Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America

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I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves...are, and henceforward shall be free....No other words in American history changed the lives of so many Americans as this plain, blunt declaration from Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. But no other words in American history have been so often passed over or held up to greater suspicion.Born in the struggle of Lincoln's determination to set slavery on the path to destruction, it has remained a document of struggle, as conflicting interpretations and historical mysteries swirl around it. What were Lincoln's real intentions? Was he the Great Emancipator or just a Great Fixer? What slaves did the Proclamation actually free? Or did the slaves free themselves? Why is the language of the Proclamation so bland, so legalistic, so far from the soaring eloquence of the Gettysburg Address?Prizewinning Lincoln scholar Allen C. Guelzo presents, for the first time, a full scale study of Lincoln's greatest state paper. Using unpublished letters and documents, little- known accounts from Civil War-era newspapers, and Congressional memoirs and correspondence, Guelzo tells the story of the complicated web of statesmen, judges, slaves, and soldiers who accompanied, and obstructed, Abraham Lincoln on the path to the Proclamation.The crisis of a White House at war, of plots in Congress and mutiny in the Army, of one man's will to turn the nation's face toward freedom -- all these passionate events come alive in a powerful and moving narrative of Lincoln's, and the Civil War's, greatest moment.
 

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Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: the end of slavery in America

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It has been almost a half century since John Hope Franklin's classic book on the Emancipation Proclamation-the last full study of that crucial document and moment in American history-and thinking has ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction l
1
Three
111
THE MIGHTY
157
Five
203
Postscript
251
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Allen C. Guelzo is the Grace Ferguson Kea Professor of American History at Eastern University (St. David's, Pennsylvania), where he also directs the Templeton Honors College.

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