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Abolition of slavery timeline

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


By country or region[show]
Opposition and resistance[show]

The abolition of slavery occurred at different times in different countries, and sometimes
occurred sequentially in more than one stage: for example, as abolition of the trade in slaves in a
specific country, and then as abolition of slavery throughout empires. Each step was usually the
result of a separate law or action. This timeline shows abolition laws or actions listed
This article also covers the abolition of serfdom.
Although slavery is now de jure illegal in all countries, de facto practices akin to it continue
today in many places throughout the world.
Main article: Abolitionism


1 Ancient times

2 Early timeline

3 Modern timeline
o 3.1 15001699
o 3.2 17001799
o 3.3 18001849
o 3.4 18501899
o 3.5 1900present

4 See also

5 References

6 Further reading

7 External links

Ancient times

3rd century BC: Ashoka abolishes slave trade and encourages people to treat slaves well
but does not abolish slavery itself in the Maurya Empire, covering the majority of India,
which was under his rule.[1]
221-206 BC: The Qin Dynasty's measures to eliminate the landowning aristocracy
include the abolition of slavery and the establishment of a free peasantry who owed taxes
and labor to the state. They also abolished primogeniture and discouraged serfdom.[2] The
dynasty was overthrown in 206 BC and many of its laws were overturned.
17: Wang Mang, first and only emperor of the Xin Dynasty, usurped the Chinese throne
and instituted a series of sweeping reforms, including the abolition of slavery and radical
land reform. After his death in 23 C.E., slavery was reinstituted.[3][4]

Early timeline
Many of these changes were reversed in practice over the succeeding centuries.
960: Doge of Venice Pietro IV Candiano reconvened the popular assembly and had it
approve of a law prohibiting the slave trade.
1102: Trade in slaves and serfdom condemned by the church in London: Council of
London (1102).
1117: Slavery abolished in Iceland.[5]

1200: Slavery virtually disappears in Japan; it was never widespread and mostly involved
captives taken in civil wars.[6]
1214: The Statute of the Town of Korula (today in Croatia) abolishes slavery.[7]
1215: Magna Carta signed. Clause 30, commonly known as Habeas Corpus, would form
the basis of a law against slavery in English common law.
~1220: The Sachsenspiegel, the most influential German code of law from the Middle
Ages, condemns slavery as a violation of God's likeness to man.[8]
1256: The Liber Paradisus is promulgated. The Comune di Bologna abolishes slavery and
serfdom and releases all the serfs in its territories.
1274: Landslov (Land's Law) in Norway mentions only former slaves, which indicates
that slavery was abolished in Norway

1315: Louis X, king of France, publishes a decree proclaiming that "France signifies
freedom" and that any slave setting foot on the French ground should be freed.[9]
However slavery continued till the 17th century along France's Mediterranean coastline,
the Provence.[10]
1335: Sweden (including Finland at the time) makes slavery illegal. An abolition of
slaves setting foot on Swedish ground does not occur until 1813.[11] (In the 18th and 19th
Centuries, slavery would be practiced in the Swedish ruled Caribbean island of Saint
1347: non-free people were emancipated in Poland under the Statutes of Casimir the
Great issued in Wilica[12]
1368: China's Hongwu Emperor establishes the Ming dynasty and would abolish all
forms of slavery.[3] However, slavery continued in the Ming dynasty. Later Ming rulers, as
a way of limiting slavery in the absence of a prohibition, passed a decree that limited the
number of slaves that could be held per household and extracted a severe tax from slave
1416: Republic of Ragusa (modern day Dubrovnik, Croatia) abolished slavery and slave
1435: In Sicut Dudum, Pope Eugene IV banned enslavement of Christians in the Canary
Islands on pain of excommunication.[14] However the non-Christian indigenous Guanches
could be and were enslaved during the Spanish conquest.[10]

Modern timeline

1537: Pope Paul III forbids slavery of the indigenous peoples of the Americas as well as
of any other new population that would be discovered, indicating their right to freedom
and property. However, only Catholic countries apply it, and state that they cannot
possibly enforce what happens in the distant colonies (Sublimus Dei).
1542: Spain enacted the New Laws, abolishing slavery of native Americans in 1542. But
replaced it with other systems of forced labor such as repartimiento. Slavery of Black
Africans was not abolished.[10]
1569: An English court case involving Cartwright, who had brought a slave from Russia,
ruled that English law could not recognise slavery.
1588: The Third Statute of Lithuania abolishes slavery.[15]

1595: A law is passed in Portugal banning the selling and buying of Chinese slaves.[16]

1590: Toyotomi Hideyoshi bans slavery in Japan.[17] However, it continued as a

punishment for criminals.
19 February 1624: The King of Portugal forbids the enslavement of Chinese of either sex.


1652: Slavery abolished in Providence Plantations within the territory that is now the
United States of America.


1706: In the case of Smith v. Browne & Cooper, Sir John Holt, Lord Chief Justice of
England, rules that "as soon as a Negro comes into England, he becomes free. One may
be a villein in England, but not a slave."[20][21]
1723: Russia abolishes outright slavery but retains serfdom.[22]
17231730: China's Yongzheng emancipation sought to free all slaves to strengthen the
autocratic ruler through a kind of social leveling that created an undifferentiated class of
free subjects under the throne. Although these new regulations freed the vast majority of
slaves, wealthy families continued to use slave labor into the twentieth century.[13]
1761, 12 February: Portugal abolishes slavery[23] in mainland Portugal and in Portuguese
possessions in India through a decree by the Marquis of Pombal.
1772: Somersett's case held that no slave could be forcibly removed from Britain. This
case was generally taken at the time to have decided that the condition of slavery did not
exist under English law in England and Wales, and emancipated the remaining ten to
fourteen thousand slaves or possible slaves in England and Wales, who were mostly
domestic servants.[24]
1774: Laws of the Marquis of Pombal, prime minister of King Jos I, prohibiting the
transport of black slaves to Portugal and the liberation of the children of slaves born in
Portugal.[clarification needed]
177583: Britain's rebellious North American Colonies ban or suspend the Atlantic slave
1775: Pennsylvania Abolition Society formed in Philadelphia, the first abolition society
within the territory that is now the United States of America.
1777: Slavery abolished in Madeira, Portugal.[26]
1777: Constitution of the Vermont Republic partially banned slavery,[26] freeing men over
21 and women older than 18 at the time of its passage.[27] The ban was not strongly
1778: Joseph Knight was successful in arguing that Scots law could not support the status
of slavery.[29]
1780: Pennsylvania passes An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery, freeing future
children of slaves. Those born prior to the Act remain enslaved for life. The Act becomes
a model for other Northern states. Last slaves freed 1847.[30]
1783: Russia abolishes slavery in Crimean Khanate.[31]
1783: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rules slavery unconstitutional, a decision
based on the 1780 Massachusetts constitution. All slaves are immediately freed.[32]
1783: Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor issued an order abolishing slavery in Bukovina on
19 June 1783 in Czernowitz.[33]
1783: New Hampshire begins a gradual abolition of slavery.
1784: Connecticut begins a gradual aboliton of slavery, freeing future children of slaves,
and later all slaves.[34]
1784: Rhode Island begins a gradual abolition of slavery.

1787: The United States in Congress Assembled passed the Northwest Ordinance of
1787, outlawing any new slavery in the Northwest Territories.
1787: Sierra Leone founded by Britain as colony for emancipated slaves.[35]

1787: Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade founded in Britain.[26]

1788: Sir William Dolben's Act regulating the conditions on British slave ships enacted.

1792: DenmarkNorway declares transatlantic slave trade illegal after 1803 (though
slavery continues in Danish colonies to 1848).[36]
1793: Upper Canada (Ontario) abolishes import of slaves by Act Against Slavery.

1794: France abolishes slavery in all its possessions. (However, slavery is restored by
Napoleon in 1802.)[37]
1794: The United States bans American ships from the trade and prohibits export by
foreign ships in the Slave Trade Act.[25]
1798: Slavery is abolished in Malta, while the islands were under French occupation.[38]
1799: New York State passes gradual emancipation act freeing future children of slaves,
and all slaves in 1827.[39]
1799: The Colliers (Scotland) Act 1799 ends the legal slavery of Scottish coal miners that
had been established in 1606.[40]


1802: The First Consul Napoleon re-introduces slavery in French colonies growing
1802: Ohio writes a state constitution that abolishes slavery.
1803: DenmarkNorway: abolition of transatlantic slave trade takes effect 1 January
1804: New Jersey begins a gradual abolition of slavery, freeing future children of slaves.
Those born prior to the Act remain enslaved for life. The process later becomes
complete with the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865.
1804: Haiti declares independence and abolishes slavery.[26]
1805: Great Britain: A bill for abolition passes in House of Commons but is rejected in
the House of Lords.
1806: In a message to Congress, US President Thomas Jefferson calls for criminalizing
the international slave trade, asking Congress to "withdraw the citizens of the United
States from all further participation in those violations of human rights which the
morality, the reputation, and the best of our country have long been eager to proscribe."
1807, 2 March: The US makes international slave trade a felony in Act Prohibiting
Importation of Slaves; this act takes effect on 1 January 1808.[41]
1807, 25 March: Abolition of the Slave Trade Act abolishes slave trading in British
Empire. Captains fined 120 per slave transported.
1807, 22 July: The constitution of the Duchy of Warsaw abolishes serfdom.[42]

1807: The British begin patrols of African coast to arrest slaving vessels. The West Africa
Squadron (Royal Navy) is established to suppress slave trading; by 1865, nearly 150,000
people freed by anti-slavery operations.[43]
1807, November 11: Abolition of serfdom in Prussia through the Stein-Hardenberg
1807: In the US Northwest Territory (present-day Michigan), Territorial Justice Augustus
Woodward denies the return of two slaves owned by a man in Windsor, Upper Canada
(present day Ontario). Woodward declares that any man "coming into this Territory is by
law of the land a freeman."[44]
1808: The US bans the slave trade throughout the US. [45]

1810: In Mexico, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla declares slavery abolished. In the following
years, during the Mexican War of Independence, gradually comprehensive steps will end
slavery in the new country.
1811: Slave trading made a felony in the British Empire, punishable by transportation for
British subjects and foreigners.
1811: Spain abolishes slavery at home and in all colonies except Cuba,[23] Puerto Rico,
and Santo Domingo.
1811: The First National Congress of Chile approves a proposal drafted by Manuel de
Salas that declares the Freedom of wombs, which sets free the sons of slaves born on
Chilean territory, no matter the conditions of the parents; it prohibited the slave trade and
recognized as freedmen those who, passing in transit through Chilean territory, stayed
there for six months.
1813: Mexico abolishes slavery in the documents Sentimientos de la Nacin, by insurgent
leader Jos Mara Morelos y Pavn.
1813: In Argentina, the Law of Wombs was passed on 2 February, by the Assembly of
Year XIII. The law stated that those born after 31 January 1813 would be granted
freedom when contracting matrimony, or on their 16th birthday for women and 20th for
men, and upon their manumission would be given land and tools to work it.
1814: Uruguay, before its independence, declares all those born of slaves in their
territories are free from that day forward.
1814: The Netherlands outlaws slave trade.

