U. S. CIVIL WAR
(Page Five of Seven)
The Emancipation Proclamation**
By the President of the United States of America:
Whereas, on the twenty second day of September, in the year of our Lord
one thousand eight hundred and sixty two, a proclamation was issued by the
President of the United States, containing, among other things, the
following, to wit:
"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, thence forward, 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 the
m, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.
"That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by
proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which
the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the
United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall
on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United
States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the
qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the
absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence
that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against
the United States."
Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue
of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the
United States in time of actual armed rebellion against authority and
government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for
suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year
of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and in accordance
with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one
hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as
the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are
this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:
Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard,
Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. Johns, St. Charles, St. James Ascension,
Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans,
including the City of New-Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia,
South-Carolina, North-Carolina, and Virginia, (except the fortyeight
counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley,
Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth-City, York, Princess, Ann, and Norfolk,
including the Cities of Norfolk, & Portsmouth; and which
excepted parts are, for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation
were not issued.
And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and
declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and
parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive
government of the United States, including the military and naval
authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.
And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from
all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that,
in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.
And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable
condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to
garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels
of all sorts in said service.
And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by
the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment
of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.
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, this first day of January, in the year of
our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the
Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.
By the President;
William H. Seward,
Secretary of State.
Library of Congress comments, with some editing, regarding The Emancipation
"Abraham Lincoln considered the Emancipation Proclamation to be one
of his greatest achievements. Issued on January 1, 1863, it was widely
celebrated in its own time and has enjoyed international celebrity ever
since as one of the great documents in the history of human freedom. But
its stature has resulted in widespread misconceptions about its inception,
its provisions, its scope, its intended effect. Readers of the document...
will readily see that it did not proclaim the freedom of all slaves on
American soil, or even of all slaves held in rebel territory. Heralded at
the time and often since as a humanitarian measure, it was offered by
Lincoln strictly as a military measure that was necessary to defeat the
forces of secession and preserve the Union, but readers should be aware
that it was targeted and timed with great care...
"Emancipation of the slaves had been urged in various quarters from the
beginning of the Civil War, but Lincoln resisted such efforts, arguing that
the President and Congress had no constitutional right to interfere with
slavery in the states. Because he deemed keeping the border states of
Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri in the Union indispensable to
preserving the Union, Lincoln was reluctant to do anything about slavery
that would tilt these slave-holding states in the direction of the
Confederacy. Accordingly, his initial attempts to promote emancipation began
in early 1862 with measures to persuade the border states to agree to accept
federally mandated compensation for their slaves. When it became clear
that these efforts were to be without effect, and when, about the same
time, Congress passed the Second Confiscation Act, Lincoln responded with
a message to Congress expressing his reservations about confiscation, and
he followed this by writing out for his cabinet the earliest version of
the Emancipation Proclamation.
"The reaction of the cabinet to this document was mixed, and Lincoln was in
the end persuaded by the advice of his Secretary of State, William H. Seward,
to postpone issuance of the proclamation until a major Union victory had
been achieved. Following the Battle of Antietam two months later, Lincoln
made public his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862.
Where the earliest version of the proposed proclamation had been extremely
brief, outlining its emancipation provisions in a single paragraph, the
September version was much more detailed. It specified that the President
would continue efforts to encourage compensated emancipation and the
colonization of freed slaves. It also called attention to acts of
Congress that enjoined the U. S. military to protect escaped slaves from
being re-enslaved. The deadline for states to cease rebellion and renew
their loyalty to the Union was announced as January 1, 1863.
"After extensively re-drafting his proclamation, Lincoln distributed copies
of his draft to members of his cabinet on December 30, asking for their
suggested revisions and comments. Four copies of this document survive...
some of which reflect copies marked for revision by various cabinet members.
Except for Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, who submitted his
own original version of the Proclamation, the suggested changes of cabinet
members were not numerous, and many were incorporated by Lincoln into the
"Although Lincoln's earliest efforts at emancipation had been exclusively
along the lines of compensation to slave owners, and although this element
had been a prominent part of his first two versions of the Emancipation
Proclamation, no mention whatever is made of compensation in the final
version. Even more notable is the conspicuous mention here, for the first
time, of the administration's determination henceforth to enlist freed
slaves and other African Americans as soldiers.
"The text ... is taken from a lithographic reproduction of Lincoln's
original manuscript of the final draft of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Except for the ceremonial opening and closing, and the two printed
paragraphs pasted in, the original manuscript was entirely in Lincoln's
hand. Lincoln reluctantly agreed to allow the original of the manuscript to
be sold to benefit the Sanitary Commission, but not before he had three
lithographic copies made. This precaution resulted in a clear image of the
original manuscript, which was subsequently destroyed in the great Chicago
fire of 1871."
** Tex Source: Library of Congress. To review the text at the
Library of Congress you can take this
ABRAHAM LINCOLN - PAGE 6
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