Jan 1, 1863
The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War using his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of slaves in the ten states then in rebellion, thus applying to 3.1 million of the 4 million slaves in the U.S. at that time. The Proclamation immediately freed 50,000 slaves, with nearly all the rest (of the 3.1 million) freed as Union armies advanced. The Proclamation did not compensate the owners, did not itself outlaw slavery, and did not make the ex-slaves (called freedmen) citizens.
On September 22, 1862, Lincoln announced that he would issue a formal emancipation of all slaves in any state of the Confederate States of America that did not return to Union control by January 1, 1863. None returned, and the order, signed and issued January 1, 1863, took effect except in locations where the Union had already mostly regained control. The Proclamation made abolition a central goal of the war (in addition to reunion), outraged white Southerners who envisioned a race war, angered some Northern Democrats, energized anti-slavery forces, and weakened forces in Europe that wanted to intervene to help the Confederacy.
Slavery was made illegal everywhere in the U.S. by the Thirteenth Amendment, which took effect in December 1865.
For the entire article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emancipation_proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation 150th Anniversary at the National Archives
Published on Dec 19, 2012
The original Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln is in the holdings of the National Archives. To protect the document from light damage It is publicly displayed only a few days each year under extremely low light. In this video from the National Archives, senior archivist Reginald Washington and senior conservator Terry Boone discuss the document’s significance, its history and measures taken to preserve it.
12/30/12 – 1/1/13 The Emancipation Proclamation on display at The National Archives