HOME

TheInfoList




The Emancipation Proclamation, or Proclamation 95, was a
presidential proclamation The text of presidential proclamation 9552 of December 9, 2016 regarding the lowering of flags because of the death of John Glenn, as published in the Federal Register.">Federal_Register.html" ;"title="John Glenn, as published in the Federal Regi ...
and
executive order In the United States, an executive order is a directive Directive may refer to: * Directive (European Union), a legislative act of the European Union * Directive (programming), a computer language construct that specifies how a compiler shou ...
issued by United States President
Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln (; February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of governme ...

Abraham Lincoln
on September 22, 1862, during the
Civil War A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independen ...
. The Proclamation read: :That on the first day of January in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom. On January 1, 1863, the Proclamation changed the legal status under federal law of more than 3.5 million enslaved African Americans in the secessionist
Confederate Confederacy may refer to: A confederation, an association of sovereign states or communities. Examples include: * Battle of the Trench, Confederate tribes * Confederate States of America, a confederation of secessionist American states that existed ...

Confederate
states from enslaved to free. As soon as a slave escaped the control of the Confederate government, either by running away across Union lines or through the advance of federal troops, the person was permanently free. Ultimately, the Union victory brought the proclamation into effect in all of the former Confederacy. The proclamation was directed to all of the areas in rebellion and all segments of the
executive branch The executive (short for executive branch or executive power) is the part of government that enforces law, and has Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (polity), state. In political systems based on the principle ...
(including the Army and Navy) of the United States. It proclaimed the freedom of enslaved people in the ten states in rebellion. Even though it excluded areas not in rebellion, it still applied to more than 3.5 million of the 4 million enslaved people in the country. Around 25,000 to 75,000 were immediately emancipated in those regions of the Confederacy where the US Army was already in place. It could not be enforced in the areas still in rebellion, but as the Union army took control of Confederate regions, the Proclamation provided the legal framework for the liberation of more than three and a half million enslaved people in those regions. Prior to the Proclamation, in accordance with the
Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 The Fugitive Slave Act or Fugitive Slave Law was passed by the 31st United States Congress, United States Congress on September 18, 1850, as part of the Compromise of 1850 between Southern United States, Southern Slavery in the United States, i ...
, escaped enslaved persons were either returned to their masters or held in camps as
contraband Contraband (from Medieval French ''contrebande'' "smuggling") refers to any item that, relating to its nature, is illegal to be possessed or sold. It is used for goods that by their nature are considered too dangerous or offensive in the eyes o ...
for later return. The Emancipation Proclamation outraged white Southerners and their sympathizers, who saw it as the beginning of a race war. It energized abolitionists, and undermined those Europeans that wanted to intervene to help the Confederacy. The Proclamation lifted the spirits of African Americans both free and enslaved; it led many to escape from their masters and get to Union lines to obtain their freedom, and to join the Union Army. The Emancipation Proclamation became a historic document because it "would redefine the Civil War, turning it from a struggle to preserve the Union to one focused on ending slavery, and set a decisive course for how the nation would be reshaped after that historic conflict." The Emancipation Proclamation was never challenged in court. To ensure the abolition of slavery in all of the U.S., Lincoln also insisted that
Reconstruction Reconstruction may refer to: Politics, history, and sociology *Reconstruction (law), the transfer of a company's (or several companies') business to a new company *''Perestroika'' (Russian for "reconstruction"), a late 20th century Soviet Union ...
plans for Southern states require abolition in new state laws (which occurred during the war in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana); Lincoln encouraged border states to adopt abolition (which occurred during the war in Maryland, Missouri, and West Virginia) and pushed for passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. Congress passed the 13th Amendment by the necessary two-thirds vote on January 31, 1865, and it was ratified by the states on December 6, 1865. The amendment made
chattel slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property Property is a system of rights that gives ...
and
involuntary servitude Involuntary servitude or involuntary slavery is a legal and constitutional term for a person laboring against that person's will to benefit another, under some form of coercion other than the worker's financial needs, to which it may constitute s ...
illegal.


Authority

The
United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation An organization, or orga ...

United States Constitution
of 1787 did not use the word "slavery" but included several provisions about unfree persons. The
Three-Fifths Compromise#REDIRECT Three-fifths Compromise {{Redirect category shell, {{R from move {{R from alternative hyphenation ...
(in Article I, Section 2) allocated Congressional representation based "on the whole Number of free Persons" and "three-fifths of all other Persons". Under the
Fugitive Slave Clause The Fugitive Slave Clause of the United States Constitution, also known as either the Slave Clause or the Fugitives From Labor Clause, is Article Four of the United States Constitution#Clause 3: Fugitive Slave Clause, Article IV, Section 2, Clause ...
(Article IV, Section 2), "no person held to service or labour in one state" would be freed by escaping to another. Article I, Section 9 allowed Congress to pass legislation to outlaw the "Importation of Persons", but not until 1808. However, for purposes of the Fifth Amendment—which states that, "No person shall... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"—slaves were understood as property. Although abolitionists used the Fifth Amendment to argue against slavery, it became part of the legal basis for treating slaves as property with '' Dred Scott v. Sandford'' (1857). Socially, slavery was also supported in law and in practice by a pervasive culture of
white supremacy White supremacy or white supremacism is the belief that white people are superior to those of other Race (human classification), races and thus should dominate them. The belief favors the maintenance and defense of any Power (social and poli ...
. Nonetheless, between 1777 and 1804, every Northern state provided for the immediate or gradual abolition of slavery. No Southern state did so, and the slave population of the South continued to grow, peaking at almost four million people at the beginning of the American Civil War, when most slave states sought to break away from the United States. Lincoln understood that the Federal government's power to end slavery in peacetime was limited by the Constitution which before 1865, committed the issue to individual states. Against the background of the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by other names Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also refer to: Books * The Other (Tryon novel), ''The Other'' (Tryon nove ...
, however, Lincoln issued the Proclamation under his authority as "
Commander-in-Chief A commander-in-chief or supreme commander is the person who exercises supreme command and control Command and control is a "set of organizational and technical attributes and processes ... hat A collection of 18th and 19th century men' ...
of the Army and Navy" under Article II, section 2 of the United States Constitution. As such, he claimed to have the martial power to free persons held as slaves in those states that were in rebellion "as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion". He did not have Commander-in-Chief authority over the four slave-holding states that were not in rebellion:
Missouri Missouri is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Missouri
,
Kentucky Kentucky ( , ), officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ...
,
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware ...

Maryland
and
Delaware Delaware ( ) is a state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Maryland to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean to its east. The state takes i ...
, and so those states were not named in the Proclamation. The fifth border jurisdiction,
West Virginia West Virginia () is a U.S. state, state in the Appalachian region, Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States, Southeastern regions of the United States.The United States Census Bureau, Census Burea ...
, where slavery remained legal but was in the process of being abolished, was, in January 1863, still part of the legally recognized, "reorganized" state of Virginia, based in Alexandria, which was in the Union (as opposed to the Confederate state of Virginia, based in Richmond).


Coverage

The Proclamation applied in the ten states that were still in rebellion in 1863, and thus did not cover the nearly 500,000 slaves in the slave-holding border states (Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland or Delaware) which were Union states. Those slaves were freed by later separate state and federal actions. The state of
Tennessee Tennessee (, ), officially the State of Tennessee, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The S ...

