Five days after signing the Second Confiscation Act, on July 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln notified his cabinet members his plan for issuing a preliminary draft of the Emancipation Proclamation based on the authority Congress had granted him. Lincoln was advised to wait until a military victory could be achieved. Antietam proved enough of one and on September 22, 1862, Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation which continued to support gradual, compensated emancipation for states not in rebellion and left open the possibility of voluntary colonization. It also announced that as of January 1, 1863, "all persons held as slaves within any state or states, wherein the constitutional authority of the United States shall not then be practically recognized, submitted to, and maintained, shall then, thenceforward, and forever, be free."
- Compare this source to President Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address. In what ways was the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation a continuation of President Abraham Lincoln's and Congress' handling of the issue of slavery up to that point? In what ways was it different?
- Why did Lincoln call attention to sections of the March 1862 act, which strengthened the First Confiscation Act and the July 1862 Second Confiscation Act?
- Almost exactly a month before the announcement of this proclamation, Horace Greeley urged Lincoln to stop making compromises over the issue of slavery in order to keep the slaveholding border states loyal to the Union. Using evidence from the text, explain whether or not Lincoln’s proclamation fulfilled Greeley's request.
Lincoln, Abraham, "The first edition of Abraham Lincoln's preliminary emancipation proclamation," 22 September 1862. Courtesy of Library of Congress