This past November 1st marks the 150th year of Maryland’s Emancipation. November 1st, 1864 is the day that Maryland freed its people from slavery within its boundaries. This was done by the creation of a new state constitution. In the summer of 1862, President Abraham Lincoln first put forward the idea of the Emancipation Proclamation, which would abolish (put an end to) slavery. This changed the focus of the war completely. According to an article written on facts about the Emancipation proclamation, “up until September, 1862, the main focus of the war had been to preserve the union. With the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, freedom for slaves now became a legitimate war aim.” Maryland was the first slave state that voluntarily freed its enslaved people. Every November 1st, there are events scheduled for Maryland’s celebration. Montgomery Park celebrates with a series of adventures such as, Underground Railroad hikes, log cabin tours and tours at museums dedicated to slavery’s legacy. Another great place to celebrate Maryland’s abolishment of slavery is Tolson’s Chapel. Like Montgomery Park, Tolson’s Chapel has a few great activities to part take in every year.
Although the Emancipation proclamation abolished slavery, it only applied to southern states in the rebellion. It did not apply to slave holding boarder states that were already under the control of the union. These states included Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri. If these states wanted to abolish slavery, they had to do it on their own. The 13th Amendment, the Amendment that abolished slavery was not passed by congress until January 31st, 1865. The Amendment was then ratified on December 6th, 1865.
- Briana Welch
Eastern Senior High School