Tennessee
had already mostly returned to Union control, under a recognized Union government, so it was not named and was exempted.
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...

Virginia
was named, but exemptions were specified for the 48 counties then in the process of forming the new state of
West Virginia West Virginia () is a U.S. state, state in the Appalachian region, Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States, Southeastern regions of the United States.The United States Census Bureau, Census Burea ...
, and seven additional counties and two cities in the Union-controlled
Tidewater region Tidewater refers to the north Atlantic coastal plain Wheat field near Centreville on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, with flat terrain typical of the Atlantic coastal plain The Atlantic coastal plain is a physiographic region Physiographic ...
of
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...

Virginia
. Also specifically exempted were
New Orleans New Orleans (,New Orleans
and 13 named parishes of
Louisiana Louisiana (Standard French Standard French (in French: ''le français standard'', ''le français normé'', ''le français neutre'' eutral Frenchor ''le français international'' nternational French is an unofficial term for a standard ...

Louisiana
, which were mostly under federal control at the time of the Proclamation. These exemptions left unemancipated an additional 300,000 slaves. The Emancipation Proclamation has been ridiculed, notably in an influential passage by
Richard Hofstadter Richard Hofstadter (August 6, 1916October 24, 1970) was an American historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who studies and ...
for "freeing" only the slaves over which the Union had no power. These slaves were freed due to Lincoln's "war powers". This act cleared up the issue of
contraband Contraband (from Medieval French ''contrebande'' "smuggling") refers to any item that, relating to its nature, is illegal to be possessed or sold. It is used for goods that by their nature are considered too dangerous or offensive in the eyes o ...

contraband
slaves. It automatically clarified the status of over 100,000 now-former slaves. Some 20,000 to 50,000 slaves were freed the day it went into effect in parts of nine of the ten states to which it applied (Texas being the exception).William C. Harris, "After the Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln's Role in the Ending of Slavery", North & South vol. 5 no. 1 (December 2001), map on p. 49 In every Confederate state (except Tennessee and Texas), the Proclamation went into immediate effect in Union-occupied areas and at least 20,000 slaves were freed at once on January 1, 1863. The Proclamation provided the legal framework for the emancipation of nearly all four million slaves as the Union armies advanced, and committed the Union to end slavery, which was a controversial decision even in the North. Hearing of the Proclamation, more slaves quickly escaped to Union lines as the Army units moved South. As the Union armies advanced through the Confederacy, thousands of slaves were freed each day until nearly all (approximately 3.9 million, according to the 1860 Census) were freed by July 1865. While the Proclamation had freed most slaves as a war measure, it had not made slavery illegal. Of the states that were exempted from the Proclamation, Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee, and West Virginia prohibited slavery before the war ended. In 1863, President Lincoln proposed a moderate plan for the Reconstruction of the captured Confederate State of Louisiana. Only 10% of the state's electorate had to take the loyalty oath. The state was also required to accept the Proclamation and abolish slavery in its new constitution. Identical Reconstruction plans would be adopted in Arkansas and Tennessee. By December 1864, the Lincoln plan abolishing slavery had been enacted in Louisiana, as well as in Arkansas and Tennessee.Peterson (1995) ''Lincoln in American Memory'', pp. 38–41McCarthy (1901), ''Lincoln's plan of Reconstruction'', p. 76 In Kentucky, Union Army commanders relied on the proclamations offer of freedom to slaves who enrolled in the Army and provided freedom for an enrollee's entire family; for this and other reasons the number of slaves in the state fell by over 70% during the war. However, in Delaware and Kentucky, slavery continued to be legal until December 18, 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment went into effect.


Background


Military action prior to emancipation

The
Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 The Fugitive Slave Act or Fugitive Slave Law was passed by the 31st United States Congress, United States Congress on September 18, 1850, as part of the Compromise of 1850 between Southern United States, Southern Slavery in the United States, i ...
required individuals to return runaway slaves to their owners. During the war, Union generals such as
Benjamin Butler Benjamin Franklin Butler (November 5, 1818 – January 11, 1893) was a major general of the Union Army, politician, lawyer and businessman from Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most popu ...
declared that slaves in occupied areas were contraband of war and accordingly refused to return them. This decision was controversial because it implied
recognition Recognition may refer to: *Award, something given in recognition of an achievement In science and technology In computer science *Pattern recognition, a branch of machine learning which encompasses the meanings below Biometric *Recognition of h ...
of the Confederacy as a separate, independent sovereign state under international law, a notion that Lincoln steadfastly denied. As a result, he did not promote the contraband designation. In addition, as contraband, these people were legally designated as "property" when they crossed Union lines and their ultimate status was uncertain.


Governmental action toward emancipation

Image:Emancipation proclamation.jpg, upright=1.25, ''
First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln ''First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln'' is an 1864 oil-on-canvas painting Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface (called the "matrix" or "support"). The ...
'' by
Francis Bicknell Carpenter Francis Bicknell Carpenter (August 6, 1830 – May 23, 1900) was an American painter born in Homer, New York. Carpenter is best known for his painting ''First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln ''First Reading of the ...

Francis Bicknell Carpenter
(1864) ''(Clickable image—use cursor to identify.)'', alt=A dark-haired, bearded, middle-aged man holding documents is seated among seven other men. poly 269 892 254 775 193 738 130 723 44 613 19 480 49 453 75 434 58 376 113 344 133 362 143 423 212 531 307 657 357 675 409 876 Edwin M. Stanton, Edwin Stanton poly 169 282 172 244 244 201 244 148 265 117 292 125 305 166 304 204 321 235 355 296 374 348 338 395 341 469
Salmon Chase Salmon is the common name for several species of ray-finned fish Actinopterygii ( New Latin ('having rays') + Greek ( 'wing, fins')), members of which are known as ray-finned fishes, is a clade A clade (; from grc, , ''klados'', ...

Salmon Chase
poly 569 893 535 708 427 613 357 562 377 456 393 404 468 351 451 317 473 259 520 256 544 283 530 339 526 374 559 401 594 431 639 494 715 542 692 551 693 579 672 546 623 552 596 617 698 629 680 852
Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln (; February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of governme ...

Abraham Lincoln
poly 692 514 740 441 788 407 772 350 800 303 831 297 861 329 867 381 868 409 913 430 913 471 847 532 816 533 709 533
Gideon Welles Gideon Welles (July 1, 1802 – February 11, 1878), nicknamed "Father Neptune", was the United States Secretary of the Navy from 1861 to 1869, a cabinet post he was awarded after supporting Abraham Lincoln in the 1860 United States presidential ele ...

Gideon Welles
poly 703 783 752 769 825 627 907 620 929 569 905 538 886 563 833 563 873 502 930 450 1043 407 1043 389 1036 382 1042 363 1058 335 1052 333 1052 324 1081 318 1124 338 1133 374 1116 412 1132 466 1145 509 1117 588 1087 632 1083 706
William Seward William Henry Seward (May 16, 1801 – October 10, 1872) was United States Secretary of State from 1861 to 1869, and earlier served as governor of New York and as a United States Senator The United States Senate is the Upper house, up ...

