Happy Juneteenth Cousins! June 19th celebrates the day in 1865 when the slaves of Galveston, Texas were told by federal Union troops that they were free. By then the Civil War was over and the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery had passed in Congress but news traveled slowly in those days and parts of the Confederacy continued with slavery until Union troops showed up. Now, what about slaves in Tennessee?
Well, in Tennessee slavery had officially continued until then governor, Andrew Johnson proclaimed all slaves were free on October 24, 1864 . You see Tennessee was not included in the original Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. That presidential order only applied to slaves of states in active rebellion against the Union. Nashville had been occupied by Federal troops in 1862 and was not considered in “active” rebellion so slavery continued.
You can only imagine how happy our ancestors were when freedom finally came on the plantations of John Walker Jones and his son Caleb! “FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST! THANK GOD ALMIGHTY WE’RE FREE AT LAST!“