The Emancipation Proclamation, or Proclamation 95, was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. It changed the federal legal status of more than 3.5 million enslaved African Americans in the designated areas of the South from slave to free. As soon as a slave escaped the control of the Confederate government, by running away or through advances of federal troops, the former slave became free. Ultimately, the rebel surrender liberated and resulted in the proclamation's application to all of the designated former slaves. It did not cover slaves in Union areas that were freed by state action (or three years later by the 13th amendment in December 1865). It was issued as a war measure during the American Civil War, directed to all of the areas in rebellion and all segments of the executive branch (including the Army and Navy) of the United States.
The Proclamation ordered the freedom of all slaves in ten states. Because it was issued under the president's authority to suppress rebellion (war powers), it necessarily excluded areas not in rebellion, but still applied to more than 3.5 million of the 4 million slaves. The Proclamation was based on the president's constitutional authority as commander in chief of the armed forces; it was not a law passed by Congress. The Proclamation was issued in January 1863 after U.S government issued a series of warnings in the summer of 1862 under the Second Confiscation Act, allowing Southern Confederate supporters 60 days to surrender, or face confiscation of land and slaves. The Proclamation also ordered that suitable persons among those freed could be enrolled into the paid service of United States' forces, and ordered the Union Army (and all segments of the Executive branch) to "recognize and maintain the freedom of" the ex-slaves. The Proclamation did not compensate the owners, did not outlaw slavery, and did not grant citizenship to the ex-slaves (called freedmen). It made the eradication of slavery an explicit war goal, in addition to the goal of reuniting the Union.
Around 25,000 to 75,000 slaves in regions where the US Army was active were immediately emancipated. It could not be enforced in areas still under rebellion, but, as the Union army took control of Confederate regions, the Proclamation provided the legal framework for freeing more than three and a half million slaves in those regions. Prior to the Proclamation, in accordance with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, escaped slaves were either returned to their masters or held in camps as contraband for later return. The Proclamation applied only to slaves in Confederate-held lands; it did not apply to those in the four slave states that were not in rebellion (Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, and Missouri, which were unnamed), nor to Tennessee (unnamed but occupied by Union troops since 1862) and lower Louisiana (also under occupation), and specifically excluded those counties of Virginia soon to form the state of West Virginia. Also specifically excluded (by name) were some regions already controlled by the Union army. Emancipation in those places would come after separate state actions or the December 1865 ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, which made slavery and indentured servitude, except for those duly convicted of a crime, illegal everywhere subject to United States jurisdiction.
On September 22, 1862, Lincoln issued a preliminary warning that he would order the emancipation of all slaves in any state that did not end its rebellion against the Union by January 1, 1863. None of the Confederate states restored themselves to the Union, and Lincoln's order was signed and took effect on January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation outraged white Southerners (and their sympathizers) who envisioned a race war. It angered some Northern Democrats, energized anti-slavery forces, and undermined elements in Europe that wanted to intervene to help the Confederacy. The Proclamation lifted the spirits of African Americans both free and slave. It led many slaves to escape from their masters and get to Union lines to obtain their freedom, and to join the Union Army.
The Emancipation Proclamation broadened the goals of the Civil War. While slavery had been a major issue that led to the war, Lincoln's only mission at the start of the war was to maintain the Union. The Proclamation made freeing the slaves an explicit goal of the Union war effort. Establishing the abolition of slavery as one of the two primary war goals served to deter intervention by Britain and France. The Emancipation Proclamation was never challenged in court. To ensure the abolition of slavery in all of the U.S., Lincoln pushed for passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, and insisted that Reconstruction plans for Southern states require abolition in new state constitutions. Congress passed the 13th Amendment by the necessary two-thirds vote on January 31, 1865, and it was ratified by the states on December 6, 1865, ending legal slavery.
Henry Lewis Stephens, untitled watercolor (c. 1863) of a black man reading a newspaper with headline "Presidential Proclamation/Slavery".
|Executive Order number||unnumbered|
|Signed by||Abraham Lincoln on 22 September 1862|
The United States Constitution of 1787 did not use the word "slavery" but included several provisions about unfree persons. The Three-Fifths Compromise (in Article I, Section 2) allocated Congressional representation based "on the whole Number of free Persons" and "three fifths of all other Persons". Under the Fugitive Slave Clause (Article IV, Section 2), "[n]o person held to service or labour in one state" would be freed by escaping to another. Article I, Section 9 allowed Congress to pass legislation to outlaw the "Importation of Persons", but not until 1808. However, for purposes of the Fifth Amendment—which states that, "No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"—slaves were understood as property. Although abolitionists used the Fifth Amendment to argue against slavery, it became part of the legal basis for treating slaves as property with Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857). Socially, slavery was also supported in law and in practice by a pervasive culture of white supremacy. Nonetheless, between 1777 and 1804, every Northern state provided for the immediate or gradual abolition of slavery, except the border states of Maryland and Delaware. Maryland did not abolish slavery until 1864, and Delaware was one of the last states to hold onto slavery; it was still legal in Delaware when the thirteenth amendment was issued. No Southern state did so, and the slave population of the South continued to grow, peaking at almost four million people at the beginning of the American Civil War, when most slave states sought to break away from the United States.
Lincoln understood that the Federal government's power to end slavery in peacetime was limited by the Constitution which before 1865, committed the issue to individual states. Against the background of the American Civil War, however, Lincoln issued the Proclamation under his authority as "Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy" under Article II, section 2 of the United States Constitution. As such, he claimed to have the martial power to free persons held as slaves in those states that were in rebellion "as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion". He did not have Commander-in-Chief authority over the four slave-holding states that were not in rebellion: Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware, and so those states were not named in the Proclamation. The fifth border jurisdiction, West Virginia, where slavery remained legal but was in the process of being abolished, was, in January 1863, still part of the legally recognized, "reorganized" state of Virginia, based in Alexandria, which was in the Union (as opposed to the Confederate state of Virginia, based in Richmond).
The Proclamation applied in the ten states that were still in rebellion in 1863, and thus did not cover the nearly 500,000 slaves in the slave-holding border states (Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland or Delaware) which were Union states. Those slaves were freed by later separate state and federal actions.
