Thursday, September 22, 2011

Emancipation Proclamation

“Cut corn all day”


Reproduction of the Emancipation Proclamation at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio

The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War under his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with nearly all the rest freed as Union armies advanced. The Proclamation did not compensate the owners; it did not make the ex-slaves, called Freedmen, citizens.
On September 22, 1862, Lincoln announced that he would issue a formal emancipation of all slaves in any state of the Confederate States of America that did not return to Union control by January 1, 1863. None did return and the actual order, signed and issued January 1, 1863, took effect except in locations where the Union had already mostly regained control. The Proclamation made abolition a central goal of the war (in addition to reunion), outraged white Southerners who envisioned a race war, angered some Northern Democrats, energized anti-slavery forces, and weakened forces in Europe that wanted to intervene to help the Confederacy.
Total abolition of slavery was finalized by the Thirteenth Amendment which took effect in December 1865.

A circa 1870 photograph of two children who were likely recently emancipated.
Leesah

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