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Emancipation Proclamation and Its Legacies

an Exhibition

January 22, 2013 – June 3, 2013

curated by Laurie Rizzo

Led–up to the Emancipation Proclamation

William Ellery Channing

Emancipation. Philadelphia: Eastern Pennsylvania A.S. Society, 1841.

William Ellery Channing (April 7, 1780–October 2, 1842) was a Unitarian Minister who as a moderate faced extreme turmoil for not sharing the religious views of either the conservatives or liberals. He spoke for and led the Unitarian movement and had influence on the Transcendentalist movement, although not a Transcendentalist himself. In 1835, he wrote a book titled, Slavery, which argued against slavery; however, expressed that he felt African slaves were not prepared to understand or enjoy freedom and that “the slave should not have an owner, but he should have a guardian.” This is a printing of Channing’s final public address on August 1, 1842 which celebrated the eight anniversary of the Emancipation of slaves in the British West Indies. His address called for the peaceful abolition of slavery in the United States. Channing’s well–known reputation for being a moderate helped to increase public support of the anti–slavery movement.

Radical Political Abolitionists

Principles and measures: declaration of the convention of Radical Political Abolitionists at Syracuse, June 26th, 27th, and 28th, 1855. [S.l.: s.n., 185[5].

The abolitionist movement in America became increasingly active around 1820. The Radical Political Abolitionists party was established in 1855, but its origins date back to the 1840s. There were many abolitionist societies around the United States throughout the nineteenth–century which produced an enormous amount of literature through newspapers, sermons, speeches, broadsides and pamphlets such as this one. Members of the Radical Political Abolitionists party included Frederick Douglass, editor of the North Star, organ of the National Liberty party in 1852; Lewis Tappan, and Gerrit Smith the chief financier of the movement.

National anti–slavery standard

New York [N.Y.]: American Anti-Slavery Society, September 1, 1860.

The National Anti–Slavery Standard was a weekly newspaper which issued its first edition on June 11, 1840 and ceased publication on April 16, 1870 after the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment which states that “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” The newspaper was produced by the American Anti–Slavery Society which was established in 1833. This installment was issued two months before Lincoln was elected President and seven months prior to the outbreak of the Civil War.

Abraham Lincoln

A Proclamation, known as the “Emancipation Proclamation.” [Facsimile of original held in the University of Delaware Library].

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that slaves in the Confederate states, with the exception of Tennessee, southern Louisiana and parts of Virginia, were now free. The Emancipation Proclamation also announced the Union’s intention to enlist black soldiers.

This document was signed by Lincoln and printed in Philadelphia by Frederick Leypoldt, on or about June 6, 1864. It was co–signed by Secretary of State William Henry Seward and attested to by Lincoln’s private secretary, John G. Nicolay. This signed broadside edition of the Proclamation is one of forty–eight copies originally printed to be sold as fundraisers at the Great Central Sanitary Fair held in Philadelphia, June 7 to June 29, 1864. Only about twenty copies are known to exist today.

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