Freedom in Helena!

Freedom in Helena! (HM21DP)

Location: Helena-West Helena, AR 72342 Phillips County
Country: United States of America
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N 34° 30.754', W 90° 35.582'

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The Emancipation Proclamation

"...all persons held as slaves within any State or designated
part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion
against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and
forever free ..."   A. Lincoln

With a stroke of a pen, President Abraham Lincoln changed
the Civil War from a war to preserve the Union to a war to
end slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in
Arkansas and all states in rebellion against the United

Joyful Celebrations in Helena

The Emancipation Proclamation went into effect January 1,
1863. That New Year's Eve, freedom seekers in Helena
celebrated into the early morning hours. The men, women
and children who fled farms and plantations to follow the
Union army to Helena were free!

Escaping to Helena and Freedom

The Emancipation Proclamation freed millions of enslaved
people, but claiming that freedom was another matter for
most. Former slaves in Arkansas outside of Helena could
not exercise the freedom Lincoln granted unless they
escaped Confederate control. Many chose to do just that. In
the first months of 1863, hundreds of individuals came into
Helena. Some remained, but many fled to the North.

The Thirteenth Amendment

The Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the states
still in rebellion, but it did not free all slaves. For political
reasons, certain areas were exempt. It was not until
December 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment became
that slavery was abolished in the United States.

The long wished for Year of Jubilee has
now come for the Negroes, and their joy
is great thereat."

Dr. Charles Brackett, 9th Illinois Cavalry,
describing celebrations in Helena on the eve of
the Emancipation Proclamation becoming law.

{Photo captions}
Right: This print, titled Reading the Emancipation Proclamation, was created in 1864.
Left: A keepsake card commemorating the Emancipation Proclamation.
HM NumberHM21DP
Year Placed2013
Placed ByArkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, September 3rd, 2017 at 4:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 720957 N 3821621
Decimal Degrees34.51256667, -90.59303333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 30.754', W 90° 35.582'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 30' 45.24" N, 90° 35' 34.92" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)870
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 702-722 US-49 BUS, Helena-West Helena AR 72342, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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