Lincoln issued the proclamation Jan. 1, 1863. It was a technical document, granting freedom to all slaves in all areas of the Confederacy still in rebellion. The proclamation did not pertain to slaves in the border states, but it did allow for the popular use of African-Americans in the Union Army and Navy. The proclamation also made the war a crusade against slavery, meaning that England and France, both morally opposed to slavery, could not in good conscience ally themselves with the Confederacy.
Text of the Proclamation
Read it for yourself.
The Civil War
The Civil War was one of the most devastating events in American History. Read about the causes, see the heroes, and share the horror. Start here.
Elsewhere on the Web:
Introduction to the Emancipation Proclamation
A little background on Lincoln's momentous document.
The Proclamation in Perspective
Some context for Lincoln's famous announcement.