WILMINGTON — Because Friday was Juneteenth, it seemed an ideal time to gather near statues that depict a Clinton County couple as they embarked upon their 1862 trip to speak with President Lincoln on their concern for the emancipation of slaves.
Juneteenth marks the liberation of the last remaining enslaved African-Americans when on June 19, 1865, slaves in Galveston, Texas, were informed they were free to go.
Near the statues Friday, Chip Murdock said he’s hopeful Juneteenth will become a national holiday. Micah Mills read the plaque in front of the statues and paid tribute to Mr. and Mrs. Harvey and their 19th-century trip to Washington on behalf of the enslaved, noting they were “fighting for humans.”
Nina Talley commented people must go forward while remembering their past.
And Sigrid Solomon said it is a time for many to step up and step out and be transformational leaders, answering the calls of citizens to bring folks together.
The local statues, located on the Wilmington College campus, remember Isaac and Sarah Harvey who lived on Lebanon Road in Adams Township west of Wilmington.
In September of 1862, Isaac, a Quaker farmer, and his wife traveled to Washington, D.C. and visited with Lincoln about their concern for emancipation. Lincoln gave them a note at the conclusion of the visit, writing the words: “May the Lord comfort them as they have sustained me.”
The Emancipation Proclamation was announced on Sept. 22, 1862, and then went into effect Jan. 1, 1863.