Emancipation Proclamation Issued

Monday, September 22, 1862

Abraham Lincoln reading the Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet. Painting by F.B. Carpenter. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Five days after the Union victory at the Battle of Antietam, Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, which, when it takes effect on January 1, 1863, will declare all slaves in rebellious states to be freed. Some abolitionists and former slaves deride the measure as insufficient, because Lincoln only declares the emancipation of slaves whom he has no control over. In time, however, Lincoln's proclamation helps define the Northern cause as ending slavery, in addition to preserving the Union.

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