On September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, formally notifying the Confederacy of his intention to free all slaves within the rebellious states if they did not cease fighting and rejoin the Union. On January 1, 1863, with the Confederate states still in rebellion, President Lincoln issued the Final Emancipation Proclamation.
Forty-eight copies of the Emancipation Proclamation were originally produced, of those, just 26 copies are known to exist today, and only nine Lincoln-signed copies have sold publicly in the last 40 years. One of those copies is currently on display at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Joining us to discuss Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation are Freedom Center President Dr. Clarence G. Newsome; and Dr. Eric Jackson, associate professor of History at Northern Kentucky University.