The Emancipation Proclamation: On This Day, January 1

As the nation approached the third year of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free." Explore the details of this important document.

View a full-screen version of this exhibit.

For more on the Emancipation Proclamation, read Allen Guelzo’s essay, "The Emancipation Proclamation: Bill of Lading or Ticket to Freedom?" and watch Matthew Pinsker’s video, "Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation."