Abraham Lincoln and Emancipation

The Emancipation Proclamation and Thirteenth revised brought around by the Civil battle were necessary milestones in the long procedure of ending legal slavery in the united States. This essay describes the development of those records through assorted drafts through Lincoln and also others and also shows both the evolution of Abraham Lincoln’s thinking and his efforts to run within the constitutional borders of the presidency.

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Almost indigenous the start of his administration, abolitionists and also radical republic pressured Abraham Lincoln to issue an Emancipation Proclamation. Return Lincoln personally abhorred slavery, the felt confined by his constitutional authority as president to an obstacle slavery just in the context of vital war measures. He additionally worried about the reaction of those in the faithful border claims where slavery was tho legal. Lincoln is stated to have summed up the importance of maintaining the border states in the Union by saying "I hope to have actually God on my side, but I must have Kentucky."

Events at an early stage in the war quickly forced northern authorities to attend to the concern of emancipation. In may 1861, just a month right into the war, three servants (Frank Baker, Shepard Mallory, and also James Townsend) own by Confederate Colonel Charles K. Mallory escaped native Hampton, Virginia, wherein they had actually been placed to occupational on behalf of the Confederacy, and also sought security within Union-held Fortress Monroe before their owner sent them more south. When Col. Mallory demanded their return under the Fugitive servant Law, Union basic Benjamin F. Butler rather appropriated the fugitives and their beneficial labor as "contraband of war." The Lincoln management approved Butler"s action, and soon other fugitive servants (often referred to as "contrabands") sought flexibility behind Union lines.

"Stampede of slaves from Hampton come Fortress Monroe," Harper"s Weekly, respectable 17, 1861. Prints & Photographs Division, Library the Congress.

The increasing variety of fugitives and questions around their status eventually prompted action by the United claims Congress. On respectable 6, 1861, conference passed the an initial Confiscation Act, which negated owners" cases to escaped slaves whose labor had been used on behalf of the Confederacy. In 1862 Congress likewise acted against slavery in areas under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Congress abolished enslavement in the commonwealth District of Columbia ~ above April 16 through a compensated emancipation program. This activity must have actually been particularly satisfying to president Lincoln, that as Congressman Lincoln had actually in the so late 1840s drafted a bill to abolish slavery in the district of Columbia. Recognize the measure doing not have support, Lincoln never presented it. Congress further outlawed slavery in federal regions in June 1862.

part Union leaders took matters into their very own hands, proclaiming emancipation by proclamation. In September 1861, general John C. Frémont check to deal with the "disorganized condition" in the room of the West by advertising martial law and also proclaiming free the servants of active Confederate sympathizers in Missouri. Frémont failed to inform first President Lincoln, who asked for Frémont amend his proclamation to conform come the 1861 Confiscation Act. Once Frémont refused, Lincoln publicly ordered him to perform so, which assisted calm stress and anxiety expressed native the border states, but angered those who sustained Frémont"s actions. Although that knew Frémont had exceeded his authority in releasing slaves in Missouri, Lincoln ongoing to advice the border slave says to check out legal emancipation actions of their own. He additionally remained positive that voluntarily colonization choices for former slaves would attend to the comes to of many white Americans about where emancipated slaves would go. While numerous pieces that emancipation-related legislation had funds for emigration outside the the united States, the couple of actual attempts at colonization during the Civil war failed. Furthermore, most former slaves had actually no attention in leaving their homeland.

prefer Frémont, general David Hunter also tried his hand in ~ emancipation once in might 1862 he claimed slaves complimentary in his department of the South, which consisted of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. When again, Lincoln feeling compelled come overrule a commander who overstepped his authority with regard to emancipation. Back in revoking Hunter"s action, Lincoln said that the strength to identify such military necessities belonged come the president.

Draft Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, July 22, 1862.

