Issued by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, the Emancipation
Proclamation declared "all persons held as slaves
within any State or designated part of a State, the people
whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States,
shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free." Although
the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery, it did
change the basic character of the Civil War. Instead of
waging a war to restore the old Union as it was before
1861, the North was now fighting to create a new Union
without slavery. The proclamation also authorized the recruitment
of African Americans as Union soldiers. By the end of the
Civil War, approximately 180,000 African Americans had
served in the Union army and 18,000 in the navy.
Congress Web Site | External Web
Sites | Selected
Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress
The complete Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 20,000 documents.
Emancipation Proclamation special presentation provides
an essay, timeline and Lincoln’s first and final
draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, as well as the
final version issued on January 1, 1863.
Major documents in this collection bearing on the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, are as follows:
- Message to Congress -- Draft, [February or March, 1862], [on federally compensated emancipation]
- Address to Border State Representatives, [July 12, 1862]
- Message to Congress -- Draft, [July 17, 1862] [on the Second Confiscation Act]
- Emancipation Proclamation -- Earliest Draft, [July 22, 1862]
- Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation - Printed Circular, [September 22, 1862]
- William H. Seward to Abraham Lincoln, December 30, 1862 [suggested revisions to Final Emancipation Proclamation -- Preliminary Draft]
- Montgomery Blair, Memorandum on Draft of Final Emancipation Proclamation, December 31, 1862 [suggested revisions to Final Emancipation Proclamation -- Preliminary Draft]
- Salmon P. Chase to Abraham Lincoln, December 31, 1862 [suggested revisions to Final Emancipation Proclamation -- Preliminary Draft]
- Edward Bates, Memorandum, December 31, 1862 [suggestions for the Emancipation Proclamation]
- Salmon P. Chase, Proposed Revision of Emancipation Proclamation, [December 30-31?, 1862]
- Abraham Lincoln, [December 30, 1862] (Final Emancipation Proclamation--Preliminary Draft)
- Abraham Lincoln, [December 30, 1862] (Final Emancipation Proclamation--Preliminary Draft with Suggested Changes)
- Abraham Lincoln, [December 30, 1862] (Final Emancipation Proclamation,--Preliminary Draft, with Suggested Changes by William Henry Seward)
- Abraham Lincoln, [December 30, 1862] (Final Emancipation Proclamation--Preliminary Draft with Changes suggested by Edward Bates, with copies: Made for Members of the Cabinet)
- Salmon P. Chase, [December 31? 1862] (Memorandum on Emancipation)
- Final Emancipation Proclamation -- Final Draft, January 1, 1863, [lithograph copy of Lincoln's manuscript]
the Abraham Lincoln Papers using the word "emancipation proclamation"
to find additional items related to the Emancipation Proclamation.
Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana
This collection contains seventy items related to
Proclamation, including government documents, broadsides,
and sheet music.
A selection of highlights from this collection includes:
Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation
This collection contains congressional publications from 1774 to 1875, including debates, bills, laws, and journals.
this collection using keywords such as "emancipation",
"slavery" and "abolition" to find
Congressional information on this this topic.
Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection
This collection presents 396 pamphlets from the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, published from 1822 through 1909, by African-American authors and others who wrote about slavery, African colonization, Emancipation, Reconstruction, and related topics.
- Freedom national. The Emancipation Proclamation vindicated. The Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States, issued January 1st, 1863, and letter of the President of the U.S. to the Union convention, holden at Springfield, (Ill.,) Sept 3d, 1863.
- The Emancipation Proclamation. Speeches of the Hon. Albert Andrus, of Franklin, and Hon. William H. Brand, of Madison, delivered in the Assembly, on the evening of March 4th, 1863, on the Hon. James Redington's resolutions in favor of a vigorous prosecution of the war, of the proclamation of freedom, and of the administration of Abraham Lincoln.
This site allows you to search and view millions of historic American newspaper pages from 1836 to 1922. Search this collection to find newspaper articles about the Emancipation Proclamation.
