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Emancipation Proclamation

September 11, 2013

Emancipation Proclamation: January 1, 1863


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 wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State 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." …


 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; 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 whereof, 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: ABRAHAM LINCOLN
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.



  1. In what locations does this document give freedom to slaves?




  1. In what locations does this document not give freedom to slaves? 




  1. For what reason does Lincoln claim the authority to make this proclamation? 




  1. What does Lincoln ask of the freed slaves?




  1. In what ways does this document help the Union war effort? 













  1. How many slaves do you think this document freed? 



1. When was the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation issued?

a.  September 22, 1862

b.  January 1, 1863

c.  April 26, 1865

d.  July 21, 1861

2. The Emancipation Proclamation was ______

a.  An act of Congress

b.  A Supreme Court opinion

c.  A constitutional amendment

d.  An executive order


3. How long did states affected by the Preliminary Proclamation have before it took effect?

a.  Until the end of the war

b.  Until the next Union victory

c.  Sixty days

d.  One hundred days


4. Which Union victory gave President Lincoln the political capital necessary to issue the Proclamation?

a. Gettysburg

b. Shiloh

c. Second Bull Run

d. Antietam 


5. What area of the country did the Proclamation specifically apply to?

a. The whole nation

b. Only the Union states

c. Only the states in rebellion

d. The western territories


6. Which foreign power had an interest in Southern independence but was divided over the Confederacy's continued support of slavery?

a. Russia

b. Germany

c. Great Britain

d. Mexico


7. The Emancipation Proclamation was preceded by this act of Congress, which threatened to free the slaves of any Confederate citizen still in rebellion sixty days after its passage.

a. The Intimidation Act

b. The Garrison Act

c. The Act Prohibiting the Return of Slaves

d. The Second Confiscation Act


8. Which Cabinet member suggested waiting for a Union victory before issuing the Proclamation?

a. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton

b. Secretary of State William Seward

c. Secretary of the Interior Caleb Smith

d. Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles


9. What became of the original draft of the Proclamation?

a. It is preserved in the Library of Congress.

b. Its present location is a mystery.

c. It burned in the Chicago Fire.

d. It is in the National Archives.


10. This "dictatorial" Congressional Republican is said to have only ever praised Lincoln for the Emancipation Proclamation.

a. Thaddeus Stevens

b. Charles Sumner

c. Horace Greeley

d. Ben Butler


11. Upon hearing of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, this ambitious Union general informed his soldiers that "the remedy for political errors...is to be found only in the action of the people at the polls."

a. George McClellan

b. Ulysses S. Grant

c. Ambrose Burnside

d. Joe Hooker


12. In the Proclamation, who does Lincoln say "will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons"?

a. The Supreme Court

b. The Secretary of State

c. The Freedmen's Bureau

d. The Executive government of the United States


13. The writings of this Washington D.C. abolitionist and editor of "The Liberator" helped solidify public opinion on the side of emancipation.

a. Harriet Beecher Stowe

b. Frederick Douglass

c. William Lloyd Garrison

d. Mary Stearns


14. In the Proclamation, Lincoln declared that "such persons of suitable condition" could join ___.

a. The Union states

b. The armed services of the United States

c. The Republican Party

d. The Corps of Engineers


15. The abolitionist principle of the Emancipation Proclamation was furthered by this constitutional amendment.

a. The 13th Amendment

b. The 1st Amendment

c. The 18th Amendment

d. The 5th Amendment


Abraham Lincoln explains why he issued the Emancipation Proclamation

                                                                                                                                                Executive Mansion,

                                                                                                                                                Washington, April 4, 1864.

A.G. Hodges, Esq.

        Frankfort, Ky.

