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Collage of the Emancipation ProclamationPage 1 of the Emancipation ProclamationSignature page of the Emancipation ProclamationAbraham Lincoln  

The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863

"When you are dead and in Heaven, in a thousand years that action of yours will make the Angels sing your praises."

Hannah Johnson, mother of a Northern Black soldier, writing to President Abraham Lincoln about the Emancipation Proclamation, July 31, 1863

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."


Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, 1862

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