President Lincoln's Proclamation of Emancipation.
I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, and commander in chief of the army and navy thereof, hereby proclaim and declare that hereafter, as heretofore, the war will be prosecuted for the object of practically restoring the constitutional relations between the United States and the people thereof in which states that relation is or may be disturbed.
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 the 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 hereafter may voluntarily adopt, the immediate or gradual abolishment of slavery within their respective limits, and that the efforts to colonize persons of African descent, with their consent, upon this continent, or elsewhere, with the previously obtained consent of the governments existing there, will be continued.
That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any state or any designated part of a state, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, will be thence forward 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 actual freedom.
That the executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the states and parts of states, if any, in which the people thereof respectively shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any state or the people thereof shall on that day be in good faith represented in congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections in which a majority of the qualified voters of such state shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such states and the people thereof have not been in rebellion against the United States.
That attention is hereby called to an act of congress entitled "an act to make additional articles of war," approved March 13, 1862, and which act is in the words and figures following:
"Be it enacted by the senate and house of representatives of the United States, in congress assembled, That hereafter the following shall be promulgated as an addition article of war for the government of the army of the United States, and shall be adopted and observed as such:
‘Article —. All officers or persons in the military or naval service of the United States are prohibited from employing any of the force under their respective commands for the purpose of returning fugitives from service or labor who may have escaped from any person to whom such labor is claimed to be due, and any officer who shall be found guilty by a court-martial of violating this article shall be dismissed from the service.’
SECT. 2. And be it further enacted, That this act shall take effect from and after its passage.
Also the 9th and 10th sections of an act, entitled, ‘an act to suppress insurrection, to punish treason and rebellion, to seize and confiscate property of rebels, and for other purposes,’ approved July 17th, 1862, and which sections are in these words and figures following:
SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That all slaves of persons who shall hereafter be engaged in rebellion against the government of the United States, or who shall in any way give aid or comfort thereto, escaping from such persons and taking refuge within the lines of the army and all slaves captured from such persons, or deserted by them and coming under the control of the government of the United States, and all slaves of such persons being within any place occupied by rebel forces and afterwards occupied by the forces of the United States, shall be deemed captives of war, and shall be forever free of their servitude, and not again held as slaves.
SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, That no slave escaping into any state, territory or the District of Columbia, from any of the states, shall be delivered up, or in any way impeded or hindered of his liberty, except for crime or some offence against the laws, unless the person claiming said fugitive shall first make oath that the person to whom the labor or service of such fugitive is alleged to be due is his lawful owner, and has not been in arms against the United States shall, under any pretence whatever, assume to decide on the validity of the claim of any person to the service or labor of any other person, or surrender up any such person to the claimant, on pain of being dismissed from the service."
And I do hereby enjoin upon and order all persons engaged in the military and naval service of the United States to observe, obey and enforce, within their respective sphere of service, the acts and sections above recited.
And the executive will, in due time, recommend that all citizens of the United States, who shall have remained loyal thereto thro'out the rebellion, shall, upon the restoration of the constitutional relations between the United States and their respective states and people, if the relation shall have been disturbed or suspended, be compensated for all losses by acts of the United States, including the loss of slaves.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the City of Washington, this the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-seventh,
[Signed] ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
By the President.
WM. H. SEWARD, Sec'y of State.