Abraham Lincoln and Emancipation

The Emancipation Proclamation and Thirteenth amendment brought around by the Civil battle were necessary milestones in the long procedure of ending legal slavery in the united States. This essay defines the advancement of those records through assorted drafts by Lincoln and also others and shows both the development of Abraham Lincoln’s thinking and his initiatives to operate within the constitutional limits of the presidency.

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Almost from the start of his administration, abolitionists and radical republic pressured Abraham Lincoln to problem an Emancipation Proclamation. Return Lincoln personally abhorred slavery, the felt confined by his constitution authority together president to challenge slavery just in the paper definition of crucial war measures. He also worried about the reactions of those in the loyal border claims where enslavement was tho legal. Lincoln is stated to have summed up the importance of keeping the border claims in the Union by speak "I hope to have actually God on mine side, however I must have actually Kentucky."

Events beforehand in the war easily forced north authorities to deal with the problem of emancipation. In may 1861, simply a month right into the war, three slaves (Frank Baker, Shepard Mallory, and James Townsend) owned by Confederate Colonel Charles K. Mallory escaped indigenous Hampton, Virginia, wherein they had been put to work-related on instead of of the Confederacy, and sought security within Union-held Fortress Monroe prior to their owner sent out them further south. When Col. Mallory demanded your return under the Fugitive servant Law, Union general Benjamin F. Butler instead appropriated the fugitives and also their an important labor as "contraband of war." The Lincoln management approved Butler"s action, and also soon other fugitive servants (often described as "contrabands") sought freedom behind Union lines.

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"Stampede of slaves from Hampton to Fortress Monroe," Harper"s Weekly, respectable 17, 1861. Prints & Photographs Division, Library that Congress.

The increasing number of fugitives and also questions about their status eventually prompted activity by the United states Congress. On respectable 6, 1861, congress passed the first Confiscation Act, which negated owners" insurance claims to escaped slaves whose labor had actually been supplied on instead of of the Confederacy. In 1862 Congress additionally acted versus slavery in locations under the jurisdiction that the commonwealth government. Conference abolished enslavement in the federal District the Columbia ~ above April 16 v a compensated emancipation program. This action must have been an especially satisfying to chairman Lincoln, who as Congressman Lincoln had actually in the so late 1840s drafted a invoice to abolish enslavement in the ar of Columbia. Detect the measure doing not have support, Lincoln never introduced it. Congress additional outlawed slavery in federal territories in June 1862.

some Union leaders took matters right into their own hands, advertising emancipation by proclamation. In September 1861, basic John C. Frémont attempted to attend to the "disorganized condition" in the room of the West by proclaiming martial law and also proclaiming complimentary the servants of energetic Confederate sympathizers in Missouri. Frémont failed come inform very first President Lincoln, who requested Frémont amend his proclamation come conform come the 1861 Confiscation Act. Once Frémont refused, Lincoln publicly ordered him to carry out so, which aided calm stress expressed from the border states, yet angered those who supported Frémont"s actions. Although the knew Frémont had actually exceeded his authority in releasing slaves in Missouri, Lincoln continued to advice the border slave states to check out legal emancipation actions of their own. He likewise remained positive that voluntarily colonization choices for previous slaves would address the involves of many white Americans about where emancipated slaves would go. While several pieces that emancipation-related legislation consisted of funds for colonization outside of the unified States, the couple of actual do the efforts at colonization during the Civil battle failed. Furthermore, most previous slaves had no attention in leaving your homeland.

like Frémont, basic David Hunter additionally tried his hand at emancipation as soon as in may 1862 he asserted slaves complimentary in his department of the South, which had Florida, Georgia, and also South Carolina. When again, Lincoln felt compelled come overrule a commander that overstepped his authority through regard come emancipation. Return in revoking Hunter"s action, Lincoln suggested that the strength to determine such military necessities belonged to the president.

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Draft Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, July 22, 1862.

