Emancipation proclamation pdf

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The Emancipation Proclamation. January 1, A Transcription. By the President of the United States of America: A Proclamation. Whereas, on the. and radical Republicans to issue an Emancipation Proclamation. In principle Lincoln had already drafted what he termed his "Preliminary Proclamation. Background. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, , in the second year of the Civil War. In a preliminary.

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Emancipation Proclamation Pdf

Emancipation Proclamation, September 22, (New York State Library, Two Political Cartoons of Lincoln Drafting the Emancipation Proclamation in The Emancipation Proclamation was an order issued by. President Abraham Lincoln that began the process of freeing all the slaves in the United States. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History mtn-i.info Emancipation Proclamation, January 1,

Lincoln was advised to wait until a military victory could be achieved. Antietam proved enough of one and on September 22, , 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, , "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. 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? 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.

He cites and discusses United States v. Brown, in which Chief Justice John Marshall stated that "war gives to the sovereign full right to take the persons and property of the enemy, wherever found. Article 42 of the Lieber Code states that Roman and European practice has for centuries held that a slave escaping to another country is free. Article 43 of the Code adopted that practice for the United States: " Neither addressed the validity of the Emancipation Proclamation as a decree that by its issuance purported to immediately strike all shackles in the insurgent areas of the Confederacy.

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Carnahan recognizes that the decree cannot summon support in precedent. Lincoln, he said, "tried to do what no other military commander ever had—the Emancipation Proclamation purported to 'take' enemy property that was not yet under his control. No traditional practice supported that He notes that Emmerich de Vattel, the author of a classic, pre-Civil War work on international law, states that "to deliver an oppressed people is a noble fruit of victory; it is [also] a valuable advantage gained, thus to acquire a faithful friend.

Lincoln did not believe he was empowered by a desire to free an oppressed people. Quite the contrary. As we have seen, Lincoln said in the Hodges letter that, while he had always hated slavery, "he had never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this Rejecting Chase's request to extend the Emancipation Proclamation to the exempted parts of Virginia and Louisiana, Lincoln said that if he freed slaves because it was "politically expedient and morally right," he would "give up all footing upon constitution or law.

Lincoln properly rejected the oppressed-people doctrine. In arguing that freedom for an oppressed people justifies decreed emancipation, Sumner and Carnahan confuse motive with power. The desire to free an oppressed people may prompt a belligerent to issue a decree of freedom, and the decree may provoke a response by the slaves and by foreign powers that oppose slavery, but, as Lincoln recognized, it is the expectation of the response, not the desire, that confers the power to issue the decree.

Emancipation Proclamation Text

When Lincoln says in the Proclamation that his "act of justice" is based "upon military necessity," he recognizes that his desire to free an oppressed people is a motive, not a source of power. While his reasoning is faulty, Carnahan's conclusion that Lincoln had the power to free the slaves by decree is sound. Based on the precedents and sources he cites, Carnahan rightly concludes that "traditional practices" in did not support emancipation of slaves who were not subject to the dominion or control of the emancipating power at the end of the war.

But he also cites no precedent or sources suggesting that Lincoln lacked the power to issue an immediately effective emancipation proclamation. The matter was, and apparently remains, a matter of first impression. The case for Lincoln is strong. Lincoln's case requires an affirmative answer to three questions. Did the federal government have the power to free all slaves in insurgent areas by an edict purporting to have the force of law?

This was not an idle question at the end of the war, for many slaves had not come into Union lines. Since the law of war requires surrender of enemy property at war's end, could slaves be permanently freed?

Lincoln recognized this requirement in the Browning letter when he said that neither a general nor the president could make "permanent rules of property by proclamation.

Did the president, as opposed to Congress, have the power to free the slaves? Those who claim that slaves could neither be freed by decree nor permanently freed buckle themselves into a legal straightjacket that ignores the purpose of the law of war and the unique feature of slave "property.

