The End of Slavery in Maryland | WYPR

The End of Slavery in Maryland

Jun 17, 2016

Juneteenth celebration in Austin, Texas, on June 19, 1900.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

This Sunday is Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery. It’s observed across the country, but it marks the day in 1865 when slavery ended in Texas. That was more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Contrary to popular belief, the proclamation did not eradicate slavery. It applied only to slave-holding rebel states. Slaves in Union states like Maryland remained captive. It wasn’t until 1864 that Maryland elected to free the state’s slaves through a referendum, by a margin of just 375 votes. How did it happen? And what was life in this divided state like for newly emancipated slaves? The end of slavery in Maryland.

Our guests: Joanne Martin, president and co-founder of the Great Blacks in Wax Museum; Christopher Haley, director of the Study of the Legacy of Slavery in Maryland at the Maryland State Archives.