Tomorrow marks the start of the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. On September 22, 1862, President Lincoln issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation that gave the South 100 days to end the rebellion or face losing their slaves. True to his word, on January 1, 1863, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation immediately freeing nearly 50,000 slaves in Union-held areas of the Confederacy such as Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi and the Carolinas. The Proclamation also made the Union Army a force of liberation as it marched south, as well as ushering in the full participation of African American troops.
To celebrate this decisive moment in the quest for human freedom we have posted an essay on the history of the Emancipation Proclamation—from how it was drafted and promulgated, to the lasting effect it had on history.
We have also worked with the Fairfield Museum and History Center on their exhibit, Promise of Freedom: The Emancipation Proclamation, which includes Lincoln-signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment, as well as other fascinating artifacts. The exhibition runs from September 23, 2012 to February 24, 2013.
Although we recently sold a rare Lincoln-signed Leland-Boker broadside of the Emancipation Proclamation, we still have a group of interesting items to offer:
- A front-page New York newspaper printing of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, published September 23, 1862.
- Five key issues of Harper’s Weekly from the period, including their publication of both the Preliminary and final Emancipation Proclamations.
- A. H. Ritchie’s 1866 print, “First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation,” from Francis Bicknell Carpenter’s 1864 painting at the White House.
- A six-month run of Britain’s Punch magazine from 1862, with numerous engravings showing Lincoln’s frustration at the war’s progress.
- A first-day printing of the Emancipation Proclamation in the Providence Daily Journal, along with Frederick Douglass’s reaction to the announcement in the next day’s issue.
- A Lincoln mourning broadside, with the Emancipation Proclamation printed in full.
- A Currier and Ives print, “Lincoln and His Cabinet Discuss the Emancipation Proclamation,” that memorialized the Great Emancipator in time for the nation’s 1876 Centennial.