RCC Honors History Project

The Emancipation Proclamation

Posted by wrmahugu on October 18, 2009

Here is a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President abraham Lincoln.

Images of the documents can be seen here:-

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/emancipation_proclamation/

Emancipation Proclamation

Abraham Lincoln

Declaration of the freedom of slaves in the Confederate States of America

September 22, 1862

Whereas on the 22nd day of September, A.D. 1862, a proclamation was issued by the President of the

United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

“That on the 1st day of January, A.D. 1863, 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; and the executive government of the United States, including the

military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons and will

do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual

freedom.

“That the executive will on the 1st day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and

parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the

United States; and the fact that any State or the people thereof shall on that day be in good faith

represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a

majority of the qualified voters of such States shall have participated shall, in the absence of strong

countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State and the people thereof are not

then in rebellion against the United States.”

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested

as Commander-In-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion

against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for

supressing said rebellion, do, on this 1st day of January, A.D. 1863, and in accordance with my purpose

so to do, publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days from the first day above mentioned,

order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof, respectively, are this

day in rebellion against the United States the following, to wit:

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (except the parishes of St. Bernard, Palquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St.

Charles, St. James, Ascension, Assumption, Terrebone, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans,

including the city of New Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North

Carolina, and Virginia (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the

counties of Berkeley, Accomac, Morthhampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Anne, and Norfolk,

including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth), and which excepted parts are for the present left

precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

And by virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as

slaves within said designated States and parts of States are, and henceforward shall be, free; and that the

Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will

recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in

necessary self-defence [sic]; and I recommend to them that, in all case when allowed, they labor

faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known that such persons of suitable condition will be received into the

armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man

vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution upon military

necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

Abraham Lincoln, 1862

Gettysburg Address

Abraham Lincoln

Speech given at the dedication of the Gettysburg battlefield

November 19, 1863

These two versions are essentially the same, but in some places they use slightly different wording

and different punctuation.

Hay Version:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation,

conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived,

and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met here on a great battlefield of that war. We have

come to dedicate a portion of it as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that

nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow this ground.

The brave men, living and dead, who struggled, here, have consecrated it far above our poor power

to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but can never

forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work

which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great

task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause

for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these

dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this

government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Nicolay Version:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation,

conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived,

and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We come to

dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live.

This we may, in all propriety do. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not

consecrate — we can not hallow, this ground — The brave men, living and dead, who struggled

here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor

long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

It is rather for us, the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that, from

these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full

measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the

nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people by the people for the

people, shall not perish from the earth.

Second Inaugural Address

Abraham Lincoln

Presidential Inaugural Address

March 4, 1865

Fellow-Countrymen:

At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an

extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be

pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public

declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which

still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be

presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the

public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high

hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an

impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being

delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, urgent agents were

in the city seeking to destroy it without war–seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by

negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the

nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.

One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union,

but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest.

All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and

extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war,

while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it.

Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained.

Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself

should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding.

Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It

may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread

from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of

both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own

purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but

woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one

of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued

through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South

this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any

departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him?

Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass

away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred

and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash

shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it

must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the

right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him

who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve

and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

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