1815: British pay Portugal 750,000 to cease their trade north of the Equator.[46]

1815: At the Congress of Vienna, eight victorious powers declared their opposition to
1816: Serfdom abolished in the Governorate of Estonia of the Russian Empire.

1816, 16 July: Simon Bolivar declares the emancipation of all the slaves in the Province
of Venezuela.
1817: Serfdom abolished in the Governorate of Courland of the Russian Empire.
1817: Spain paid 400,000 by British to cease trade to Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Santo
1817: New York State sets a date of 4 July 1827 to free all its ex-slaves from indenture.[47]

1818: Treaty between Britain and Spain to abolish slave trade.[48]

1818: Treaty between Britain and Portugal to abolish slave trade.[48]

1818: France abolishes slave trading.

1818: Treaty between Britain and the Netherlands taking additional measures to enforce
the 1814 ban on slave trading.[48]
1819: Serfdom abolished in the Governorate of Livonia of the Russian Empire.

1819: Upper Canada: Attorney-General John Robinson declares all black residents of
Canada free.
1820: Mexico formally abolishes slavery with the Plan of Iguala, proposed by Agustn de
Iturbide and ratified the following year by him and the Viceroy, Juan O'Donoj.
1820: Compromise of 1820 in US prohibits slavery north of a line (3630).

1820: In Polly v. Lasselle, Indiana supreme court orders almost all slaves in the state to be
1821: Gran Colombia (Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama) declares free the sons
and daughters born to slave mothers, sets up program for compensated emancipation[49]
1822: Liberia founded by American Colonization Society (USA) as a colony for
emancipated slaves.
1822: Greece abolishes slavery.

1823: Chile abolishes slavery.[26]

1823: Anti-Slavery Society founded in Britain.

1824: Mexico's new constitution (1824 Constitution of Mexico) effectively frees existing
1824: The Federal Republic of Central America abolishes slavery.

1825: Uruguay declares independence from Brazil and prohibits the traffic of slaves from
foreign countries.

Illustration from the book: The Black Man's Lament, Or, How to Make Sugar by Amelia Opie.
(London, 1826)
1827: Treaty between Britain and Sweden to abolish slave trade.[48]

1827: New York State abolishes slavery. Children born between 1799 and 1827 are
indentured until age 25 (females) or age 28 (males).[50]
1829: Last slaves are freed in Mexico.[26]

1830: Mexican president Anastasio Bustamante orders the abolition of slavery to be

implemented also in Mexican Texas. To circumvent the law, Anglo colonists convert their
slaves into "indentured servants for life".[51]
1830: The first Constitution of Uruguay declares the abolition of slavery.

1831: Bolivia abolishes slavery.[26]

1831: Brazil adopts the Law of 7 November 1831, declaring the maritime slave trade
abolished, prohibiting any form of importation of slaves, and granting freedom to slaves
should they be illegally imported into Brazil. In spite of its adoption, the law was seldom
enforced prior to 1850, when Brazil, under British pressure, adopted additional legislation
to criminalize the importation of slaves.
1834: The British Slavery Abolition Act comes into force, abolishing slavery throughout
most of the British Empire. Legally frees 700,000 in West Indies, 20,000 in Mauritius,
and 40,000 in South Africa. The exceptions, territories controlled by the East India
Company and Ceylon, were liberated in 1843 when they became part of the British
1835: Serbia abolishes slavery.[53] Although formally outlawed in 1835, slavery never
existed in Serbia.
1835: Treaty between Britain and France to abolish slave trade.[48]

1835: Treaty between Britain and Denmark to abolish slave trade.[48]

1836: Portugal abolishes transatlantic slave trade.

1836: Republic of Texas is established. Slavery is made legal again.

1836, December: Viscount S da Bandeira, prime minister, prohibits the import and
export of slaves from the Portuguese colonies south of the Equator.
1838, 1 August: Enslaved men, women, and children in the British Empire finally became
fully free after a period of forced apprenticeship following the passing of the Slavery
Abolition Act in 1833.
1839: British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society founded as a successor to the AntiSlavery Society. (The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society exists today as AntiSlavery International.)
1839: Indian indenture system made illegal (reversed in 1842).

1840: Treaty between Britain and Venezuela to abolish slave trade;[48] the first World
Anti-Slavery Convention meets in London.
1841: Quintuple Treaty is signed; Britain, France, Russia, Prussia, and Austria agree to
suppress slave trade.[26]
1842: Treaty between Britain and Portugal to extend the enforcement of the ban on slave
trade to Portuguese ships sailing south of the Equator.

1843: East India Company becomes increasingly controlled by Britain and abolishes
slavery in India by the Indian Slavery Act V. of 1843.
1843: Treaty between Britain and Uruguay to suppress slave trade.[48]

1843: Treaty between Britain and Mexico to suppress slave trade.[48]

1843: Treaty between Britain and Chile to suppress slave trade.[48]

1843: Treaty between Britain and Bolivia to abolish slave trade.[48]

1845: 36 British Royal Navy ships are assigned to the Anti-Slavery Squadron, making it
one of the largest fleets in the world.
1846: Persuaded by Britain, the Bey of Tunisia outlawed the slave trade; the policy was
reversed temporarily by his successor.[54]
1847: Under British pressure, the Ottoman Empire abolishes slave trade from Africa.[55]

1847: The last slaves in the Swedish colony Saint Barthelemy are freed.[56]

1847: Slavery is abolished in Pennsylvania, thus freeing the last remaining slaves, those
born before 1780 (fewer than 100 in 1840 Census).[57]
1848: In Austria, the reforms spurred by the Krakw Uprising of 1846 and the Spring of
Nations in 1848 resulted in the abolishment of serfdom in 1848.[58][59][60]
1848: Slavery abolished in all French and Danish colonies.[26][56]

1848: France founds Gabon for settlement of emancipated slaves.

1848: Treaty between Britain and Muscat to suppress slave trade.[48]

1849: Treaty between Britain and Persian Gulf states to suppress slave trade.[48]

1849: Harriet Tubman escapes from Slavery in Dorchester County, Maryland.


1850: In the United States, the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 requires the return of escaped
slaves to their owners.
1850: Brazil, under British pressure, adopts the Eusbio de Queirz Act (Law 581 of 4
September 1850), criminalizing the maritime slave trade as piracy, and imposing other
criminal sanctions on the importation of slaves (already prohibited in law since 1831).
1851: New Granada (Colombia) abolishes slavery.[49]

1852: The Hawaiian Kingdom abolishes kauwa system of serfdom.[61]

1853: Argentina abolishes slavery when promulgating the 1853 Constitution.[62]

1854: Peru abolishes slavery.[26]

1854: Venezuela abolishes slavery.[26][49]

1855: Moldavia partially abolishes slavery.[63]

1856: Wallachia partially abolishes slavery.[63]

1859: Trans-Atlantic slave trade completely ends

1860: Indenture system abolished within British-occupied India.

1861: Russia frees its serfs in the Emancipation reform of 1861.[64]

1861: In April 12, 1861 Civil war was fought to preserve the United States and stop
slavery expansion. Confederate states secede to perpetuate Slavery.
1862: Treaty between United States and Britain for the suppression of the slave trade
(African Slave Trade Treaty Act).[48]
1862: Cuba abolishes slave trade.[26]
1863: Slavery abolished in Dutch colonies Surinam (33,000 freed) and the Antilles
(12,000 freed).[65]
1863: Slavery abolished in the Dutch colony of Indonesia.

Medical examination photo of Gordon showing his scourged back, widely distributed by
Abolitionists to expose the brutality of slavery.
1863: In the United States, Abraham Lincoln issues the presidential order the
Emancipation Proclamation declaring slaves in Confederate-controlled areas to be freed.
Most slaves in "border states" are freed by state action; separate law freed the slaves in
Washington, D.C.
1864: Following the serfdom emancipation reform of 1861 of Western Krai and the
January Uprising of 1863-1864, a similar reform was introduced in Russian-controlled
Congress Poland[66]
1865, December: US abolishes slavery with the Thirteenth Amendment to the United
States Constitution; about 40,000 remaining slaves are affected.[67]
1866: Slavery abolished in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).[68]

1869, February, 27th: Portugal: King Louis I signs a decree of the government, chaired
by the Marquis S da Bandeira, abolishing slavery in all Portuguese territories.
Accordingly, all slaves in the Portuguese colonies in Africa were set free, resulting in the
total termination of slavery across the Portuguese Empire.
1871: Brazil: Rio Branco Law (Law of Free Birth) declares free the sons and daughters
born to slave mothers after 28 September 1871.[69]
1873: Slavery abolished in the Spanish colony of Puerto Rico: March 22nd.