William Seward
poly 905 418 941 328 987 295 995 284 982 244 990 206 1036 207 1046 247 1047 284 1066 312 1071 314 1049 327 1044 354 1033 383 1033 407 921 453 poly 1081 308 1102 255 1095 220 1093 181 1109 161 1145 160 1169 191 1153 227 1153 246 1199 268 1230 310 1239 377 1237 443 1220 486 1125 451 1118 412 1136 378 1124 342
Montgomery Blair Montgomery Blair (May 10, 1813 – July 27, 1883) was an American politician and lawyer from Maryland Maryland ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West V ...
poly 1224 479 1298 416 1304 379 1295 329 1325 310 1360 324 1370 359 1371 385 1371 397 1413 425 1422 497 1440 563 1348 555 1232 517
Edward Bates Edward Bates (September 4, 1793 – March 25, 1869) was an American lawyer and politician. He represented Missouri in the US House of Representatives and served as the US Attorney General under President Abraham Lincoln. A member of the influen ...

Edward Bates
poly 625 555 595 620 699 625 730 550
Emancipation Proclamation The Emancipation Proclamation, or Proclamation 95, was a presidential proclamation The text of presidential proclamation 9552 of December 9, 2016 regarding the lowering of flags because of the death of John Glenn, as published in the Feder ...

Emancipation Proclamation
poly 120 80 120 300 3 300 3 80 poly 752 196 961 189 948 8 735 10
In December 1861, Lincoln sent his first annual message to Congress (the
State of the Union Address The State of the Union Address (sometimes abbreviated to SOTU) is an annual message delivered by the president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United Stat ...
, but then typically given in writing and not referred to as such). In it he praised the free labor system, as respecting human rights over property rights; he endorsed legislation to address the status of contraband slaves and slaves in loyal states, possibly through buying their freedom with federal taxes, and also the funding of strictly voluntary colonization efforts. In January 1862,
Thaddeus Stevens Thaddeus Stevens (April 4, 1792August 11, 1868) was a member of the United States House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives is the lower house of the United States Congress, with the United States Senate, Senate b ...

Thaddeus Stevens
, the
Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of government that is not a monarchy or dictatorship, and is usually associated with the rule of law. ** Republicanism, the ideology in support of republics or against ...
leader in the
House A house is a single-unit residential building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house A house is a single-unit residential building, which may range ...
, called for total war against the rebellion to include emancipation of slaves, arguing that emancipation, by forcing the loss of enslaved labor, would ruin the rebel economy. On March 13, 1862, Congress approved a "Law Enacting an Additional Article of War", which stated that from that point onward it was forbidden for Union Army officers to return fugitive slaves to their owners. Pursuant to a law signed by Lincoln, slavery was abolished in the
District of Columbia ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscape ...
on April 16, 1862, and owners were compensated. On June 19, 1862, Congress prohibited slavery in all current and future
United States territories United may refer to: Places * United, Pennsylvania United is located in Mount Pleasant Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. It is a community located near Norvelt, Pennsylvania. History In 1881, the United Coal Company, United Coal & Cok ...
(though not in the states), and President Lincoln quickly signed the legislation. By this act, they repudiated the 1857 opinion of the
Supreme Court of the United States The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or Americ ...

Supreme Court of the United States
in the ''
Dred Scott Dred Scott (c. 1799 – September 17, 1858) was an enslaved African-American man in the United States who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom and that of his wife, Harriet Robinson Scott, and their two daughters in the ''Dred Scott v. Sandford ...
'' case that Congress was powerless to regulate slavery in U.S. territories. This joint action by Congress and President Lincoln also rejected the notion of
popular sovereignty Popular sovereignty is the principle that the authority of a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The ...
that had been advanced by
Stephen A. Douglas Stephen Arnold Douglas (April 23, 1813 – June 3, 1861) was an American politician and lawyer from Illinois Illinois ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States. It has the List o ...
as a solution to the slavery controversy, while completing the effort first legislatively proposed by
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were cr ...

Thomas Jefferson
in 1784 to confine slavery within the borders of existing states. In July, Congress passed and Lincoln signed the
Confiscation Act of 1862 The Confiscation Act of 1862, or Second Confiscation Act, was a law passed by the United States Congress during the American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by Names of the American Civil War, other names) was a civil war in t ...
, containing provisions for court proceedings to liberate slaves held by convicted "rebels", or slaves of rebels that had escaped to Union lines. The Act applied in cases of criminal convictions, to those who were slaves of "disloyal" masters, and to slaves in rebel territory that was captured by the Union forces. Unlike the first Confiscation Act, the second one explicitly said that all slaves covered under the law would be permanently freed, stating "all slaves of persons who shall hereafter be engaged in rebellion against the government of the United States, or who shall in any way give aid or comfort thereto, escaping from such persons and taking refuge within the lines of the army; and all slaves captured from such persons or deserted by them and coming under the control of the government of the United States; and all slaves of such person found on being within any place occupied by rebel forces and afterwards occupied by the forces of the United States, shall be deemed captives of war, and shall be forever free of their servitude, and not again held as slaves." However, Lincoln's position continued to be that Congress lacked the power to free all slaves within the borders of rebel held states, but Lincoln as commander in chief could do so if he deemed it a proper military measure, and that Lincoln had already drafted plans to do.


Public opinion of emancipation

Abolitionists Abolitionism, or the abolitionist movement, was the movement to end slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for another person (a slaver), w ...
had long been urging Lincoln to free all slaves. In the summer of 1862, Republican editor
Horace Greeley Horace Greeley (February 3, 1811 – November 29, 1872) was an American newspaper editor and publisher who was the founder and editor Editing is the process of selecting and preparing written Writing is a medium of human commun ...

Horace Greeley
of the highly influential
New York Tribune The ''New-York Tribune'' was an American newspaper founded in 1841 by editor Horace Greeley Horace Greeley (February 3, 1811 – November 29, 1872) was an American newspaper editor and publisher who was the founder and newspaper editor, ...
wrote a famous editorial entitled "The Prayer of Twenty Millions" demanding a more aggressive attack on the Confederacy and faster emancipation of the slaves: "On the face of this wide earth, Mr. President, there is not one ... intelligent champion of the Union cause who does not feel ... that the rebellion, if crushed tomorrow, would be renewed if slavery were left in full vigor and that every hour of deference to slavery is an hour of added and deepened peril to the Union." Lincoln responded in his Letter To Horace Greeley from August 22, 1862, in terms of the limits imposed by his duty as president to save the Union: Lincoln scholar
Harold Holzer Harold Holzer (born February 5, 1949) is a scholar of Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the American Civil War Era. He serves as director of Hunter College's Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, Roosevelt House Pu ...

Harold Holzer
wrote in this context about Lincoln's letter: "Unknown to Greeley, Lincoln composed this after he had already drafted a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which he had determined to issue after the next Union military victory. Therefore, this letter, was in truth, an attempt to position the impending announcement in terms of saving the Union, not freeing slaves as a humanitarian gesture. It was one of Lincoln's most skillful public relations efforts, even if it has cast longstanding doubt on his sincerity as a liberator." Historian Richard Striner argues that "for years" Lincoln's letter has been misread as "Lincoln only wanted to save the Union." However, within the context of Lincoln's entire career and pronouncements on slavery this interpretation is wrong, according to Striner. Rather, Lincoln was softening the strong Northern white supremacist opposition to his imminent emancipation by tying it to the cause of the Union. This opposition would fight for the Union but not to end slavery, so Lincoln gave them the means and motivation to do both, at the same time. In his 2014 book, '' Lincoln's Gamble'', journalist and historian Todd Brewster asserted that Lincoln's desire to reassert the saving of the Union as his sole war goal was, in fact, crucial to his claim of legal authority for emancipation. Since slavery was protected by the Constitution, the only way that he could free the slaves was as a tactic of war—not as the mission itself. But that carried the risk that when the war ended, so would the justification for freeing the slaves. Late in 1862, Lincoln asked his Attorney General,
Edward Bates Edward Bates (September 4, 1793 – March 25, 1869) was an American lawyer and politician. He represented Missouri in the US House of Representatives and served as the US Attorney General under President Abraham Lincoln. A member of the influen ...