In principle, Lincoln authorized of emancipation together a battle measure, yet he postponed executive action against slavery until he thought he had both the legal government to do so and more comprehensive support native the American public. 2 pieces the congressional regulation passed top top July 17, 1862, detailed the desired signal. The 2nd Confiscation Act included provisions the freed the slaves of disloyal owners, authorized the chairman to rental African american in the suppression that the rebellion, and called for exploring voluntary colonization efforts. The Militia plot authorized the employment of african Americans in the military, emancipated those who were enslaved, and also freed your families, if owned by those disloyal to the Union. No only had actually Congress relieved the management of considerable strain v its minimal initiative on emancipation, however it additionally had demonstrated an increasing public acceptance of emancipation together a armed forces act.

By July 1862 Lincoln had written what the termed his "Preliminary Proclamation." He debated his thoughts for an emancipation proclamation v cabinet secretaries wilhelm H. Seward and Gideon wells on July 13, 1862, while share a carriage ride native the funeral the Secretary of battle Edwin M. Stanton"s infant child James. Welles later recalled external that neither he no one Seward were ready to market opinions ~ above a topic that Seward believed "involved results so large and momentous," yet he agreed v Seward"s early impression the the measure was both "justifiable" and also perhaps "expedient and also necessary."

Edwin M. Stanton’s notes of the reaction the the cabinet to Abraham Lincoln’s introduction of his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, July 22, 1862. Edwin McMasters Stanton Papers, Manuscript Division, Library the Congress.

Nine days later, ~ above July 22, Lincoln again increased the worry of emancipation in a cabinet meeting, in ~ which he read the content of his preliminary draft of the Emancipation Proclamation. In enhancement to reiterating his assistance for steady emancipation in the faithful states, the draft proclamation claimed that together of January 1, 1863, "all persons organized as servants within any type of state or states, wherein the constitutional authority of the United says shall not then be almost recognized, it is registered to, and maintained, shall then, thenceforward, and forever, it is in free." whereas the Confiscation plot freed the servants of individual owners that demonstrated disloyalty, Lincoln"s proclamation freed servants of all owners residing in geographic areas engaged in rebellion together "a fit and also necessary army measure."

The reaction that Lincoln"s room members to be mixed. Secretary of war Edwin M. Stanton, correctly interpreting the proclamation together a army measure draft both come deprive the Confederacy of servant labor and bring added men right into the Union army, advocated its prompt release. Attorney general Edward Bates, a conservative, protest civil and political equality because that blacks however gave his support. Welles feared the unintended results of emancipation, yet remained silent, as did internal secretary Caleb Smith. Postmaster general Montgomery Blair foresaw defeat in the fall elections and also opposed the proclamation. Treasury secretary Salmon P. Chase supported the measure, i beg your pardon he listed in his diary went more than his own recommendations, but his tepid enthusiasm because that the proclamation to be surprising offered his background as one outspoken opponent of slavery. Secretary of State Seward to express concern around the diplomatic implications of emancipation and provided the absence of current Union armed forces victories, i beg your pardon might cause the proclamation to be interpreted as an action of desperation. Much better to wait for success ~ above the battlefield, Seward counseled, and also issue the proclamation native a position of strength. Lincoln agreed, and also the course to be set.

Abraham Lincoln to Horace Greeley, Friday, august 22, 1862 (Clipping native Aug. 23, 1862 daily National Intelligencer, Washington, D.C.)

While Lincoln waited for his generals come secure a victory, New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley detailed Lincoln with an opportunity to test public reaction come emancipation together a battle measure. In an open letter to chairman Lincoln published on august 20 under the heading "The Prayer of Twenty Millions," Greeley urged Lincoln to acknowledge slavery together the root reason of the war and act boldly v regard come emancipation. Although he currently had a breeze emancipation proclamation prepared, Lincoln responded with his own open letter come Greeley, i beg your pardon he published in the National Intelligencer in Washington, D.C. Lincoln declared plainly the the score of his administration"s policies, including those concerned slavery, to be to save the Union. "My paramount object in this battle is to conserve the Union, and also is not either to conserve or to damage slavery. If I might save the Union without releasing any slave I would perform it, and if I can save it by releasing all the slaves I would carry out it; and if I could save it by releasing some and leaving rather alone, i would likewise do that." Lincoln carefully noted that this represented his main position. He intended "no alteration of my oft-expressed personal wish that all guys every where might be free."

