New York African Free School

To banish Slav'ry's Bonds from Freedom’s Plains

Today is Emancipation Day, a holiday on which we commemorate the abolition of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Major-General Gordon Granger—who had arrived in Galveston, Texas, the preceding day with 2,000 Union troops—announced the end of the Civil War and the emancipation of the enslaved. On this day, a fitting object for contemplation is a sampler made in 1803 by Mary Emiston, a student at the African Free School in New York City. Mary ornamented her sampler with an inspirational verse calling for an end to slavery and oppression:
emancipation, slavery, New York African Free School, samplers