Sep 22, 2012

The Emancipation Proclamation

(LoC) On September 22, 1862, partly in response to the heavy losses inflicted at the Battle of Antietam, President Abraham Lincoln issued a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, threatening to free all the slaves in the states in rebellion if those states did not return to the Union by January 1, 1863. The extent of the Proclamation's practical effect has been debated, as it was legally binding only in territory not under Union control. In the short term, it amounted to no more than a statement of policy for the federal army as it moved into Southern territory.
In larger terms, however, Lincoln's decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation was enormous. Continued

Photo: First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation before the Cabinet, Alexander Hay Ritchie, engraver, copyright 1866 (Library of Congress).