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Dress was also an important element in early Juneteenth customs and is often still taken seriously, particularly by the direct descendants who can make the connection to this tradition's roots.During slavery there were laws on the books in many areas that prohibited or limited the dressing of the enslaved.President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863.The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order.Meats such as lamb, pork and beef which not available everyday were brought on this special occasion.A true Juneteenth celebrations left visitors well satisfied and with enough conversation to last until the next.

Most of the festivities found themselves out in rural areas around rivers and creeks that could provide for additional activities such as fishing, horseback riding and barbecues.However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.Later attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years.And still another, is that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation.All of which, or neither of these version could be true.

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During the initial days of the emancipation celebrations, there are accounts of former slaves tossing their ragged garments into the creeks and rivers to adorn clothing taken from the plantations belonging to their former 'masters'.