The state of Tennessee had already mostly returned to Union control, under a recognized Union government, so it was not named and was exempted. Virginia was named, but exemptions were specified for the 48 counties then in the process of forming the new state of West Virginia, and seven additional counties and two cities in the Union-controlled Tidewater region. Also specifically exempted were New Orleans and 13 named parishes of Louisiana, which were mostly under federal control at the time of the Proclamation. These exemptions left unemancipated an additional 300,000 slaves.
The Emancipation Proclamation has been ridiculed, notably in an influential passage by Richard Hofstadter for "freeing" only the slaves over which the Union had no power. These slaves were freed due to Lincoln's "war powers". This act cleared up the issue of contraband slaves. It automatically clarified the status of over 100,000 now-former slaves. Some 20,000 to 50,000 slaves were freed the day it went into effect in parts of nine of the ten states to which it applied (Texas being the exception). In every Confederate state (except Tennessee and Texas), the Proclamation went into immediate effect in Union-occupied areas and at least 20,000 slaves were freed at once on January 1, 1863.
The Proclamation provided the legal framework for the emancipation of nearly all four million slaves as the Union armies advanced, and committed the Union to ending slavery, which was a controversial decision even in the North. Hearing of the Proclamation, more slaves quickly escaped to Union lines as the Army units moved South. As the Union armies advanced through the Confederacy, thousands of slaves were freed each day until nearly all (approximately 3.9 million, according to the 1860 Census) were freed by July 1865.
While the Proclamation had freed most slaves as a war measure, it had not made slavery illegal. Of the states that were exempted from the Proclamation, Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee, and West Virginia prohibited slavery before the war ended. In 1863, President Lincoln proposed a moderate plan for the Reconstruction of the captured Confederate State of Louisiana. Only 10% of the state's electorate had to take the loyalty oath. The state was also required to abolish slavery in its new constitution. Identical Reconstruction plans would be adopted in Arkansas and Tennessee. By December 1864, the Lincoln plan abolishing slavery had been enacted in Louisiana. However, in Delaware and Kentucky, slavery continued to be legal until December 18, 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment went into effect.
The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 required individuals to return runaway slaves to their owners. During the war, Union generals such as Benjamin Butler declared that slaves in occupied areas were contraband of war and accordingly refused to return them. This decision was controversial because it implied recognition of the Confederacy as a separate, independent sovereign state under international law, a notion that Lincoln steadfastly denied. As a result, he did not promote the contraband designation. In addition, as contraband, these people were legally designated as "property" when they crossed Union lines and their ultimate status was uncertain.
In December 1861, Lincoln sent his first annual message to Congress (the State of the Union Address, but then typically given in writing and not referred to as such). In it he praised the free labor system, as respecting human rights over property rights; he endorsed legislation to address the status of contraband slaves and slaves in loyal states, possibly through buying their freedom with federal taxes, and also the funding of strictly voluntary colonization efforts. In January 1862, Thaddeus Stevens, the Republican leader in the House, called for total war against the rebellion to include emancipation of slaves, arguing that emancipation, by forcing the loss of enslaved labor, would ruin the rebel economy. On March 13, 1862, Congress approved a "Law Enacting an Additional Article of War", which stated that from that point onward it was forbidden for Union Army officers to return fugitive slaves to their owners. On April 10, 1862, Congress declared that the federal government would compensate slave owners who freed their slaves. Slaves in the District of Columbia were freed on April 16, 1862, and their owners were compensated.
On June 19, 1862, Congress prohibited slavery in all current and future United States territories (though not in the states), and President Lincoln quickly signed the legislation. By this act, they repudiated the 1857 opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States in the Dred Scott Case that Congress was powerless to regulate slavery in U.S. territories. This joint action by Congress and President Lincoln also rejected the notion of popular sovereignty that had been advanced by Stephen A. Douglas as a solution to the slavery controversy, while completing the effort first legislatively proposed by Thomas Jefferson in 1784 to confine slavery within the borders of existing states.
In July, Congress passed and Lincoln signed the Confiscation Act of 1862, containing provisions for court proceedings to liberate slaves held by convicted "rebels", or of slaves of rebels that had escaped to Union lines. The Act applied in cases of criminal convictions and to those who were slaves of "disloyal" masters. However, Lincoln's position continued to be that Congress lacked power to free all slaves within the borders of rebel held states, but Lincoln as commander in chief could do so if he deemed it a proper military measure, and that Lincoln had already drafted plans to do.
Abolitionists had long been urging Lincoln to free all slaves. In the summer of 1862, Republican editor Horace Greeley of the highly influential New York Tribune wrote a famous editorial entitled "The Prayer of Twenty Millions" demanding a more aggressive attack on the Confederacy and faster emancipation of the slaves: "On the face of this wide earth, Mr. President, there is not one ... intelligent champion of the Union cause who does not feel ... that the rebellion, if crushed tomorrow, would be renewed if slavery were left in full vigor and that every hour of deference to slavery is an hour of added and deepened peril to the Union." Lincoln responded in his Letter To Horace Greeley from August 22, 1862, in terms of the limits imposed by his duty as president to save the Union:
If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.... I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.
Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer wrote in this context about Lincoln's letter: "Unknown to Greeley, Lincoln composed this after he had already drafted a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which he had determined to issue after the next Union military victory. Therefore, this letter, was in truth, an attempt to position the impending announcement in terms of saving the Union, not freeing slaves as a humanitarian gesture. It was one of Lincoln's most skillful public relations efforts, even if it has cast longstanding doubt on his sincerity as a liberator." Historian Richard Striner argues that "for years" Lincoln's letter has been misread as "Lincoln only wanted to save the Union." However, within the context of Lincoln's entire career and pronouncements on slavery this interpretation is wrong, according to Striner. Rather, Lincoln was softening the strong Northern white supremacist opposition to his imminent emancipation by tying it to the cause of the Union. This opposition would fight for the Union but not to end slavery, so Lincoln gave them the means and motivation to do both, at the same time. In his 2014 book, Lincoln's Gamble, journalist and historian Todd Brewster asserted that Lincoln's desire to reassert the saving of the Union as his sole war goal was in fact crucial to his claim of legal authority for emancipation. Since slavery was protected by the Constitution, the only way that he could free the slaves was as a tactic of war—not as the mission itself. But that carried the risk that when the war ended, so would the justification for freeing the slaves. Late in 1862, Lincoln asked his Attorney General, Edward Bates, for an opinion as to whether slaves freed through a war-related proclamation of emancipation could be re-enslaved once the war was over. Bates had to work through the language of the Dred Scott decision to arrive at an answer, but he finally concluded that they could indeed remain free. Still, a complete end to slavery would require a constitutional amendment.
