"Men of Color, To Arms! To Arms," 1863

After the Emancipation Proclamation was enacted on January 1, 1863, black leaders including Frederick Douglass swiftly moved to recruit African Americans as soldiers. "A war undertaken and brazenly carried on for the perpetual enslavement of colored men," Douglass wrote in Frederick Douglass’ Monthly, "calls logically and loudly for colored men to help suppress it." This broadside, endorsed by Douglass (third name in the first column) and other African American leaders, urges free African Americans to enlist, declaring "If we value liberty, if we wish to be free in this land. . . . If we would be regarded men, if we would forever silence the tongue of Calumny, of Prejudice and Hate, let us Rise Now and Fly to Arms."