The bloodiest solitary day that the polite War occurred on September 17, 1862, as Confederates in Robert E. Lee"s army of north Virginia fought the army of the Potomac, commanded by Union general George B. McClellan, in ~ Antietam Creek close to Sharpsburg, Maryland. If the fight of Antietam was not rather the decisive Union triumph Lincoln hope for, Lee"s retreat was victory enough for Lincoln to issue the emancipation proclamation on which he had ongoing to labor since July. Lincoln read the amendment proclamation come his room on September 22, 1862. Secretary of the marine Gideon Welles tape-recorded in his diary that the chairman was open up to criticism that the paper itself, yet that "he to be satisfied it was appropriate . . . His mind to be fixed—his decision made" concerning the issuance of the proclamation.

The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation of September 22, 1862, declared that the slaves in all areas designated as being in rebellion together of January 1, 1863, would certainly "be then, thenceforward, and also forever free." The preliminary proclamation also reiterated Lincoln"s support for compensated emancipation and also voluntary colonization of "persons of afri descent." newspapers in the Confederate states predictably denounced the proclamation. The Memphis (Tenn.) daily Appeal labeling it unconstitutional and also "plainly a proposition come incite domestic insurrection." The Charlotte, phibìc Carolina, Western Democratcarried the briefest that notices that the proclamation and brushed beside its significance. "No one in the southern cares because that that—Lincoln might too proclaim to the moon." part in the North believed the preliminary proclamation much more serious, yet still okay conceived. The Indiana State Sentinel considered it a "blunder" and "disastrous" in promoting colonization schemes that would deprive the United says of valuable labor and leave loyal taxpayers come foot the bill. However others were enthusiastic by Lincoln"s proclamation. The Chicago Tribune reprinted laudatory responses indigenous newspapers across the North. Lincoln retained among his papers a number of letters of support for the proclamation, consisting of one from B. S. Hedrick, who figured out himself as a Southerner and also formerly a professor of chemistry in ~ the college of north Carolina. "In mine opinion the totality question the the war is lessened to this. Have the right to the strength of the United claims Gov"t either dominate or exterminate slavery?" Hedrick asked. "If the can, then that should be done, and also the sooner the better. If not—we fight with no object."

In anticipation of the January 1, 1863, deadline of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln listed the cabinet on December 30 through the message of the revised last Emancipation Proclamation, soliciting opinions and necessary alterations. The last Emancipation Proclamation differed significantly from the previous versions. It designated the ptcouncil.netations considered to still be in rebellion, but additionally those under Union control and also thus exempted indigenous the proclamation. The exempted areas included parishes in Louisiana and the city of new Orleans, several cities and also counties in Virginia, and every one of the counties in what would come to be the brand-new state that West Virginia. Slaves living in those Union-occupied exempted areas were taken into consideration outside that the president"s war powers, and also would continue to be enslaved after ~ January 1. Lincoln urged those freed by the proclamation come "abstain from every violence, uneven in essential self-defense" and to "labor faithfully because that reasonable wages." unequal the vault preliminary proclamations, the final proclamation announced that African-American guys would "be received right into the armed service the the unified States." and unlike the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, unable to do was any type of mention that compensated emancipation or colonization. Lincoln likewise incorporated Secretary Chase"s ide of close up door the record with one acknowledgment of the proclamation as an "act the justice" and also invoking God and also the "judgment of mankind" in sustaining the effort.

