This proclamation was a Presidential decree issued September 22, 1862 to take effect January 1, 1863, freeing all slaves in those parts of the nation still in rebellion. In July 1862 Lincoln had proposed such a move to his cabinet and read them a preliminary draft of the proclamation. Seward suggested that he wait, believing that such a dynamic change in the war's focus (heretofore fought to preserve the Union and not to disrupt the South's social fabric) would be little more than a plea for support without a military victory. The battle of Antietam, while hardly decisive, gave Lincoln that opportunity. While this is just the Proclamation itself, there are a couple of articles linked at the bottom of this page that will provide more information as to how it came about, its effects, etc.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
"I, Abraham Lincoln, President
of the United States of America, and Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy thereof, do
hereby proclaim and declare that hereafter, as heretofore, the war will be prosecuted for
the object of practically restoring the constitutional relation between the United States
and each of the States and the people thereof in which States that relation is or may be
suspended or disturbed. That it is my purpose, upon the next meeting of Congress, to again
recommend the adoption of a practical measure tendering pecuniary aid to the free
acceptance or rejection of all slave States, so called, the people whereof may not then be
in rebellion against the United States, and which States may then have voluntarily
adopted, or thereafter may voluntarily adopt, immediate or gradual abolishment of slavery
within their respective limits; and that the effort to colonize persons of African
descent, with their consent, upon this continent or elsewhere, with the previously
obtained consent of the governments existing there, will be continued.
"Also to the ninth and tenth sections of an act entitled 'An act to suppress insurrection, to punish treason and rebellion, to seize and confiscate property of rebels, and for other purposes, approved July 17, 1862, and which sections are in the words and figures following:
"And I do hereby enjoin upon
and order all persons engaged in the military and naval service of the United States to
observe, obey, and enforce within their respective spheres of service the act and sections
[SEAL.] "In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. "Done at the city of Washington the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.
Source: "The Official Records of the War of the Rebellion"
|Emancipation Proclamation Background Information||Just a little something to show how this "proclamation" came to be and the reactions to it.|
|Lincoln And Emancipation||If you are trying to research the whys, how, when, etc. of the Proclamation, this is the page you are looking for.|
This Page last updated 02/16/02