The Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation

Abraham Lincoln

President Abraham Lincoln issued two emancipation proclamations—one on September 22, 1862, and another one hundred days later. In the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln declared that all slaves would be "forever" free on January 1, 1863, unless the Confederate states returned to the Union. Lincoln followed through with his promise, and on New Year’s Day 1863 he signed the final Emancipation Proclamation.

The document in the New York State Library is Lincoln's original handwritten draft of the preliminary proclamation. It also includes penciled additions by Secretary of State William Henry Seward.

Thumbnail image of page one of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation    Thumbnail image of page two of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation     Thumbnail image of page three of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation     Thumbnail image of page four of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation

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Last Updated: March 2, 2020