September 22, 1862: Abraham Lincoln Issues Emancipation Proclamation
On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. This declaration set a date for the freedom of more than three million black slaves in the United States.
The Emancipation Proclamation ordered the emancipation of all slaves residing in Confederate states that had not returned to Union control by January 1, 1963. It emphasized the mission of the Civil War as a fight against slavery.
The Emancipation Proclamation was signed and issued on January 1, 1863.
To read Lincoln’s legendary decree, visit Ken Burns’s The Civil War site.
Image: The first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation before the cabinet / painted by F.B. Carpenter ; engraved by A.H. Ritchie, circa 1866. (Library of Congress)