The day the war changed

One hundred and fifty years ago today, Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, turning a war for the Union into a revolution against slavery.

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.…

For more information about the preliminary proclamation, see the online exhibit from the National Archives, the essay by Harold Holzer and scans of the manuscript at the New York State Library, the materials relating to the proclamation at the Library of Congress, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s section on slavery and emancipation.

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Filed under Civil War, Lincoln as Commander-in-Chief, Lincoln as President

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