January 1, 1863, was a "mild and also bright day" in Washington. Lincoln had actually sent the manuscript of the proclamation to the State department in the morning because that copying, and also Secretary Seward lugged the official version come the White residence for Lincoln"s signature. Lincoln noticed an error in the file that forced amending, which was not accomplished before the annual new Year"s reception at the White House, at which Lincoln shook numerous hands. Seward and his boy Frederick lugged the corrected proclamation to the White residence later in the day for the president"s signature. Frederick Seward recalled external Lincoln speak "I never ever in my life felt an ext certain that ns was doing right, 보다 I do in signing this paper." Lincoln steadied his exhausted arm together signed the document, informing witnesses that any sign of a nervous in his handwriting would be interpreted as a mental reservation about the proclamation. And with a signature that was "clear, bold, and firm," Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

Eliza Quincy described to mary Lincoln she feelings top top hearing that President Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation

With the issuance that the last Emancipation Proclamation the battle for the Union additionally became a war to cost-free the slaves. Together was the case with the preliminary proclamation in September, the issuance that the final proclamation received a mixed reception, specifically in the North. Abolitionists greeted the news v jubilation. Eliza Quincy composed to mar Lincoln the "the assumed of the millions ~ above millions of people whose delight was to be affected & liberty secured by the native of president Lincoln, was virtually overwhelming." Benjamin sirloin Plumly could not mental a much more "devout ‘Thanksgiving"" together he experienced the solemn event of afri Americans in Philadelphia at the news the the proclamation. Hamilton Gray that Kentucky, however, warned Lincoln that Kentuckians faithful to the Union did not accept the Emancipation Proclamation together a armed forces necessity, and also there to be word the the Kentucky legislative branch urged the branch to reject the proclamation. The New York Herald thought about the proclamation "unnecessary, unwise and also ill-timed, impracticable, exterior the constitution and also full of mischief," noting the Lincoln freed slaves only in areas where he exerted tiny practical authority. "But let us hope that this proclamation will prove nothing worse than a nullity and a harmless tub to the abolition whale," the Herald"s editors opined. Emancipation, even as a battle measure, confronted continued opposition months later in Lincoln"s hometown that Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln taken that many of his next-door neighbors supported the Union, but resented fighting because that the reason of freedom. "You say you will certainly not struggle to totally free negroes. Some of them seem ready to fight for you; but, no matter. Fight you, then specifically to save the Union," Lincoln urged his neighbors in a explain he sent out to his friend James Conkling to be check out at a Union meeting in September. "I approve the proclamation on objective to help you in saving the Union. Whenever girlfriend shall have overcame all resistence to the Union, if ns shall advice you to continue fighting, it will be an apt time then because that you to explain you will not hit to complimentary negroes."

Abraham Lincoln’s draft an answer to Albert G. Hodges, April 4, 1864

The chairman still found it essential in 1864 come explain and defend his actions through regard come emancipation, which continued to be unpopular with many Northerners. In one April 4, 1864 letter to Albert G. Hodges, editor of the Commonwealth newspaper in Frankfort, Kentucky, Lincoln was mindful to identify his very own opinions native the actions that felt constitutionally justified in taking. "I am normally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I deserve to not remember as soon as I did no so think, and feel," the began. "And however I have never interpreted that the Presidency conferred top top me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and also feeling." His presidential oath bound him to "preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the united States," and each step in the procedure of emancipation was in the interest of maintaining the nation, and also thus keeping the Constitution. To to mark this, Lincoln supplied the word "indispensable" six times to differentiate the criteria ~ above which that acted, until emancipation became militarily an "indispensable necessity." In his letter come Hodges, Lincoln likewise credited a greater power in identify the events of the war. "I claim not come have managed events, however confess plainly that occasions have regulated me." Lincoln"s clear explanation that his presidential advancement on emancipation also won worship from a regular critic, Horace Greeley. "We are well-known not to favor his renomination," Greeley"s April 29 editorial in the New York Tribune began, yet "few guys who have ever before lived who can have far better explained and commended his course and also attitude through regard to enslavement than he has actually done in his so late letter to Mr. Hodges the Kentucky."