Conflicting advice, to free all slaves, or not free them at all, was presented to Lincoln in public and private. Thomas Nast, a cartoon artist during the Civil War and the late 1800s considered "Father of the American Cartoon", composed many works including a two-sided spread that showed the transition from slavery into civilization after President Lincoln signed the Proclamation. Nast believed in equal opportunity and equality for all people, including enslaved Africans or free blacks. A mass rally in Chicago on September 7, 1862, demanded an immediate and universal emancipation of slaves. A delegation headed by William W. Patton met the president at the White House on September 13. Lincoln had declared in peacetime that he had no constitutional authority to free the slaves. Even used as a war power, emancipation was a risky political act. Public opinion as a whole was against it. There would be strong opposition among Copperhead Democrats and an uncertain reaction from loyal border states. Delaware and Maryland already had a high percentage of free blacks: 91.2% and 49.7%, respectively, in 1860.
Lincoln first discussed the proclamation with his cabinet in July 1862. He drafted his "preliminary proclamation" and read it to Secretary of State William Seward, and Secretary of Navy Gideon Welles, on July 13. Seward and Welles were at first speechless, then Seward referred to possible anarchy throughout the South and resulting foreign intervention; Welles apparently said nothing. On July 22, Lincoln presented it to his entire cabinet as something he had determined to do and he asked their opinion on wording. Although Secretary of War Edwin Stanton supported it, Seward advised Lincoln to issue the proclamation after a major Union victory, or else it would appear as if the Union was giving "its last shriek of retreat".
In September 1862, the Battle of Antietam gave Lincoln the victory he needed to issue the Emancipation. In the battle, though the Union suffered heavier losses than the Confederates and General McClellan allowed the escape of Robert E. Lee's retreating troops, Union forces turned back a Confederate invasion of Maryland. On September 22, 1862, five days after Antietam occurred, and while living at the Soldier's Home, Lincoln called his cabinet into session and issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. According to Civil War historian James M. McPherson, Lincoln told Cabinet members that he had made a covenant with God, that if the Union drove the Confederacy out of Maryland, he would issue the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln had first shown an early draft of the proclamation to Vice President Hannibal Hamlin, an ardent abolitionist, who was more often kept in the dark on presidential decisions. The final proclamation was issued January 1, 1863. Although implicitly granted authority by Congress, Lincoln used his powers as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, "as a necessary war measure" as the basis of the proclamation, rather than the equivalent of a statute enacted by Congress or a constitutional amendment. Some days after issuing the final Proclamation, Lincoln wrote to Major General John McClernand: "After the commencement of hostilities I struggled nearly a year and a half to get along without touching the "institution"; and when finally I conditionally determined to touch it, I gave a hundred days fair notice of my purpose, to all the States and people, within which time they could have turned it wholly aside, by simply again becoming good citizens of the United States. They chose to disregard it, and I made the peremptory proclamation on what appeared to me to be a military necessity. And being made, it must stand."
Initially, the Emancipation Proclamation effectively freed only a small percentage of the slaves, those who were behind Union lines in areas not exempted. Most slaves were still behind Confederate lines or in exempted Union-occupied areas. Secretary of State William H. Seward commented, "We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free." Had any slave state ended its secession attempt before January 1, 1863, it could have kept slavery, at least temporarily. The Proclamation only gave the Lincoln Administration the legal basis to free the slaves in the areas of the South that were still in rebellion on January 1, 1863. It effectively destroyed slavery as the Union armies advanced south and conquered the entire Confederacy.
The Emancipation Proclamation also allowed for the enrollment of freed slaves into the United States military. During the war nearly 200,000 blacks, most of them ex-slaves, joined the Union Army. Their contributions gave the North additional manpower that was significant in winning the war. The Confederacy did not allow slaves in their army as soldiers until the last month before its defeat.
Though the counties of Virginia that were soon to form West Virginia were specifically exempted from the Proclamation (Jefferson County being the only exception), a condition of the state's admittance to the Union was that its constitution provide for the gradual abolition of slavery (an immediate emancipation of all slaves was also adopted there in early 1865). Slaves in the border states of Maryland and Missouri were also emancipated by separate state action before the Civil War ended. In Maryland, a new state constitution abolishing slavery in the state went into effect on November 1, 1864. The Union-occupied counties of eastern Virginia and parishes of Louisiana, which had been exempted from the Proclamation, both adopted state constitutions that abolished slavery in April 1864. In early 1865, Tennessee adopted an amendment to its constitution prohibiting slavery. Slaves in Kentucky and Delaware were not emancipated until the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified.
The Proclamation was issued in two parts. The first part, issued on September 22, 1862, was a preliminary announcement outlining the intent of the second part, which officially went into effect 100 days later on January 1, 1863, during the second year of the Civil War. It was Abraham Lincoln's declaration that all slaves would be permanently freed in all areas of the Confederacy that had not already returned to federal control by January 1863. The ten affected states were individually named in the second part (South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina). Not included were the Union slave states of Maryland, Delaware, Missouri and Kentucky. Also not named was the state of Tennessee, in which a Union-controlled military government had already been set up, based in the capital, Nashville. Specific exemptions were stated for areas also under Union control on January 1, 1863, namely 48 counties that would soon become West Virginia, seven other named counties of Virginia including Berkeley and Hampshire counties, which were soon added to West Virginia, New Orleans and 13 named parishes nearby.
Union-occupied areas of the Confederate states where the proclamation was put into immediate effect by local commanders included Winchester, Virginia, Corinth, Mississippi, the Sea Islands along the coasts of the Carolinas and Georgia, Key West, Florida, and Port Royal, South Carolina.
It has been inaccurately claimed that the Emancipation Proclamation did not free a single slave; historian Lerone Bennett, Jr. alleged that the proclamation was a hoax deliberately designed not to free any slaves. However, as a result of the Proclamation, many slaves were freed during the course of the war, beginning with the day it took effect; eyewitness accounts at places such as Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and Port Royal, South Carolina record celebrations on January 1 as thousands of blacks were informed of their new legal status of freedom. Estimates of how many thousands of slaves were freed immediately by the Emancipation Proclamation are varied. One contemporary estimate put the 'contraband' population of Union-occupied North Carolina at 10,000, and the Sea Islands of South Carolina also had a substantial population. Those 20,000 slaves were freed immediately by the Emancipation Proclamation." This Union-occupied zone where freedom began at once included parts of eastern North Carolina, the Mississippi Valley, northern Alabama, the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, a large part of Arkansas, and the Sea Islands of Georgia and South Carolina. Although some counties of Union-occupied Virginia were exempted from the Proclamation, the lower Shenandoah Valley, and the area around Alexandria were covered. Emancipation was immediately enforced as Union soldiers advanced into the Confederacy. Slaves fled their masters and were often assisted by Union soldiers.