Edward Bates
, for an opinion as to whether slaves freed through a war-related proclamation of emancipation could be re-enslaved once the war was over. Bates had to work through the language of the Dred Scott decision to arrive at an answer, but he finally concluded that they could indeed remain free. Still, a complete end to slavery would require a constitutional amendment. Conflicting advice, to free all slaves, or not free them at all, was presented to Lincoln in public and private.
Thomas Nast Thomas Nast (; ; September 27, 1840December 7, 1902) was a German-born American caricaturist A caricaturist is an artist who specializes in drawing caricatures.https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/caricaturist List of caricaturis ...
, a cartoon artist during the Civil War and the late 1800s considered "Father of the American Cartoon", composed many works including a two-sided spread that showed the transition from slavery into civilization after President Lincoln signed the Proclamation. Nast believed in equal opportunity and equality for all people, including enslaved Africans or free blacks. A mass rally in Chicago on September 7, 1862, demanded immediate and universal emancipation of slaves. A delegation headed by William W. Patton met the president at the
White House The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, D.C., NW in Washington, D.C., and has been the residence of every U.S. preside ...

White House
on September 13. Lincoln had declared in peacetime that he had no constitutional authority to free the slaves. Even used as a war power, emancipation was a risky political act. Public opinion as a whole was against it. There would be strong opposition among Copperhead Democrats and an uncertain reaction from loyal border states. Delaware and Maryland already had a high percentage of free blacks: 91.2% and 49.7%, respectively, in 1860.


Drafting and issuance of the proclamation

Lincoln first discussed the proclamation with his cabinet in July 1862. He drafted his "preliminary proclamation" and read it to Secretary of State
William Seward William Henry Seward (May 16, 1801 – October 10, 1872) was United States Secretary of State from 1861 to 1869, and earlier served as governor of New York and as a United States Senator The United States Senate is the Upper house, up ...

William Seward
, and Secretary of Navy
Gideon Welles Gideon Welles (July 1, 1802 – February 11, 1878), nicknamed "Father Neptune", was the United States Secretary of the Navy from 1861 to 1869, a cabinet post he was awarded after supporting Abraham Lincoln in the 1860 United States presidential ele ...

Gideon Welles
, on July 13. Seward and Welles were at first speechless, then Seward referred to possible anarchy throughout the South and resulting foreign intervention; Welles apparently said nothing. On July 22, Lincoln presented it to his entire cabinet as something he had determined to do and he asked their opinion on wording. Although Secretary of War Edwin Stanton supported it, Seward advised Lincoln to issue the proclamation after a major Union victory, or else it would appear as if the Union was giving "its last shriek of retreat". In September 1862, the
Battle of Antietam The Battle of Antietam (), also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, particularly in the Southern United States, was a battle of the American Civil War, fought on September 17, 1862, between Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, Robert E. Lee's Army o ...

Battle of Antietam
gave Lincoln the victory he needed to issue the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. In the battle, though the Union suffered heavier losses than the Confederates and
General McClellan George Brinton McClellan (December 3, 1826October 29, 1885) was an American soldier, civil engineer, railroad executive, and politician who served as the 24th Governor of New Jersey. A graduate of United States Military Academy, West Point, McCle ...
allowed the escape of
Robert E. Lee Robert Edward Lee (January 19, 1807 – October 12, 1870) was an American Confederate general best known for his service to the Confederate States of America The Confederate States of America (CSA), commonly referred to as the Co ...

Robert E. Lee
's retreating troops, Union forces turned back a Confederate invasion of Maryland, eliminating more than a quarter of Lee's army in the process. On September 22, 1862, five days after Antietam, and while residing at the
Soldier's Home "Soldier's Home" is a short story by Ernest Hemingway. It was included in the 1925 ''Contact Collection of Contemporary Writers'' and published by Boni & Liveright in Hemingway's 1925 New York collection short stories, ''In Our Time (short story co ...
, Lincoln called his cabinet into session and issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. According to Civil War historian James M. McPherson, Lincoln told Cabinet members that he had made a covenant with God, that if the Union drove the Confederacy out of Maryland, he would issue the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln had first shown an early draft of the proclamation to Vice President
Hannibal Hamlin Hannibal Hamlin (August 27, 1809 – July 4, 1891) was an American attorney and politician from the state of Maine Maine () is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States, bordered by New Hampshire to the west; the A ...
, an ardent abolitionist, who was more often kept in the dark on presidential decisions. The final proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863. Although implicitly granted authority by Congress, Lincoln used his powers as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, "as a necessary war measure" as the basis of the proclamation, rather than the equivalent of a statute enacted by Congress or a constitutional amendment. Some days after issuing the final Proclamation, Lincoln wrote to Major General
John McClernand John Alexander McClernand (May 30, 1812 – September 20, 1900) was an American lawyer and politician, and a Union Army, Union general in the American Civil War. He was a prominent Democratic Party (United States), Democratic politician in Illinois ...
: "After the commencement of hostilities I struggled nearly a year and a half to get along without touching the "institution"; and when finally I conditionally determined to touch it, I gave a hundred days fair notice of my purpose, to all the States and people, within which time they could have turned it wholly aside, by simply again becoming good citizens of the United States. They chose to disregard it, and I made the peremptory proclamation on what appeared to me to be a military necessity. And being made, it must stand." Initially, the Emancipation Proclamation effectively freed only a small percentage of the slaves, namely those who were behind Union lines in areas not exempted. Most slaves were still behind Confederate lines or in exempted Union-occupied areas. Secretary of State commented, "We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free." Had any slave state ended its secession attempt before January 1, 1863, it could have kept slavery, at least temporarily. The Proclamation only gave the Lincoln Administration the legal basis to free the slaves in the areas of the South that were still in rebellion on January 1, 1863. It effectively destroyed slavery as the Union armies advanced south and conquered the entire Confederacy. The Emancipation Proclamation also allowed for the enrollment of freed slaves into the United States military. During the war nearly 200,000 blacks, most of them ex-slaves, joined the Union Army. Their contributions gave the North additional manpower that was significant in winning the war. The Confederacy did not allow slaves in their army as soldiers until the last month before its defeat. Though the counties of Virginia that were soon to form
West Virginia West Virginia () is a U.S. state, state in the Appalachian region, Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States, Southeastern regions of the United States.The United States Census Bureau, Census Burea ...
were specifically exempted from the Proclamation (Jefferson County being the only exception), a condition of the state's admittance to the Union was that its constitution provide for the gradual abolition of slavery (an immediate emancipation of all slaves was also adopted there in early 1865). Slaves in the border states of
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware ...

Maryland
and
Missouri Missouri is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Missouri
were also emancipated by separate state action before the Civil War ended. In Maryland, a new state constitution abolishing slavery in the state went into effect on November 1, 1864. The Union-occupied counties of eastern Virginia and parishes of Louisiana, which had been exempted from the Proclamation, both adopted state constitutions that abolished slavery in April 1864. In early 1865, Tennessee adopted an amendment to its constitution prohibiting slavery.