1873: Treaty between Britain and Zanzibar and Madagascar to suppress slave trade.[48]

1874: Britain abolishes slavery in the Gold Coast (now Ghana), following its annexation
in 1874.[70]
1877: Slavery had been abolished in Egypt in August 1877.

1882: Ottoman firman abolishes all forms of slavery, white or black.[71]

1884: France abolished slavery in its then Protectorate of Cambodia.

1885: Brazil passes Sexagenarians Law (Saraiva-Cotegipe Act), freeing all slaves over
the age of 60, and creating other measures for the gradual abolition of slavery, such as a
Manumissions Fund administered by the State.
1886: Slavery abolished in Cuba.[26]

1888, 13 May: Brazil enacts the Golden Law, decreeing the total abolition of slavery with
immediate effect, without indemnities to slaveowners, but also without providing for any
aid to newly freed former slaves.[72]
1890: Brussels Conference Act a collection of anti-slavery measures to put an end to
the slave trade on land and sea, especially in the Congo Basin, the Ottoman Empire, and
the East African coast.
1894: Korea officially abolishes slavery, but it survives in practice until 1930.[73]

1896: France abolishes slavery in its then colony of Madagascar.

1897: Zanzibar abolishes slavery[74] following its becoming a British protectorate.

1899: France abolishes slavery in Ndzuwani.


1902: The Ethiopian Empire abolishes slavery (though it was not legally and officially
abolished by Emperor Haile Selassie until 1942).
1906: China formally abolishes slavery effective 31 January 1910, when all adult slaves
were converted into hired labourers and the young were freed upon reaching age 25.[22]
1912: Siam (Thailand) formally abolishes all slavery. The act of selling a person into
slavery was abolished in 1897, but slavery itself was not outlawed at that time.[75]
1917: Abolition of the Indian Indentured System.

Nepal abolishes slavery.[76][77]

1922: Morocco abolishes slavery.[78]

1923: Afghanistan abolishes slavery.[79]

1924: Iraq abolishes slavery.

1924: League of Nations appoints a Temporary Slavery Commission.

1926, 25 September: Convention to Suppress the Slave Trade and Slavery bound all
signatories to end slavery.
1928: Iran abolishes slavery.[80]

1928: Domestic slavery practised by local African elites abolished in Sierra Leone.[81]
Though established as a place for freed slaves, a study found practices of domestic
slavery still widespread in rural areas in the 1970s.

1935: Italian General Emilio De Bono proclaims slavery to be abolished in the Ethiopian
1936: Britain abolishes slavery in Northern Nigeria.[83]
1946: Fritz Sauckel, procurer of slave labor for Nazi Germany, is convicted at the
Nuremberg trials and executed as a war criminal.
1948: UN Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights bans slavery globally.

1952: Qatar abolishes slavery.

1958: Bhutan abolishes slavery.

1959: Slavery in Tibet is abolished by China after the Dalai Lama flees.

1960: Niger abolishes slavery (though it was not made illegal until 2003).[85]

1962: Saudi Arabia abolishes slavery.

1962: Yemen abolishes slavery.

1964: The United Arab Emirates abolishes slavery.

1970: Oman abolishes slavery.

1981: Mauritania abolishes slavery.[86][87][88]

2003: Niger makes slavery a crime.[85]

2007: Mauritania makes slavery a crime.[89]

Although slavery is now de jure illegal in all countries,[90][91] de facto practices akin to it continue
today in many places throughout the world.[92][93][94][95]

See also


History of slavery

Slave Trade Acts

Sexual slavery

Slavery at common law

Slavery in modern Africa

Timeline of the African-American Civil Rights Movement

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Kantowicz, Edward R. (1975). Polish-American politics in Chicago, 1888-1940.
University of Chicago Press. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-226-42380-7. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
Sailing against slavery. By Jo Loosemore BBC
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Aguilera, Miguel (1965). La Legislacion y el derecho en Colombia. Historia extensa de
Colombia 14. Bogota: Lemer. pp. 428442.
David N. Gellman (2008). Emancipating New York: The Politics of Slavery and
Freedom, 1777-1827. pp. 2, 215.
Alwyn Barr (1996). Black Texans: A History of African Americans in Texas, 1528-1995.
p. 15.
Finkelman and Miller, Macmillan Encyclopedia of World Slavery 1:293
Ismael M. Montana, The Abolition of Slavery in Ottoman Tunisia (2013)
Ehd R. Tledn (1998). Slavery and Abolition in the Ottoman Middle East. p. 11.

Cobb, Thomas Read Rootes. An Inquiry Into the Law of Negro Slavery in the United
States of America: To which is Prefixed An Historical Sketch of Slavery, 1858. Page cxcii.
1840 US Census, Pennsylvania
Anderson, Kevin (15 May 2010). Marx at the margins: on nationalism, ethnicity, and
non-western societies. University of Chicago Press. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-226-01983-3. Retrieved
30 January 2012.
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That Shaped the Institutional Church. Dog Ear Publishing. p. 65. ISBN 978-1-60844-821-0.
Retrieved 30 January 2012.
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national and ethnic groups in Prussian Silesia and Austrian Silesia, 1848-1918. Purdue
University Press. p. 73. ISBN 978-1-55753-371-5. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
Finkelman and Miller, Macmillan Encyclopedia of World Slavery 1:377
Robert J. Cottrol (2013). The Long, Lingering Shadow: Slavery, Race, and Law in the
American Hemisphere. University of Georgia Press. p. 121.
Mihail Koglniceanu, Dezrobirea iganilor, tergerea privilegiilor boiereti, emanciparea
ranilor, 1891. (these dates) also decisive for privately owned gypsies, still remaining enslaved
Peter Kolchin, Unfree Labor (1987)
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polskiego (Warsaw: Paristwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1987, p.389-394
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Thirteenth Amendment (2004)
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p. 127. Retrieved 2013-08-28.
Robert E. Conrad, The destruction of Brazilian slavery, 18501888 (1972) p. 106
Suzanne Miers and Richard L. Roberts, The End of slavery in Africa (1988) p. 79
Y. Hakan Erdem, Slavery in the Ottoman Empire and Its Demise, 18001909 (1998).
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Junius P. Rodriguez (1997). The Historical Encyclopedia of World Slavery. ABC-CLIO.
p. xxiii.
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The slave trade: myths and preconceptions[dead link]
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Barker, A. J., The Rape of Ethiopia 1936, p. 36
"The End of Slavery". BBC. Retrieved 2013-08-28.

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13 December 2007. Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10
December 1948 ... Article 4. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave
trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
Anti-Slavery International (28 October 2008). "Niger slavery: Background". The
Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
Slavery in Mauritania
"Disposable People". Retrieved 2013-08-28.
"Mauritanian MPs pass slavery law". BBC News. 9 August 2007. Retrieved 8 January
Slavery's last stronghold. (16 March 2012). Retrieved 20 March 2012.
Kevin Bales (2004). New Slavery: A Reference Handbook. ABC-CLIO. p. 4. ISBN 9781-85109-815-6.
Shelley K. White; Jonathan M. White; Kathleen Odell Korgen (27 May 2014).
Sociologists in Action on Inequalities: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality. SAGE Publications.
p. 43. ISBN 978-1-4833-1147-0.
Smith, Alexander (17 October 2013). "30 million people still live in slavery, human rights
group says". NBC News. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
Kelly, Annie (3 April 2013). "Modern-day slavery: an explainer". The Guardian.
Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
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Aziz, Omer; Hussain, Murtaza (5 January 2014). "Qatar's Showcase of
Shame". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 7 October

Further reading

Bales, Kevin. "Disposable People" (University of California Press, 2012)

Campbell, Gwyn. The Structure of Slavery in Indian Ocean Africa and Asia (Frank Cass,
Drescher, Seymour. Abolition: A History of Slavery and Antislavery (Cambridge
University Press, 2009)
Finkelman, Paul, and Joseph Miller, eds. Macmillan Encyclopedia of World Slavery (2
vol 1998)
Gordon, M. Slavery in the Arab World (1989)

Hinks, Peter, and John McKivigan, eds. Encyclopedia of Antislavery and Abolition (2 vol.
2007) 795pp; ISBN 978-0-313-33142-8
Lovejoy, Paul. Transformations in Slavery: A History of Slavery in Africa (Cambridge
UP, 1983)
Morgan, Kenneth. Slavery and the British Empire: From Africa to America (2008)

Rodriguez, Junius P., ed. The Historical Encyclopedia of World Slavery (1997)

Rodriguez, Junius P., ed. Encyclopedia of Emancipation and Abolition in the

Transatlantic World (2007)

External links

Timeline - What happened before 1807? The Royal Naval Museum

Timeline - What happened after 1807? The Royal Naval Museum

Slavery and AbolitionSlavery and abolition
For over four hundred years, from the mid-fifteenth century, Europeans enslaved millions of
Africans through the transatlantic slave trade. It is thought that over 12 million Africans were
loaded onto slave ships and that over three million died.

Transatlantic slave trade

Cross-section of the slave ship, 'Brookes'

Ships from Europe took goods to West and Central Africa where they were traded for African
people. Most of the enslaved Africans were captured in battle or were kidnapped, but some were
sold for debt or as a punishment. The captives were marched to the coast, often enduring
journeys lasting weeks in shackles and chains.
The voyage across the Atlantic generally took six to eight weeks. Conditions were appalling in
the packed and unhealthy ship holds, and up to one in five died. Uprisings were common, but
were violently suppressed.
In the Americas, the captive Africans were sold into slavery to work on plantations, in mines and
in a variety of skilled and unskilled tasks. Owners treated them with brutality and with
disregard for their lives. The ships came back to Europe laden with goods which helped support
a growing economy.
British ships made about 11,000 slaving voyages. Liverpool, London and Bristol accounted for
95 per cent of these voyages.
Words by Tony Tibbles. Copyright Royal Mail Group plc 2007

Path to abolition

Until the 19th century, slavery was considered an acceptable part of the economic system,
enabling many countries in Europe and beyond to profit and prosper from the trade of goods
produced by enslaved labour.
Concern about the slave trade and the treatment of African people started to become a social
issue in the 1760s. People from all walks of life, (including former enslaved Africans such as
Olaudah Equiano and Ignatius Sancho, parliamentarians such as William Wilberforce, church
leaders Thomas Clarkson and the Clapham Set and British citizens) signed petitions, marched,
lobbied and prayed for change.
Many will already know a little about those great heroes of the abolition movement, such as
William Wilberforce or Thomas Clarkson, but it is clear that the abolition of the slave trade
wasnt only the work of a few parliamentarians and members of the church. It was a grass-roots
movement, similar in its day to the tens of thousands that joined the campaign to abolish
apartheid in South Africa. People of courage and principle who chose to make their voices heard
when it might have been unpopular to do so.

