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January 1, 1863
Lincoln Signs the Emancipation Proclamation
On January 1, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln signs the final draft of the Emancipation Proclamation.
The first draft was issued on September 22, 1862. This can be seen as a warning to the rebel states to not secede from the Union.
“By the President of the United States of America:
Whereas, on the twentysecond day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, towit:
``That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.” 
The Emancipation Proclamation did not actually free any slaves. As we can see from Lincoln’s words he deemed the slaves free, but this only applied to the Union. The Confederate States of America had their own government under CSA President Jefferson Davis.
The Emancipation Proclamation was originally a thought in July of 1862. The members of Lincoln’s Cabinet did not want to issue it at that time, due to the lack of victories for the Union Army. This all changed with the Battle of Antietam. While the battle was considered a draw – the Union Soldiers were able to drive out the Confederates from Maryland. The battle concluded on September 17, 1862 and the first draft was issued a few days later.
The Emancipation Proclamation also helped bring African Americans into the war. Several months after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued the United States Colored Troops was established. Several great fighters and heroes came from the USCT. (ie: 54th Massachusetts)
As always, comments and questions are welcomed! Please feel free to contact me at: Connieshistoryclassroom@gmail.com
 "Miller Center." Emancipation Proclamation (January 1, 1863)-. Accessed December 31, 2015. http://millercenter.org/president/speeches/speech-3509.