A TIMELINE OF
EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION ORIGIN AND RELEASE
Library of Congress at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/alhtml/almtime.html
EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION AT WAR'S BEGINNING
DEADLINE ON A FINAL ISSUING OF THE PROCLAMATION FOR JAN. 1, 1863
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 Information
From Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emancipation_Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation was a
issued by President
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
(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
It made the eradication of
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
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
which made slavery and indentured servitude, except for those duly
convicted of a crime, illegal everywhere subject to United States
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
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
DOCUMENTARIES CONCERNING THE EMANCIPATION
viewers now have easy access to the
documentary series about the drafting of the
It was produced by the
and featuring the
Gilder Lehrman Collection.
Questions to Answer
Go to A House
Emancipation Proclamation for a visual story of its draft and
enactment. Answer the questions below:
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
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
8. Did all of Lincoln's cabinet members support the Emancipation
Proclamation? Which ones did, and which ones didn't?