In principle, Lincoln approved of emancipation as a war measure, but he postponed executive activity against enslavement until he believed he had both the legal government to execute so and wider support native the American public. Two pieces that congressional law passed on July 17, 1862, detailed the wanted signal. The 2nd Confiscation Act contained provisions that freed the servants of disloyal owners, authorized the chairman to rental African americans in the suppression that the rebellion, and also called for exploring voluntary emigration efforts. The Militia action authorized the employed staff of african Americans in the military, emancipated those who were enslaved, and freed your families, if owned by those disloyal to the Union. No only had Congress relieved the management of considerable strain through its minimal initiative on emancipation, yet it also had demonstrated raising public accept of emancipation together a military act.

By July 1862 Lincoln had actually written what the termed his "Preliminary Proclamation." He debated his thoughts because that an emancipation proclamation with cabinet secretaries william H. Seward and also Gideon wells on July 13, 1862, while sharing a carriage ride native the funeral the Secretary of battle Edwin M. Stanton"s infant son James. Welles later on recalled outside that neither he nor Seward were all set to offer opinions on a subject that Seward believed "involved aftermath so large and momentous," however he agreed through Seward"s early stage impression that the measure up was both "justifiable" and also perhaps "expedient and necessary."

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Edwin M. Stanton’s note of the reaction that the cabinet to Abraham Lincoln’s development of his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, July 22, 1862. Edwin McMasters Stanton Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

Nine job later, ~ above July 22, Lincoln again elevated the worry of emancipation in a room meeting, in ~ which he read the contents of his preliminary draft of the Emancipation Proclamation. In addition to reiterating his assistance for progressive emancipation in the faithful states, the breeze proclamation declared that as of January 1, 1863, "all persons held as slaves within any kind of state or states, inside the constitutional authority of the United says shall no then be virtually recognized, it is registered to, and also maintained, chandelier then, thenceforward, and forever, it is in free." conversely, the Confiscation action freed the slaves of individual owners that demonstrated disloyalty, Lincoln"s proclamation freed servants of all owner residing in geographic locations engaged in rebellion together "a fit and also necessary army measure."

The reaction that Lincoln"s cabinet members was mixed. Secretary of battle Edwin M. Stanton, appropriately interpreting the proclamation together a military measure design both come deprive the Confederacy of servant labor and also bring extr men into the Union army, advocated its prompt release. Attorney general Edward Bates, a conservative, opposed civil and political equality because that blacks yet gave his support. Wells feared the unintended consequences of emancipation, but remained silent, as did inner secretary Caleb Smith. Postmaster basic Montgomery Blair foresaw defeat in the fall elections and also opposed the proclamation. Treasury secretary Salmon P. Chase sustained the measure, which he noted in his diary went further than his very own recommendations, but his tepid enthusiasm because that the proclamation was surprising given his background as an outspoken foe of slavery. Secretary that State Seward to express concern around the diplomatic implications of emancipation and listed the absence of recent Union military victories, which might cause the proclamation to be construed as an act of desperation. Much better to wait for success ~ above the battlefield, Seward counseled, and also issue the proclamation native a place of strength. Lincoln agreed, and also the course to be set.

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Abraham Lincoln come Horace Greeley, Friday, august 22, 1862 (Clipping indigenous Aug. 23, 1862 everyday National Intelligencer, Washington, D.C.)

While Lincoln waited because that his generals to secure a victory, New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley noted Lincoln through an opportunity to test public reaction come emancipation together a war measure. In an open letter to chairman Lincoln released on respectable 20 under the heading "The Prayer that Twenty Millions," Greeley urged Lincoln to identify slavery together the root cause of the war and act boldly v regard come emancipation. Back he currently had a breeze emancipation proclamation prepared, Lincoln responded with his own open up letter come Greeley, which he published in the National Intelligencer in Washington, D.C. Lincoln declared plainly the the goal of his administration"s policies, including those related to slavery, was to save the Union. "My paramount object in this battle is to conserve the Union, and also is not one of two people to conserve or to destroy slavery. If I can save the Union without releasing any servant I would perform it, and if I might save that by releasing all the servants I would perform it; and if I might save it by freeing some and leaving rather alone, i would additionally do that." Lincoln carefully noted that this represented his official position. That intended "no alteration of mine oft-expressed personal wish the all men every where could be free."

