Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Draft of President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation

President Abraham Lincoln issued the  final draft of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."
Despite this expansive wording, the Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways. It applied only to states that had seceded from the Union, leaving slavery untouched in the loyal border states. It also expressly exempted parts of the Confederacy that had already come under Northern control. Most important, the freedom it promised depended upon Union military victory.

Former slave Charlie Smith discusses work and living after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.

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