Galveston.com JUNETEENTH: Site of Cotton Jammers’ Park
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JUNETEENTH: Site of Cotton Jammers’ Park
3726 Avenue SGalveston, TX 77550
Galveston was one of the important cotton ports in the nation. Early African American waterfront labor traces its origin to the Typographical Union organized in 1857, the Screwmen's Benevolent Association created in 1866, and the Lone Star Cotton Jammers of Texas chartered in 1889. The art of screwing cotton bales tightly into place, or cotton jamming, was developed to get as many bales of cotton as possible in the holds of the ships. The International Longshoremen's Association Local #851 was chartered in 1913 and eventually absorbed the Cotton Jammers. The Cotton Jammers once owned a park at Avenue S.
On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger issued General Order #3 in Galveston to inform the people of Texas that a proclamation from President Abraham Lincoln deemed that all slaves were free. This message took more than two and a half years to reach Texas.
Juneteenth celebrations commemorating the freedom of Texas' 250,000 slaves started in Galveston and are now observed throughout America. More than 24 states recognize this date as a state holiday or have some official form of observance.
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