Emancipation Proclamation

The first and last page of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln
The first and last page of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln

Historical Context

Issued by President Abraham Lincoln during the third year of the US civil war, the Emancipation Proclamation changed the moral tone of the war. It meant that "that all persons held as slaves" within rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."

It also announced the inclusion of black men into the Union army and navy and almost 200,000 joined by the end of the war. The document had its limitations; slavery was not outlawed in border states or confederacy states already under Union control. Five pages long, it is kept today in the National Archives in Washington DC.

Document Info


Location signed: The White House, Washington D.C., USA

Source: National Archives

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