Slavery and abolition key events

1562 First English slaving expedition by Sir John Hawkins

1619 First record of Africans landing in Virginia

1625 First English settlement on Barbados

1626 First boatload of African slaves to St Kitts

1631 Charles I granted monopoly on Guinea trade to a group of London merchants

1672 Royal Africa company granted charter to carry Africans to the Americas

1772 The Somerset case held that no slave could be forcibly removed from Britain; the
case led to the widespread belief that slavery itself was illegal in England, Wales and
1778 Slavery declared illegal in Scotland

1781 133 African slaves thrown overboard from the slave ship, 'Zong'

1783 Committee on the Slave Trade established by Quakers Meeting for Sufferings

1787 Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade founded: Granville Sharp as president
of a mostly Quaker committee
1791 23 August St Domingue (Haiti) slave revolt

1792 Resolution for gradual abolition of the slave trade defeated in the House of Lords

1805 Bill for Abolition passed in Commons, rejected in House of Lords

1807 25 March Slave Trade Abolition Bill passed in the British Parliament

1807 British West Africa Squadron (Royal Navy) established to suppress slave trading;
by 1865, nearly 150,000 people freed by anti-slavery operations
1815 End of Napoleonic Wars - at the Congress of Vienna, Britain puts pressure on
France, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain to abolish slave trade
1838 1 August enslaved men, women and children in the Caribbean finally become free
after a period of forced apprenticeship, following the passage of the Slavery Abolition
Act in 1833

1842 Britain and United States signed Webster-Ashburton Treaty, banning slave trade on
high seas
1848 Emancipation by the French of their slaves

1865 Slavery finally abolished in the United States territories

1888 Slavery abolished in BrazilEmancipation Proclamation
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about American history. For emancipation proclamations in other countries, see
Abolition of slavery timeline.

Henry Louis Stephens, untitled watercolor (c. 1863) of a black man reading a newspaper with
headline "Presidential Proclamation/Slavery".

Abraham Lincoln, Brooklyn Museum

The Emancipation Proclamation was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by
President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. In a single stroke it changed the legal status, as
recognized by the United States federal government, of 3 million slaves in the designated areas
of the South from "slave" to "free." It had the practical effect that as soon as a slave escaped the

control of the Confederate government, by running away or through advances of federal troops,
the slave became legally free. Eventually it reached and liberated all of the designated slaves. It
was issued as a war measure during the American Civil War, directed to all of the areas in
rebellion and all segments of the executive branch (including the Army and Navy) of the United
It proclaimed the freedom of slaves in the ten states that were still in rebellion.[3] Because it was
issued under the President's war powers, it necessarily excluded areas not in rebellion - 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;[4] 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 (called freedmen). It made the eradication of slavery an explicit
war goal, in addition to the goal of reuniting the Union.[5]
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 contraband for later return. The Proclamation applied only to slaves in Confederateheld 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 of the Thirteenth Amendment, which made slavery and indentured servitude, except
for those duly convicted of a crime, illegal everywhere subject to United States jurisdiction.[6]
On September 22, 1862, Lincoln had issued a preliminary proclamation warning that he would
order the emancipation of all slaves in any state that did not end its 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 (and their British sympathizers) 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.[7] The Proclamation lifted the spirits of African
Americans 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 maintain the
Union. 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 France.[8]


1 Authority

2 Coverage

3 Background
o 3.1 Military action prior to emancipation
o 3.2 Governmental action towards emancipation
o 3.3 Public opinion of emancipation

4 Drafting and issuance of the proclamation

5 Implementation
o 5.1 Immediate impact
o 5.2 Political impact
o 5.3 International impact

6 Gettysburg Address

7 Postbellum

8 Critiques

9 Legacy in the Civil Rights Era

o 9.1 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
9.1.1 The "Second Emancipation Proclamation"
o 9.2 President John F. Kennedy
o 9.3 President Lyndon B. Johnson

10 In popular culture

11 See also

12 Notes

13 Further reading
o 13.1 Primary sources

14 External links



By country or region[show]
Opposition and resistance[show]

Further information: Slave and free states

The United States Constitution of 1787 did not use the word "slavery" but included several
provisions about unfree persons. The Three-Fifths Compromise (in Article I, Section 2) allocated
Congressional representation based "on the whole Number of free Persons" and "three fifths of
all other Persons".[9] Under the Fugitive Slave Clause (Article IV, Section 2), "[n]o person held to
service or labour in one state" would be freed by escaping to another. Article I, Section 9 allowed
Congress to pass legislation to outlaw the "Importation of Persons", but not until 1808.[10]
However, for purposes of the Fifth Amendmentwhich states that, "No person shall ... be
deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"slaves were understood as
property.[11] Although abolitionists used the Fifth Amendment to argue against slavery, it became
part of the legal basis for treating slaves as property with Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857).[12]
Socially, slavery was also supported in law and in practice by a pervasive culture of white
supremacy.[13] Nonetheless, between 1777 and 1804, every Northern state provided for the
immediate or gradual abolition of slavery. No Southern state did so, and the slave population of
the South continued to grow, peaking at almost 4 million people at the beginning of the
American Civil War, in which most slave states sought to break away from the United States.[14]
Lincoln understood that the Federal government's power to end slavery in peacetime was limited
by the Constitution which before 1865, committed the issue to individual states.[15] Against the
background of the American Civil War, however, Lincoln issued the Proclamation under his
authority as "Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy" under Article II, section 2 of the
United States Constitution.[16] As such, he claimed to have the martial power to free persons held
as slaves in those states that were in rebellion "as a fit and necessary war measure for
suppressing said rebellion".[17] He did not have Commander-in-Chief authority over the four
slave-holding states that were not in rebellion: Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware, and
so those states were not named in the Proclamation.[18] The fifth border jurisdiction, West
Virginia, where slavery remained legal but was in the process of being abolished, was, in January
1863, still part of the legally recognized "reorganized" state of Virginia, based in Alexandria,
which was in the Union (as opposed to the Confederate state of Virginia, based in Richmond).
The Emancipation Proclamation was never challenged in court.

To ensure the abolition of slavery in all of the U.S., Lincoln pushed for passage of the Thirteenth
Amendment. Congress passed it by the necessary two-thirds vote on January 31, 1865, and it was
ratified by the states on December 6, 1865.[19]

The Proclamation applied in the ten states that were still in rebellion in 1863, and thus did not
cover the nearly 500,000 slaves in the slave-holding border states (Missouri, Kentucky,
Maryland or Delaware) which were Union states. Those slaves were freed by later separate state
and federal actions.
The state of Tennessee had already mostly returned to Union control, under a recognized Union
government, so it was not named and was exempted. Virginia was named, but exemptions were
specified for the 48 counties then in the process of forming the new state of West Virginia, and
seven additional counties and two cities in the Union-controlled Tidewater region.[20] Also
specifically exempted were New Orleans and 13 named parishes of Louisiana, which were
mostly under federal control at the time of the Proclamation. These exemptions left
unemancipated an additional 300,000 slaves.[21]
The Emancipation Proclamation has been ridiculed, notably in an influential passage by Richard
Hofstadter for "freeing" only the slaves over which the Union had no power.[22] These slaves
were freed due to Lincoln's "war powers". This act cleared up the issue of contraband slaves.[23] It
automatically clarified the status of over 100,000 now-former slaves. Some 20,000 to 50,000
slaves were freed the day it went into effect[24] in parts of nine of the ten states to which it applied
(Texas being the exception).[25] In every Confederate state (except Tennessee and Texas), the
Proclamation went into immediate effect in Union-occupied areas and at least 20,000 slaves[24][25]
were freed at once on January 1, 1863.

The moment portrayed by Lee Lawrie in Lincoln, Nebraska

Additionally, the Proclamation provided the legal framework for the emancipation of nearly all
four million slaves as the Union armies advanced, and committed the Union to ending slavery,
which was a controversial decision even in the North. Hearing of the Proclamation, more slaves
quickly escaped to Union lines as the Army units moved South. As the Union armies advanced
through the Confederacy, thousands of slaves were freed each day until nearly all (approximately
3.9 million, according to the 1860 Census)[26] were freed by July 1865.
While the Proclamation had freed most slaves as a war measure, it had not made slavery illegal.
Of the states that were exempted from the Proclamation, Maryland,[27] Missouri,[28] Tennessee,[29]
and West Virginia[30] prohibited slavery before the war ended. In 1863, President Lincoln
proposed a moderate plan for the Reconstruction of the captured Confederate State of Louisiana.
Only 10% of the state's electorate had to take the loyalty oath. The state was also required to
abolish slavery in its new constitution. Identical Reconstruction plans would be adopted in
Arkansas and Tennessee. By December 1864, the Lincoln plan abolishing slavery had been

enacted in Louisiana.[32][33] However, in Delaware[34] and Kentucky,[35] Slavery continued to be

legal until December 18, 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment went into effect.


First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln by Francis Bicknell

(People in the image are clickable.)

