Today is a holiday across most of Canada, though there's little agreement as to why we get the day off. [more inside]
How Slavery Really Ended in America On May 23, 1861, little more than a month into the Civil War, three young black men rowed across the James River in Virginia and claimed asylum in a Union-held citadel.... [T]the laws of the United States were clear: all fugitives must be returned to their masters. The founding fathers enshrined this in the Constitution; Congress reinforced it in 1850 with the Fugitive Slave Act; and it was still the law of the land — including, as far as the federal government was concerned, within the so-called Confederate states. The war had done nothing to change it. Most important, noninterference with slavery was the very cornerstone of the Union’s war policy. President Abraham Lincoln had begun his inaugural address by making this clear, pointedly and repeatedly. “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists,” the president said. “I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” [more inside]
Mapping Slavery. In September 1861 Edwin Hergesheimer of the United States Coast Survey produced a map based on data from the 1860 census showing the distribution of slaves across the South. It's interesting to compare this to other maps. [more inside]
'Either way, he doesn't have authority over this child anymore. She sued him because she doesn't respect his rules. It's very hard to raise a child who is the boss.' A Quebec father who was taken to court by his 12-year-old daughter after he grounded her in June 2008 has lost his appeal. via
Tibet serf debate shadows China's "emancipation day". Like Juneteeth or Martin Luther King Day, Tibet's Serf Emancipation Day commemorates the freeing of a million serfs in 1959. Much like the descendants of slaveowners mocking Martin Luther King Day, the descendants of Tibet's aristocracy have announced Smurf Emancipation Day.
Happy Juneteenth! On this date in 1865, slaves in Texas were notified that Lincoln had emancipated them two years earlier. It's a state holiday in Texas, and Juneteenth is observed in pockets of other states. Should it become a national holiday?