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National Archives Control Number NWCTB-11-PRDOCPI159E23-PROC95
Media Textual records
Descr. Level Item
Record Group 11
Title Emancipation Proclamation
Sample Record(s) Thumbnails of online copies http://images.virtualology.com/images/4787.jpg
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Creating Org. United States Government.
Record Type/Genre Proclamations
Scope & Content President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The Proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free." Despite that expansive wording, the Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways. It applied only to states that had seceded from the Union, leaving slavery untouched in the loyal border states. It also expressly exempted parts of the Confederacy that had already come under Northern control. Most important, the freedom it promised depended upon Union military victory. Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not immediately free a single slave, it fundamentally transformed the character of the war. After January 1, 1863, every advance of Federal troops expanded the domain of freedom. Moreover, the Proclamation announced the acceptance of black men into the Union Army and Navy, enabling the liberated to become liberators. By the end of the war, almost 200,000 black soldiers and sailors had fought for the Union and freedom. From the first days of the Civil War, slaves had acted to secure their own liberty. The Emancipation Proclamation confirmed their insistence that the war for the Union must become a war for freedom. It added moral force to the Union cause and strengthened the Union both militarily and politically. As a milestone along the road to slavery's final destruction, the Emancipation Proclamation has assumed a place among the great documents of human freedom.
General Note Exhibit History: "The Emancipation Proclamation," National Archives Rotunda, September 15, 1997, January 31-February 6, 1997, January 11-January 18, 1996, January 12-January 19, 1995, January 13-January 20, 1994, December 31, 1992-January 4, 1993. Museum of Our National Heritage, Lexington, MA, September 1983-April 1984. Nelson Gallery of Art, Kansas City, MO, May 14-May19, 1980. "The Written Word Endures," National Archives Circular Gallery, May 1976-August 1979. Lyndon Baines Johnson Library, Austin, TX, December 1972-May 1973. "Centennial Exhibition," National Archives, Washington, DC, 1963. American Stamp Dealers Association, National Postage Stamp Show, New York, NY, November 19-November 21, 1954. "Freedom Train," National Archives, 1950. "Freedom Train," (traveling), September 1947-January 1950.
Variant Control# NWDT1-11-PRDOC-PI159E23-PROC95
See Also Series Description
Corp Added Entry President of the United States
Use Restrictions None.
Contact Old Military and Civil Records (NWCTB), National Archives Building, 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408 PHONE: 202-501-5395 FAX: 202-208-1903
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