1 Feb 1865–Freedom Day in America, the Land of the Free

On 1 Feb 1865, President Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution abolishing slavery.

  1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United Sates or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
  2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Ratification by all states was completed by 18 Dec 1865.  Presidential Proclamation 25 Jan 1949, ensured that all succeeding years from that point on, the US would celebrate that amendment and its signing.

What did you hear today about this momentous occasion for which so many gave their lives–more than all subsequent wars we have fought combined…

My media did not comment.  I marked the day gathering more references to Free People of Color for you:

Locating Free African American Ancestors:  A Beginners Guide. Aaron L. Day.  (Anaheim CA:  Carlberg Press, 2003.  Includes a master surname list based on census records and other sources.

“Slavery on the Upper Holston,”  Publications of the Historical Society of Washington County Virginia, Series II, #18 (May 1981).  Considers the total numbers of whites, slaves, and free people of color in the absence of complete census schedules.

Slaves Without Masters: The Free Negro in the Antebellum South. Ira Berlin. (New York City:  New York, 1974.)  A perceptive,  older study that created an historical uproar at the time.  Still worth reading.

And check out these websites:

http://www.freeafricanamericans.com Paul Heinegg’s  Database.

http://middlepassages.com Middle Passage Slave Ship Database.

http://americanrevolution.org/blk.html Black Revolutionary War soldiers.

Remember, if you are researching Native American/Five Civilized Tribes ancestors, your success will often be in direct proportion to the amount of study you invest in Free People of Color and “all other free persons.”  Your favorite Virginia genealogist, Arlene Eakle   http://arleneeakle.com

PS  I’ll be giving  a NEW presentation on Virginia at the Family History Expo in St George UT, 26-27 Feb 2010.  Written especially for those who attend this Expo.   Even if you can’t attend in person, you can access the syllabus I wrote online, once you register for the Conference.  It’s well worth the effort. You know that I am unbiased.  Ha!

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