Thursday, December 6, 2007
This photograph was taken in 1865 in Richmond Virginia. It shows a group of recently freed slaves, who became free with the fall of Richmond.
It was on this date, December 6, in the year 1865 that the 13th amendment was ratified, banning slavery in the United States. Abraham Lincoln did not live to see this day, but on the day after Richmond fell, Lincoln walked the streets of Richmond, and was greeted by throngs of men and women who had been slaves just the day before. This was just ten days before his death. As Mr. Lincoln and his son Tad entered the city, a group of newly freed slaves cried out, "Glory Hallelujah!", and fell to their knees before the president. Lincoln paused, and motioned for them to rise. "Don't kneel to me," he told them, "You must kneel only to God, and thank him for your freedom. Liberty is your birthright. God gave it to you as he gave it to others, and it is a sin that you have been deprived of it for so many years."
While Lincoln did not live to see the 13th amendment ratified, he did get a glimpse of the freedom which he had fought so hard for.