|The Emancipation Proclamation
January 1, 1863
|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, 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 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 the 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. John, 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 forty-eight 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 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 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: ABRAHAM LINCOLN
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
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.
|The Emancipation Proclamation
|The results of the Emancipation Proclamation were far-reaching. From then
on, sympathy with the Confederacy was identified with support of slavery.
Antislavery sentiment in France and Great Britain, whose governments were
friendly to the Confederacy, became so strong that it precluded the possibility
of intervention by those governments in behalf of the Confederacy. As a
further result of the proclamation, the Republican party became unified in
principle and in organization, and the prestige it attained enabled it to hold
power until 1884.