The Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation
Whereas, On the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one
thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President
of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:
That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight
hundred and sixty-three, 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 first 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 where in 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
suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our
Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my
purpose so to do, publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days,
from the day first 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, Plaquemines,
Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne,
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, Northampton, Elizabeth
City, York, Princess Ann, 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; States, including the military
and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said
And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from
all violence, unless in necessary self-defense; and I recommend to them that, in
all cases 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.
In witness thereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the
United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our
Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the
United States of America the eighty-seventh.
By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State