Louisiana Parishes Not Included In The Emancipation Proclamation
Today marks Juneteenth, known officially by the United States government as Juneteenth National Independence Day. It is a Federal Holiday to recognize and commemorate the emancipation of American slaves. The day is celebrated on June 19th (hence the name being a combination of June and nineteenth) is the anniversary of the orders from Major General Gordon Granger freeing the slaves of Texas. This event took place in 1865, over two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.
The delay in Texas after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation was due to the ability of the government to enforce the order. Because Texas was the most remote of the states included in the proclamation, it had fewer troops. That made it more difficult to inform and enforce.
But not all of the states in what existed at that time as the United States were included in the Emancipation Proclamation. In fact, not all parts of the states that were included in the proclamation were ordered to free slaves. That includes multiple Parishes in Louisiana.
While the entire state of Louisiana was mentioned directly in the proclamation, there were Parishes designed by Lincoln to be excluded. This included the most important part of the state, New Orleans.
The text of the Emancipation Proclamation specifically states:
"except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans"
This meant that while Parishes like Caddo, Bossier, and Webster were included under the Emancipation Proclamation, all of the specifically listed Parishes were not included, preventing thousands of Louisiana slaves from being freed. The remaining Louisiana slaves were freed by an act of the Louisiana state government in 1864.
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