Emancipation Proclamation


Category: Liberty & Dignity, Politics

By Abraham Lincoln

Published in 1862

Reference #0114

First Public Printing in the “New York Times,” September 23, 1862 of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation entitled “A Proclamation by the President of the United States.”

The preliminary proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln after the Union’s strategic victory at the Battle of Antietam, warning that the slaves in states against the Union would be freed if those states did not end their rebellion by January 1, 1863. After those states refused to rejoin the Union, Lincoln’s order went into effect on January 1, 1863 and the final proclamation was issued.

The Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves in the ten states still in rebellion, but did not apply to the slaves in the slave-holding Union border states of Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware; these slaves were freed by later actions.

The proclamation was an important defining moment in the war, in which, the nation was committed to fighting a battle to preserve human freedom. Despite the commitment and the Union’s victory, the Emancipation Proclamation did not free a single slave. Slavery was not abolished throughout the United States until the Thirteenth Amendment was passed by Congress on January 31, 1865 and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865.