Juneteenth marks the end of slavery in the United States. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had declared “all persons held as slaves” would be “forever free” on January 1, 1863, it wasn’t until U.S. Major General Gordon Granger read General Order #3 at Ashton Villa in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, that the last enslaved people in America were finally set free. Juneteenth, a combination of “June” and “nineteenth,” commemorates that day.
The William Root House Museum invites the community to learn about Juneteenth during a special event on June 11, 2022. The day will include guided museum tours, living history demonstrations, crafts, storytelling, and more. The museum is pleased to offer free admission to this program thanks to generous support from Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty.
BACKGROUND INFO: In 1860 Marietta had 297 households and a population of approximately 2,600. Of the 297 households, 137 (46%) held slaves. The same census shows that there were four enslaved people at the William Root House property: two men and two women, ages 35 to 73. Recently discovered Root family papers and new research into public documents are helping to tell the story of the lives of these individuals. At the Root House Museum, an 1830s log cabin is used to help tell the stories of the enslaved individuals who labored at the Root House property and would have lived in a similar cabin. A garden sculpture erected next to the cabin is dedicated to the 1,200+ enslaved individuals living in Marietta prior to 1860 whose names were not recorded and are now lost to time.
ABOUT THE WILLIAM ROOT HOUSE: One of the oldest homes remaining in the Atlanta area, the Root House is more typical of its time and place than the columned mansions popularized by Gone With the Wind. Though the home and grounds have been meticulously restored to their 1860 appearance, award-winning interactive touchscreen displays have been added throughout the property. The Root House is owned and operated by Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society, Inc.