Military action prior to emancipation

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 required individuals to return runaway slaves to their owners.
During the war, Union generals such as Benjamin Butler declared that slaves in occupied areas
were contraband of war and accordingly refused to return them.[36] This decision was
controversial because it implied recognition of the Confederacy as a separate nation under
international law, a notion that Lincoln steadfastly denied. As a result, he did not promote the
contraband designation. In addition, as contraband, these people were legally designated as
"property" when they crossed Union lines and their ultimate status was uncertain.[37]

Governmental action towards emancipation

In December 1861, Lincoln sent his first annual message to Congress (the State of the Union
Address, but then typically given in writing and not referred to as such). In it he praised the free
labor system, as respecting human rights over property rights; he endorsed legislation to address
the status of contraband slaves and slaves in loyal states, possibly through buying their freedom
with federal taxes, and also the funding of strictly voluntary colonization efforts.[38] In January
1862, Thaddeus Stevens, the Republican leader in the House, called for total war against the
rebellion to include emancipation of slaves, arguing that emancipation, by forcing the loss of
enslaved labor, would ruin the rebel economy. On March 13, 1862, Congress approved a "Law
Enacting an Additional Article of War", which stated that from that point onward it was
forbidden for Union Army officers to return fugitive slaves to their owners.[39] On April 10, 1862,
Congress declared that the federal government would compensate slave owners who freed their
slaves. Slaves in the District of Columbia were freed on April 16, 1862, and their owners were
On June 19, 1862, Congress prohibited slavery in all current and future United States territories
(though not in the states), and President Lincoln quickly signed the legislation. By this act, they
repudiated the 1857 opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States in the Dred Scott Case
that Congress was powerless to regulate slavery in U.S. territories.[40][41] This joint action by
Congress and President Lincoln also rejected the notion of popular sovereignty that had been
advanced by Stephen A. Douglas as a solution to the slavery controversy, while completing the

effort first legislatively proposed by Thomas Jefferson in 1784 to confine slavery within the
borders of existing states.[42][43]
In July 1862, Congress passed and Lincoln signed the Second Confiscation Act, containing
provisions for court proceedings to liberate slaves held by convicted "rebels", or of slaves of
rebels that had escaped to Union lines.[44] The Act applied in cases of criminal convictions and to
those who were slaves of "disloyal" masters, however, Lincoln's position continued to be that
Congress lacked power to free all slaves within the borders of rebel held states, but Lincoln as
commander in chief could do so if he deemed it a proper military measure,[45] and that Lincoln
had already drafted plans to do.

Public opinion of emancipation

Medical examination photo of Gordon, widely distributed by Abolitionists to expose the brutality
of slavery.
Abolitionists had long been urging Lincoln to free all slaves. In the summer of 1862, Republican
editor Horace Greeley of the highly influential New York Tribune wrote a famous editorial
entitled "The Prayer of Twenty Millions" demanding a more aggressive attack on the
Confederacy and faster emancipation of the slaves: "On the face of this wide earth, Mr.
President, there is not one ... intelligent champion of the Union cause who does not feel ... that
the rebellion, if crushed tomorrow, would be renewed if slavery were left in full vigor ... and that
every hour of deference to slavery is an hour of added and deepened peril to the Union."[46]
Lincoln responded in his Letter To Horace Greeley from August 22, 1862, in terms of the limits
imposed by his duty as president to save the Union:
If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery,
I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the
same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to
save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without
freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if
I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about
slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I
forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.... I have here stated

my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oftexpressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.[47]
Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer wrote in this context about Lincoln's letter: "Unknown to Greeley,
Lincoln composed this after he had already drafted a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation,
which he had determined to issue after the next Union military victory. Therefore, this letter, was
in truth, an attempt to position the impending announcement in terms of saving the Union, not
freeing slaves as a humanitarian gesture. It was one of Lincoln's most skillful public relations
efforts, even if it has cast longstanding doubt on his sincerity as a liberator."[48] Historian Richard
Striner argues that "for years" Lincoln's letter has been misread as "Lincoln only wanted to save
the Union."[49] However, within the context of Lincoln's entire career and pronouncements on
slavery this interpretation is wrong, according to Striner. Rather, Lincoln was softening the
strong Northern white supremacist opposition to his imminent emancipation by tying it to the
cause of the Union. This opposition would fight for the Union but not to end slavery, however
Lincoln gave them the means and motivation to do both, at the same time.[49] In his 2014 book,
Lincoln's Gamble, journalist and historian Todd Brewster asserted that Lincoln's desire to
reassert the saving of the Union as his sole war goal was in fact crucial to his claim of legal
authority for emancipation. Since slavery was protected by the Constitution, the only way that he
could free the slaves was as a tactic of warnot as the mission itself.[50] But that carried the risk
that when the war ended, so would the justification for freeing the slaves. Late in 1862, Lincoln
asked his Attorney General, Edward Bates, for an opinion as to whether slaves freed through a
war-related proclamation of emancipation could be re-enslaved once the war was over. Bates had
to work through the language of the Dred Scott decision to arrive at an answer, but he finally
concluded that they could indeed remain free. Still, a complete end to slavery would require a
constitutional amendment.[51] Conflicting advice, to free all slaves, or not free them at all, was
presented to Lincoln in public and private. Thomas Nast, a cartoon artist during the Civil War
and the late 1800s considered "Father of the American Cartoon", composed many works
including a two-sided spread that showed the transition from slavery into civilization after
President Lincoln signed the Proclamation. Nast believed in equal opportunity and equality for
all people even enslaved Africans or free blacks.[52] A mass rally in Chicago on September 7,
1862, demanded an immediate and universal emancipation of slaves. A delegation headed by
William W. Patton met the President at the White House on September 13. Lincoln had declared
in peacetime that he had no constitutional authority to free the slaves. Even used as a war power,
emancipation was a risky political act. Public opinion as a whole was against it.[53] There would
be strong opposition among Copperhead Democrats and an uncertain reaction from loyal border
states. Delaware and Maryland already had a high percentage of free blacks: 91.2% and 49.7%,
respectively, in 1860.[54]

Drafting and issuance of the proclamation

Eastman Johnson (American, 1824-1906). A Ride for Liberty -- The Fugitive Slaves (recto), ca.
1862. Oil on paperboard. Brooklyn Museum
Lincoln first discussed the proclamation with his cabinet in July 1862. He drafted his
"preliminary proclamation" and read it to Secretary of State William Seward, and Secretary of
Navy Gideon Welles, on July 13. Seward and Welles were at first speechless, then Seward
referred to possible anarchy throughout the South and resulting foreign intervention; Welles
apparently said nothing. On July 22, Lincoln presented it to his entire cabinet as something he
had determined to do and he asked their opinion on wording.[55] Although Secretary of War
Edwin Stanton supported it, Seward advised Lincoln to issue the proclamation after a major
Union victory, or else it would appear as if the Union was giving "its last shriek of retreat".[56]
In September 1862, the Battle of Antietam gave Lincoln the victory he needed to issue the
Emancipation. In the battle, though General McClellan allowed the escape of Robert E. Lee's
retreating troops, Union forces turned back a Confederate invasion of Maryland. On September
22, 1862, five days after Antietam occurred, Lincoln called his cabinet into session and issued
the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.[57] According to Civil War historian James M.
McPherson, Lincoln told Cabinet members that he had made a covenant with God, that if the
Union drove the Confederacy out of Maryland, he would issue the Emancipation Proclamation.
Lincoln had first shown an early draft of the proclamation to Vice President Hannibal
Hamlin,[60] an ardent abolitionist, who was more often kept in the dark on presidential decisions.
The final proclamation was issued January 1, 1863. Although implicitly granted authority by
Congress, Lincoln used his powers as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, "as a
necessary war measure" as the basis of the proclamation, rather than the equivalent of a statute
enacted by Congress or a constitutional amendment. Some days after issuing the final
Proclamation, Lincoln wrote to Major General John McClernand: "After the commencement of
hostilities I struggled nearly a year and a half to get along without touching the "institution"; and
when finally I conditionally determined to touch it, I gave a hundred days fair notice of my
purpose, to all the States and people, within which time they could have turned it wholly aside,
by simply again becoming good citizens of the United States. They chose to disregard it, and I
made the peremptory proclamation on what appeared to me to be a military necessity. And being
made, it must stand."[61]

Reproduction of the Emancipation Proclamation at the National Underground Railroad Freedom

Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Zoom)
Initially, the Emancipation Proclamation effectively freed only a small percentage of the slaves,
those who were behind Union lines in areas not exempted. Most slaves were still behind
Confederate lines or in exempted Union-occupied areas. Secretary of State William H. Seward
commented, "We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot
reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free." Had any slave state ended
its secession attempt before January 1, 1863, it could have kept slavery, at least temporarily. The
Proclamation only gave the Lincoln Administration the legal basis to free the slaves in the areas
of the South that were still in rebellion on January 1, 1863. It effectively destroyed slavery as the
Union armies advanced south and conquered the entire Confederacy.
The Emancipation Proclamation also allowed for the enrollment of freed slaves into the United
States military. During the war nearly 200,000 blacks, most of them ex-slaves, joined the Union
Army.[62] Their contributions gave the North additional manpower that was significant in winning
the war. The Confederacy did not allow slaves in their army as soldiers until the last month
before its defeat.[63]
Though the counties of Virginia that were soon to form West Virginia were specifically exempted
from the Proclamation (Jefferson County being the only exception), a condition of the state's
admittance to the Union was that its constitution provide for the gradual abolition of slavery (an
immediate emancipation of all slaves was also adopted there in early 1865). Slaves in the border
states of Maryland and Missouri were also emancipated by separate state action before the Civil
War ended. In Maryland, a new state constitution abolishing slavery in the state went into effect
on November 1, 1864. The Union-occupied counties of eastern Virginia and parishes of
Louisiana, which had been exempted from the Proclamation, both adopted state constitutions that
abolished slavery in April 1864.[64][65] In early 1865, Tennessee adopted an amendment to its
constitution prohibiting slavery.[66][67] Slaves in Kentucky and Delaware were not emancipated
until the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified.