It is not designed to regulate or codify rights to title or possession, or to establish estates for the duration of the war. It emerged from the conduct and demands of war, allowing belligerents, in the words of Lincoln's Conkling letter, to "do all in their power to help themselves, or hurt the enemy, except a few things regarded as barbarous or cruel.

The law of war requires surrender of captured property at war's end because the property has been milked of all of its war-waging value to the captor. In the case of emancipation, the mind of the slave casts both these requirements aside. A slave's capacity to respond to non-sensory inducements distinguishes him from any other "property. It was calculated to achieve the same effect as capturing or destroying Confederate property or imprisoning Confederate soldiers. It achieves by decree what can ordinarily only be achieved by possession or dominion.

It is much like the declaration of a blockade, which operates on the mind of man to discourage trading with the enemy. If the Union had perfected a device that would prompt Confederate warhorses to balk in battle, or run away, or bolt to Union lines, the law of war would have authorized use of the device.

If a belligerent reasonably believes that a decree of freedom will deprive the enemy of the bondsmen's services and provide laborers and soldiers to the liberator, the law of war, with its focus on function, authorizes the decree. The only restraints on a belligerent under the law of war are humanitarian restraints, and no one would argue that it is inhumane to free slaves.

The slave's reasoning faculty made a decree of permanent freedom imperative. If Lincoln had decreed freedom that ended with the war, he would have in effect told the slaves that they should help to achieve a victory that would return them to bondage. Not much incentive in that.

The only way for the Union to reap the benefits of freedom during the war was to assure freedom after the war. It would be self-defeating to apply the ordinary rule requiring surrender of captured property at war's end.

Was the Emancipation Proclamation Constitutional? Do We/Should We Care What the Answer Is?

In the Civil War, the power to permanently free slaves authorized by the law of war was, as Lincoln recognized in the Hodges letter, augmented by the terms of the United States Constitution.

The Constitution gives the president the duty and power to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. The war was being waged to preserve the Constitution. By the time the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, bloody defeats and victories and war weariness had built a case for African-American troops and other steps to weaken the enemy and strengthen the Union.

The preserve, protect, and defend power was specific, constitutionally conferred, seemingly plenary, and clearly applicable. It created power that embodied, but was not limited to, power arising under the uncertain parameters of the law of war.

The grave peril to the Union conferred power akin to the acknowledged power of government to destroy property that imperils the public good, such as an unsafe house or structures or foliage that will kindle or spread a wildfire. Under the circumstances, there was solid legal ground to free the slaves, by decree or otherwise.

But did Lincoln hold this power without authority from Congress? And more specifically, could he, by a mere stroke of the pen, free all of the slaves in insurgent areas?

In their assault on the Emancipation Proclamation, Parker and Curtis asserted that the Proclamation was invalid because it unconstitutionally deprived slave owners of their property and because it exerted power that was legislative rather than executive.

The constitutional issue is frivolous. Before the Civil War, the Constitution would not have authorized the federal government to seize and free slaves, and yet Curtis and Parker and all others who have considered the matter concede that the Union could free slaves who fled to its lines during the war. They recognized that the war conferred a power of uncompensated emancipation, and the effect on the slave owner is the same whether he loses his property by seizure or decree.

The question of whether Lincoln or Congress held the power to free the slaves by act or edict is more complicated. Lincoln believed that he, and not Congress, held the power of emancipation.

It is true that he said in the Browning letter that "permanent rules of property" could only be made by Congress, not by executive proclamation.

But this was not his matured opinion, and it was given at a time when he, like his countrymen, "looked for an easier triumph and a result less astounding," in the words of his Second Inaugural Address.

In his July 8, , message explaining his pocket veto of the Wade-Davis Bill, he said he was "unprepared When Lincoln told Chandler he opposed the bill because it prohibited slavery in the states, Chandler responded that "it is no more than you have done yourself.

The Emancipation Proclamation is in its nature and effect an executive, rather than a legislative, act. It frees the slaves, but does not acquire rights in the slaves or their services, as a legislative taking would do. It does not punish slaveholders or establish mandates, prohibitions, or other provisions of general applicability that will remain in effect and apply over time.

