THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION (Illustration) American History Awesome Radio - Narrated Stories Civil Rights Government Law and Politics Slaves and Slave Owners Social Studies Nineteenth Century Life American Presidents African American History

The Alleghanian, a Pennsylvania newspaper based in Ebensburg, ran a story about President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in its September 25, 1862 issue.  This is a headline from that article. Online courtesy “Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers,” at the Library of Congress.


One of the greatest documents in America's history, Lincoln's copy of the original Proclamation did not survive. It was destroyed in the Great Fire of Chicago (1871).

Fortunately the original document is maintained in the National Archives. It provides, in pertinent part:

I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

The President then welcomed freed slaves into the U.S. military, where liberated men would serve as future liberators:

And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

Each page of the Proclamation echoes Lincoln's desire for America to be forever rid of what he called this "peculiar institution." As Lincoln signed his name, his intent was for slaves to endure no further oppression.

If only the future had unfolded that way!

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 01, 2005

Updated Last Revision: Dec 14, 2017

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"THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 01, 2005. Feb 20, 2020.
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