Juneteenth proclaimed freedom in Texas but reminded that all must work

Pratt on TexasYesterday lovers of Liberty recognized Juneteenth in Texas. Juneteenth is the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued General Order Number 3, which read, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”

Granger’s general order went on to say: “This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. 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.”

The glorious order was one stating that slavery, that horrible institution known throughout all history and all peoples, had been stamped out in Texas with the better side of Western Enlightenment arriving in Texas.

Other parts of the order are interesting. It was made clear that people were now to work and do so for wages. This means that people were are to choose their work and freely enter into agreements to provide their labor for whatever amount another is willing to pay.

Then note the last phrase: “they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”

Newly freed people had nothing but were told to stay, for the moment in the homes in which they were residing and also told that they would not be supported in idleness. In other words, all are free but all must work.

That is a sentiment which once governed our society about all people, of all education, background, race, creed, and every other grouping you can imagine. It is a cancer upon us that such sentiment has been weakened as idleness rots the soul of the individual as well as destroys a society.

What do you think?...

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