           My dear Sir:

You ask me to put in writing the substance of what I verbally said the other day, in yours presence, to Governor Bramlette and Senator Dixon- It was about as follows:

I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel. And yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling. It was in the oath I took that I would, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. I could not take the office without taking the oath. Nor was it my view that I might take an oath to get power, and break the oath in using the power. I understood, too, that in ordinary civil administration this oath even forbade me to practically indulge my primary abstract judgment the moral question of slavery. I had publicly declared this many times, and in many ways. And I aver that, to this day, I have done no official act in mere deference to my abstract judgment and feeling on slavery. I did understand, however, that my oath to preserve the Constitution to the best of my ability, imposed upon me the duty of preserving, by every indispensable means, that government-that nation-of which that Constitution was the organic law. Was it possible to lose the nation, and yet preserve the Constitution? By general law life and limb must be protected; yet often a limb must be amputated to save a life; but a life is never wisely given to save a limb. I felt that measures, otherwise unconstitutional, might become lawful, by becoming indispensable to the preservation of the Constitution, through the preservation of the nation. Right or wrong, I assumed this ground, and now avow it. I could not feel that, to the best of my ability, I had even tried to preserve the Constitution, if, to save slavery, or any minor matter, I should permit the wreck of government, country, and Constitution all together…

…I add a word which was not in the verbal conversation. In telling this tale I attempt no compliment to my own sagacity. I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me. Now, at the end of three years struggle the nation’s condition is not what either party, or any man devised, or expected. God alone can claim it. Whither it is tending seems plain. If God now wills the removal of a great wrong, and wills also that we of the North as well as you of the South, shall pay fairly for our complicity in that wrong, impartial history will find therein new cause to attest and revere the justice and goodness of God.

                                                                                                                                Yours truly

  1. Lincoln


Casa de Gobierno,

Washington, 4 de abril de 1864.

  1. G. Hodges, Lcdo.

 Frankfort, Kentucky

           Mi querido señor:

Usted le pide que ponga por escrito el contenido de lo que verbalmente dije el otro día, en presencia suya, el gobernador y el senador Bramlette Dixon-Se trataba de la siguiente manera:

Soy naturalmente anti-esclavitud. Si la esclavitud no está mal, no hay nada malo. No puedo recordar cuando yo no lo creo, y se siente. Y sin embargo, nunca he entendido que la Presidencia me confiere un derecho ilimitado para actuar oficialmente en este juicio y sentimiento. Fue en el juramento que tomé que me gustaría, a lo mejor de mi capacidad, preservar, proteger y defender la Constitución de los Estados Unidos. No podía apartar la oficina sin prestar juramento. Tampoco era mi punto de vista que yo podría hacer un juramento para conseguir el poder, y romper el juramento en el uso del poder. Comprendí, también, que en la administración civil ordinaria este juramento, incluso me prohibió permito prácticamente mi juicio abstracto principal la cuestión moral de la esclavitud. Había declarado públicamente esto muchas veces, y en muchos sentidos. Y aseguran que, hasta hoy, no he hecho ningún acto oficial en mera deferencia a mi juicio abstracto y sensación en la esclavitud. Yo entiendo, sin embargo, que el juramento de preservar la Constitución en la medida de mis posibilidades, me impone el deber de preservar, por todos los medios indispensables, que el gobierno de esa nación, que esa Constitución es la ley orgánica. ¿Es posible bajar de la nación, ya la vez preservar la Constitución? Por la vida y la integridad física ley general deben ser protegidos, sin embargo, a menudo un miembro debe ser amputado para salvar una vida, pero una vida no se da con prudencia para salvar una extremidad. Sentí que las medidas, de lo contrario, podría llegar a ser inconstitucionales legal, al convertirse en indispensable para la preservación de la Constitución, a través de la preservación de la nación. Bien o mal, asumí esta tierra, y ahora lo confieso. No podía sentir que, en la medida de mis posibilidades, había incluso tratado de preservar la Constitución, si, para salvar a la esclavitud, o cualquier asunto de menor importancia, que debería permitir que los restos del gobierno, el país y la Constitución todos juntos ...

... Añado una palabra que no estaba en la conversación verbal. Al contar esta historia que intento no cumplido para mi sagacidad. Puedo reclamar no tener acontecimientos controlados, pero confieso llano que los acontecimientos me han controlado. Ahora, al cabo de tres años luchando estado de la nación no es lo que cualquiera de las partes, o cualquier hombre inventado, o que se espera. Sólo Dios puede reclamarlo. ¿Hacia dónde se tiende parece normal. Si ahora Dios quiere la eliminación de un gran mal, y las voluntades también que del Norte, así como del Sur, deberá pagar bastante por nuestra complicidad en ese mal, la historia imparcial encontrarán en ella nueva causa para dar fe y reverenciar la justicia y la bondad de Dios.