Implementation

The Proclamation was issued in two parts. The first part, issued on September 22, 1862, was a preliminary announcement outlining the intent of the second part, which officially went into effect 100 days later on January 1, 1863, during the second year of the Civil War. It was Abraham Lincoln's declaration that all slaves would be permanently freed in all areas of the Confederacy that had not already returned to federal control by January 1863. The ten affected states were individually named in the second part (South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina). Not included were the Union
slave state In the United States before 1865, a slave state was a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State ...
s of
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware ...

Maryland
,
Delaware Delaware ( ) is a state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Maryland to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean to its east. The state takes i ...
,
Missouri Missouri is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Missouri
and
Kentucky Kentucky ( , ), officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ...
. Also not named was the state of
Tennessee Tennessee (, ), officially the State of Tennessee, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The S ...

Tennessee
, in which a Union-controlled military government had already been set up, based in the capital, Nashville. Specific exemptions were stated for areas also under Union control on January 1, 1863, namely 48 counties that would soon become
West Virginia West Virginia () is a U.S. state, state in the Appalachian region, Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States, Southeastern regions of the United States.The United States Census Bureau, Census Burea ...
, seven other named counties of
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...

Virginia
including Berkeley and Hampshire counties, which were soon added to West Virginia,
New Orleans New Orleans (,New Orleans
and 13 named parishes nearby. Union-occupied areas of the Confederate states where the proclamation was put into immediate effect by local commanders included
Winchester, Virginia Winchester is an independent city An independent city or independent town is a city or town that does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity (such as a province). Historical precursors In the Holy Roman Empire ...

Winchester, Virginia
,
Corinth, Mississippi Corinth is a city in and the county seat of Alcorn County, Mississippi, Alcorn County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 14,573 at the 2010 census. Its ZIP codes are 38834 and 38835. It lies on the state line with Tennessee. Histor ...
, the
Sea Islands The Sea Islands are a chain of tidal and barrier islands Barrier islands are coastal landforms and a type of dune system that are exceptionally flat or lumpy areas of sand that form by wave and tidal action parallel to the mainland coast. T ...
along the coasts of
the Carolinas The Carolinas are the U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with the . Due to th ...
and Georgia,William Klingaman, Abraham Lincoln and the Road to Emancipation, 1861–1865 (NY: Viking Press, 2001), p. 234
Key West Key West ( es, Cayo Hueso) is an island in the Straits of Florida 250px, The Straits of Florida The Straits of Florida, Florida Straits, or Florida Strait ( es, Estrecho de Florida) is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, t ...

Key West
, Florida, and
Port Royal, South Carolina Port Royal is a town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than city, cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world. Origin and ...
.


Immediate impact

It has been inaccurately claimed that the Emancipation Proclamation did not free a single slave; historian Lerone Bennett Jr. alleged that the proclamation was a hoax deliberately designed not to free any slaves. However, as a result of the Proclamation, many slaves were freed during the course of the war, beginning with the day it took effect; eyewitness accounts at places such as
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina Hilton Head Island, sometimes referred to as simply Hilton Head, is a Lowcountry near Beaufort, South Carolina, Beaufort. Such marsh views are emblematic of the Lowcountry and its landscapes. The Lowcountry (sometimes Low Country or just low cou ...
, and
Port Royal, South Carolina Port Royal is a town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than city, cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world. Origin and ...
record celebrations on January 1 as thousands of blacks were informed of their new legal status of freedom. Estimates of how many thousands of slaves were freed immediately by the Emancipation Proclamation are varied. One contemporary estimate put the 'contraband' population of Union-occupied North Carolina at 10,000, and the Sea Islands of South Carolina also had a substantial population. Those 20,000 slaves were freed immediately by the Emancipation Proclamation."Poulter, Keith "Slaves Immediately Freed by the Emancipation Proclamation", ''North & South'' vol. 5 no. 1 (December 2001), p. 48 This Union-occupied zone where freedom began at once included parts of
eastern North Carolina Eastern North Carolina (sometimes abbreviated as ENC) is the region encompassing the eastern tier of North Carolina North Carolina () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a mont ...
, the
Mississippi Valley The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes ...

Mississippi Valley
, northern Alabama, the
Shenandoah Valley The Shenandoah Valley () is a geographic valley A valley is an elongated low area often running between hills or mountains, which will typically contain a river or stream running from one end to the other. Most valleys are formed b ...

Shenandoah Valley
of Virginia, a large part of
Arkansas Arkansas () is a U.S. state, state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States, home to more than three million people as of 2018. Its name is from the Osage language, a Dhegihan languages, Dhegiha Siouan la ...

Arkansas
, and the
Sea Islands The Sea Islands are a chain of tidal and barrier islands Barrier islands are coastal landforms and a type of dune system that are exceptionally flat or lumpy areas of sand that form by wave and tidal action parallel to the mainland coast. T ...
of Georgia and South Carolina. Although some counties of Union-occupied Virginia were exempted from the Proclamation, the lower
Shenandoah Valley The Shenandoah Valley () is a geographic valley A valley is an elongated low area often running between hills or mountains, which will typically contain a river or stream running from one end to the other. Most valleys are formed b ...

Shenandoah Valley
, and the area around
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the List of cities and towns in Egypt, third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, ...

Alexandria
were covered. Emancipation was immediately enforced as Union soldiers advanced into the Confederacy. Slaves fled their masters and were often assisted by Union soldiers. , as a boy of 9 in Virginia, remembered the day in early 1865: Runaway slaves who had escaped to Union lines had previously been held by the Union Army as "contraband of war" under the Confiscation Acts; when the proclamation took effect, they were told at midnight that they were free to leave. The
Sea Islands The Sea Islands are a chain of tidal and barrier islands Barrier islands are coastal landforms and a type of dune system that are exceptionally flat or lumpy areas of sand that form by wave and tidal action parallel to the mainland coast. T ...
off the coast of
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia (, ; ) is a country located at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is a part of the Caucasus region, bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north and east by ...
had been occupied by the Union Navy earlier in the war. The whites had fled to the mainland while the blacks stayed. An early program of
Reconstruction Reconstruction may refer to: Politics, history, and sociology *Reconstruction (law), the transfer of a company's (or several companies') business to a new company *''Perestroika'' (Russian for "reconstruction"), a late 20th century Soviet Union ...
was set up for the former slaves, including schools and training. Naval officers read the proclamation and told them they were free. Slaves had been part of the "engine of war" for the Confederacy. They produced and prepared food; sewed uniforms; repaired railways; worked on farms and in factories, shipping yards, and mines; built fortifications; and served as hospital workers and common laborers. News of the Proclamation spread rapidly by word of mouth, arousing hopes of freedom, creating general confusion, and encouraging thousands to escape to Union lines. George Washington Albright, a teenage slave in
Mississippi Mississippi () is a U.S. state, state in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Alabama; to the south by the Gulf of Mexico; to the southwest by Louisiana; a ...
, recalled that like many of his fellow slaves, his father escaped to join Union forces. According to Albright, plantation owners tried to keep the Proclamation from slaves but news of it came through the "grapevine". The young slave became a "runner" for an informal group they called the ''4Ls'' ("Lincoln's Legal Loyal League") bringing news of the proclamation to secret slave meetings at plantations throughout the region.
Robert E. Lee Robert Edward Lee (January 19, 1807 – October 12, 1870) was an American Confederate general best known for his service to the Confederate States of America The Confederate States of America (CSA), commonly referred to as the Co ...