It is complete upon its issuance, as Lincoln recognized in the Conkling letter when he said that "if [the Emancipation Proclamation] is valid, it can not be retracted, any more than the dead can be brought to life. It is an edict, not a law. Lincoln took pains to assure that it would be read as an edict and not a law, or even as a means of enforcing a law.

Emancipation Proclamation Text | HistoryNet

In the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln began by proclaiming that all slaves in areas in insurgency on January 1, , would be "then, thenceforward and forever free. He concluded by ordering all soldiers and seamen to obey these laws and stating that he would, "in due time," ask Congress to compensate loyal owners for the loss of their slaves. The Emancipation Proclamation drops all references to the confiscation acts, including orders to enforce them.

The soldiers and sailors are ordered, not to obey laws, but to "recognize and maintain the freedom" of the slaves. There is no hint of compensation.

In brandishing his edict, Lincoln removes all congressional fingerprints. Slavery dies in the White House, with no help from the Capitol. Under the Constitution, the president's authority to issue the Emancipation Proclamation is based in two executive powers. First is the war power arising from the president's authority to wage war and to command the armed forces of the United States. Article VI of the Constitution, on the other hand, requires only that congressmen take a non-specific oath or affirmation "to support this Constitution.

And it was constitutional for the reasons advanced by Lincoln in the Conkling and Hodges letters. By biding his time until the demands of war became urgent, carefully considering and explaining the sources of his power, and then selecting a means of emancipation that invoked those powers and cleverly separated executive from legislative action, Lincoln produced a document that should have stood judicial scrutiny if it had come to that.

The Tycoon had never been in finer whack; the footprint in time and eternity is the footprint of a Great Emancipator and a very good lawyer. But what about the ultimate effect? And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and 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 sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an 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 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 first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.

I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, and Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy thereof, do hereby proclaim and declare that hereafter, as heretofore, the war will be prosecuted for the object of practically restoring the constitutional relation between the United States, and each of the States, and the people thereof, in which States that relation is, or may be, suspended or 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 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 thereafter may voluntarily adopt, immediate or gradual abolishment of slavery within their respective limits; and that the effort 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, 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.

That the executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States, and part 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, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States.

That attention is hereby called to an Act of Congress entitled "An Act to make an additional Article of War" approved March 13, , and which act is in the words and figure following:.

And be it further enacted, That this act shall take effect from and after its passage. Also to the ninth and tenth 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 17, , and which sections are in the words and figures following:.

The Constitutionality of the Emancipation Proclamation The Emancipation Proclamation provoked immediate learned response, and here Lincoln was often wounded in the house of his friends. A number of Republican luminaries—and, most notably, William Whiting, a Boston lawyer who was solicitor of Lincoln's War Department—wrote in support of the Proclamation.

Dana, a prominent lawyer and author of Two Years Before the Mast, rose in strident opposition. In his support of the Emancipation Proclamation, Whiting cited the broadly recognized right of belligerents to capture or destroy enemy property and then stated categorically that the law of war allowed a belligerent to free an enemy's slaves by proclamation.

When those examples are examined, however, it is clear that the decree was used as an inducement to bring the slaves to the liberator's lines, with freedom achieved by physical liberation of or dominion over the slaves, not by decree. Those who challenged Lincoln's power to issue the Emancipation Proclamation advanced various grounds of attack. The president could not make law by decree Curtis and Dana. The president could confiscate slaves that came into Union lines, but could not constitutionally deprive slave owners of property beyond those lines Curtis and Parker.

The president did not possess war powers, and even if he did, they could not be exercised outside the theaters of operation, or against those who did not support the Confederacy Parker. Lincoln was blinded by "schemes of philanthropy" Winthrop.

The contention that the president cannot make law by decree is a position, not an argument; it does not reach, but assumes, the conclusion. The contention that the president does not as a general matter have war powers is absurd; when James Polk waged war in Mexico, he obviously possessed the traditional war powers of a civilian commander in chief.