The bloodiest single day of the civil War occurred on September 17, 1862, together Confederates in Robert E. Lee"s military of northern Virginia battled the military of the Potomac, commanded by Union basic George B. McClellan, in ~ Antietam Creek close to Sharpsburg, Maryland. While the fight of Antietam to be not rather the decisive Union triumph Lincoln hoped for, Lee"s retreat was victory sufficient for Lincoln to concern the emancipation proclamation top top which he had ongoing to labor since July. Lincoln review the amendment proclamation come his room on September 22, 1862. Secretary that the marine Gideon Welles recorded in his diary the the president was open up to criticism that the file itself, but that "he to be satisfied the was right . . . His mind was fixed—his decision made" regarding the issuance of the proclamation.

The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation of September 22, 1862, stated that the servants in all areas designated as being in rebellion as of January 1, 1863, would certainly "be then, thenceforward, and also forever free." The preliminary proclamation also reiterated Lincoln"s support for compensated emancipation and voluntary colonization of "persons of african descent." newspapers in the Confederate claims predictably denounced the proclamation. The Memphis (Tenn.) daily Appeal labeling it unconstitutional and also "plainly a proposition to incite domestic insurrection." The Charlotte, north Carolina, Western Democratcarried the briefest of notices of the proclamation and brushed beside its significance. "No one in the southern cares for that—Lincoln might also proclaim come the moon." some in the North believed the preliminary proclamation an ext serious, but still ok conceived. The Indiana State Sentinel deemed it a "blunder" and also "disastrous" in promoting colonization schemes that would deprive the United claims of an important labor and leave faithful taxpayers come foot the bill. But others were elated by Lincoln"s proclamation. The Chicago Tribune reprinted laudatory responses from newspapers across the North. Lincoln retained amongst his documents a number of letters of support for the proclamation, consisting of one indigenous B. S. Hedrick, who determined himself as a Southerner and also formerly a professor that chemistry at the university of phibìc Carolina. "In my opinion the whole question the the battle is reduced to this. Have the right to the strength of the United claims Gov"t either overcome or exterminate slavery?" Hedrick asked. "If it can, then that must be done, and also the sooner the better. If not—we fight with no object."

In anticipation that the January 1, 1863, attributed of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln detailed the cabinet on December 30 v the message of the revised last Emancipation Proclamation, soliciting opinions and necessary alterations. The last Emancipation Proclamation differed considerably from the vault versions. The designated the areas considered come still be in rebellion, but additionally those under Union control and thus exempted indigenous the proclamation. The exempted locations included parishes in Louisiana and the city of new Orleans, numerous cities and counties in Virginia, and all of the counties in what would end up being the brand-new state of West Virginia. Slaves living in those Union-occupied exempted areas were taken into consideration outside of the president"s battle powers, and would continue to be enslaved after ~ January 1. Lincoln urged those freed by the proclamation to "abstain from all violence, unless in vital self-defense" and to "labor faithfully for reasonable wages." uneven the ahead preliminary proclamations, the final proclamation announced that African-American males would "be received right into the armed service that the joined States." and unlike the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, unable to do was any kind of mention of compensated emancipation or colonization. Lincoln likewise incorporated Secretary Chase"s tip of close up door the record with an acknowledgment that the proclamation together an "act the justice" and also invoking God and also the "judgment the mankind" in supporting the effort.

January 1, 1863, to be a "mild and bright day" in Washington. Lincoln had sent the manuscript of the proclamation to the State department in the morning for copying, and Secretary Seward lugged the official version come the White residence for Lincoln"s signature. Lincoln i found it an error in the record that required amending, which was not completed before the annual brand-new Year"s reception in ~ the White House, at which Lincoln shook hundreds of hands. Seward and also his kid Frederick lugged the repair proclamation come the White house later in the day because that the president"s signature. Frederick Seward recalled external Lincoln speak "I never in my life felt more certain that i was law right, than I execute in signing this paper." Lincoln steadied his tired arm together signed the document, telling witnesses that any kind of sign that a tremor in his handwriting would certainly be construed as a mental reservation about the proclamation. And with a signature that was "clear, bold, and also firm," Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

