President Lincoln's Proclamation

When President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, the exciting news spread quickly by telegraph and public readings of the important document, like that at the Emancipation Oak in Hampton. Technically, the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves only in Confederate-held territory. But African Americans across the country rejoiced all the same, viewing the document as a promise of eventual freedom. They were correct. The Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution abolished slavery entirely in late 1865.

lincoln signing e proc loc

Image: Library of Congress

© Susan VanHecke 2016