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Lincoln Issues The Emancipation Proclamation
In January 1, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. The five page document proclaimed that "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." The proclamation was issued as the country was in the third year of the American Civil War.
The proclamation was limited in a number of ways. It applied only to states that had seceded from the Union, leaving slavery untouched in the loyal border states. It also expressly exempted parts of the Confederacy that had already come under Northern control. Most important, the freedom it promised depended upon Union military victory.
The proclamation did have a fundamental impact on the war. It announced the acceptance of black men into the Union Army and Navy. Freed slaves were able to join the fight to free others. By the end of the war, almost 200,000 black soldiers and sailors had fought for the Union.
The original of the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, is in the National Archives in Washington, DC.
Source: National Archives
Posted: 2004-06-18 1:26:33 PM
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