As the great day drew nearer, there was more singing in the slave quarters than usual. It was bolder, had more ring, and lasted later into the night. Most of the verses of the plantation songs had some reference to freedom. ... Some man who seemed to be a stranger (a United States officer, I presume) made a little speech and then read a rather long paper—the Emancipation Proclamation, I think. After the reading we were told that we were all free, and could go when and where we pleased. My mother, who was standing by my side, leaned over and kissed her children, while tears of joy ran down her cheeks. She explained to us what it all meant, that this was the day for which she had been so long praying, but fearing that she would never live to see.
Emancipation took place without violence by masters or ex-slaves. The Proclamation represented a shift in the war objectives of the North—reuniting the nation was no longer the only goal. It represented a major step toward the ultimate abolition of slavery in the United States and a "new birth of freedom".
Runaway slaves who had escaped to Union lines had previously been held by the Union Army as "contraband of war" under the Confiscation Acts; when the proclamation took effect, they were told at midnight that they were free to leave. The Sea Islands off the coast of Georgia had been occupied by the Union Navy earlier in the war. The whites had fled to the mainland while the blacks stayed. An early program of Reconstruction was set up for the former slaves, including schools and training. Naval officers read the proclamation and told them they were free.
Slaves had been part of the "engine of war" for the Confederacy. They produced and prepared food; sewed uniforms; repaired railways; worked on farms and in factories, shipping yards, and mines; built fortifications; and served as hospital workers and common laborers. News of the Proclamation spread rapidly by word of mouth, arousing hopes of freedom, creating general confusion, and encouraging thousands to escape to Union lines. George Washington Albright, a teenage slave in Mississippi, recalled that like many of his fellow slaves, his father escaped to join Union forces. According to Albright, plantation owners tried to keep the Proclamation from slaves but news of it came through the "grapevine". The young slave became a "runner" for an informal group they called the 4Ls ("Lincoln's Legal Loyal League") bringing news of the proclamation to secret slave meetings at plantations throughout the region.
Robert E. Lee saw the Emancipation Proclamation as a way for the Union to bolster the number of soldiers it could place on the field, making it imperative for the Confederacy to increase their own numbers. Writing on the matter after the sack of Fredericksburg, Lee wrote "In view of the vast increase of the forces of the enemy, of the savage and brutal policy he has proclaimed, which leaves us no alternative but success or degradation worse than death, if we would save the honor of our families from pollution, our social system from destruction, let every effort be made, every means be employed, to fill and maintain the ranks of our armies, until God, in his mercy, shall bless us with the establishment of our independence." Lee's request for a drastic increase of troops would go unfulfilled.
The Proclamation was immediately denounced by Copperhead Democrats who opposed the war and advocated restoring the union by allowing slavery. Horatio Seymour, while running for the governorship of New York, cast the Emancipation Proclamation as a call for slaves to commit extreme acts of violence on all white southerners, saying it was "a proposal for the butchery of women and children, for scenes of lust and rapine, and of arson and murder, which would invoke the interference of civilized Europe". The Copperheads also saw the Proclamation as an unconstitutional abuse of presidential power. Editor Henry A. Reeves wrote in Greenport's Republican Watchman that "In the name of freedom of Negroes, [the proclamation] imperils the liberty of white men; to test a utopian theory of equality of races which Nature, History and Experience alike condemn as monstrous, it overturns the Constitution and Civil Laws and sets up Military Usurpation in their Stead."
Racism remained pervasive on both sides of the conflict and many in the North supported the war only as an effort to force the South to stay in the Union. The promises of many Republican politicians that the war was to restore the Union and not about black rights or ending slavery, were now declared lies by their opponents citing the Proclamation. Copperhead David Allen spoke to a rally in Columbiana, Ohio, stating, "I have told you that this war is carried on for the Negro. There is the proclamation of the President of the United States. Now fellow Democrats I ask you if you are going to be forced into a war against your Brithren of the Southern States for the Negro. I answer No!" The Copperheads saw the Proclamation as irrefutable proof of their position and the beginning of a political rise for their members; in Connecticut, H. B. Whiting wrote that the truth was now plain even to "those stupid thick-headed persons who persisted in thinking that the President was a conservative man and that the war was for the restoration of the Union under the Constitution".
War Democrats who rejected the Copperhead position within their party, found themselves in a quandary. While throughout the war they had continued to espouse the racist positions of their party and their disdain of the concerns of slaves, they did see the Proclamation as a viable military tool against the South, and worried that opposing it might demoralize troops in the Union army. The question would continue to trouble them and eventually lead to a split within their party as the war progressed.
Lincoln further alienated many in the Union two days after issuing the preliminary copy of the Emancipation Proclamation by suspending habeas corpus. His opponents linked these two actions in their claims that he was becoming a despot. In light of this and a lack of military success for the Union armies, many War Democrat voters who had previously supported Lincoln turned against him and joined the Copperheads in the off-year elections held in October and November.
In the 1862 elections, the Democrats gained 28 seats in the House as well as the governorship of New York. Lincoln's friend Orville Hickman Browning told the president that the Proclamation and the suspension of habeas corpus had been "disastrous" for his party by handing the Democrats so many weapons. Lincoln made no response. Copperhead William Javis of Connecticut pronounced the election the "beginning of the end of the utter downfall of Abolitionism in the United States".
Historians James M. McPherson and Allan Nevins state that though the results looked very troubling, they could be seen favorably by Lincoln; his opponents did well only in their historic strongholds and "at the national level their gains in the House were the smallest of any minority party's in an off-year election in nearly a generation. Michigan, California, and Iowa all went Republican.... Moreover, the Republicans picked up five seats in the Senate." McPherson states "If the election was in any sense a referendum on emancipation and on Lincoln's conduct of the war, a majority of Northern voters endorsed these policies."