Frederick Douglass comment to Lincoln’s suggestion that servants escape the Confederacy in the occasion he failed to it is in reelected in November 1864

Greeley"s editorial demonstrated the Abraham Lincoln"s popular was not universal even within the Republican Party together the 1864 presidential campaign got underway. Through the Union military effort stalled on several fronts, v the Democrats" delay in specify name a candidate and platform, and with emancipation being interpreted as a major obstacle to a negotiated tranquility with the Confederates, part political advisors feared Lincoln"s chances for reelection and suggested in August that he consider other options. In response, Lincoln even went therefore far as to draft instructions for a proposed tranquility conference, at which "remaining questions" like slavery would be "left because that adjustment by serene modes." at some point Lincoln and also his cabinet established that this course would certainly be, as Lincoln"s secretary man G. Nicolay noted, "worse than losing the Presidential contest—it would certainly be ignominiously surrendering it in advance." as it was, Lincoln"s concern about reelection motivated him to write a secret memorandum pledging come cooperate with the president-elect to conserve the union prior to the march 4, 1865, inauguration, and also discussed through Frederick Douglass plan to aid slaves in the Confederacy escape when there to be still time.

The despair of respectable turned to expect in September as William T. Sherman"s troops captured Atlanta, Georgia, Philip H. Sheridan advanced in the Shenandoah Valley, and the Democrats faced their own departments in the candidacy of George B. McClellan and also a controversial party platform. Lincoln triumphed in the November election. Return the dire plans and pledges make in August might now it is in abandoned, the process of finishing slavery was not complete. As a wartime measure, the status of the Emancipation Proclamation would be in inquiry after the war, and slavery still remained legal in Union-controlled areas in the Confederacy and also the border slave states in the unified States. Only an amendment to the United states Constitution can end enslavement irrevocably.

Ceremonial copy the the propose Thirteenth Amendment come the U.S. Constitution, signed by Abraham Lincoln and all members of Congress that voted for the joint resolution

The United says Senate had actually passed a share resolution ~ above April 8, 1864, calling because that an amendment to the structure that ended slavery, yet the residence of Representatives had actually failed to pass it. Pressure on Republican management in the residence to pass the resolution intensified, and also the resolution finally succeeded top top January 31, 1865. The suggest amendment declared that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have actually been duly convicted, candlestick exist in ~ the unified States, or any type of place topic to their jurisdiction," and authorized conference to enforce the revised with ideal legislation. Although not legally compelled to carry out so, Lincoln personally signed the share resolution, signaling the prominence he put on the amendment. He additionally signed several ceremonial duplicates of the resolution developed in honor of the occasion. The amendment was sent to the says for ratification top top February 1, and Abraham Lincoln"s home state of Illinois became the an initial state to ratify the suggest Thirteenth Amendment.

Abraham Lincoln did not live to see the ratification that the Thirteenth Amendment. Nineteen states had actually ratified it when he to be shot by john Wilkes Booth while attending a play in ~ Ford"s Theatre on the night that April 14, 1865. Lincoln passed away the following morning. On December 6, 1865, Georgia ended up being the twenty-seventh state come ratify the amendment, afford the three-fourths the the states necessary to validate the amendment, i beg your pardon Secretary the State william H. Seward did on December 18.

The Emancipation Proclamation and Thirteenth revised brought around by the Civil war were necessary milestones in the long procedure of finishing legal enslavement in the unified States. Defining the meaning of freedom, however, ongoing long ~ the war ended.

Where space the records Now?

“The very first Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation prior to the Cabinet.” Painted by F.B. Carpenter; engraved by A.H. Ritchie, 1866. Prints and also Photographs Division, Library that Congress.

Many of the an essential manuscripts that document the development of the Emancipation Proclamation indigenous the very first known draft in July 1862 to the last version that January 1, 1863 make it through today.

Abraham Lincoln"s handwritten breeze Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation that July 22, 1862 is component of the Abraham Lincoln documents at the Library that Congress. Artist Francis Bicknell Carpenter imagined the scene of chairman Lincoln very first introducing the paper to his cabinet in the 1864 paint First analysis of the Emancipation Proclamation, which currently hangs end the west staircase the the Senate soup in the United states Capitol. Carpenter functioned on the paint at the White house for numerous months in 1864, and also was able come consult with and observe president Lincoln. Much more information around the paint is available online ~ above the United states Senate website. The painting was reproduced in many engravings, including those developed by A.H. Ritchie in 1866 (see LC-DIG-pga-02502 and LC-DIG-pga-03452).

