Civil War and Reconstruction
Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation Proclamation (1862)
About This Text
Author: Abraham Lincoln
Composed: 1862 CE
Often called the "preliminary" Emancipation Proclamation, this declaration made by Abraham Lincoln declared that the states under rebellion did not rejoin the Union by January 1863, then all enslaved people in those states would be "forever free." Although Lincoln wished to make the proclamation in July 1862, he followed the advice of Secretary of State William Seward to wait for a significant Union victory before doing so. That victory came at the Battle of Antietam in September, and Lincoln issued this preliminary proclamation, giving the rebellious states three months to come back into the Union.