From Antietam to Chancellorsville: September 1862 to May 1863

The Emancipation Proclamation

When did Lincoln get around to the slaves?

He got closer on the second paragraph. “That it is my purpose, upon the next meeting of Congress, to again recommend the adoption of a practical measure, tendering pecuniary aid to the free acceptance or rejection of all Slave States so called, the people whereof may not then be in rebellion against the United States, and which states may then have voluntarily adopted, or thereafter may voluntarily adopt, immediate or gradual abolishment of slavery within their respective limits.…”

Lincoln still was acting cautiously. He wanted to coax some of the Confederate states back into the Union, and he wanted to keep the Border States. Therefore, he spoke of practical measures, including his long-cherished idea of colonization, meaning that black Africans would one day return to Africa. But he finally got to the heart of the matter in the third paragraph.


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