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January 1, 2013


January 1, 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The traditional narrative is that on this date 150 years ago America's black slaves were freed from bondage. 

The truth is, only about 20,000 of about 800,000 slaves were freed. 

What else are they not telling us? 

• The Emancipation Proclamation only freed slaves in the Confederacy

It is commonly known, but seldom acknowledged, that the Emancipation Proclamation only applied to slaves living in most of the Confederacy. From the Union's perspective, therefore, slavery was legal in parts of the North but not in most of the South. The concept of a slavery-free Union fighting a slave-legal South is an inversion of reality from the North's perspective. The Union considered the South legally free while the North was not. 

The Union slave states of Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware were not affected by the proclamation. Slavery remained legal in Tennessee, that state being under Union control at the time the proclamation was enacted. New Orleans and thirteen Louisiana parishes were likewise exempted. 

The Emancipation Proclamation actually freed about 20,000 slaves when it went into effect on January 1, 1863. Those were slaves living in certain Confederate regions controlled by the North. 

From the Union's perspective 500,000 slaves in Union states and 300,000 slaves in exempted Southern areas were legally unaffected by the Emancipation Proclamation at the time it was enacted.

Here's more black history they don't want you to know...

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