Whether the war powers are available in a civil war is a different issue, but the Supreme Court's decision in The Prize Cases, upholding the blockade, resolved that issue in Lincoln's favor. When General Phillip Sheridan devastated the Shenandoah Valley, and General William Sherman made "Georgia howl," they did not inquire into the sympathies of those whose property was taken or destroyed, and Sherman raided Georgia precisely because it was untouched by war.

Slaves toiling anywhere in the South, whether in bondage to loyal, disloyal, or indifferent masters, helped the Confederacy by producing foodstuffs and other things and freeing whites for military service. The contention by Curtis and Parker that it was unconstitutional to deprive slave owners of property rights by decree is at odds with their acknowledgment that slaves could be freed by escaping to Union lines.

When contemporary supporters and critics of the Emancipation Proclamation weighed in, its constitutionality was a live issue. The Thirteenth Amendment mooted the issue, but it has been revived in a recent full-book treatment. He cites and discusses United States v.

Brown, in which Chief Justice John Marshall stated that "war gives to the sovereign full right to take the persons and property of the enemy, wherever found. Article 42 of the Lieber Code states that Roman and European practice has for centuries held that a slave escaping to another country is free. Article 43 of the Code adopted that practice for the United States: " Neither addressed the validity of the Emancipation Proclamation as a decree that by its issuance purported to immediately strike all shackles in the insurgent areas of the Confederacy.

Carnahan recognizes that the decree cannot summon support in precedent. Lincoln, he said, "tried to do what no other military commander ever had—the Emancipation Proclamation purported to 'take' enemy property that was not yet under his control. No traditional practice supported that He notes that Emmerich de Vattel, the author of a classic, pre-Civil War work on international law, states that "to deliver an oppressed people is a noble fruit of victory; it is [also] a valuable advantage gained, thus to acquire a faithful friend.

Lincoln did not believe he was empowered by a desire to free an oppressed people. Quite the contrary. As we have seen, Lincoln said in the Hodges letter that, while he had always hated slavery, "he had never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this Rejecting Chase's request to extend the Emancipation Proclamation to the exempted parts of Virginia and Louisiana, Lincoln said that if he freed slaves because it was "politically expedient and morally right," he would "give up all footing upon constitution or law.

Lincoln properly rejected the oppressed-people doctrine. In arguing that freedom for an oppressed people justifies decreed emancipation, Sumner and Carnahan confuse motive with power. The desire to free an oppressed people may prompt a belligerent to issue a decree of freedom, and the decree may provoke a response by the slaves and by foreign powers that oppose slavery, but, as Lincoln recognized, it is the expectation of the response, not the desire, that confers the power to issue the decree.

When Lincoln says in the Proclamation that his "act of justice" is based "upon military necessity," he recognizes that his desire to free an oppressed people is a motive, not a source of power. While his reasoning is faulty, Carnahan's conclusion that Lincoln had the power to free the slaves by decree is sound.

Based on the precedents and sources he cites, Carnahan rightly concludes that "traditional practices" in did not support emancipation of slaves who were not subject to the dominion or control of the emancipating power at the end of the war. But he also cites no precedent or sources suggesting that Lincoln lacked the power to issue an immediately effective emancipation proclamation. The matter was, and apparently remains, a matter of first impression.

The case for Lincoln is strong. Lincoln's case requires an affirmative answer to three questions. Did the federal government have the power to free all slaves in insurgent areas by an edict purporting to have the force of law?

This was not an idle question at the end of the war, for many slaves had not come into Union lines. Since the law of war requires surrender of enemy property at war's end, could slaves be permanently freed?

Lincoln recognized this requirement in the Browning letter when he said that neither a general nor the president could make "permanent rules of property by proclamation. Did the president, as opposed to Congress, have the power to free the slaves?

Those who claim that slaves could neither be freed by decree nor permanently freed buckle themselves into a legal straightjacket that ignores the purpose of the law of war and the unique feature of slave "property.

