Florida Emancipation Day

Every May 20, Wellington celebrates Emancipation Day. Emancipation was proclaimed in Tallahassee on May 20, 1865, 11 days after the end of the Civil War, and two years after the Proclamation first issued by President Abraham Lincoln freed those enslaved in Southern states. 

Explore the resources on this page and join us in reflecting on this important date in our state and country's history. 

Emancipation and Reconstruction in Florida

This guide from the State Library of Florida explores Emancipation in Florida and the Reconstruction period that followed (1865-1877).

Florida Memory - Images and Information from the State Archives

Images from Emancipation Day Celebrations

Juneteenth and Emancipation Day in Florida

Unheralded Emancipation (May, 1862)

Online resources

The Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) contains additional information and research related to the Emancipation Proclamation. The GVRL is accessible to all Floridians.

"The Emancipation Proclamation." Human and Civil Rights: Essential Primary Sources, edited by Adrienne Wilmoth Lerner, et al., Gale, 2006, pp. 107–110.

"Emancipation Proclamation."American Eras: Primary Sources, edited by Rebecca Parks, vol. 2: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1860-1877, Gale, 2013, pp. 192–195.

"Decisions Leading to Emancipation."Gale Library of Daily Life: Slavery in America, edited by Orville Vernon Burton, vol. 2, Gale, 2008, p. 82.

"Emancipation."Gale Library of Daily Life: American Civil War, edited by Steven E. Woodworth, vol. 2, Gale, 2008, pp. 226-227.

"Abraham Lincoln Issues the Emancipation Proclamation."Global Events: Milestone Events Throughout History, edited by Jennifer Stock, vol. 6: North America, Gale, 2014, pp. 161–164.

Blight, David W. "Emancipation in the United States."Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History, edited by Colin A. Palmer, 2nd ed., vol. 2, Macmillan Reference USA, 2006, pp. 701–708.

Malvasi, Mark G., and Chester J. Wynne. "Emancipation: Did Emancipation Improve the Conditions of Former Slaves in the United States?"History in Dispute, edited by Mark G. Malvasi, vol. 13: Slavery in the Western Hemisphere, circa 1500–1888, St. James Press, 2003, pp. 50–58.