The initial Confederate response was one of expected outrage. The Proclamation was seen as vindication for the rebellion, and proof that Lincoln would have abolished slavery even if the states had remained in the Union. In an August 1863 letter to President Lincoln, U.S. Army general Ulysses S. Grant observed that the Proclamation, combined with the usage of black soldiers by the U.S. Army, profoundly angered the Confederacy, saying that "the emancipation of the Negro, is the heaviest blow yet given the Confederacy. The South rave a great deal about it and profess to be very angry." A few months after the Proclamation took effect, the Confederacy passed a law in May 1863 demanding "full and ample retaliation" against the U.S. for such measures. The Confederacy stated that the black U.S. soldiers captured while fighting against the Confederacy would be tried as slave insurrectionists in civil courts—a capital offense with automatic sentence of death. Less than a year after the law's passage, the Confederates massacred black U.S. soldiers at Fort Pillow.
However, some Confederates welcomed the Proclamation, as they believed it would strengthen pro-slavery sentiment in the Confederacy and, thus, lead to greater enlistment of white men into the Confederate army. According to one Confederate man from Kentucky, "The Proclamation is worth three hundred thousand soldiers to our Government at least... It shows exactly what this war was brought about for and the intention of its damnable authors." Even some Union soldiers concurred with this view and expressed reservations about the Proclamation, not on principle, but rather because they were afraid it would increase the Confederacy's determination to fight on and maintain slavery. One Union soldier from New York stated worryingly after the Proclamation's passage, "I know enough of the Southern spirit that I think they will fight for the institution of slavery even to extermination."
As a result of the Proclamation, the price of slaves in the Confederacy increased in the months after its issuance, with one Confederate from South Carolina opining in 1865 that "now is the time for Uncle to buy some negro women and children."
As Lincoln had hoped, the Proclamation turned foreign popular opinion in favor of the Union by gaining the support of anti-slavery countries and countries that had already abolished slavery (especially the developed countries in Europe such as Great Britain or France). This shift ended the Confederacy's hopes of gaining official recognition.
Since the Emancipation Proclamation made the eradication of slavery an explicit Union war goal, it linked support for the South to support for slavery. Public opinion in Britain would not tolerate direct support for slavery. British companies, however, continued to build and operate blockade runners for the South. As Henry Adams noted, "The Emancipation Proclamation has done more for us than all our former victories and all our diplomacy." In Italy, Giuseppe Garibaldi hailed Lincoln as "the heir of the aspirations of John Brown". On August 6, 1863, Garibaldi wrote to Lincoln: "Posterity will call you the great emancipator, a more enviable title than any crown could be, and greater than any merely mundane treasure".
Mayor Abel Haywood, a representative for workers from Manchester, England, wrote to Lincoln saying, "We joyfully honor you for many decisive steps toward practically exemplifying your belief in the words of your great founders: 'All men are created free and equal.'" The Emancipation Proclamation served to ease tensions with Europe over the North's conduct of the war, and combined with the recent failed Southern offensive at Antietam, to cut off any practical chance for the Confederacy to receive British support in the war.
Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in November 1863 made indirect reference to the Proclamation and the ending of slavery as a war goal with the phrase "new birth of freedom". The Proclamation solidified Lincoln's support among the rapidly growing abolitionist element of the Republican Party and ensured that they would not block his re-nomination in 1864.
In December 1863, Lincoln issued his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, which dealt with the ways the rebel states could reconcile with the Union. Key provisions required that the states accept the Emancipation Proclamation and thus the freedom of their slaves, and accept the Confiscation Acts, as well as the Act banning of slavery in United States territories.
Near the end of the war, abolitionists were concerned that the Emancipation Proclamation would be construed solely as a war measure, Lincoln's original intent, and would no longer apply once fighting ended. They were also increasingly anxious to secure the freedom of all slaves, not just those freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. Thus pressed, Lincoln staked a large part of his 1864 presidential campaign on a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery uniformly throughout the United States. Lincoln's campaign was bolstered by separate votes in both Maryland and Missouri to abolish slavery in those states. Maryland's new constitution abolishing slavery took effect in November 1864. Slavery in Missouri was ended by executive proclamation of its governor, Thomas C. Fletcher, on January 11, 1865.
Winning re-election, Lincoln pressed the lame duck 38th Congress to pass the proposed amendment immediately rather than wait for the incoming 39th Congress to convene. In January 1865, Congress sent to the state legislatures for ratification what became the Thirteenth Amendment, banning slavery in all U.S. states and territories. The amendment was ratified by the legislatures of enough states by December 6, 1865, and proclaimed 12 days later. There were about 40,000 slaves in Kentucky and 1,000 in Delaware who were liberated then.
As the years went on and American life continued to be deeply unfair towards blacks, cynicism towards Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation increased. Perhaps the strongest attack was Lerone Bennett's Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln's White Dream (2000), which claimed that Lincoln was a white supremacist who issued the Emancipation Proclamation in lieu of the real racial reforms for which radical abolitionists pushed. In his Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, Allen C. Guelzo noted the professional historians' lack of substantial respect for the document, since it has been the subject of few major scholarly studies. He argued that Lincoln was the US's "last Enlightenment politician" and as such was dedicated to removing slavery strictly within the bounds of law.
Other historians have given more credit to Lincoln for what he accomplished within the tensions of his cabinet and a society at war, for his own growth in political and moral stature, and for the promise he held out to the slaves. More might have been accomplished if he had not been assassinated. As Eric Foner wrote:
Lincoln was not an abolitionist or Radical Republican, a point Bennett reiterates innumerable times. He did not favor immediate abolition before the war, and held racist views typical of his time. But he was also a man of deep convictions when it came to slavery, and during the Civil War displayed a remarkable capacity for moral and political growth.
Kal Ashraf wrote:
Perhaps in rejecting the critical dualism–Lincoln as individual emancipator pitted against collective self-emancipators–there is an opportunity to recognise the greater persuasiveness of the combination. In a sense, yes: a racist, flawed Lincoln did something heroic, and not in lieu of collective participation, but next to, and enabled, by it. To venerate a singular –Great Emancipator' may be as reductive as dismissing the significance of Lincoln's actions. Who he was as a man, no one of us can ever really know. So it is that the version of Lincoln we keep is also the version we make.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made many references to the Emancipation Proclamation during the civil rights movement. These include a speech made at an observance of the hundredth anniversary of the issuing of the Proclamation made in New York City on September 12, 1962 where he placed it alongside the Declaration of Independence as an "imperishable" contribution to civilization, and "All tyrants, past, present and future, are powerless to bury the truths in these declarations". He lamented that despite a history where the United States "proudly professed the basic principles inherent in both documents", it "sadly practiced the antithesis of these principles". He concluded "There is but one way to commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation. That is to make its declarations of freedom real; to reach back to the origins of our nation when our message of equality electrified an unfree world, and reaffirm democracy by deeds as bold and daring as the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation."
