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On September 23, 1862 the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln. However, it was not until June 19, 1865 that Union general Gordon Granger read the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, TX to alert the Texas slaves that they were free. For three years they had been free of the power of slavery, but continued to deal powerlessly with the presence of their old masters.

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