Robert E. Lee
saw the Emancipation Proclamation as a way for the Union to bolster the number of soldiers it could place on the field, making it imperative for the Confederacy to increase their own numbers. Writing on the matter after the sack of , Lee wrote, "In view of the vast increase of the forces of the enemy, of the savage and brutal policy he has proclaimed, which leaves us no alternative but success or degradation worse than death, if we would save the honor of our families from pollution, our social system from destruction, let every effort be made, every means be employed, to fill and maintain the ranks of our armies, until God, in his mercy, shall bless us with the establishment of our independence."


Political impact

The Proclamation was immediately denounced by Copperhead Democrats who opposed the war and advocated restoring the union by allowing slavery.
Horatio Seymour Horatio Seymour (May 31, 1810February 12, 1886) was an American politician. He served as Governor A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the Executive (government), executive branch of a non-sovereign or sub-n ...

Horatio Seymour
, while running for the governorship of New York, cast the Emancipation Proclamation as a call for slaves to commit extreme acts of violence on all white southerners, saying it was "a proposal for the butchery of women and children, for scenes of lust and rapine, and of arson and murder, which would invoke the interference of civilized Europe". The Copperheads also saw the Proclamation as an unconstitutional abuse of presidential power. Editor Henry A. Reeves wrote in Greenport's ''Republican Watchman'' that "In the name of freedom of Negroes, he proclamationimperils the liberty of white men; to test a utopian theory of equality of races which Nature, History and Experience alike condemn as monstrous, it overturns the Constitution and Civil Laws and sets up Military Usurpation in their Stead." Racism remained pervasive on both sides of the conflict and many in the North supported the war only as an effort to force the South to stay in the Union. The promises of many Republican politicians that the war was to restore the Union and not about black rights or ending slavery, were now declared lies by their opponents citing the Proclamation. Copperhead David Allen spoke to a rally in Columbiana, Ohio, stating, "I have told you that this war is carried on for the Negro. There is the proclamation of the President of the United States. Now fellow Democrats I ask you if you are going to be forced into a war against your Brithren of the Southern States for the Negro. I answer No!" The Copperheads saw the Proclamation as irrefutable proof of their position and the beginning of a political rise for their members; in Connecticut, H. B. Whiting wrote that the truth was now plain even to "those stupid thick-headed persons who persisted in thinking that the President was a conservative man and that the war was for the restoration of the Union under the Constitution". War Democrats who rejected the Copperhead position within their party, found themselves in a quandary. While throughout the war they had continued to espouse the racist positions of their party and their disdain of the concerns of slaves, they did see the Proclamation as a viable military tool against the South, and worried that opposing it might demoralize troops in the Union army. The question would continue to trouble them and eventually lead to a split within their party as the war progressed. Lincoln further alienated many in the Union two days after issuing the preliminary copy of the Emancipation Proclamation by Habeas corpus in the United States#Presidential suspension of habeas corpus, suspending habeas corpus. His opponents linked these two actions in their claims that he was becoming a despot. In light of this and a lack of military success for the Union armies, many War Democrat voters who had previously supported Lincoln turned against him and joined the Copperheads in the off-year elections held in October and November. In the United States House of Representatives elections, 1862, 1862 elections, the Democrats gained 28 seats in the House as well as the governorship of New York. Lincoln's friend Orville Hickman Browning told the president that the Proclamation and the suspension of habeas corpus had been "disastrous" for his party by handing the Democrats so many weapons. Lincoln made no response. Copperhead William Javis of Connecticut pronounced the election the "beginning of the end of the utter downfall of Abolitionism in the United States". Historians James M. McPherson and Allan Nevins state that though the results looked very troubling, they could be seen favorably by Lincoln; his opponents did well only in their historic strongholds and "at the national level their gains in the House were the smallest of any minority party's in an off-year election in nearly a generation. Michigan, California, and Iowa all went Republican... Moreover, the Republicans picked up five seats in the Senate." McPherson states "If the election was in any sense a referendum on emancipation and on Lincoln's conduct of the war, a majority of Northern voters endorsed these policies."


Confederate response

The initial Confederate response was one of expected outrage. The Proclamation was seen as vindication for the rebellion, and proof that Lincoln would have abolished slavery even if the states had remained in the Union. In an August 1863 letter to President Lincoln, U.S. Army general Ulysses S. Grant observed that the Proclamation, combined with the usage of black soldiers by the U.S. Army, profoundly angered the Confederacy, saying that "the emancipation of the Negro, is the heaviest blow yet given the Confederacy. The South rave a great deal about it and profess to be very angry." A few months after the Proclamation took effect, the Confederacy passed a law in May 1863 demanding "full and ample retaliation" against the U.S. for such measures. The Confederacy stated that the black U.S. soldiers captured while fighting against the Confederacy would be tried as slave insurrectionists in civil courts—a capital offense with automatic sentence of death. Less than a year after the law's passage, the Confederates massacred black U.S. soldiers at Battle of Fort Pillow, Fort Pillow. Confederate General
Robert E. Lee Robert Edward Lee (January 19, 1807 – October 12, 1870) was an American Confederate general best known for his service to the Confederate States of America The Confederate States of America (CSA), commonly referred to as the Co ...

Robert E. Lee
called the Proclamation a "savage and brutal policy he has proclaimed, which leaves us no alternative but success or degradation worse than death." However, some Confederates welcomed the Proclamation, as they believed it would strengthen pro-slavery sentiment in the Confederacy and, thus, lead to greater enlistment of white men into the Confederate army. According to one Confederate man from Kentucky, "The Proclamation is worth three hundred thousand soldiers to our Government at least... It shows exactly what this war was brought about for and the intention of its damnable authors." Even some Union soldiers concurred with this view and expressed reservations about the Proclamation, not on principle, but rather because they were afraid it would increase the Confederacy's determination to fight on and maintain slavery. One Union soldier from New York stated worryingly after the Proclamation's passage, "I know enough of the Southern spirit that I think they will fight for the institution of slavery even to extermination." As a result of the Proclamation, the price of slaves in the Confederacy increased in the months after its issuance, with one Confederate from South Carolina opining in 1865 that "now is the time for Uncle to buy some negro women and children."


International impact

As Lincoln had hoped, the proclamation turned foreign popular opinion in favor of the Union by gaining the support of anti-slavery countries and countries that had already abolished slavery (especially the developed countries in Europe such as the United Kingdom or France). This shift ended the Confederacy's hopes of gaining official recognition. Since the Emancipation Proclamation made the eradication of slavery an explicit Union war goal, it linked support for the South to support for slavery. Public opinion in Britain would not tolerate support for slavery. As Henry Adams noted, "The Emancipation Proclamation has done more for us than all our former victories and all our diplomacy." In Italy, Giuseppe Garibaldi hailed Lincoln as "the heir of the aspirations of John Brown (abolitionist), John Brown". On August 6, 1863, Garibaldi wrote to Lincoln: "Posterity will call you the great emancipator, a more enviable title than any crown could be, and greater than any merely mundane treasure". Mayor Abel Haywood, a representative for workers from Manchester, England, wrote to Lincoln saying, "We joyfully honor you for many decisive steps toward practically exemplifying your belief in the words of your great founders: 'All men are created free and equal.'" The Emancipation Proclamation served to ease tensions with Europe over the North's conduct of the war, and combined with the recent failed Southern offensive at Battle of Antietam, Antietam, to remove any practical chance for the Confederacy to receive foreign support in the war.


