Press/Journalists

Press Release
November 3, 2010

National Archives to Show Original Emancipation Proclamation November 11-14

Washington, DC…The National Archives will display the original Emancipation Proclamation – which is rarely shown – in a special four day display November 11-14, 10 AM to 5:30 PM, to kick off the second part of its groundbreaking exhibit Discovering the Civil War. This exhibit peels back 150 years of accumulated analysis, interpretation, and opinion to take a fresh look at the Civil War through little-known stories, seldom-seen documents, and unusual perspectives. Discovering the Civil War presents the most extensive display ever assembled from the incomparable Civil War collection of the National Archives.

Discovering the Civil War Part Two: Consequences opens on Wednesday, November 10, is free and open to the public, and will be on display in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, through April 17, 2011. The exhibition is presented by the Center for the National Archives Experience and the Foundation for the National Archives.

Discovering the Civil War offers visitors the chance to join researchers in unlocking secrets, solving mysteries, and uncovering unexpected events in Civil War records of the National Archives. Part Two – Consequences uses letters, diaries, photos, maps, petitions, receipts, patents, amendments, and proclamations from the Civil War collection of the National Archives.

See the National Archives-produced “Inside the Vaults” video short featuring the curators and designer of Discovering the Civil War Part Two [http://tiny.cc/CivWar].

Background on the Emancipation Proclamation

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War, formally proclaiming the freedom of all slaves held in areas still in revolt. The issuance of this Proclamation clarified and strengthened the position of the Union government, decreased the likelihood of European support of the Confederacy and, as the Union armies extended their occupation of the southern states, brought freedom to the slaves in those states. The Proclamation invited black men to join the Union Army and Navy, resulting in the enlistment of approximately 200,000 freed slaves and free black people before the War's end.

Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation, it placed the issue squarely on top of the wartime agenda. It added moral force to the Union cause and was a significant milestone leading to the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in 1865, formally outlawing slavery throughout the nation.

The Emancipation Proclamation linked the preservation of American constitutional government to the end of slavery, and has become one of our country’s most treasured documents.

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For Press information and hi-res images of the Emancipation Proclamation, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at (202) 357-5300.

Discovering the Civil War marks the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, will be shown in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Part Two: Consequences runs from November 10, 2010, through April 17, 2011. Part I: Beginnings ran April 30 - September 6, 2010.

The National Archives is located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. Fall/winter Exhibit Hall hours are 10 AM – 5:30 PM daily, except Thanksgiving and December 25 (through March 14). Spring hours are 10 AM – 7 PM (March 15-Labor Day).

Discovering the Civil War will travel beginning in 2011.

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For Press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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