King's most famous invocation of the Emancipation Proclamation was in a speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (often referred to as the "I Have a Dream" speech). King began the speech saying "Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination."
In the early 1960s, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his associates developed a strategy to call on President John F. Kennedy to bypass a Southern segregationist opposition in the Congress by issuing an executive order to put an end to segregation. This envisioned document was referred to as the "Second Emancipation Proclamation".
On June 11, 1963, President Kennedy appeared on national television to address the issue of civil rights. Kennedy, who had been routinely criticized as timid by some of the leaders of the civil rights movement, told Americans that two black students had been peacefully enrolled in the University of Alabama with the aid of the National Guard despite the opposition of Governor George Wallace.
John Kennedy called it a "moral issue" Invoking the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation he said
In the same speech, Kennedy announced he would introduce comprehensive civil rights legislation to the United States Congress which he did a week later (he continued to push for its passage until his assassination in November 1963). Historian Peniel E. Joseph holds Lyndon Johnson's ability to get that bill, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, passed on July 2, 1964 was aided by "the moral forcefulness of the June 11 speech" which turned "the narrative of civil rights from a regional issue into a national story promoting racial equality and democratic renewal".
As Vice President while speaking from Gettysburg on May 30, 1963 (Memorial Day), at the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, Johnson connected it directly with the ongoing civil rights struggles of the time saying "One hundred years ago, the slave was freed. One hundred years later, the Negro remains in bondage to the color of his skin.... In this hour, it is not our respective races which are at stake—it is our nation. Let those who care for their country come forward, North and South, white and Negro, to lead the way through this moment of challenge and decision.... Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with color of men's skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact. To the extent that the proclamation of emancipation is not fulfilled in fact, to that extent we shall have fallen short of assuring freedom to the free."
As president, Johnson again invoked the proclamation in a speech presenting the Voting Rights Act at a joint session of Congress on Monday, March 15, 1965. This was one week after violence had been inflicted on peaceful civil rights marchers during the Selma to Montgomery marches. Johnson said "... it's not just Negroes, but really it's all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome. As a man whose roots go deeply into Southern soil, I know how agonizing racial feelings are. I know how difficult it is to reshape the attitudes and the structure of our society. But a century has passed—more than 100 years—since the Negro was freed. And he is not fully free tonight. It was more than 100 years ago that Abraham Lincoln—a great President of another party—signed the Emancipation Proclamation. But emancipation is a proclamation and not a fact. A century has passed—more than 100 years—since equality was promised, and yet the Negro is not equal. A century has passed since the day of promise, and the promise is unkept. The time of justice has now come, and I tell you that I believe sincerely that no force can hold it back. It is right in the eyes of man and God that it should come, and when it does, I think that day will brighten the lives of every American."
In episode 86 of The Andy Griffith Show, Andy asks Barney to explain the Emancipation Proclamation to Opie who is struggling with history at school. Barney brags about his history expertise, yet it is apparent he cannot answer Andy's question. He finally becomes frustrated and explains it is a proclamation for certain people who wanted emancipation.
In South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, Chef asks the military commander if he has "ever heard of the Emancipation Proclamation?" To which the military commander replies: "I dont listen to hip-hop."
The Emancipation Proclamation is celebrated around the world including on stamps of nations such as the Republic of Togo. The United States commemorative was issued on August 16, 1963, the opening day of the Century of Negro Progress Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. Designed by Georg Olden, an initial printing of 120 million stamps was authorized.
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I have given the subject of arming the Negro my hearty support. This, with the emancipation of the Negro, is the heaviest blow yet given the Confederacy. The South rave a greatdeel about it and profess to be very angry.
The Proclamation is worth three hundred thousand soldiers to our Government at least... It shows exactly what this war was brought about for and the intention of its damnable authors.
I know enough of the Southern spirit that I think they will fight for the institution of slavery even to extermination.
[N]ow is the time for Uncle to buy some negro women and children.
The 140th Anniversary Celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation was a national campaign to honor, celebrate, and commemorate January 1, 2003, as the 140th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, by United States President Abraham Lincoln.1863 State of the Union Address
The 1863 State of the Union Address was written by the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and delivered to the United States Congress, on Tuesday, December 8, 1863, amid the ongoing American Civil War. He said, "The efforts of disloyal citizens of the United States to involve us in foreign wars to aid an inexcusable insurrection have been unavailing," referring to the citizens of the Confederate States of America, and their failed efforts to bring the Emperor of France, Napoleon III, or the British Monarch, Queen Victoria, onto their side. He ended with, "The movements by State action for emancipation in several of the States not included in the emancipation proclamation are matters of profound gratulation."Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Thomas Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American statesman, politician, and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War, its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. He preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the U.S. economy.
Born in Kentucky, Lincoln grew up on the frontier in a poor family. Self-educated, he became a lawyer, Whig Party leader, state legislator and Congressman. He left government to resume his law practice, but angered by the success of Democrats in opening the prairie lands to slavery, reentered politics in 1854. He became a leader in the new Republican Party and gained national attention in 1858 for debating and losing to national Democratic leader Stephen A. Douglas in a Senate campaign. He then ran for President in 1860, sweeping the North and winning. Southern pro-slavery elements took his win as proof that the North was rejecting the Constitutional rights of Southern states to practice slavery. They began the process of seceding from the union. To secure its independence, the new Confederate States of America fired on Fort Sumter, one of the few U.S. forts in the South. Lincoln called up volunteers and militia to suppress the rebellion and restore the Union.
