Learning Lincoln On-line


The Emancipation Proclamation-- Resources and a Timeline of Its' Writing and Release

A Timeline, Information & Questions

Emancipation Proclamation Activity Pages:

First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln
by Francis Bicknell Carpenter (1830 - 1900)

 A Timeline of Timeline of the Making and Issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation-- 1860-1865

From the Library of Congress at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/alhtml/almtime.html

November 6 Lincoln elected president.

March 4 Lincoln inaugurated.
April 12 Firing on Fort Sumter, S.C., initiated the Civil War.
July 21 First Battle of Bull Run.

June-September Second Bull Run campaign.
July 13 Lincoln read initial draft of the Emancipation Proclamation to Secretaries Seward and Welles.
July 22 Lincoln discussed Draft of the Emancipation Proclamation at a cabinet meeting.
September Antietam campaign.
September 22 Cabinet discussion of Emancipation.
First printing of preliminary version of Emancipation Proclamation.

January 1 Lincoln signed the Final Draft of the Emancipation Proclamation.
April-May Chancellorsville campaign.
June-July Gettysburg campaign.
November 19 The Gettysburg Address.

April 4 Lincoln explained his choices related to emancipation.
May-December The march toward Richmond.
May 5-7 Grant's Wilderness campaign.
May 7-20 Battle of Spotsylvania.
June '64-May '65 Petersburg campaign.
September 1 Fall of Atlanta.
November 8 Lincoln re-elected.

April 9 General Lee surrendered.
April 14 Lincoln assassinated (further details in Lincoln assassination timeline).

Before the Emancipation Proclamation at the Civil War's Beginning

Lincoln Issues Deadline for Final Issuing of the Proclamation for January 1, 1863

A Narrative of the Emancipation Proclamation

         Once the war started, thousands of slaves began to run to Union lines. Thousands of other slaves began to exhibit insubordinate and even rebellious behavior on their home plantations, especially as more and more southern white males went away to war. Northern free blacks urged Lincoln to act decisively to encourage slave rebellions. They called for the President to issue an emancipation proclamation. Also, it seemed almost certain that an act of emancipation would make it difficult for England or France to officially recognize the Confederacy in view of the antislavery sentiments among their home populations -- especially in England.

        Accordingly, Lincoln announced to his cabinet on July 22, 1862, that he would issue an Emancipation Proclamation in his capacity as commander in chief of the armed forces in time of war. The Proclamation would free all slaves in areas still in rebellion, and henceforth it would be a Union objective to destroy slavery within the Confederate South. His cabinet persuaded Lincoln to wait until a Union victory, lest it appear to the world like an act of desperation. When General McClellan stopped Robert E. Lee's advance into Maryland at Antietam Creek in September 1862, Lincoln announced his preliminary proclamation. The President warned that if the rebellion did not end by January 1, 1863, he would issue his presidential order of emancipation and move to destroy slavery in the rebel states once and for all

Emancipation Proclamation

From Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emancipation_Proclamation


Abraham Lincoln, Brooklyn Museum

The Emancipation Proclamation was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, as a war measure during the American Civil War, directed to all of the areas in rebellion and all segments of the executive branch (including the Army and Navy) of the United States. It proclaimed the freedom of slaves in the ten states that were still in rebellion. Because it was issued under the President's war powers, it necessarily excluded areas not in rebellion (the Border States) - it applied to more than 3 million of the 4 million slaves in the U.S. at the time.

          The Proclamation was based on the president's constitutional authority as commander in chief of the armed forces; it was not a law passed by Congress. The Proclamation also ordered that suitable persons among those freed could be enrolled into the paid service of United States' forces, and ordered the Union Army (and all segments of the Executive branch) to "recognize and maintain the freedom of" the ex-slaves. The Proclamation did not compensate the owners, did not outlaw slavery, and did not grant citizenship to the ex-slaves (called freedmen). It made the eradication of slavery an explicit war goal, in addition to the goal of reuniting the Union.

          Around 20,000 to 50,000 slaves in regions where rebellion had already been subdued were immediately emancipated. It could not be enforced in areas still under rebellion, but as the Union army took control of Confederate regions, the Proclamation provided the legal framework for freeing more than 3 million slaves in those regions. Prior to the Proclamation, in accordance with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, escaped slaves were either returned to their masters or held in camps as contraband for later return. The Proclamation applied only to slaves in Confederate-held lands; it did not apply to those in the four slave states that were not in rebellion (Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, and Missouri, which were unnamed), nor to Tennessee (unnamed but occupied by Union troops since 1862) and lower Louisiana (also under occupation), and specifically excluded those counties of Virginia soon to form the state of West Virginia. Also specifically excluded (by name) were some regions already controlled by the Union army. Emancipation in those places would come after separate state actions and/or the December 1865 ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, which made slavery and indentured servitude, except for those duly convicted of a crime, illegal everywhere subject to United States jurisdiction.

          On September 22, 1862, Lincoln had issued a preliminary proclamation that he would order the emancipation of all slaves in any state (or part of a state) that did not end their rebellion against the Union by January 1, 1863. None of the Confederate states restored themselves to the Union, and Lincoln's order, signed and issued January 1, 1863, took effect. The Emancipation Proclamation outraged white Southerners who envisioned a race war, angered some Northern Democrats, energized anti-slavery forces, and undermined forces in Europe that wanted to intervene to help the Confederacy. The Proclamation lifted the spirits of African Americans both free and slave. It led many slaves to escape from their masters and get to Union lines to obtain their freedom.

          The Emancipation Proclamation broadened the goals of the Civil War. While slavery had been a major issue that led to the war, Lincoln's only mission at the start of the war was to keep the Union together. The Proclamation made freeing the slaves an explicit goal of the Union war effort, and was a step toward abolishing slavery and conferring full citizenship upon ex-slaves. Establishing the abolition of slavery as one of the two primary war goals served to deter intervention by Britain and France.


Questions to Answer

1.  When did President Lincoln start the Emancipation Proclamation, and when did he release it to the public?  Why did he wait?

2.  Up until the time of releasing the Emancipation Proclamation, had the Union Forces attained any great victories?  What was our first victory (won battle)?

3.  The Emancipation Proclamation freed a lot of slaves.  What slaves were freed?  Which slaves were not freed?

4.  What were the border states that remained in the Union, and had slavery?

5.  Did the Emancipation Proclamation free the border state slaves?  Why did Lincoln choose not to free their slaves?

6.  How did Lincoln make the freeing of slaves legal? The U.S. Constitution had laws in it that made slavery legal?

7.  Why did northern states not allow slavery?  How did they get by "not" allowing slavery?

8.  Did all of Lincoln's cabinet members support the Emancipation Proclamation?  Which ones did, and which ones didn't?

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