Atentamente    A. Lincoln



Emancipation Proclamation

Title of Lesson: Emancipation Proclamation

Author of Lesson: Jason Navarro, Ivan Obert, Linda Uselmann

Grade Level: 9-12

Resources: U.S. Constitution, Emancipation Proclamation Handout, PowerPoint, Lincoln’s letter to Hodges

Lesson Summary: Using the Emancipation Proclamation students will interpret its impact on the Civil War. Students will discuss why the Proclamation was passed, how it impacted the war and slaves, why did the Proclamation only protect slaves in the rebellious states? Then the students will look at the 13th Amendment.

Grade Level Expectation and/or Common Core Standard in Literacy in History/Social Studies: 

Missouri CLEs: 

2A: 2 (SS2 1.6, 1.9); 3aK2 (SS31.10); 3aV (SS3 1.10); 3aY (SS3 1.0, 1.10); 6L (SS6 1.6); 7F (SS7 1.5)

Common Core: 

  1. Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
  2. Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.

Key terms: 

Emancipation – the act of freeing from bondage

Confiscation – appropriated by the government

Historical Background:

After the election of President Lincoln the Southern states seceded from the Union. Lincoln claimed that secession was unconstitutional. Therefore the Southern states were in rebellion. The resulting conflict is known as the Civil War.

The Civil War waged for two years. The Union Army of the Potomac led by General McClellan did not have any significant victories. The Confederates were doing well in the East but the Western Campaign saw some significant victories. Antietam, the single bloodiest battle in the Civil War at this point, will cause General Grant to approve General Sherman’s march to Atlanta through the heart of the Confederacy.

Lincoln struggled with the issue of slavery. Up to this point the conflict mostly focused on the right of states to secede. The reason for Southern Secession was rooted in slavery. Lincoln had drafted the Emancipation Proclamation but was advised by Secretary of State William Seward to wait for a significant victory before announcing the Proclamation. Antietam was the victory Lincoln needed to announce his Proclamation.

Because Congress refused to confront the slave issue Lincoln issued an Executive Order, but only the slaves in the states of rebellion would be emancipated. Previously Congress had given the Army the power to free the slaves or rather not to return the slaves to their former masters under the Second Confiscation Act. The slaves were property, therefore contraband.

Lincoln is remembered as the Great Emancipator, but he only freed the slaves in the Confederacy. Why? How does the Emancipation Proclamation lay the foundation for the 13th Amendment?

Anticipatory Set: 

Quick write: Write what you know about how the slaves got their freedom in the United States.

Do Now Activity:

Have the room prepared:

  1. Projector
  2. Copies of the tests
  3. Handouts


  1. Take the Pre-Test
  2. PowerPoint – Background information
  3. Investigate the Emancipation Proclamation – Have the students divided into groups to read the Emancipation Proclamation and answer the questions.
  4. After the students have read the Emancipation Proclamation have a class discussion about the Proclamation. Topics to discuss to include:
    1. Why did Lincoln need/want to free the slaves?
    2. Why did he only free the slaves in the Confederacy?
    3. How did this help the war effort?
    4. How would/could hurt the war effort?
    5. Effects of the Proclamation.
  5. As you leading the class discussion advance through the PowerPoint presentation as needed to complete the students’ knowledge.
  6. Read Lincoln’s letter to Hodges –
    1. Answer the question – Did Lincoln control the events or did the events control Lincoln?
  7. 13th Amendment – Students read and discuss, why all the slaves were not freed until the passage of the 13th Amendment.
  8. Post-Test

Homework: None

Assessment: Post-Test


Create a journal from the perspective of a slave in the Confederacy. Include a journal entry for the day the slave learned about the Emancipation Proclamation and the day the 13th Amendment is passed.


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