Gettysburg Address

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in November 1863 made indirect reference to the Proclamation and the ending of slavery as a war goal with the phrase "new birth of freedom". The Proclamation solidified Lincoln's support among the rapidly growing abolitionist element of the Republican Party and ensured that they would not block his re-nomination in 1864.


Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction (1863)

In December 1863, Lincoln issued his ''Ten percent plan, Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction'', which dealt with the ways the rebel states could reconcile with the Union. Key provisions required that the states accept the ''Emancipation Proclamation'' and thus the freedom of their slaves, and accept the Confiscation Acts, as well as the Act banning of slavery in United States territories.


Postbellum

Near the end of the war, abolitionists were concerned that the Emancipation Proclamation would be construed solely as a war measure, Lincoln's original intent, and would no longer apply once fighting ended. They also were increasingly anxious to secure the freedom of all slaves, not just those freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. Thus pressed, Lincoln staked a large part of his 1864 presidential campaign on a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery uniformly throughout the United States. Lincoln's campaign was bolstered by separate votes in both Maryland and Missouri to abolish slavery in those states. Maryland's new constitution abolishing slavery took effect in November 1864. Slavery in Missouri was ended by executive proclamation of its governor, Thomas C. Fletcher, on January 11, 1865. Winning re-election, Lincoln pressed the lame duck (politics), lame duck 38th United States Congress, 38th Congress to pass the proposed amendment immediately rather than wait for the incoming 39th United States Congress, 39th Congress to convene. In January 1865, Congress sent to the state legislatures for ratification what became the Thirteenth Amendment, banning slavery in all U.S. states and territories. The amendment was ratified by the legislatures of enough states by December 6, 1865, and proclaimed 12 days later. There were approximately 40,000 slaves in Kentucky and 1,000 in Delaware who were liberated then.


Critiques

In context the 19th century and because of its scope, Lincoln's proclamation is arguably "one of the most radical emancipations in the history of the modern world." Nonetheless, as the years went on and American life continued to be deeply unfair towards blacks, cynicism towards Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation increased. Perhaps the strongest attack was Lerone Bennett, Jr., Lerone Bennett's ''Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln's White Dream'' (2000), which claimed that Lincoln was a white supremacist who issued the Emancipation Proclamation in lieu of the real racial reforms for which radical abolitionists pushed. In his ''Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation'', Allen C. Guelzo noted the professional historians' lack of substantial respect for the document, since it has been the subject of few major scholarly studies. He argued that Lincoln was the US's "last Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment politician" and as such was dedicated to removing slavery strictly within the bounds of law. Other historians have given more credit to Lincoln for what he accomplished within the tensions of his cabinet and a society at war, for his own growth in political and moral stature, and for the promise he held out to the slaves. More might have been accomplished if he had not been assassinated. As Eric Foner wrote:
Lincoln was not an abolitionist or Radical Republican, a point Bennett reiterates innumerable times. He did not favor immediate abolition before the war, and held racist views typical of his time. But he was also a man of deep convictions when it came to slavery, and during the Civil War displayed a remarkable capacity for moral and political growth.
Kal Ashraf wrote:
Perhaps in rejecting the critical dualism–Lincoln as individual emancipator pitted against collective self-emancipators–there is an opportunity to recognise the greater persuasiveness of the combination. In a sense, yes: a racist, flawed Lincoln did something heroic, and not in lieu of collective participation, but next to, and enabled, by it. To venerate a singular –Great Emancipator' may be as reductive as dismissing the significance of Lincoln's actions. Who he was as a man, no one of us can ever really know. So it is that the version of Lincoln we keep is also the version we make.


Legacy in the civil rights era


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made many references to the Emancipation Proclamation during the civil rights movement. These include a speech made at an observance of the hundredth anniversary of the issuing of the Proclamation made in New York City on September 12, 1962 where he placed it alongside the Declaration of Independence as an "imperishable" contribution to civilization, and "All tyrants, past, present and future, are powerless to bury the truths in these declarations". He lamented that despite a history where the United States "proudly professed the basic principles inherent in both documents", it "sadly practiced the antithesis of these principles". He concluded "There is but one way to commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation. That is to make its declarations of freedom real; to reach back to the origins of our nation when our message of equality electrified an unfree world, and reaffirm democracy by deeds as bold and daring as the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation." King's most famous invocation of the Emancipation Proclamation was in a speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (often referred to as the "I Have a Dream" speech). King began the speech saying "Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination."


The "Second Emancipation Proclamation"

In the early 1960s, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his associates developed a strategy to call on President John F. Kennedy to bypass a Southern segregationist opposition in the Congress by issuing an
executive order In the United States, an executive order is a directive Directive may refer to: * Directive (European Union), a legislative act of the European Union * Directive (programming), a computer language construct that specifies how a compiler shou ...
to put an end to segregation. This envisioned document was referred to as the "Second Emancipation Proclamation".


President John F. Kennedy

On June 11, 1963, President Kennedy appeared on national television to address the issue of civil rights. Kennedy, who had been routinely criticized as timid by some of the leaders of the civil rights movement, told Americans that Stand in the Schoolhouse Door, two black students had been peacefully enrolled in the University of Alabama with the aid of the National Guard despite the opposition of Governor George Wallace. John Kennedy called it a "moral issue". Invoking the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation he said, In the same speech, Kennedy announced he would introduce comprehensive civil rights legislation to the United States Congress which he did a week later (he continued to push for its passage until his assassination in November 1963). Historian Peniel E. Joseph holds Lyndon Johnson's ability to get that bill, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, passed on July 2, 1964 was aided by "the moral forcefulness of the June 11 speech" that turned "the narrative of civil rights from a regional issue into a national story promoting racial equality and democratic renewal".


President Lyndon B. Johnson

During the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Lyndon B. Johnson invoked the Emancipation Proclamation holding it up as a promise yet to be fully implemented. As vice president while speaking from Gettysburg on May 30, 1963 (Memorial Day), at the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, Johnson connected it directly with the ongoing civil rights struggles of the time saying "One hundred years ago, the slave was freed. One hundred years later, the Negro remains in bondage to the color of his skin... In this hour, it is not our respective races which are at stake—it is our nation. Let those who care for their country come forward, North and South, white and Negro, to lead the way through this moment of challenge and decision... Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with color of men's skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact. To the extent that the proclamation of emancipation is not fulfilled in fact, to that extent we shall have fallen short of assuring freedom to the free." As president, Johnson again invoked the proclamation in a speech presenting the Voting Rights Act at a joint session of Congress on Monday, March 15, 1965. This was one week after violence had been inflicted on peaceful civil rights marchers during the Selma to Montgomery marches. Johnson said "... it's not just Negroes, but really it's all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And We Shall Overcome#Use in the 1960s civil rights and other protest movements, we shall overcome. As a man whose roots go deeply into Southern soil, I know how agonizing racial feelings are. I know how difficult it is to reshape the attitudes and the structure of our society. But a century has passed—more than 100 years—since the Negro was freed. And he is not fully free tonight. It was more than 100 years ago that Abraham Lincoln—a great President of another party—signed the Emancipation Proclamation. But emancipation is a proclamation and not a fact. A century has passed—more than 100 years—since equality was promised, and yet the Negro is not equal. A century has passed since the day of promise, and the promise is unkept. The time of justice has now come, and I tell you that I believe sincerely that no force can hold it back. It is right in the eyes of man and God that it should come, and when it does, I think that day will brighten the lives of every American."