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Eliza Quincy described to mary Lincoln she feelings upon hearing the President Lincoln had actually issued the Emancipation Proclamation

With the issuance that the final Emancipation Proclamation the war for the Union also became a war to free the slaves. Together was the instance with the preliminary proclamation in September, the issuance of the final proclamation received a blended reception, specifically in the North. Abolitionists greeted the news with jubilation. Eliza Quincy composed to mary Lincoln that "the believed of the millions top top millions of human beings whose pleasure was come be affected & liberty secured by the indigenous of president Lincoln, was nearly overwhelming." Benjamin rush Plumly could not mental a an ext "devout ‘Thanksgiving"" together he witnessed the solemn event of afri Americans in Philadelphia in ~ the news the the proclamation. Hamilton Gray that Kentucky, however, warned Lincoln that Kentuckians loyal to the Union did not accept the Emancipation Proclamation as a army necessity, and also there to be word that the Kentucky legislative branch urged the governor to disapprove the proclamation. The New York Herald taken into consideration the proclamation "unnecessary, unwise and also ill-timed, impracticable, external the constitution and full the mischief," noting the Lincoln freed slaves only in areas where the exerted small practical authority. "But let united state hope the this proclamation will prove nothing worse than a nullity and also a harmless tub to the abolition whale," the Herald"s editors opined. Emancipation, also as a battle measure, confronted continued opposition months later on in Lincoln"s hometown the Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln understood that many of his neighbors supported the Union, yet resented fighting for the reason of freedom. "You speak you will not struggle to complimentary negroes. Few of them seem ready to fight for you; but, no matter. Struggle you, then solely to conserve the Union," Lincoln urged his neighbors in a statement he sent to his friend James Conkling to be check out at a Union conference in September. "I approve the proclamation on objective to help you in saving the Union. Whenever you shall have overcame all resistence to the Union, if i shall advice you to proceed fighting, it will be one apt time then for you to explain you will not struggle to cost-free negroes."

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Abraham Lincoln’s draft solution to Albert G. Hodges, April 4, 1864

The president still discovered it important in 1864 come explain and defend his actions through regard to emancipation, which remained unpopular with countless Northerners. In one April 4, 1864 letter come Albert G. Hodges, editor of the Commonwealth newspaper in Frankfort, Kentucky, Lincoln was mindful to distinguish his own opinions indigenous the actions that felt constitutionally justification in taking. "I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, naught is wrong. I can not remember when I did no so think, and feel," that began. "And however I have actually never taken that the Presidency conferred ~ above me an unrestricted ideal to act officially upon this judgment and feeling." His presidential oath tied him come "preserve, protect, and also defend the constitution of the united States," and also each action in the process of emancipation was in the attention of keeping the nation, and thus preserving the Constitution. To highlight this, Lincoln used the word "indispensable" 6 times to distinguish the criteria on which that acted, till emancipation ended up being militarily one "indispensable necessity." In his letter to Hodges, Lincoln additionally credited a higher power in determining the occasions of the war. "I insurance claim not to have regulated events, yet confess plainly that events have managed me." Lincoln"s clear explanation that his presidential advancement on emancipation also won praise from a frequent critic, Horace Greeley. "We are known not to donate his renomination," Greeley"s April 29 editorial in the New York Tribune began, but "few males who have ever lived who can have much better explained and also commended his course and also attitude with regard to slavery than he has done in his so late letter come Mr. Hodges that Kentucky."

