Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) Emancipation Proclamation

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05508.272 Author/Creator: Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) Place Written: Chicago, Illinois Type: Broadside Date: circa 1863-1864 Pagination: 1 p. ; 43.5 x 34.7 cm.

Summary of Content: Rufus Blanchard edition. Signed in print by Abraham Lincoln as the President and William H. Seward as Secretary of State. The printer, Rufus Blanchard, states the importance of the Emancipation Proclamation in a footnote: "This Proclamation is an incalculable element of strength to the Union cause. It makes an alliance between the Rebels and Foreign States as impossible as it is for millions of Bondsmen to love slavery better than Freedom..." Border surrounding text includes pink flowers surrounded by green and red-tinted leaves. Background of text is images of stars. Mounted.

Background Information: Eberstadt 17.

Full Transcript: The Proclamation is an incalculable element of strength to he Union cause. It makes an alliance between the Rebels and Foreign States as impossible as it is for millions of ...Bondsmen to love Slavery better than Freedom. They loving our Government in proportion as it becomes a free land of promise and shelter from oppression, thus saving thousands of precious lives and millions of treasure from being lost in foreign wars. It perfects the purposes of the Declaration of Independence and impairs no constitutional rights, those whom it would affect having forfeited those rights by proving false to their country, to humanity and religion. No real support to the Union cause will be lost by this Proclamation, while time-serving traitors, who always covertly opposed the war, will be exposed. It will be a powerful incentive to the slave to fight for the Union instead of his rebel master, and when it becomes executed and Freedom reigns throughout the land, the colored man will leave the Northern regions, whither he has fled from slavery, and join his kindred beneath those sunny skies where nature invites him. Labor will be rewarded, justice fulfilled, and the Old Ship of State will again sail majestic o'er the unrippled waters of Liberty and Peace. Confusion and shame rest upon those who fight against a free government, and songs of thankfulness and love glorify its defenders.See More

People: Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865
Seward, William Henry, 1801-1872

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: PresidentPresidential Speeches and ProclamationsEmancipationEmancipation ProclamationConfederate States of AmericaUnion ForcesSlaveryAfrican American HistoryFreemenCivil War

Sub Era: The American Civil War

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources