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Graphic rendering of the text Anti-slavery, abolition and agitation.


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Emancipation Day in Carlisle, 1845

From the Carlisle Herald

The colored people of this borough celebrated the Anniversary of British Abolition of Slavery in the West Indies, on the 1st instant, in a Grove adjacent to town, where they listened to several addresses from some of their own number. In the evening they returned to town, both sexes marching in procession and singing as they passed through the several streets.


Carlilse Herald and Expositor, 6 August 1845

Did you know?

Emancipation Day later came to mean the day on which Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation went into effect, which was January 1, 1863.  However many states have their own distinct observance of Emancipation Day, which pertain to some aspect of the end of slavery there.  Another popular holiday relating to the end of slavery in the United States is Juneteenth.  In the Caribbean, Emancipation Day, as it was originally observed, is widely celebrated in August.

Further Reading

Harrisburg's African American residents also celebrated Emancipation Day. For a detailed report on the 1857 celebration, see Harrisburg's African American Community Celebrates End of Slavery in West Indies


Covering the history of African Americans in central Pennsylvania from the colonial era through the Civil War.

Support the Afrolumens Project. Read the books:

The Year of Jubilee, Volume One: Men of God, Volume Two: Men of Muscle




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