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Frederick Douglass responded to Lincoln’s ide that slaves escape the Confederacy in the event he fail to be reelected in November 1864

Greeley"s editorial demonstrated the Abraham Lincoln"s popular was not universal even within the Republican Party together the 1864 presidential campaign got underway. With the Union military initiative stalled on numerous fronts, v the Democrats" delay in specify name a candidate and platform, and also with emancipation being understood as a primary obstacle come a negotiated peace with the Confederates, part political advisors feared Lincoln"s opportunities for reelection and suggested in August that he take into consideration other options. In response, Lincoln also went so far as to draft instructions for a proposed peace conference, in ~ which "remaining questions" like slavery would be "left for adjustment by serene modes." ultimately Lincoln and also his cabinet determined that this course would certainly be, as Lincoln"s secretary john G. Nicolay noted, "worse than shedding the Presidential contest—it would certainly be ignominiously surrendering it in advance." as it was, Lincoln"s concern around reelection motivated him to write a secret memorandum pledging come cooperate with the president-elect to save the union prior to the in march 4, 1865, inauguration, and also discussed with Frederick Douglass to plan to aid slaves in the Confederacy escape when there was still time.

The despair of august turned to hope in September together William T. Sherman"s troops caught Atlanta, Georgia, Philip H. Sheridan progressed in the Shenandoah Valley, and the Democrats confronted their own divisions in the candidacy that George B. McClellan and also a controversial party platform. Lincoln triumphed in the November election. Back the dire plans and pledges do in August could now it is in abandoned, the procedure of ending slavery was not complete. Together a wartime measure, the status of the Emancipation Proclamation would be in concern after the war, and slavery still continued to be legal in Union-controlled locations in the Confederacy and also the border slave states in the united States. Only an amendment to the United states Constitution can end slavery irrevocably.

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Ceremonial copy of the propose Thirteenth Amendment come the U.S. Constitution, signed by Abraham Lincoln and also all members of Congress that voted for the share resolution

The United states Senate had passed a share resolution ~ above April 8, 1864, calling for an amendment come the constitution that ended slavery, however the residence of Representatives had failed to happen it. Press on Republican management in the home to happen the resolution intensified, and the resolution finally succeeded on January 31, 1865. The propose amendment proclaimed that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, other than as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist in ~ the unified States, or any type of place subject to their jurisdiction," and also authorized congress to enforce the modification with appropriate legislation. Although no legally compelled to carry out so, Lincoln personally signed the share resolution, signaling the prominence he placed on the amendment. He additionally signed number of ceremonial copies of the resolution developed in honor of the occasion. The revised was sent to the states for ratification top top February 1, and Abraham Lincoln"s home state the Illinois came to be the an initial state come ratify the suggest Thirteenth Amendment.

Abraham Lincoln did not live to see the ratification that the Thirteenth Amendment. Nineteen states had actually ratified it when he was shot by john Wilkes Booth while attending a play in ~ Ford"s Theatre top top the night the April 14, 1865. Lincoln passed away the following morning. On December 6, 1865, Georgia became the twenty-seventh state come ratify the amendment, achieving the three-fourths that the states essential to validate the amendment, which Secretary of State william H. Seward go on December 18.

The Emancipation Proclamation and also Thirteenth modification brought about by the Civil battle were vital milestones in the long procedure of ending legal enslavement in the joined States. Specifying the meaning of freedom, however, ongoing long after ~ the battle ended.

Where room the papers Now?

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“The very first Reading that the Emancipation Proclamation before the Cabinet.” Painted through F.B. Carpenter; engraved through A.H. Ritchie, 1866. Prints and Photographs Division, Library the Congress.

Many of the crucial manuscripts that record the development of the Emancipation Proclamation indigenous the very first known breeze in July 1862 come the final version that January 1, 1863 make it through today.

Abraham Lincoln"s handwritten breeze Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation of July 22, 1862 is component of the Abraham Lincoln papers at the Library of Congress. Artist Francis Bicknell Carpenter imagined the step of president Lincoln very first introducing the paper to his room in the 1864 painting First analysis of the Emancipation Proclamation, which now hangs end the west staircase of the Senate wing in the United says Capitol. Carpenter operated on the paint at the White residence for several months in 1864, and was able to consult with and also observe president Lincoln. Much more information about the paint is easily accessible online ~ above the United says Senate website. The paint was reproduced in many engravings, consisting of those created by A.H. Ritchie in 1866 (see LC-DIG-pga-02502 and LC-DIG-pga-03452).

