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[255] that a still larger majority would have voted against Emancipation. From an early hour of the struggle, the public mind slowly and steadily gravitated toward the conclusion that the Rebellion was vulnerable only or mainly through Slavery ; but that conclusion was scarcely reached by a majority before the occurrence of the New York Riots, in July, 1863. The President, though widely reproached with tardiness and reluctance in taking up the gage plainly thrown down by the Slave Power, was probably ahead of a majority of the people of the loyal States in definitively accepting the issue of Emancipation or Disunion.

Having taken a long step in the right direction, lie never retracted nor seemed to regret it; though lie sometimes observed that the beneficial results of the Emancipation policy were neither so signal nor so promptly realized as its sanguine promoters had anticipated. Nevertheless, on the day appointed, lie issued his absolute Proclamation of Freedom, as follows :

Whereas, on the 22d day of September, in the year of our Lord 1862, a proclamation was issued I)v the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following to wit:

That on the 1st day of January, in the year of our Lord 1863. all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a , State, the people whereof shad then he in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thence for ward, 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.

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 the Congress of the United States, by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, he deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States.

Now, therefore. I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against tile authority and Government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on tills first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do, publicly proclaimed fir the full period of one hundred days from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following: to wit:

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (except the parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemine, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension, Assumption, Terre Bonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the city of New Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida. Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkeley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Anne, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth), and which excepted parts are, for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

And, by virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all person held as slaves within said designated States and parts of States are and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defense: nd I recommend to them that in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known that such persons, of suitable condition. will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sports in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be ant act of justice, warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my name, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this

[L. S.]
1st day of January. in the year of our Lord 1863, and of the independence of the United States the 87th.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln. William H. Seward, Secretary of State.

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