In popular culture

In the 1963 List of The Andy Griffith Show episodes#Season Four (1963-64), episode of ''The Andy Griffith Show'', "Andy Discovers America", Andy asks Barney Fife, Barney to explain the Emancipation Proclamation to Opie Taylor, Opie who is struggling with history at school. Barney brags about his history expertise, yet it is apparent he cannot answer Andy's question. He finally becomes frustrated and explains it is a proclamation for certain people who wanted emancipation. In addition, the Emancipation Proclamation was also a main item of discussion in the movie ''Lincoln (film), Lincoln'' (2012) directed by Steven Spielberg. The Emancipation Proclamation is celebrated around the world including on stamps of nations such as the Republic of Togo..5fr Centenary of the Emancipation Proclamation
, Arago: people, postage & the post, Smithsonian National Postal Museum, viewed September 28, 2014
The United States commemorative was issued on August 16, 1963, the opening day of the Century of Negro Progress Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. Designed by Georg Olden (graphic designer), Georg Olden, an initial printing of 120 million stamps was authorized.


See also

* 1866 Georgia State Freedmen's Conventions * Abolition of slavery timeline * Act Prohibiting the Return of Slaves – 1862 statute * Confiscation Acts * District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act * ''Emancipation Memorial'' – a sculpture in Washington, D.C., completed in 1876 * Emancipation reform of 1861 – Russia * History of slavery in Kentucky * History of slavery in Missouri * Lieber Code#Slavery and black prisoners of war, Lieber Code * Juneteenth * Reconstruction Amendments – amendments added to the Bill of Rights after the Proclamation * Slavery Abolition Act 1833 – an act passed by the British parliament abolishing slavery in British colonies with compensation to the owners * Slavery in the colonial United States * Slave Trade Acts * Suez Canal Company * Timeline of the civil rights movement * United States labor law * War Governors' Conference – gave Lincoln the much needed political support to issue the Proclamation


Notes


Primary sources

* C. Peter Ripley, Roy E. Finkenbine, Michael F. Hembree, Donald Yacovone, editors, ''Witness for Freedom: African American Voices on Race, Slavery, and Emancipation'' (199
Questia
.


Further reading

* Belz, Herman. ''Emancipation and Equal Rights: Politics and Constitutionalism in the Civil War Era'' (1978
online
* Biddle, Daniel R., and Murray Dubin. "'God Is Settling the Account': African American Reaction to Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation", ''Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography'' (Jan. 2013) 137#1 57–78. * Blackiston, Harry S. "Lincoln's Emancipation Plan." ''Journal of Negro History'' 7, no. 3 (1922): 257–277. * Blair, William A. and Younger, Karen Fisher, editors. ''Lincoln's Proclamation: Emancipation Reconsidered'' (2009) * Carnahan, Burrus. ''Act of Justice: Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and the Law of War'' (2007) * Crowther, Edward R. "Emancipation Proclamation". in ''Encyclopedia of the American Civil War.'' Heidler, David S. and Heidler, Jeanne T. (2000) * Chambers Jr, Henry L. "Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Executive Power." ''Maryland Law Review'' 73 (2013): 100
online
* Ewan, Christopher. "The Emancipation Proclamation and British Public Opinion" ''The Historian'', Vol. 67, 2005 * Franklin, John Hope. ''The Emancipation Proclamation'' (1963
online
* * * Guelzo, Allen C. "How Abe Lincoln Lost the Black Vote: Lincoln and Emancipation in the African American Mind", ''Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association'' (2004) 25#1 *
Harold Holzer Harold Holzer (born February 5, 1949) is a scholar of Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the American Civil War Era. He serves as director of Hunter College's Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, Roosevelt House Pu ...

Harold Holzer
, Edna Greene Medford, and Frank J. Williams. ''The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views'' (2006) *
Harold Holzer Harold Holzer (born February 5, 1949) is a scholar of Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the American Civil War Era. He serves as director of Hunter College's Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, Roosevelt House Pu ...

Harold Holzer
. ''Emancipating Lincoln: The Proclamation in Text, Context, and Memory'' (2012) * Jones, Howard. ''Abraham Lincoln and a New Birth of Freedom: The Union and Slavery in the Diplomacy of the Civil War'' (1999
online

Mitch Kachun, ''Festivals of Freedom: Memory and Meaning in African American Emancipation Celebrations, 1808–1915'' (2003)
* Kennon, Donald R. and Paul Finkelman, eds. ''Lincoln, Congress, and Emancipation'' (Ohio UP, 2016), 270 pp. * Kolchin, Peter, "Reexamining Southern Emancipation in Comparative Perspective," ''Journal of Southern History'', 81#1 (Feb. 2015), 7–40. * Litwack, Leon F. ''Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery'' (1979), social history of the end of slavery in the Confederacy * * McPherson, James M. ''Ordeal by Fire: the Civil War and Reconstruction'' (2001 [3rd ed.]), esp. pp. 316–321. * Masur, Louis P. ''Lincoln's Hundred Days: The Emancipation Proclamation and the War for the Union'' (Harvard University Press; 2012) * Nevins, Allan. ''Ordeal of the Union: vol 6. War Becomes Revolution, 1862–1863'' (1960) * Siddali, Silvana R. ''From Property To Person: Slavery And The Confiscation Acts, 1861–1862'' (2005) * Syrett, John. ''Civil War Confiscation Acts: Failing to Reconstruct the South'' (2005) * Alexander Tsesis, Tsesis, Alexander. ''We Shall Overcome: A History of Civil Rights and the Law'' (2008)
* Vorenberg, Michael. ''Final Freedom: The Civil War, the Abolition of Slavery, and the Thirteenth Amendment'' (2001)
* Vorenberg, Michael, ed. ''The Emancipation Proclamation: A Brief History with Documents'' (2010), primary and secondary sources


External links


A zoomable image of the Leland-Boker authorized edition of the Emancipation Proclamation held by the British Library

Lesson plan on Emancipation Proclamation from EDSITEment NEH

Text and images of the Emancipation Proclamation from the National Archives

Online Lincoln Coloring Book for Teachers and Students


* [http://www.mrlincolnandfreedom.org/inside.asp?ID=39&subjectID=3 Mr. Lincoln and Freedom: Emancipation Proclamation] * First Editio
Emancipation Proclamation
in 1862 ''Harper's Weekly''



chronology of Abraham Lincoln and emancipation


Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation at the New York State Library
– images and transcript of Lincoln's original manuscript of the preliminary proclamation
The role of humor in presenting the Proclamation to Lincoln's Cabinet


– Sketch of its History by Lincoln's portrait artist *
Webcast Discussion
with Pulitzer Prize-winning author James Alan McPherson, James McPherson and James Cornelius, Curator of the Lincoln Collection in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum about the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation * {{DEFAULTSORT:Emancipation Proclamation 1862 in American law Abolitionism in the United States African Americans in the American Civil War American Civil War documents Human rights instruments Presidency of Abraham Lincoln Proclamations Works about American slavery 1863 in American politics 1863 documents United States presidential directives United States executive orders Presidents of the United States and slavery 1862 in American politics United States federal slavery legislation Military emancipation in the American Civil War