A selection of articles on the Emancipation Proclamation includes:
- "The Proclamation," The National Republican. (Washington, D.C.), September 30, 1862.
- "The Army and the Proclamation," Belmont Chronicle. (St. Clairsville, Ohio), October 9, 1862.
- "The Rebels Squirming Under the Emancipation Proclamation," The Nashville Daily Union. (Nashville, Tenn.), November 21, 1862.
- "The Proclamation," Daily National Republican. (Washington, D.C.), January 2, 1863.
In addition, the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room has created a series of topics guides to the newspapers included in Chronicling America, including a guide on the Emancipation Proclamation.
American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship
This exhibition showcases the African American collections
of the Library of Congress. Displays more than 240 items,
including books, government documents, manuscripts, maps,
musical scores, plays, films, and recordings. Includes
a print based on David Gilmore Blythe's painting of Lincoln
writing the Emancipation Proclamation.
Treasures of the Library of Congress - Emancipation Proclamation
This online exhibition contains Lincoln’s first
and final draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, as
well as the final version issued on January 1, 1863.
Also included is a letter that Lincoln wrote to Albert
G. Hodges in which he states “if slavery is not
wrong, nothing is wrong.”
With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial
This online exhibition commemorates the two-hundredth
anniversary of the birth of the nation’s revered
sixteenth president and includes a section on the Emancipation
President Lincoln signed an act abolishing slavery in
the District of Columbia on April 16, 1862.
The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation was issued
on September 22, 1862.
Works of Abraham Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln Association
from Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation,
1861-1867, University of Maryland
Emancipation Proclamation: An Act of Justice, National
Archives and Records Administration
Hall, The Emancipation Proclamation, National Archives
and Records Administration
Will Be Heard!” Abolitionism in America, Cornell
Lincoln and Freedom, The Lincoln Institute
Documents, The Emancipation Proclamation, National
Archives and Records Administration
Equality: Harper’s Weekly Reports on Black America,
Exhibit, The Emancipation Proclamation, New York
Burrus M. Act of Justice: Lincoln’s
Emancipation Proclamation and the Law of War. Lexington:
University Press of Kentucky, 2007. [Catalog
Brewster, Todd. Lincoln's Gamble: The Tumultuous Six Months that Gave America the Emancipation Proclamation and Changed the Course of the Civil War. New York: Scribner, 2014. [Catalog Record]
Franklin, John Hope. The Emancipation
Proclamation. Wheeling, Ill.: Harlan Davidson,
Guelzo, Allen C. Lincoln's Emancipation
Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America.
New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004. [Catalog
Holzer, Harold. Emancipating Lincoln: The Proclamation in Text, Context, and Memory. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012. [Catalog
-----, Edna Greene Medford, and Frank J. Williams.
The Emancipation Proclamation: Three
Views (Social, Political, Iconographic). Baton Rouge:
Louisiana State University Press, 2006. [Catalog
-----, and Sara Vaughn Gabbard, eds. Lincoln
and Freedom: Slavery, Emancipation, and the Thirteenth
Amendment. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University
Press, 2007. [Catalog
Klingaman, William K. Abraham Lincoln
and the Road to Emancipation, 1861-1865. New York:
Viking, 2001. [Catalog
Masur, Louis P. Lincoln's Hundred Days: The Emancipation Proclamation and the War for the Union. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012. [Catalog Record]
Carey, Charles W., Jr. The Emancipation
Proclamation. Chanhassen, Minn.: Child's World,
Heinrichs, Ann. The Emancipation
Proclamation. Minneapolis, Minn.: Compass Point
Books, 2002. [Catalog
Holford, David M. Lincoln and the
Emancipation Proclamation in American History.
Berkely Heights, N.J.: Enslow Publishers, 2002. [Catalog
Tackach, James. The Emancipation
Proclamation: Abolishing Slavery in the South.
San Diego, Calif.: Lucent Books, 1999. [Catalog