It is not designed to regulate or codify rights to title or possession, or to establish estates for the duration of the war. It emerged from the conduct and demands of war, allowing belligerents, in the words of Lincoln's Conkling letter, to "do all in their power to help themselves, or hurt the enemy, except a few things regarded as barbarous or cruel. The law of war requires surrender of captured property at war's end because the property has been milked of all of its war-waging value to the captor.

In the case of emancipation, the mind of the slave casts both these requirements aside. A slave's capacity to respond to non-sensory inducements distinguishes him from any other "property. It was calculated to achieve the same effect as capturing or destroying Confederate property or imprisoning Confederate soldiers.

It achieves by decree what can ordinarily only be achieved by possession or dominion. It is much like the declaration of a blockade, which operates on the mind of man to discourage trading with the enemy. If the Union had perfected a device that would prompt Confederate warhorses to balk in battle, or run away, or bolt to Union lines, the law of war would have authorized use of the device.

If a belligerent reasonably believes that a decree of freedom will deprive the enemy of the bondsmen's services and provide laborers and soldiers to the liberator, the law of war, with its focus on function, authorizes the decree. The only restraints on a belligerent under the law of war are humanitarian restraints, and no one would argue that it is inhumane to free slaves. The slave's reasoning faculty made a decree of permanent freedom imperative.

If Lincoln had decreed freedom that ended with the war, he would have in effect told the slaves that they should help to achieve a victory that would return them to bondage. Not much incentive in that. The only way for the Union to reap the benefits of freedom during the war was to assure freedom after the war.

It would be self-defeating to apply the ordinary rule requiring surrender of captured property at war's end. In the Civil War, the power to permanently free slaves authorized by the law of war was, as Lincoln recognized in the Hodges letter, augmented by the terms of the United States Constitution.

The Constitution gives the president the duty and power to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. The war was being waged to preserve the Constitution. By the time the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, bloody defeats and victories and war weariness had built a case for African-American troops and other steps to weaken the enemy and strengthen the Union.

The preserve, protect, and defend power was specific, constitutionally conferred, seemingly plenary, and clearly applicable. It created power that embodied, but was not limited to, power arising under the uncertain parameters of the law of war. The grave peril to the Union conferred power akin to the acknowledged power of government to destroy property that imperils the public good, such as an unsafe house or structures or foliage that will kindle or spread a wildfire. Under the circumstances, there was solid legal ground to free the slaves, by decree or otherwise.

But did Lincoln hold this power without authority from Congress? And more specifically, could he, by a mere stroke of the pen, free all of the slaves in insurgent areas? In their assault on the Emancipation Proclamation, Parker and Curtis asserted that the Proclamation was invalid because it unconstitutionally deprived slave owners of their property and because it exerted power that was legislative rather than executive.

The constitutional issue is frivolous. Before the Civil War, the Constitution would not have authorized the federal government to seize and free slaves, and yet Curtis and Parker and all others who have considered the matter concede that the Union could free slaves who fled to its lines during the war. They recognized that the war conferred a power of uncompensated emancipation, and the effect on the slave owner is the same whether he loses his property by seizure or decree.

The question of whether Lincoln or Congress held the power to free the slaves by act or edict is more complicated. Lincoln believed that he, and not Congress, held the power of emancipation. It is true that he said in the Browning letter that "permanent rules of property" could only be made by Congress, not by executive proclamation.

But this was not his matured opinion, and it was given at a time when he, like his countrymen, "looked for an easier triumph and a result less astounding," in the words of his Second Inaugural Address. In his July 8, , message explaining his pocket veto of the Wade-Davis Bill, he said he was "unprepared When Lincoln told Chandler he opposed the bill because it prohibited slavery in the states, Chandler responded that "it is no more than you have done yourself.

The Emancipation Proclamation is in its nature and effect an executive, rather than a legislative, act. It frees the slaves, but does not acquire rights in the slaves or their services, as a legislative taking would do.

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