Areas covered by the Emancipation Proclamation are in red. Slave holding areas not covered are
in blue.
Further information: Slave and free states
The Proclamation was issued in two parts. The first part, issued on September 22, 1862, was a
preliminary announcement outlining the intent of the second part, which officially went into
effect 100 days later on January 1, 1863, during the second year of the Civil War. It was
Abraham Lincoln's declaration that all slaves would be permanently freed in all areas of the
Confederacy that had not already returned to federal control by January 1863. The ten affected
states were individually named in the second part (South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida,
Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina). Not included were the
Union slave states of Maryland, Delaware, Missouri and Kentucky. Also not named was the state
of Tennessee, in which a Union-controlled military government had already been set up, based in
the capital, Nashville. Specific exemptions were stated for areas also under Union control on
January 1, 1863, namely 48 counties that would soon become West Virginia, seven other named
counties of Virginia including Berkeley and Hampshire counties, which were soon added to West
Virginia, New Orleans and 13 named parishes nearby.
Union-occupied areas of the Confederate states where the proclamation was put into immediate
effect by local commanders included Winchester, Virginia,[68] Corinth, Mississippi,[69] the Sea
Islands along the coasts of the Carolinas and Georgia,[70] Key West, Florida,[71] and Port Royal,
South Carolina.[72]

Immediate impact

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

It has been inaccurately claimed that the Emancipation Proclamation did not free a single slave;
black author Lerone Bennett, Jr. alleged that the proclamation was a hoax deliberately
designed not to free any slaves.[74] However, as a result of the Proclamation, many slaves were
freed during the course of the war, beginning with the day it took effect; eyewitness accounts at
places such as Hilton Head, South Carolina,[75] and Port Royal, South Carolina[72] record
celebrations on January 1 as thousands of blacks were informed of their new legal status of
freedom. Estimates of how many thousands of slaves were freed immediately by the
Emancipation Proclamation are varied. One contemporary estimate put the 'contraband'
population of Union-occupied North Carolina at 10,000, and the Sea Islands of South Carolina
also had a substantial population. Those 20,000 slaves were freed immediately by the
Emancipation Proclamation."[24] This Union-occupied zone where freedom began at once
included parts of eastern North Carolina, the Mississippi Valley, northern Alabama, the
Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, a large part of Arkansas, and the Sea Islands of Georgia and
South Carolina.[76] Although some counties of Union-occupied Virginia were exempted from the
Proclamation, the lower Shenandoah Valley, and the area around Alexandria were covered.[24]
Emancipation was immediately enforced as Union soldiers advanced into the Confederacy.
Slaves fled their masters and were often assisted by Union soldiers.[77]
Booker T. Washington, as a boy of 9 in Virginia, remembered the day in early 1865:[78]
As the great day drew nearer, there was more singing in the slave quarters than usual. It was
bolder, had more ring, and lasted later into the night. Most of the verses of the plantation songs
had some reference to freedom.... Some man who seemed to be a stranger (a United States
officer, I presume) made a little speech and then read a rather long paperthe Emancipation
Proclamation, I think. After the reading we were told that we were all free, and could go when
and where we pleased. My mother, who was standing by my side, leaned over and kissed her
children, while tears of joy ran down her cheeks. She explained to us what it all meant, that this
was the day for which she had been so long praying, but fearing that she would never live to see.
Emancipation took place without violence by masters or ex-slaves. The Proclamation represented
a shift in the war objectives of the Northreuniting the nation was no longer the only goal. It
represented a major step toward the ultimate abolition of slavery in the United States and a "new
birth of freedom".
Runaway slaves who had escaped to Union lines had previously been held by the Union Army as
"contraband of war" under the Confiscation Acts; when the proclamation took effect, they were
told at midnight that they were free to leave. The Sea Islands off the coast of Georgia had been
occupied by the Union Navy earlier in the war. The whites had fled to the mainland while the
blacks stayed. An early program of Reconstruction was set up for the former slaves, including
schools and training. Naval officers read the proclamation and told them they were free.

Winslow Homer's 1876 "A Visit from the Old Mistress" depicts a tense meeting between a group
of newly freed slaves and their former slaveholder. Smithsonian Museum of American Art
In the military, reaction to the Proclamation varied widely, with some units nearly ready to
mutiny in protest. Some desertions were attributed to it. Other units were inspired by the
adoption of a cause that ennobled their efforts, such that at least one unit took up the motto "For
Union and Liberty".
Slaves had been part of the "engine of war" for the Confederacy. They produced and prepared
food; sewed uniforms; repaired railways; worked on farms and in factories, shipping yards, and
mines; built fortifications; and served as hospital workers and common laborers. News of the
Proclamation spread rapidly by word of mouth, arousing hopes of freedom, creating general
confusion, and encouraging thousands to escape to Union lines.[79] George Washington Albright,
a teenage slave in Mississippi, recalled that like many of his fellow slaves, his father escaped to
join Union forces. According to Albright, plantation owners tried to keep the Proclamation from
slaves but news of it came through the "grapevine". The young slave became a "runner" for an
informal group they called the 4Ls ("Lincoln's Legal Loyal League") bringing news of the
proclamation to secret slave meetings at plantations throughout the region.[80]
Robert E. Lee saw the Emancipation Proclamation as a way for the Union to bolster the number
of soldiers it could place on the field, making it imperative for the Confederacy to increase their
own numbers.
Writing on the matter after the sack of Fredericksburg, Lee wrote "In view of the vast increase of
the forces of the enemy, of the savage and brutal policy he has proclaimed, which leaves us no
alternative but success or degradation worse than death, if we would save the honor of our
families from pollution, our social system from destruction, let every effort be made, every
means be employed, to fill and maintain the ranks of our armies, until God, in his mercy, shall
bless us with the establishment of our independence."[81] Lee's request for a drastic increase of
troops would go unfulfilled.

Political impact

"Abe Lincoln's Last Card; Or, Rouge-et-Noir (Red and Black)"; Punch, Volume 43, October 18,
1862, p. 161. a cartoon by the Englishman John Tenniel, after the London Times stated that
Lincoln had played his "last card" in issuing the Proclamation.[82][83] Lincoln's hair is in points,
suggesting horns. The cartoon was often reprinted in the Copperhead press.[84][85]
The Proclamation was immediately denounced by Copperhead Democrats who opposed the war
and advocated restoring the union by allowing slavery. Horatio Seymour, while running for the
governorship of New York, cast the Emancipation Proclamation as a call for slaves to commit
extreme acts of violence on all white southerners, saying it was "a proposal for the butchery of
women and children, for scenes of lust and rapine, and of arson and murder, which would invoke
the interference of civilized Europe".[86] The Copperheads also saw the Proclamation as an
unconstitutional abuse of Presidential power. Editor Henry A. Reeves wrote in Greenport's
Republican Watchman that "In the name of freedom of Negroes, [the proclamation] imperils the
liberty of white men; to test a utopian theory of equality of races which Nature, History and
Experience alike condemn as monstrous, it overturns the Constitution and Civil Laws and sets up
Military Usurpation in their Stead."[86]
Racism remained pervasive on both sides of the conflict and many in the North supported the
war only as an effort to force the South to stay in the Union. The promises of many Republican
politicians that the war was to restore the Union and not about black rights or ending slavery,
were now declared lies by their opponents citing the Proclamation. Copperhead David Allen
spoke to a rally in Columbiana, Ohio, stating "I have told you that this war is carried on for the
Negro. There is the proclamation of the President of the United States. Now fellow Democrats I
ask you if you are going to be forced into a war against your Brithren of the Southern States for
the Negro. I answer No!"[87] The Copperheads saw the Proclamation as irrefutable proof of their
position and the beginning of a political rise for their members; in Connecticut H. B. Whiting
wrote that the truth was now plain even to "those stupid thick-headed persons who persisted in
thinking that the President was a conservative man and that the war was for the restoration of the
Union under the Constitution".[86]
War Democrats who rejected the Copperhead position within their party, found themselves in a
quandary. While throughout the war they had continued to espouse the racist positions of their
party and their disdain of the concerns of slaves, they did see the Proclamation as a viable
military tool against the South, and worried that opposing it might demoralize troops in the
Union army. The question would continue to trouble them and eventually lead to a split within
their party as the war progressed.[86]

Lincoln further alienated many in the Union two days after issuing the preliminary copy of the
Emancipation Proclamation by suspending habeas corpus. His opponents linked these two
actions in their claims that he was becoming a despot. In light of this and a lack of military
success for the Union armies, many War Democrat voters who had previously supported Lincoln
turned against him and joined the Copperheads in the off-year elections held in October and
In the 1862 elections, the Democrats gained 28 seats in the House as well as the governorship of
New York. Lincoln's friend Orville Hickman Browning told the President that the Proclamation
and the suspension of habeas corpus had been "disastrous" for his party by handing the
Democrats so many weapons. Lincoln made no response. Copperhead William Javis of
Connecticut pronounced the election the "beginning of the end of the utter downfall of
Abolitionism in the United States".[86]
Historians James M. McPherson and Allan Nevins state that though the results look very
troubling, they could be seen favorably by Lincoln; his opponents did well only in their historic
strongholds and "at the national level their gains in the House were the smallest of any minority
party's in an off-year election in nearly a generation. Michigan, California, and Iowa all went
Republican.... Moreover, the Republicans picked up five seats in the Senate."[86] McPherson
states "If the election was in any sense a referendum on emancipation and on Lincoln's conduct
of the war, a majority of Northern voters endorsed these policies."[86]
The initial Confederate response was one of expected outrage. The Proclamation was seen as
vindication for the rebellion, and proof that Lincoln would have abolished slavery even if the
states had remained in the Union.[88]

International impact
As Lincoln had hoped, the Proclamation turned foreign popular opinion in favor of the Union by
gaining the support of anti-slavery countries and countries that had already abolished slavery
(especially the developed countries in Europe). This shift ended the Confederacy's hopes of
gaining official recognition.[89]
Since the Emancipation Proclamation made the eradication of slavery an explicit Union war
goal, it linked support for the South to support for slavery. Public opinion in Britain would not
tolerate direct support for slavery. British companies, however, continued to build and operate
blockade runners for the South. As Henry Adams noted, "The Emancipation Proclamation has
done more for us than all our former victories and all our diplomacy." In Italy, Giuseppe
Garibaldi hailed Lincoln as "the heir of the aspirations of John Brown". On August 6, 1863,
Garibaldi wrote to Lincoln: Posterity will call you the great emancipator, a more enviable title
than any crown could be, and greater than any merely mundane treasure.[90]
Alan Van Dyke, a representative for workers from Manchester, England, wrote to Lincoln
saying, "We joyfully honor you for many decisive steps toward practically exemplifying your
belief in the words of your great founders: 'All men are created free and equal.'" The
Emancipation Proclamation served to ease tensions with Europe over the North's conduct of the
war, and combined with the recent failed Southern offensive at Antietam to cut off any practical
chance for the Confederacy to receive international support in the war.

