By the President of the United States of America:


  Whereas on the 22nd day of September, A.D. 1862, a proclamation 
was issued by the President of the United States, containing, 
among other things, the following, to wit:

  "That on the 1st day of January, A.D. 1863, 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.

  "That the executive will on the 1st 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 States 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 the authority and government of the United States, 
and as a fit and necessary war measure for supressing said 
rebellion, do, on this 1st day of January, A.D. 1863, and in 
accordance with my purpose so to do, publicly proclaimed for the 
full period of one hundred days from the first day 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, 
Palquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension, 
Assumption, Terrebone, 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 
forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the 
counties of Berkeley, Accomac, Morthhampton, Elizabeth City, York, 
Princess Anne, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and 
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 case 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.


On Jan. 1, 1863, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln declared free 
all slaves residing in territory in rebellion against the federal 
government. This Emancipation Proclamation actually freed few 
people. It did not apply to slaves in border states fighting on 
the Union side; nor did it affect slaves in southern areas already 
under Union control. Naturally, the states in rebellion did not 
act on Lincoln's order. But the proclamation did show Americans--
and the world--that the civil war was now being fought to end slavery.

Lincoln had been reluctant to come to this position. A believer 
in white supremacy, he initially viewed the war only in terms of 
preserving the Union. As pressure for abolition mounted in 
Congress and the country, however, Lincoln became more sympathetic 
to the idea. On Sept. 22, 1862, he issued a preliminary proclamation 
announcing that emancipation would become effective on Jan. 1, 1863, 
in those states still in rebellion. Although the Emancipation 
Proclamation did not end slavery in America--this was achieved 
by the passage of the 13TH Amendment to the Constitution on Dec. 
18, 1865--it did make that accomplishment a basic war goal and 
a virtual certainty. 


Bibliography: Commager, Henry Steele, The Great Proclamation 
(1960); Donovan, Frank, Mr. Lincoln's Proclamation (1964); 
Franklin, John Hope, ed., The Emancipation Proclamation (1964). 


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