As the leader of the moderate faction of the Republican Party, Lincoln confronted Radical Republicans, who demanded harsher treatment of the South; War Democrats, who rallied a large faction of former opponents into his camp; anti-war Democrats (called Copperheads), who despised him; and irreconcilable secessionists, who plotted his assassination. Lincoln fought the factions by pitting them against each other, by carefully distributing political patronage, and by appealing to the American people. His Gettysburg Address became an iconic call for nationalism, republicanism, equal rights, liberty, and democracy. He suspended habeas corpus, and he averted British intervention by defusing the Trent Affair. Lincoln closely supervised the war effort, including the selection of generals and the naval blockade that shut down the South's trade. As the war progressed, he maneuvered to end slavery, issuing the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863; ordering the Army to protect escaped slaves, encouraging border states to outlaw slavery, and pushing through Congress the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which outlawed slavery across the country.
Lincoln managed his own re-election campaign. He sought to reconcile his damaged nation by avoiding retribution against the secessionists. A few days after the Battle of Appomattox Court House, he was shot by John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, on April 14, 1865, and died the following day. Abraham Lincoln is remembered as the United States' martyr hero. He is consistently ranked both by scholars and the public as among the greatest U.S. presidents.Abraham Lincoln and slavery
Abraham Lincoln's position on slavery is one of the most discussed aspects of his life. Lincoln often expressed moral opposition to slavery in public and private. Initially, he attempted to bring about the eventual extinction of slavery by stopping its further expansion into any U.S. territory and by proposing compensated emancipation (an offer Congress applied to Washington, D.C.) in the early part of his presidency. Lincoln stood by the Republican Party's platform of 1860 stating that slavery should not be allowed to expand into any more U.S. territories. He worried that the extension of slavery in new western lands could block "free labor on free soil."As early as the 1850s, Lincoln had been politically attacked as an abolitionist. Howard Jones says that "in the prewar period, as well as into the first months of the American Civil War itself....Lincoln believed it prudent to administer a slow death to slavery through gradual emancipation and voluntary colonization rather than to follow the abolitionist and demanding an immediate end to slavery without compensation to owners." In 1863, Lincoln ordered the freedom of all slaves in the areas "in rebellion" (the Confederacy) and insisted on enforcement freeing millions of slaves, but he did not call for the immediate end of slavery everywhere in the U.S. until the proposed 13th Amendment became part of his party platform for the 1864 election.In 1842, Abraham Lincoln had married Mary Todd, who was a daughter of a slave-owning family from Kentucky. Lincoln returned to the political stage as a result of the 1854 Kansas–Nebraska Act and soon became a leading opponent of the "Slaveocracy"—the political power of the Southern slave owners. The Kansas–Nebraska Act, written to form the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, included language, designed by Stephen A. Douglas, which allowed the settlers to decide whether they would or would not accept slavery in their region. Lincoln was outraged by the repeal of the 1820 Missouri Compromise, which had outlawed slavery above the 36-30' parallel.
During the Civil War, Lincoln used the war powers of the presidency to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, in January 1863. (He had warned in September 1862 he would do so if the Confederate states did not return). It 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" but exempted border states and those areas of slave states not in rebellion and therefore beyond the reach of the constitutional war power to emancipate. It immediately changed the legal status of all slaves in the affected areas, and as soon as the Union Army arrived, it actually did liberate the slaves in that area. On the first day, it affected tens of thousands of slaves. But when the war ended, in April 1865, only about fifteen percent of the slaves had actually been freed. Full abolition was achieved later that year, with the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery everywhere in the United States.Boston Hymn
"Boston Hymn" (full title: "Boston Hymn, Read in Music Hall, January 1, 1863") is a poem by the American essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson composed the poem in late 1862 and read it publicly in Boston Music Hall on January 1, 1863. It commemorates the Emancipation Proclamation issued earlier that day by President Abraham Lincoln, tying it and the broader campaign for the abolition of slavery to the Puritan notion of sacred destiny for America.Confiscation Act of 1862
The Confiscation Act of 1862, or Second Confiscation Act, was a law passed by the United States Congress during the American Civil War. Section 13 of the act formed the legal basis for President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.Dred Scott
Dred Scott (c. 1799 – September 17, 1858) was an enslaved African American man in the United States who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom and that of his wife and their two daughters in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857, popularly known as the "Dred Scott case". Scott claimed that he and his wife should be granted their freedom because they had lived in Illinois and the Wisconsin Territory for four years, where slavery was illegal.
The United States Supreme Court decided 7–2 against Scott, finding that neither he nor any other person of African ancestry could claim citizenship in the United States, and therefore Scott could not bring suit in federal court under diversity of citizenship rules. Moreover, Scott's temporary residence outside Missouri did not bring about his emancipation under the Missouri Compromise, which the court ruled unconstitutional as it would "improperly deprive Scott's owner of his legal property".
While Chief Justice Roger B. Taney had hoped to settle issues related to slavery and Congressional authority by this decision, it aroused public outrage, deepened sectional tensions between the northern and southern states, and hastened the eventual explosion of their differences into the American Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and the post-Civil War Reconstruction Amendments—the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments—nullified the decision.Emancipation
Emancipation is any effort to procure economic and social rights, political rights or equality, often for a specifically disenfranchised group, or more generally, in discussion of such matters. Emancipation stems from ēx manus capere ('detach from the hand'). Among others, Karl Marx discussed political emancipation in his 1844 essay "On the Jewish Question", although often in addition to (or in contrast with) the term human emancipation. Marx's views of political emancipation in this work were summarized by one writer as entailing "equal status of individual citizens in relation to the state, equality before the law, regardless of religion, property, or other 'private' characteristics of individual people.""Political emancipation" as a phrase is less common in modern usage, especially outside academic, foreign or activist contexts. However, similar concepts may be referred to by other terms. For instance, in the United States the Civil Rights Movement culminated in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 can be seen as further realization of events such as the Emancipation Proclamation and abolition of slavery a century earlier. In the current and former British West Indies islands the holiday Emancipation Day is celebrated to mark the end of the Atlantic slave trade.First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln
First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln is an 1864 oil-on-canvas painting by Francis Bicknell Carpenter. In the painting, Carpenter depicts Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, and his Cabinet members reading over the Emancipation Proclamation, which proclaimed the freedom of slaves in the ten states rebelling against the Union in the American Civil War. Lincoln presented the Emancipation Proclamation to his Cabinet on July 22, 1862, and issued the Proclamation on September 22, 1862, which took effect on January 1, 1863.
