, the formerly enslaved (interviewed for the 1930s WPA Slave Narratives) remembered when the Freedom Paper was read to them. The slaveholder wanted to keep them working, but they didn’t hear it that way. Once they heard “all slaves are free” they said to hell with you. That’s what made the Juneteenth Order so memorable and made it succeed.”
Here are 4 common myths about the origins and history of Juneteenth — and what really happened.https://t.co/DmUBc5eQQg
— NPR (@NPR) June 20, 2022