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The Texas Emancipation Proclamation (June 19, 1865)


Galveston, Texas

June 19, 1865

The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with the proclamation from the executive of the United States. All slaves are free. This involves absolute personal rights, and rights of property between former masters and slaves; and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.

The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their 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 here or elsewhere.

2nd: As a result of said liberation, persons formerly slaves are guaranteed their right to make contracts disposing of their services to their former owners or other parties, but with the distinct understanding that they are employees, and shall be held responsible for the performance of their part of the contract to the same extent that the employer is bound to pay for the consideration for the labor performed.

3rd: Unless other regulations are promulgated by the Freedmans Bureau, the amount and kind of consideration for labor, shall be a matter of contract between employer and employee.

4th: All colored persons are earnestly enjoined to remain with their former masters until permanent arrangements can be made and thus secure the crop of the present season and at the same time promote the interests of themselves, their employer and the Commonwealth.

by order of Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger

signed F.W. Emery

Major & A.A.G.


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