Carpenter spent six months in the White House while he painted. The painting is displayed at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C..Francis Bicknell Carpenter
Francis Bicknell Carpenter (August 6, 1830 – May 23, 1900) was an American painter born in Homer, New York. Carpenter is best known for his painting First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln, which is hanging in the United States Capitol. Carpenter resided with President Lincoln at the White House and in 1866 published his one volume memoir Six Months at the White House with Abraham Lincoln. Carpenter was a descendant of the New England Rehoboth Carpenter Family.History of slavery in Alabama
During the colonial era, the Indian slavery in Alabama soon became surpassed by industrial-scale plantation slavery.Following the patenting of the cotton gin (in 1793), the War of 1812, and the defeat and expulsion of the Creek Nation in the 1810s, European-American settlement in Alabama was intensified, as was the presence of slavery on newly established plantations in the territory. Like its neighbors, the Alabama Territory was fertile ground for the surging cotton crop, and soon became one of the major destinations for African-American slaves who were being shipped to the extreme Southeastern United States.
Most of the settlers came from the nearby states of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, attracted by the prospect of fertile planting of cotton in the Tennessee Valley and Black Belt. The plantation system was solidified throughout the first half of the 19th century, and Alabama was one of the first seven states to withdraw from the Union prior to the American Civil War. The U.S. Census taken six months before Alabama's secession showed slaves accounted for 45% of Alabama's population.
Slavery was officially abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment which took effect on December 18, 1865. Slavery had been theoretically abolished by President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation which proclaimed, in 1863, that only slaves located in territories that were in rebellion from the United States were free. Since the U.S. government was not in effective control of many of these territories until later in the war, many of these slaves proclaimed to be free by the Emancipation Proclamation were still held in servitude until those areas came back under Union control.
As of 2018, slavery illegally continues in Alabama as modern-day labor and human sex trafficking.John P. Kennedy
John Pendleton Kennedy (October 25, 1795 – August 18, 1870) was an American novelist and Whig politician who served as United States Secretary of the Navy from July 26, 1852 to March 4, 1853, during the administration of President Millard Fillmore, and as a U.S. Representative from Maryland's 4th congressional district. He was the brother of U.S. Senator Anthony Kennedy. He was also the Speaker of the Maryland State assembly and served several different terms in the assembly.
Kennedy helped to lead the effort to end slavery in Maryland, which, as a non-Confederate state, was not affected by the Emancipation Proclamation and required a state law to free slaves within its borders and to outlaw the furtherance of the practice.Kennedy was also an advocate of religious tolerance and also of memorializing and furthering study of Maryland history.
He is also credited with playing seminal roles in the founding of several historical, cultural and educational institutions in Maryland; including (the now called) Historic St. Mary's City (site of the colonial founding of Maryland and the birthplace of religious freedom in America), St. Mary's College of Maryland (then St. Mary's Female seminary), the Peabody Library (now a part of Johns Hopkins University) and the Peabody Conservatory of Music (also now a part of Johns Hopkins).
He also played key and decisive roles in the United States government's study, adoption and implementation of the telegraph.Juneteenth
Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas, and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African Americans throughout the former Confederate States of America. Its name is a portmanteau of "June" and "nineteenth", the date of its celebration. Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in forty-five states.Today it is observed primarily in local celebrations. Traditions include public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, singing traditional songs such as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "Lift Every Voice and Sing", and reading of works by noted African-American writers such as Ralph Ellison and Maya Angelou. Celebrations may include rodeos, street fairs, cookouts, family reunions, park parties, historical reenactments, or Miss Juneteenth contests. The Mascogos, descendants of Black Seminoles, of Coahuila, Mexico also celebrate Juneteenth.Romancoke, Virginia
Romancoke is an unincorporated community in King William County, Virginia, United States.George Washington Parke Custis, father of Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee (wife of Gen. Robert E. Lee) owned Romancoke Plantation, as well as Arlington and White House Plantations. His will appointed Gen. Lee as executor, and directed him to manumit approximately 200 slaves within five years of his death (which happened in 1857). The American Civil War and Emancipation Proclamation intervened, but Gen. Lee fulfilled the clause by December, 1862. Lee's second son, Rooney Lee, managed both White House plantation and nearby Romancoke after resigning his U.S. Army commission. His youngest son, Robert E. Lee, Jr., inherited Romancoke and after the war took up residence (about four miles from West Point).Second Emancipation Proclamation
The Second Emancipation Proclamation is the term applied to an envisioned executive order that Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders of the Civil Rights Movement enjoined President John F. Kennedy to issue. As the Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order issued by President Abraham Lincoln to free all slaves being held in states at war with the Union, the envisioned "Second Emancipation Proclamation" was to use the powers of the executive office to strike a severe blow to segregation.War Governors' Conference
The Loyal War Governors' Conference was an important political event of the American Civil War. It was held at the Logan House Hotel in Altoona, Pennsylvania, on September 24 and 25, 1862. Thirteen governors of Union states came together to discuss the war effort, state troop quotas, and the ultimate support of President Abraham Lincoln and his Emancipation Proclamation. The leaders also suggested the removal of General George B. McClellan as commander of the Army of the Potomac. The meeting was established and hosted by Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin, who was a staunch defender of the war effort and Lincoln Administration policies. Ultimately, the event provided Lincoln much-needed support from the Northern states.Watchnight service
A watchnight service (also called Watchnight Mass) is a late-night Christian church service. In many different Christian traditions, such as those of Moravians, Baptists, Methodists, Anglicans and Pentecostals, watchnight services are held late on New Year's Eve. This provides the opportunity for Christians to review the year that has passed and make confession, and then prepare for the year ahead by praying and resolving. The services often include singing, praying, exhorting, and preaching.Watchnight service has added significance and history in the African-American community in the United States, since many slaves were said to have gathered in churches on New Year's Eve, in 1862, to await news and confirmation of the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln, on January 1, 1863.We Insist!
We Insist! (subtitled Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite) is a jazz album released on Candid Records in 1960. It contains a suite which composer and drummer Max Roach and lyricist Oscar Brown had begun to develop in 1959 with a view to its performance in 1963 on the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation. The cover references the sit-in movement of the Civil Rights Movement. The Penguin Guide to Jazz awarded the album one of its rare crown accolades, in addition to featuring it as part of its Core Collection.
The music consists of five selections concerning the Emancipation Proclamation and the growing African independence movements of the 1950s. Only Roach and vocalist Abbey Lincoln perform on all five tracks, and one track features a guest appearance by saxophonist Coleman Hawkins.