Lincoln"s handwritten manuscript copy that the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation exterior of September 22, 1862, is hosted by the new York State Library in Albany, new York. Abraham Lincoln donated the manuscript for a raffle held at the Albany (N.Y.) Relief Bazaar sponsored by the Albany army Relief association in 1864, wherein it was won through abolitionist Gerrit Smith. The new York State Legislature to buy the manuscript in 1865, and also placed the in the brand-new York State Library. An ext information on the provenance the this document is easily accessible online External.

The official engrossed duplicates of both the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation of September 22, 1862, and the final Emancipation Proclamation the January 1, 1863, are hosted by the nationwide Archives and Records administration in Washington, D.C., as component of Record team 11, basic Records that the U.S. Government. A reproduction the the main engrossed copy the the final Emancipation Proclamation is included in the Abraham Lincoln papers at the Library the Congress.

Several documents containing comments and also corrections ~ above the final Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln solicited indigenous his room members in December 1862 have the right to be uncovered in the Abraham Lincoln records at the Library that Congress. These include the memoranda detailed to president Lincoln through Attorney basic Edward Bates, Postmaster basic Montgomery Blair, Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase, and Secretary the State wilhelm H. Seward.

The handwritten manuscript that the final Emancipation Proclamation no longer exists. In October 1863, mar A. Livermore composed to Abraham Lincoln requesting that he donate the manuscript to the Northwestern Sanitary same in Chicago, where it would be marketed to progressive money for soldiers" aid detailed by the Northwestern Branch that the United says Sanitary Commission. Mrs. Livermore hoped that the document ultimately would be donated come the Chicago Historical society for preservation. Her request was echoed through Lincoln"s associates Isaac N. Arnold and Owen Lovejoy. Lincoln believed that his name would be most remembered for having actually issued the proclamation, and as he defined to the women planning the fair, "I had actually some desire to retain the paper." "But if it shall add to the relief or comfort of the soldiers," he concluded, "that will be better," and also he sent the valuable manuscript. The manuscript copy the the final Emancipation Proclamation to be purchased in ~ the Northwestern Sanitary same by thomas Bryan, that presented it to the Soldiers" house in Chicago, rather than the Chicago historical Society. Unfortunately, the manuscript was ruined in the Chicago Fire the 1871. Fortunately, before sending the initial manuscript proclamation, Lincoln wisely had actually the paper photographed because that posterity, and also a lithographic copy is part of the Abraham Lincoln documents at the Library the Congress. Making it through photographs that the document show it generally in Lincoln"s own hand. The superscription and ending are in the hand of a clerk, and also the published insertions were reduced from the September draft.

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“Abraham Lincoln and also his Emancipation Proclamation,” Cincinnati: The Strobridge Lith. Co., 1888. Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

The last Emancipation Proclamation has actually been reproduced countless times and also in plenty of different styles and formats. In ~ the Great central Sanitary Fair organized in Philadelphia in June 1864, forty-eight limited-edition prints that the Emancipation Proclamation, signed through Lincoln, Seward, and John G. Nicolay, were available for ten dollars apiece come raise money for soldiers" aid. At the price, however, not every one of these Leland-Boker version prints sold. The Alfred Whital Stern arsenal of Lincolniana in the rare Books and Special collections Division, and the Prints & Photographs department of the Library of conference offer numerous examples the printings of the Emancipation Proclamation developed during and also after the civil War.

On December 25, 1862, Massachusetts chronicler George Livermore asked Senator Charles Sumner if he could procure the pen the Lincoln would use to authorize the final Emancipation Proclamation top top January 1, 1863. Sumner, a renowned abolitionist, placed the inquiry to president Lincoln, that agreed. In thanking Sumner because that his efforts, Livermore explained his desire because that the pen: "No trophy indigenous a battlefield, no sword red v blood, no business of plate through an inscription, as complimentary as the greatest rhetorician might compose, would have been to me fifty percent as acceptable together this instrument which will forever be linked with the greatest occasion of our country and our age." The pen external is now organized by the Massachusetts historical Society.

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To read much more about Lincoln and also Emancipation, top the "African Americans, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment" ar on the related Resources web page of the Abraham Lincoln documents online presentation.