Gettysburg Address
Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in November 1863 made indirect reference to the Proclamation
and the ending of slavery as a war goal with the phrase "new birth of freedom". The

Proclamation solidified Lincoln's support among the rapidly growing abolitionist element of the
Republican Party and ensured they would not block his re-nomination in 1864.[91]


Emancipation from Freedmen's viewpoint; illustration from Harper's Weekly 1865

Near the end of the war abolitionists were concerned that the Emancipation Proclamation would
be construed solely as a war measure, Lincoln's original intent, and would no longer apply once
fighting ended. They were also increasingly anxious to secure the freedom of all slaves, not just
those freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. Thus pressed, Lincoln staked a large part of his
1864 presidential campaign on a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery uniformly
throughout the United States. Lincoln's campaign was bolstered by separate votes in both
Maryland and Missouri to abolish slavery in those states. Maryland's new constitution abolishing
slavery took effect in November 1864. Slavery in Missouri was ended by executive proclamation
of its governor, Thomas C. Fletcher, on January 11, 1865.
Winning re-election, Lincoln pressed the lame duck 38th Congress to pass the proposed
amendment immediately rather than wait for the incoming 39th Congress to convene. In January
1865, Congress sent to the state legislatures for ratification what became the Thirteenth
Amendment, banning slavery in all U.S. states and territories. The amendment was ratified by
the legislatures of enough states by December 6, 1865, and proclaimed 12 days later. There were
about 40,000 slaves in Kentucky and 1,000 in Delaware who were liberated then.[26]

Further information: Abraham Lincoln and slavery
As the years went on and American life continued to be deeply unfair towards blacks, cynicism
towards Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation increased. Perhaps the strongest attack was
Lerone Bennett's Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln's White Dream (2000), which claimed
that Lincoln was a white supremacist who issued the Emancipation Proclamation in lieu of the
real racial reforms for which radical abolitionists pushed. In his Lincoln's Emancipation
Proclamation, Allen C. Guelzo noted the professional historians' lack of substantial respect for
the document, since it has been the subject of few major scholarly studies. He argued that
Lincoln was America's "last Enlightenment politician"[92] and as such was dedicated to removing
slavery strictly within the bounds of law.
Other historians have given more credit to Lincoln for what he accomplished within the tensions
of his cabinet and a society at war, for his own growth in political and moral stature, and for the
promise he held out to the slaves.[93] More might have been accomplished if he had not been
assassinated. As Eric Foner wrote:

Lincoln was not an abolitionist or Radical Republican, a point Bennett reiterates innumerable
times. He did not favor immediate abolition before the war, and held racist views typical of his
time. But he was also a man of deep convictions when it came to slavery, and during the Civil
War displayed a remarkable capacity for moral and political growth.[94]
Kal Ashraf wrote:
Perhaps in rejecting the critical dualismLincoln as individual emancipator pitted against
collective self-emancipatorsthere is an opportunity to recognise the greater persuasiveness of
the combination. In a sense, yes: a racist, flawed Lincoln did something heroic, and not in lieu of
collective participation, but next to, and enabled, by it. To venerate a singular Great
Emancipator' may be as reductive as dismissing the significance of Lincoln's actions. Who he
was as a man, no one of us can ever really know. So it is that the version of Lincoln we keep is
also the version we make.[95]

Legacy in the Civil Rights Era

President Barack Obama views the Emancipation Proclamation in the Oval Office next to a bust
of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made many references to the Emancipation Proclamation in his work
for racial Civil Rights. These include a speech made at an observance of the hundredth
anniversary of the issuing of the Proclamation made in New York City on September 12, 1962
where he placed it alongside the Declaration of Independence as an "imperishable" contribution
to civilization, and "All tyrants, past, present and future, are powerless to bury the truths in these
declarations". He lamented that despite a history where America "proudly professed the basic
principles inherent in both documents", it "sadly practiced the antithesis of these principles". He
concluded "There is but one way to commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation. That is to
make its declarations of freedom real; to reach back to the origins of our nation when our
message of equality electrified an unfree world, and reaffirm democracy by deeds as bold and
daring as the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation."[96]
King's most famous invocation of the Emancipation Proclamation was in a speech from the steps
of the Lincoln Memorial at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (often referred
to as the "I Have a Dream" speech). King began the speech saying "Five score years ago, a great
American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This
momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had
been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long
night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still

not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of
segregation and the chains of discrimination."[97]
The "Second Emancipation Proclamation"
Main article: Second Emancipation Proclamation
In the early 1960s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his associates developed a strategy to call on
President John F. Kennedy to bypass a Southern segregationist opposition in the Congress by
issuing an Executive Order to put an end to segregation. This envisioned document was referred
to as the "Second Emancipation Proclamation".

President John F. Kennedy

On June 11, 1963, President Kennedy appeared on national television to address the issue of civil
rights. Kennedy, who had been routinely criticized as timid by some of the leaders of the civil
rights movement, told Americans that two black students had been peacefully enrolled in the
University of Alabama with the aid the National Guard despite the opposition of Governor
George Wallace.
Then Kennedy unexpectedly called for national unity on civil rights, for the first time referring to
it as a "moral issue".[98] Invoking the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation he said "One
hundred years of delay have passed since President Lincoln freed the slaves, yet their heirs, their
grandsons, are not fully free. They are not yet freed from the bonds of injustice. They are not yet
freed from social and economic oppression. And this Nation, for all its hopes and all its boasts,
will not be fully free until all its citizens are free. We preach freedom around the world, and we
mean it, and we cherish our freedom here at home, but are we to say to the world, and much
more importantly, to each other that this is a land of the free except for the Negroes; that we have
no second-class citizens except Negroes; that we have no class or cast system, no ghettoes, no
master race except with respect to Negroes? Now the time has come for this Nation to fulfill its
promise. The events in Birmingham and elsewhere have so increased the cries for equality that
no city or State or legislative body can prudently choose to ignore them."[99]
In the same speech Kennedy announced he would introduce comprehensive civil rights
legislation to the United States Congress which he did a week later (he continued to push for its
passage until his assassination in November 1963). Historian Peniel E. Joseph holds Lyndon
Johnson's ability to get that bill, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, passed on July 2, 1964 was aided
by "the moral forcefulness of the June 11 speech" which turned "the narrative of civil rights from
a regional issue into a national story promoting racial equality and democratic renewal".[98]

President Lyndon B. Johnson

During the American Civil Rights movement of the 1960s Lyndon B. Johnson invoked the
Emancipation Proclamation holding it up as a promise yet to be fully implemented.
As Vice President while speaking from Gettysburg on May 30, 1963 (Memorial Day), at the
centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, Johnson connected it directly with the ongoing
Civil Rights struggles of the time saying "One hundred years ago, the slave was freed. One
hundred years later, the Negro remains in bondage to the color of his skin.... In this hour, it is not
our respective races which are at stakeit is our nation. Let those who care for their country
come forward, North and South, white and Negro, to lead the way through this moment of
challenge and decision.... Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until
opportunity is unconcerned with color of men's skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but

not a fact. To the extent that the proclamation of emancipation is not fulfilled in fact, to that
extent we shall have fallen short of assuring freedom to the free."[100]
As President, Johnson again invoked the proclamation in a speech presenting the Voting Rights
Act at a joint session of Congress on Monday, March 15, 1965. This was one week after violence
had been inflicted on peaceful civil rights marchers during the Selma to Montgomery marches.
Johnson said "... it's not just Negroes, but really it's all of us, who must overcome the crippling
legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome. As a man whose roots go deeply into
Southern soil, I know how agonizing racial feelings are. I know how difficult it is to reshape the
attitudes and the structure of our society. But a century has passedmore than 100 yearssince
the Negro was freed. And he is not fully free tonight. It was more than 100 years ago that
Abraham Lincolna great President of another partysigned the Emancipation Proclamation.
But emancipation is a proclamation and not a fact. A century has passedmore than 100 years
since equality was promised, and yet the Negro is not equal. A century has passed since the day
of promise, and the promise is unkept. The time of justice has now come, and I tell you that I
believe sincerely that no force can hold it back. It is right in the eyes of man and God that it
should come, and when it does, I think that day will brighten the lives of every American."[101]

In popular culture

U.S. commemorative, 1963[102]

In episode 86 of The Andy Griffith Show, Andy asks Barney to explain the Emancipation
Proclamation to Opie who is struggling with history at school.[103] Barney brags about his history
expertise, yet it is apparent he cannot answer Andy's question. He finally becomes frustrated and
explains it is a proclamation for certain people who wanted emancipation.[104]
The Emancipation Proclamation is celebrated around the world including on stamps of nations
such as the Republic of Togo.[105] The United States commemorative was issued on August 16,
1963, the opening day of the Century of Negro Progress Exposition in Chicago, Illinois.
Designed by Georg Olden, an initial printing of 120 million stamps was authorized.[102]

See also

Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation - printed in the September 23, 1862, National

Republican, Washington D.C.
Abolition of slavery timeline

Act Prohibiting the Return of Slaves 1862 statute

African-American Civil Rights Movement (195468)