Lincoln"s handwritten manuscript copy that the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation outside of September 22, 1862, is hosted by the brand-new York State Library in Albany, new York. Abraham Lincoln donated the manuscript for a raffle hosted at the Albany (N.Y.) Relief Bazaar sponsored by the Albany army Relief combination in 1864, wherein it was won by abolitionist Gerrit Smith. The new York State Legislature to buy the manuscript in 1865, and placed the in the brand-new York State Library. Much more information on the provenance of this document is easily accessible online External.

The official engrossed copies of both the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation that September 22, 1862, and also the final Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, are organized by the national Archives and also Records administration in Washington, D.C., as component of Record team 11, general Records the the U.S. Government. A reproduction the the official engrossed copy of the final Emancipation Proclamation is consisted of in the Abraham Lincoln files at the Library of Congress.

Several files containing comments and corrections ~ above the last Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln solicited indigenous his cabinet members in December 1862 deserve to be discovered in the Abraham Lincoln records at the Library that Congress. These include the memoranda provided to president Lincoln through Attorney general Edward Bates, Postmaster basic Montgomery Blair, Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase, and Secretary the State wilhelm H. Seward.

The handwritten manuscript the the final Emancipation Proclamation no much longer exists. In October 1863, mar A. Livermore wrote to Abraham Lincoln requesting that he donate the manuscript to the Northwestern Sanitary same in Chicago, wherein it would be offered to raise money for soldiers" aid detailed by the Northwestern Branch the the United claims Sanitary Commission. Mrs. Livermore hoped that the record ultimately would be donated to the Chicago Historical society for preservation. Her request was echoed through Lincoln"s associates Isaac N. Arnold and also Owen Lovejoy. Lincoln assumed that his name would be many remembered for having actually issued the proclamation, and as he explained to the women planning the fair, "I had some desire to retain the paper." "But if that shall add to the relief or lull of the soldiers," the concluded, "that will be better," and he sent out the valuable manuscript. The manuscript copy of the final Emancipation Proclamation to be purchased at the Northwestern Sanitary fair by cutting board Bryan, that presented it come the Soldiers" residence in Chicago, rather than the Chicago historical Society. Unfortunately, the manuscript was ruined in the Chicago Fire that 1871. Fortunately, prior to sending the initial manuscript proclamation, Lincoln wisely had actually the file photographed for posterity, and also a lithographic copy is component of the Abraham Lincoln records at the Library the Congress. Enduring photographs of the document show it generally in Lincoln"s very own hand. The superscription and also ending are in the hand that a clerk, and also the printed insertions were reduced from the September draft.

“Abraham Lincoln and also his Emancipation Proclamation,” Cincinnati: The Strobridge Lith. Co., 1888. Prints & Photographs Division, Library the Congress.

The last Emancipation Proclamation has been reproduced many times and also in countless different styles and also formats. At the Great central Sanitary Fair held in Philadelphia in June 1864, forty-eight limited-edition prints of the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by Lincoln, Seward, and John G. Nicolay, were offered for ten dollars apiece come raise money because that soldiers" aid. At the price, however, not all of these Leland-Boker edition prints sold. The Alfred Whital Stern repertoire of Lincolniana in the rarely Books and also Special collections Division, and also the Prints & Photographs division of the Library of congress offer plenty of examples that printings of the Emancipation Proclamation developed during and after the polite War.

On December 25, 1862, Massachusetts historian George Livermore asked Senator Charles Sumner if he could procure the pen the Lincoln would use to authorize the final Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Sumner, a well-known abolitionist, put the inquiry to chairman Lincoln, who agreed. In thanking Sumner for his efforts, Livermore explained his desire because that the pen: "No trophy native a battlefield, no sword red v blood, no organization of plate with an inscription, as totally free as the greatest rhetorician might compose, would have actually been to me half as acceptable as this instrument which will forever be associated with the greatest occasion of ours country and our age." The pen external is now organized by the Massachusetts historical Society.

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To read more about Lincoln and Emancipation, consult the "African Americans, the Emancipation Proclamation and also the Thirteenth Amendment" ar on the connected Resources web page of the Abraham Lincoln records online presentation.