Over the weekend of June 19–20, a group of about 50 cyclists gathered to ride the Emancipation Trail in celebration of Juneteenth, with a stop in League City as part of the ride. The trail, beginning in Galveston and ending at Emancipation Park in Houston, replicates the path that newly freed slaves took in 1865 after they were finally told of the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been signed by Abraham Lincoln two years earlier.
Along the trail, cyclists stopped at historically important sites, including Texas City—where the only Reconstruction-era African American settlement in Galveston County was located—and at the Butler Longhorn Museum in League City. Participants viewed an exhibit on slaves who worked as cowboys, and Mayor Hallisey was on site to greet the cyclists and offer refreshments to the group.
The Emancipation Trail
The 51-mile Emancipation Trail is a proposed National Historic Trail that follows the journey that freedmen took as they shared the news of the emancipation of every slave in Texas. If the trail is officially designated, it will be one of only two National Historic Trails in the United States that commemorate African American history. The other trail is the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail in Alabama.
A bipartisan bill—co-authored by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Senator John Cornyn—commissioning a feasibility study on the Emancipation Trail was signed by President Trump on Jan. 27, 2020. After the study is complete, which could take around 30 months total, its findings will be presented to Congress, and Congress will vote to officially designate the trail as a National Historic Trail.
Learn more about the Emancipation Trail