District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act

History of slavery in Kentucky

History of slavery in Missouri

Slavery Abolition Act 1833 an act passed by the British parliament abolishing slavery
in British colonies with compensation to the owners
Slave Trade Acts

Timeline of the African-American Civil Rights Movement

War Governors' Conference gave Lincoln the much needed political support to issue the

"Art & History: First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Lincoln". U.S.
Senate. Retrieved August 2, 2013. Lincoln met with his cabinet on July 22, 1862, for the first
reading of a draft of the Emancipation Proclamation. Sight measurement. Height: 108 inches
(274.32 cm) Width: 180 inches (457.2 cm)
Political scientist Brian R. Dirck states: "The Emancipation Proclamation was an
executive order, itself a rather unusual thing in those days. Executive orders are simply
presidential directives issued to agents of the executive department by its boss." Brian R. Dirck
(2007). The Executive Branch of Federal Government: People, Process, and Politics. ABCCLIO. p. 102.
"The Emancipation Proclamation". National Archives and Records Administration.
Retrieved 2013-06-27.
"The Emancipation Proclamation: Freedom's first steps". National Endowment for the
Humanities. Retrieved 2013-06-27.
Foner 2010, pp. 23942
"Amendments to the U.S. Constitution". Retrieved 2014-01-26.
Allan Nevins, Ordeal of the Union: vol 6. War Becomes Revolution, 18621863 (1960)
pp. 23141, 273
Howard Jones, Abraham Lincoln and a New Birth of Freedom: the Union and Slavery in
the Diplomacy of the Civil War, (1999)
Jean Allain (2012). The Legal Understanding of Slavery: From the Historical to the
Contemporary. Oxford University Press. p. 117. ISBN 9780199660469.
Foner 2010, p. 16
Jean Allain (2012). The Legal Understanding of Slavery: From the Historical to the
Contemporary. Oxford University Press. pp. 119120. ISBN 9780199660469.
Tsesis, The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (2004), p. 14. "Nineteenth
century apologists for the expansion of slavery developed a political philosophy that placed

property at the pinnacle of personal interests and regarded its protection to be the government's
chief purpose. The Fifth Amendment's Just Compensation clause provided the proslavery camp
with a bastion for fortifying the peculiar institution against congressional restrictions to its spread
westward. Based on this property-rights centered argument, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, in
Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857), found the Missouri Compromise unconstitutionally violated due
Tsesis, The Thirteenth Amendment and American Freedom (2004), pp. 1823.
"Constitutional protections of slavery coexisted with an entire culture of oppression. The peculiar
institution reached many private aspects of human life, for both whites and blacks. [...] Even free
Southern blacks lived in a world so legally constricted by racial domination that it offered only a
deceptive shadow of freedom."
Foner 2010, pp. 1416
Mackubin, Thomas Owens (March 25, 2004). "The Liberator". National Review. National
Review. Archived from the original on 2011-10-20.
Crowther p. 651
Numerous slaves were being commanded to perform tasks to support the Confederate
war effort, including making weapons.
The fourth paragraph of the proclamation explains that Lincoln issued it, "by virtue of the
power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time
of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit
and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion".[1]
"13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution". The Library of Congress. Retrieved 201306-27.
Freedmen and Southern Society Project (1982). Freedom: a documentary history of
emancipation 18611867 : selected from the holdings of the National Archives of the United
States. The destruction of slavery. CUP Archive. pp. 69. ISBN 978-0-521-22979-1.
Foner 2010, pp. 241242
Striner, Richard (2006). Father Abraham: Lincoln's Relentless Struggle to End Slavery.
Oxford University Press. p. 192 (citing Hofstadter's 1948 essay, in which he relates, in part, a
sardonic remark by William Seward). ISBN 978-0-19-518306-1.
Heidler, David (2000). Encyclopedia of the American Civil War. ABC-CLIO. p. 652.
Poulter, Keith "Slaves Immediately Freed by the Emancipation Proclamation", North &
South vol. 5 no. 1 (December 2001), p. 48
William C. Harris, "After the Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln's Role in the Ending
of Slavery", North & South vol. 5 no. 1 (December 2001), map on p. 49
"Census, Son of the South". 1860.
"Archives of Maryland Historical List: Constitutional Convention, 1864". November 1,
"Missouri abolishes slavery". January 11, 1865.
"Tennessee State Convention: Slavery Declared Forever Abolished". The New York
Times. January 14, 1865.
"On this day: 1865-FEB-03".
Stauffer (2008), Giants, p. 279
Peterson (1995) Lincoln in American Memory, pp. 3841
McCarthy (1901), Lincoln's plan of Reconstruction, p. 76
"Slavery in Delaware".

Lowell Hayes Harrison and James C. Klotter (1997). A new history of Kentucky. p. 180.
ISBN 0813126215. In 1866, Kentucky refused to ratify the 13th Amendment. It did ratify it in
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People, page 241 (2009).
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(IAP 2003).
Montgomery, David. The student's American history, page 428 (Ginn & Co. 1897).
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Oxford University Press. p. 176. ISBN 978-0-19-518306-1.
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America the Emancipation Proclamation and Changed the Course of the Civil War. Scribner.
p. 59. ISBN 978-1451693867.
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America the Emancipation Proclamation and Changed the Course of the Civil War. Scribner.
p. 236. ISBN 978-1451693867.
Halloran, Fiona Deans. "Thomas Nast". Wikipedia. The University of North Carolina
Press. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
Guelzo 2006, p. 18.
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(Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1911), 1:143, reported that Lincoln made a
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Emancipation and War", Civil War History (September 1, 2000).
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Political Perspectives. Potomac Books. p. 35.
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1863, p. 5
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pp. 1921.
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Mitgang, Herbert (2000). Abraham Lincoln, a press portrait: his life and times from the
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ISBN 978-0-8232-2062-5.
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Weber 2006, p. 65.
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Further reading

Belz, Herman. Emancipation and Equal Rights: Politics and Constitutionalism in the
Civil War Era (1978) online
Biddle, Daniel R., and Murray Dubin. "'God Is Settling the Account': African American
Reaction to Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation", Pennsylvania Magazine of History
and Biography (Jan. 2013) 137#1 5778.
Crowther, Edward R. "Emancipation Proclamation". in Encyclopedia of the American
Civil War. Heidler, David S. and Heidler, Jeanne T. (2000) ISBN 0-393-04758-X

Chambers Jr, Henry L. "Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation, and Executive Power."
Maryland Law Review 73 (2013): 100+ online
Ewan, Christopher. "The Emancipation Proclamation and British Public Opinion" The
Historian, Vol. 67, 2005
Franklin, John Hope. The Emancipation Proclamation (1963) online
Foner, Eric. The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery (W.W. Norton,
Guelzo, Allen C. (2006). Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in
America. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-9965-7.
Guelzo, Allen C. "How Abe Lincoln Lost the Black Vote: Lincoln and Emancipation in
the African American Mind", Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association (2004) 25#1
Harold Holzer, Edna Greene Medford, and Frank J. Williams. The Emancipation
Proclamation: Three Views (2006)
Howard Jones, Abraham Lincoln and a New Birth of Freedom: The Union and Slavery in
the Diplomacy of the Civil War (1999)
Mitch Kachun, Festivals of Freedom: Memory and Meaning in African American
Emancipation Celebrations, 18081915 (2003)
Kolchin, Peter, "Reexamining Southern Emancipation in Comparative Perspective,"
Journal of Southern History, 81#1 (Feb. 2015), 7-40.
Litwack, Leon F. Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery (1979), social
history of the end of slavery in the Confederacy
Mack Smith, Denis (1969). Garibaldi (Great Lives Observed). Englewood Cliffs, N.J.:
Prentice Hall.
McPherson, James M. Ordeal by Fire: the Civil War and Reconstruction (2001 [3rd ed.]),
esp. pp. 316321.
Masur, Louis P. Lincoln's Hundred Days: The Emancipation Proclamation and the War
for the Union (Harvard University Press; 2012)
Nevins, Allan. Ordeal of the Union: vol 6. War Becomes Revolution, 18621863 (1960)

Siddali, Silvana R. From Property To Person: Slavery And The Confiscation Acts, 1861
1862 (2005)
Syrett, John. Civil War Confiscation Acts: Failing to Reconstruct the South (2005)

Tsesis, Alexander. We Shall Overcome: A History of Civil Rights and the Law (2008)

* Vorenberg, Michael. Final Freedom: The Civil War, the Abolition of Slavery, and the
Thirteenth Amendment (2001)
Vorenberg, Michael, ed. The Emancipation Proclamation: A Brief History with
Documents (2010), primary and secondary sources

Primary sources

C. Peter Ripley, Roy E. Finkenbine, Michael F. Hembree, Donald Yacovone, Witness for
Freedom: African American Voices on Race, Slavery, and Emancipation (1993)

External links
Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Emancipation Proclamation
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Emancipation Proclamation.

A zoomable image of the Leland-Boker authorized edition of the Emancipation

Proclamation held by the British Library
Lesson plan on Emancipation Proclamation from EDSITEment NEH

Text and images of the Emancipation Proclamation from the National Archives

Online Lincoln Coloring Book for Teachers and Students

Emancipation Proclamation and related resources at the Library of Congress

Scholarly article on rhetoric and the Emancipation Proclamation

Mr. Lincoln and Freedom: Emancipation Proclamation

First Edition Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 Harper's Weekly

Chronology of Emancipation during the Civil War

"Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation"

Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation at the New York State Library Images and
transcript of Lincoln's original manuscript of the preliminary proclamation.
The role of humor in presenting the Proclamation to Lincoln's Cabinet.

1865 NY Times article Sketch of its History by Lincoln's portrait artist

"Emancipation, Proclamation of". New International Encyclopedia. 1905.

Webcast Discussion with Pulitzer Prize-winning author James McPherson and James
Cornelius, Curator of the Lincoln Collection in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
and Museum about the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation